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What's the worst bass you ever owned?

Question:

> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

Ibanez BTB 5-string…  I’ve since been told that I must’ve had a lemon, but there weren’t too many places on that neck where it didn’t buzz.  I took it to my local luthier and he tried all sorts of tricks to help, but the only thing left was to remove the frets, sand the fretboard and then refret it. I sold it… I might add also that the Neutrick jack was bad – every cable I tried slid around and created a storm of static.  Since it was under warranty, I contacted Ibanez and was told that "Neutrick jacks are never defective…" Okay???  Now what?  Well, after several phone calls, I got really p*ssed and wrote a nasty letter.  Then I blanket mailed it (with CC info) to every Ibanez facility on the planet:  West Coast; their PA offices; Japan… Approximately 15 copies addressed to various people… In about two weeks, I received a new jack and an Ibanez T-shirt in the mail. I had to pay to have the jack installed. So, Ibanez not only was my worst bass, it was also my worst experience dealing with a manufacturer of musical instruments. But I’m not bitter… Cheers, Mark

Response:

> The neck was as fat as a telephone pole cut in half, and it was heavier than > a pickup truck full of red necks heading to Sizzler.

LOL!! Sounds like the ‘89 Warwick Thumb 5 neckthrough I owned.  I think it was made out of petrified bubinga. I haven’t really had any bad basses, ever.  Except for my dad’s bass that I started out on.. it was a generic bass, with a generic metal covered pickup, with a crusty volume and tone pot and mile high action.. and flatwounds.  I spray painted it green for some reason. Jordan

Response:

An Eko EB0 copy. Pure crap.

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> Damn that’s a hard one…"worst" or "most dissappionting"? If it was the > lattter I’d have to say any number of Hofner’s I’ve owned and really tried hard > to like but just couldn’t.

Response:

I take that back.  My Aunt and Uncle owned a rental property and when the tenets moved out they left a Peavey T-40(?) behind.  They kindly offered it to me.  When I finally met up with my them they had huge smiles on their faces as the handed over this *free* bass with a neck so warped it was better suited for an archery range.  I smiled politely and said thanks as "What the …?" went through my head.  The strings were insanely tight. They had no idea that anything was wrong with the bass.  I loosened the strings all the way and let it sit for about a week.  I couldn’t take looking at that horribly warped neck anymore so pitched it into a dumpster. Bud

Response:

Gibson Grabber or might have been the hofner violin… the hofner wouldn’t stay in tune and the gibson was poorly finished…

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

Response:

I sure am enjoying these stories of your crappy basses.  Makes me feel like I got off light with my Ibanez Destroyer.  At least it looked cool and had a neck that was playable.  BTW, I will second the notion that Ibanez has the absolute worst customer service in the world.  I have had to deal with them twice, and the person on the other end was a complete asshole the first time making it sound like it was my fault that the bass wasn’t working properly.  The second time I got someone else who promised to send me a wiring diagram and never did.  SO even though I have played many nice Ibanez basses, I will never ever buy one again and I totally recommend that nobody else buys one either. I will take a lawsuit Rick or Jazz if anyone’s giving them away, though

Response:

A Bently P-bass copy that I received as a gift.  It weighed a ton, and the neck was so warped that it was impossible to get the strings to within a playable distance of the fretboard.  The electronics were shot and the nut was destroyed.  As it was my first bass, I didn’t know any of this and painfully learned to play on it.  I also learned how to solder and file a proper nut. Eventually some fool stole it, and I ended up buying a bass that didn’t hurt to play.  It was quite a revelation!

Response:

> This one. > http://tinyurl.com/f31v > That’s not the one I owned but is one just like it.  I bought mine in > 1972 off the captain of our high school wrestling team and tried to > impress girls with it.  I was not successful. > Kept it until I bought my first real bass – a spiffy new ‘75 Precision. > The Univox sucked but I still loved it.

I wish I still had my Hofner bass. No offense intended, but it was tons better looking than the one in your picture. Trying to play American rock and roll on it was a bit of a bummer. But it rocked on the English rock tunes of the era. Ed Cregger

Response:

> I wish I still had my Hofner bass. > No offense intended, but it was tons better looking than the one in > your > picture. > Trying to play American rock and roll on it was a bit of a bummer. > But it > rocked on the English rock tunes of the era.

