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Basses You've Owned and Hated

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2 hours ago, Soledad said:

That's more like it. If you haven't experienced the cheap 60s basses, you're missing a reference point for bad.
My first bass was a Vox quite like the pic. Short scale, guitar tuners so all the knobs broke off and pliers were required for tuning. bent neck, no truss rod and fingerboard was plywood. Couldn't call what it made a sound - old flats on and you got a bump of air with a hint of pitch in it. It was only my absolute conviction to one day get a Precision that kept me going. Truly really awful

(the one in pic was auctioned recently for £220... why oh why?)

 

lot0002.jpg

I bought this one at a car boot sale a year or two ago; I'm trying to strip off the paint ad get it back to original...

FCWlKE4.jpg?1

(The touch where the kid who owned it wrote "Fender" in gold Sharpie is especially inspirational...)

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2 minutes ago, prowla said:

(The touch where the kid who owned it wrote "Fender" in gold Sharpie is especially inspirational...)

Aww!

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2 hours ago, mangotango said:

Tell me more......

Well, not sure what pickups you have in your legend but if they're emg hz pickups then they're perfectly good. The preamp is possibly the Tone Pump Junior which is t that versitile and neither is the Tone Pump that's used in the more expensive Spector basses. There's no mid control which makes a hell of a difference. 

The EMG BQS system pre amp is a great alternative and if you have emg pickups, it's completely solderless. 

http://www.emgpickups.com/accessories/bass-accessories/bass-eq-active/bqcsystem.html

The differe cé in sound is like night and day. 

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34 minutes ago, WHUFC BASS said:

Well, not sure what pickups you have in your legend but if they're emg hz pickups then they're perfectly good. The preamp is possibly the Tone Pump Junior which is t that versitile and neither is the Tone Pump that's used in the more expensive Spector basses. There's no mid control which makes a hell of a difference. 

The EMG BQS system pre amp is a great alternative and if you have emg pickups, it's completely solderless. 

http://www.emgpickups.com/accessories/bass-accessories/bass-eq-active/bqcsystem.html

The differe cé in sound is like night and day. 

According to Bass Direct...EMG HZ pickups, TonePump Jr. pre..

Except that there's this control arrangement, which has a dedicated mid and a stacked treble/bass:

  1. Tone Circuit: Active 3 band
  2. Circuit Type: 9-volt Active - Bass, Mid, Treble cut and boost

  3. Bridge Pickup: EMG HZ Humbucker

  4. Neck Pickups: EMG HZ Humbucker

  5. Pickup Type: Passive - Dual Coil

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4 hours ago, prowla said:

(The touch where the kid who owned it wrote "Fender" in gold Sharpie is especially inspirational...)

That really is brilliant - the best bit on the whole bass is a gold sharpie Fender logo. 👍

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5 hours ago, mangotango said:

According to Bass Direct...EMG HZ pickups, TonePump Jr. pre..

Except that there's this control arrangement, which has a dedicated mid and a stacked treble/bass:

  1. Tone Circuit: Active 3 band
  2. Circuit Type: 9-volt Active - Bass, Mid, Treble cut and boost

  3. Bridge Pickup: EMG HZ Humbucker

  4. Neck Pickups: EMG HZ Humbucker

  5. Pickup Type: Passive - Dual Coil

Ah apologies, I missed the stacked knob arrangement on your bass. I still think the EMG pre-amp would be better than the stock pre-amp. Some of the reviews of that pre-amp on Amazon and Thomann specifically mention removing the stock Legend pre-amp and how much of an improvement was made to the overall tone of the instrument. I'm seriously considering it for my Doug Wimbish Spector.

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Posted (edited)

Only bass I really hated amongst those I owned was a USA G&L L-1505. Bought it for a steal in 2003 ($700, new). By that time I'd already had my first Stingray5 for a couple years. I'd read it was like a "logical evolution" to a SR5, and I would've been satisfied with it at least being a viable backup, but it wasn't even that. WAY harder to play than a Stingray5 (thick neck, nothing like modern Kiloton5 or JB-5 necks, old L range neck), sounded real tame compared to a SR5 (I had a whole year to A/B them, no contest), and the onboard EQ of the L line is simply flawed (hissy a/f -even after thoroughly shielding all cavities, made ZERO difference- and orthopaedic, virtually just a treble boost -something an L-1505 doesn't need really-). HATED the damm thing.

