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AndyTravis

Ashdown Basses?! Woo!

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I'm gonna guess that high profile players who already have a relationship with Ashdown will be inclined to favour and/or use them, as it will give them a single point of contact for the tools of their trade, however I've been around far too long to be impressed with 'celeb' endorsements, as they come and go depending on which direction the wind's blowing.

None of which changes the fact that they're visually uninspiring rehashes of designs which have been rehashed thousands of times already, and which will have been done with better (and worse) quality a thousand times.

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11 minutes ago, Muzz said:

I'm gonna guess that high profile players who already have a relationship with Ashdown will be inclined to favour and/or use them, as it will give them a single point of contact for the tools of their trade, however I've been around far too long to be impressed with 'celeb' endorsements, as they come and go depending on which direction the wind's blowing.

None of which changes the fact that they're visually uninspiring rehashes of designs which have been rehashed thousands of times already, and which will have been done with better (and worse) quality a thousand times.

And you can guarantee that two years down the line those players will be back with their Fenders. 

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2 minutes ago, spectoremg said:

And you can guarantee that two years down the line those players will be back with their Fenders. 

Couldn't let me in next week lottery numbers could you? 😉

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I'm sure they're competitive in terms of sound and build quality with numerous other Fender clones in their price range, that wasn't the point at all. I appreciate that Ashdown aren't the best when it comes to visual design and tend to rely on gaudy motifs but surely they could come up with something better than that?

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2 minutes ago, lemmywinks said:

I'm sure they're competitive in terms of sound and build quality with numerous other Fender clones in their price range, that wasn't the point at all. I appreciate that Ashdown aren't the best when it comes to visual design and tend to rely on gaudy motifs but surely they could come up with something better than that?

Why would they want to? There’s a reason Fender style basses are popular - they sound good, Balance well, are easy to setup and easy to manufacture at a low cost. 

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On 18/02/2020 at 14:20, PJ-Bassist said:

They did for Tye Zamora and his custom 6 string bass.

download.jpeg

Great bass player. 

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3 hours ago, OliverBlackman said:

Why would they want to? There’s a reason Fender style basses are popular - they sound good, Balance well, are easy to setup and easy to manufacture at a low cost. 

Because it's spectacularly boring to churn out the same old shapes over and over again with no innovations or good visual design choices. 

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I like Precision, Jazz and Thunderbird basses. I like the look of them. So obviously I am going to like the look of some of these. 

I also applaud innovation and creativity. 

But I don't get angry with a company over their design choices. It's not like they promised me one thing then came up with something else. It's their business what they produce, and at what price point, not mine. 

I wish these were sub £300 basses so I could try one, but they're not. I shan't be marching on Heybridge with pitchfork and flaming torch over it though. 

 

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It's a difficult decision.

On one hand go with the designs that people already play, but how do you make your take on it an improvement when most people are more than happy with the choices that already exist? On the other hand if you go with something completely different how do you convince the majority of very conservative musicians to accept it?

As I've said before here and other similar threads I really can't see the point of offering something that is essentially very similar to instruments that already exist in vast numbers with almost infinite slight variations and the standard designs. Yes it is perfectly possible to improve upon the basic design of the Precision and Jazz basses but unless you do it and still sell it for less than the price of a MIM Fender, your market is at best going to be niche, in which case why not do something completely new and different?

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3 hours ago, BigRedX said:

As I've said before here and other similar threads I really can't see the point of offering something that is essentially very similar to instruments that already exist

I agree, but if you extrapolated that out it would be a pretty good argument for doing nothing ever. I’m thinking specifically of covers band - providing a version of something classic and probably definitively ‘done already’. But that ignores the human need too emulate and from emulation to evolution and all the value that the peers of the emulators find in that process, and the occasional brilliant steps onward that can come out of that process. 
 

as for the innovators - heads ain’t ready, until they are!

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It's possible to take plenty of classic design hints and still come up with something that looks new and awesome, while having enough familiarity not to offend.

I think this looks far better than many 'boutique' basses:

image.thumb.png.fc2c871a45c558465656c56c85e92b01.png

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39 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

It's possible to take plenty of classic design hints and still come up with something that looks new and awesome, while having enough familiarity not to offend.

