August 3rd, 2009, 12:04 AM
This is my first thread here, though I visit here often to glean wisdom from these web pages. I have read through so many of these threads, that I feel like I almost know some of you. (thanks guys!).
So here goes, I own three basses, in the order of acquisition - G&L Tribute L2000 and JB2, and a MIM-P. I love the L2000, I don't think I will ever part with that. I got the JB2 as a backup and for that "growl". The P was acquired for the classic bass thump (the P-thump is great for Latin music). I think that "tonally" I am as covered as it can get. They are all well taken care of and in mint condition, thing is, I don't love my JB2.
The finish is flawless, from a build perspective, everything is fine. I tried it before buying, and liked it then. Though after being with it for a while, I started to find fault with it. I like playing it, though the neck may be a wee bit too slender for my hands. Still it helps to change feel every now and then. I never really loved the tone of the stock pickups so I changed them to SD 1/4LBS. Sounds better, deeper, heftier, I like it more, but still feel something lacking. Tried it through different amps, I like the tone is ok enough, but this bass doesn't seem like a "go to" for me and it feels like a waste hanging on the wall.
So, this has left me thinking
1. Maybe I am more of a Precison guy - but having a jazz type around is not bad.
2. Is the the onset of a new G.A.S. attack - be it for another set of pickups or a bass?
3. Maybe I have to part ways with this bass, but I have never gotten rid of a bass. I put alot of thought into it, shopped around, and put my hard earned money into it - seems like a waste of time.
So I ask, when do you guys part ways with a bass? Or do you never part ways and just hoard them? Or do you tinker with it until it's right?
August 3rd, 2009, 08:36 AM
I used to hoard my Basses and guitars, but I ended up with 18 instruments at the same time.
My rule of thumb now is that if I don't use it, I get shut.
I own three nice Jazz Basses, and have a genuine '63 Jazz that is on a long loan from a good friend, and they all get used for different things
I'd like a decent P Bass, but I don't use one often enough to merit buying one.
However, another good friend has '60 and '62 P's that I can borrow if I need to.
I had a gorgeous fretless L2000 that I sold a few months ago, I thought I loved that Bass and that I would never sell it.....its gone now and while I do miss having a fretless, I don't miss that particular Bass.
All my Basses get tweaked in one way or another, its rare that I find something totally stock that ticks all the boxes.
If I'm happy with feel of the neck and the weight and tone of the body, I have no qualms about changing the hardware and electrics to make it a keeper.
August 3rd, 2009, 08:46 AM
Whenever this happens to me I simply don't play the instrument for a while. When I come back to it I either like it again, or appreciate it for particular or specific things, rather than for everything. Sometimes it depends on the room too. Some gigs require a change.
Don't get rid of it yet, you might just need to give it a long rest, or only use it for occasional things.
August 3rd, 2009, 10:56 AM
I tend to sell off the instruments that I don't bond with. Life's too short (and money is too!) to hold on to stuff I don't need!
August 3rd, 2009, 01:38 PM
I'm fortunate to have enough space (money's another matter) to keep pretty much every piece of gear I've ever bought (at least the ones that weren't stolen), but it takes a lot longer to save up for the next bit when I don't have a down payment/trade-in. And yeah, I've got a few instruments that rarely get played.
August 3rd, 2009, 01:48 PM
when do you guys part ways with a bass? Or do you never part ways and just hoard them?
Or, you could part it out. :lol:
I haven't bought any instruments yet that I didn't have a specific use for, so I never sell anything - because I might need it for that application again. :wink:
But I only have four basses:
'71 Jazz w/flats - I love playing this bass, but don't really use it for gigs. I'll never part with it.
'02 MIM Jazz with CS pups (plus other mods) and round wounds - for when I need a Jazz bass, which hasn't happened lately. Eventually this may go.
'03 EBMM Sterling - for heavier rock - I used this for just about everything, including a country band, up until a few months ago. But I'm sure I'll need it again.
'09 custom built (by me) P-bass with Jazz neck. I use this for classic rock, oldies, Motown - in short, everything that I'm playing right now. It sounds and plays as well as anything out there that I've ever seen or heard. My go-to bass. At least for now. Between the EQ on my amps and the SD 1/4 pounder I can get a "buzz" (no, a good buzz) rather than the Jazz bass "growl", which better suits the music I'm playing now.
Notice the one common thread is the Jazz neck, which allows my short, pudgy fingers to move with grace and dignity instead of trying to negotiate the wider necks of a real P-bass or a StingRay.
Maybe what you really need is a G+L SB2, with a neck width of your liking? I was thinking of doing this when I started my P-bass assembly project, but I'm very, very happy with the way things turned out.
August 3rd, 2009, 01:52 PM
I'm fortunate to have enough space (money's another matter) to keep pretty much every piece of gear I've ever bought +1 !!!
August 3rd, 2009, 04:08 PM
I'm kinda with Martini on this. I've been deep, I'm down to 6 in the house on my way to 5 pretty soon. In your trio, you have covered a wide range of what I consider to be usable tones. Were I in your shoes I might do two things.
