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Bass Snobbery


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Generally with musical instruments, you get what you pay for. The snobbery issue applies in other fields. I do a lot of photography adn there's little to choose other than personal preference and ergonomics between the major DSLR brands (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji). Then you get the Leica owners... Nice kit, but stupidly priced.

 

Saxes have some similar issues. People go nuts and pay stupid money for 40 or 50 year old Selmer Mk.VI Yes, some of them have 'distinctive' sounds, but an awful lot of them are ergonomically poor and not special. The ergonomics and consistency of modern horns are much better than that of 'vintage' instruments, but people go nuts for the 'vintage' vibe.

 

I've tried some vintage horns like Conns, King Zephyrs etc (the ones I tried were from 1940s to 1960s). The ergonomics on all but one sucked. One stood out as good, the others I wouldn't touch.

 

Modern horns (Yamaha, Yanagisawa, Keilworth etc) are consistent, well made, and have much better ergonomics and are generally just much easier to play.      

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I buy some fairly expensive gear but I also own a secondhand MiM fender jazz flea that I love to bits.

I don’t buy the expensive gear through snobbery though, it’s because I can finally afford it. 
All those years dribbling over those out of reach basses and amps as a young player it’s nice to be able to finally see if they were worth the yearnings 😄

 

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5 hours ago, musicbassman said:

 

That is the greatest thing ever !       😁👍

 

Thanks. It's fun when someone says "Nice sounding p bass" and then looks at the decal. Usually gets a smile. I made it with good parts and it actually does the Jamerson thang perfectly with a set of worn out La Bellas. I originally intended to put a 'Hotpoint' or 'Electrolux' logo on it (it is an electrical appliance after all. You can get decals from firms who supply repairers/refurbishers), but the body is red, so the red Dinky logo matched it better. If I build another, it will be a Hotpoint 😁.

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9 minutes ago, zbd1960 said:

 

Saxes have some similar issues. People go nuts and pay stupid money for 40 or 50 year old Selmer Mk.VI Yes, some of them have 'distinctive' sounds, but an awful lot of them are ergonomically poor and not special. The ergonomics and consistency of modern horns are much better than that of 'vintage' instruments, but people go nuts for the 'vintage' vibe.

 

I've tried some vintage horns like Conns, King Zephyrs etc (the ones I tried were from 1940s to 1960s). The ergonomics on all but one sucked. One stood out as good, the others I wouldn't touch.

 

Modern horns (Yamaha, Yanagisawa, Keilworth etc) are consistent, well made, and have much better ergonomics and are generally just much easier to play.      

Do sax forums argue about “tone metal”?

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I loved it recently when the bass player of our support band complimented me on my tone. Bass aside, it was a Line6 G30 radio into a Zoom B3n into a Bugera BV1001M into a Nemesis 4x10 that I bought off here for £80 and refinished!

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Never judge a player for having a cheap bass.

Alice Coopers bassist uses an Epiphone Thunderbird 

Alvin from UK Subs uses a Squier Jazz as well as his Fender and he is fecking brilliant. 

Matt Freeman from Rancid has a Squier P bass as his backup and he's one of the best bassists in rock.

Mike Kerr from Royal Blood still uses his budget Gretsch Electromatic even now thar Fender give him their top kit.

Judge them by how they play, not what they play. Just because someone is skint doesn't mean they can't play and just because they've got the money for fancy kit doesn't mean they can shred.

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1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

Do sax forums argue about “tone metal”?

Yes.... 'vintage brass is better than...', 'solid silver bell/neck...', 'gold plated....', 'unlacquered...' (aka 'raw')....

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45 minutes ago, zbd1960 said:

Yes.... 'vintage brass is better than...', 'solid silver bell/neck...', 'gold plated....', 'unlacquered...' (aka 'raw')....

Wow 😯 

I mean that must get more scientific as metal alloys can be more consistent than wood? Or actually I don’t want to know do I?! 

