Bass/Amp recommendations

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3250
    vale said:
    What about a Tokai copy? 
    Looks alone do not a Rickenbacker make. (Even some of RIC's own products manage to miss the mark.)

    Some of the older Japanese imitations do a reasonable job. One of my contemporaries had a Shaftsbury. My own choice would be the Ibanez 2388 or 2389 from their Seventies replica period. (Barry Adamson of Magazine used to play the latter.)

    Coincidentally, on the eBay page for the Tokai, there are links to a couple Aria basses, one Cardinal/CSB and this Thor Sound TSB.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aria-Pro-TSB-400-Thor-sound-Bass/292608978824?_trkparms=aid=888007&algo=DISC.MBE&ao=1&asc=49130&meid=dbb17f5c072c443f99d4784fc2fd4693&pid=100009&rk=1&rkt=2&sd=163104300849&itm=292608978824&_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    I do agree with @Funkfingers - Rics are just one of those basses that need to be original - the copies just don’t have the same sound or vibe. @ICBM May disagree (I dunno!) but the combination of woods, build technique, pickups and hardware are what uniquely make a Ric what it is. 

    With a P bass you can get a lot of the way there with a copy as it’s all pretty stock stuff - alder/ash routed body, bolt on standard neck, standard split coil pickup and bent metal bridge with standard cts electronics. Easy to copy and put together. Same as a telecaster really. 


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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    What about a new Tokai Jazz bass? Are they any good? Compared to the fenders?


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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    What about a new Tokai Jazz bass? Are they any good? Compared to the fenders?


    Not tried one - but the bass collection Jazz basses are worth a look if you want a non-fender Jazz for not much money. 

    The sensible thing would be to have a look in the classifieds here and on Basschat and see what you can get used - 400 notes can get you an awful lot of used bass.
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2706
    edited June 21
    OP, don't overlook the Aria STB range of basses. Amazing gear for beer money.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    lots and lots to go and try. Early days but what about the new offerings from fender https://www.andertons.co.uk/fender-player-jazz-bass-black-maple-fretboard

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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    https://shop.fender.com/en-GB/electric-basses/jazz-bass/player-jazz-bass/0149903525.html#start=1

    looks like a satin finish on the back of the neck :) Looks like a winner for me. Mexican are good quality too?
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    Rocker said:
    OP, don't overlook the Aria STB range of basses. Amazing gear for beer money.
    lots and lots to go and try. Early days but what about the new offerings from fender https://www.andertons.co.uk/fender-player-jazz-bass-black-maple-fretboard

    Both good suggestions - and again I totally agree with the go try lots and make sure you look in lots of shops and try lots of different makes..

    But, I do also think you get a lot more used. I don’t think basses hold their value quite as well as guitars, and I’ve seen some proper bargains over recent months.

    Just last year I picked up an ACG Finn - handmade custom with exotic wood top, asymmetric neck, handwound pickup and superb hardware for less than the OPs budget....
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1414
    Bass Cube?
    Another +1 for the Roland Bass Cube and Sire's are good and there are plenty to choose from at Andertons. 

    I've been using, gigging both for a couple of years now and they're good.
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    Kebabkid said:
    Bass Cube?
    Another +1 for the Roland Bass Cube and Sire's are good and there are plenty to choose from at Andertons. 

    I've been using, gigging both for a couple of years now and they're good.
    Bass cube give a good clear clean sound? Has it got a DI out as well?
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1414
    edited June 21
    Kebabkid said:
    Bass Cube?
    Another +1 for the Roland Bass Cube and Sire's are good and there are plenty to choose from at Andertons. 

    I've been using, gigging both for a couple of years now and they're good.
    Bass cube give a good clear clean sound? Has it got a DI out as well?
    It does @Bridgehouse ;; and have the 120XL and use their equivalent of their SWR amp called Session with a little bit of the amp's in-built compression.

    It has both a DI Out and Line Out and whilst most people might not think 120 watts is a lot and prefer a lot more wattage for headroom with bass, it's plenty loud for gigging and I use a Sire Marcus Miller with a very powerful, active 18V preamp and it stays clean. OK inbuilt fx and tuner, too as well as other, useable models.

