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Did you ever find your perfect bass.?


bubinga5

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I'd say no.  Nothing's perfect.  All I've managed to do in around 15 years of playing is narrow down my parameters to

 

4 string only (the time to learn and get used to 5 string has come and gone)

No skinny necks

No Jazz basses

No short scales

Prefer humbucker over single coil

Prefer passive over active

Not upset if there's no bridge pickup (never use the thing anyway)

 

That allows me to separate out wheat from chaff, but still gives me plenty to go "ooh" at.  I kind of hope that I don't find a "perfect" bass, I quite enjoy shopping around and trying new stuff out even within the parameters specified.

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Just now, neepheid said:

I kind of hope that I don't find a "perfect" bass, I quite enjoy shopping around and trying new stuff out even within the parameters specified.

That has never stopped me buying more basses!

 

I mean, if I had the funds my 'perfect car' might be a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, but that would stop me buying the odd Lambo or a 66 Shelby GT!

 

Owning the perfect bass won't cure the lust to build the perfect collection! :)

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6 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

That has never stopped me buying more basses!

 

I mean, if I had the funds my 'perfect car' might be a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, but that would stop me buying the odd Lambo or a 66 Shelby GT!

 

Owning the perfect bass won't cure the lust to build the perfect collection! :)

This.

 

I bought my “perfect” bass in 1993. It was only about the fifth bass I’d bought at the time. Since then I’ve probably had another 50 or so, all but 3 of which have now gone. 

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7 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

That has never stopped me buying more basses!

 

I mean, if I had the funds my 'perfect car' might be a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, but that would stop me buying the odd Lambo or a 66 Shelby GT!

 

Owning the perfect bass won't cure the lust to build the perfect collection! :)

 

A fair point.  But even that refinement of parameters which I outlined has curbed my bass wanderlust significantly.

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1 minute ago, neepheid said:

 

A fair point.  But even that refinement of parameters which I outlined has curbed my bass wanderlust significantly.

Likewise. 

 

My bass parameters are extremely specific too, but there's still enough that fit the bill out there for me to make the odd purchase and for the collection to grow! 

 

My parameters would be:

 

6 or more stings

Through/set neck

Active pickups 

Above 16.5mm spacing, below 19mm spacing

30.5" to 34" only

Not a painted body

 

That narrows it down to about 0.01% of the market, but the collection still grows every now and then.

 

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I think the perfect instrument has to grow on you. I bought a l2000 tribute thinking, at the time, it would be a great workhorse, but we never quite got along. This has happened to me a couple of times. But, the ones I count on have never impressed me that much at first glance.Plus, I am convinced that you have to gig with a bass under different circumstances (pop, rock, country, pit work) to really know what you’ve got.

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8 minutes ago, dclaassen said:

I think the perfect instrument has to grow on you. I bought a l2000 tribute thinking, at the time, it would be a great workhorse, but we never quite got along. This has happened to me a couple of times. But, the ones I count on have never impressed me that much at first glance.Plus, I am convinced that you have to gig with a bass under different circumstances (pop, rock, country, pit work) to really know what you’ve got.

Also, what you imagine might be your dream bass may turn out to be anything but once you've had one. 

A Rickenbacker 4001 was my dream bass when I started playing. When I actually got one I couldn't have been more disappointed.

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1 hour ago, dclaassen said:

I think the perfect instrument has to grow on you. I bought a l2000 tribute thinking, at the time, it would be a great workhorse, but we never quite got along. This has happened to me a couple of times. But, the ones I count on have never impressed me that much at first glance.Plus, I am convinced that you have to gig with a bass under different circumstances (pop, rock, country, pit work) to really know what you’ve got.

My “perfect” bass (my Fireglo ‘72 4001) was perfect from the moment I picked it up. I’d played probably thousands of basses by that point , not least having spent my Uni years forever down Wapping in the Bass Centre, but the moment I played the first note I knew it was easily the best - for me, YMMV - that I’d ever played. I couldn’t afford it at the time so assumed it would remain nothing but a treasured memory, but when I went back a year later to buy a new amp it was still there and, even better, was on sale. Luckily I’d taken my then-current bass with me (a ‘76 4001) so I could do a direct comparison and see whether I was imagining it. I wasn’t. It was night and day. I didn’t buy an amp, I bought the bass, obviously. 😂 The ‘76 didn’t last long after that, that was replaced by an ‘88 Pedulla MVP. 
 