I think this looks far better than many 'boutique' basses:

image.thumb.png.fc2c871a45c558465656c56c85e92b01.png

Indeed, in fact seeing as these are touted as Dan Lakin designed you would expect them to be something along these lines seeing as he is known for his original take on aspects of Fender, G&L and Musicman basses. Quite what input Mr. Lakin has had with these Ashdowns aside from writing "dunno, a Jazz bass?" on the back of a beer mat remains to be seen.

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1 hour ago, bloke_zero said:

I agree, but if you extrapolated that out it would be a pretty good argument for doing nothing ever. I’m thinking specifically of covers band - providing a version of something classic and probably definitively ‘done already’. But that ignores the human need too emulate and from emulation to evolution and all the value that the peers of the emulators find in that process, and the occasional brilliant steps onward that can come out of that process. 
 

as for the innovators - heads ain’t ready, until they are!

So you're saying the important thing is emulate, emulation or emulators. 

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1 hour ago, bloke_zero said:

I agree, but if you extrapolated that out it would be a pretty good argument for doing nothing ever. I’m thinking specifically of covers band - providing a version of something classic and probably definitively ‘done already’. But that ignores the human need too emulate and from emulation to evolution and all the value that the peers of the emulators find in that process, and the occasional brilliant steps onward that can come out of that process. 
 

as for the innovators - heads ain’t ready, until they are!

It's not just that they are copies, but they are copies in a market that is arguably already oversaturated with very similar copies. 

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36 minutes ago, spectoremg said:

So you're saying the important thing is emulate, emulation or emulators.

Well, really, that human beings like to copy, and copying can be a path to innovation.

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Did not the Japanese copy various bits of British products i.e. Motorbikes, hi-fi etc and actually produce an improved  copy or end up buying the manufacturer.

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The Japanese started that way, but very soon outclassed the British stuff with much better and innovative designs. There was no real other competition back then, either. The whole point these days is it's all been done sooooo many times before. I doubt another mid-range Jazz copy is gonna distinguish itself from the hundreds of others available, including the originals - let's face it, Fender make plenty of different Jazz models, too...

There's no innovation in these basses I can see.

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Posted (edited)

They couldn’t even be bothered to offer interesting colours. All 4 basses in black, white, silver, CAR or LPB. If you’re going to churn out yet another tired Fender clone at least do something with the colours!

Honestly would anyone buy one of these at a grand when a perfectly good US P or J or a nice hot rod red Jag deluxe made in Japan can be had in the used market for the same money or less?

And to those that say that the old designs sell - yes, they do, but each new brand on the block has to compete with all the existing brands doing the same thing. Sire, for example, offer a very nice P, J, PJ and even a Tobias-style bass (and active/passive with a decent preamp), all for less than half the price of these basses. At £1K they’re competing directly with Fender, but offering nothing new or novel.
 

Edited by FDC484950
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1 hour ago, FDC484950 said:

They couldn’t even be bothered to offer interesting colours. All 4 basses in black, white, silver, CAR or LPB. If you’re going to churn out yet another tired Fender clone at least do something with the colours!

Honestly would anyone buy one of these at a grand when a perfectly good US P or J or a nice hot rod red Jag deluxe made in Japan can be had in the used market for the same money or less?

And to those that say that the old designs sell - yes, they do, but each new brand on the block has to compete with all the existing brands doing the same thing. Sire, for example, offer a very nice P, J, PJ and even a Tobias-style bass (and active/passive with a decent preamp), all for less than half the price of these basses. At £1K they’re competing directly with Fender, but offering nothing new or novel.
 

You could say the same about Moollon. Have you tried any of these? the Ashdown bass might be an improvement on US fenders. Dan Lakin has been in the business long enough to know what sells and what doesn’t. I think I’ll leave it up to him. 

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Just now, OliverBlackman said:

You could say the same about Moollon. Have you tried any of these? the Ashdown bass might be an improvement on US fenders. Dan Lakin has been in the business long enough to know what sells and what doesn’t. I think I’ll leave it up to him. 

Sorry but that’s nonsense. It a passive Fender clone with nothing to lift it above a Squier other than potentially better finishing. Molloon are at a completely different price point and a different market. Whether Dan Lakin “knows what sells” has got nothing to do with it. These are not Lakland basses (Which cost thousands even back in the day), or even Skyline in terms of differentiation. Even if they are an improvement who’s going to buy them given how conservative most Fender players are? You can pick up a late 70’s/early 80’s Fender with a ton of mojo in the same ballpark. 

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