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Basses You've Owned and Hated

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1 hour ago, skidder652003 said:

Wow, just scrolling through this thread and a distinct lack of Fender Precisions on everyones list, guess there's one bass to rule 'em all eh? ;)

I love P-basses. I think you can dislike a P-bass in a 'doesn't-do-it-for-me' kind of way, but it's hard to hate a Precision

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Rickenbackers seem to be a popular choice. I tried a 4003 a while ago in PMT, it was an absolute pig to play and generally felt a bit cheap. I asked the salesman how you'd go about adjusting the action as it was incredibly high. His response, 'you don't need to adjust it, they set them up at the factory.' 

Oh right.. Bye then. 

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5 minutes ago, jay-syncro said:

Rickenbackers seem to be a popular choice. I tried a 4003 a while ago in PMT, it was an absolute pig to play and generally felt a bit cheap. I asked the salesman how you'd go about adjusting the action as it was incredibly high. His response, 'you don't need to adjust it, they set them up at the factory.' 

Oh right.. Bye then. 

Sounds like that guy really knew what he was talking about :facepalm:

Yep, nothing divides opinion like a 4003.  On the action side, I found mine quite easy to sort (not as easy as a MM or Fender but not difficult) and once set I haven't had to touch it for 5 years (and counting).

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I've just set up a 4003 for a work colleague. Managed to get the action low enough, but it did seem to run out of travel on the G side. Fortunately, I has the right sized tool for the truss rods, or that could have been awkward.

And with the action set low, the intonation screws are inaccessible! What kind of nitwit came up with that as a design choice? Oh, and the bridge tail end has started to lift off the body.

The fretwork was good, and felt good to play though, so not entirely bad, by any means!

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Jazzes, all 3 of them. I've really tried to get on with them but just don't. They sound horrible in my hands and are probably the most uncomfortable instruments I've ever owned, which is saying something. Still, I find Rics probably the most comfortable bass going, which others will find odd. Of my Wals, the Pro sounded and played really nicely but weighed a ton. The Custom had loads of sounds, hardly any of which were usable. It was a relatively light one though. I had a Jaydee Supernatural with a neck that moved if you looked at it (to be fair, my Sei 6 had the same problem). All my (5?) Statuses were pretty dreadful; uncomfortable, sounded like plastic and almost all had continuing issues with the electronics. My Alembic Stanley Clarke was a wonderful bass but had the balance of a bowl of soup going round a corner at high speed. Head heavy? That's not the half of it. A Stingray Classic I got in a part-trade sounded pants and weighed a ton.

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Head heavy? I had a Washburn B20-8 back in the day that would literally plummet to the floor if you took your hand off the neck...and it used to snap strings alllll the time - the break angle to the rear tuning pegs was bonkers... Didn't hate it, though, because at the time it was something very different, and when newly strung made a glorious noise.

I had a 78 Jazz which weighed a sniff under 12lbs and sounded Brown. Didn't hate that, either, because some collector bought it off me for collector kinda money. I presume it's on a wall somewhere...I hope he used good big rawlplugs...

Thinking on, I don't think I've hated any bass I've had - if I didn't like it for whatever reason*, I sold it... 

 

* And I've had some really silly reasons, from Wrong Colour (otherwise terrific Warwick Fortress which some fule at the factory had painted Not-Brown-Not-Olive-Not-Nice) to Can't Unsee (Warwick Fortress - "That top horn looks like a nob") to A Bit Embarrassing (Warmoth Explorer Bass with bling blackburst flame maple top, pearl binding and gold hardware)...

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8 hours ago, skidder652003 said:

Wow, just scrolling through this thread and a distinct lack of Fender Precisions on everyones list, guess there's one bass to rule 'em all eh? ;)

I have a P bass. I don't hate it, I don't enjoy playing it either, and don't play it much any more but my mum bought it for me, so I will hang on to it.

I have played a couple of awful P basses though. Haven't played a bad jazz yet.

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Kay P bass (1st ever bass, must have been reasonable, still playing after some 30-odd years)

Washburn MB4 (played OK, sound was... alright)

Fender Modern Player Jazz (played OK, sound was meh)

MusicMan StingRay (2 eq, rosewood board. Played great, looked great, sound was unobtainable)

 

 

Edited by Skybone

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I've had a Peavey Cirrus BXP several Years ago. Looked nice with it's Tiger Eye Finish, but was extremely undefined and muddy sounding. Never ever would buy a Bass made from Agathis Wood again.

