Guitarsite Forums Guitar Discussion Bass Guitar Choose three basses

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  • #22918
    1bassleft
    Participant

    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
    #http://www.lakland.com/images/basses/55-94.jpg
    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
    http://www.godlyke.com/product.asp?item=198
    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 >000 and don’t use a CNC, I’m sure they can accomodate me.

    3) ’72 – ’73 Fender Telecaster Bass
    #http://www.jimlawrence.net/TELE73BASS/Tele1973a.jpg
    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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    • #126724
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Thanks, I think I’ll drop him a line. His shipping charges from Brazil are pretty reasonable too. I know from experience that having a body made from my measurements doesn’t work out but if I can find Mustang bass specs from the ‘net it could work. I’ll wait for ever to find a Fender lefty body up for sale.

    • #76489
      boogieman
      Participant

      Well, I know a couple of guys who bought bodies from him and they both told me they were great. I doubt if they cared about small imperfections because they finished the bodies their selves.

      The guy use to be easy to contact, plus he would build you any type of body you wanted. You might contact him and see what he says.

      JLR 8)

    • #76483
      1bassleft
      Participant

      I know the chap, Boogie. I’ve had my eye on him. A few comments from buyers about his packing being a bit rubbish, marks on the bodies etc. That wouldn’t bother me too much. The only trouble is; I’ve never seen him list a Mustang bass body. As you say; his prices have gone up substantially.

      Any Mus bass body, especially lefty, give me a ping 🙂

    • #76511
      boogieman
      Participant

      8) There use to be a guy from Brazil that made very cool bodies, both right and left handed, and sold them on Ebay. Great product and great prices. He is still there every so often but his prices are now WAY TOO HIGH !! In fact he is so high he does nt sell many anymore, at least on Ebay.

      Like I said I will keep looking for you. You never know what might pop up for sale. 8)

    • #76508
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Thanks, boogie. My problem is that I’m a lefty, and the Mustang bass wasn’t on most luthier’s “Christmas template” wishlist.

      We’ll see what happens, though. Thanks again

    • #126723
      boogieman
      Participant

      There are a lot of people who make bodies. I am certain there is someone near you who could help you out. I will keep my eyes open for you.

    • #126722
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Interesting info, thanks. I have a basketcase Mustang shortscale that I’m determined to get going. If anyone sees a lefty Mustang Bass body listed (refin, re-issue, I really don’t mind), please give me a headsup. I have everything else, but the body I got was hacked by a goon.

    • #126721
      boogieman
      Participant

      The Dano is very cool. I have 2 others, a original 58 and another made in 62. The Seafoam Green one I just picked up was made in 98 but looks and feels brand new. I don’t think the owner that sold it to me knew much about them. This one has upgraded tuners and real Jerry Jones pickups made in 2004. The Longhorn is it’s own animal. Short scake and very light in weight. It sounds very cool through my SVT’snand gets a great sound for Blues. I also have a original DC-2. They are all great players, and add a little history to any collection.

    • #126720
      1bassleft
      Participant

      How have you found the Longhorn, Boogie? The Danelectros are pretty individual, but is the Longhorn worth having?

    • #126719
      boogieman
      Participant

      8) Do not have to envy anyone man. I just went after what I wanted a long time ago and have not found anything that sounds better for the style of music I play. I did just oickup a 61 Danelectro Longhorn that is high on my list !! 8)

    • #126718
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Three VERY fine basses, Boogieman. This was meant as a fantasy, “wish list” thread, but the fact you actually own and use them is making me a bit sick with envy 😆

    • #126717
      boogieman
      Participant

      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)

    • #126715
      Tim
      Participant

      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!)

    • #126716
      1bassleft
      Participant

      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 😆

    • #126714
      Tim
      Participant

      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?!

    • #126713
      1bassleft
      Participant

      😯 , 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.

    • #126711
      Tim
      Participant

      Slight change of plan: a Gibson SG-Z

      http://www.gibsonbass.com/SGZ.php

      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.

