[quote name='Meddle' timestamp='1473713475' post='3132557']
I find it hard to describe my thoughts about Gibson basses (and a good many other things) without sounding negative. This isn't my intention here at all. I think at some point you have to be a bit objective. Gibson basses have a tendency to be harder to play than Fenders, and a good number of them are harder to EQ in a band setting, especially if you are used to the tone of Fender basses. It takes less work to get a good tone out of a P bass, which is ultimately probably why so many folk use them.
A lot of famous Gibson bass players jumped ship to other builders; Glenn Cornick, Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser, Trevor Bolder, John Entwistle. When these gigging bassists were presented with alternative instruments they jumped ship; a simple fact. I don't say this to denigrate Gibson basses, simply to demonstrate the tastes of musicians that used Gibson instruments back in the day. I would love an EB-3 with a slotted headstock, and RD Artist bass, a Polaris white Thunderbird II, a natural finish EB-2 and even an EB-1, but none of them would be my desert island bass. I have nothing but respect for those that do make these basses work in a live and recording setting, but ultimately I find that good Fender (and Fender style basses) tend to get 'out the way' when you play them, whereas with Gibson it seems like they never actually asked a bassist 'does this work?' before implementing a design.
What I'm getting at is that a few of your points would be more palatable if you prefixed them with "in my opinion". I don't find GIbsons any more difficult to play than Fenders - in fact, I am not keen on the ergonomics of a Jazz neck, and it makes me make more mistakes, completely flying in the face of logic telling me that a skinnier neck ought to be more efficient - economy of movement and whatnot - and that goes for Thunderbird too with its skinny neck (but not the non-reverse, it's chunkier).
The "hard work" which you seem to find is so worth it for the tone you can find. For what it's worth, I've found Gibsons shod with TB+ pickups to be amongst the easiest to drop into a live situation with no EQ fettling at all. But I guess that makes me a weirdo, lucky, or some kind of idiot savant
I am under no illusions and there's no need to question my objectivity - Gibson are about as far from perfect as a bass manufacturer can get - a contrary bunch, they can be innovative in one heartbeat and boneheadedly stupid in another. I love and despise them in about equal measure. There are Gibson basses I wouldn't touch with a barge pole (EB-1, EB-2, most Thunderbirds, short scales for quick examples). But the bottom line is that playing the Gibson basses I do like ticks the boxes for me - I can play what I want to play, sound how I want to sound and look how I want to look. I can deal with weight, and I would like to contend that many Gibson designs (and there have been many) are more balanced than you're making out. I'm not saying it's right for anyone apart from me, I just feel that people focus far too much on the negative traits of a couple of the most popular designs and extrapolate that out to the whole bunch. It's just a bit unfair, that's all, and if you think that's a viewpoint which stems from blind fanboi-ism then you've really got me all wrong.