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(Yet another) So I went to instrument shops and tried things (thread)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SonnyBassPlayer, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. SonnyBassPlayer


    Nov 29, 2013
    Good day TB

    I went bass hopping last afternoon and I tried some basses.

    Beware:long post full of opinions and data ahead.

    2007 Mim Std jazz, (ab)used
    2016 Mim std jazz
    2015 Mim Precision deluxe
    2015 Mim std Precision
    Recent Squier Pj
    Recent Squier jazz
    Another squier jazz I don't remembered specs
    2010 classic 50s Precision
    Recent Mike Dirnt signature
    2016 70s Am vintage jazz
    Epiphone Thunderbird classic IV
    Road worn jazz
    American standard P (the one with custom shop pups, forgot to check the year)

    So, as a owner of 2007 and 2010 Mim std Ps, the most recent Mexicans deceived me. Both the P and the J had very dark and dull rosewood fretboards, they almost looked sanded as they were flat and not smooth, almost missing wood veneers. Headstock fronts were shiny, the finish looked fine. They were averagely heavy, and the P was averagely comfortable to play.. The J had strings so high my pinky fitted between the fretboard and the strings.. Nothing impressed me.
    The deluxe, minding I didn't like the metallic surf green was very fancy and quite comfortable, I think the Jpup was not stock.. Sounded fine.
    The trashed 2007 J was the best mexican I played of the bunch. but for the price I asked I could get an almost mint one of those good Mim years.
    The Squier Pj (white) was good lookin and fine to play, the Squier J a bit less.. But the necks were so matt they looked unfinished, sleek but could look better with a slightly glossier paint.. it just looked like they will turn green from hand sweat.
    The classic 50s had a 2010 serial,I guess the strings had the same age.. it looked great but it sounded completely dead and dull... great Bass,but the neck is too much for me.
    The Mike Dirnt had dull flats that really didn't express much tone. I bet those were old and dirty too, it was beautiful but very heavy. I noticed the body, apart from the routs,has the same contouring (or lack of) of the Fender Cabronita.
    The AmVintage jazz (natural) sounded good, looked good (even if I hoped for a better wood grain at 1900€), felt good,but the glossy neck was overly sticky for me.. and I'm not going to sand off a neck which also has binding... i'll leave that to who likes gloss, I'll be better with a stock satin back-gloss front neck like the Mim,if I found a good one.
    The only non Fender tried was a rare white Thunderbird, with American pups. It was too heavy for my liking but it played and sounded good,it impressed me positively. If it had been black and lighter I would have posted a NBD thread instead of this.
    The road worn jazz had a broken or unconnected neck pickup,I didn't lose time on it... looked great though.

    I stayed one hour in this first shop trying 12 out of their 40ish basses. I had to tune 6 of them, one was about two steps down. only 3 were well tuned. I could say about 5 had a playable setup, the amp was clearly being used by all testers as it was an already worn Ashdown Rm420 2x10 combo.
    I felt sorry at the beginning for going away empty handed,but seriously no bass made me think "gosh I should have taken it away with me". if I had to buy one tho, it would have been the 2007 J.

    I had time left so I went to another shop.
    I tried a Am standard P, 3ts,rosewood.
    Its the lightest P I ever played, maybe even too much as holding it the neck felt heavier than the body... possibly a diving P?
    Perfect setup, intonation tuning.
    Fit and finish were top notch,but the fretboard looked too light colored, it was probably overly dry.
    It sounded great,it was extremely comfortable, the most tasteful to play P I ever met. I never play fingerstyle but that bass was so good I played it just a few seconds with the pick (with is my main technique). price is 1680€, discounted.. i could get it for almost 300 less in other shops.
    The shop in question is kinda snobby. basses are about 15 in total compared to at least 80 guitars ( Fender Gibson and acoustics), are kept in locked glass cases,the dude let me the P about 4 minutes, tge time to go check the price and come tell it to me,and took it. the amp was a great sounding Eden.

    So,what did I learn that I could pass you after wasting your time? shops that don't keep their instruments well will make everything sound bad. Everyone who tries an instrument and thinks it's bad should try testing it in another place too,and only after that give an opinion. I could bet most of the basses I tried in the first shop could be great, but I can't buy them all to try and set them up. I surely did the bad customer impression, but what could I do? telling them is probably useless as the guitar guy asked me to tune the basses I try (which I did anyway of course..) so they know they aren't in good conditions. also my gf is kinda banded from that shop cause she had a discussion with the owner. this things make me think they are fine with how their instruments show up.
    I went checking if anything was worth exchanging with my Cabronita or Mim red P and I think I will pass.

    If the second shop had a decent starting price for that P I would have taken it.
    But I can say it sounds almost identical to my main bass, a modded 2007 Mim P... Is some less weight and comfort worth 1680€? Trading a bass for another with a higher than standard price is waste IMHO.

    Yeah,I'll keep on looking for trades ,and keep my humble P. I will probably aim my attention at amps.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016

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