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Muzz

Bass Weight - what do you think is Heavy?

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I line my control routing with lead sheet and use depleted uranium pole picks on my pickups. I never get neck dive and get great sustain 🙂

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5 hours 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...

With the back problems I have, I won’t buy anything noticeably over 9lbs either, and I play seated! I think I’d agree, on a general basis anything over 9, 9 and a half pounds is heavy. Which means a few of my old basses were extremely heavy, and yet at the time (pre back injuries) they didn’t bother me.

EDIT; think my Jaydees were about 12 lbs or more. My basses now are just over 8.5 at a guess. 

 

Edited by 4000

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I think I'd agree with your weight classifications too.

Just last week my wife borrowed my daughter's baking scales and I took the opportunity to weigh all my basses.  The results were broadly in line with how each bass felt on a strap but the actual figures were a smidgen higher than I expected.  A few examples:

Lightest was Steinberger XT2 at 3.4kg.

Heaviest was Musicman USA SUB at 4.6kg.

2010 Fender USA jazz, which I gig most is 4.0kg.

2008 Fender USA Precision, 4.0kg.

Ibanez Talman TMB100, 3.8kg

Warwick Streamer LX4, 3.9kg.

Fender USA Jaguar, 4.1kg.

Surprisingly, I can comfortably gig the USA Sub and I think the good balance is the reason.

Frank.

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3 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

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.

Agreed, I have two SRs (well, two of my SRs), the 1605 is 8lb, the 5005 is 10lb. They don't feel even slightly similar, even though they are physically the same shape. I don't notice wearing the 1605, the 5005 I am constantly fiddling with to adjust the strap

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Weight has never even remotely crossed my mind as an assessment as to whether I’d own it or not. Maybe this comes from a place where I was lucky to even be able to get hold of a relatively decent sounding: instrument back in the 80’s and early 90’s, so anything would do!

i suppose I’d have to think about it if we were pushing 7-8 kilo instruments. But even then I’d have a good crack at playing them if they sounded good and played well!

 



 

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My new (to me) Overwater 6 string weighs 11.8lbs. I would never dream of playing it standing up. I could not even if I wanted to because the extra string is using so much of my congnitive RAM that I would forget how to balance. It makes a great noise though. 

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My main bass is a Warwick streamer LX6 which weighs in around 11.5 pounds (5.2kg). It doesn't feel particularly heavy to me, something I largely attribute to being a competitive powerlifter. If you're used to feeling 130kg (squats) and above across your upper back, a 5.2kg bass isn't heavy.

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I don't have a problem playing a bass of 9.5 lbs or more - indeed I played my Stingray 5 on a 3 HR gig (highly unusual to have a gig of that length for me) a week or two back, and that's the heaviest bass I have. Having said that, a well balanced heavy bass is not a problem for me so long as it's on a wide comfy strap. 

The thing I've noticed myself, having a couple of Stingray Specials in the 8 lb range, after playing them for any length of time, picking any heavier bass up is really noticeable and feels a little uncomfortable initially.

The reason I used the heavier bass a couple of weeks back was the fabulous sound - and the venue really suited the sound.

So I think, once you have a light bass, using a heavier one takes a little getting used to.  

Edited by drTStingray

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My main gigging Alembic which I use for my hard rock band is 12 and a bit pounds. To be honest i don't really notice the weight as it balances perfectly (it is called a balance K after all).  Next one down is my fretless Alembic that I use exclusively with my blues band - that's only 10 Lbs something.

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If you play standing up balance and position on the strap are far more important than weight.

I've got rid of basses in the past that were light but simply didn't hang right on the strap which made them too difficult (for me) to play.

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Anything up to 11lbs is doable for me without issue. As said above balance is more important to me than weight. 

Yeah, I have a Sadowsky and it is very very light (just under 8lbs). I have an old EB3  too and it is completely unbalanced and feels like a lead weight, but at least it looks cool. 

