Help with sons first decent bass purchase

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by tacomamc, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm helping my 13 year old son find his first decent bass. He has a Parts bass he bought a year ago for $40, that came with broken pickups, and an inoperable truss rod. I thought it was good to start on, just to see if he would like to play. He is definitely sticking with it and has now saved $160 for a better one. There's a Squier mb skull and crossbones model for $150 at our local musicgoround. Before I let him shell out all he's saved, I wanted to ask about the Rondo SX basses. How do they stack up, quality wise? I am really just looking for something that's solid enough for him to noodle on that stays in tune, and that I can tweak as needed to make/ keep it playable. Thanks for all your input.
     
  2. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just my personal opinion - at the price point you are considering, you'd do well to get a used bass (I'm assuming the Squier you have looked at is used).

    New basses at that price point are likely to be of lower quality. For example, fret ends may be sharp and need filing, pickups and electronics will be cheap, hardware will be cheap. A used bass in good condition may have started out with better quality components, and will already have had any necessary upgrades.

    Comparing the Squier and the SX, I think both are going to be decent, but the Squier will hold its value better; also Fender parts may be more likely to fit the Squier without extra routing, drilling, etc.
     
  3. telen00b

    telen00b Tele-Meister

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    I've been buying all my gear used since I started playing. You can get incredible deals on good instruments. You can often find a decent Squier for that price, as the previous poster said
     
  4. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    On one hand....I am not going to play a skully bass

    On the other hand....I think they are cool looking and I had one go through my hands (I buy sell, and trade) I was highly impressed with the bass. Light, comfortable, played and sounded great. The look is the only thing that would keep me away from the bass. I might have got lucky with the one I had. But you can find a lot of decent sub 200 basses. Around here, killer basses often at a bargain, are USA Peavey basses. Though many are heavy.
     
  5. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    I have an SX PJ. Nice wood in the body and neck. Pickups sound good. Cheap pots, tuners, and bridge but they work.
    Downside is it took a lot of set up work to eliminate the buzzes. If you are comfortable with nut, truss rod adjustments, and fret filing its not a bad way to go. Otherwise just buy a used Squier, Ibanez, Yamaha, Dean, etc. that you can play first.
     
  6. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    check out a few pawn shops, a pre loved bass+( some barganing points) +a little tweaking = a great bass for few dollars
     
  7. brogh

    brogh Moderator Staff Member

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    I Was really satisfied with my Cort A-5, great bass, you can find it used quite cheaply, there is also a 4 string version.
    Neck Through Body- bartolini pickups, Wilkinson Hardware

    [​IMG]

    I've loved it, but bass is not for me :)

    Cheerios
     
  8. Pawnshopper

    Pawnshopper Tele-Meister

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    I've never touched an SX bass. Rondo's Douglas and Brice basses are OK.
    I bought a used MB-4 for well under $100. I traded it away, and I wish I had it back. It played like a dream.

    The benefits of buying an instrument at a MusicGoRound are
    • money-back guarantee (at least at the one in Columbia, MO)
    • in-store, hands-on, try-before-you-buy
    • set-up may have been performed by store staff
    • used instruments have already been road-tested
     
  9. Stratburst

    Stratburst Friend of Leo's

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    Definitely look for old MIA (and CiA) Peavey Fury basses. I bought one about 8 years ago for $75, and it was comparable to a Fender Highway One P-Bass a friend owned. Actually, the pickup was better; it was as good as the DiMarzio Model P in another friend's bass. I ended up giving my Fury to a friend whose bass had been stolen.

    Post-2008 Fenders and Squiers are very good value in the used marketplace.
     
  10. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks to you all for your recommendations and input. We went to musicgoround and he played everything in his price range for almost an hour and half. Long enough to gather an opinion on each of them. He narrowed it down to an Ibanez and the Squier with the skull. I gave my input, without trying to steer him one way or another, really. I think it's important for him to make those decisions and feel confident in his purchase, either way. If I were buying for him, it'd be different. Anyway, he settled on the Squier, and he's happy with his purchase. $160 is a lot for a 13 year old to spend, when it's his own money. I'll do the setup for him, which is really minor I think. Pots need tightening, body needs a little cleaning, and there might be a truss rod adjustment. Anyway, thanks again.
     
  11. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I was very cool that you let him make his own decision, on the guitar, I let my daughter wheel and deal herself from a used pawn shop yamaha accoustic 128.00 cdn to a 600.00 Epiphone accostic by trading it in on the purchase total cost to her was 200.00 cdn she was 14 at the time. she came out ahead I was happy for her, she still has it.
     
  12. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I hope your son is excited,
     
  13. Coach56

    Coach56 One of the Boys

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    Not knowing a lot about your son, at 13 my hands were pretty small ( still have short fingers ) and I was not comfortable with the Jazz or Precision bass. I ended up with a Silvertone 3/4 scale that lasted me for a few years, then I went to a Vox Sidewinder which I played until the neck literally twisted sideways ( still my favorite bass and I miss it! ).

    After that I moved to a Aria Pro RSB Performer. If you can find one of these they have an amazing tonal range and like the other listed above a narrow neck.

    I switched to guitar some 20+ years ago and now only play bass when needed, for that I have a Hofner "Beatle Bass", again narrow neck.

    If your son already has long finger, please disregard ;-).

    -Harry
     
  14. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, he just turned 13 and wears a men's size 10 1/2 shoe. He's got big hands too, and the reach for him is easy. I did have him try a couple smaller basses, like the Squier Bronco, and he said it was too small. I was initially concerned a full sized bass was too big, but not after he tried a couple. Thanks!
     
  15. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman Tele-Holic

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    I play a MB-4 with some flats it became my primary. I got it before they added the skull decals or changed the head stock to a standard Fender type.
     
  16. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    By the way, for the week or two I had the skully bass, the kids called it a pirate bass.
     
  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Bravo. He got what he preferred and the two of you shared an important experience. I can still remember my Dad and I going together to buy my first bass which as an old Silvertone Dolphin Bass like this one. I paid $40 for it and wish I still had it because I've seen them listed in vintage shops for $900. :eek:

    But what's really important to me is that of all that I've forgotten over the years I can still remember that trip to the music store, where we bought it, and how much I paid for it. Certain things have a way of sticking in your mind and that was one of them. Your son will remember that day too.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    a Squier Jazzer + case I got for a hundy on local ebay... faultless..:cool:

    the lady even delivered it... bargain...;)

    I'm sure there must be deals like this going on in your town, too...;)

    I got an old Magnum Bass for $50 once that was great, as well.... :cool:

    I turn them over to the younger bass players in the school band... or use them myself...
     

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  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Congrats to your son and what a cool Dad to help him make a decision in his own way.
     
  20. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's probably time to seek a model that has better tuners, and other quality hardware. As you get in the used $250+ price range, you'll find a good number of choices within reach.

    Let him develop on a four string model for now, and consider whether active (or passive) suits him better at this time. He can blossom into fretless, or five string, or other active/passive instruments, later.
     
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