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Why are boutique basses more common than boutique electric solidbody guitars?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nomaj, May 20, 2019.

  1. nomaj


    Apr 2, 2012
    Reading the $25,000 boutique bass thread from a few days ago got me thinking about the fact that boutique electric solidbody guitars haven't caught on to anywhere near the extent that boutique electric basses have.

    There are certainly innovative electric solidbody guitar luthiers out there, like Rick Toone, but this niche is minuscule compared to boutique basses (or boutique archtop guitars or acoustic flattops).

    I'm curious as to your thoughts on this: why have boutique basses been desired by bassists much more than boutique electric solidbody guitars have with guitarists?
    RyanOh and crobasster like this.
  2. nFinnyD


    Oct 31, 2017
    I think it has several factors, one that stands out to me (coming from being a guitarist for much longer than bass) is that there are tons more factory made options.

    But it honestly is probably because bassist don’t have girlfriends they have to take out or buy presents for.
  3. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Maybe because most guitarists are penniless dullards.
  4. bluepeep


    Mar 19, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Basses need to be better built to withstand the tension of real strings.... Plus the resonance of the lower Notes traveling thru the better woods and necks is much more important compared to the whiny pitched sound of a guitar basically coming from the Pickups and a massive pedal board.....
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Guitarist are happy enough with off the rack production line stuff that they're told they should be enjoying. If not that, they'll upgrade to vintage stuff that they're told they should aspire to.
    Dbass35, Hexabuzz, Bassgeer and 11 others like this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I think there are just as many boutique guitars. But virtually ALL of them are some version of a Strat or Tele.
  7. Just an impression but I think Bass was a bit harder to do well, yet rewarded the efforts of people like Alembic, Tobias ect very well.

    The improvement in tone from the '60's through the '70's/ '80's is much more pronounced than with the six stringers.
  8. bluepeep


    Mar 19, 2002
    Long Island, NY

    One reason why when I do look or have GAS for a new Bass - I don't totally get the expensive basses that are basically Fenders - a Jazz, P or PJ...... Like the Coppolo's.....
  9. Tons more mass market options for electric guitars, plus, being a guitar player (or one who plays AT guitar), I'd say electric guitarists are a bit more brand sensitive. These are alpha males who want to be seen wearing the right brands.

    Acoustic guitarists are more like bassists. Purists and a bit more concerned about the music and tone than the appearance. More mellow, laid back (Lemmy aside). That's why you see a lot of boutique acoustic six-string options.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  10. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    Guitarists lack imagination. Finding a better Strat or LP is the most common goal. Even in the non-boutique world, there are more varieties of basses. Guitarists are sheep with no sense of adventure...
    Mark 63 and dkelley like this.
  11. I didn't know Fodera made guitars until I saw Snarky Puppy's Bob Lanzetti playing one in a trio gig.
    Dbass35 and Novarocker like this.
  12. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Guitarists have demonstrably lower standards. Show them a Squier bullet Strat with a fake 'Fender Made in the USA' decal and they start foaming at both ends.
    ejaggers, dkelley, Mili and 4 others like this.
  13. NorseBear0903

    NorseBear0903 Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2018
    There are a lot of boutique guitar shops out there as well. I play both bass and guitar and the options in the boutique world are overwhelming for either instrument.
  14. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    Here's a rare bird - a boutique guitar (1 of 11) that is absolutely extraordinary, built by a boutique bass builder!
    Killer looks, killer sound, killer playability, and only 6.25 lbs.!

  15. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Given that my first response was a bit flippant, there are probably many boutique guitars out there in the hands of famous players. They simply look like normal off-the-peg guitars. Consider that the Strat, Tele and Les Paul are the three most common industry standards. John Mayer could play a guitar built to his absolute every whim and demand, yet he plays Strats and Strat-like guitars.

    Jerry Garcia did play these things:

  16. Guimbeciles need the money for hair dressers and tanning.
    Garret Graves and Jason42 like this.
  17. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    True - but here is one super cool one that isn't!
    FretFree, smogg, wraub and 5 others like this.
  18. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Holy crap that’s a Dingwall!
  19. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    Isn't that an early Traben?
    Keger Jupit and Axstar like this.
  20. redwingxix


    Oct 21, 2015
    Boutique guitars are out there. The first one I can recall that caught my attention are the Langedoucs that Trey Anastasio plays.


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