Choose three basses

OK, I thought I'd do something different for my 1500th post. Supposing your box on Deal or No Deal contained the big money all along and you went to the wire. Your significant other (wife, husband, cat, Domino's Pizza) says you can spend what you like but no more than three planks cluttering up the house. What'd you go for, and why? Brand new or vintage. Here are mine:

1) Lakland 55-94

although the retro in me would want the scratchplate "Classic" in Lake Placid Blue and I'd rather have the genuine Stingray 5 pup over the Bartolini. Two of my favourite pups (the MM and the Jazz neck) in one bass and I like how Lakland make 5-strings that don't have a neck width that Cessnas could take off from.

2) Godlyke Deity 10
An 8-string sounds like fun, but I'd miss the low B so a quick visit to Godlyke called for. I'm a lefty but, seeing as they charge >$3000 and don't use a CNC, I'm sure they can accomodate me.

3) '72 - '73 Fender Telecaster Bass

Did they ever make a lefty? Bet they didn't, but I suppose I could get Custom Shop to do me one and, while they're at it, fit piezo saddles and the Graphtech preamp (I can live without the tone knob). What a strange combo that would be, the raspiest bass humbucker ever blended with acoustic?

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That's the Issue, I can Flobble a long-scale if I'm not careful but a combination of lowered action and not going through a compressor is slowly transforming my plucking hand...

And randomly, on Friday, (this one time, at band camp...) I started playing finger-style, although 4-5 mins of straight 8ths was all my little digits could cope with, they retired soon after and refused to move in any rythmical way.

But yeah, I want to try that short-scale hitting-deep-mud-with-a-big-stick sound

Oh, and thatmust be an absolute bitch to play, the over head shot shows the G just about over the board, then swap to the 3/4 side shot, that must have an action of 10mm at least!

I like the headstock shot, 'look this really is, a no-name peice of crud' At least they din't go down the 'it's old so Buy-it-now-for-£1000 route

:lol: , some do. It surprises me what some of those '80s Kays and suchlike will fetch. I mean, there's nostalgia but who gets nostalgic about the Nit Nurse? Worst bass ever by a continent; binned somewhere, forgotten and hopefully never to be revisited. My "Ric" had exactly the same bridge cover. Screw down the middle and a non-fire resistant foam mute. The likelihood of me playing that thing so fast as to burn synthetics was a non-issue anyway.

Are you mostly a plecker, Tim? I had you down as a more "classic" bass player. I'm an awful fingerer, I really am. I use the technique more now with the change in music style but, if I'm honest, I rake and generally side-step doing it properly. I once had to learn that Cass Lewis line properly and it nearly killed me. The great thing about a forum is that I could hide my identity and pretend I'm a 4-string fretboard killer, but the reality is I am definitely not. Just good enough to impress guitarists :lol:

Always been purely plec but like I say I'm experimenting with everything at the minute. I've always played very rythmically, not much happening with the fretting hand but lots of muting, rests, ghosts, off-the-beat (intentionally :lol: ) stuff with my picking hand. I've never been that good at bass really but getting much better now since I conciously decided to learn and practice. Writing is coming together to, now that it's backed up with a tiny bit of theory, got me over the 4/4 root note approach at least.

Slight change of plan: a Gibson SG-Z

In 'Ebony' of course.

Although I don't like the lack of a neck p-up...maybe go for an EB-3 after all as I malnly use the neck p-up and just add a bit of bridge for punch. Thus rendering this post obsolete as I've already said I like the EB-3, act like I'm not here.

:shock: , I'm surprised that Gibson tried four years of flogging that thing. OK, it's an SG body, which is nice, but everything else is all wrong, wrong, wrong. As you mention, the two soaps are too close together (for the sake of a pretty scratchplate?), but Gibson are by no means the only maker to stick two soaps in like that. From my own experience, it makes pup selection a waste of time; the tonal difference is minimal. How come Leo Fender is one of the few people to realize there is a science to pup placement?

I'm not sure I see the point of individual wiring switches. Choose one pup to have a noticeably weedier output? Or one of them to hum and the other doesn't? Much better to have a global serial/parallel/single flicker and the SC choice could use the two pups opposite polarity coils to maintain hum cancelling. G+L's L2500 (a runner-up for my top three) makes much better use of the mini-throwers.

The single biggest reason I wouldn't have the SG-Z, though, is its complete lack of balance. You can't just stick a bass neck on a guitar-sized body and expect it to work. I found this out when I toyed with a P neck to a Jazzmaster style of body. Not only does it look odd (look again at the SG-Z; it just looks odd) but all nicely balancing basses have the upper strap horn roughly where the 12th fret is. Look at a Precision, Jazz and countless others and you'll see. Now, this SG-z has the upper horn about where the 17th fret is. Worse, the strap button is on the back of the neck about where the 20th is (despite the Gibson press release, this is a 20-fret bass).

The Thunderbird is a bit head-heavy, but this one must smack the headstock on the stage floor as soon as released by the fretting hand. How fast can you play if your hand is effectively supporting the weight of the neck? I also think the cosmetic issues of the hardware are not great. Black mini-keys on a SG?

If any SG-z owner looks in and reads this, I'd be interested in your comments. I've never played one, so I could be completely wrong. It doesn't look right, though. It looks like a design/marketing dept idea that just wasn't thought through.

Aesthetically I have to disagree, I love the look of all the SG style basses but totally agree on the issue of balance I have a bass with that shape of body and the strap button right by the neckplate, hardly ever played it for that very reason.

I really don't like the look of a long top horn but mine does look (not to mention hang/pivot etc) much better since I put the strap button on the front of the horn, I also moved the rear strap button up about 3" to the the begining of the 'shoulder' of the body, much more comfortable now.

Another good arguement for not buying prestige or vintage, you wouldn't mod them with a Black and Decker would you?!

Glad to report we're not disagreeing, Tim :)

I think the SG body looks great. I was just arguing that this 34.5" scale neck (the EB, as you know, is 30.5") throws all the proportions out, and the balance goes with it. As you've found, relocating strap buttons on the butt and to the top horn can sort this out. IIRC, it used to be possible to buy some strap button extender for Thunderbird basses. An ugly rod of steel about 3" long. It avoided drilling any holes, but looked about as cool as those fluorescent yellow shoulder straps for motorcyclists :lol:

No, I insist, we ARE disagreeing...I like the SG body with the long neck, it looks kick-ass, until you stand up and snap the headstock off on the floor!

The mods mentioned were actually made to my Aria...the SG shaped bass sacrificed it's inards to a school project, although I still fantasise about what it would sould like with some decent electrics plonked in there as it looks the B's

I've seen those extender thingys...hmm it's a bit like admitting your design doesn't work practically, despite looking pretty (trust me, I've been there!)

8) Boogieman here. I have ny favorite 3 basses, 1951 ( original) P Bass, 1974 Alembic Custom President, and a hand built John Bolin Tele Bass with Vintage Vibe overwound pup.

I own a ton of old Fenders and other makes, but these three seem to be what I go for when I hit the band bus. 8)

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