I guess the fact that my “perfect bass” lasted a year in Manchester’s then-main guitar shop before being put on sale means it wasn’t perfect for others, but that’s fine by me. 😉

Edited by 4000
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1 hour ago, RhysP said:

Also, what you imagine might be your dream bass may turn out to be anything but once you've had one. 

A Rickenbacker 4001 was my dream bass when I started playing. When I actually got one I couldn't have been more disappointed.

 

12 minutes ago, 4000 said:

My “perfect” bass (my Fireglo ‘72 4001) was perfect from the moment I picked it up. I’d played probably thousands of basses by that point , not least having spent my Uni years forever down Wapping in the Bass Centre, but the moment I played the first note I knew it was easily the best - for me, YMMV - that I’d ever played. I couldn’t afford it at the time so assumed it would remain nothing but a treasured memory, but when I went back a year later to buy a new amp it was still there and, even better, was on sale. Luckily I’d taken my then-current bass with me (a ‘76 4001) so I could do a direct comparison and see whether I was imagining it. I wasn’t. It was night and day. I didn’t buy an amp, I bought the bass, obviously. 😂 The ‘76 didn’t last long after that, that was replaced by an ‘88 Pedulla MVP. 

 

Well, there y'go; you can't please all of the folks all of the time!

 

Me, I've bought 9 Rics in my time and I've only sold one.

 

I've got a nice '72 FG too...

 

12RjvVC.jpg

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14 minutes ago, prowla said:

 

 

Well, there y'go; you can't please all of the folks all of the time!

 

Me, I've bought 9 Rics in my time and I've only sold one.

 

I've got a nice '72 FG too...

 

12RjvVC.jpg

I’ve had about 20-odd and only kept 2 (both ‘72s). My Fireglo is Feb, pre-skunk. There are others I would have kept if funds had allowed, but only about 3 or 4. Probably my 8 string, my ‘72 and ‘73 4000s, and I’d have back my 4004. All my Rics been vastly different, only the 2 x CSs were really similar.  
 

And just to prove it’s such a personal thing, the friend who bought my ‘76 prefers it to my ‘72. 

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1 hour ago, prowla said:

 

 

Well, there y'go; you can't please all of the folks all of the time!

 

Me, I've bought 9 Rics in my time and I've only sold one.

 

I've got a nice '72 FG too...

 

12RjvVC.jpg

Out of the Ricks I owned my early 70s checkerboard/horseshoe/toaster one was the worst.

An absolute dog of a bass.

Swapped it for a Wal.

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2 hours ago, NancyJohnson said:

My two Lulls are pretty much the one/two shop stop.  I've been through so much kit over the years, I figure these will be with me until I cark it, even if they're just on stands reminding me of glories that could have been.

 

1881299596_320200420_184228.thumb.jpg.20b468d4bc7e780b2f9223fbd4cee420.jpg2_20200420_184323.thumb.jpg.548a12b78280c60e4a3c3c7906eb1dcb.jpg

Man, these look killer 🤩

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5 hours ago, RhysP said:

Out of the Ricks I owned my early 70s checkerboard/horseshoe/toaster one was the worst.

An absolute dog of a bass.

Swapped it for a Wal.

Wouldn’t swap mine for every Wal ever made. 😉

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The last five years or so have been quite transformative for me in many ways but especially in my bass tastes. 
 

For the longest time I was playing my Vigier bass, and found the modern sound perfect for what I was doing. That led to trying similar basses with a slightly more vintage vibe such as a few Smith basses. I also started to become interested in building a collection of the ‘trinity’ (P,J,MM) which has been great fun and opened my eyes to the spectrum I hadn’t been part of for quite a while. 
 

A P and J are just great to have in your arsenal and I enjoy having them for playing along with stuff where only a P or J will do. 
 

