Bass suggestions

What's Hot

I've never owned a bass before but I am an experienced guitarist. Now that I'm no longer in a band I've come to the conclusion that I don't need all three of my guitars so I'm looking at buying a bass, partly for a bit of fun and partly because a local band have asked me to join on bass. To fund this purchase I'm going  to sell my 2013 Gibson Les Paul Studio in Ebony with gold hardware. The pickups have been upgraded to a handmade set from Catswhisker and it's fitted with gold Schaller strap locks. What would be a good bass to get for that sort of money? 

0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
«1

Comments

  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2925
    What style of music does said band play? Have you budgeted for an amp? Even if you have a PA when gigging you'll want one as a monitor and for rehearsals.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • It's a covers band so they play all sorts. I'm unsure about an amp so far. With my guitars I use an Atomic AmpliFire that goes to the PA with a Laney IRT-X acting as a monitor but I'm unsure if I can also use a bass with this gear. I've written to both Laney and Atomic to find out.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • MattBansheeMattBanshee Frets: 621
    A second-hand Fender P or J would be a good, solid all-round option. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2415
    edited May 2017
    First thing to decide is probably scale length. Coming from guitar are you going to be comfortable with a full 34" scale? I use a Gibson SG bass, 30" scale, that I'm very happy with, easy to get around the fretboard and two pickups to give tonal variation. Fender do some short scale too so there's plenty of choice.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • A MiM Fender certainly crossed my mind. I seem to recall somebody once telling me that the Jazz has a slimmer neck than the Precision so I thought that coming from guitar, that might be better. I know nothing of any other differences between them I'm afraid. I hadn't even thought about scale length but I've had a couple of goes on bass guitars at the school where I work and they weren't a problem. My son uses a Sterling bass and I seem to be OK with that.

    Atomic have told me that the AmpliFire will work pretty well with a bass and they're looking at the possibility of introducing some bass models with a firmware update at some point in the future as a result. So far it all sounds reasonably promising, except for the fact that I lose my beloved Gibson.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2925
    edited May 2017
    If you don't want to sell your Gibbo then these are unbelievable value for money:

    http://www.dv247.com/guitars/jandd-yc-pb-4-string-bass-guitar-3-tone-sunburst--201745

    The neck will be slightly larger than a sterling.

    I had a quick Google on the Laney and it appears to be a full range speaker so if you use it for stage monitoring at medium volumes you will be fine and I'me sure you can adapt one of the guitar patches on the Amplifire to work for bass.

    In my experience budget basses get alot more mileage than budget guitars. (Bass amps do not though)

    However, if you do want to spend more a Sterling Ray 34 will do modern soul/rock tones & a MIM P bass will cover rock & vintage stuff. If you have to have a skinnier neck than the Sterling then it's Ibanez you need to look at.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • So is the neck on the Precision and the Jazz essentially the same? What is the difference between these two?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2415
    Jazz bass necks are slimmer than P basses. Very noticeable at the bottom of the fretboard, Jazz bass necks are lovely, v easy to play.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • prowlaprowla Frets: 999
    I just did an ebay search for "bass guitar -(squier,new,fretless,left)", UK only, price range £250-450.

    The ones which stood out for me were one or two Fender MIMs, a couple of G&Ls, an 80s Tokai Jazz (might need authenticating) and a partsblaster with a Kahler trem.

    Beware of fake Fenders.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32777
    For that budget I would second the Mexican Fender Precision or Jazz, new or second hand depending on series, whichever fits you physically and tonally best. Very hard to beat for quality and value, solid and reliable with nothing to go wrong, and will cover any style of music.

    I would also agree with getting at least a small amp - while you can use your existing gear, a one-box solution you can use anywhere either as a standalone amp or a monitor is probably better. You'll be DI'd into the PA anyway for any serious gig, so power is not very important - go for something that sounds good and is fairly lightweight.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 9142
    MiM fenders are great.

    Play a few of them to find a good one.

    Considering how basic a Jazz or Precision is, I'm amazed people still buy the US Standard models. The pickup might be a bit better but that's far cheaper to change than the price difference of the instruments.

    The precision is the most recorded bass in the world, so chances are the sound in your head was played on a precision. But the neck shape is quite different to a jazz so do try both.

    As for amps - older tech 'big iron' amps are now dirt cheap used. I recently saw a full Trace Elliot stack (an old AH600 head) with 2 cabs sell for £350 for the lot. Far too heavy for me these days, but amazing value.

