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Muzz

Bass Weight - what do you think is Heavy?

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Following a discussion elsewhere on the relative/non-relative descriptions of Light/Medium/Heavy when it comes to basses, what do we think? Am I being a glass-backed wuss or not?

I think of Light as < 7.5lbs, Medium as 7.5 - 9.5 lbs, and Heavy as anything over 9.5 lbs. I won't buy anything over 9lbs, unless it's only going to be used sparingly (things like 8-strings and 12-strings fall into this category for me).

Not whether it's an issue for you personally, but whether you'd describe your bass as one of the above, and what it actually weighs...

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1 hour ago, Muzz said:

Following a discussion elsewhere on the relative/non-relative descriptions of Light/Medium/Heavy when it comes to basses, what do we think? Am I being a glass-backed wuss or not?

I think of Light as < 7.5lbs, Medium as 7.5 - 9.5 lbs, and Heavy as anything over 9.5 lbs. I won't buy anything over 9lbs, unless it's only going to be used sparingly (things like 8-strings and 12-strings fall into this category for me).

Not whether it's an issue for you personally, but whether you'd describe your bass as one of the above, and what it actually weighs...

I think you're pretty much spot on. Most of my basses now (reluctantly) fall into the 'light' category, which rules out ever finding a Stingray I can use I think. I use Fender Precision Lytes for my main gig, which are around 7lbs and ideal for me.

The weight thing does seem to polarise opinions on here, with mainly the younger members not too worried about using medium/heavy instruments. Back in the day I think we just accepted basses were going to be quite heavy, but as players have got older manufacturers have begun to realise weight is more of an issue.

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10lbs+ = you're kidding!

9.5lbs+ = very heavy

9lbs+  =  heavy

<9lbs =  nice

I have  heavy bass and a nice bass. Just about hanging on to the heavy bass. It sounds fantastic, but some nights are a struggle. I could solve all my weight issues in one easy move, but I can't see me playing a Danelectro!!

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Posted (edited)

How about the short scale Ray, @casapete Pete?

I have a similar classification in my head, nominally: under 8lbs is light, 8-9lbs medium but ok, over 9lbs heavy (and therefore ruled out).

But it seems I have allowed it to become more of a guideline than a rule as my last two bass purchases have been over 9lbs although to qualify that neither are intended for prolonged use.

Edited by Paul S

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I haven’t weighed the Harley Benton PB50 I bought and modded, to play live, but it weighs a ton and is way too heavy for a two hour gig. Other than that I’ve never found a ‘normal’ bass (Fender, Ric, MM etc) go to too heavy. If I can stand two hours with it, it passes the weight test. 

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Just now, chris_b said:

I could solve all my weight issues in one easy move, but I can't see me playing a Danelectro!!

Give it a go, you'd love it! 🤣

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Just now, Paul S said:

How about the short scale Ray, Pete?

I have a similar classification in my head, nominally: under 8lbs is light, 8-9lbs medium but ok, over 9lbs heavy (and therefore ruled out).

But it seems I have allowed it to become more of a guideline than a rule as my last two bass purchases have been over 9lbs although to qualify that neither are intended for prolonged use.

Haven't tried one of those yet Paul, will have to find one. I was always disappointed with the EB Sterling, as the spec on paper seemed to be the answer to my problem. However, even with the smaller body than the Stingray, I've yet to find one that is 8lbs or less. ( If anyone has one then please let me know! )

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Most of my basses are under 9lbs, and many around the 8.5lb mark. Makes me wonder how I ever survived my 70s Precisions at 10+lbs.

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Under 8lbs - lightweight

8lbs - 9lbs - ideal

9lbs - 10lbs - heavy

10lbs + would have to be exceptional to warrant struggling through a two hour gig

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Muzz said:

Am I being a glass-backed wuss or not?

No, you aint a wuss. Its all subjective, innit guv ?