But the really interesting and semi surprising thing was the Musicman. I don’t know why it was such a surprise (or why I didn’t do it earlier) but the MM bass is the perfect coming together of everything rolled into one. It feels familiar as the neck is identical to my G&L, it’s got the classic stingray sound and the simplicity of a single pickup which sits where I am used to, placed similarly to my Vigier. It sounds modern but with a vintage vibe. 
 

I could gush on for a while but I think Stingrays are great basses, and this one in particular is perfect for me. Very unusual white pre eb with a dead flat neck that I’ve never had to touch!


And you’ve got to love a chunky slab body - and this one doesn’t weigh much. 

 

08433622-C914-4D1B-BC03-777AC16ECC7E.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, RhysP said:

I got rid of the Wal shortly afterwards too. Never seen what all the fuss is about them either. 

Well, just like the Rics, they vary a great deal and of course people like different things and have different requirements, which are always the most important points to consider. As stated elsewhere I’ve played several duffers and some really nice ones, and many at some point in between. But no instrument is going to be for everyone. 
 

To be fair, I had a checker bound, toaster-equipped ‘73 that was a dog too. I don’t generally like Rics after very early ‘73 up to the introduction of the 4003 all that much, although there are exceptions. There’s a ‘73 in the Gallery that I played and didn’t like at all; of course someone else may love it. And there are many 4003s I’ve not been keen on either. 
 

Was the horseshoe on yours a genuine ‘60s horseshoe or a reissue? Either way, it wouldn’t have been original to the bass if it was early ‘70s. 
 

 

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2 hours ago, 4000 said:

Well, just like the Rics, they vary a great deal and of course people like different things and have different requirements, which are always the most important points to consider. As stated elsewhere I’ve played several duffers and some really nice ones, and many at some point in between. But no instrument is going to be for everyone. 
 

To be fair, I had a checker bound, toaster-equipped ‘73 that was a dog too. I don’t generally like Rics after very early ‘73 up to the introduction of the 4003 all that much, although there are exceptions. There’s a ‘73 in the Gallery that I played and didn’t like at all; of course someone else may love it. And there are many 4003s I’ve not been keen on either. 
 

Was the horseshoe on yours a genuine ‘60s horseshoe or a reissue? Either way, it wouldn’t have been original to the bass if it was early ‘70s. 
 

 

It was all original, so the bass must have been older than I thought. I was never that knowledgable on all the Ric variants.

I really wanted to like the Ricks I've owned & played, but everything about them was wrong for me. It was like wearing the wrong size shoes on the wrong feet.

I still think they look lovely though.

Edited by RhysP
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10 hours ago, 4000 said:

Well, just like the Rics, they vary a great deal and of course people like different things and have different requirements, which are always the most important points to consider. As stated elsewhere I’ve played several duffers and some really nice ones, and many at some point in between. But no instrument is going to be for everyone. 
 

To be fair, I had a checker bound, toaster-equipped ‘73 that was a dog too. I don’t generally like Rics after very early ‘73 up to the introduction of the 4003 all that much, although there are exceptions. There’s a ‘73 in the Gallery that I played and didn’t like at all; of course someone else may love it. And there are many 4003s I’ve not been keen on either. 
 

Was the horseshoe on yours a genuine ‘60s horseshoe or a reissue? Either way, it wouldn’t have been original to the bass if it was early ‘70s. 
 

 

I guess I've been lucky with Rics; I have '64, '72, '78, '88. 2010 x2, 2012, and 2013 ones (4001, 4003, 4004 models) and I like them all; the one which is markedly different is the 2013, which has a noticeably thicker neck, but it was for a project with a whammy bar so I'm OK with that.

I also had one of the newer 5-strings, but I didn't really bond with it and found I preferred other 5-strings instead; it felt like a 4-string with an extra appendage rather than an integrated unit, so I sold it back to the person I bought it off.

8 hours ago, RhysP said:

It was all original, so the bass must have been older than I thought. I was never that knowledegable on all the Ric variants.

I really wanted to like the Ricks I've owned & played, but everything about them was wrong for me. It was like wearing the wrong size shoes on the wrong feet.

