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Am I a Bad Person For This?


plangentmusic

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Here's my quandary.

 

I have nine basses and have owned dozens of others, including some boutiques. (Which are long gone, but that's a topic for another time). I finally settled on the ones that work for me in various situations. I can get pretty much any sound and feel for any type of music among those instruments.

 

One of my favorite basses is (he says sheepishly) is the Squier Jazz Deluxe with the ebonol finger board. The bass is just awesome. 299 bucks. It's ridiculous.

 

Anyway, I like to use this bass for certain situations, but the last couple of times I took it out where I sat in or subbed for someone , I detected a little prejudice from the band members when they see the headstock. SQUIER?!?! They assume it's cheap, or I'm a hobbyist or I don't know what quality is , or I'm just cheap. The truth is, I just really dig the bass.

 

I would love to take it into the studio but the last thing I need is a client or producer or an engineer thinking "Uh oh, a Squier -- this guy can't be serious."

 

So...I sanded off the logo and put on a Fender decal. : )

 

Now, I didn't do this to fool anyone and I certainly would never attempt to pass it off as a Fender -- I just did it so it wouldn't be an issue and I can just concentrate on doing my job. In fact tonight I worked with some new people and used the Squier with the faux headstock and the only reaction I got was "Hey man, great sound!' lol

 

ANyway, here's a little sample of a track I did a while back wih the Squier that I think shows the tone that I really like.

 

Some guys have a problem with "misrepresenting " an instrument. What's your verdict? After all...it's kind of a Fender.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

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I suppose, if it's interfering with your ability to get gigs, then you did what you had to do.

 

Me, I enjoy people sneering at my rig before a show. Makes it that much sweeter when their jaws drop during and after. When I was using my "PA" rig (a compressor into a Crest FA800 into a pair of CGM 15" cabs) on stage, people looked at me like I was nuts - until I started playing. Then all of a sudden everyone was flipping out about the tone I was getting out of it.

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If it was an issue on the band stand based PURELY on the name on the headstock, then the people making that judgement are tools. The only point where this could be called into question is if/when you sell the instrument. The ethical thing to do is to disclose the true nature of the instrument to a prospective buyer.

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"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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Of course. Besides, anyone who knows anything would know that the graphite neck was not a Fender.

 

I too thought it was cool to take the attitude of, "Hey man, just listen to how I play with this thing." But sometimes first impressions count -- even if they aren't justified.

 

I wouldn't say it hurt my chances of getting a gig, I just wanted it to not be a factor at all.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

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I suppose, if it's interfering with your ability to get gigs, then you did what you had to do.

 

Me, I enjoy people sneering at my rig before a show. Makes it that much sweeter when their jaws drop during and after. When I was using my "PA" rig (a compressor into a Crest FA800 into a pair of CGM 15" cabs) on stage, people looked at me like I was nuts - until I started playing. Then all of a sudden everyone was flipping out about the tone I was getting out of it.

 

What's so strange about using that set up? Seems fine to me.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

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I suppose, if it's interfering with your ability to get gigs, then you did what you had to do.

 

Me, I enjoy people sneering at my rig before a show. Makes it that much sweeter when their jaws drop during and after. When I was using my "PA" rig (a compressor into a Crest FA800 into a pair of CGM 15" cabs) on stage, people looked at me like I was nuts - until I started playing. Then all of a sudden everyone was flipping out about the tone I was getting out of it.

 

What's so strange about using that set up? Seems fine to me.

 

CGM is no longer in business - they used to make cheap low-grade PA equipment, similar to what Community does now.

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Did you leave the Squier serial number on the back of the headstock? If so then changing the logo is (to me) no bigger a deal than changing the pickguard.

 

 

 

Push the button Frank.
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LIke I said. It wasn't meant to be duplicitous or to con anyone. On closer inspection it's obviously a Squire. It's just that initial reaction. People view you differently if they have a preconception.

 

Funny thing is, it's a really great bass and deserves attention. I'd be quick to tell a bassist, Hey, it's a 300 dollar bass! It sounds better than some that cost $3000. But sound is subjective. It also plays really well -- but 90% of that is the set up.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

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In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't make a difference. On the other hand, it's too bad that you are feeding into people's prejudices. Why not just say: "hell, yeah, it's a Squire and listen to this" and then play something great.
"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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True. But it's also business. So why start off with a strike?

 

Everyone -- I don't care who it is -- is affected by appearances. You wouldn't show up on a date dressed sloppily and unshaven in an unwashed car and tell the girl -- "Yeah, but get to know me, I'm really a catch!" lol

 

As for the studio, even if the playing is good, the engineer may be looking for what isn't working. If HE can't get the sound, blaming a cheap instrument would be the logic recourse.

 

This is all very speculative and maybe a little paranoid. But in business and in life you have to anticipate and prepare for the worst and learn to avoid pitfalls.

 

Any other Squier lovers out there?

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

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On the other hand, it's too bad that you are feeding into people's prejudices.

 

Well, yes. But sometimes you just get tired of pissing into the wind. It's like long hair. Sorry, fellas; but the day I gave up being an ambassador for long hair and cut it off, my life got lots easier. It's not right, but it is what it is. Fender vrs Squire headstock in the studio is no different. Pick fights that are worth winning.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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I adore my Squieq jazz, thanks Davo, and I might just do the same thing though I haven't expevidenced much anti-squier prejudice because I've only brought it to a trio where the pianist also plays bass and appreciates how good a Squier can be. I can think of some producers though who wouldn't have realised if I put a Fender decal on my Wal but would have been far happier.
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A guitar player I played with recently came in with two guitars. One was a Squire. I took notice but didn;t say anything. He apologized for bringing it but said he loves the tone he gets from it. He was right. Story over.

