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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by geezer316, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    When it comes to the finish of a bass which do you prefer ? A)an old beat vintage Fender bass,finish long gone and what's left of it is checking and or cracking,faded smoke stained p-gaurd and an over all well played work horse of a bass ? OR B)a brand new Fender bass,nice and pretty,not a mark or scratch to be found,straight off the new bass rack ? I cannot explain why i prefer an old beat up bass over a brand new one,I guess its the fact thats there's nothing like a bass that has been the survivor of many a bar-room gig.theres just something so personal about it,i love how the wood of the neck gets all dark and dis-colored,and all that paint and finish worn right to the wood, or whats left to it is faded and worn,these qualities speak volumes to me.I went to go see a semi-famous musician a few times in the last 6 months,his name is Phil Guy, the brother of the famous blues legend Buddy Guy. He was playing this vintage, beat down, worn to hell,smoke damaged finish,buckle rashed, monster of a guitar. it was a early 60's Fender Stratocaster (sorry:meh: ,i know this is a bass site BUT),this axe looked like its been to hell and back TWICE.but the warm and ear splitting tone it had was deafining to say the least.It's looks fit the sound and the type of music to a T.No brand new axe could of cut it that nite.if that axe could of only talked,the stories it would be able to tell would be mind blowing.something about an old axe just hits that feeling inside,I can imagine that bass being giged 40 years ago in some little hole in the wall blues cafe down south,It seeing a piece of history, knowing that this axe helped change the face of music forever, if thats not nostalgic what is ? Now please dont mis-understand me,there are axes out there today(new) that are every bit of,and as good as the older ones,but it still does'nt capture that sound of a well played vintage axe with that warm sound that only settled in matured wood and vintage pick-ups can produce.I love music,its always has been a major influence in my life,especially early rock,and nothing says classic rock and blues than a vintage Fender.sorry about the long thread,i wanted to be sure that i got my feelings across fully, as not to sound like i was knocking guitars that other people find as important to themselves as my bass preferences are to me.:D ANY FEED-BACK(and i dont mean my grammer:mad: ) LOL ! :bassist:
  2. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    I'd rather get the brand new, not a scratch Fender, and watch it age as if it was my own child :D Who wants to bring in a 30 year old living on his own already? The fun is in watching them mature :p
  3. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I like em shiny & new, if there are going to be scratches I wanna know where they came from.
    I can tell you every scratch & dent on my basses,
    where it happened, who did it, and how. although I
    did buy a mim Jazz at a scratch & dent sale, for $250, but it was just store damage.I know what you are talking about. I have seen some basses with wear & tear, and checking, and yellowish
    clear coat, they do look so cool,I just want to buy them all.To many basses to Little money.
    They have a vintage Guitar show once a year in Orlando, we always go and drool.You can just see the history in them.:)
  4. I agree with igcognito here. If the instrument was yours from the start (or kinda close, whatever) it would be a great feeling there, but with a newer instrument you can help carve it's history and help make some of its memories. That's gotta be worth somehting too.
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    New. Any dings in my bass I want to put there myself...
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    For Fenders, definately the worn look--it gives them some character. They also feel better, to me.

  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I like both, but there's always this dread when you make your first scratch or dent in a brandnew bass.

    When I got my present main bass, it was already used, so I was uninhibited, and you'll make any bass your own after some time, even when it's used.

    I prefer oil/wax over lacquer.
    When the dents are too big or deep, I sand them down and reapply the oil/wax finish.
  8. drd07


    Jan 19, 2003
    I like the worn out look. But, I would prefer to have a new bass and have wear it out myself.
  9. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Hey!! Where's the "New Conklin" option?? :mad:

    Seriously, new for me...
  10. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo MusicMan & Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA.
    Me too, on both accounts, ;) Whew! Anyways mabye I'm just crazy but I love the well worn look over new on the more traditional styles(i.e. Fender, Musicman, G&L). Here's the crazy part. I don't really like white as a finish but oh'baby once it turns to a cream I gotta have it:p Yum, YUm, YUM.;)
  11. LA


    Oct 17, 2001

    But old basses don't get beat up, they just "develop character".
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If you buy a truly vintage instrument, you cannot help the dents, dings, and where the finish is rubbed down to the bare wood. That's cool. The electric bass has gotten to a point where, like double bassists, we realize our finer instruments are only passing through our hands.....till they get passed on to someone else when each of us is planted in the ground.

    What bothers me are charlatans/imposters who buy "factory pre-aged" instruments in the hope that these "fake vintage models" will give them some pretense of credibility/legitimacy as musicians, (can some of them even play worth a crap???). I doubt a double bassist would stoop so low to buy a "pre-aged, antiqued" double bass.

    A good example are the "pre-aged" instruments at Guitar Galleria where they sell new instruments with factory-created dings and dents like this poser -

    Or the Fender Relic Jaco Bass with factory-contrived wear -


    What could be more pretentious??? Naw, you ain't Jaco, so don't pretend to be him

    Fer chrissakes!!! Go out, and establish your own identity with your instrument instead of trying to BUY musicanship and fool others! Every nick and scratch on your new instrument becomes a part of "your history" and the instrument lives on with you.....not a charade that essentially disses the artists who orginally made the model "their own."

