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Dream basses that left you disappointed


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I wouldn't use the term 'Dream Bass' but when I get an idea in my head about a particular bass I get GAS something rotten, the only cure for which is to get one - however long it takes.  The worst example for me are

Westone Pantera Deluxe X790.  Bought it from the Netherlands and I picked it up.  As beautiful as it was, it was a shade too heavy and I didn't like the nasal tone.

Yamaha BB5000.  Bought from Japan.  Just didn't bond with it - too heavy, too.

Gibson Thunderbird - didn't look right, neck seemed very long.

I fear the latest victim is going to be the Guild B-301 that I drve half way up the country to collect.  Absolutely beautiful bass that sounds awesome but I don't find it comfortable to play.  Still unsure about selling it but at the moment it looks on the cards.

My basic problem is that none of the above are Precision basses.  I love Precision basses.  I love the tone, I love the look, I love the way they feel. 

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20 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

You know what you like and you like what you know. That can be a problem sometimes.

Yup.  I need to convince that part of my head that sees new shiny things (actually normally old battered things) and can't resist.

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1 hour ago, Paul S said:

I[…] I fear the latest victim is going to be the Guild B-301 that I drve half way up the country to collect.  Absolutely beautiful bass that sounds awesome but I don't find it comfortable to play.  Still unsure about selling it but at the moment it looks on the cards. […]

First expensive I bought was  new Guild B301 in the 70s, it was very disappointing. Sounded good but not easy to play  terrible neck dive. I should have bought a Precision - that's what I wanted back then but the curvaceous Guild seduced me!

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A 1970s Gibson Thunderbird I found in Denmark Street. When the guy came back and asked me what I thought about it. I was very disheartened and told him that it felt (and smelt) like a piece of old furniture. Gutted! 

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Easier to dream about the next bass than to knuckle down and practice and improve as a musician/player. As others have noted, you always end up sounding like you. IME the instrument is rarely the limiting factor 😁

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20 minutes ago, Gwilym said:

Easier to dream about the next bass than to knuckle down and practice and improve as a musician/player. As others have noted, you always end up sounding like you. IME the instrument is rarely the limiting factor 😁

You don't have to be a great driver to want to own a nice car.

You don't have to be a olympian to own a carbon fibre cycle.

Why should you buy designer clothes when the high street will do?

You don't have to leave a snarky comment when you could just scroll past. (yes, I see the irony)

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No idea why you would think it's a snarky comment, it wasn't intended that way, but the truth hurts sometimes maybe?

I didn't say you shouldn't buy what you like if you can afford it, and I have done myself, but my point is don't get hung up about it, the initial shine will fade pretty quickly no matter how good it is.

To continue with the bike analogy, as it's something close to my heart: enjoy riding the bike you have, riding more will make you a better, fitter and stronger cyclist, and when you do splash out on your dream carbon bike you will get even more out of it.😁

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A 1960s Jazz that was in Guitar Village in Farnham. I was itching to try it, but it was rougher than a badger's árse. It hasn't put me off wanting a YOB ('65) though.

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49 minutes ago, Gwilym said:

Easier to dream about the next bass than to knuckle down and practice and improve as a musician/player. As others have noted, you always end up sounding like you. IME the instrument is rarely the limiting factor 😁

Easier to chat on internet forums than knuckle down and practice and improve as a musician/player

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1 hour ago, Rich said:

A 1960s Jazz that was in Guitar Village in Farnham. I was itching to try it, but it was rougher than a badger's árse. It hasn't put me off wanting a YOB ('65) though.

I played the 65 Jazz bass they had in vintage and patronising, and I have to say it was one of the nicest jazz basses I had played. But you know, near 3k, you could get something decent for that!

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2 hours ago, Gwilym said:

No idea why you would think it's a snarky comment, it wasn't intended that way, but the truth hurts sometimes maybe?

I didn't say you shouldn't buy what you like if you can afford it, and I have done myself, but my point is don't get hung up about it, the initial shine will fade pretty quickly no matter how good it is.

To continue with the bike analogy, as it's something close to my heart: enjoy riding the bike you have, riding more will make you a better, fitter and stronger cyclist, and when you do splash out on your dream carbon bike you will get even more out of it.😁

No hurting here. I haven’t bought a bass for over ten years, I just play what I have and continue to play and develop to the best of my ability. There’s a lot to say for knowing your own bass inside our.

But for others, there’s plenty of people of people that the gear is a big aspect of their hobby - secondary to the playing. And that’s cool.

As for the bike thing - I also know plenty of people that own all the bikes and the Lycra... let clock up less than 50 miles a year. Again, bragging rights can be more of the appeal than the actual using of the stuff they have.

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On 03/06/2021 at 13:20, 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’ve never liked Wals.
 

Had a few in the shop over the years and I could never understand what the all the fuss was about. 

Uncomfortable to play, neck like a baseball bat and all middy nasal tones unless you fiddled with the controls for ages 🤦‍♂️

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3 hours ago, Gwilym said:

Easier to dream about the next bass than to knuckle down and practice and improve as a musician/player. As others have noted, you always end up sounding like you. IME the instrument is rarely the limiting factor 😁

It's about the joy of ownership. Owning a Hasselblad didn't make me a better photographer.

