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Anyone else getting tired of all the excess?


SteveC

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Let me explain. I am not anti-anything, really. I like nice basses as much as the next guy. All the woods, finishes, 12 strings, etc. are just fine and dandy. The thing is, I think I have reached sensory overload. I don't think my brain can handle any more of these gold and blue multi layer, gazillion string monsters.

 

I was looking through some of the pics posted by NAMM attendies (sincerely, thanks for taking the time to share with us) and found myself relieved to see a pic of a 4 string jazz bass. Sunburst, no fancy wood, just a bass.

 

Just curious if anyone else is feeling this way of if it's just me.

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I have no idea what you're talking about, Steve. :D

 

Benavente

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/BEN_body.jpg

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/BEN_neck.jpg

 

Yamaha

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/YAM_1.jpg

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/YAM_2.jpg

 

Ibanez RDs

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/IBA_rd1.jpg

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/IBA_rd2.jpg

 

And my favorite. A Schecter Custom made from a real previously used coffin.

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/SCHECTER_coffin.jpg

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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I'm in the same boat.

 

I can spend as much time & excrete as much drool at sites like Nordstrand's, etc. as the next guy, but at the end of the day I can't really see myself going for that kind of thing. It's just not my personality, that's all. (And that could change.)

 

But there IS something to be said for a bass that just looks, feels, & sounds like a bass. Nice & simple.

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ur not alone! i love all the strings and all the colors but when it comes right down to it, ill never need it. just a bass with 4 strings and some pickup of sorts will do just fine 4 me.

The basses

-'04 MIM Jazz bass black

-'98 Fender American-Deluxe P-bass natural

-Peavey FuryII blue

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Me too Steve -- I'm in the same boat. . .

 

Think I've always been there, too. . .

 

In my world, basses have four strings, a pickup or two, etc. Just never felt the need, myself, for more than four strings. . .Don't get me wrong -- there's nothing wrong with more strings, or with all the "fanciness" and "bells and whistles" a person can build into an instrument these days, but give me a four string Jazz bass with a Hipshot D-tuner and I'm in my element.

"When it comes to havin' a good time, nothing beats 'fun'. . ."

 

-- Stefan Johnson

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I also agree. I own 4 basses, 3 four string and 1 fiver. Every one of them just has volume/tone controls and basic woods/finished. About as exotic as I get is a MM Bongo 5 (If I could afford it).

 

I can appreciate the creativity, art, asthetics, feel and sound of the high end multi stringed exotic instruments... but I usually prefer simplicity with good quality.

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All I can say is,

 

you had to be there.

 

And of course you can play any bass you want. (Which you certainly could do at the show).

 

You should have heard Bobby Vega or Jimmy Earl completely ripping it up on their beat up old Fender basses. Both guys were absolutely funky, grooving, virtuostic without being showoffy, and were riveting performers.

 

Here's an old picture of Bobby. He's got less hair now and his bass is even more beat up.

http://www.zerolive.com/ftp/pix/bobby.jpg

 

Here's an old picture of Jimmy. He too has less hair now. (Don't we all? :D )

The bass he was using Saturday was in way worse shape than the one in the picture. And it only had four strings. ;)http://www.robertbaglione.com/jimmyearlimg21.png

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Yeah, I must have missed the memo about all new basses having to be more outrageously designed than previous models. If luthiers would focus on making well-built, durable, great sounding, reasonably priced four- and five-stringers instead of trying to push the bizarro envelope, we'd have a lot more cool stuff from which to choose.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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I've come to a point where I like my rig and don't really want anything more than what I have- one electric, one URB, one amp+cab. I've also realized that I prefer acoustic guitar and small drum kits when I'm playing.

 

Am I turning into a minimalist?

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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Ironically, this was my ideal when I first got my BP200. I got that to rid myself of the idea of having too many effects boxes. Now, I want to have different ones! Holy #&*(, those guys with the big pedal boards are messing with my brain! :D

 

Perhaps someone can still save me from the insanity. ;)

 

I'd still like to at least get a 2x10 cab w/ tweeter + 100 watt power amp to supplement my TNT 115. I think I'll still have that Peavey a little while longer.

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Originally posted by Dan South:

Yeah, I must have missed the memo about all new basses having to be more outrageously designed than previous models. If luthiers would focus on making well-built, durable, great sounding, reasonably priced four- and five-stringers instead of trying to push the bizarro envelope, we'd have a lot more cool stuff from which to choose.

