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How much is too much for a piece of wood?


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[quote name='leftybassman392' timestamp='1327355720' post='1509988']
Wasn't it Dweezil Zappa who used to gig with a cheapie Squier Strat? The instrument is a tool - it's the person using it that's the really important component. It's nice to have cool gear (and I've had plenty through my hands over the years), but at the end of the day your skill and/or talent as a player is what matters most; nice gear just makes your job a little bit easier.
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Not sure about the DZ info. I hadn't heard that and I'm heavily into the Zappa thang :unsure:
Agreed regarding talent over gear, but there are some expensive pieces of kit that just have a tone that you can't get anywhere else!

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[quote name='LukeFRC' timestamp='1327356277' post='1510007']
what's it for. if you earn your living by it the answer is different than if it is just for fun.

If you earn from it: as much as you need, but not more than you can afford

if you don't earn from it: Who knows? what are your other outgoings, you earn the money, you decide. for me I bought a few basses in the £700-1000 range and sold them on again as I couldn't justify having such nice expensive and new things.
I think the most I spent was £550-£600 or however much my JV cost. The wick was much less than that :D I've been very very lucky though. If some guy on hear earns £200,000 a year on what ground would I say that his ritter was 'too much'?
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I guess you could argue that if I have one bass, that's surely all I need: the rest is superfluous.
The two I'm looking at are by no means a necessity and no one will suffer as a result of me shelling out for them.
But seriously, five figures for just two basses, I think I'm going mad - or is it the red wine?

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[quote name='jackers' timestamp='1327356453' post='1510019']
haha :P we aren't saying it doesn't need serious and careful thought. Only that the figure each of us says would be the upper before we say 'no, that's too much', irrespective of how nice the bass may look or sound etc. :)
[/quote]
That's it. That's what I meant to say!

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I get really squeamish over £600...lol. But then I am a joiner/cabinet maker by trade and know a bit about veneers, costs of wood and time taken on stuff and have made a few guitars in my time..including an ally top Manson replica for our frontman.. I gig all over the place and very regularly..I am currently making a Rickenbacker/fender hybrid in Yew, maple and oak as I own a 4003, build quality is crap and Rickenbacker CS sucks In my experience, but I love the Iconic shape and I also have a MIM jazz deluxe which walks all over the Ric in tones and playability. So I am using EMG JP Actives a precision neck and the body I have made in the shape of a ric. It will be beautiful and will probably never see a stage....and therein lies the problem for me. If I spent over £1500 on a bass I wouldn't want it anywhere near a crowd...too scared of damaging it. The stages we play aren't high enough generally to keep everything safe.....it scares the hell out of me having a pedal board in front of me with £1600 worth of effects sat on it...cold sweats..lol

But can you put a price on beauty? I also have an American Strat that cost me few quid....now I am nowhere near the guitarist as I am bass player but every time I look at it I genuinely think there has never been a better design for a guitar..it is absolutely perfect from every angle..Its art and I love it. If you can afford something that inspires you to play then it has to be worth it..as long as the children aren't going hungry...;-)

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Beyond a certain point I would make my own. In fact I hope to do that sometime next year. Have just discovered a stunning species of wood which looks like quilted maple but apparently has the tonal character of mahogany. Not cheap for the fancy stuff but I'm reeeeeeeal curious...

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[quote name='hiram.k.hackenbacker' timestamp='1327367200' post='1510251']
I guess you could argue that if I have one bass, that's surely all I need: the rest is superfluous.
The two I'm looking at are by no means a necessity and no one will suffer as a result of me shelling out for them.
But seriously, five figures for just two basses, I think I'm going mad - or is it the red wine?
[/quote]
two basses that expensive... yes maybe you are!
If it were me and I had the money I wouldn't - unless we are talking top quality 50's-60's fender in which case maybe see it as an investment. In which case why not- if you can afford it. And you could sell your other basses to get some of the money back.

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I now have a self imposed limit of c. £500, as any more and I wouldn't feel comfortable gigging the bass. I had a Rickenbacker costing twice that but sold it as it was only every played at home and at the odd rehearsal. TBH I am not adept enough at the bass to hear much difference beyond this point.

Plus the delectable Mrs ead would probably make jewelry items from my bodily particles or worse...

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[quote name='ead' timestamp='1327393195' post='1510325']
I now have a self imposed limit of c. £500, as any more and I wouldn't feel comfortable gigging the bass.
[/quote]

That's a very good point. How many people have a bass worth £X=1000 which never leaves the house, then buy a bass worth £X=10 that they feel comfortable gigging with and that they will not be too sad about being stolen or having beer spilled on it, etc?

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[quote name='hiram.k.hackenbacker' timestamp='1327366884' post='1510246']
Not sure about the DZ info. I hadn't heard that and I'm heavily into the Zappa thang :unsure:
Agreed regarding talent over gear, but there are some expensive pieces of kit that just have a tone that you can't get anywhere else!
[/quote]

Maybe I got the Zappa thing round my neck somewhere, but I'm sure I remember something along those lines. Ah well...