    If you want a little combo for the house though - the older model Roland Bass Cubes are cheap and sound fantastic.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7018
    edited May 2017

    Considering how basic a Jazz or Precision is, I'm amazed people still buy the US Standard models. The pickup might be a bit better but that's far cheaper to change than the price difference of the instruments.

    The reinforced neck and string through option on the bridge.  If you want both of those things it's probably better to get the US model (mostly because of how much the necks cost to attach to a MIM body), but actually I don't think it's necessary for the majority of people or playing styles.  Definitely suits me playing drop tuned rock stuff with a low B though, the neck is rock solid which really helps with clarity on lower notes.  IIRC the tuners are also a lighter type on the newer US standards, and the headstocks are thicker on the necks, which allegedly improves dead spots (Though I'd imagine the reinforcement will have a big part in that too)

    If anything - the sides of the neck pockets I've seen on the MIMs have generally been of tighter tolerance than the US models, but that doesn't really have any bearing on tone whatsoever.  The higher up MIM models can be excellent and hold their own with anything of similar spec.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • There are some complications in this whole process that certainly won't end up saving me money. Last year I moved to the Falklands so whatever I need to do has to be done in the two weeks I'm in the UK in August. That means it has to be done fast and I'm limited on weight for the flight. I'm already heading to Rich Tone Music in Sheffield for something else so as private selling and Ebay etc. take time, the most likely scenario is that I'll have to just trade my Gibson in to them and get a bass that is new. It's frustrating because my Les Paul is upgraded and kept in such pristine condition that they probably have new guitars that are worse!

    It is the weight issues that mean I probably won't get an amp and I'll stick to using the same Atomic AmpliFire and Laney IRT-X that I use with my guitars. At a gig I'll just use the IRT-X as a monitor and go through the PA. For the bass itself, I'm obviously limited to what Rich Tone are selling so at the top end of my budget would be a MiM Fender Jazz or Precision.

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/fender_standard_jazz_bass_maple_fretboard_lake_placid_blue.asp

    I expect these to be very good as I own a MiM Fender Stratocaster Standard and it's superb. As a more budget option I was looking at a Yamaha BB424X.

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/yamaha_bb424x_bass_guitar_black.asp

    If there's anything else on the Rich Tone website I should be looking at that is a good option, by all means let me know.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7173
    As a more budget option on that site the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz. They get a lot of love. The bassist in my old band had one and he used it in preference to his more expensive gear ( he was a much better bassist than I am a guitarist and had done function stuff for a living). He eventually changed the bridge for something he preferred but otherwise it was unchanged. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4828

    The higher end (CV or VM) Squier basses punch well above their weight. What convinced me not to bother with a MIM Standard was seeing the bass player of Madness play a Squier CV Jazz on Jools Holland. A few weeks ago I spotted Robert Cray's bass player on the same programme playing a VM Jazz. The pickups in the Squiers are better than those in the MIM Standards (or at least the ones from a few ago, I have a dead one in use as fridge magnet).

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • So you'd rate a Squier as better than the Yamaha and from the sounds of it, possibly even better than a MiM Fender! I confess the fact vthat they're not made of Alder puts me off a bit and the use of Agathis on some Squier models certainly puts me off.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2925
    The Squire classic vibe are great, VM a bit more hit and miss
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 753
    edited May 2017
    The Squier Vintage Modified bass has been mentioned above. I can vouch for them. I've got a Squier VM bass (the type shown in the link below). I've got a 5 string but I expect the 4 strings basses should be similar.

    https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/0306760521/electric-basses/squier-vintage-modified-jazz-bass-v-5-string-in-natural

    Mine's a bit on the heavy side at 10.8 lbs, but I suppose that's not too bad for a 5 string bass.

    It might be worth trying a few because I suspect the quality control might not be as high as for more expensive bases. I had to do a bit of setting up and replace the input jack but, apart from things that were simple to fix, it's basically a great bass.

    Below are a couple of clips to give an idea of how it sounds, which are a couple of my past riff on the month entries (which I didn't win, so that might say something). Bear in mind bass isn't my main instrument - excuses, excuses...



    It's not a competition.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • prowlaprowla Frets: 999
    You could also look at the lower-end (haha!) Warwicks, though they can be a bit variable; I've had a Corvette 5-string which I couldn't get on with and am in the process of doing up a 5-string Streamer which might be a keeper!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15708
    50s Classic MiM Precision (lacquer) - bought for less than £500 and gigged last Saturday - performed like a champ and is brilliant for live work.

