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Advice for my next bass?


JLM

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I'm currently playing a Peavy Milestone 3, with 2 J pickups. I recently took my flat wounds off and went back to round wounds. Well I prefered the flats. Since I'm in the market for another bass I thought I'd look for one that would emphasize the flat wound sound. My budget is around a grand. My main problem is there is no selection at the local music store, so I'll probably mail order one. I'd just like to try and order the right one. I'm open to suggestions for bass's or just types of pickups. If I can find a used one somewhere I can replace the pickups myself if need be. Thanks.
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If youve got a grand to spend on a bass, screw buying a crappy fender! go for something that will last you a long time. Ive been playing for 16 years and I have played a wide variety of instruments in my career. Fenders are at the bottom of the spectrum! I would highly recomend buying a spector bass, the one i have has served me faithfully for years. Another great bass to look into are the Paul Reed Smith's, or if your looking to have some fun, why not customize a bass from the ground up? order it piece by piece that way you can ensure that you get exactly what your looking for. Its a lot cheaper than what you think. I just recently customized one myself, it was the 3rd one i have done.

 

In the end, whatever you choose to do, be sure to shop around and choose an instrument that best suites your playing style. Good luck man!

Come on baby, dont fear the reaper

-Wayward son

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Forget the Spector, unless your playing rock or metal. Nothing against that. The bass you want for your price range is a Lakland 44-02 Skyline bass. Gets any tone you want and will sound AWESOME with Flats on it. I know, I just did it! I have a Mike lull with roundwounds and my 44-02 has flats. What an awesome tone. Monsterous(Growl), warm, punchy and woody. The Bartolini pups and preamp add full dimension.

Good luck.

Hawk ;)

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A Fender P sounds like a fine idea to me. Even a P clone (like the Bob Glaub Lakland, for example -- is there a more affordable Skyline version?). Want a little more versatility, get a "hot rodded" P with a jazz pickup at the bridge. Some Spectors have that configuration.

 

Spectors are fine basses as well. However, the smallish body shape does not always sit comfortably in the lap if you play sitting down. They also wouldn't be my first choice for a classic flatwound sound. I'm also not as much of a fan of the maple bodied basses (e.g., most Spectors, most Pedullas) as I am of alder, ash, and some other woods. (I like the alder-bodied Czech bolt-ons from Spector -- maybe w/ an upgrade to the EMG DC p'ups instead of the EMG HZ p'ups, but now I'm getting off topic.)

 

If you really want that great flatwound sound on a fretted bass, I would recommend an alder body bass w/ a P pickup, a maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard. Probably passive electronics (but not necessarily so). If it's well-made, feels good, and sounds how you want, it's the right bass -- regardless of the name (or lack thereof) on the headstock.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudes, read the original post:

 

Originally posted by JLM:

I thought I'd look for one that would emphasize the flat wound sound.

spector? lakland? why buy something with all kinds of crazy preamping that will brighten the tone? a fender would be great. and all you "crappy fender" people, realize that fender IS electric bass. without our uncle leo we would all play upright and have to go to school before we could join a band. fender DEFINES electric bass, so the argument could be made that everything else is the crappy stuff.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Have you considered a Stingray?

 

I want to start out by saying that I'm not a brand hater, but the American fender's and deluxes that I tried prior to buying my stingray honestly sucked balls compared to the 'ray. I tried a ray, knew that I had to have one and got one mail order. I've heard that they are very consistently good with great warrantee service, so hopefully you'll be right.

 

FOr the sound, however, I think most of these guys are right - the sound of a p-bass with flats is always a classic.

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Originally posted by JLM:

I thought I'd look for one that would emphasize the flat wound sound. My budget is around a grand

Go P-bass shopping - try anything that looks like one, and focus on the *unplugged* sound. Make sure that it has an even tone from top to bottom of the neck, lots of resonance (i.e. you can feel every note vibrate against your body) and plenty of bottom. Then chuck whatever pickup is in there and put in a Seymour Duncan antiquity for P-bass pickup. (If you dare, raise the action and put on LaBella heavy gauge flats for maximum mojo). Then you will have THE sound.

 

Alex

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Originally posted by Cuahtemoc:

Have you considered a Stingray?

I'm not to sure about prices and things, but would you really be able to get a Stringray for 1000$us?

Last time I saw a stringray in a shop it was priced at something like £1150.

Perhaps that shop was just extortionatly overpriced.