No offense taken, Ed – that’s not a Hofner, it’s a cheap Univox copy. It was kinda ugly but I only paid $50 for it in 1972. Played like a $50 bass, too  😉

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– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> I don’t think I ever bought a Bass I hated. > When I started playing I didn’t know any better, and nowadays I take the > attitude that just about ALL basses (and guitars) have something they do > well and it is up to the player to find and exploit it. > I’ve had a few that I fell out of love with fairly rapidly (notably every > Rickenbacker I ever owned) but even those I only unloaded to make money for > their replacements. > Probably the Basses I liked the least were the Rickenbackers and a Gibson G3 > I had. But they weren’t actually bad basses – they just turned out to be not > my "thing". > Thump

Like you, I never owned a bass that I hated. I guess the worst bass experience I ever had was when I had to use my brother’s Sears (Danelectro) super long scale bass for a few months in the late sixties. I came right from playing a Hofner violin shaped bass with a short scale, to my brother’s poorly finished 6×2" neck equipped alleged bass guitar. It sounded so good when my brother played it, that it really did a number on my ego. Later, after I had my own bass again, I asked to borrow it once to go deer hunting. I figured it would be a great arrow launcher, and if I got close enough to the deer, I could always beat it to death with the bass. My brother was not amused, but he did serve venison later that week… Ed Cregger

Response:

My first bass was the worst.  A big red Kingston hollow body short scale that was in the shape of Rickenbacker guitar (not bass).  Super high action that was never able to be corrected even after two visits to the repair shop.  Second worst was a Fender Bullet bass that I hacked on.  I installed Jackson P-bass replacement pickup.   It sounded terrible. Big thick neck.  Yuk. Bud

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

Response:

Mid-80’s Yamaha Motion Bass. Short or Med. scale, I can’t remember – total piece of shit. Couldn’t get a tone out of it to save my soul. I was playing with a rock cover band at the time – Doobies, Wings, Huey Lewis, S&G, that kind of stuff. There was no way to mod this thing without routing etc. Traded it for a Squier Jazz ….. I know, I know, what a step up.

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A friend gave me a Hondo P-bass with a snapped truss rod. Completely unplayable. I could fit my hand between the strings and the neck. Worst bass I ever bought was an ESP B-1. Sounded fine in the store, but was crap at a gig. I gigged with it once and returned it. I also briefly had an Epiphone EB-0. Bought it just for rehearsals, but hated it even for that. My band’s site: www.strongerthandirt.com

Response:

> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

First bass I owned was a Westone Spectrum II (I think). Cheapest bass in the shop. Horrible.

Response:

Mine was a Squier P, 5 string. Really crappy pickups, and the B was pretty weak. Wes – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – > Without a doubt, a Guild B-302.  Bought it new for $375 which took a lot of > mowing lawns to save.  I was a stupid young kid, there was only 1 music store > within walking/bus distance and it was the first bass I played with roundwound > strings.  My first bass was a Carlo Robelli [Ibanez] copy of a Rickenbacker > which was a great bass.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was the sound > and feel [WAIT].  What I realized was the cause was that when I bought it, I > thought rough strings would be painful so I bought a set of Rotosound heavy > flats which I found very difficult.  When I played the Guild, it had light > roundwounds which I found easy and loved the piano-like tone so I assumed it > was a better bass.  I traded the Rick copy that I bought at that store for > $150.  [As an aside, they gave me $115 for it and later re-sold it for $175 > which really pissed me off after the way he told me it was not worth much and > he'd be lucky to get what I last paid for it--not a way to get a future sale > from me].  So I get the Guild home.  Put my strap on [calm down] and watch the > neck dive to the ground.  Worst balance ever.  Next, I notice how the pickups > pickup every little finger noise and I mean EVERY.  In fact, I could literally > talk into it and hear myself as if it was a microphone.  I’ve never encountered > such microphonic pickups since.  It even picked up radio stations.  Then I > notice that I can literally put a deep gouge in the wood with my finger nail as > if the wood was balsa (which may explain part of the neck-dive; more on this). > Then I notice that I’m getting shocks and that static electricity is building > up on the back of the body.  I live with this crap for a few weeks (it was not > easy getting this to the store myself) as the neck develops a nice bow making > it impossible to play.  I bring it back and they adjust the rod.  I watched and > didn’t know this was bad at the time but they turned it a few full turns until > it was max’ed.  I said I was not happy with it and asked that it be sent to > Guild.  When it came back, I was told that’s the best they could do.  So, bad > balance, microphonic pickups, static that not only shocks me but crackles and > pops through my amp as the bass rubs against my shirt (this was in Summer > too–humid), a warped neck and a light soft wood body.  A few weeks later, when > pulling the cord out of the bass, the entire pickguard assembly came with it > and every little screw went flying across my floor (17 of ‘em if I recall). > What the hell kind of wood did I get?  Needless to say after getting no > satisfaction from the dealer or Guild, I dumped it at a huge loss with masking > tape holding the pickguard on.  Funny but a few years later, I played an > identical Guild (used) at Sam Ash now that I was old enough to take the train > alone.  The wood was much heavier and more solid so I must have had a really > inferior piece of wood. Too bad Guild would not stand behind it.

