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Frank Blank

Basses For Home, Basses For Live

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Morning. I’m just mulling over the thought that a lot of you have basses you play at home and other basses you use live, I hadn’t really thought about this until relatively recently. I have two Rob Allen basses, one was purchased during lockdown but the original one has been out to gig with me on many occasions. Both have been modified and I’m just thinking if someone sat on one or nicked it I’d be in schtook, to replace one (and modify it) would cost around £2300. So I’m thinking of getting a couple of cheap(er) basses to use live and keep the RA basses at home for writing/rehearsing, mind you it will be difficult to find anything similar, short scale, light, piezo. There’s a few full scale options but would rather short, anyone have any suggestions?

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7 hours ago, Frank Blank said:

I’m just thinking if someone sat on one or nicked it I’d be in schtook, to replace one (and modify it) would cost around £2300.

Can you take out insurance?

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24 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

Can you take out insurance?

I’d never really considered it before. Replacing them would take aeons anyway because RA doesn’t make instruments to order anymore so I’d just have to wait until he made one to my liking.

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The Shuker Artist has a similar vibe to an MB-2. Comes in a variety of different configurations. https://shukerguitars.co.uk/basses/shuker-artist-bass

Also the original Godin Acoustibass with a double cutaway, which is often called a poor man's RA.

Not too many of either of these around but they do come up for sale from time to time.

On the short scale front, I've never come across anything that looks or sounds quite like an RA Mouse. I loved mine but no longer have it - dang!

847761027_ShukerArtist.jpg.2adbcb20709adfc27eafc1e9e63f2238.jpg

1609039224_GodinAcoustibass.jpg.0f33a9d010d56515faa18b5be5e68634.jpg

Edited by ikay
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It raises a good question. At what price level do you deem an instrument just to valuable to risk out in live situations? 

Then can you justify to yourself, having an expensive instrument you just play with indoors? 

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1 minute ago, Jason Karloff said:

It raises a good question. At what price level do you deem an instrument just to valuable to risk out in live situations? 

Then can you justify to yourself, having an expensive instrument you just play with indoors? 

I suppose under 1k then I wouldn’t worry too much. I made an exception with the Rob Allen basses because they are just perfect for me and the only basses I reach for when I’m writing.

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19 minutes ago, ikay said:

The Shuker Artist has a similar vibe to an MB-2. Comes in a variety of different configurations. https://shukerguitars.co.uk/basses/shuker-artist-bass

I’ve played a Shuker Artist, lovely basses, butI prefer the RAs. I would have the same problem as they are expensive basses. I love the MB-2 but same issue really.

19 minutes ago, ikay said:

Also the original Godin Acoustibass with a double cutaway, which is often called a poor man's RA.

Not too many of either of these around but they do come up for sale from time to time.

I had a Godin Ultra A4 but it was heavier than Saturn and ridiculously long (34” scale but the bridge was quite far forward so overall just a long bass). Because of that experience I’ve never really considered the earlier version, I’ll have to look into it, try one out.

19 minutes ago, ikay said:

On the short scale front, I've never come across anything that looks or sounds quite like an RA Mouse. I loved mine but no longer have it - dang!

Was it a fretless?

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1 hour ago, Frank Blank said:

Was it a fretless?

Yes, lined fretless. The most amazingly resonant and 'alive' bass I've ever played.

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I have two basses (Precision & Jazz) for home use, and the same again for live. They’re all worth the same amount, it’s just that my home use Precision has too much sentimental value to take out, and I do like to only use my band basses with the band to keep the strings as fresh as possible. Daft and expensive method, but it suits me doing it this way.

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I have 2 basses and I’d use them on any gig. All my basses are bought to gig. That’s the only reason I own them. If a gig was rough enough to cause me to worry about my gear, I’d be more worried about my safety and probably wouldn’t be doing those gigs anyway. When my bass isn’t being played I’ll store it in the bag at the back of the stage, behind the gear. 

I’ll mostly use the P bass at home, because it sounds better at low volume.

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How about modifying a Hofner Club with a contact pickup or an undersaddle piezo? With the right strings and setup that might be something worth experimenting with for pretty low cost.

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3 minutes ago, ikay said:

How about modifying a Hofner Club with a contact pickup or an undersaddle piezo? With the right strings and setup that might be something worth experimenting with for pretty low cost.

I've been considering a Hofner, it's next on my list to try so thanks for the idea.

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I have an HCT Club which I really enjoy playing. The staple pickups and pickup spacing give it a quintessentially Hofner vibe so it's quite a different animal to the Mouse, but I think a piezo would bring out a whole other side to it's character. Here's a comparison pic with the bridge and nut aligned. Which shows up how compact the Mouse is!

