| | Another "What Should I Get?" Thread (Bass + Amp)
I know you hate these threads and to an extent so do I. Believe me, up to now I have read dozens of similar threads on TalkBass, every single post. Yet I still felt the need to create one, hoping for your kindness and generosity, because, like everyone, I (wrongly) think my situation is a that little bit unique and maybe warrants a reply not seen by me on these other threads.
So anyway, today I've sold my Les Paul to become a full-time bass player. Or rather, I've been playing bass on and off for a number of years (even in bands) and have always enjoyed it way more than the guitar, but I've never had my own bass and have always had to, sort of, be a guitarist for a number of reasons.
And now I'm looking for my very first bass. My budget is pretty much unlimited (in a very reasonable sense of course, I do have a wife and a dog to feed) so though it is my first bass, I'm looking to buy a high-end one, once and for all. I know I'm gonna love the bass as an instrument, I have been playing, erm, "stringed instruments" (and drums) for over 10 years now, so I feel I've surpassed the "Get a Squier" phase.
I've narrowed my search down, pretty much, to two: a Classic Stingray 4 and an American Deluxe Jazz Bass (or, maybe, a Deluxe P-Bass). I'll try to explain some conditions that I have in my mind, most of them unjustified. I don't want to buy a used instrument. I don't why, it's something spiritual I guess. I want a new bass that will be all mine, even though all of my guitars are vintage and even though I can get that 77 Stingray from BassDirect.co.uk which the few people I've asked recommend me to buy. Furthermore, the basses I'm researching are pretty much unavailable where I currently live, meaning I'll have to order online without ever seeing the actual instrument first. What stems from this is a desire to buy a 100% quality instrument, in other words, from a company where QA is top-notch and the quality doesn't fluctuate from one bass to another. I've heard that Ernie Ball make fine instruments in this respect and that Fenders, on the contrary, tend to be hit and miss. Is it true? Because that might mean I have to get a Stingray because I trust them to make all their basses well. Even if I could hypothetically try some Jazz Basses out, I know little about how to judge a guitars quality despite not necessarily being a newbie. I've always just... played. Never really looked into what makes a good guitar. So, basically, can I trust an American Deluxe Jazz Bass to be a fine top-quality instrument without seeing it first?
Now to the actual tone and feel. I don't really have any particular preferences for a number of reasons:
1) I do enjoy all kinds of music
2) I currently live away from my home country and it's highly unlikely I'll find a band here. When I come back, however, that's the first thing I'm gonna do. What I mean is, I'll have plenty of time on my own to really learn to play bass, as many styles, as many techniques as possible. There's definitely a certain way I like my music, but it shouldn't, in this case, dictate the type of bass I have to get.
3) If anything, since I'm getting a bass, I want it to be "ballsy" and heavy. I do enjoy lead bass and that's probably something I'm gonna play, but I'm not gonna solo or become a virtuoso.
So that's why I started looking at the Stingray. It's heavy, it's huge, it's a proper bass, but at the same time a Jazz Bass is a Jazz Bass and everyone (professional musicians, famous ones at least) seems to prefer them. Tim Com, Flea, many others - started with Music Mans but then went for a Jazz Bass. Everyone seems to end up preferring a Jazz Bass, wherever they come from. So that got me thinking... MM makes great instruments and a great bass, but why aren't more, for lack of a better word, "famous" bass players using it? Surely there must be a sound reason. Jazz Bass right now seems to used for all styles, heavy, light, you name it. So I'm really torn. Besides, if I get a Jazz Bass, I save 300 Euros. Or even more. So which do you recommend? The P-Bass deluxe seems interesting, too. Haven't done much research about it, but the guy from Biffy Clyro plays one, and I like his tone.
Now for the second, even more difficult part. I need an amp. I know next to nothing about amps. All I've ever had were practice amps because I live in flats, with neighbours all around me. With bands, we rehearsed in practice spaces with whatever equipment they had. And we gigged in clubs with whatever equipment they had.
What I want is something portable, but something good. Because why spend loads of cash on a good bass if you can't appreciate its tone? I don't want a practice amp, yet I don't really need a proper big amp just for myself, do I? Is there any option in between? Someone told me I should buy a good amp head and play through headphones... But then again, will I get to hear the tone properly? It's stupid, I know, but I want to be able to enjoy the way my bass sounds, during those 5 minutes when I can crank it up when no one's around :-) So please help me with this, because with amps I'm just lost. Totally. I guess a combo would be nice (although it's tempting to spend more and get a proper stack), but which one? Again, I'm ready to spend, but not bucketloads of money because the lion's share well get spent on the bass.
So yeah, that's pretty much it. I apologize for the post being so long and making little sense. The community here is great, one of the best I've ever seen, so I'll just be really grateful for any input. I hope I've explained my situation a little, enough to have a general idea of what might be good for me.
Last edited by Stoch : 07-26-2013 at 01:50 PM.