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Rich

Styling cues you don't like

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I don't mean functional features like slim necks or tighter string spacing, I'm talking about purely aesthetic stuff here. Body shapes and the like. I'll start the ball rolling.

Early P-bass/Tele headstock shape. Don't like it, at all. It looks like someone's had a bandsaw accident with a regular P neck and tried to make the best of it.

90s hair-metal Charvel/Jackson pointy headstocks. Looking at them, you can just smell the hairspray and dodgy spandex. Stick your foot on the monitor and away you go. Far, far away please.

 

Headstock-Front.jpg
"Whoops".

th.jpg.3a960c5ad1c1ee4a1dfb7c66bbb14cf4.jpg
Rawwwwk. Errm, no ta.

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Anything pointy or sparkly. Just doesn't look good to me.

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I'm not a fan of sunburnt in general, but two tone is particularly bad - just looks unfinished.

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Not a fan of Fender shapes - P bass, J bass (body and headstock). Yes some of them are nice to look at - especially those not made by Fender, e.g. Sadowsky, Sandberg et al. - but there's so much out there that looks better.

I loathe pickguards, especially tort, especially on Fender-ish basses.

I really don't like 'burst' colours, although I'm stuck with them on a few of my basses because there was no lefty alternative.

I'm sure I'll think of something else!

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18 minutes ago, Rich said:

I don't mean functional features like slim necks or tighter string spacing, I'm talking about purely aesthetic stuff here. Body shapes and the like. I'll start the ball rolling.

Early P-bass/Tele headstock shape. Don't like it, at all. It looks like someone's had a bandsaw accident with a regular P neck and tried to make the best of it.

90s hair-metal Charvel/Jackson pointy headstocks. Looking at them, you can just smell the hairspray and dodgy spandex. Stick your foot on the monitor and away you go. Far, far away please.

 

Headstock-Front.jpg
"Whoops".

th.jpg.3a960c5ad1c1ee4a1dfb7c66bbb14cf4.jpg
Rawwwwk. Errm, no ta.

Au contraire mon ami, the early P/Tele Bass headstock has the most pleasing symmetry and it is the later P Bass that should be confined to a darkened room!

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Posted (edited)

Branding on the body. Sandberg make some nice basses but those four dots mean I will never own one.

And perhaps more controversially, tortoiseshell scratchplates. I always assume people like them because they invoke a particular era, because visually they make no sense - especially on a sunburst - gross! Highly subjective of course!

Edit: I just thought of another one: those big long single cut bodies you so often see on higher end basses. I realise this one is not purely an aesthetic choice, but a horn does the same job, surely?

Edited by Rexel Matador
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Posted (edited)

It possibly comes under the heading 'functional' (although I've yet to encounter problems without the feature) but I just don't like the of any of those modern single cuts. A traditional single cut looks fine, Hofner Club, Gibson Les Paul, Yamaha Bex4, etc, it's just those with a bloomin' great bulbous top, erm, lump, that I can't get my head around. 

Edited by Maude
Autocorrect, Hohner didn't make a Club
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Modern singlecuts..... Euuurrghhhhhh......
Bodies like toilet seats *cough* MM Bongo *cough*
Multi-string 'basses' that have more notes in the baritone,treble, alto & soprano range than actual bass notes available

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As above with the single cut bodies but also ramps, they always look like an afterthought.

Semi-fretless basses (Ibanez do a version), just a bit of a gimmick.

Roadworn/relic jobs.

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Am I correct in thinking that r ramps are in many cases an afterthought, and many can be removed and replaced as needed? I certainly wouldn't want a fixed one on any bass, even if I slapped.

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Posted (edited)

I don't like red - but then I don't like red anything (cars, clothes, guitars etc). Also relicing.

Edited by Japhet
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Also, open truss rod access at the headstock on a Fender-style bass screams 'low quality!' to me.

...which I appreciate is odd, 'cos it's the more practical approach. I like to see nothing there, or a nice plug to fill the hole.

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Mainly cabs that look like a cheap 80s disco. The specs may be fantastic but if the speaker is visible through the metal grill because the board it’s mounted to is a different colour I’m out. 

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Stingray scratchplate and control plate. For such an "iconic" design they look like a rushed afterthought to me.

1166638182_Screenshot2020-03-30at15_49_06.png.b5a9c2f8ed095c83743049b9c1553253.png

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26 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Dots on the fingerboard. 😉

I’m with you on that, and your previous post too.

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20 minutes ago, cetera said:

Modern singlecuts..... Euuurrghhhhhh......
 

Ever so very much this ^^  They look like comic book whales to me.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Rexel Matador said:

Stingray scratchplate and control plate. For such an "iconic" design they look like a rushed afterthought to me.

1166638182_Screenshot2020-03-30at15_49_06.png.b5a9c2f8ed095c83743049b9c1553253.png

Better than the Stingray 5 pickguard, great instruments, but crikey, what an awful look

Edited by Graham
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18 minutes ago, Rexel Matador said:

Stingray scratchplate and control plate. For such an "iconic" design they look like a rushed afterthought to me.

1166638182_Screenshot2020-03-30at15_49_06.png.b5a9c2f8ed095c83743049b9c1553253.png

Haha, the all new Music Man MangoBanana. 

I actually like the look of a Stingray. 

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Posted (edited)

Any pretend Fenders - that is, basses with all the features/shape of the original but not. Appreciate they may be better built / higher spec / more upmarket / expensive / boutique, but just make the whole thing more original. I’m looking at you Sandberg, Sadowsky, Lakland etc etc.

Edited by casapete
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39 minutes ago, Japhet said:

I don't like red - but then I don't like red anything (cars, clothes, guitars etc). Also relicing.

Would be with you on the whole red thing, were it not for a nice old Fender in Candy Apple 🍎 

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Gold hardware, and weirdly 2 over 3 headstocks (fivers obviously). I don't mind any other configuration, just not that one.

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I'm fully onboard with many of the suggestions above:

  • lumpy singlecuts
  • Stingray scratchplate
  • MM Bongo
  • pointy headstocks

I disagree strongly with any argument against the shape of the Fender P: what an absolutely fantastic design it is; introduced in 1954 and still dominant today, though several of its familiar design elements (headstock shape, scratchplate shape, body contouring) were really first introduced by the Strat in 1956. Man, that must have looked like a spaceship from the future when it appeared! Utter genius!

As a general rule, I think symmetrical body shapes need symmetrical headstocks, and conversely for asymmetrical ones, though I accept that there are notable exceptions that look great.

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