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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2007 » Archive through August 12, 2007 » The heaviest instruments you ever played « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: blazer

Post Number: 159
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 2:22 am:   Edit Post

Let's talk about the boatanchors out there, the guitars and basses that are a Chyropractor's dream.

The heaviest guitar I owned was an early eighties Ibanez artist.

This one was only playable for a short amount of time before my shoulder really started to ache, I eventually sold it because it just wasn't possible for me to use that thing for performances.

What basses are concerned I guess the heaviest bass I ever had in my hands was a Warwick Jack Bruce Cream Reunion bass, that one actually was heavier than that Ibanez I mentioned earlier. I played it seated at the Warwick stand a couple of years ago at the Frankfurt music fair and afterwards I couldn't even feel my leg anymore.

The heaviest Bass I owned was an Aria Pro2 SB series bass, which sounded really good but really made my shoulder ache badly.
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 490
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 2:50 am:   Edit Post

Peavey T-40 basses. I've owned several and they were all incredibly heavy.

Something about that book sized diecast bridge I guess =)
Advanced Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 350
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 5:17 am:   Edit Post

Ho! My favourite subject! (anyone who has read my threads know I have pretty bad back problems). The heaviest bass I ever played was probably a recent cocobolo Alembic Series 2, or possibly that 6 string maple Series 2 that was in the Bass Gallery and now belongs to a Forumite. The heaviest bass I've ever picked up (I didn't play it)was probably a Warwick Buzzard Ltd at UK Bass Day. It weighed a ton. I can't begin to imagine how anyone could play it for an entire set, and I used to be pretty strong before my back problems started. Other notables are Aria SB (as above), a Travis Bean I played which felt like 2 Les Pauls bolted together, A Warwick Thumb 6 and Streamer Stage 2 5 (in fact Warwicks as a breed are not the lightest instruments, unless you go for a Streamer Stage 1 or ash-bodied Corvette), a Wal with Wenge facings which felt like the Titanic, my old ESP Jazz which must have weighed in excess of 13 lbs, my original Jaydee which was like having a dining table round your neck (they do vary a lot but mine was HEAVY)....there have been quite a few I guess! Oh, and an old '70s Series 1 which honestly felt like Dracula's coffin with Dracula still in it (ironically I also once played an old '70s Series 1 that was really quite light and comfortable). Guitar wise I''d say Yamaha SGs, much as I love 'em. These days anything over 10lbs is just too heavy for me, and something around 7 or 8 pounds is preferred.
Intermediate Member
Username: trekster

Post Number: 143
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 5:18 am:   Edit Post

Yup yup yup...I put my T-40 on the scale once; it came in at 15.4 pounds. My Aria SB900 wasn't too light either.

Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1589
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 6:15 am:   Edit Post

had a hagstrom les paul bass once
my god i thought it weighed a gazillion pounds
until i strapped on an upright
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 672
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 6:28 am:   Edit Post

With all due respect guys, my custom Alembics, "Dark Prince" and "Black Byrd" were specifically designed for weight. Those Ebony and Purpleheart bodies may weigh a ton, but they pay HUGE dividends in sound and sustain. They weigh around 15lbs each.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2486
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 6:32 am:   Edit Post

The heaviest instrument I ever played? Grand piano.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 578
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 6:37 am:   Edit Post

My wide 6 string Elan, wide 6 string Spoiler, wide 7 string Spoiler. After those, all the others feel rather light. My 83 Spoiler 4 feels like a toy after a noodling session with the big basses.
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1085
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 7:04 am:   Edit Post

Heaviest was likely an Alembic SII long-scale 8-string, back around '81. Ironically, one of the lightest was Geoff Gould's 18-string bass, which seemed to weigh less than a P-bass, this also around '81. For a brief while, Modulus made a headless bass that was so light it was almost unplayable. Jack Casady plays one in a video Hot Tuna put out in '81 or '82. My lightest bass is a Hofner..

Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1530
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 7:23 am:   Edit Post

My upright piano. Fortunately one does not have to wear the piano around one's neck.

.... aarrrgh ...... Bill TGO beat me too it.

(Message edited by adriaan on June 27, 2007)
Username: willgunn

Post Number: 11
Registered: 2-2007
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 1:39 pm:   Edit Post

In the early '70's, I had a 1970 Gibson Les Paul "Recording" Bass (all mahogany neck & body w/o any "tummy cut"), and the only way I could play it was sitting down! I was doing an extended Holiday Inn lounge gig at the time (remember those, all you old-timers?!) so I could get away with sitting on a tall bar stool, but even at that, the darn thing etched a deep notch into my right thigh! Not a bad sounding bass for it's time as I recall, what with low-impedance pickups and all that weight...
Advanced Member
Username: alembic_doctor

Post Number: 287
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 3:17 pm:   Edit Post

I had one of those basses sitting on my wall at GC (evil empire)in Houston for years. Lot's of people picked it up because it looked cool.....and then put it right back without even plugging it in. No one could fathom carrying one of those things.

I had a Travis Bean once. It was loaded with DiMarzzio Model P's. What a tone. Cut right through a mix. But alas, that was too heavy for me.
Advanced Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 331
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 3:58 pm:   Edit Post

Bill, tgo

Pray tell, did you play this instrument in the marching band?
Username: bluplirst

Post Number: 22
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 4:08 pm:   Edit Post

Plum Pudding
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1207
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 7:03 pm:   Edit Post

Definitely a T40 Peavey. My God, Hartley built those things to last! Wierd was that the body was so massive, yet the neck profile was almost dainty, till you got to the metal nut and tuners.

J o e y
Username: 82daion

Post Number: 45
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 9:19 pm:   Edit Post

The heaviest bass I've played was a MK Deluxe 5 with a Balance K body-coco bolo/mahogany-which probably weighed in at 13-14 pounds. 81-1952 (John's Series I) is the runner-up in this category.

The heaviest instrument I've ever played was a sousaphone, weighing in at 25-30lbs.
Advanced Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 351
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 4:42 am:   Edit Post

Rami, that's pretty darned heavy! I must admit that although I know loads of players who prefer heavy instruments for tone and sustain, the majority of instruments that I've loved most in terms of tone have been very light; the whole insrument has been very resonant. All the best Fenders I've played have been relatively ight, same with Rics (my 72 is around 8 pounds and is my favourite sounding Ric ever by far), same with Wals, Jaydees, pretty much everything. Everyone is bound to have different prefences though.
Can't speak for Alembics because apart from an Essence I once played the only Alembics I've played which have been relatively light have been the set necks, and of course they sound different anyway.
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1225
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 6:02 am:   Edit Post

Heaviest bass I've played is Mike Pisanek's 6 string Europa. feels like it's at least twice as heavy as my rogue 5.

Intermediate Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 189
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2007 - 1:05 am:   Edit Post

My 1993 MK standard, I am sure the previous owner didn't want the hollows in the body and went for the full solid body..
My 83 Squier feels like it is made form balsa compared to that!!
Advanced Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 354
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2007 - 10:42 am:   Edit Post

I think the hollow wings on the Signatures is a relatively recent thing Terry.....all the Signatures I played before mine had solid bodies and weighed a ton.
Intermediate Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 195
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 12:54 am:   Edit Post

bigbadbill..I thought they all were hollow inside on the upper bout..I am used to it but sometimes it seems to love gravity and pull my shoulder off!
We could always go for posh plastic..graphite but there would be no nice wood grain to look at.
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 795
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 5:15 am:   Edit Post

"Wow look at the pretty striations in that pvc!"
... Nah, just not the same thing


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