    Here's the spec - https://www.roland.com/global/products/cube-120xl_bass/
    Edit: I keep the gain at between 9-11 o'clock
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    Kebabkid said:
    Kebabkid said:
    Bass Cube?
    Another +1 for the Roland Bass Cube and Sire's are good and there are plenty to choose from at Andertons. 

    I've been using, gigging both for a couple of years now and they're good.
    Bass cube give a good clear clean sound? Has it got a DI out as well?
    It does @Bridgehouse ; and have the 120XL and use their equivalent of their SWR amp called Session with a little bit of the amp's in-built compression.

    It has both a DI Out and Line Out and whilst most people might not think 120 watts is a lot and prefer a lot more wattage for headroom with bass, it's plenty loud for gigging and I use a Sire Marcus Miller with a very powerful, active 18V preamp and it stays clean. OK inbuilt fx and tuner, too as well as other, useable models.

    Here's the spec - https://www.roland.com/global/products/cube-120xl_bass/

    Yes they look good as an all in one solution.. I am toying with a lighter weight single box answer for acoustic gigs - the 120 might be a bit much at 19kg but the 60 looks like it would do the job. I’d love to compare it to the EBS Session 60 and see how they stack up.

    Then again, one of those Rumble studio 40s would do for acoustic gigs.. the choice, the choice...
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32268
    edited June 21
    I do agree with @Funkfingers - Rics are just one of those basses that need to be original - the copies just don’t have the same sound or vibe. @ICBM May disagree (I dunno!) but the combination of woods, build technique, pickups and hardware are what uniquely make a Ric what it is.
    Not disagreeing at all - that’s exactly it. In fact, the pickups are the least of it - mine has different ones from stock (the bridge one is not even a Rick pickup) and still sounds exactly like a Rick - I actually think the unique truss rods are a major part of it. That said, I had a Shaftesbury that wasn’t too bad, even with a single rod.

    But it’s far easier to make a decent Fender copy.
    "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."
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3250
    What about a new Tokai Jazz bass? Are they any good? Compared to the fenders?
    The very earliest Japanese production Tokai instruments are highly regarded. They were what embarrassed Fender into starting co-production with Fuji-Gen Gakki.

    In 1984 or 85, I tried a fretless Jazz Sound Bass at the Allbang & Strummit shop. I have no memory of trying the more recent, non-Japanese production basses. This means either that I have not tried a recent Tokai or that I have but it left little or no impression. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • AuldReekieAuldReekie Frets: 161
    ICBM said:
    @Funkfingers - au contraire blackadder!

    I would rate the P/Rick comment as one of the funniest of the week/month/year. You always give good advice - even when you disagree with me ;)

    And me :).

    The P/Rick was funny...

    I will have to concede in this case that you can't get any kind of worthwhile Rick for £400 ;). (Or even £600.) Anyway, the OP wants a Jazz-type, which is fair enough. There's a lot of choice in this style/price range.

    All I would really add is - I don't actually agree with Funkfingers about spending more on the amp. If it was for gigging, yes - but for home and recording you can get a pretty good amp for under £200, so I would spend as much as possible on the bass and not reduce it by spending more on the amp.

    And I would also avoid active basses if possible - I know this is not a fashionable opinion, but I've always found cheaper actives *reduce* the sound quality of the signal, even if they add more EQ control. If you're on a budget you're better off with quality woodwork and pickups than active circuitry.

    That said, if you go second hand you can still get a decent active bass for under £400. @AuldReekie just picked up a nice Yamaha (I can't remember the model number) for just under £300, which although not a Jazz style is a very versatile pro-quality bass, and ideal for recording even without an amp.
    Its a Yamaha BB604, which, I think was a model from around the early 2000s.  Used it without an amp directly into garageband and its fine. Quite a versatile bass - 2 p/ups, volume, bass treble controls and an active mid boost that can be dialed in and has its own varialbel control pot.  I'm no bassist, but for the money, it will give me every thing I need for recording
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3250
    ICBM said:
    AuldReekie just picked up a nice Yamaha (I can't remember the model number) for just under £300, which although not a Jazz style is a very versatile pro-quality bass, and ideal for recording even without an amp.
    It's a Yamaha BB604 ... 2 p/ups,  volumes, bass, treble controls and an active mid boost that can be dialed in and has its own variable control pot.
    That Yamaha EQ circuit resembles the Nathan East signature model bass. The same thing was also offered as a pedal.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • valevale Frets: 1036
    edited June 22
    ICBM said:
    I do agree with @Funkfingers - Rics are just one of those basses that need to be original - the copies just don’t have the same sound or vibe. @ICBM May disagree (I dunno!) but the combination of woods, build technique, pickups and hardware are what uniquely make a Ric what it is.
    Not disagreeing at all - that’s exactly it. In fact, the pickups are the least of it - mine has different ones from stock (the bridge one is not even a Rick pickup) and still sounds exactly like a Rick - I actually think the unique truss rods are a major part of it. That said, I had a Shaftesbury that wasn’t too bad, even with a single rod.

