Newbie Bass Search

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Pualee, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Meister

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    I'm in the early stages of searching for my first bass. I want a bass, a cab, and a "amp in a box" to drive the cab. This "amp in a box" would also be used on stage direct to the PA. Versatility is always my first goal. I like to buy good quality, and buy it once.

    I'm partial to a P bass, maybe a Jazz. I don't know much about anything bass related - so I need an education. I'd like to spend as little as possible, but still getting good quality.

    By comparison of my price/quality values - I usually look to spend $400 - $800 for a new instrument and related gear. I did this for keyboard, electric rig, acoustic rig. Quality and versatility are the most important things. I don't care about "bling".
     
  2. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    Squier Classic Vibe/Vintage Modified Jazzes and P Basses are very well respected and should do you a good few years. I'd suggest finding something used if cost is a factor.
     
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  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My wife plays bass, so as a guitarist like me, it was important to play a bunch of different ones to learn about scale length, weight, and sound. Also, what kind of music do you intend to play with it?
     
  4. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Meister

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    At home, music style can vary a lot, but for playing out - it would be for church - so music style can vary there too - mostly pop/rock but also hymns (modified classical music).
     
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  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    $800 total cost is a tight budget, but "do-able".....look for a used Fender Squier P-Bass (preferably MIM or MIK.....about $300 or less) a used Peavey 1X15" cabinet ($150 or so) and a bass head....I bought a new tc electronics 250 watt bass amp for about $250- 300, I think) This would bring you in around $700-800, and with good quality stuff. Invest another $50 in a set of flatwound strings, and you're ready to go. Good luck.
     
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  6. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    You can't go far wrong with a used MIM Fender P or J. Squiers generally have good bones but cheaper electronics and hardware. This might be a problem for you and it might not, they vary pretty wildly from year to year.
     
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  7. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Totally nailed it!
     
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  8. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Can’t go wrong with a p bass...classic sound
     
  9. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ibanez and Yamaha have some very good basses at lower prices too.

    I’d try to put as much into the amp and cab. That will get the tones.

    The Trace Elliott ELF is a nice 200w compact head with DI out.
     
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  10. screefer

    screefer Tele-Meister

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    If I can assume that you already are a Fender Telecaster fan, then I would recommend a Fender Mustang P/J Bass.
    It is a short scale which makes the transition from guitar to bass easier and, I believe, it also sports a P pick up that Fender uses in their full scale Ps.
    Good luck!
     
  11. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    got a Fender Player Series P last week..it is stupid good...the pickups are classic P with a lil..tiny lil more juice available...motown- rock..spot on..It records spot on in the mix..there is 5 Buttercup (2).jpg American P basses here & we are blown away by this thing..the neck..quality..whole package
     
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  12. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    D46029EF-BD5D-4BCB-A4E5-998AEF00F579.jpeg I recently purchased a MIM Mustang and really liked it. As someone above posted, its a great bass for someone transitioning from guitar. The short scale really makes it comfortable. The only downside is the heavy strings on a short scale.

    I decided to bite the bullet and go to a big boy bass so I returned the Mustang and got the new Players Series P Bass.
    I am glad I did. Very comfortable neck and classic tone. It was only a little more than the Mustang. I also like the simplicity of the single pickup.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  13. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    Mim jazz w 60's Custom pickups..found it cheap. into it for $400 after pups, pots,,way worth the pickup swap..the necks is best i ever played Jazz (2).jpg it has the midrange grind & speed...this with the player series has the studio covered for sure
     
  14. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    So true. After my VM Squier bass experience, I wouldn't recommend one unless it were the Classic Vibe. If you get any of the lower models, see it as a fixer upper.
     
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    6E351A42-ADCC-4737-8714-39DDB7C26041.jpeg If you like Jazz basses (like me), you might consider a PRS SE Kestrel.
    I have 2, and love them!
    They go for around $500 used, about $800, new.
    The have great Hipshot hardware, neck through construction, and neck binding.
    Here’s mine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  16. erratick

    erratick Tele-Holic

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    So bassic information (see what I did there):

    1) P bass - generally neck width at the nut is 1.65 or 1.7inch- so thick-ish. Neck profile can make it feel fuller or slimmer. It also has a pickup that is humbucking and has a classic sound.

    2) Jazz bass- neck with is 1.5 inch. Generally a slimmer neck. Two single coils- cancel hum when both are volume up, but may hum with only one pickup- some modern pickups eliminate this.

    Any genre of music has both basses on famous tracks. So try both styles. You can get P-basses with the jazz neck (a fave of mine) and you can put a Pbass neck on a jazz (probably not as common).

    Strings- round wound - bright tone- sometimes buzzes - classic Chris Squire's Yes bass sound depended on these- many Rock and funk sounds depend on roundwounds. You can kind of roll the tone off to sound duller. Strings dull with time.

    flat wound- duller tone - smooth touch - R&B and early rock records have this sound. Many classic records have flat wounds.

    Weight-

    Even light basses are heavier than almost any conventional guitar. So a heavy bass can be a pain on a long gig.

    Getting a good strap can help distribute the weight, but it won't relieve it completely. Don't use a guitar strap unless you hate your shoulders.

    My point with this is play a few basses if possible- figure out what neck styles you like, what sound you like, and what weight you enjoy.

    In Fender land the tiers go:

    Squier -> Fender -> custom shop in order of expense.

    The Squier and Fender lines are further subdivided.

    VM and CV Squiers are well thought of - they are on the higher end of the Squier line - mostly made in Indonesia or China. You can score these at good prices used. I gig a VM jazz often.

    Fender has Made in Mexico (MIM) and Made in USA (MIA) lines and then custom shop at the highest end. The MIM basses can be every bit as good as any other. Made in USA usually have attention to detail and often the best resale. Both can be scored used- but MIM is often a steal used.

    There is also a MIJ/CIJ made in Japan and crafted in Japan Fender. And a few squiers from Japan. Many are quality examples of instruments.

    I have VM Jazz, a MIJ (Made in Japan) jazz, a MIM precision (with a jazz neck) and a MIA precision plus (avatar pic). They are all great. Which one I play depends on if I want flats or rounds (I have one of each type strung with each type of string usually).

    The one that plays best is usually the one I've done the most recent setup or maintenance.
     
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  17. Omiewise65

    Omiewise65 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    There's the Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster bass in vintage blonde out there ,
    just saying ...
     
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