    Thoroughly recommend.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7173
    So you'd rate a Squier as better than the Yamaha and from the sounds of it, possibly even better than a MiM Fender! I confess the fact vthat they're not made of Alder puts me off a bit and the use of Agathis on some Squier models certainly puts me off.
    If you're only buying from one shop and dependant on the trade you get I guess it's which bass you like most on the day. 
    MIM stuff is a bit variable and Squier will be too so a good Squier would trump a worse MIM. I don't suppose there's really a great deal in it.
    I guess the Yamaha is a lesser known quantity and some people prefer the traditional look of a Jazz or Precision but it may well have come out of the same factory in China or Indonesia as the Squier. Unless there's a definite fault it's hard to buy something completely duff at these price points. You may also want to factor in the price of a case or gig bag ( a MIM I think comes with a gig bag, the Squier I think doesn't so that explains a chunk of the price difference). 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 548
    Choose my VM Jazz over a MIM Jazz as I could not hear a difference big enough to warrant the price difference.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • MattBansheeMattBanshee Frets: 621

    There are some complications in this whole process that certainly won't end up saving me money. Last year I moved to the Falklands so whatever I need to do has to be done in the two weeks I'm in the UK in August. That means it has to be done fast and I'm limited on weight for the flight. I'm already heading to Rich Tone Music in Sheffield for something else so as private selling and Ebay etc. take time, the most likely scenario is that I'll have to just trade my Gibson in to them and get a bass that is new. It's frustrating because my Les Paul is upgraded and kept in such pristine condition that they probably have new guitars that are worse!

    It is the weight issues that mean I probably won't get an amp and I'll stick to using the same Atomic AmpliFire and Laney IRT-X that I use with my guitars. At a gig I'll just use the IRT-X as a monitor and go through the PA. For the bass itself, I'm obviously limited to what Rich Tone are selling so at the top end of my budget would be a MiM Fender Jazz or Precision.

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/fender_standard_jazz_bass_maple_fretboard_lake_placid_blue.asp

    I expect these to be very good as I own a MiM Fender Stratocaster Standard and it's superb. As a more budget option I was looking at a Yamaha BB424X.

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/yamaha_bb424x_bass_guitar_black.asp

    If there's anything else on the Rich Tone website I should be looking at that is a good option, by all means let me know.

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/ibanez_atk200_bass_natural_finish_with_gigbag_2nd_hand-yibanez51863.asp
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • I've tried an Ibanez bass before and I wasn't that impressed. I suspect that I'd probably go for either the MiM Precision or Jazz. Which one of those to go for is a really tough one. As a lead guitarist I find I'm drawn to the definition of tone and slim neck of the Jazz but when I think of bass tones I really like (Stranglers, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy) it always seems to be the Precision.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7018
    Yeah if your ideal tone is Iron Maiden I'd go for a P. Worst case scenario you can swap the neck for a Jazz one at a later date, but most people can adapt to playing a Precision 4 string neck after a while IMO
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • What about the Yamaha TRBX504?

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/yamaha_gtrbx504tbl_bass_guitar.asp

    Or the TRBX304?

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/yamaha_gtrbx304wh_bass_guitar.asp

    What are these like compared to a Precision and Jazz.

    Another interesting option is the Yamaha BB424X as looks to be essentially a PJ so the best of both worlds at a much lower price. What are these like?

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/yamaha_bb424x_bass_guitar_black.asp

    I know Yamaha guitars are very good so would these be a good option?

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RockerRocker Frets: 2742
    Sound is a very subjective thing.  What sounds great to me could be awful to you.  I like the sound of Fender Precision bass but cannot get on with Stingray basses.  Yamaha make great kit, if it sounds good to you then it is good.  Nobody can tell you except yourself.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3321
    The woodworking and frets on Yamaha instruments are exemplary. It is the pickups and controls on the lower-priced examples that can let them down. 

    Find one of the old Attitude Plus bass guitars. Feed it a Gotoh 201B bridge and an American pickup. You'll be sorted.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2925
    After all these varying answers I reckon that if you're already going to richtone then just try what they have and decide there.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • OK, it looks like I'm not tied to the one shop anymore. I've decided not to trade my Gibson in because it's just too good to part with so now it's just a straight cash purchase. This opens up possibilities with other stores so I can get a good price but it also restricts the budget a bit too. As some of the guitars are on pre-order, to make sure I get what I want I'll need to order it before I return to the UK in August as I only have a 2 week window when I'm there. My investigations so far suggest it's between three guitars:

    • Yamaha TBRX304
    • Ibanez SR300E
    • Ibanez SR370E

    As I'm a guitarist and as there is no possibility of trying these before I buy, I need some advice from actual bassists who do know what they're talking about so which of these offers the best quality, tone and versatility?


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.