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Dream basses that left you disappointed


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I had been lusting after a BTB Ibanez for years. They looked stunning, had the pickups I like, and already beign a big Ibanez fan I was certain I'd play one and fall instantly in love.

That was until I actually played one. The sound was lacking and weak, plus t didn't feel anything like the Ibanez I'd played in the past and loved. It felt bulky, heavy and just not the same as I'd imagined.

Needless to say I no longer want a BTB Ibanez.

Have you  had any basses that you'd wanted but just didn't fit the bill when you actually came to play them?

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Wal....Yes I know

I've had two. The first was a Pro which had many silly little problems including being badly set up, had crackly pots and numerous dings and dents the seller didn't mention. I sent it back and eventually got my money back. He later sold the bass here.

The second was a Custom which had fewer issues but I just didn't gel with. Neck profile was my main issue. Traded it with Nick Smith for a GA24 and a few other bits...I felt like I got the best of the deal.

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Usually the only disappointment is that I still sound like me.

I'm not sure how I understand how anyone can 'dream' of an Ibanez.... That's the car equivalent of dreaming of a Ford Mondeo. Even their posh ones, that's like dreaming of a high spec Mondeo.

Not a dream bass, but folks were raving about the Lakland Skylines as great bang for the buck, and I bought a really pretty, natural finish 5501. I liked everything about it, except for the fact that the neck was on the pi55. The dots got progressively more misaligned with the A string as you got further up the neck. I looked around and found that every other example was like that, jeez... sort your jig out! It bugged me, so it had to go, shame.

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1 minute ago, NickD said:

I'm not sure how I understand how anyone can 'dream' of an Ibanez.... That's the car equivalent of dreaming of a Ford Mondeo. Even their posh ones, that's like dreaming of a high spec Mondeo.

Nothing wrong with dreaming about an Ibanez, it's all subjective. Also nothing wrong with dreaming about a Mondeo either. 

It's all about perspective. 

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1 hour ago, Sarah5string said:

I had been lusting after a BTB Ibanez for years. They looked stunning, had the pickups I like, and already beign a big Ibanez fan I was certain I'd play one and fall instantly in love.

That was until I actually played one. The sound was lacking and weak, plus t didn't feel anything like the Ibanez I'd played in the past and loved. It felt bulky, heavy and just not the same as I'd imagined.

Needless to say I no longer want a BTB Ibanez.

Have you  had any basses that you'd wanted but just didn't fit the bill when you actually came to play them?

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Yeah BTB a beast onto themselves. They are absolutely nothing like the SR range. 

Possibly worth looking at the SR1805, it's a fantastic instrument. 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Crawford13 said:

Yeah BTB a beast onto themselves. They are absolutely nothing like the SR range. 

Possibly worth looking at the SR1805, it's a fantastic instrument. 

Yeah, loved my SR 1825 (which is a more recent replacement of the 1805 model Crawford mentioned). Was one of my two goto gigging basses pre lockdown. And its place in my herd has only very recently been "trumped" by a couple of later acquisitions. 

I'd never have described it as my "dream" bass. But it's always been a superb one. 

Edited by Al Krow
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13 minutes ago, NickD said:

I'm not sure how I understand how anyone can 'dream' of an Ibanez.... That's the car equivalent of dreaming of a Ford Mondeo. Even their posh ones, that's like dreaming of a high spec Mondeo.

What??  Fantastic that you live such a privileged life, but perhaps a £1k or so investment on a bass is a lot of money for some people?

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

Wal....Yes I know

I've had two. The first was a Pro which had many silly little problems including being badly set up, had crackly pots and numerous dings and dents the seller didn't mention. I sent it back and eventually got my money back. He later sold the bass here.

The second was a Custom which had fewer issues but I just didn't gel with. Neck profile was my main issue. Traded it with Nick Smith for a GA24 and a few other bits...I felt like I got the best of the deal.

I had a similar experience.  Always dreamed of owning a Wal, the perfect tone in my head.  Managed to get hold of one, the tone was wonderful...but everything else just didn't work.  Neck shape, pickup shape, ergonomics, none of it.  Shame, if I'd have hung on to it, i'd have got a few grand more selling it now...

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Warwick Streamer Stage 1 for me.

Had literally wanted one for 15 years. Loved the aesthetics, and the tone I’d heard on countless recordings. When I got hold of one it was far too bright for my liking and confirmed that the p/j configuration just wasn’t for me. 

I lost a few quid on it as Warwick resale values are poor, but still grateful for the experience as I’m no longer wondering ‘what if’ and have been able to move on!

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Posted (edited)

Every Musicman Stingray that I’ve had. They look great, play great, are really comfortable to wear/play but after the initial buzz I realise that I just don’t like the sound, or at least the sound when I’m playing them. When others play them I think they sound awesome but I’m so Precision ingrained any bass in my hands other than a Precision just doesn’t sound right to me. Now if a Stingray sounded exactly like a Precision, well I’d be in bass heaven as the ergonomics & fit are better for me.

Edited by Lozz196
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

Every Musicman Stingray that I’ve had. They look great, play great, are really comfortable to wear/play but after the initial buzz I realise that I just don’t like the sound, or at least the sound when I’m playing them. When others play them I think they sound awesome but I’m so Precision ingrained any bass in my hands other than a Precision just doesn’t sound right to me. Now if a Stingray sounded exactly like a Precision, well I’d be in bass heaven as the ergonomics & fit are better for me.

Funnily enough, I'm the complete opposite with Stingrays. I've had three and every time I sell one, I find myself buying another. 

