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Impeding NUBD (new used bass day)!


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Hi all,

 

I'm going to be driving a few hours out (I live in the middle of nowhere so everything's a long drive) on Thursday to try out a used Ibanez BTB-675 5-string bass from Music Go Round. Asking price is $599. Seems like this went for around $900 originally. I've purchased other gear from this store before and know the workers well so I know I'll be treated well. They've offered to do a setup on the bass if there's anything I want changed prior to sale as well which I think would be a bonus.

 

That said, I'm new to bass; I play a number of other instruments (piano/keys, organ, accordion, some percussion, Native American Flute) and took some guitar lessons this year, after trying to self-teach a little bit and getting very little done. Bass has always been of interest to me, and at this time it seems like something that I might enjoy more than guitar. I had a hand injury and a wrist injury some time ago that have made some aspects of guitar playing harder than they should be, at least on the smaller string-spaced and thin C-neck Yamaha Pacifica I have. I'll probably get a classical guitar down the road that I might enjoy playing more, as I've played one of those at my college for a few weeks and it was a much better fit. But it seems like bass might be a more enjoyable experience in this scenario. Plus I do like bass a lot. ;)

 

Anyways, is there anything I should to be looking for other than basic things like everything functions, it holds tuning, the neck is straight, etc (though again at this shop they prep the gear before it goes onto the floor anyways)? I'm looking at 5-strings because of the low B string, which seems to be used a lot in my preferred music genres (jazz fusion, pop, modern gospel, symphonic metal]. I've seen commentary that suggests it's easier to start on a 5-string and go to a 4 than the other way around as well. I'd also rather get a nice instrument that I'll enjoy playing than buy a cheaper instrument and be annoyed when I play it, which would make me enjoy learning it less, if that makes sense.

 

Pics of the bass in question:

 

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Yamaha: Motif XF8, YS200, MX61, CVP-305, CLP-130, YPG-235, PSR-295, PSS-470

Roland: Fantom 7, JV-1000 | Kurzweil: PC3-76, PC4 (88) | Korg: N1R, X5DR

Emu: Proteus/1 | Casio: CT-370 | Novation: Launchkey 37 MK3

Yamaha Pacifica 112V | Ibanez BTB-675 | Alesis SamplePad Pro

Former: Emu Proformance Plus & Mo'Phatt, Korg Krome 61, Roland Fantom XR & JV-1010, Behringer CAT

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Really nice looking bass and Ibanez has build great basses for many years.

 

I started on bass, got kicked out of the band when I was a kid and switched to guitar.

That said, bass is by far one of my favorite instruments and I love playing bass.

Much later in life a gigging band I was in started having bassist problems and I switched back to bass and got good at it.

 

I've avoided the "guitarist playing bass" tendencies and just get into the groove. I've returned to guitar but bass is still part of me, I played some tonight. Super useful for recording for one.

 

I don't see anything to warn you about, considering the instrument and how well you know the sellers. Enjoy it, great axe!!!!

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I did have a thought or two...

 

Weight matters, make sure you like the weight of the instrument. AND, get a great strap and a set of Schaller strap locks. Don't get the Dunlap strap locks, they suck. There may be others or you could use my trusty and inexpensive method and just use the original strap button screws and some large washers with small holes. I have quite a few guitars that have the strap permanently screwed on, my Gibson 335 has had the same strap since 1988 and it is rock solid.

 

Cases are nice but you may also want a padded gig bag with shoulder straps so you can "wear your bass" instead of schlepping it by carrying. Neither of those is the bass itself but both of them make me smile.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Thank you for the tips on strap locks and cases/bags. I'd probably go for a bag this time around...I have a nice hardshell case for my Pacifica and it would be nice to free up a hand at times.

 

Let's see what this afternoon brings. For all I know I might go down there, not like how the bass plays, but find something else I enjoy playing more there. Should be fun. :wink:

 

Sidetracking this a smidge, do you (or anyone else here) have any thoughts on the Yamaha TRBX505 active/passive 5-string? It's got 1mm less string spacing (18mm vs 19mm) from the specs I've seen, but I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes in practical usage. I DO know the 10.5mm spacing on my Pacifica is annoying, but that's a lot smaller.

 

(It's annoying because my hands can easily span an octave and a third, so for example C1-E2 on a piano comfortably, plus one piece of my wrist near the base of the thumb doesn't bend quite right due to a shattering 7 years ago, which my guitar teacher says is a bad combination for narrower and shallower necks. That combo also results in some unpleasant pain regardless of playing angle, wrist angle, shoulder position, etc. That does NOT happen much on my mother's old acoustic (Yamaha FG-450S], and doesn't happen at all on the classical guitars I've played.)