Second to that bass in my frustration ranking was a Maruszczyk Jake 5a+, totally ruined by those DEAD MC/PMVC Delanos. TBH the bass played great, was light and comfortable and superb quality all in all, just a terrible pickup choice. Not only it sounded obviously dead compared to the real thing (Musicman) but even plugging in an 88€ Thomann P style kit bass felt like somebody had lifted a blanket from upon any amp I'd use and boosted the mids, I'd take that no brand P pickup over the Delano PMVC all day long (surprisingly good P pickup, BTW, also liked it better than a Bill Lawrence P-46 I tried in that kit build).

Edited by andruca

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I ordered a Mensinger Bass from Maruszczyk - when it arrived, the bass was so far from the spec sheet it was laughable. 

In many ways it was a perfectly serviceable bass but as a custom build I hated it...

It was quickly sold at a loss.

 

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On 12/06/2019 at 16:10, No lust in Jazz said:

I ordered a Mensinger Bass from Maruszczyk - when it arrived, the bass was so far from the spec sheet it was laughable. 

 In many ways it was a perfectly serviceable bass but as a custom build I hated it...

It was quickly sold at a loss.

 

Something I've never understood about customers for custom bass builds. 

You give the luthier a spec. He and you agree on such spec.You pay a considerable amount of money, then after a few months the instrument appears on your door.

You take it out of the case, super excited, just to see it's the farthest thing from the spec you've agreed on, for which you've payed top money. How is it possible you haven't returned it to have the actual instrument you paid for delivered to you?

To me that makes no sense. Especially for builders that actually have some kind of reputation (and I'm assuming Maruszczyk being one of them, as apparently they're pretty highly regarded in here).

If I had to suffer an economic loss from that, instead of selling said instrument at said loss straight away, being bitter about that build for the rest of your playing life and having wasted months waiting for it where you could have had what you actually wanted built, I'd rather spend that money on a plane to go knock at said builder's door and return the bass personally.

I see this happening ALL THE TIME, how is it people give no care about their money but moreso their time? The builder took your money and gave you a red apple instead of a green apple after growing that specific apple just for you. It's their fault, period. 

Unless, of course, they kept you completely up to date with vids/pics of building process throughout those months and you didn't even care to check what they were building against your own spec sheet to fix things in time?

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1 hour ago, akabane said:

Something I've never understood about customers for custom bass builds. 

You give the luthier a spec. He and you agree on such spec.You pay a considerable amount of money, then after a few months the instrument appears on your door.

You take it out of the case, super excited, just to see it's the farthest thing from the spec you've agreed on, for which you've payed top money. How is it possible you haven't returned it to have the actual instrument you paid for delivered to you?

To me that makes no sense. Especially for builders that actually have some kind of reputation (and I'm assuming Maruszczyk being one of them, as apparently they're pretty highly regarded in here).

If I had to suffer an economic loss from that, instead of selling said instrument at said loss straight away, being bitter about that build for the rest of your playing life and having wasted months waiting for it where you could have had what you actually wanted built, I'd rather spend that money on a plane to go knock at said builder's door and return the bass personally.

I see this happening ALL THE TIME, how is it people give no care about their money but moreso their time? The builder took your money and gave you a red apple instead of a green apple after growing that specific apple just for you. It's their fault, period. 

Unless, of course, they kept you completely up to date with vids/pics of building process throughout those months and you didn't even care to check what they were building against your own spec sheet to fix things in time?

I've had two custom builds from highly regarded UK builders.

One wasn't built for me, but was purchased after I tried it and liked it. Then I found it had some niggles that irked me, so sold it on at a big loss.

The second I ordered. A custom variant on an established design. (Different electrics etc) On paper, it was great. In practice, it was just SO soulless and dull. Initially, it was good, but as time passed, the Sonic niggles came home to roost, plus my sweat ate the fretboard...