 

You can do what ever you want to your own bass. It is only wrong if you lie. If someone asks you what type of bass that is... tell them, otherwise...

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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Yes, you are a bad person.

 

 

Nah, just kidding. The people who judge you by the brand name on your gear are bad people. Frankly, I'm a bit of an equipment snob myself, and I have contemplated doing the same thing a couple of times. But, I have managed to restrain myself. And, I am getting a kick these days out of telling people my pink P bass is an instrument that I put together myself out of parts, the total cost of which is around $150, then watch 'em look amazed when it sounds as great as it does.

I've had a couple of the Vintage Modified Squier fretless basses, and I wish I still had one. I could really care less if people thought it was a "budget" instrument. But, if you think the decal is or would keep you from getting gigs, buy a Warmoth neck, and don't put any decal on it. Most home-installed decals don't look right anyway...

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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On the other hand, it's too bad that you are feeding into people's prejudices.

 

Well, yes. But sometimes you just get tired of pissing into the wind. It's like long hair. Sorry, fellas; but the day I gave up being an ambassador for long hair and cut it off, my life got lots easier. It's not right, but it is what it is. Fender vrs Squire headstock in the studio is no different. Pick fights that are worth winning.

 

That's a great way of putting it -- stop being an "ambassador" for something that's just a point of view that is not going to be welcomed.

 

 

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

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I like the Squiers I have had quite a bit. I am looking pretty hard at picking up either the Jaguar or the Jazz '77.

 

I relate this scenario to my past life as an auto & truck technician. There are 'tool snobs' in that industry that thought 'real' mechanics only used Snap-On.

 

In that world, that snobbiness was somewhat deserved. There would always be the butchers and hacks that would claim to be mechanics with their farm store or Harbor Freight Stack-On stuff who couldn't tell a valve cover from a spare tire. The kinds of tools someone had was a reflection of how dedicated they were. So if people saw a tech come in who went and dropped $10,000 on the best tools, people saw that as someone who was serious about what they were doing. For the record, a lot of those guys couldn't fix anything either- but had great tools to not fix it with...

 

But now a lot of the cheap stuff has gotten a lot better. Techs started figuring out they could buy the craftsman or tool store brand socket or impact and even if it lasted a year, they could buy three for the price of a Snap-On.

 

This relates to this scenario because Squier is still pretty much synonymous with student/hobbyist/wanna-be. Even though their higher end stuff has come a long ways in the last 5 years or so, their reputation hasn't caught up yet.

 

It's dumb that you have to do that to get people to take you seriously. But, if it makes life easier, go for it.

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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I really enjoy my Squier Jaguar. I just picked up a VM Jazz which is also a lot of bang for the buck.

 

My main aesthetic complaint about the jazz is the balsa wood colored neck. I'm thinking about doing a ReRanch vintage tint on it just for my own sake. Maybe I'll change the logo? :whistle::laugh:

Push the button Frank.
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"Am I a Bad Person For This?"

 

Yes. Yes you are.

 

Next question? :laugh:

 

Seriously, I de-logoed my last Peavey rig because of the same type of prejudice (it also looked cleaner that way). Afterward people would comment it on how great it sounded, and were shocked when I told them it was Peavey.

 

Only difference was I didn't put another logo on the rig, like you did with the bass -- I just took the logos off the cabs and covered them discreetly on the amp.

 

If you're concerned about deceiving people, just take the logo off entirely -- or change it to something like "Shmenkmann" or your last name or something.

 

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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I remove or cover the logos on all of my gear, including my pedals. I mainly do this because I don't like logos. Additionally, none of those manufacturers are paying me to promote them by playing their products onstage, and I am not providing them that service for free. I'd rather have folks look at me onstage and have sort of a general impression of black monolithic amps behind me, a pile of shiny, lighted pedals in front of me and a bad-ass instrument in my hands. I don't need people saying, "Oh, OK, he's got a Marshall, some Keeley effects and a Gibson" as a preamble to enjoying my performance. You can see I've got a massive amp and a cool guitar and that I'm playing my ass off. You don't need to know what I'm using.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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"What kind of amp are you using?"

"It's a black monolith."

"What kind of bass/guitar?"

"It's a pink daisy, and if you don't quit asking dumb questions, I'll hit you with my purse!"

 

Black Monolith and Pink Daisy might not be bad band names... but hey, that's that OTHER thread.......

 

 

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I have removed the logo for a Hartke a couple of years back.

 

I get tired of gear snobs. Yeah, high end gear is better than low end gear in the majority of the cases, but the majority of bands I play in aren't so good that the appearance of my Squire Jazz over my Fender is going to make or break the project. And the majority of band leaders aren't good enough to notice.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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I tried my VM jazz against an American Standard. I honestly didn't hear much difference. Certainly not $900 worth of difference.

 

I would imagine the MIA would hold value better and probably hold up better over time but I could be wrong.

 

I wouldn't have needed to file the fret ends on the American either.

Push the button Frank.
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My main gigging bass for the last 8 months is a SX Jazz with flats. Despite the snobbery/hate I encounter on certain internet bass forums, I have yet to be derided at an actual gig and my bandmates love the way I play and how I sound while playing it.

 

However, if I were making my rent as a hired gun and was recieving flak for the brand name on my headstock I would be inclined to take the same action as the OP. Making a living as a musician is hard enough, no need to let trival BS make it even harder. Chose your battles wisely.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Same problem.

 

Shmenkmann? Don't you have a Fender?

 

Most of the people who would question the logo are inherently dim.

 

"What? You never heard of Shmenkmann basses -- the finest high-end Fender clones available, handmade in Flost, Iceland. These things make Sadowsky's and Lull's look like kindling. What cave have you been living in?"

 

See? It's all in how you play it.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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