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Originally posted by Invincible:

Last time I saw a stringray in a shop it was priced at something like £1150.

Perhaps that shop was just extortionatly overpriced.

That's not atypical for a Stingray in the UK. The sad fact is that almost all musical gear in the US costs about 60% of what it does here. C'est la vie.

 

Alex

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I've never heard anyone call a Fender crappy!!! Is that from experience or just your personal feelings?? I've never owned a Fender but how can the Company that invented Electric Bass be called crappy? Just wondering. I've always dreamed of owning a Fender Jazz although i've never played one or even held one, i've always considered them the ultimate!
Set the pace.......add more Bass!!
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Fender's crappy? aaaahhhh, i don't know!.

anyway...

i've been playing flatwounds in the start of my career and i've been using them with the P-bass...and...i rarely hear basses that match with flats that sounded great...sorry my bass-buying friend...i don't know the brand names...

hey, guys...we're emphasizing the flatwound sound here...ok? so let's think more of what the original bass leo fender intended...let's help our friend here...

if i have a grand, i would definitely look for a vintage pre-CBS P-bass coz if my memory serves me right, roundwounds didn't define the new sound of bass...and the p-bass was usually paired with flatwounds...sooooo...flatwounds did rule the bassdom with the p-bass in it's throne...

 

did i help???

If Jaco's bass sound farts, please forgive me for doing it always!

 

ONCE A LEVITE, ALWAYS A LEVITE.

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I'm not sure about this one because I'm still unsure of why anyone would prefer flatwounds over round. But as far as this Fender issue goes, sure they are great and they started it all, but just because it was the first doesn't mean it cannot be improved upon. That's like saying the Model T is the best performing car ever because it was one of the ones that started it.

 

Dave

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I'll be the 49th person to recommend a P Bass.

 

Yeah, your question isn't, "What's the best bass I can get for a grand?" (Thanks, E!) As I understand it, you're looking for something specific, something with a deep, warm, darkish kind of sound, nice & full & fat & buttery, maybe even "old school" (Jamerson/Babbitt/Dunn/Kaye kind of vibe). If so, then man, that's the P Bass. My ideal would be a sunburst alder body w/ rosewood. :love: And be sure to keep a bit of foam, rag, or sponge handy to wad up underneath the strings at the bridge! (For that reason, a bridge cover might be nice, for wedging the foam between bridge & cover.)

 

The 62 reissues look very nice indeed. A bass I've really liked is the 52 reissue, the old "tele" bass with the funky pickguard; they're strung through the body, the neck isn't a baseball bat, & they define simplicity. I would LOVE to play one of those with flats (& maybe a little foam)! Nice thing about them, imho, is that they have finished maple fretboards, which will add a bit of brightness--not because you're after a bright tone, but because that can help make notes a bit more articulate, and it's easier to dial brightness out than to dial it in. It's right around $600, which ain't bad. It's Japanese, not US, but I've got a Japanese J reissue & LOVE it.

 

Of course, living in Ketchikan you're faced with paying more, period; if you ship from the lower 48, there's $100 right there, & even if you ship from Anchorage, Anchorage prices aren't that cheap.

 

But heck, why not splurge--take a trip to the big town, stay at the Capt. Cook, have dinner at the Kayak Club, catch a show on 4th Ave, & buy a new Fender! :thu:

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Yes, flatwounds on Precision. The sound that's on every Motown record and every Stax-Volt record.

 

As Bastid E says, no active basses.

 

No Warwicks either. They are fine basses and sound great in a rock band with round wound strings on them.

 

Honestly, has anyone ever seen a Warwick with flatwounds on a studio date? I'll believe you if you tell me who and where.

 

Every studio musician in Nashville has a Precision with flats (among other basses).

 

Personally, I don't even like flatwounds. I used them when I started playing bass and even played on the same set for six years. When round wounds came out, I was glad to change and decided never to go back.

 

A few years ago due to the requests of a producer, I got a Ferndandes P bass copy and put flatwounds on it. They absolutely love it in the studio. And that's the only place I play it, because it's not what I love to play.

 

The original question was "what bass would sound good with flatwounds". It would be perfectly possible and logical to put a bass of the desired type together from Warmoth parts.

 

And I agree that Fender is not as consistent in their quality as other brands (even though no one has actually stated that). But it is possible to get a good one, especially for the stated reason of the original post.