Response:

Without a doubt, a Guild B-302.  Bought it new for $375 which took a lot of mowing lawns to save.  I was a stupid young kid, there was only 1 music store within walking/bus distance and it was the first bass I played with roundwound strings.  My first bass was a Carlo Robelli [Ibanez] copy of a Rickenbacker which was a great bass.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was the sound and feel [WAIT].  What I realized was the cause was that when I bought it, I thought rough strings would be painful so I bought a set of Rotosound heavy flats which I found very difficult.  When I played the Guild, it had light roundwounds which I found easy and loved the piano-like tone so I assumed it was a better bass.  I traded the Rick copy that I bought at that store for $150.  [As an aside, they gave me $115 for it and later re-sold it for $175 which really pissed me off after the way he told me it was not worth much and he'd be lucky to get what I last paid for it--not a way to get a future sale from me].  So I get the Guild home.  Put my strap on [calm down] and watch the neck dive to the ground.  Worst balance ever.  Next, I notice how the pickups pickup every little finger noise and I mean EVERY.  In fact, I could literally talk into it and hear myself as if it was a microphone.  I’ve never encountered such microphonic pickups since.  It even picked up radio stations.  Then I notice that I can literally put a deep gouge in the wood with my finger nail as if the wood was balsa (which may explain part of the neck-dive; more on this). Then I notice that I’m getting shocks and that static electricity is building up on the back of the body.  I live with this crap for a few weeks (it was not easy getting this to the store myself) as the neck develops a nice bow making it impossible to play.  I bring it back and they adjust the rod.  I watched and didn’t know this was bad at the time but they turned it a few full turns until it was max’ed.  I said I was not happy with it and asked that it be sent to Guild.  When it came back, I was told that’s the best they could do.  So, bad balance, microphonic pickups, static that not only shocks me but crackles and pops through my amp as the bass rubs against my shirt (this was in Summer too–humid), a warped neck and a light soft wood body.  A few weeks later, when pulling the cord out of the bass, the entire pickguard assembly came with it and every little screw went flying across my floor (17 of ‘em if I recall). What the hell kind of wood did I get?  Needless to say after getting no satisfaction from the dealer or Guild, I dumped it at a huge loss with masking tape holding the pickguard on.  Funny but a few years later, I played an identical Guild (used) at Sam Ash now that I was old enough to take the train alone.  The wood was much heavier and more solid so I must have had a really inferior piece of wood. Too bad Guild would not stand behind it.

Response:

I don’t think I ever bought a Bass I hated. When I started playing I didn’t know any better, and nowadays I take the attitude that just about ALL basses (and guitars) have something they do well and it is up to the player to find and exploit it. I’ve had a few that I fell out of love with fairly rapidly (notably every Rickenbacker I ever owned) but even those I only unloaded to make money for their replacements. Probably the Basses I liked the least were the Rickenbackers and a Gibson G3 I had. But they weren’t actually bad basses – they just turned out to be not my "thing". Thump

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

Response:

> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

Hah! You got off light. It would have to be my first bass. A plank of wood-chip composite, roughly hacked into a P shape, with a P pickup and a neck bolted on. Of course, the plank weighed a ton, and the composite couldn’t handle the tension, so the action was like almost 3/4 of an inch on the 12th fret. And I had to replace the neck screws because the board was stripping. But I did learn to play on that piece of crap. The most disappointing was a Washburn XB400 I got for my 21st Bday. I loved it it was pretty, it had TWO pickups instead of one… (my previous bass, wno replaced the plank, was a yamaha rbx p-copy… great bass) had active electronics… but soo afterwars I noticed it was really heavy, and the electronics wouldn’t sound like anything but shit unless the bass and the treble were maxed out. SO I was basically left with one tone (three if you count panning and that one tone wasn’t all that good, all bass and treble but no mid-bite. — Javier Gonzalez Nicolini – remove the .com to e-mail " "I don’t think so," said Rene Descartes.  Just then, he vanished.

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This one. http://tinyurl.com/f31v That’s not the one I owned but is one just like it.  I bought mine in 1972 off the captain of our high school wrestling team and tried to impress girls with it.  I was not successful. Kept it until I bought my first real bass – a spiffy new ‘75 Precision. The Univox sucked but I still loved it.

