Why Two Or More Identical Basses ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bubble, May 10, 2019.

  1. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    I am considering two identical basses, set up exactly the same. Why ? Because I figure it will be twice as long before I wear the frets out and twice as long before the strings get dull.
    But the trick, rotate them on something like a 60/40 duty cycle so there is time to fix the wear on the 60 while I play the 40. Then the 40 goes into the hangar for an overhaul.
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I think you are overthinking it. If you get five of the same bass, you can pretty much take concerns about fret wear and a maintenance rotation out of the picture.
  3. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    So judging by your information you are a full-time gigging musician? (multiple performances per week and or regular studio work) If so, your plan sounds justified.
    TonyP- and LieutenantLauch like this.
  4. Chris Breese

    Chris Breese Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    Farmington, IL USA
    One P bass with roundwounds for my regular band. One P bass with roundwounds for my tuned-down-a-half-step band. One P bass with flats for my regular band. One P bass with flats for my tuned-down-a-half-step band. One P bass with roundwounds for my classic country band....
  5. Sounds good too me. I would probably have them in two different color schemes as to make sure which one was each.
    todd burns and ed morgan like this.
  6. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    I like your Gwen Stefani P Bass wvbass, reminds me of her.
    Here, as if no one can guess:


    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    Nunovsky, bassballs27, B-Mac and 2 others like this.
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Because of all the purdy colors!
    petrus61 likes this.
  8. Yango

    Yango Inactive

    Apr 14, 2008
  9. Yango

    Yango Inactive

    Apr 14, 2008
    So, Mr. Bubble, which mega touring band (+\- 300 gigs per year) are you currently the bass player in?
  10. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    None, I have a terrible stage fear, I clam up and can't remember the song. I have had plenty of people try to get me in a band, they say I'm doing ok.
    Gimme a list and I can do covers for most popular stuff but prefer Hard Rock and some Pop. Then it comes time to play and poof, it's all gone. Where did it go ? I don't know. I do the same thing at GC when I look for my next one which BTW is probably an American Performer PJ.
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    murphy and comatosedragon like this.
  11. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    Duty cycle? If you're at that point you need to hire roadies.

    Keep an identical backup hanging on your wall. When you need to use it, use it.
    scowboy likes this.
  12. I'd never have two the same, but I also don't wear out basses or like new strings. My EB-2 still has strings from the '60s and the frets look perfect, same with my SG, etc...
  13. TrevorR


    Oct 3, 2015
    Near London, UK
    You’re definitely way over thinking it in terms of managing wear and tear. Treat your gear with respect, maintain it regularly and 99.9% of what you’re worrying about is pretty much sorted. I’ve been playing the same main bass for over 25years, kept it well set up and well maintained and it still doesn’t need a refret!

    You do have a point, especially if you have performance anxiety. Having a spare on stage with you for every gig will remove one concern from your mind and give you confidence. They don’t need to be identical just any two basses you could happily complete the whole gig with. That was the “insurance policy” I always use playing live. As it was my basses were well maintained enough that I never had one go down on a gig - but that’s not the point. Confidence and confidence that you could swap basses in the space of two or three bars in a song was.

    Then you also have a choice... as it was I didn’t use the basses as main + spare. Since I love all my basses (and I’d happily play the whole gig on either despite their tonal and playing differences) I would look at the set lists, figure out blocks of 5 or 6 songs where one bass “fitted” a bit better than the other and swap basses maybe once or twice in a set - just for my own pleasure and indulgence. I always had them plugged in and fed through a switcher pedal so again, no dead air on the changes. The all got played by default and purely as a side effect the wear on them was shared - but that was purely a side effect, the real reasons were 1) the show must go on and 2) I love playing those basses, so I do!

    My three gig combinations - all four are very different basses but I can ace any gig on any of them.
    31F791FD-D35C-4793-B657-2B19048934DD.jpeg 7920B467-03AE-42C9-A1A5-33AFDA156856.jpeg F289377E-BB76-444A-9C1E-8A296D022BC6.jpeg
  14. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL

    Same basses, same strings, same setup, same luthier, same straplocks, batteries, Fretfx, cases, etc.

    They are the only fretted basses I have owned in 5 years (I have 1 other bass, a Carvin LB76F to cover the fretless stuff).

    One is my main bass the other my practice/side gig/back up. They are identical so I can move from instrument to instrument without a single adjustment technique or tone wise. When I learn something at home on bass 2, I go to the studio where bass 1 is and it is exactly the same as I learned it.

    With essentially one bass type I can reproduce my tone identically anywhere. No dialing in different eq settings or volume bc I went from a passive J to an active MM or something. I set it once and forget it everywhere. One tone one source.

    The biggest reason for twins is that when I’m playing I do not ever want to think about the instrument - only my playing. I learned the song this way on this instrument and it’s always the same and I don’t have to think about the bass guitar itself. The bass needs to disappear as much as possible and it can’t do that when I’m going, “Oops! Oh yeah... I’m back on my 33” 4 string drop D and that’s not a B string!” Or “Sorry guys... my main 6 string with ss rounds active bass is out and all I have is this radically different 4 string passive with flats practice bass I brought from home and Dream Theater shouldn’t be an issue tonight... 1-2-3-go!”

    That’s why. When something is the same everywhere it disappears.
  15. Baa

    Baa Happy hobbyplayer

    Jan 10, 2006
    stockholm, sweden
    6xkropp.jpg Having six identical makes me confident that no matter what happens, or how old i get, i will have at least one left for the rest of my days :thumbsup:
    They were only built between 1979 and 1982 and it's my absolute favourite bass, and they all get played.
    Nunovsky, Samatza, ajkula66 and 17 others like this.
  16. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Why are you thinking you might wear out the frets? Forget the gorilla grip, play nicely and you'll never wear out frets. That string reasoning is just weird!

    Have more than one bass if you want but own up, just buy them because you want more stuff.
  17. Oh, TalkBass...
    scowboy, backin82, JoshS and 6 others like this.
  18. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Sure! Nothing wrong with a backup... or a few:

    ed morgan and B-Mac like this.
  19. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    get a fretless and eliminate the first issue...entirely! good luck with your worries! :thumbsup:
    ed morgan, JoshS, J_Bass and 4 others like this.
  20. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    ...until the strings start wearing through the fingerboard.....
    ed morgan and LieutenantLauch like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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