I still think they look lovely though.

I guess some of it is what you've become used to; a lot of folks seem to criticise the Ric for not being more Fender-like (just a generalisation, not saying that's you!), but it isn't and it shouldn't be, so the answer to that is to just buy a Fender! (Actually, I have more Fenders than Rics...)

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12 hours ago, RhysP said:

It was all original, so the bass must have been older than I thought. I was never that knowledgable on all the Ric variants.

I really wanted to like the Ricks I've owned & played, but everything about them was wrong for me. It was like wearing the wrong size shoes on the wrong feet.

I still think they look lovely though.

The genuine horseshoes stopped around ‘68 or ‘69 off the top of my head. If that was a genuine ‘60s one, that would be worth a lot of money now, dog or no. 
 

Well, that’s basses for you. 😂 I’m the same with Status and Fender Jazzes, amongst many others. Both are ergonomically and sonically horrible for me. As Prowla suggests, I do think some of it depends on what you’re used to. I learnt on a Ric, my first bass, so to me they feel ‘right’, whereas Fenders generally feel all wrong. If you started on something else then you may struggle to adapt. But then I have the same issue with Strats and Les Pauls. Assuming the weight is ok I find LPs really comfortable but not Strats, the opposite of what many would say. 

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3 hours ago, prowla said:

I guess I've been lucky with Rics; I have '64, '72, '78, '88. 2010 x2, 2012, and 2013 ones (4001, 4003, 4004 models) and I like them all; the one which is markedly different is the 2013, which has a noticeably thicker neck, but it was for a project with a whammy bar so I'm OK with that.

I also had one of the newer 5-strings, but I didn't really bond with it and found I preferred other 5-strings instead; it felt like a 4-string with an extra appendage rather than an integrated unit, so I sold it back to the person I bought it off.

I guess some of it is what you've become used to; a lot of folks seem to criticise the Ric for not being more Fender-like (just a generalisation, not saying that's you!), but it isn't and it shouldn't be, so the answer to that is to just buy a Fender! (Actually, I have more Fenders than Rics...)

Some people prefer the mid/late 70s basses, which typically have a narrower, rounder neck profile, but I prefer the wider, flatter feel of the ‘72s. I also don’t like the fatter body wings and I’m not a fan of the 1” neck high gain; I need a 1/2” toaster for my preferred sound. I tend to find the ‘73 onwards 4001 basses a bit nasal, personally. 

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41 minutes ago, 4000 said:

The genuine horseshoes stopped around ‘68 or ‘69 off the top of my head. If that was a genuine ‘60s one, that would be worth a lot of money now, dog or no. 
 

Well, that’s basses for you. 😂 I’m the same with Status and Fender Jazzes, amongst many others. Both are ergonomically and sonically horrible for me. As Prowla suggests, I do think some of it depends on what you’re used to. I learnt on a Ric, my first bass, so to me they feel ‘right’, whereas Fenders generally feel all wrong. If you started on something else then you may struggle to adapt. But then I have the same issue with Strats and Les Pauls. Assuming the weight is ok I find LPs really comfortable but not Strats, the opposite of what many would say. 

My mid 70s 4001 was my first "proper" bass, I bought it used when I was still in school.

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3 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Did you play anything prior?

Only a really crappy secondhand thing called a "Raver", which had a shorter scale than most guitars, and a Hondo II SD Curlee.

I did actually like the neck on that first Rick, I just found it very uncomfortable to play. I couldn't get on with the overall layout either.

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9 minutes ago, RhysP said:

Only a really crappy secondhand thing called a "Raver", which had a shorter scale than most guitars, and a Hondo II SD Curlee.

I did actually like the neck on that first Rick, I just found it very uncomfortable to play. I couldn't get on with the overall layout either.

Well like I say, nothing is for everyone. Everyone is physically different. That’s why I never really understand “which bass should I get?” threads. Try them and get the one you like! 
 

My first Ric was the first bass I’d ever played. Had never even touched one before that. I had to order it, so hadn’t played it before I bought it either. Common these days, but not so much then. 

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