Someone like Eddie Hall would think 10lbs was matchwood.  Someone like Mr Muscle ( the twigman from the advert ) would fall over if he donned a 10lb bass.

I have a 10lb bass and though i fall short of  Eddie Hall's stature  ( way way short ) i'm no  twiggy either, so i use my  4"  super wide strap, and  makes this feel like an 8lb bass

 

Edited by fleabag
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It's a matter of perspective. I'm 6'5" and 280lbs.  I've never worn a bass that felt remotely heavy!

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My EBMM Stingray 5 is a smidge over 8.5lb (yes, the 5 string! Yes it has been modified)

My precision is 7 3/4 lb

And my Sandberg TT4 jazz is about 6.5 lb.

 

I won't buy another bass over 8lb anymore.

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Posted (edited)

In new money, I’d say under 4kg is good for me, with anything between 4-4.5kg getting a bit OTT.

That doesn’t rule out too much but means I have to pick and choose to get a light one.

Ive owned ones up to about 5kg in the past ( a particularly crippling Tokai T Bird) but I can’t cope with that these days. The same reason I can’t be bothered with 40kg speaker cabs...

Edited by bassbiscuits
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Under 9 lbs good

9 - 9 1/2 lbs not ideal but maybe for a really nice bass

Over 9 1/2 sorry, but too heavy 

 

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Posted (edited)

For the He Man perspective, if anyone's familiar with the film The Princess Bride, Andre The Giant was 7ft+, and weighed near a quarter of a tonne, but he couldn't catch and carry Robin Wright, the titular Princess , at that time because his back was so bad...she had to be suspended from a wire.

A Danelectro man if I ever saw one... 😁

Just in case anyone is unfamiliar with Andre, here he is with that well-known midget, a Mr Schwarzenegger...

image.png.8fe304e7fb8532f1507afa154befad42.png

Edited by Muzz
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2012 Fender Mex P 8lb 2oz

2019 Fender Mex J 9lb 2oz

Ibanez SR500 7lb 2oz - probably lighter than the short scale Jaguar I used to have.

Problem with short scale is finding strings (flats) that feel right, don't need to look now I have a SR500

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I remember posting on this subject about ten years ago, and the gist of my post was that you shouldn't use a scale that runs from 0 (no weight at all) to 12lbs (absolute monster) because it's so misleading.

Below a certain weight, a bass (or any other instrument) is so light that it might as well weigh nothing. Above a certain weight, a bass is so heavy that it's virtually crippling you as soon you sling the strap over your neck.

This will vary for each of us, but for me the two parameters are 5lbs and 10lbs. My 1963 Hofner Violin weighs 5.5lbs and feels light as a feather - I could play it all night and barely notice that I was wearing it. My 2019 Rickenbacker 4003s5 weighs 9.5lbs and I'm doing Pilates the entire time I'm on stage to prevent back trouble.

My point?

In arithmetic terms, the Rick is nowhere near twice the weight of the Hofner. But in the real world, the Rick feels easily four times as heavy. Anything that weighs over 10lbs gets picked up and just put straight back down again.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm at the age where lighter weight everything is a bonus.

I have 5 basses the lightest is 6.5 lbs and the heaviest 8.5 lbs. Above that I wouldn't want to know.

 

Edited by grandad
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The things we do for Basschat research. 
 

Just weighed my bass. Ibanez SR400. 8.6lbs. Always considered it to be very light. 

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I’ve never really taken any notice of weight, it’s not put me off buying anything, a friends 77 jazz is 10.5 lbs and that’s fine for me,      but I think 12 lbs would be uncomfortable on the shoulder even with a good strap for a long period 

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The way I see it, anyone who thinks a bass is too heavy could always play the piccolo.

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3 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

It's a matter of perspective. I'm 6'5" and 280lbs.  I've never worn a bass that felt remotely heavy!

So I am (nearly) half your weight but the same length. Are you a double bassist?

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