That cool stuff was there too and can be found in stores worldwide.

 

I saw plenty of good sounding playable basses under $500, with many under $200.

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For the most part they look nice on a wall and if I had the money I'd be more likely to want one. What aggravates me is someone that can't play a 4 or 5 with a 12 string or exotic botique instrument. For myself personally, I value a rock solid workhorse

more than a fancy smancey toy you only use twice a year. The most important things are playability, tone, and reliability (does the damn thing stay in tune!)

 

Who wants to restring and experiment with strings on a 15?

If you think my playing is bad, you should hear me sing!
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And my favorite. A Schecter Custom made from a real previously used coffin.
Okay - that's just creepy.

 

I love a beautiful bass and believe I own a couple. I agree that things have a way of getting out of hand.

Like my guitar player says,

 

"Dude , it's a piece of wood with some strings and hardware."

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Like MY guitar player says

"Dude CALM DOWN.........and what the Hell is GAS....stop saying that, its creepy" :D

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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I've found a big itch to play upright lately because it has that sound, that look, that attitude towards it. My major decision to play bass came from seeing a high school jazz band upright player while in 5th grade at an assembly. I just felt his notes, and he was spinnin his bass around, not to mention his funkface. I'm gonna try to make the dream come true once my hands are strong enough and well enough recovered.
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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i think i speak for all of those who've yet to reach two years experience (i'll be there on wednesday) when i say:

 

no

 

my first bass was 5 strings, i wish i would've started on 6.

 

My body wood is mahogany i wish that it were zebra or koa.

 

My pickups are dynamix i wish they were at least barts.

 

my .02 AUS

 

jason

2cor5:21

Soli Deo Gloria

 

"it's the beauty of a community. it takes a village to raise a[n] [LLroomtempJ]." -robb

 

My YouTube Channel

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As funny as it may sound...for me and I'm sure many others this was a phase that you(I) get over when you realize that over a certain point tone changes are minimal and asthetics cost a lot of dough. As Lee sklar's likes to say, basses are tools to get a job done. Now, the basses in question that are "overdoing it" may have an amazingly clean tone with absolutely no hum and amazing appearance. But who cares? Who will notice these traits in a full band situation. Sometimes it is more important to be heard than to be seen or have the best tone in the world. As an actively gigging musician I can say that it really doesn't matter what bass I play.....jazz, p, musicman, warwick, yamaha, gibson, 5 string, 4 string, flats, rounds.........I'll get through the night, and I WILL MAKE THE BASS WORK FOR THE SITUATION. I was recently at a guitar show where i saw a collector that had 10 mint 60's silvertone guitars that he claimed had their strings on them for at least two years. And then there was todd johnson at the same show playing an 800 dollar yamaha 6 string that he downgraded to a passive system with one effect at his feet and a small rig by gk behind him. It didn't matter that his strings were taperwounds, his scale was 34", his bass was passive, his amp wasn't the most expensive one out there. It made no difference that his bass featured no flame top and his pickup wasn't angled for perfect sound. WHY? Because he sounded damn good, and he made it all work in his context.

 

Sorry if I've offended anyone or come off as sounding stupid, stubborn, or ignorant. These are just my views right now, they may change they may not....but I'll stick by them as ong as they make sense to me

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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Originally posted by zeronyne:

And my favorite. A Schecter Custom made from a real previously used coffin.

http://lowdownlowdown.com/NAMM/SCHECTER_coffin.jpg

Those basses are interesting from an artistic standpoint, but did they really exhume a body and use the coffin to make them? If so, that's pushing creepiness to a new boundary, one that I'm not willing to be a part of. ;)
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In my ever so humble opinion it all comes down to personal choice.

 

I started on a 4, then bought a 5. I won't go for a 6 (BTW, Jason, I've been playing for a little over 2 years, so I disagree with you on that ;) ) because I don't feel the need to, but I won't rule out buying a 4 string again.

 

And all those fancy basses ... I really like to look at em. Beats porn, and it'll get me less trouble with the girlfriend :thu:

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I've always been attracted to classic design basses. I can honestly say that I shop with my eye before my ear. I know within a 2 second look at a bass wether or not I want to own it.

 

Thankfully great tones are available from the golden oldies, if not I'd face a dilemma.

Grizzly Bears Don't Fear Anyone.

 

Angry Cheetahs Emerge Growling.

 

I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time!

