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Why Are Basses So... Un-pretty?

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by insanitizer, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. insanitizer

    insanitizer Former Member

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    I am a guitarist and want to get into bass a little for my home recording. I have been looking for a short scale bass and looked thru about 40 pages of basses for sale on the bay and local CL this morning. I came up with 7 possibilities? Wow! or Whoa! I should say. For me I need the instrument to be several things before I lay down any money. I am looking for aesthetically pleasing, affordable, not warped (dings are fine), short scale, vintage and with a case. Like I said I found 7 and of those 2 I might give some real thought to and those I will most likely be outbid on, but I will try. Anyhow, my statement is ... If those other 1,000 basses I viewed this morning were even kind of cool looking or not so uncool looking I would be in business at an affordable price point. Why are they all made with weird head stocks or strange details that aren't streamline and really a turn off?
     
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  2. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe it's because a bass player is holding it*.

    Seriously, Rik's look great.


    *Unless of course, it's our bass player.
    Laura pic.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  3. insanitizer

    insanitizer Former Member

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    Ricks are beauts but WAY out of my price range.
     
  4. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah Ricks are almost worth playing bass for (almost) - prettier than any six string.
     
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  5. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    My one regret is selling a fireglo 4003 :(
     
  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I dunno. I like a lot of basses. I can pretty much always easily find one I like.

    But... Bass was my first instrument. I'm actually a bass player who also plays guitar, not a guitar player who dabbles.

    I have found over the years that where gear is concerned, bassists are MUCH more open minded and far less conservative than guitarists when it comes to looks, and trying new things. Especially looks.

    Bass players for the most part ( there are exceptions) embrace modern designs and materials on everything from bodies and necks, to hardware and pickups.

    Modern electronics, modern amp designs and build methods, everything is seen as a new possibility for the instrument, not taking away from or "ruining" it.

    Could be part of the issue you're having.

    Like I said, this is not hard and fast. There are still guys who will only play a P bass through tubes, and don't want none of that new fangled silliness. But those folks in the bass world are far more rare than in the guitar world, where they are much more the rule and much less the exception.

    My current favorite bass at the moment is a 90's Jackson Concert Bass. Pointy headstock, modern hardware and all, it just kills. Thinking of sticking EMGs in it.
     
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  7. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin

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    I agree completely. Guitarists are an extremely conservative lot by comparison. CS
     
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  8. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Martin's on to something. But lets talk about basses instead.

    I recently picked up a Danelectro longhorn dead on 58 on Craigslist for $275 with gigbag. I read up on Talkbass so I knew what I was getting into. A few mods later I'm loving this thing. It's feather light, easy to play due to the short scale and it looks killer in a 50's Jetsons sorta way if that makes any sense.
     
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  9. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Ergonomics has a lot to do with the overall look. Long scale compared to a guitar, and a long top horn for placement of the front strap button to avoid neck dive.
     
  10. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I disagree wholeheartedly about basses not looking great. I think a 60's style Fender Jazz in 3-tone burst looks cooler than just about anything. It's not a short scale though.

    As for short scales, there are a lot of cool looking ones, and more hollow body bass options than you see with long scales. A lot of those funky hollow basses look very cool.

    Curious to see some examples of basses that you find unappealing.

    Yes, I know that there are some crazy looking instruments out there, but there are a lot of great looking ones too (and one person's "crazy looking" is another person's "coolest looking bass ever")
     
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  11. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    I have a '59 National bass. 25.5" scale. A friend traded it to me for an epi valve jr amp I paid $120 for new. It looks great and has a sound I really like. I wouldnt expect that kind of thing to come my way often. If you want stuff that's worthwhile, and vintage, and cheap--and pretty?--that's asking a lot. Expect to watch and wait.
     
  12. amplifiedhermit

    amplifiedhermit Tele-Meister

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    Are you sure you're requirements aren't a bit unrealistic? I'm afraid there just aren't a lot of short scale basses out there in general, let alone affordable, vintage ones in playable condition with a case, if that's really what you need.

    Does it have to be short scale? I think Jazz and P basses bass look great, as do all the others Leo worked on like the Music Man Stingray and G&L L-2000. I also love Ric 4003's and even most of the Gibsons. As for short scale, I can't think of many offhand but the Epiphone Allen Woody and the Squier Jaguar bass come to mind.
     
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  13. Grabsplatter

    Grabsplatter Tele-Holic

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    Just get an Epiphone EB3. Cheap, short scale, not bad looking, sound fine.
     
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  14. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    I recently got myself a just-in-case bass, as well. Went a slightly different route than the OP, though. My only criteria were that it be short-scale and cheap. Bought a new $125 Squier Bronco Bass, then put in a scaled down '51 P-Bass p'up that Curtis Novak makes for Musicmaster/Bronco basses. Add in a set of D'Addario Chromes and I have less than $250 bucks in what is one heck of a good little bass. YMMV.

    Scott
     
  15. insanitizer

    insanitizer Former Member

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    Sorry everyone. I meant no offense whatsoever and have the utmost respect for bassists. So much so that I did not want to start this thread in this forum. I started this thread in another forum titled "other guitars and instruments". Then it was auto moved somehow to this forum. I thought it would be kind of rude to tell a bunch of bassists that their gear was ug, (which is not really what I wanted to achieve.) But I do genuinely want to talk about this subject to guitarists and bass guitarists as well to hear a players take. I hope that this makes sense and again I am sorry for sounding however this came off sounding. Having said that I would like for this thread to be put back to the other forum I had intended as it is more a general query rather than statements aimed at a specific group of folks. Thanks all -David
     
  16. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    For whatever it's worth, I didn't take any offense at all. We all likes what we likes. I just tried to offer some insight into why as a guitarist, you might find some bass gear hard to swallow. All in all, get whatever you like, you'll keep it longer than if you settle. I'll just offer up that being a little more open minded might open a lot of gear doors you wouldn't normally consider, and find you something really special. You just never know!
     
  17. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Don't worry.....pretty sure none of us are mad at you!
     
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  18. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got a Squier Jaguar short scale bass. It's a fixer upper, but then it only costs $199 new. Pickups suck, tuners and bridge are cheap. But the neck is awesome. I popped in a US P-bass pickup and a new Fender Jazz pickup and it sounds great. It's the guitar player's bass; you can go wild all up and down the neck with ease. I paired it with a new model Fender Rumble 40 amp and it works as a great recording/jamming combo. My jamming friends and I fight over who's gonna play it sometimes 'cause it's so fun.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  19. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    image.jpeg I got one of these.
     
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  20. TheVel

    TheVel Tele-Meister

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    No offense taken here...I play both(well,I try)
    But this is my current bass and I don't find it un-pretty
    [​IMG]
     
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