Very random question, please help a newbie
Hi all, my name is Rachel, and I am new not only to the bass but also the forum.
So here is my question, I saw a very old looking, beat up base, (not sure if it had been done on purpose) but I liked it. So much so that I would like to recreate it. My plan is to find an old looking base somewhere, maybe a pawn shop, or maybe even I would purchase a cheap bass that I could made to look like the one I saw without feeling too bad about it. My question is this, say I buy a cheap crappy bass, if I upgrade the hardware will it sound like a high quality bass if the hardware is of good quality, say fender or something like that?
See what I mean by newbie =) I guess what I am trying to figure out is if I buy a cheap up bass and eventually upgrade the internals will it sound like a good quality bass?
Thanks in advance guys! I know this might come across as one of the dumbest questions you all might have seen in a while!
Rachel L out
Hi Rachel. Welcome to talkbass and to bass in general. For future reference, the name of our instrument is bass not base.
There are a lot of variables in your question. What you are looking for is what is known as a 'road worn' bass, sometimes ephutimistically called 'a bass with mojo'.
Very broadly speaking, chances are that if you buy a 'cheap crappy bass' and upgrade the hardware you will end up with with a cheap crappy bass with upgraded hardware. Your best bet is to purchase a 2nd hand decent bass, possibly with some 'love' already naturally put into it and have at it. Then you can upgrade it if you see fit. Something like a Fender Jazz or precision or one of the more recent squires are a good starting point.
Welcome to talkbass
No such thing as a dumb question if you don't know the answer.
This is just my opinion, others may and will differ. Money spent upgrading a cheap bass is probably better saved and put towards a better instrument.
Back to your original question. The beat up look is called "reliced" or "road worn" (thanks Wadge I couldn't remember the term). You can buy them new that look like they have spent a lifetime on the road. Some people like them some don't. I prefer them naturally reliced but it takes years of use.
First, find the style bass thats comfortable for you then find the look.
Hi Rachel, and welcome.
The first two responses speak a lot of sense: "Money spent upgrading a cheap bass is probably better saved and put towards a better instrument" probably sums it up. But it depends how cheap and crappy you want to start!
See, a half-decent Squier bass could get you a long way, and may not even need upgrading to begin with. (A little searching on eBay or CL might even land you a 2nd-hand VM or CV Squier, which are much nicer instruments than the standard ones and don't cost all that much more.)
When you do come to upgrade, replacing the stock electronics with something better will improve the tone. However, be wary of sinking too much money into this hypothetical bass. Obviously, there's a limit to how much the tone will improve, but also it may be worth popping into a guitar shop and trying out a similar but higher-spec bass (e.g., if you started with a Squier, try a Fender). Once you're more familiar with the instrument, you may be able to feel the difference between a cheap neck and a more expensive one, and if you're looking at that sort of upgrade, you'd do just as well to buy the more expensive bass.
The above is correct. Better to buy a used Squier VM or CV model than to try to upgrade something that was even cheaper to begin with.
You can certainly find used Squiers for $100 or less, depending on where you are. It will easily cost this to buy and upgrade the cheap junk bass that will probably still not be as good as the Squier.
There are some things that you cannot upgrade - the quality of the neck and frets, for example, that play a large part in the "quality" of a bass.
First I would like to clarify that I know it is spelled bass, I was typing this at 4 am this morning almost falling asleep!
Thanks for all the responses it helped me a lot!
Especially if you decide to stick with it, as you get better the limitations of a super cheap bass will be frustrating.
And sooner than later you will be wanting a better bass.
Go ahead and get something that plays and sounds decent to begin with and you are likely to enjoy it much more. Looks are of marginal importance.
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