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Your ABSOLUTE MINIMUM specs for you to consider an instrument your "main bass"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    Just curious about your requirements in this regard. Of course, I don't lose sight of the fact that there are LOTS of variables involved in such decision (making a bass your #1 one), but I'm pointing to a basic set of features that would make a particular bass a strong candidate in your list. My main bass, for instance, has lots of "bells and whistles", but some of them are "incidental" (in lack of a better word) compared to other "essential" features, which for me are:

    - 5 strings
    - 24 frets
    - 34" scale
    - 18.25 mm. string spacing at the bridge
    - 3-band EQ
    - Two pickups

    (BTW, is it such instrument currently in production? I don't know of any)

    As a counterexample, I also own some great 4-stringers that I love and have their own place in what I do, but lacking that low B string is enough for me to disqualifying them from the #1 spot. So, which are your "essential features"? Again, just out of curiosity. Thank you for your input! :)
  2. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    great fretwork and straight neck.

    other than that, that's about it. ive played a one pickup bass with the pickup wired directly to the output jack and been happy with it.
  3. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    5 string
    2 Soapbar pickups
    24 jumbo, stainless steel frets
    Natural wood finish
  4. ffutterman

    ffutterman Talentless Bass Enthusiast

    May 7, 2010
    4 strings
    Sounds good
    Looks cool
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Quality workmanship and shielded pickups, I won't take a humming bass near stage and think anybody who does should be tried in the highest court :D other than that I am not that concerned as long as it isn't cheaply assembled.
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather


    4 strings
    21 frets
    34" scale
    18mm. string spacing.
    Two jazz pickups (could do a P if I had to)

    I could do quite a bit with a minimal bass like this. It's all in the hands!

    What I'd WANT?

    5 string
    21 frets
    34" scale
    Bartolini (or Audere) 2 band eq pre
    Bartolini J pups

    Oh wait, I just received my custom bass with these very specs! :)
  7. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Absolutely. This is just about personal preference. :)
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Mine are pretty much the same as yours, but I can live with a 35-inch scale and 19mm spacing, but 34 and 18 is fine. I've been playing my LeCompte VB5 a lot lately and it has only 20 frets, but otherwise meets your specs.
  9. neren


    Jun 5, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    4 strings
    20+ frets
    34" scale
    19mm spacing
    one pickup

    Wanna guess what my main bass is? :ninja:
  10. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Straight neck, Low action
    useable, flexible, quiet pre
    a thin to thinish neck with satin or oil finish
    nicely dressed frets
    34" scale

    I think that basically covers it. i have a preference for # of strings but this list would cover any bass.
  11. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    - One or more unbroken strings.
    - Workable intonation.
    - Functioning pickup and speaker jack.
  12. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    34" scale
    Ash or alder body
    String-through body
    Bolt-on neck
    Satin or glossed neck
    Split-coil pickup

    Pretty simple. Some refer to this as a "P-Bass"
  13. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Actually, I feel fine with anything between 17.5 and 19mm. 18.25 is simply the "perfect happy medium" for me.
  14. I play it most.
  15. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    one dual action truss rod
  16. Spiritfield

    Spiritfield Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2004
    4 strings
    Easy playability
    Great sound
  17. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    - 5 or 6 Strings
    - 24 frets
    - 35" scale
    - 18 mm. string spacing at the bridge
    - 3-band EQ
    - Active/Passive Switching
    - Two pickups
    - Flat neck
    - Maple Fretboard

    - The Exception -

    Dingwall Z3
  18. Rossington


    Apr 20, 2012
    Fender Jazz Bass. Done!
  19. cjmodulus


    Jul 15, 2010
    5 strings (maybe 6- still giving my first 6er it's trial run)
    24 frets (I don't live up there, but I miss them when they're gone)
    Active (I can work with either 2 or 3 band EQ
    35 inch scale (I like a little extra tension for the occasional detuning I do)
    Narrower 5 string spacing (around 17 mm). I just can't get used to wide spacing no matter how much I try.
    As far as aesthetics, well not really essential for me, I prefer trans-blue or amber finishes on maple tops, or natural finish with darker top woods.
    So yeah, I guess I'm a more modern 'coffee table' bass type of guy. That said, I've had bad GAS for a black or candy apple red J bass lately...
  20. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My thoughts exactly.

    My first main bass was 33 1/4 scale, 20 frets 4 strings, dual PUP, passive electronics..... I played that Ric for YEARS!

    Then my main bass was a 5 string 34" lined fretless (24 fretlines) hollow body, active...... I Loved my AC-50 a lot!

    Then I went back to the Ric

    Now my Franken Hoppus 34", 20 fret single PUP with a Hipshot D-Tuner, passive is my go to.

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