2012097565_HofnerClubvsRobAllenMouse.thumb.jpg.e65acea212f4b10165a30eed32e647ee.jpg

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4 hours ago, chris_b said:

I have 2 basses and I’d use them on any gig. All my basses are bought to gig. That’s the only reason I own them. If a gig was rough enough to cause me to worry about my gear, I’d be more worried about my safety and probably wouldn’t be doing those gigs anyway. When my bass isn’t being played I’ll store it in the bag at the back of the stage, behind the gear. 

I’ll mostly use the P bass at home, because it sounds better at low volume.

Absolutely - my approach too. My preferred gigging basses are my two Wals, always have been and they've been through all sorts of venue with me, big and small, salubrious and dodgy. I might take along one of my other basses instead of one of the Wals but only because I fancied playing it, not because I'm worried about damaging or losing the other ones.

32636092_MarkBassandWals.thumb.jpg.a50a9ea770010b4f9cd12bfc1371f38d.jpg

Only one I don't use live is a custom acoustic but only because it was built for home use, doesn't have a case, doesn't have a pickup and is now probably too fragile for gigging.

82E5CDB5-C358-4A54-9AD3-17B53B505ACD.jpeg.50937b002d8f3edf199da8b8d4f6df25.jpeg

8F916EAE-F7CD-4C60-B91B-875D1443ECF4.jpeg.d561fd09d851bedf1dd2ad65667699aa.jpeg

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On 28/01/2021 at 12:32, Frank Blank said:

I've been considering a Hofner, it's next on my list to try so thanks for the idea.

If want to dip your toe, Harley Benton do a fretless violin bass 

There's a B stock one here.

https://m.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_beatbass_fl_vs_vintage_b_stock.htm

It's Thomann though so difficult to accurately predict the final price on delivery.

If nothing else you could find out, relatively cheaply, whether a violin bass feels 'right' for you?

Edit: there's a nice demo on the above page that I can't work out how to link to.

 

Edited by Cato
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Back in the day I had three basses and used them all live possibly just for pose value 🙂

When covid allows I need to make sure all my basses get gigged at least once each!

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I'd just insure them properly.

No point in owning lovely things and then not using them fully.

Proper insurance through Allianz or New Moon isn't expensive and is designed for gigging musicians with theft from cars and venues included.

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Following a nerve-wracking experience trying to keep an eye on an extremely-expensive-to-replace bass in a packed London venue on a multi-band night, I did two things; made sure my basses are fully insured (easier now I’m down to three) and also had myself a far, far cheaper ‘replica’ (it doesn’t actually sound that much like, but that’s another story) of my favourite bass made for those few gigs where I really would sweat, e.g. festivals where we have to stay over (remember them?).

99% of the time I’m happy to use any of my basses live though; that’s what I bought them for, although I’ll admit my absolute favourite stays home a bit more than the others.

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At home it is a Gibson LesPaul Doublecut , rootbeer , from 2006 . Thinned the neck to Geddy Lee specs . My at home 5 string is a Yamaha 435 . I would not use either in public because the Gibson is terrible standing and the Yamaha screams / cheap / . In public its a Pbass and MarcusMiller 5 , both much harder to play .

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I have no issue playing any of my basses, no matter where. It has nothing to do with the price.

Why is a gig different from any other playing situation? My cats - or them others living in my house - could drop a bass from the sofa, the neck could be warped, if the instruments are in the direct sunlight... meteorites, fire, what else?

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I can see your predicament. Those RA basses aren’t unique, but pretty close of you’ve modified them. Personally, I have insurance but I use a £300 bass for stuff like open mics or jazz sessions. It’s just easier if I enjoy a drink or whatever.

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18 hours ago, itu said:

I have no issue playing any of my basses, no matter where. It has nothing to do with the price. 

Like buying a car and keeping it in the garage all the time. 

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9 minutes ago, Supernaut said:

Like buying a car and keeping it in the garage all the time. 

The equivalent to never taking a car out of the garage would be never taking the bass out of its case. 

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1 minute ago, Ricky Rioli said:

The equivalent to never taking a car out of the garage would be never taking the bass out of its case. 

Guess that one hour forward really got to you this morning 😂

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Supernaut said:

Like buying a car and keeping it in the garage all the time. 

I did know a guy who bought a brand new TVR Griffith 500. It was his pride and joy and he'd only drive it if he wasn't going to park it. So definitely no car parks. After about 6 months he was out for a drive, hit some ice on a country road, flew through a hedge and rolled over in a ploughed field! He was OK, but (cruel, I know) oh how we laughed at work!!

Edited by chris_b
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