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55 minutes ago, SteveXFR said:

 

Alvin from UK Subs uses a Squier Jazz as well as his Fender and he is fecking brilliant. 

 

Defo, and his cab is a fairly reasonably priced Fender Rumble 410 so no boutique gear there (has a GK amp of some sort, not the small ones). Apparently in his younger days it was T-Bird & SVT but sensible punker that he is he’s realised that gear is a bit beyond him now.

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1 minute ago, LukeFRC said:

Wow 😯 

I mean that must get more scientific as metal alloys can be more consistent than wood? Or actually I don’t want to know do I?! 

Nope! tbh the jury is mostly out on this one. There is perhaps some difference in the way that different metals respond to sound... but, like tone woods etc., it seems hard to actually measure and prove...

 

The part of the sax that is serious voodoo is mouthpieces and reeds....

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Very sad to hear people on the receiving end of snide comments at gigs. I wouldn't dream of commenting negatively on someone's gear, unless perhaps it was so bad it was out of tune and unreliable. 

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2 minutes ago, zbd1960 said:

The part of the sax that is serious voodoo is mouthpieces and reeds....

"I've got a 1968 clarinet reed that still has Acker Bilk's spit on it. Never clean it in case it takes away the mojo from my playing"

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13 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Defo, and his cab is a fairly reasonably priced Fender Rumble 410 so no boutique gear there (has a GK amp of some sort, not the small ones). Apparently in his younger days it was T-Bird & SVT but sensible punker that he is he’s realised that gear is a bit beyond him now.

 

Both his basses were stolen earlier this year so he's now just got the one Jazz bass. Sounded pretty good. The old dude can really play and looked like he was having a whale of a time .

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13 hours ago, Supernaut said:

How common is snobbery in the bass world?

 

How many of you scoff at someone who plays a Squier instead of a Fender?

 

Coming from two of my other interests, watches and whisky, where snobs are left, right and centre, how does the bass world compare? 

Chops are everything to me. I couldn't care less what anyone's bass says on the headstock.

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Maybe I'm guilty of a kind of snobbery. The reason I don't own a P bass is that they're so popular and I want something different. I'm starting to realise that a P bass would probably sound great for what I'm doing right now so maybe I will get one.

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Once missed out in an audition because I took a Status....apparently I was supposed to be using a Rick.

I’ve been using an Indonesian Squier Mustang as me main bass for the last 5 years, often get compliments on the sound although on rare occasion followed by ‘considering its not a proper Fender’ 😂

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Posted (edited)

About 35 years ago I was informed by an 'acquaintance', about 15 minutes before a gig, that I was "A s*** player with a s*** bass". He was absolutely right on both counts. Rather than chinning him I consoled myself with the fact that I'd been banging his Mrs for the past year and had indeed been doing just that, in his house, in his bed, that very afternoon.

Edited by Frank Blank
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18 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

About 35 years ago I was informed by an 'acquaintance', about 15 minutes before a gig, that I was "A s*** player with a s*** bass". He was absolutely right on both counts. Rather than chinning him I consoled myself with the fact that I'd been banging his Mrs for the past year and had indeed been doing just that, in his house, in his bed, that very afternoon.

 

What a charming recollection. Vicar, would you care to stay for another cup of tea, Frank's strolling down memory lane! 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, peteb said:

What a charming recollection. Vicar, would you care to stay for another cup of tea, Frank's strolling down memory lane! 


It was one of the very few times I was happily (and luckily) tongue tied by L'esprit de l'escalier. Vicars looking for beverages can jog on.

Edited by Frank Blank
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12 hours ago, chris_b said:

Gear is just stuff.

 

I listen to the player. If he's a good I don't care what he's playing.


👍

 

I suppose all this brand snobbery and inverted snobbery relating to basses is only like the brand snobbery around fashion and clothes which some people (ranging from children upwards in age) seem to be partially or totally obsessed with. 
 

 

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