 

Alternatively, are there any other 5-string models I should consider if this one doesn't work out? Budget caps out at $600 before tax. It's become apparent I just really need to play a stringed instrument before buying it but it's much easier to find guitar/bass shops than it is to find X model of keyboard/synth to try out. So no online ordering for me (that's how I got the Pacifica 112V).

Yamaha: Motif XF8, YS200, MX61, CVP-305, CLP-130, YPG-235, PSR-295, PSS-470

Roland: Fantom 7, JV-1000 | Kurzweil: PC3-76, PC4 (88) | Korg: N1R, X5DR

Emu: Proteus/1 | Casio: CT-370 | Novation: Launchkey 37 MK3

Yamaha Pacifica 112V | Ibanez BTB-675 | Alesis SamplePad Pro

Former: Emu Proformance Plus & Mo'Phatt, Korg Krome 61, Roland Fantom XR & JV-1010, Behringer CAT

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Thank you for the tips on strap locks and cases/bags. I'd probably go for a bag this time around...I have a nice hardshell case for my Pacifica and it would be nice to free up a hand at times.

 

Let's see what this afternoon brings. For all I know I might go down there, not like how the bass plays, but find something else I enjoy playing more there. Should be fun. :wink:

 

Sidetracking this a smidge, do you (or anyone else here) have any thoughts on the Yamaha TRBX505 active/passive 5-string? It's got 1mm less string spacing (18mm vs 19mm) from the specs I've seen, but I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes in practical usage. I DO know the 10.5mm spacing on my Pacifica is annoying, but that's a lot smaller.

 

(It's annoying because my hands can easily span an octave and a third, so for example C1-E2 on a piano comfortably, plus one piece of my wrist near the base of the thumb doesn't bend quite right due to a shattering 7 years ago, which my guitar teacher says is a bad combination for narrower and shallower necks. That combo also results in some unpleasant pain regardless of playing angle, wrist angle, shoulder position, etc. That does NOT happen much on my mother's old acoustic (Yamaha FG-450S], and doesn't happen at all on the classical guitars I've played.)

 

Alternatively, are there any other 5-string models I should consider if this one doesn't work out? Budget caps out at $600 before tax. It's become apparent I just really need to play a stringed instrument before buying it but it's much easier to find guitar/bass shops than it is to find X model of keyboard/synth to try out. So no online ordering for me (that's how I got the Pacifica 112V).

 

I am not up on current models but my experience with Yamaha instruments is that they have excellent QC overall and do work with musicians to arrive at their designs. Certainly worth a look.

I think a Peavey Grind may be in your price range, those are worth a look as well.

Honestly, I would ignore brand names and just try whatever they have in your price range. If you like it, it is good! Be sure to get back with us and let us know what you did. :)

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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The BTB models have good materials and are well made, but can be heavy. The long upper horn aids balance, but visually looks odd, imo. Definitely be sure to try it out if possible while sitting and standing, see how it fits and hangs on a strap.

Being active, there's a small upkeep involved, and active basses have their own sound. I have 2 active Ibanez 5 string basses, which mainly are used for recording and home use these days, as I gave up on batteries in live instruments a while ago. They're great for others, but I usually want simple and good sounding and playing in a live context.

 

As for others, of course all companies have levels in produce spec and pricing, but in general Yamaha instruments are well made and can sound great, but have their own design things. Again, be sure to try for fit as well as function. Try as many as you can of all types. it's really the best way to know. Have fun. :)

 

One thing about playing on a 5 string bass is that you can play a lot of things going across the fingerboard rather than up and down the fingerboard, which may be a good thing if you have a hand issue.

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks all for your input! I did end up buying the BTB-675. The weight seems comfortable to me (keep in mind I'm used to a 30lb accordion with straps), and I like the sound. It plays nicely as well...easy on my hands too. I've definitely been enjoying playing it.

 

D4-F2-A826-A721-4290-A1-D5-1-A2891-BFB1-BD.jpg

Yamaha: Motif XF8, YS200, MX61, CVP-305, CLP-130, YPG-235, PSR-295, PSS-470

Roland: Fantom 7, JV-1000 | Kurzweil: PC3-76, PC4 (88) | Korg: N1R, X5DR

Emu: Proteus/1 | Casio: CT-370 | Novation: Launchkey 37 MK3

Yamaha Pacifica 112V | Ibanez BTB-675 | Alesis SamplePad Pro

Former: Emu Proformance Plus & Mo'Phatt, Korg Krome 61, Roland Fantom XR & JV-1010, Behringer CAT

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