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9 minutes ago, bode said:

It's about the joy of ownership. Owning a Hasselblad didn't make me a better photographer.

And there's nothing wrong with that of course, been there and done it myself. It didn't make me a better bass player either. Even if you find a bass that fits you perfectly, and that bass is your dream bass, even then the joy of ownership will diminish eventually, and all that's left is you as a player, warts and all, or maybe no warts at all.

How many times have I seen threads about "I've found my dream awesome bass, keeper for life etc" only for it to show up for sale not long after because some new shiny thing caught their attention. Nothing wrong with that either, by the way, but perhaps the elusive dream bass is just a dream after all. 🙂

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3 hours ago, Gwilym said:

I didn't say you shouldn't buy what you like if you can afford it, and I have done myself, but my point is don't get hung up about it, the initial shine will fade pretty quickly no matter how good it is.

But there are instances where that simply isn’t true. When I found my favourite bass, my main ‘72 Rick in 1993 - having had no expectations prior to picking it up - I took it home over the moon. And every time I take it out of the case, all those years later, I feel the same about it. I’ve had many, many basses in the meantime, just out of curiosity, but I don’t expect to find another that makes me feel like that. You appear to be assuming everyone will feel the same over time. Why? 

As to the “you always sound like you” comment, you evidently haven’t heard me playing a Jazz. 😉 And as one of my band mates once commented, “I don’t know why you bring all these other basses to rehearsal, that one (my previously mentioned ‘72) always sounds the best”. 
 

 

Edited by 4000
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6 minutes ago, Gwilym said:

How many times have I seen threads about "I've found my dream awesome bass, keeper for life etc" only for it to show up for sale not long after because some new shiny thing caught their attention. Nothing wrong with that either, by the way, but perhaps the elusive dream bass is just a dream after all. 🙂

I agree there is something in this. I’ve been guilty of it myself. Positivity bias. Where I’ve tried something, loved it, taken it home, loved it for a month or two and then realised it’s not quite for me. There is certainly a difference between playing something for 30 mins in a shop and recording with it, playing in a live situation etc. I’m prone to wanting to convince myself my latest purchase is the holy grail when it might not actually be the case. IMO, YMMV, etc. 

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8 minutes ago, 4000 said:

But there are instances where that simply isn’t true. When I found my favourite bass, my main ‘72 Rick in 1993 - having had no expectations prior to picking it up - I took it home over the moon. And every time I take it out of the case, all those years later, I feel the same about it. I’ve had many, many basses in the meantime, just out of curiosity, but I don’t expect to find another that makes me feel like that. You appear to be assuming everyone will feel the same over time. Why? 

As to the “you always sound like you” comment, you evidently haven’t heard me playing a Jazz. 😉 And as one of my band mates once commented, “I don’t know why you bring all these other basses to rehearsal, that one (my previously mentioned ‘72) always sounds the best”. 
 

 

Not really assuming too much, just my opinion, and opinions are not facts 😁 great that you have found that rare unicorn ☺️

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1 minute ago, Gwilym said:

Not really assuming too much, just my opinion, and opinions are not facts 😁 great that you have found that rare unicorn ☺️

The downside is if anything ever happened to it, I honestly don’t know what I’d do…….

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11 minutes ago, CookPassBabtridge said:

There is certainly a difference between playing something for 30 mins in a shop and recording with it, playing in a live situation etc. 

Absolutely this.  Plenty of scorn poured on people who sell their bass a month or two after a glowing NBD thread or review, but it happens.  You can’t possibly truly know how you will get on with a bass past the honeymoon period until you’ve had it a bit, particularly when it’s a “dream”, you’ve planned it, bought it and want it to be perfect.  I’ve certainly owned basses that have sounded fantastic at home/in ears, but when I’ve took it to a rehearsal/gig, had it on the strap for hours and heard it in the room/mix, I’ve been turned completely off. 

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1 hour ago, Kev said:

Absolutely this.  Plenty of scorn poured on people who sell their bass a month or two after a glowing NBD thread or review, but it happens.  You can’t possibly truly know how you will get on with a bass past the honeymoon period until you’ve had it a bit, particularly when it’s a “dream”, you’ve planned it, bought it and want it to be perfect.  I’ve certainly owned basses that have sounded fantastic at home/in ears, but when I’ve took it to a rehearsal/gig, had it on the strap for hours and heard it in the room/mix, I’ve been turned completely off. 

Also the opposite can be true :)

I’ve seen a few people here saying they weren’t impressed with a Sadowsky but if there’s one bass that I’ve consistently found to ‘come alive’ at a gig, then it’s one of these. 

May not always sound great to some people just playing at home or in a store but they seem to sit in a band mix so well. 

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38 minutes ago, molan said:

Also the opposite can be true :)

I’ve seen a few people here saying they weren’t impressed with a Sadowsky but if there’s one bass that I’ve consistently found to ‘come alive’ at a gig, then it’s one of these. 

May not always sound great to some people just playing at home or in a store but they seem to sit in a band mix so well. 

Well, this is equally true of a P Bass, IMO.

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