 

By the way, a Lakland Bob Glaub model is a passive bass and would be an excellent choice.

 

I have not played a Skyline model so I am only talking about the signature model which is of course in the $3000 range.

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Thanks everyone. I'll concentrate on the Fender P's. I've been internet window shopping for a couple months now and like lots of what I see, Lakeland Skyline, G&L and Warwick. But I cann't tell what they're gonna sound like from a picture.

DCR hit the nail on the head with the discription of the sound I want. I cann't put it into words, but when I read it I know that's it.

Jeremy, I appreciate your input, especially since I've known you don't like flats. You may have rolled your eyes at your computer when you read of my preference, but it didn't come across in your post at all. You just told me how to get the sound I'm after.

Thanks again everyone.

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Originally posted by jeremyc:

The original question was "what bass would sound good with flatwounds". It would be perfectly possible and logical to put a bass of the desired type together from Warmoth parts.

That is not a bad idea if you don't mind doing some work on your own (or with a friend or a tech). It could really work out well to create your own P bass.

 

Fender P would be a great idea.

 

A Lakland Skyline Bob Glaub might also be very nice.

 

A G&L SB-2 might do the job, too. It has a P pickup and a J pickup at the bridge. However, it only has a volume control for each pickup and no tone control.

 

If you can find a late '80s G&L SB-1, that would work -- single P pickup w/ volume and tone knobs.

 

Just some brainstorming.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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i'm going to follow up on the lakland bob glaub (USA or skyline). it is a really incredible sounding instrument. i played a US glaub when i visited lakland a month ago. i cannot describe how great that bass felt and sounded. incredible.

 

they make a "duck" dunn version of that bass. the only really difference is a gold anodized aluminum pickguard. either way would be damn cool.

 

for USA laklands, the parts are CNC machined off-site, inspected on-site, sent to california to be finished, inspected again on-site, and assembled in-house.

 

the only difference for sklyines is that the parts are CNC machined off-shore, instead of in the US. then they're finished domestically and are assembled in the lakland US shop in chicago, just like the USA laklands. i would feel very confident about buying a sklyine to get closer to the $1k budget.

 

robb.

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I got a stingray 4, 3 band eq in acadamy of sound in manchester 2nd hand for 800 pounds (UK) with the hardcase, i've slowly had to force myself to love the colour though which you can guess from my user-name.
Derek Smalls: It's like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water. http://www.myspace.com/gordonbache
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"Prove" is being used in that sentence in the old-fashioned sense of "put to the test" (and NOT "demonstrate the truth of"). So an exception doesn't show that the rule is true (as many people seem to assume), but rather it poses a problem for the rule--it puts it to the test.

 

Since you asked. :D

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Originally posted by JLM:

I'm currently playing a Peavy Milestone 3, with 2 J pickups. I recently took my flat wounds off and went back to round wounds. Well I prefered the flats. Since I'm in the market for another bass I thought I'd look for one that would emphasize the flat wound sound. My budget is around a grand. My main problem is there is no selection at the local music store, so I'll probably mail order one. I'd just like to try and order the right one. I'm open to suggestions for bass's or just types of pickups. If I can find a used one somewhere I can replace the pickups myself if need be. Thanks.

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I found an old G&L SB-1 with a P pickup,signed by Leo. Better than any recent Fender that I've tried. If you notice, every Fender sounds and feels different, even when it's the same model. Not nearly the consistensy of the great old Precisions of yesteryear (pre CBS). Replaced La Bella flats with TI Jazz Flats. Sometimes I put foam under the bridge for that great thud from the 60's. Couldn't be happier. I have Hi-Fi basses as well but when out on a gig of Blues or Old Style R&B, I use the SB-1 with flats.

 

You can find them used for under $500. With the money you save you can start looking for cabinets, a nice preamp, or a very long lap dance.

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Originally posted by dcr:

"Prove" is being used in that sentence in the old-fashioned sense of "put to the test" (and NOT "demonstrate the truth of"). So an exception doesn't show that the rule is true (as many people seem to assume), but rather it poses a problem for the rule--it puts it to the test.

 

Since you asked. :D

Nicely done!

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Here are some ideas from eBay. The red one appears to be in the best condition from the photos. You'd certainly have some real $$$ leftover from that $1K you budgeted!

 

G&L SB-1 P bass, red

 

G&L SB-1 P bass, white

 

G&L SB-1 P bass, burst

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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