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Why do people consider old basses to be "beautiful"? when you can get same model

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oreomeister365, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    There are some who think that older is better ...

    I think that older is just older ...

    quite often old basses have weak necks and weak pickups and beat up finishes ...

    Vintage instruments are over rated and over priced ...

    I prefer 1986 and later instruments ...

  2. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    you one of them sad owners?

  3. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    The Fender Jazz bass looked hot when it was first made, it looks hot today. If its vintage its seemingly worth more, but the shape was always hot.

    People have different tastes, i'm surprised you need to posted a thread to learn that.
  4. are you talking about old designs or actually old basses? I think a P Bass looks better than any Carvin
  5. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    Didn't you ever have a baseball glove that was broken in "just right"? , or a favorite pair of shoes or pair of jeans that were worn in just the way you liked them, so that they are nice and comfortable?

    If you can't see the beauty in any of those things, then I guess you'll never understand, and see the beauty in a nice broken in, well played bass.

    I guess you either get it or ya don't. ;)
  6. Looks are only skin deep ;)

    And this is a highly subjective issue...but anyway; Personally I love the classic designs (Fender P, J, Rickenbacker 4001/3 etc). I think they all have a real charm about them.

    The fender designs in particular are pretty honest, form follows function and all that - "Hmm ok, so we need to cut away this to allow access to these frets...and these contours are needed because the slab bodies aren't comfortable enough..." etc) Lends them not only a great look but a great feel too.

    There aren't many modern designs I see now that I really like, though warwicks are rather nice I suppose.

    [edit: hmn seems i misread the topic.

    I agree with the broken in idea, but that has to be done by oneself and can't be bought. I don't particularly find a '62 j bass any prettier than a '08 one. There are some minor differences I prefer (stacked pots, PU covers, some colour combos you can't get so easily now for example) but generally I think a lot of people like the relic'd look.
  7. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Vintage basses carry a certain character; visually and tonally, that comes with age. That is hard to duplicate. Why do you think there is a market for "relic-ed" basses?

    The market for all original vintage instruments seems to be more for collectors with coin burning a hole in their pocket, or the Hard Rock cafes looking to add more kitsch to their walls. These folks are looking at it for some sort of historical value, and to say they have an all original mint 62 Jazz, which are to me as striking as any new bass.

    A working musician is looking to find a vintage instrument that is in a highly playable condition and isn't going to rip 10k out of their pockets. These are what are known as players, and usually have some non-original parts and have been refinished somewhere down the line. They loose a lot of value when mods are done to them, but as I said, They are looking for a player. It would be unwise (and a little masturbatory) to bust out a $10,000 instrument in some dinky little bar in your cover band.

    Also vintage instruments might have a better recording vibe as well.

    As mentioned before; however, different strokes for different folks.
  8. So, are you saying people like it because it looks worn, aka, old?

    People have different tastes, obviously, but how do you define this taste? It is the worn/old taste, or is it because of the body style? Because I see many people compliment basses that look in good condition for being so old, but are you saying that many similar people find it looks good because it is worn, so to speak? The two sides contradict each other.

    "It looks in great/new condition! beautiful!"


    "They like the vintage/worn look"

    See how that makes no sense? If you want it to look pristine or vintage?
  9. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio

    Same goes for people busting out 4-7k for a Boutique bass for there bedroom playing.. :)
  10. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    To be honest I like older basses; if they are old or relic'd well. They look to me like they'd fit like an old pair of sneakers. That's not to say new basses can't look good or that old basses can't play poorly, it's a personal choice. If relic'd Fender basses cost the same as new ones I'd likely buy relic'd.
  11. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    People like it because they like it. Why does it have to make sense?
  12. Hmm, yeah I was a little unclear on that:

    I'm talking about old basses, not so much their design.
  13. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Old Fenders have a nitro finish which checks and wears in a fashion that the newer basses (most are finished with poly) don't. Some people like that look.
  14. They seem like it for two reasons that contradict each other. I'm asking them why. This, being a forum, is for discussion, so I'm going to discuss this with them. Discussion is not born out of "take it or leave it" mentality.

    I care, I want to know, I want to make sense of it, I didn't make this thread in the first place just to say write it off with "because they do", which gets me absolutely nowhere.
  15. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    Lacquer thin finish
    Inconsistencies that made some better then others
    Aged wood does play a part in tone
    etc etc

    Thick Poly Finish (Some claim tone robbing we need mythbusters on that one)
    Mostly CNCd unless you pay uber bucks for a boutique
    More modern sounding pickups and parts (Good or bad depending on your tone preferences)
    Electronics are more advance (Again good or bad depending on your tastes)


    It comes down to preference. No rights No wrongs.

    Why drink coke when there is pepsi. Its the same thing both are Cola's

    Why wear black pants versus blue

    Its a choice some prefer the look and feel of a matured instrument. Some like the subdued tone of the pickups that have mellowed with age. Some like them cause they have been played hard there whole life leading one to believe it had to been special.

    No need to try and analyze why people like what they do, just be happy for some they found what they like.
  16. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    A lot of us like older instruments with some wear on them because it seems to relate to the fact that the worn instrument has proven itself: someone loved the sound of it well enough to play it a lot. My Les Paul is like that: it's worn pretty much all over, and it is the best-sounding electric guitar I've ever played (I waited 13 years for its previous owner to finally agree to sell it to me!).

    For that reason, I've always been dismissive of the collector's requirement for "pristine" guitars and basses -- maybe the reason one is pristine is because it wasn't very good, so didn't get played.

    Another thing is that some of us who are older think that new, shiny goodies are merely the toys of children and that we have outgrown the susceptibility to "ooh, pretty!" that afflicts younger persons. In the example of my worn LP, I note that at the LP discussion forum there's a lot of pants-wetting over flamed tops and unusual colors, but nobody ever says a word about playability or sound. My poor old goldtop wouldn't stand a chance among that crowd.

    For a deeper analysis of the appeal of older, worn artifacts, refer to The Unknown Craftsman by Soetsu Yanagi. I'm currently re-reading it.
  17. Okay, but what's the point of having a vintage bass that looks in pristine condition? (if we ignore tone).

    Undoubtedly worth alot because of age (and I'm sure thats the determining factor for price) but does it still look good? You could get a new copy for much less. Wouldn't sound the same but lets assume you're buying it for looks.

    If a vintage bass looks good, shouldn't it be because it looks, well, vintage?
  18. Lon86


    Jan 21, 2008
    Venice, CA
    Yes they do...the vintage re-issue product lines are HUGE!!!

  19. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    collectability .. Having one in pristine condition is a investment. With the prices going today a few years down the road you may double your investment.

    My rational is this if its pristine it didnt get played, if it didnt get played there is probably a reasoning behind it. Either A.) It got lost in grandmas attic, or B.) It didnt sound or play good.

    I rather have one worn to heck and back cause it sounded and played great, then one that didnt and is in perfect condition.

    I dont collect basses I play them. There meant to be played not hide underneath your bed or on a stand its whole life worrying about a scratch. I dont care if its a 10K Fodera or a $200 Squier im going to play it like it was meant to be played and if it gets dinged up in the meantime so be it. Its a tool not a treasure.
  20. Thanks. So new looking old basses go for more than old looking old basses?

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