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I understand your point, Steve. There's something so great about a 4-string J w/ passive electronics. I don't think we'll ever lose that.

 

However, I'm not tired of the "excess". I agree that in the end our instruments are tools with which we make music, and for that purpose many of us can make any tool work. But bass building is a craft, and I will not be the one to suggest that the craftsmen chill out and stop pushing aesthetic and technical boundaries. They are artists and scientists wrapped into one, and if they have the means and the desire (and the interested customers) to make some "outrageous" instruments, I think they should. In some cases we are seeing creativity at its finest, and in some (many?) cases the resulting product really is a superior instrument in terms of sound, feel, and appearance. Or, it is a superior instrument in the hands of a particular musician, for whom the extra strings or longer scale or hybrid fretted/fretless design or chambered body or whatever facilitates the creation of the music s/he hears in her/his head.

 

Originally posted by butcherNburn:

What aggravates me is someone that can't play a 4 or 5 with a 12 string or exotic botique instrument.

What about the same person with a straightforward vintage '62 J bass? Or one of Jaco's 4-strings? Or a $900 2004 MIA Fender J? Or a decent URB?

 

Isn't it enough for that person to appreciate and enjoy the instrument, crappy musician or not?

 

Maybe that person would've gotten greater enjoyment or benefit from spending the dough on more lessons or spending more time in the 'shed -- so what? For some folks, music is just about them and they do it for themselves, whether they're talented and practiced or not.

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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What Ess Dub said. GAS is a funny thing. I just had the mother of all GAS attacks myself, resulting in me ordering an Whappo Jr., a used DPC-1000, a SVPCL pre-amp and Lindy Fralin pick ups, But I don't have the slightest urge to replace my MIJ '62 re-issue Jazz. Whats up with that?

 

 

www.ethertonswitch.com

 

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But I don't have the slightest urge to replace my MIJ '62 re-issue Jazz. Whats up with that?
'cause if it's anything like mine, it kicks A$$! So why mess with perfection. :thu:

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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Ya know, it's like what they say about censorshipif you don't like what you see on one channel, look somewhere else.

 

Personally, I don't care for fancypants basses with exotic woods, wacky designs, tons of strings or complex electronics.

 

But am I tired of companies introducing/making them?

 

Nah. They can make whatever kinds of basses that they wanna. Heck, there must be a market for them, or else they wouldn't be making so many, right? Somebody wants them (S-Dub, Mista Cohen, Madball, I'm looking in your direction), and more power to them. Go for whatcha know, fellas! Get busy, it's yer birfday, etc... These guys should be able to build/get what they want... free enterprise and all, ya know?

 

I mean, who cares what new designs the companies make as long as they continue to make the kinds you like?

 

As for my tastes, I doubt Fender is gonna give up on making black, four-stringed P-basses and J-basses. I really don't care about basses made from coffins, basses with weird paint jobs, etc, but it's nice to know that someone's trying new things.

\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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Originally posted by jeremy c:

All I can say is,

 

you had to be there.

 

And of course you can play any bass you want. (Which you certainly could do at the show).

 

You should have heard Bobby Vega

I'm curious... do you happen to know whether Bobby Vega replaced the neck or fretboard on that bass? I've been considering buying an old, beat up j or p with a warped neck (but good pickups) for cheap and put some cash into a custom neck.
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Hey CMDN - just fart in my general direction, don't look at me. Other than the Demeter on-board, mine's pretty straight. I skipped the maple top for the body.

 

Yeah, I agree with those that like the luthiers trying new things. I don't want them messing with my creativity, so why should I mess with theirs?

 

The coffin basses give new meaning to terms like "low down" and "funk". Just think of the cool answer you can give your guitar players when they say "where'd you dig up that bass?"

 

And apologies to Taz, but that one Yamaha with the horn "un-topped" is not aesthetically pleasing.

 

So much of what we value in equipment today is a combination of great, solid ideas and wacky things that someone tried.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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{QUOTE]I'm curious... do you happen to know whether Bobby Vega replaced the neck or fretboard on that bass? I've been considering buying an old, beat up j or p with a warped neck (but good pickups) for cheap and put some cash into a custom neck.[/QB]

 

His bass had the original neck and fingerboard.

 

I couldn't tell you if it had ever been refretted. I suppose I could call him up and ask him.

 

I've never had my Jazz bass refretted, but it's not quite as old as Bobby's. Mine is a '71, his looked like a '62.

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