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5 minutes ago, AREA said:

I've had a Peavey Cirrus BXP several Years ago. Looked nice with it's Tiger Eye Finish, but was extremely undefined and muddy sounding. Never ever would buy a Bass made from Agathis Wood again.

I had one too. Real looker but tones available were meh 

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55 minutes ago, AREA said:

I've had a Peavey Cirrus BXP several Years ago. Looked nice with it's Tiger Eye Finish, but was extremely undefined and muddy sounding. Never ever would buy a Bass made from Agathis Wood again.

I've only had one bass made from Agathis, it appeared to have the structural properties of Wensleydale.  Don't think I'll have another one.

19 hours ago, Skybone said:

MusicMan StingRay (2 eq, rosewood board. Played great, looked great, sound was unobtainable)

I love Stingrays; played at home on an IPad - awesome sound.  But, always struggled with the on stage sound - however wandering out front on the wireless always confirms it's great in the mix.  Never worked it out.

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Probably the only bass I’ve had I’ve hated was an early 2000s MIM Precision, which I had to buy at short notice.   Played OK, but sound was poor, tinny, clanky, one-dimensional.  Put me off Ps for years until a Squier Matt Freeman got me back onside.  

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20 hours ago, martthebass said:

I love Stingrays; played at home on an IPad - awesome sound.  But, always struggled with the on stage sound - however wandering out front on the wireless always confirms it's great in the mix.  Never worked it out.

Bizarrely, I had an '89 StingRay (blonde, maple board, 4 bolt neck), and it played and sounded great. Sold it in a fit of "culling" instruments. Sometime later, I had a hankering for another, so bought a mid-90's six bolt neck with the rosewood board, it looked great, played great, beautiful birdseye maple neck, but I just couldn't get a usable sound out of it no matter what I tried. That was my last active bass.

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I have never hated a bass because I've always tried them in the shop before buying.  There again, I haven't bought a bass since 1991 (MM Stingray V) but have just ordered a Sandberg with a 6 month lead time (approx).   So about June/July this year I'll get my first bass that I've bought, that I haven't tried the stinky poo out before purchasing, so who knows ...

Admittedly before the Stingray, I'd always bought the best bass I could afford , and then sold on to afford the upgrade , so guess if you gave me my old Westone Thunder 1-A now I'd probably hate it, but at the time I loved it. 

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On 14/02/2019 at 10:09, MoJo said:

I love P-basses. I think you can dislike a P-bass in a 'doesn't-do-it-for-me' kind of way, but it's hard to hate a Precision

I hated one. I hated it so much I didn't even try to play it.

I was in the recording studio at Robannas in Birmingham. It was a session for the club band I was in, and I was going to record the bass in the control room. This is a very electronically lively place, and my active bass was picking up all sorts of shyte. The recording engineer pointed at a P bass in the corner and said "you could use that". No I bloody couldn't, the strings were about 15mm off the fretboard at the 12th fret. Happily, I had my passive Peavey with me, and it coped with the noise. 

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6 hours ago, tauzero said:

I hated one. I hated it so much I didn't even try to play it.

I was in the recording studio at Robannas in Birmingham. It was a session for the club band I was in, and I was going to record the bass in the control room. This is a very electronically lively place, and my active bass was picking up all sorts of shyte. The recording engineer pointed at a P bass in the corner and said "you could use that". No I bloody couldn't, the strings were about 15mm off the fretboard at the 12th fret. Happily, I had my passive Peavey with me, and it coped with the noise. 

That's hardly representative of all precision basses then is it....?

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2 hours ago, bassbiscuits said:

That's hardly representative of all precision basses then is it....?

No. But I never said it was. And indeed, that's not what the topic is about, nor what I was replying to - MoJo said "it's hard to hate a Precision", and I was citing a Precision that I found it remarkably easy to hate. I will freely admit that I didn't own it though. And on the whole I don't hate Precisions, I just consider them as the grey porridge of the bass world, the equivalent of the BSA C11 in the 1940s in motorcycling terms.

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On 26/12/2018 at 02:29, chris_b said:

You buy a bass and it either works for you or it doesn't. If you bought the wrong thing, don't bother to hate it, sell it and make a better choice next time.

 

Yep. Here are my only non-keepers, over 45+ years of playing:

60s EB-O

70s Guild Starfire

Early 70s Fender Jazz

None of those hung around for even two years. The Guild and the Fender both had substantial neck issues, and I didn't like either one nearly enough to pony up for the needed repairs, or even to try buying another example of those brands.