    • #126712
      Tim
      Participant

      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 😆 ) 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.

    • #126709
      1bassleft
      Participant

      😆 , 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 😆

    • #126710
      Tim
      Participant

      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

    • #126707
      Tim
      Participant

      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

    • #126708
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Well, here’s one, Tim:
      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Bass-guitar-kay-vintage_W0QQitemZ7397830923QQcategoryZ4713QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem 😆

      My very,very first ever bass was a Kay 4001 “copy” (if I can dignify it with that term). Almost as nasty as this, except the strings did at least go over the pole pieces and the fretboard. It was in “Woolworths” when I was 13, for £45 but I accidentally damaged it just by picking it up. I quickly put it back and, a week later, saw it was reduced to £17. I bought it, but any feelings of guilt quickly evaporated once I tried it. Easily the worst ever guitar to land in my hands. Like this one, the neck wasn’t even maple. Bizarre as it sounds, it looks a heckuva lot like beech 😯

      It was a shortscale, with flats and it managed to put me off both for decades. I’ve just now bought a Fender Mustang Bass basketcase that I shall restore to something like its 30″ glory (with flats), but I don’t really get on with them. They ‘flobble’ a lot when hit hard.

    • #126706
      Tim
      Participant

      I definately want to tinker with something short-scale eg a Gibson EBwhatever al la Jack Bruce (before he denounced all fretted instruments and became a bit of a muppet)

    • #126705
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Which in partic, n2n? Me, I run like a scared girl from a URB. No frets! Strange position of arms! Difficulty with all forms of transport, etc 🙂

    • #126703
      next_2_nothing
      Participant
    • #126704
      Tim
      Participant

      [quote=”1bassleft”]…my “design-a-bass” which pretty much has to use the four piezo saddles and ’51 single coil, could be made BEAD….[/quote]

      Now you’re making me jealous!

    • #126701
      1bassleft
      Participant

      True. In the old indie band I did use the G for some rockabillyish lines and the odd chord (well, pretty odd chord) but now I haven’t sniffed it in a while. Sometimes the current guitarist thinks I should do something high while he plays under it but, after a while, I let him play his “unterbit” then stick a low B and E under that. He invariably prefers the sphinctre-opening latter variety.

      You’ve got me thinking that my “design-a-bass” which pretty much has to use the four piezo saddles and ’51 single coil, could be made BEAD. Really ought to sell an amp or two and get moving on that idea…

    • #126702
      Tim
      Participant

      This is why I wanted to string my 4 as BEAD, who needs a G anyway?! Although I’m starting to us it a bit more as part of my learn-to-play drive hence the sudden (literally instant) interest in 5-strings.

    • #126700
      1bassleft
      Participant

      I will say this, Tim. There’s truth in that “how did I manage without a B?” stuff. I first bought a five (righty) for £120 BIN when they were rareish beasts. Despite being upside down, it instantly relegated my Aria to the mothballs and eventually waved it off with my hanky to the Fleeb. The idea I have (design a guitar thread) of building a Tele-shaped bass with piezo is hampered by the fact that I daren’t take just a 4-stringer to rehearsal.

      There are one or two of the old numbers made slightly easier by using the B instead of swooping down the neck but, mainly, the reason is that almost all new songs contain a low D, C or sometimes B in them and it simply can’t be done. I’d have to fit a Hipshot D-tuner on that Fender (at vast expense for a lefty).

    • #126699
      Michael
      Participant

      I also saw this and was trying tio think of three. Give me time.

    • #126698
      Tim
      Participant

      Hello, not ignoring this but realised that I don’t know 3 nice basses 😳 , probably go to Alembic and say “I want this, and this, and erm…this” if money was really no object, although 3 (working) basses would be my definition of excess anyway…probably a 5 and a 4 of much the same thing (with the stuff I’m playing at the mo the idea of trying a 5 is finally growing on me…)

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