What is up with all the signature basses?

Yesterday at the Berklee Bass Webinar Freddie Washington showed a replica of his original bass copied to every scratch and dent which he said he will take to tours instead of the original from now on…

And they were joking about how Dennis Chambers has a collection of all the signature basses of everybody out there…

It feels like in this area of “marketing” anything can be packaged nicely and sold in bulk…

What I don’t get is why it is such a big deal to have a signature bass? For the artist and for the “casual” player…

I can understand that it is a shortcut to have the same tone as a certain famous player but most seem not to even use their signature instruments which is probably because the signature ones are not good as the real deal.

Jaco’s defretted and epoxy covered “Bass of Doom” might be hard to achieve at home but Marcus Miller Fender Jazz Bass for example has very little more than a normal one… (Oh they made it an active bass now I see it)

Even youtubers like Davie504 and Rob Scallon have signature instruments…

Hell we even have signature strings now!

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I’ve got a set of signature strings sat here right now. Allegedly the same as Lemmy had his Rickenbackers strung with but I’ve put a set of flats on my Rick and won’t be swapping them out in the near future.
I do sort of dig the limited edition signature basses but as a rank amateur I would be pushed to buy one . As a fan of certain musicians I would love to own one of course.

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I don’t know much about my strings except for the fact that they’re roundwound.

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They might have a “signature” somewhere near the tuning heads unless if you cut them too short… (Just Kidding)

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Hahah. Good one. My bass is an SX Custom Handmade Vintage Series Precision Bass. I’ve tried to look everywhere for what strings SX uses on their basses but I can’t seem to find anything. Basically, I’m trying to say “help me find my strings” without actually saying it :sweat_smile:

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Aren’t they attached to your bass? (Kidding again)

Well many change the original strings shortly after they buy a bass since you never know for how long they have been on the bass. And then you know for sure. Many enjoy flat wound strings on P Basses. If I ever buy one I will use the Nylon Wounds even.

But it is such a flexible instrument can’t go wrong with anything. So don’t worry!

You can ask the music shop where you bought it when you take it for a string change or setup.

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I bought it on Facebook :frowning:

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Well then it is better to get it to music shop for a good setup and string change just to be sure… I mean when they open shops in UK

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Strings are a very personal thing.
@T_dub swears by his round wounds for example. I love my flat wounds and may well try some tape wounds one day.
If you can find a bass in a shop with flats on it maybe give it a try. I know I don’t intend going back to rounds .

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Some of them are really neat, some are tacky imo. I love the Flea Active Jazz bass. if I found 1k under a tree I would buy one.

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The first signature bass I remember seeing was Carvin’s Bunny Burrell and then there was nothing for decades suddenly you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a signature bass (don’t try this at your local music store…long story). I think it speaks to the popularity and surge of people wanting to play bass and people willing to pay extra for a bass that has their mentor’s stamp of approval. While I don’t believe that owning a Flea, Sting, Jack Bruce, etc etc, bass will make me sound like them most have added features not found on the standard models and that is appealing…not $1000 worth but appealing none the less.

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I wouldn’t pay a nickel more for any instrument just because it has somebody’s signature on it. I don’t give a rat’s arse whose signature it is.

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it’s not … it’s just a commercial thing really. I never bought any “signature” gear, I find it’s ridiculous. I prefer to create my own tone with my own gear.

but some people like to buy those things, so, why not :grin: to each their own

that said, some Signature instruments really have something different, for exemple the Jeff Beck Stratocaster with a very special neck, or the Stevie Ray Vaughan Strat with the asymetrical neck profile and the inverted tremolo bridge.

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Yeah good point - I wouldn’t buy the Yamaha Attitude because it’s Sheehan’s signature. I would buy it because it’s f’in awesome and unique :slight_smile:

Two-output BB with a P and a funky neck pickup instead of a J, and a cool scalloped neck? Yes please :slight_smile:

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and a cool pastel solid color

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Yeah! Looks great too!

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Agreed, buy what you want. You want signature, get it. You hate signature don’t get it… or maybe get it and burn it and show it on Youtube and make some money from sponsors. Spend what you can afford or don’t… Who cares? You get only one life in this game so make yourself happy. Don’t worry about the opinions of people who aren’t paying your bills or making your life better.

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I would love a Lemmy signature Rickenbacker just to say I’d got it and they really are a work of art but it’s a pipe dream at around $30,000

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These are all of the signature basses I’ve heard of:
Jaco Pastorius Fretless J Bass
Victor Wooten Fodera Bass
Flea Bass
Peter Hook Yamaha Bass
Mark Hoppus P Bass
Lemmy Rickenbacker
Marcus Miller Sire Bass
Duff McKagan P Bass
Pino Palladino P Bass
Geddy Lee J Bass
Joe Dart MM Bass

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I’d consider getting a Matt Freeman signature squire P if I found one for the right price. I like that he kept it as cheap as possible… it just wouldn’t be very punk to sell your signature bass for a few grand. He doesn’t use any pedals usually or anything, just plugs his bass into his amp and is ready to play a show, and I always love his tone. That being said, I’m not sure it is any better than any other Squire P. I think it just has an upgraded bridge? Maybe some better quality control?

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