And then my '77 Travis Bean fretless, which I always loved the sound of, but eventually the weight just got to be too much for this old geezer. Sold it after 40 years of great enjoyment, with no real regrets.

 

 

Edited by Passinwind

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I've had a few basses that were clunkers or things that didn't do it for me; a 79 Fender Precision (heavy, dead spots, frankly useless electrics), Fender Geddy Lee Jazz (too shrill), Rickenbacker 4003 (long desired, great tonally, neck horrible), Gibson Thunderbird NR re-issue (arguably the one that got away, but issues tonally from the outset that took an age to resolve, by which time I'd fallen out of love with it).

All this said, the winner of the worse bass I've ever owned goes to an Ibanez Roadster RB760.  Man alive, it was the biggest steaming pile of poop I've ever owned/played.  Worse still (and it saddens me to say this), I actually part-exchanged a Travis Bean for it.  (I could cry.)

It met a timely demise.  I was playing somewhere in London, it kept on cutting out, so it just came off and I turned it into firewood.  It wasn't even the end of the set and I didn't have a back up.  If memory serves me, a few days later I went to the Bass Centre and bought a Warwick.

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So having owned over 80 different basses over the years trading & selling etc, I have a few I can think of:

Ibanez BTB 1606 - Recently acquired in a part ex trade off here, needed the cash. The bass was just saddening. Weird body shape, neck heavy, ugly finish to the Mahogany back and the thing was just cheap feeling. Sold to Martin at the Bass Gallery for £400 on Gumtree, it’s now on The Gallery website for £975! Cheeky. 

https://thebassgallery.com/collections/all/products/ibanez-btb1606-premium

 

Dingwall AB1 -  Flame Maple top, maple neck and Wenge fretboard - I’ve discovered over the years I have a love hate thing with Dingwall. I owned a £7500 Z3 model with X grade bubinga top, was a lovely bass build quality and playability  wise and active too, Glockenklang pre was alright but the pickups let it down.

Anyway the AB1 I had was the worst of the 4 I owned, it played meh. Adjustment required me to go out and buy a set of imperial Allen keys because the guy who traded it me refused to give me the Dingwall adjustment ones, THANKS BTW!

Finally got it adjusted and playing to my liking but plugged in it sounded WEAK. This was a passive version, that some idiot had Modded a Nordstrand preamp into - had a tech look at it and sort the soldering etc, got it back and it still sounded weak and like c**p. I honestly have an avid hate for the FD3 pickups. Dingwall seem to model all their basses to sound good when put through certain pedals (Darkglass hype train, Choo choo) but yet they never seem to sound fantastic without. Just well, weak. So I moved that bass on about a week after.

 

Last but not least, my most hated brand of all.....

WARWICK. 

I could rant for hours about Warwick, from stealing Spector designs to Status lawsuits etc etc, but I’ve only ever owned one Warwick and swore to myself I’d never own another.

So the bass I speak of was a German made Warwick Corvette Standard 5, Ovangkol Neck, Solid Bubinga body, Wenge Fingerboard.

We’ll start from the top, purchased it for £575 from a bloke in Derby. I inspected it when I met him and thought:

“The action is abit high but I can sort that and adjust the bridge and truss rod” (Boy was I wrong) 

 Got it home, neck was warped, on further inspection, twisted. Went to adjust the truss rod, truss rod was broken. Brilliant.

I was 16 at the time, went to contact the bloke and call him with the number provided but it seemed immediately after our meeting his advert had disappeared and he had changed his mobile number. Again, BRILLIANT. 

So I was stuck with a bass I had paid £575 for, with a broken truss rod and twisted neck.

In the months to come, I removed the fingerboard with a heat gun and sharpened scraper trick, I removed the broken truss rod, I got an apprentice luthier to plane the twist out of the neck, which he screwed up and planed too much, he also refused to cough up any money to compensate for his mistake. BRILLIANT #3.

So then I was stuck with a Warwick bass I now didn’t even want, with no truss rod and an overly planed neck that didn’t even fit a fingerboard. 

SO. 

I emailed Warwick customer service about the situation, they were rude, unhelpful and downright disinterested. I even offered to purchase a brand new neck and they said, and I quote “we don’t make them for broken basses, check eBay or Dana B Goods”

Needless to say I did, even had a long conversation with the people at Dana B Goods who were very helpful but unfortunately had no necks and couldn’t get me one at the time either. 