1. lose the 1/4 'ers and go to something more vintage sounding. A J is supposed to have some edge on it but also plenty of body. The hotter pickups - like 1/4'ers tend to get kinda low mid focused and boomy. The stock JB2 pickups are quite harsh to my ear (I've had 3 of them, two MIA's and a trib - oddly enough I liked the Trib the best, go figure...) Duncan SJB-1's , Fender CS 60's, Vintage Vibe JBX4 (spec'd with Alnico and a very slight overwind), Lollars - all very good choices.
2. Change the string style on one of your basses, either the P or the J. 1 should be flat wound, 1 should be round wound. Tough call on which. I would tend to use rounds on the P as I find the low mids already very present. I like flat's on a J - a lot. Still a tough call.
IMO -the L2K can get very close to a P Bass like vibe and doesn't get very close at all to a J bass vibe. It also can cop a decent StingRay vibe and has it's own voice as well. That's a pretty nice trio of basses for your stable I think.
August 3rd, 2009, 11:01 PM
I haven't bought any instruments yet that I didn't have a specific use for, so I never sell anything - because I might need it for that application again.
This is my issue. Selling something that you may need later on. Most of the time I end up out of pocket when I do repurchase.
All in all its about having the sound you need to cater for any style band you join.
August 3rd, 2009, 11:38 PM
Thanks for the thoughts guys. I do think I am going to keep it, but I do think another pick up change is in order.
I originally changed them because - like you 4Mal - the stocks didn't sit well with my ears - I couldn't temper that high end. But you are right on the 1/4 pounders. SJB1's are a thought as well as CS 60s. Have any of you used Dimarizio's Ultra Jazz Pickups? I was leaning that way before getting the quarter pounders.
As far as strings - I have flats on the P and rounds on the J, never thought of it the other way around. My give that a shot as well.
August 5th, 2009, 12:08 AM
UltraJazz ... had no life to them... I really didn't like them at all. My bass no longer sounded like a J to me. I'm pretty much hooked on Pete Biltoft's stuff at this point.
I haven't taken my #1 J to a gig for months - that's the 75 RI - it plays like a dream but I don't have the call for rounds at the moment. Still it's staying home as eventually I will ... so maybe patience is in order ?
August 5th, 2009, 01:30 PM
I have the CS '60's in the MIM Classic '60's Jazz bass. I think they sound OK, but they definitely have a more modern (more upper mids?) sound than the pups in the '71 Jazz. I'm not sure I'd go that way again, although I used them for years without worrying about the tone. I just think that I'd maybe go with Fralin or somebody else with a more custom approach to winding pups.
I can't get enough of the TI flats on my '71 Jazz and the TI PowerBass set on my P(arts)-bass. Even the guitar player in Hadicus Road (http://www.hadicusroad.com/) said my bass sounded better when I changed from D'addario ground wounds on the P. The PowerBass strings aren't as bright, but I definitely think they have more output, plus they seem to be pretty even as far as string-to-string response. I've really been giving them a pounding lately (along with the P(arts)-bass), and they have performed without a whimper. They stay in tune and keep on thumpin'. No twang or growl, but they get a low frequency "buzz" that's very cool.
August 6th, 2009, 10:13 AM
Can't afford to hoard basses, I have an old Harley that needs parts!! :lol::lol::lol:
Anyway, I have just one and don't gig too often so that works just fine for me. Other folks have different needs, just view it as a tool to accomplish a task and hope that it works ok.
September 29th, 2009, 12:10 AM
Don't know why, but I always associated flats with the "Precision sound". But in the month or so this was posted, I gave it a shot, and strung up my JB2 with them and took the time to do a good setup, the way I like it. The bass sounds great! I like the feel of it better as well.
Now, I think for the P-bass, I may be looking at the TI's...Anyway, thanks guys!
September 29th, 2009, 12:30 AM
I know for me, it happened a LONG time ago. I just found the "flavor" of flats I like. On my P/J Fender Precision, I like the Fender flats for that real thumpy Jamerson tone. On my Ibanez RB650 Roadstar (also P/J) I like the Rotosound flats which have more tension and "zing" with a bit more brightness, but still very much the punchy flatwound tone. I just recorded with it and it was BEAUTIFUL.
I am 50 and bass is my second instrument (drums is my first; 40 years on drums, 38 on bass) and a bass just SOUNDS like a bass with flats on it, the sound I grew up with. Speaking as a drummer, I find it very satisfying when I play with a bassist who uses flats, because of their more percussive nature, and slap-style just sounds so much THICKER. They just seem to blend better with the drums and don't step all over the guitar. Pipe this through a nice B15N and, well, you could easily wet your pants!
So, what about the rest of you flat-mongers? Were you ALWAYS a flat fan, or did you retreat from rounds? Do you see a big comeback?
September 29th, 2009, 07:37 PM
Flat's are a nice sound and easy on the fingers but .. it isn't the only game in town. In my stable there is always at least 1 bass with rounds for the variation in tone they give. These days given that I'm working in country and 'grass - it's flat's the vast majority of the time.
September 29th, 2009, 08:01 PM
I used rounds for years, but always found myself annoyed by the twang factor with some new strings. A few years back, I bought a bass from fellow TDPRIer Tom Grossheider, and it came with TI flats on it, and I INSTANTLY became a convert!
I play classic rock, blues, country, power pop and Americana, and flats really suit me tonally...