    Besides, once you start playing, an artifically beat-up instrument is still going to expose your true skills, for better or for worse.
  13. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    my preference is for a nice and worn in bass,wood all settled in ETC.its not about a false image,i dont have 25-30 years to age my bass. though i would'nt spend 2500.00$ on a vintage closet classic jass bass,i would spend 1000.00 on a well preserved p-bass. theres just something so great and nostalgic about a worn in bass. my main bass is an 86-87 jazz special all hot rodded out ETC.i would'nt trade it in for a brand new p-bass that's for sure.:D.i agree with some of what you said for instance those reliced basses fender sells for an absurd amount of money is ridiculous,i seen the the cat from GREENDAY playing a reliced p-bass in a concert photo,thats phoney and plastic,not buying a vintage 62 stack knob j-bass. thats a whole different can of paint. i dont agree with buying a brand new bass thats beat with a hand full of belt buckles.i'll pass on that ,thanks but none for me.
  14. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    Or, it could be that it's just a really great instrument. I own a Jaco Relic. I KNOW I don't play like him and certainly didn't buy it hoping it would magically change that fact! ;) I've just never played a better Fender fretless. In fact, it's in my top 3 all-time favorite fretless basses. I would certainly prefer it not have the marketing hype. In fact, it would be great if Fender could reproduce the tone and playability of the Jaco relic on all their products.

    My experience is that the Jaco relic is a very special instrument in spite of itself...

  15. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Yeah, part of what I like about the wear and tear is that it means the instrument has been played, for years and years. There's a certain mojo about that, and just making it look like it's been played isn't the same.

    I'm also of the "hate to be the one to put ther first ding in, so I'd rather buy it pre-dinged" camp, too.

  16. For me, it varies. I love the look of a Fender with a worn maple neck and faded hardware. It has this very appealing vintage character, even foregoing the history aspect (which appeals to me also), I simply adore the aesthetic of a well-aged bass. Not the kind of aging where it appears to have been beaten with chairs or otherwised abused for the sake of abuse, but the kind of aging that speaks of being well-cared for but simply showing signs of long hours of loving use with the occasional mishap here and there.

    Kind of like denim; I don't care much for the look of a pristine pair of jeans (with the exception of indigo dyed, which I like dark and new) but wear that pair of jeans while engaged in intensive labor (or intensive recreation) for a few months and they'll develop such an appealing character that I'll prefer them over any new pair.

    On the other hand, I'm greatly put off by any small imperfection in other varieties of the same thing. Just as I wouldn't want to see a faded patch on any of my dress trousers, I abhor blemishes on other types of basses/guitars. Take a Fodera or Pedulla and scratch it, and I'll be sick. If it had been a J-Bass, though, I'd likely think it added to it's appeal, so long as it wasn't intentional. Then I'd think you were sick.

    As for the factory aging thing Rickbass mentioned, I think that, for some players, it's less about (conscious) image and more about the buyer in question appreciating the look of a vintage instrument but lacking the funds to purchase any worth playing. There are those who would buy them to appear more experienced, though, and those individuals are deserving of every derisive sneer they receive. As for me, I've never seen a factory aged bass that looked truly aged. It's always obvious to me that it's just a factory "smashup" and not the real item. I'm not sure how I discern the difference; maybe a subconcious attention to detail, but they've never given me that deeply appreciative feeling that coming in contact with an original '60s Fender does. Strangely, pre-distressed denim doesn't have this "imposter" effect on me. I actually like a lot of it...

    Ah well, enough rambling from me.
  17. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Oooh, I knew my post could insuate a friend :(

    But I had to be honest, Jeff. Factory-contrived wear and scratches don't improve sound. Only....-

    + the years of the wood opening up
    + the finish crackling
    + the pickup magnets softening
    + the player learning every nuance of that one instrument

    ....make it sound heavenly.

    If only vintage tone was something that could be installed on the production line, I could buy a pre-CBS for a few hundred bucks, instead of looking at other pre-CBS Precis's for thousands of dollars to replace the one I lost in a plane crash.

    But what they hey??? Yours may have something special going for it. I just know several guitarists who have bought the "pre-aged" stuff and there's nothing exceptional about it at all. They're just "pretenders." I told them, (tongue-in-cheek) they should get a picture taken sitting on the porch of an old shack with their "fake-antiqued" Fender, surrounded by young black kids, so they could pretend to be legitimate blues artists from the Mississippi Delta.....(yeah right!).

    With almost a dozen fine basses in your harem and 2 more custom beauties on the way, when do you get time to play your Relic anyway???? :D
  18. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I don't think I've ever been insuated! ;) Regardless, I'm certainly not offended! Friends can always say what they mean, right?

    Rick - I know what you mean. And, I don't know the impact of the "aging" Fender does on the Jaco Relic. I just know it sounds and plays wonderfully. I'd prefer it look new and sound/play the way it does.

    Having recently attended the Dallas Guitar Show, I played several Pre-CBS basses. Most were over $5K. All were crap. I wonder if all the "good ones" are long locked up in someone's vault. Regardless, the Jaco Relic remains my favorite Fender.

    To be honest, the Relic and the Sadowsky fretless split the fretess time pretty evenly. And, I can leave the Fender plugged in at home without draining a battery, so it gets quite a bit of playing time!

  19. I don't like the looks of Fenders :hyper:

    with that said, for my first bass I got a old bass that I had to get (the wiring) fixed and I loved it, and still do love it (even though I don't play it much anymore) but when I bought my first new one...I loved it. It was my bass, no one else had played it no one else scratched it, or even tuned it. Everything was mine, and that is a feeling I really like. It feels more like a child and less like a pet
  20. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, Jeff, all I can say about your relationship to your Relic is what my aristocrat-sculptress-mistress said to me long ago -

    "No matter whether our roads separate or converge, being true to ourselves is the beautiful thing."

    To which I would repsond - "If your Nordstand doesn't turn out to be a monster, I'll be damned!!!"

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