I had a few more run ins with Warwick customer service expressing my disappointment with them and how little they cared for customers struggling with issues, I’ve heard plenty more horror stories from other BC’ers since about how truly awful Warwick customer service actually is.

ANYWAY, even after all that, I ordered a replacement Warwick branded bass truss rod off their online shop, fit that into my bass neck and started to get to work, I tried evening out the neck to get the fingerboard to fit as best it could, at 16 I had not much clue of what to do, so doing the best I could with my amateur woodworking skills I glued the fretboard back onto the bass, with Titebond, then I managed to get some ovangkol wood dust from lightly sanding the neck. Which I mixed in with mahogany dust and titebond, which made a filler concoction that filled the gap where the neck was overplaned, it looked ugly, but it was stable and made the neck even enough for the fretboard to sit flat. Finally the neck and fretboard were stable, it was fixed - to an extent.

I could get a medium low action and the neck was no longer twisted, however still slightly warped with a slight hump on the bass side, but I was happy it was somewhat better and now adjustable.

So what I truly hated besides the whole ordeal above:

Brass frets - Really soft and awful fret material IMHO

Adjust a nut - BUSTANUT utter plastic c**p, any Warwick you buy preowned is 100% guaranteed to have the sides broke off revealing sharp feeling corners.

Crazy heavy body - weighed around 12lbs. Ridiculous.

Ovangkol neck - unstable choice of wood, it’s an overall cheap wood and looks horrible, not to mention the neck on the bass I’ve spoken about was 3 piece which also was starting to delaminate and create “ledges” between each piece when I bought it.

MEC Pickups & preamp - Worst electronics I’ve experienced to date, most Warwicks have them, besides custom shop stuff I think, never heard of any other company using them, for good reason, sounded overall plain and cheap. 

Two piece bridge - saddles and adjustment was an absolute pain, Allen screws everywhere and all seemed to do jack s**t.

Truss Rod cover - That little flap thing you pull out that gets lost so easily???!! What?!

Sold it to a Scottish chap who I’m still friends with for £120. 

 

The W stands for Won’t buy again. Or if we’re talking about my opinion, W****rs. 

Edited by Bassislife16
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8 hours ago, Bassislife16 said:

The W stands for Won’t buy again. Or if we’re talking about my opinion, W****rs. 

The Warwick I bought in the thread just above this post had neck issues.  I swear that the truss rod on the original neck did nothing (it just turned freely) so it went back to the Bass Centre and had a new neck fitted.  In their defence, it was one of the very first bolt-ons (a five string LX, with a laminated maple and ? neck), so perhaps they were having teething issues, given their manufacturing to that point was all neck through, which might account for how easily they swapped it for a wenge neck without quibble.

While your backstory might seem extraordinary, I can see why Warwick won't just issue replacement necks to all and sundry, especially given the points you've covered (sold unseen, your efforts to repair it); ultimately a business will cover themselves by offering a guarantee for manufacturing faults, not damage caused by the owner.  Man alive, try dealing direct with Fender, they're exactly the same, so Warwick certainly aren't setting any kind of precedent here at all.

Moving along, my Streamer had a brass Adjust-a-nut and I loved it; wouldn't have any issue fitting one to anything else.  Everything else was fine - the bridge, MECs (J/J), the truss rod cover...all good.  I bloody loved the bridge!  Rock solid, easily adjustable.

Question is, would I buy another Warwick, or specifically a Streamer.  You know, I think I would, but I'd need to tweak things.  It would need to be a PJ, it would need to be saucy/great wood and it would need to have black hardware.  That said, I'm only on the market for two basses...if they came along, I'd pull the trigger instantly.

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3 hours ago, NancyJohnson said:

That said, I'm only on the market for two basses...if they came along, I'd pull the trigger instantly.

It's only fair to say what, and maybe why?

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24 minutes ago, Soledad said:

It's only fair to say what, and maybe why?

A first series Hamer Cruisebass; fell in love first time I ever saw one.  Likewise the Spector Forte 4X (aka the Spectorbird).image.thumb.png.1e4db5763f3359f1df4c26ef9c12565a.png

image3.jpeg

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On 18/02/2019 at 12:24, NancyJohnson said:

All this said, the winner of the worse bass I've ever owned goes to an Ibanez Roadster RB760.  Man alive, it was the biggest steaming pile of poop I've ever owned/played.  Worse still (and it saddens me to say this), I actually part-exchanged a Travis Bean for it.  (I could cry.)

That must hurt, seeing Travis Bean values these days 😞

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