    But it’s far easier to make a decent Fender copy.
    that wild card was a result of searching for a decent vintage Tokai bass & remembering the OPs stated preference for a slim neck profile & preferably lightweight body. fully agree that Ricks are tricky to clone (weird pickups, megabridge, twin truss neck), but the Tokai may have been a sweet player on its own terms.

    Tokai seemed to do well though. nearly £400 seems top heavy. i know Hondo Rick copies do well due to the Hooky connection (while he couldn't wait to get rid of his) so maybe this is spillover from that.
    hofner hussie & hayman harpie. what she said...
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2706
    Slight thread hijack: is it a straight swap (flats for round wounds) on a bass or will my bass need some fettling before it is 'right' after a change? Thanks
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32268
    Rocker said:
    Slight thread hijack: is it a straight swap (flats for round wounds) on a bass or will my bass need some fettling before it is 'right' after a change? Thanks
    It may, in the same way as any change of gauge or even brand of strings can do, but nothing other than that
    "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."
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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    P or J bass? Which is more versitille? 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    P or J bass? Which is more versitille? 
    Depends on who it’s for - it’s a bit like asking whether a strat or Les Paul is more versatile - and it depends on the context too. 

    A Jazz can give a wider tonal variety but arguably a P sits more comfortably in a wider range of mixes...
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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    Pop, blues, rock, funk styles
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    Pop, blues, rock, funk styles
    You need to try both and see which one fits your playing style better - there’s no single choice that’s better for all of those styles
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  • ChiliwailerChiliwailer Frets: 52
    Rocker said:
    Slight thread hijack: is it a straight swap (flats for round wounds) on a bass or will my bass need some fettling before it is 'right' after a change? Thanks
    Usually needs a tweak due to tension differences. 
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3250
    P or J bass? Which is more versatile? 
    Each can produce sounds that the other can not. 

    In my opinion, the mongrel PJ pickup configuration does not provide the best compromise of both ...




    ... unless it is the old Seymour Duncan Active EQ series "switch" pickups. This is because these pickups are cheating. The shapes of the housings have no influence on how the innards sound. Inside, the P and short J versions are identical.



    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    Thanks everyone for your help. After playing lots of basses in andertons i ended up with a second squire jazz bass. I know electronics might not be great but i thought it sounded great and plays really well. £120 bargain from Andertons. 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15480
    Thanks everyone for your help. After playing lots of basses in andertons i ended up with a second squire jazz bass. I know electronics might not be great but i thought it sounded great and plays really well. £120 bargain from Andertons. 
    Great price - well done!
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3250
    i ended up with a second [-hand] squire jazz bass. 
    I assume that is an Affinity series. 

    Getting back to your opening post, £300-400 minus £120, leaves a notional £180-280 to put towards amplification (or bass guitar upgrades).
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8910
    dean111music said:
    which [Yamaha] models did you like?
    The RBX series is a perennial favourite on the secondhand market. When keeping the price down, Yamaha cuts the right corners. Hence, the woodworking and frets are excellent. The cheap 'n' cheerful pickups and control electronics can always be upgraded in the future.

    I have an RBX375 and I think it's excellent. If "favourite on the secondhand market" means there's always plenty for sale you might imply that people don't like them but I like mine and it's NOT for sale.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    Yes it’s an affinity j bass. I preferred it to the vintage modified to be honest. Prefer the feel of the neck. Wasn’t as heavy too.

    i ended up buying a used GK 1x8 combo of @dindude  which is awesome. Got everything well under budget! Happy days 
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