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Old 02-18-2009, 12:37 AM
Vince Mendoza Vince Mendoza is offline
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Question When is a laminated or hybrid bass preferable to a carved bass?

I read somewhere that a laminated or hybrid bass is more preferable than a carved one for certain kinds of music, most notably jazz, and when the instrument is going to be hooked up to an amp. Sorry, but I cannot remember the exact reasons that were given. In any case, how true or accurate is that? Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:47 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Mendoza View Post
I read somewhere that a laminated or hybrid bass is more preferable than a carved one for certain kinds of music, most notably jazz, and when the instrument is going to be hooked up to an amp. Sorry, but I cannot remember the exact reasons that were given. In any case, how true or accurate is that? Thanks.
Well, in my opinion, never as far as the reasons you mention. I played carved basses all my life but usually these were very expensive investment grade instruments.

I guess if I was going to play in the rain or in the middle of a stampede I might switch to plywood if I owned one.

If you want to play in my opinion 'quality' music, then get the best bass you can. If you are gong to be banging it like you're doing construction work, well spend as little as possible.. lol
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:45 AM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
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Many bassists who play amplified prefer a laminated bass because the tone is simpler, and thus easier to amplify. The simple tone also tends to cut through a rhythm section.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:03 AM
Joel Larsson Joel Larsson is offline
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It sure would be a cool thing to bring a Maggini to a psychobilly gig... but I wouldn't.

I haven't played amplified since I was 17, but perhaps Arnold has a point. I have heard amplified laminates sound real good. What makes people pay a hundred grand and more is more acoustic quality than anything else. Wasn't it even rather common back in the day to stuff your bass with whatever would keep the bass from vibrating, because these players preferred the sound that the bridge pickup picked up (duh), and they had grown tired of feedback problems? I remember an old teacher of mine telling me about this. Stuffing a good bass to make it NOT sound seems rather silly; you better save your bucks and get a laminate then. Or even an electric upright, but they are usually about as expensive.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:05 AM
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Cool well..

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Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
Many bassists who play amplified prefer a laminated bass because the tone is simpler, and thus easier to amplify. The simple tone also tends to cut through a rhythm section.
Yes they are 'deader' sounding basses with less ring to them but in my experiences I never had a problem cutting thru with the basses I have used and many had extreme complex tones.

So many of the carved basses used in jazz were by comparison made a cheap imports and/or school instruments made in Czech and German factories. These basses often have many wolf tones and poor tone execution for the size instrument they are unless they are taken apart and re-built. many of them have been re-made so to speak over the years along with the necessary repairs so they have been improved out of need.

Now, in the case of better made instruments in both fully carved and Plywood/laminated as well as Hybrid, good is good. These for the most part will have better internal construction. This will help in the optimization of tone.

I have played both new and old plywood/laminated Basses that were made from one end of the scale to the other as well as older ones that have been improved. In the amplification process theory just think 'Fender' and why this type of bass guitar came to be. because the Double bass was both too big to manage and too difficult to amplify. Both the amplifiers and bass speakers have improved immensely over the years as well as the pickups used on the double bass.

My working bass 'for everything' (and I did do just about everything!) for about 15 years working in NYC was an 18th century Italian bass. I went thru a few different pickups before I found the one that worked and the best way to mount it as the fundamental of the bass was just too deep for the pickups on the market then so I inlaid a pickup into the bridge and it worked almost like an Electric bass with every note clear as a bell, live or recorded.

The other factor here is cost which has not yet been mentioned in this Thread. The cost for a bass like the ones I have used cost more than a dozen of the best laminated/plywood basses so it would be in this case better to use a good plywood bass for amplified jazz than a poor carved bass. Less problems to deal with overall.

The important factors to look at being a first time DB buyer is first off to learn as much as possible before pulling out your money. Second, stay out of guitar stores and off ebay as the best place is a DB speciality shop that can set-up the bass for you and help you avoid getting a bass that costs more to fix than it is worth. In the lower priced basses, plywood or otherwise, there are many many basses out there that in my opinion would cost more to meet professional set-up standards than they are worth or more than the purchase plus repairs combined. Some sellers/dealers will not tell you this and it will become lesson for you to learn the hard way.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:29 PM
Jeremy Darrow Jeremy Darrow is offline
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If it made sense for me, I would always play a carved bass on any gig. However, virtually all of my gigs are road gigs these days and I feel more comfortable traveling with a plywood bass. I actually use a small-bodied travel bass, which is also plywood, for many shows. It's a compromise that I have become comfortable with after working hard to get a good amplified sound. In my case, it's less about sound than it is about having a sturdy and frankly less valuable instrument to subject to the rigors of touring. It doesn't hurt that my plywood instruments amplify well, perhaps for the reasons that have been mentioned already.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:30 AM
Dave Martin Dave Martin is offline
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Jeremy's reason is the one I would have suggested; I'm not a big fan of jamming my Juzek into a car with 5 other guitars and two amps (did it today for a show a little over an hour south of here), much less a bass that costs a lot more than my car. I really should get a plywood bass for that gig....
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:20 AM
Marius Titulescu Marius Titulescu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Martin View Post
Jeremy's reason is the one I would have suggested; I'm not a big fan of jamming my Juzek into a car with 5 other guitars and two amps (did it today for a show a little over an hour south of here), much less a bass that costs a lot more than my car. I really should get a plywood bass for that gig....
That's a fair point. I always fancied the idea of having at least one cheaper instrument for any "risky" gig.
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Old 09-04-2020, 04:46 AM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius Titulescu View Post
That's a fair point. I always fancied the idea of having at least one cheaper instrument for any "risky" gig.
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He replied in 2009.. 11 years ago.. lol
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