Maybe I've been spoiled by having owned (and still owning) some lovely basses. That said, I was perfectly happy with a boggo US Fender jazz. It just sat right, felt right played well and sounded ok.

I think the thing with custom items is that the builder builds their interpretation of what the customer specifies. As such, they do what they were contracted to do. Those of us with the skill might be better advised to build/assemble their own and then iron out any wrinkles as they go along.

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1 hour ago, akabane said:

Something I've never understood about customers for custom bass builds. 

You give the luthier a spec. He and you agree on such spec.You pay a considerable amount of money, then after a few months the instrument appears on your door.

You take it out of the case, super excited, just to see it's the farthest thing from the spec you've agreed on, for which you've payed top money. How is it possible you haven't returned it to have the actual instrument you paid for delivered to you?

I would agree with that, if you give someone a spec, it matches the spec or it doesn't. If it doesn't match the spec it needs to be fixed to match the spec. Wherever it came from.

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

I've had two custom builds from highly regarded UK builders.

One wasn't built for me, but was purchased after I tried it and liked it. Then I found it had some niggles that irked me, so sold it on at a big loss.

The second I ordered. A custom variant on an established design. (Different electrics etc) On paper, it was great. In practice, it was just SO soulless and dull. Initially, it was good, but as time passed, the Sonic niggles came home to roost, plus my sweat ate the fretboard...

Maybe I've been spoiled by having owned (and still owning) some lovely basses. That said, I was perfectly happy with a boggo US Fender jazz. It just sat right, felt right played well and sounded ok.

I think the thing with custom items is that the builder builds their interpretation of what the customer specifies. As such, they do what they were contracted to do. Those of us with the skill might be better advised to build/assemble their own and then iron out any wrinkles as they go along.

I see. If I were to order a custom instrument and had a sound in mind (especially if I have a bass already that kind of matches that sound) I would make sure to provide enough sound samples and make sure the 'estabilished design' is the same estabilished design I am talking about and feels good to ME (eg an instrument I own I'm taking inspiration from). I don't know, never understood someone who goes on the phone with someone like ACG or Shuker and goes 'you know, I want a super duper jazz, you know what I mean right? Throw maybe a cool figured top, how much is it? 3k? Allrighty then, coming your way tomorrow!' and then be surprised to be disappointed by the result xD 

 

EDIT: Also considering that, at the end of the day, MOST of what would be changed would be pickups and/or electronics to match better with the original spec, so it wouldn't even be such a disastrous result for anyone and wouldn't take more months to fix...

Edited by akabane
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I think the reason for people selling such customs on is that the disappointment factor is enormous. People become very invested (and not just financially) in instruments they specced themselves. When said instrument fails to live up to the hype, they simply can't face any more messing around. They just bite the bullet and move it on.

I'd never buy another custom.

They've been the most irritating experiences in my playing history, apart from band politics.

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45 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

I think the reason for people selling such customs on is that the disappointment factor is enormous. People become very invested (and not just financially) in instruments they specced themselves. When said instrument fails to live up to the hype, they simply can't face any more messing around. They just bite the bullet and move it on.

I'd never buy another custom.

They've been the most irritating experiences in my playing history, apart from band politics.

Totally agree. I also think people's preference for tone changes over time and in different bands, which may also contribute to peeps selling on their customs!

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Posted (edited)

In the past, the higher up the instrument chain I go the more guilty I feel about owning such a bass. I just returned a Strandberg 5 string fan fretted boden to the guitar shop: a gorgeous instrument, plays  like a dream but way too good for me: too pretty, and definitely too frou frou. My partner (who is totally behind me in my bass playing) said: “In a punk band a £3K Bass guitar is prettying frickin bogus thing”... and she is right... My pedalboard is almost frou-frou territory but I accept I need it to do gonzo-punk riff guitar parts for the 3 piece.

I love to look at all the figured woods and beautiful craftsmanship that aspect appeals to me as technology and machinery and luthiership does get me wet, but In reality a proper bass guitar for me is a bashed-up Fender Precision about 1977-78 with manky chrome and in a state where no one has a heart attack when the bass falls off the thing it is propped up against.

