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cord.scott

The opposite of Fender is...

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10 minutes ago, owen said:

Where is @BigRedX?

It's a difficult one. For me the opposite of a Fender is pretty much anything that works in a different way and at the same time it's not just a P or J dressed up in a weird shaped body.

I think the OP needs to take a long hard look at exactly what they don't like about their current J basses. He says he played Ibanez "back in the day" (when exactly was that?) so maybe that would be a good starting point.

Personally I think the active/passive thing is a red herring. There are tone controls on the amp that should be able to do a decent job, so why do you need another set on your bass that probably aren't as good? There are exceptions such as the filter circuits from Wal, ACG, etc. that offer something that the amp doesn't, but for the most part IMO the controls on most active basses don't offer anything that it should be possible to do already in the signal chain.

In historic terms the "opposite" of a Fender is probably the original 60s Gibson Thunderbird, or a Rickenbacker 4001/4003. These days there's a lot more choice.

Edited by BigRedX
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Having just bought a Lightwave Saber bass (fretless to boot!) I'd say it's distinctly un-fender like... There's a huge range of tone controls, sustain to die for, weighs 2/10 of sod-all and no annoying pickups to get in the way. And they're relatively cheap in the US!

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5 hours ago, Drax said:

If your passive J is 'dull thin and lifeless' to your ears, sounds like you need a P bass.

Or - and I mean this genuinely - some lessons. Find a new way of approaching it and fall back in love. 

Well, I do have a pbass, well a P/J, but I still feel the same way about it.

What would lessons do? Have me play the string closer to the neck? Closer to the bridge? I've tried it many times and I'm pretty sure that after 4 years its just not for me. 

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47 minutes ago, cord.scott said:

Well, I do have a pbass, well a P/J, but I still feel the same way about it.

What would lessons do? Have me play the string closer to the neck? Closer to the bridge? I've tried it many times and I'm pretty sure that after 4 years its just not for me. 

Yeah just to clarify that wasn't learning technique to sound different. 

Just sounded like if you've cycled through rounds / flats / pre amps / amps / pedals and you're still searching, maybe it's not the bass. 

Often when I've had GAS for something new, I'm just bored musically. Push my playing in a new direction, and realised I didn't need a new bass, just some fresh ideas to play on the one I've got. 

 

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In my head, I’ve always thought the opposite of a Fender is a Gibson. I do like a Fender and I’ve yet to come across a Gibson that ticks any of my boxes.

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9 minutes ago, Passinwind said:

An upright, of course. Leo never got it right, so how could those who came after him? 😎

Of course he got it right, it just took him until G&L to do it, and noone was paying attention by then :D

 

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My Sadowsky jazz bass has a huge sound. I don't know how anyone could make one of those sound dull, thin or lifeless.

Then again, you know if you have both Jazz volume pickups on full they scoop the mids. Maybe that's the problem you are hearing. I always have the neck pickup on full and the bridge pickup rolled off about 20%.

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Spend time understanding what you do like, not things which are merely different to what you don’t like because they can be just as unlikeable to you, too.

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A Wal or a Hofner 500/1...

Polar opposites to each other and yet both are the opposite of a Fender..

🤪

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Enfield.

The SIMS pick up system gives you the option of P/J/H and 15 combinations of these. They're lookers too.

Enfield Canon 4 -pre owned Second Hand Bass Guitar Stock :::: For sale, UK,  On offer, Warwick, USA, Birmingham, Manchester, London, hand made, custom  build

Lionheart — Sims Guitar Works UK | Super-Quad Pickups, Enfield Bass  Guitars, Spray Shop, Custom LEDs, Pickguards, Servicing, Repair

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I like all the things the op dislikes. So, using some kind of logic, I guess what I don't like will fit the bill. 

Something with a lot of controls, a powerful preamp with tone controls on steroids and a maple fretboard. Always feel like I'm riding a wild horse with no bridle when playing these kind of basses. Yeah and a big ol' humbucker set right back by the bridge. 

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Rather than buy for negative reasons (I want this because it isn't/doesn't sound like a Fender), it would probably be better to buy for positive ones (I want this because it does x, y and z, which I like). A lot of other things to consider - what type of player are you, what music do you play, what rig do you use? Etc, etc. It all has a bearing on what will work for you. What do the people who you like/admire use? That's a good starting point. In the end, there is no substitute for going shopping, trying plenty of stuff and making a considered, rather than on the spot decision.

Edited by Dan Dare
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Knowing what you don't want or need is certainly the best starting point as the opposite. It means that you've already tried that path...

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Get down to a few shops and give some basses a try.  I have had a few Fenders and they just didn't suit me.  Completely happy with Sandberg now.  And trying to control/use an Ovation Magnum!

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Probably try a few new things out to see what floats your boat.

Personally, when not playing a Fender, I do like my Spectors. (P/J x 2 and P x 1)

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