Response:

> Damn that’s a hard one…"worst" or "most dissappionting"? If it was the > lattter I’d have to say any number of Hofner’s I’ve owned and really tried hard > to like but just couldn’t.

I can agree with that! I’ve never owned a Hofner (and never would), a friend of mine has one that’s his pride and joy. He proudly showed it to me and let me play it. YUK! It was far and away heads above any other bass I’ve ever met as the WORST bass in the world. ZERO sustain. Horrible tone. Cheapie parts. To this day I have NO idea why he thought that was such a wonderful instrument. {he did stress how light it was a lot!} As for "owned" mine was a Kingston P bass copy I got at an Amateur Radio flea market. At the time I was a newbie who was playing a short scale Kingston (which I still have, by the way), but the P bass was the pits. Fret buzz up the wazoo, bad tone, shoddy construction, PLUS I had to repair it FIRST to even play it. Eventually, it became a computer experiment. I took the neck apart and soldered a wire to each fret that came out in a large ribbon cable. The idea was to use the frets and strings to make "cross-point" switches to sense which note was being played to drive a synth. The synth would then track the volume of the plucked note. Cool idea, right? Wrong! I forgot that if TWO strings touch a fret it makes this path from one to the other and you get these "ghost" notes (Notes which play but are not actually fingered) appearing. Sigh! It’s still somewhere down in my guitar junk bin. Benj — Due to SPAM innundation above address is turned off!

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A Cort Steinberger copy in the early ’80s. Uncomfortable to sit with. Uncomfortable to stand with. The neck twisted within weeks. Sounded thin. Wouldn’t tune. Paid full retail price for it used. Thinking about it makes me feel like a moron all over again. On the other hand the ‘76 pre, ‘78 Musicman, ‘59 Pre, Jerry Jones Longhorn, Tokai Jazz Bass (the lawsuit model), Westone Rail (I don’t care what anyone says it was great!), ‘84 – ‘57 re-issue Pre (that I still have), the mighty Azola Decobass (I also still have) and a few other good ones have kinda taken the edge off. jeffb

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Damn that’s a hard one…"worst" or "most dissappionting"? If it was the lattter I’d have to say any number of Hofner’s I’ve owned and really tried hard to like but just couldn’t.

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The only bass I’ve ever sold. My ‘77-78ish P bass. I bought it for $450 in the early 90’s and only kept it for a couple years. The neck was as fat as a telephone pole cut in half, and it was heavier than a pickup truck full of red necks heading to Sizzler. It sounded as fat as it was, but by the end of the 1st set with it, I was almost completely hunched over with the bass touching the stage. It was absolutely mint when I got it. I swapped the bridge to (believe it or not) a heavier one and later traded it on something I can’t even remember, but I broke even. I do miss it though, especially when I check how much they sell for now. Jay S

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

Response:

My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

Response:

Hate to say it, but it was my ‘84(I think) Fender Elite P Bass. Bought it new from a local music store; I busted my ass washing dishes for a year to get that baby. It was my only bass for almost 10 years because I didn’t have the money to get another one. First off, The neck was as thick as a tree trunk, even for a P Bass. But what did I know? I sucked back then, so all basses were difficult for me to play. Second, it had the standard ’80’s active preamp technology, with tons of hi mid (and no way to get rid of it) that buzzed like a chainsaw. Also, it seems the preamp was VERY  touchy –  it was impossible for me to go from fingerstyle to slap without turning down the bass’ volume by at least half, and I was constantly  having to tweak volume levels on everything else. And it ate batteries like they were candy, even though I unplugged it between every set. Third, the damn recessed jack kept falling out and/or breaking, usually on a gig. Replaced it with a football jack which helped slightly. Last, and the final straw –   it developed  the dreaded "S-curve". Traded it to a music dealer who didn’t know any better and never looked back. Much like a first love,  it has a lot of sentimental value and good memories, even though the reality was rather shitty. — Learning funk bass? visit www.js3jazz.com/store.htm "Speaking the Truth in times of Universal deceit is a revolutionary act." — George Orwell

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> My worst bass is an Ibanez Destroyer.  Bought it in the 80’s because I > wanted to look cool in the hair band I was in at the time.  Look cool > is all I did, because this thing was a piece of shit and sounded > accordingly.  My $75 Bradley Steinberger copy sounds better than it > did.  I took it to a pawnshop and traded it for a necklace for my > wife.  Best thing I ever did with it.

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