A bass can be deeply telling about its owner
You know the way dogs look like their owners?
I believe that, likewise, a bass can be
deeply telling about its owner. This month,
I’d like to try out that brain flash by looking
at five different categories of bass and the
people who play them.
The Student Model
This is typically an import clone of a Fender Precision Bass, usually with a little thinning out of the body’s horns and a solid color paint job. It has the potential to be a good player, but hasn’t ever been set up beyond the factory. Its sound is on the bright side and one knob feels loose. There are two dings on the body, plus one on the headstock. The strings are dull and tarnished— one is wound incorrectly.
The owner of this bass lives life a little tentatively, not quite ready to commit to bass playing, never going out in public with the bass. This person plays quietly in the bedroom with a little practice amp—door closed. They are not quite reckless with musical gear, but not overly cautious either.
The Trusty Workhorse
On first glance, this bass appears just like the basic Student Model—nothing too fancy, probably just one pickup and a couple of knobs. But looking closer, there’s some loving wear on the back of the neck, on the upper bout of the body, and near the pickup. Unlike the Student Model, the action on the Trusty Workhorse is tweaked for excellent playability. There are no rattles or intonation problems. It is made from good materials—but not exotic woods—and features a sunburst body finish.
The owner of this bass is a dependable player. He stays in the pocket, plays the groove, and generally holds things together. The owner only plays fingerstyle, and never uses a pick or slaps. The Trusty Workhorse will likely be a gigging partner for life.
The Feature-Packed Mediocrity
The Feature-Packed Mediocrity has it all, at least in form: two pickups, four knobs, a switch, a shiny finish, and onboard electronics. The bridge is a big chrome job, and the headstock logo screams out for attention. When you look below the surface, the Feature-Packed Mediocrity has a maze of wiring stuffed into its control cavity, some plastic faux-chrome, and position markers that leap off the fretboard in their gaudiness. The setup is playable, but nothing spectacular, and its tone mixes with a few crackles and buzzes.
The owner of the Feature-Packed Mediocrity is a transplanted guitar player who quickly learned that bass players often blend into the background and hopes this bass will remedy that. He plays with a pick, wears the bass slung low, and always runs with a full stack of giant cabs. Most likely, he’ll be back to guitar by the end of the year.
The High-End Super Bass
This bass is built from exotic woods topped with a thin oil finish. All the components are top notch, with excellent hardware, name-brand pickups, and a quality 3-band preamp. The body wood has comfortable curves, and the neck feels wide and flat in the hand. The setup is tweaked for low action and the strings are light gauge. The sound of this bass is clear, piano-like, and full, with miles of sustain. It comes with strap locks.
The owner of the High-End Super Bass likes the finer things in life. He sips Macallan 18, likes to wear soft cotton clothing, might have a short ponytail, and works in IT support. This player fits well into the band, but tends toward slap playing and often ventures into the upper registers—he likes hitting harmonics in the quiet spots, too. The High-End Super Bass owner has boutique amp and cabs that match the level of the instrument.
The Understated Artisanal Bass
This bass is like a stealth version of the High- End Super Bass. It costs just as much, bears the same high-quality components, the setup is superb, and the finish is exquisite. But to the uninformed eye, this bass looks just like the Trusty Workhorse. Its quality is the little secret its owner bears but won’t tell, gloating quietly about the 15 coats of nitro finish that will never be detected. The case similarly looks understated and vintage.
The owner of this bass is a little harder to describe. Sometimes it is a doctor or a lawyer, neatly groomed in a button-down shirt. He might not be much of a player, but enjoys owning the highest quality. Some owners of an Understated Artisanal Bass have scrimped and saved for a long time, selling off a Trusty Workhorse to help pay for it. It’s precision, tonality, and reliability that count, and what caused this person to part with a sizable pile of hard-earned dough. In either case, the Understated Artisanal Bass gets played through equally high-quality amplifiers—maybe something one-off and handwired—and a high-end, studio-grade preamp.
All the Rest
This list could easily go on, matching other styles of basses to their owners’ personalities. I can easily imagine what the owner of a vintage, early ’60s Precision Bass might be like, or how the owner of a Franken-bass built from parts would go through life, or the kind of car driven by a fretless fan. In any case, I’m convinced there’s a link between people and the bass they play—what kind of bass are you? As for myself, my bass of choice is a Trusty Workhorse.
Dan is a professor by day and a bass player when the sun goes down. He plays both electric and upright bass in blues, jazz and pit settings.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.