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so many options, but which to choose?


Dark

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hey, well, i'm 14 years old, an intermediet player, and i'm looking to replace my cheap beginner bass. I play mostly rock music like led zeppelin, black sabbath, and red hot chilli peppers stuff. I'm looking at spending up to $1500 on a new bass for the next year. I can spend that much just because i'm getting a job this summer to pay for a bass and an amp (probably a 100w ampeg).... so, i'd like some oppinions on what is best for that price range. I've been looking at some fenders like the american jazz, deluxe FMT jazz, and the victor bailey one. Also looking into a Musicman bass.... help please........
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You have a lot to consider. What sound do you like, does the pickup or electronic system matter, do you have a preference as far as neck shape and dimensions. The easiest way to find the right bass is to play every bass you can get your hands on in your price range. And some that are higher priced as well, to give you some perspective. And please judge with your ears and not with your eyes, and not based on what other people have suggest either.
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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Geezer Butler, John Paul Jones, Flea... they've all used various basses. They all sound pretty good, eh?

 

Don't forget, a lot of the classic Flea-sounds on RHCP albums is actually a Spector through a nice preamp, not a Musicman through a GK. ;)

 

Plenty of guys rock on Fenders. I've seen folks rock it out on Musicman basses. G&L basses? Yes, indeed. Warwick? Yup. Indeed. Yamaha? Yes. Modulus? Uh-huh.

 

It's a personal choice; I can't tell you what to buy.

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By the way, welcome to the forum and don't be afraid to introduce yourself. A lot of people around here get flamed because the first posts are titled like this:

What bass should i get

Whats the best bass

______vs.__________

____ string basses suck

Hey, come to see my band_____play

Hey, who wants to buy my _________

 

So yea, welcome aboard.

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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First off, 100 watt ampeg (unless it's all tube) will most likely not be enough for any band situation.

 

With that kind of change, I'd suggest getting a simple Head/Cab set up, and buy a decent bass. You could get all that under $1000 with a little searching.

 

As Getz said, start trying out every bass you can find. Lower than your price range, in your range, and out of your range. Then pick what you think is the best for your situation.

 

You'd be surprised what you could find for $400.

In Skynyrd We Trust
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well, mostly, i'm looking for a flea sounding bass with a wide low end, not something like a ric, something easy and comfortable to play, as well as something reliable, i dont want to have to replace it for a while. The bass i have now is a p-bass style one by silvertone, i like it ok because it works for a school band, but the thing isnt even solid wood, and is really beginning to show how much i've used it. So basically, i want a good low end, reliability, and something easy to play.
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Thats a great idea, they have really slim necks, they already have awesome pickups and a nice bridge, and they are workhorses that go for a good price. See if you can find one to check out and play. I think you would do just fine with that bass and a nice solid amp. You will probably want way more than 100 watts, otherwise you'll find yourself replacing that amp in no time. With thaat gl jbass you'll find your self with 1000 dollars to spend on an amp, considering you buy the geddy lee used. And guess what 1000 dollars goes very far on the used market for amps. Good luck with everything.
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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Originally posted by Dark:

an intermediet player

If you are indeed an intermediate player, you should be able to determine which bass you would like. Like I said before, there are plenty of quality basses available, and with that sort of budget, you should be able to find something worthwhile.

 

What are you using the amp for? 100-watts for full volume rehearsal (with a drummer) or gigs will struggle to cut.

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I second the vote to spend more for amplification. Get up into the 3-500 watt range, a head and and one solid cab. You can do pretty well for $1000 if you shop around.

 

The rest of your cash can be spent on a good bass. There are a LOT of nice axes for less than $1000 that will meet your every need if you have quality amplification. Even your Silvertone may amaze you.

 

Getz knows his stuff, so don't let him tell you you need a Geddy Lee. Answer his questions and he'll give good advice.

 

If you want us to tell you what to buy, get the Geddy Lee and a Carvin BRX510 system.

- Matt W.
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Originally posted by Dave Brown:

Play a lot of basses, buy the one that sounds like a bell and plays like butter, and if it costs a few hundred more, save more money. You'll never be happy about a bass if you are not happy the first time you play it.

This quote came from this thread, where it was a nominated stock answer.

 

But I'll bet you'd find yourself in tall cotton with a Musicmaster, Spector or Warwick option, which are bright and punchy to my ears.

Yep. I'm the other voice in the head of davebrownbass.
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I like the chunkier neck of my Fender Precision Bass. At 14 though, a slimmer neck might work better. I say you are on the right track looking at the US or MIJ (Made in Japan) Fender Jazz basses and think you should look at the Music Man Sterling. Someone has already recommended the Geddy Lee Jazz and there are a lot of Sterling lovers here.

 

I'm going to stress the need for more wattage as well. I used to have a 160 watt head pushing a 1x15" cabinet. I had to push that amp to the max to barely be heard over a drummer, 2 guitars, and a small PA. I switched to a 475 watt head pushing a 4x10 cab and have been a much happier man. That is a big cab though, so maybe 2 2x10's or some other combination will work better for you.

 

Good luck and welcome to the LowDown.