As to tone (and feel for that matter), I couldn't agree more - I have a Sei Original that cost me around £1200 from it's first owner, who would have paid around £2.5k for it; and it will need to be prised from my cold, dead fingers. It's what I was trying to say with the 'good gear making your job easier' comment (but obviously didn't make clear enough - Vogon Poet strikes again! :rolleyes: ).

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Let me put it into perspective...

When I bought my first bass back in 1981 it cost me £60. I had a budget of £75 that I'd scraped together over 2-3 months by cutting back on my food intake, not buying anything that wasn't essential to my day-to-day living not going to any gigs unless they were free entry and then not spending any money once I got there. I then had to go through this whole routine again a year later when I started playing decent gigs and needed a more suitable amp than the 10W guitar combo I'd been using up until then.

The bass I bought wasn't brilliant, but it was the best I could afford at the time. Had anything happened to it like getting stolen or damaged to the point where it wasn't playable then that would have been it. Replacing it would have so financially difficult and taken so long that it would have seriously impacted on my musical activities. For a start I would have had to quit the band as without an instrument to play I'd have been superfluous. But it was all I had and so it went to all the gigs I did no matter how dodgy the venue because the alternative would have not playing.

These days I'm lucky enough (and have made the appropriate lifestyle choices) to be able to afford some nice (and much more expensive) instruments. However they still get taken to all the gigs, because they were bought in order to played, not kept at home. I still play at some (relatively) dodgy venues but I'm careful with my gear and besides any venue that was too dodgy I would be more worried about bodily harm to myself. An instrument can always be repaired or replaced, humans not so much.

So enjoy your instruments. Spend as much or as little as you want to get the right one(s) for you so long as the only person being financially impacted is you. And once you have the instrument you want get out there and play it.

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[quote name='Kiwi' timestamp='1327391555' post='1510316']
Beyond a certain point I would make my own. In fact I hope to do that sometime next year. Have just discovered a stunning species of wood which looks like quilted maple but apparently has the tonal character of mahogany. Not cheap for the fancy stuff but I'm reeeeeeeal curious...
[/quote]

I'd tip this on it's head. Below a certain point I'd make my own, otherwise leave it to the people who know what they're doing ;)

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[quote name='Gwilym' timestamp='1327405934' post='1510568']
I'd tip this on it's head. Below a certain point I'd make my own, otherwise leave it to the people who know what they're doing ;)
[/quote]

I agree. My first electric guitar was one I made myself in woodwork at school. It was the the only way I was every going to get a half-way decent instrument at that time. The alternative would probably have been some PoS from Woolies.

Now I'm happy to let great luthiers like Simon Farmer and Martin Petersen take my money and work their magic. The end result is far better then anything I could ever achieve.

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Before I bought my Ric I'd never spent £600 on a bass - 8 months on I'm still squeamish about it :rolleyes:

Actually, it's funny how a pricetag changes your perceptions. I bought my '77 years ago for £600 and I happily gigged it as my main bass - right up until last year when it occured to me it's now worth about double that. Now I reserve it only for Big Gigs and I've bought a second Precision to do the pub scub in its place. My '77 is still the same bass I always had, but in my head that £600 has turned into £1,200 and somehow I've decided that a bass worth more than a grand shouldn't be in the Jolly Spitbucket. I paid £600 for a bass I love to play, but because someone else would pay £1,200 for it I'm now treating it like it's made of paper.

What's better, there's no way I'd ever sell it so none of this matters anyway. What a mug :lol:

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Warren - you know better than most on here that you should make hay while the sun shines - if you can afford it, have the space, the necessary permissions and would enjoy them then there really is no question as far as I can see.

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[quote name='Paul S' timestamp='1327419232' post='1510907']
Warren - you know better than most on here that you should make hay while the sun shines - if you can afford it, have the space, the necessary permissions and would enjoy them then there really is no question as far as I can see.
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Thanks for your kind words Paul. Must meet up soon.

In case anyone gets the wrong idea about me, every bass I buy gets gigged, period. I might not leave them out between the soundcheck and the gig iteslf, but they will get used publicly as the manufacturer intended. In fact, I think the only true way you can decide whether it's a keeper or not is if you actually do gig it. GAS#1 & GAS#2 (if they happen) will be no exception as they are neither vintage Fender's or investments.

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Decisions have now been made regarding both basses.

I went for both in the end, despite the financial implications, but sadly I missed out on #2, which was the Alembic SC that "lozbass" was selling (hope you don't mind me saying mate) as I was just too slow in making a decision. All credit to Lawrence who is an extremely funny and knowledgeable guy. Thank you very much for all the information you provided for me and the advice you gave. I hope it's new owner is as happy with it as I would have been :(

Also to 4000. Thank you for advice Shaun and I am happy to say that I have now sealed the deal on a brand new 4004LK.

I'll post some pictures as soon as I have it.

"Phone's ringing Dude!"

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To me, a good bass should be no more than £600, teh used price is fair indication of how good something actually is. Exceptions like rare basses or the ridiculously expensive do not count.

I have spent more than triple this amount, only to move it on and keep thwacking my £600 bit of wood.

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