The first I got as part of a trade and didn't really intend to keep it. I used it for a year or so (mainly as a spare), then sold it on. As soon as I did I missed it and looked for another. The second one came in a swap for a Fender Jazz and I meant to keep it, but I needed a 35" five string for a project and didn't have the cash at the time, so I sold it to fund the new fiver. The one I have now was bought from a mate in the northeast, after I admired it at a gig and asked him to give me first refusal if he ever were to sell it. Eventually, he decided to move it on and let me have it for a great price. I have every intention of keeping it! 

In some ways a Stingray is a bit like a Precision, in that no other bass sounds like remotely like it. 

Edited by peteb
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27 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

It was a Sadowsky. On paper it was perfect.

When I played it - no better than a common jazz. Up until that point it had been on my bucket list.

Horses for courses 🙂 .... Sadowsky wasn't really on my wanted list. I liked the look of the smaller bodies 24 fret ones but didn't have any real high expectations of it sounding much different to a normal jazz.......then I tried one in Guitar Centre in the USA and immediately put it on the list 🙂

As far as lusting after basses and then being dissapointed there's a couple. A Wal was on my list for 25+ years and I eventually managed to get a Mk3 5 string. Fit, finish, function was great but for some reason I struggled with getting the sound I wanted. I hear others play them and go wow.....I hear myself.....meh! On the other hand I did have a Pedulla Pentabuzz which was perfect apart from it was "out of tune" all over the neck (maybe that was me....lol). Spector....love the shape / finishes etc and keep trying them in shops (you remember them?) but for some reason they don't seem to fit me right. Same with the BTB the OP mentioned, tried one and decided it's not for me.

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33 minutes ago, Kev said:

What??  Fantastic that you live such a privileged life, but perhaps a £1k or so investment on a bass is a lot of money for some people?

Bit of an overreaction no?... and a fairly stupid assumption to boot, nicely interpreted there!

She said dream bass, she also didn't say she'd bought it. I'm guessing most people, myself included, haven't been in a position to buy their dream bass. But given it's a dream, I'm not going to dream about something perfectly competent, when there are classics and works of art, and phonomenal sounding basses out there.  Guess people have different dreams. 🙄

There's a Ibanez in the bedroom (the Mrs' old SR300), it's a great bass, but y'know... Fodera, Sadowsky, Ritter, Spector, ACG, Wal.... 

And I've had a Mondeo.... But I still dream of a Noble, or a Shelby Mustang GT.... How terribly privileged of me.

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From the age of 15-20, I checked the date of every Ric 4001 to see if it matched my month and year of birth. Then a guy I was playing with said he’d buy me a Ric, I chose from 5 or 6, doing a sound test before looking at the date. I narrowed it to two, and found one had my birth dates...

... but, the slight difference in scale and position to my other basses meant I was fluffing the odd notes at gigs when not looking at the board. And the playing position was all wrong for me  

Dream bass no more. 

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I somehow convinced myself recently than an 80s Aria SB would be my dream bass. I got an Aria Pro II SB ELITE 1 from my year of birth. It was knackered to put it bluntly. A lot of time, stress and no little cash went in to getting it in to a gig ready machine and.... Well, any fretted bass I have just doesn't compare to my US Stingray. I've got too many basses and the Aria needs to be loved and appreciated by someone else. There's nothing wrong with it, it feels good, it sounds fantastic - I just can't help bashing out "poison arrow" by ABC or any Duran Duran song every time I pick it up but... Its not Stingray-good. The bar is set pretty high now. 

So my dream bass returns to the Fender double Ps from the 80s. I saw a blue one with gold hardware in my local music shop in my teens and could only dream of owning one. Now, even more so, I bet there was hardly ever any lefties when new and even fewer now. 

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Another one for Sadowski, thought it was well built, sounded great, didn't think it was anything really special.

Had a Wal Pro 1 fretless, loved it, couldn't get on with the series 2 5 string, not that I've ever owned a series 2 5 string mind...

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Mine was the Yamaha Attitude. I was properly into shred stuff when I was younger and that was The One. Tried it and it just didn't fit with me. 

Next was the Ken Smith - neck was fantastic but again I didn't get that feeling. Part of it is possibly because those two basses are pretty complex and need more time than just trying in a shop/trying a friend's bass. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

Every Musicman Stingray that I’ve had. They look great, play great, are really comfortable to wear/play but after the initial buzz I realise that I just don’t like the sound, or at least the sound when I’m playing them. When others play them I think they sound awesome but I’m so Precision ingrained any bass in my hands other than a Precision just doesn’t sound right to me. Now if a Stingray sounded exactly like a Precision, well I’d be in bass heaven as the ergonomics & fit are better for me.

Yup. StingRay's. Owned 2. First was was a real joy to play, it just sounded awful. The second looked amazing, but sounded worse than the first.

Bizarrely, an Aria Pro II SB1000. Used to gaze at them in awe in the 80's, had a few of the other SB range, but when I finally gor my hands on an SB1000, it was a massive disappointment soundwise. Beautiful to play.

Edited by Skybone
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2 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

Every Musicman Stingray that I’ve had. They look great, play great, are really comfortable to wear/play but after the initial buzz I realise that I just don’t like the sound, or at least the sound when I’m playing them. When others play them I think they sound awesome but I’m so Precision ingrained any bass in my hands other than a Precision just doesn’t sound right to me. Now if a Stingray sounded exactly like a Precision, well I’d be in bass heaven as the ergonomics & fit are better for me.

I'm kind of going through that at the moment. I had one back in the mid 80s but am so dyed-in-the-wool Precision minded that I found the string tension where I plucked the string a bit disconcerting (the MM pickup being closer to the bridge). The current Sub has a Retrovibe eq and will get an Aguilar pickup and (when I pluck up courage) a fretless neck of some make. The aim is to have something to just noodle on without spending (or wasting) a fortune.

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