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12lb seems heavy when you pick it up, but I agree with what has been said before about balance being more important.

I've owned 2 12lb+ basses (Gibson RD Artist and Gibson Victory Artist - maple behemoths the pair of them) but I had no issue with playing them because they balanced well and I used a nice wide neoprene strap (Neotech).

I wouldn't reject a bass immediately simply because of its weight - there's more to ergonomics than just weight.

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I "did my back in" a few years ago when learning to snowboard and have had back issues ever since.  Most of the time I don't notice it but every so often I get a real pain in the lower back for no particular reason.  I like short scale basses and tried a Chowny SWB-1.  As bass guitars go, it was not overly heavy but it did aggravate my back when used for a while.  A great little bass which I was sad to see go - don't let my issues put you off trying one.

My current two basses are; Italia Maranello Cavo, hollow body, short scale, which weighs in at 7.2lb and a Tanglewood version of the Hofner violin bass at a svelte 5.7lb. I would not consider anything heavier than my Italia.  I have tried all manner of straps to spread the load.  One well padded leather strap was nice but added just under a pound to the overall weight!

In reply to an earlier post about flat wound strings for a short scale; I use LaBella Deep Talking Bass 760FX.  They are medium scale and fit the Italia perfectly.

Edited by LeftyP

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I never really noticed the weight. I used to be young, agile and mostly un-injured. I used to jump about with whatever bass was strapped on.

As time has gone on I picked up a nasty neck injury playing 5 a side footy. I had physio but then had a car accident, where I was hit from behind by a lorry, which then hit me again.

I now have a c4-c6 vertibrae problem, which I manage ok with. From time to time it's back to the physio.

I stopped gigging heavily about 2 years ago but now I only aim to do about 40 per year.

Most of my gigs are 80s duo. I play a lightweight Strat on about half the gig, so only about an hour. It doesnt affect my neck

but when I do a Police tribute gig, it all locks up for a few days. I use my Bravewood Sting replica, it is nice n light but still gives me grief. I don't know the exact weight but it feels light.

I am starting to shed my heavier basses because they should be played, not left in their cases in the cupboard

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I don't notice the weight during a gig, but as soon as it's finished and I start packing stuff away my back causes me all sorts of grief. Lighter basses don't seem to make any difference either.

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To all those who say the weight doesn’t matter, it may not matter when you’re healthy, but if you develop spinal problems it becomes everything. And yes, balance matters, but if I put on a perfectly balanced 10lb instrument my legs still go numb. I used to be strong as hell, then my back went and that was that. Game over. Life changed in an instant. 

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Pretty sure this topic is a straw poll looking for personal opinions about what we personally consider "heavy" and I responded on that basis. Sorry if my post came across as one of those "opinion as fact" pieces. I am indeed fortunate to not be too concerned about weight and I sympathise with anyone who has been forced to make physical compromises on account of back or other health issues. 

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On 02/03/2020 at 20:44, Stub Mandrel said:

I line my control routing with lead sheet and use depleted uranium pole picks on my pickups. I never get neck dive and get great sustain 🙂

And you can illuminate the stage with your"ready-brek kid" impersonation?

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15 hours ago, 4000 said:

To all those who say the weight doesn’t matter, it may not matter when you’re healthy, but if you develop spinal problems it becomes everything. And yes, balance matters, but if I put on a perfectly balanced 10lb instrument my legs still go numb. I used to be strong as hell, then my back went and that was that. Game over. Life changed in an instant. 

I do have spinal problems, but I'm a strapping lad and the weight doesn't bother me.  

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10 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

I do have spinal problems, but I'm a strapping lad and the weight doesn't bother me.  

I'd say I'm a reasonable size (6ft, 210lb or so), but it bothers me a great deal. I guess it depends what type of spinal problems you have. 

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I only really play  fender basses , it's weird how 1lb makes such a difference to my perception of the weight, it can't much make that much difference can it

9.5 heavy

9 medium

8.5 light

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