Fortunately I was able to return the strandberg for a full refund, but the most I will go on anything bass wise is a Precision/jazz bass  with the shite kicked out of it... 

Edited by PunkPonyPrincess

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Posted (edited)

I'd say the vast majority of immediate custom build disappointment is the customer not understanding what they really want from a bass. I can understand the frustration of someone receiving a bass which wasn't what they ordered (as in the case above, which is the first one I think I've read on here in such stark terms), but most of the custom sales are people not liking what they ordered, or just plain moving on. I've moved on from what I used to like in a bass (and the purchase of a brand new 4003 a couple of years ago underlined that one massively for me - good job it was a bog stock GAK purchase, because it went back the next day (although to be fair, it just wasn't a great bass for £1600, full stop)) and I have sold on some very nice basses which I'd just tired of.

I faff about with the odd bass here or there in the lower orders of cost, but if I had the money I wouldn't hesitate with another custom build, because I know exactly what I want, and I've had very good experiences with custom builds before.

Edited by Muzz
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24 minutes ago, PunkPonyPrincess said:

... definitely too frou frou. ... but In reality a proper bass guitar for me is a bashed-up Fender Precision about 1977-78 with manky chrome and in a state where no one has a heart attack when the bass falls off the thing it is propped up against.

It's a very similar thing, just in a different set of clothes: in the world of vintage Fenders and desirable mojo, relicing, whatever, that is in fact a very frou-frou instrument. And will cost a substantial amount.

Y'see real punks back in the day played newish mid-range instruments and cheap copies*...they're only reliced and costly now because that was all 40 years ago... 

 

* eg Hooky's Rick copy...

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What haven't I owned and all very disappointing apart from from current basses I own now,but by far the biggest let down was the fender Nate Mendel p bass , I couldn't get on with it so quickly sold it on but to be fare it could been a Friday job where everyone wants too gone home ,maybe one day I'll buy another just in case or maybe not

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1 hour ago, PunkPonyPrincess said:

I just returned a Strandberg 5 string fan fretted boden to the guitar shop: a gorgeous instrument, plays  like a dream but way too good for me: too pretty, and definitely too frou frou. My partner (who is totally behind me in my bass playing) said: “In a punk band a £3K Bass guitar is prettying frickin bogus thing”... and she is right...

Yep, that is why you never see rickenbackers in a punk band. Oh.. hang on :D

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Yep, that is why you never see rickenbackers in a punk band. Oh.. hang on :D

 

In 77-78 ricks were never £3k they are today and they were rarely seen them or now.

Edited by PunkPonyPrincess

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Yep, that is why you never see rickenbackers in a punk band. Oh.. hang on :D

Nowhere near popular back in the 80s and even today in the punk scene. As was pointed out it was (and is) usually a mix of Precisions, Precision knock-offs and LTDs.

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2 hours ago, PunkPonyPrincess said:

In 77-78 ricks were never £3k they are today and they were rarely seen them or now.

 

1 hour ago, WHUFC BASS said:

Nowhere near popular back in the 80s and even today in the punk scene. As was pointed out it was (and is) usually a mix of Precisions, Precision knock-offs and LTDs.

Odd - I associate them with punks, back in the early 80s and now. The last few punk groups I have seen had them. But I don't see too many punk groups, normally at something like tattoo conventions.

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17 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

 

Odd - I associate them with punks, back in the early 80s and now. The last few punk groups I have seen had them. But I don't see too many punk groups, normally at something like tattoo conventions.

For some reason I always associate the Undertones with a midnight blue Rick....

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2 hours ago, PunkPonyPrincess said:

In 77-78 ricks were never £3k they are today and they were rarely seen them or now.

Steve Jones claimed him and his mate stole an entire PA by taking a bit at a time from people's soundchecks... I suspect cost wasn't always a prime consideration :-0

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Odd - I associate them with punks, back in the early 80s and now. The last few punk groups I have seen had them. But I don't see too many punk groups, normally at something like tattoo conventions.

That's funny, I always associate them with Lemmy, Bruce Foxton and Paul McCartney and that's about it. They weren't that popular (certainly not as popular as Precisions). In fact, I'd go as far to say that they weren't even as popular as Gibson Thunderbirds.

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