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In your price range, I would recommend a G&L L2000. Great bass and you have 4 different neck options to choose from to get just the feel you want. The Geddy (BenLoy) bass is a good recomendation as well, though I find the neck actually too thin for my tastes, prefering the standard jazz size.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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A high-quality four or five string "Fender Jazz"-style bass is versatile and would be an ideal choice for you.

 

Fender makes good ones. You could a four or five-string American Jazz Deluxe for that price.

 

G&L instruments are also good. Their electronics offer a lot of tonal variation. You can get a G&L to sound like a Fender Jazz, a Fender Precision or a MusicMan Stingray, depending on the sound you need.

 

As others have said, it's important to check out as many basses as you can and form your own opinion. Bring an experienced friend with you for a second opinion.

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Originally posted by Dave Brown:

Originally posted by Dave Brown:

Play a lot of basses, buy the one that sounds like a bell and plays like butter, and if it costs a few hundred more, save more money. You'll never be happy about a bass if you are not happy the first time you play it.

This quote came from this thread, where it was a nominated stock answer.

 

But I'll bet you'd find yourself in tall cotton with a Musicmaster, Spector or Warwick option, which are bright and punchy to my ears.

From the same thread, I responded:

 

Dave, I'll completely disagree with you on this. I have had plenty of basses "grow" on me.
At first, you might like a bass, but play it for a while. You might find it uncomfortable, unwieldy, or just not "it" given some time. At the same time, you might at first not like something like a Musicman Stingray, but you may just not be used to it.
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As others have said, spend on amplification. If it were me and I had $1500 for a rig, I'd get a Genz-Benz NEOX combo (light weight + generous wattage + great tone shaping = lotsa love) and a Jazz bass. But that's me. There are a LOT of ways to come up with a good rig for that money. My point is that that's really the way to approach it, I think. Try to buy a whole rig. Don't make the mistake of splashing out on a cool bass, only to find you can't afford enough wattage to be heard. (100 watts is massive power in a guitar amp; in a bass amp, it is not much power at all.)

 

And don't forget you'll need to buy good cables, a good tuner, a stand, etc. That stuff adds up, too.

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wow, lots of responses, dont really know where to start.... well, i guess i get what you mean as far as amps go, because if you have a great sound on the bass, but you cant even hear it, its useless. I havent played many different varieties of instruments, but it seems like fender is going to be my best option. But may i ask, what is the best when it comes to a good low end? and something close to a flea sound? anyways, i guess a good idea would be to spend a day in a guitar center, and get a feel for all my options........ Also, whats the best amp setup? something like an ampeg rig? or what you guys were talking about earlier?
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  • 2 weeks later...
also, i was looking into it, and you can get a spector legend 5 in the black cherry finish (cool, partially gothic looking finish, i like....) for under $600, whats the rep on spector basses, i know flea plays one in studio, and geezer butler of sabbath plays one alot, but i dont know all that must about them.....?
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I've played some spectors, there are two aspects that strike me about them.

First of all they are very well designed in regards to ergonimcs. The basses really do lie on the body in a very comfortable position, they also feel very light and balaced. Consequently Ned steinberger designed these basses.

Second of all, spector basses really do capture an almost quintissential "modern sound" with their emg pickups and active, boost only I believe, electronics. Couple that with their reverse p and j pickups and you get a very tight sound.

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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There is no "best" in any of it. There's lots of good stuff, great stuff and even some crap. Don't buy the crap. Do you trust yourself not to buy crap?

 

If so, there is no answer for you as to "what's best". If it sounds good, feels good and you can afford it... there ya are.

 

If not, bring someone with you to GC, or whatever, who's crap appraisal skills you do trust.

 

My two cents:

 

Don't buy anything you can't play and/or hear first.

 

Nothing wrong with a used bass. A 2 to 15 year old bass, so long as it isn't broken or badly worn, can easily be exactly what you want and save big $$ compared to a nice new shinny one.

 

Used amps and speakers are maybe a different story. Do you know where they've been? Amps & speakers can wear out and could be a reliability issue. OTOH, I've certainly bought these items used myself. It's just harder to tell how hard an amp has been pushed when they're used. In any case, you want at least 300 watts & a 4x10 (or 2x12 or 2x15. etc.) to be a rock & roller with a loud drummer.

 

Oh, and by the way, I don't know what a Silvertone P bass is like, but one of my absolutley favorite bass players plays a Silvertone. It sounds great. And like many here will tell you, if that guy played a Fender or a Musicman or a Warwick or a Modulus or a Vox or any other bass, he'd probably still be one of my favorite bass players.

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I wish 30 years ago (when I was 14!) someone had told me to pick a J-style rather than a P-style bass. I'm convinced I would have developed quicker.

 

That said, playing Thin Lizzy's "The boys are back in town" on a P-bass just feels sooo right.

 

My 2 pence. Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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I'm glad I had no one to ask.

 

When I was a teenager, I decided to play electric bass. I bought the first one I saw that I could afford. I think it was $60. (That was in 1966 so that was more money than it sounds like).

 

Then I taught myself to play, got in bands, realized my bass wasn't good enough so I bought a better one.

 

Six years later I realized that I was serious about this and I looked around, saw what the serious players were using and I bought a Fender Jazz.

 

You don't need us to help pick out your gear, even though we're glad to give you advice.

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