Bass Purchase Advice NEW MEMBER
I must admit this is a great site, I am a drummer but have been looking at post on this site for about the last 4 months. I finally decided to join because I am about to buy guess what? Yes, a bass.
I can't write everything I learned from studying posts but I did learn enough to ask questions now. I am a professional musician just to let you know, I also play piano but lately I been having this itch to start messing around with the Bass. I love to play with grooving bassist, but mostly I play jazz so I play with a lot of acoustic bass players. I want to mess around with electric bass though, acoustic is not something I think you can just mess around with, neither is electric but I think you know what I mean.
So I do not want to spend $1000.00 on my first bass, it just does not make sense, even if I had that much to spend from my experience as a musician, it is kind of like respect for the pros and also I need something to reward myself with later for hard work if need be. The pros say I don't need to spend that much starting out, good advice. I also don't want to spend $200.00 for a cheap bass that will sound good at first because I am so excited but months later will sound like what I paid for. I don't want to change components early on because I don't have time for that right now, I want to learn and practice, that is a whole different forum to study. So what is my price range first? I would say, $400.00 to $600.00. I don't want to buy used, I want new.
I like the idea of the Precision bass nice and simple, or a P/J combo, I want passive not active. I like pure sound, and it will be a 4 string bass. So I was first thinking the Yamaha BB424x, or the Fender MIM Precision Bass (newest model), or the Squier Matt Freeman if it can be used for music other than Punk as far as tone goes, I don't know, can it?
Also the new Squier P/J but that is below my budget, and not many reviews on that particular new bass, I know about the Squier CV's but not crazy about the color of the 60s or sound and the 50s is noisy from what I have read, but you can't believe everything you read, right. 50/50. I really was trying to stay away from Squier to be honest, I just feel I can get something better, and with nicer pups, components spending a little more. I like the Matt Freeman though by Squier, seems a little different sound wise.
So Yamaha BB424x, Fender MIM P Bass, Matt Freeman, I want a Precision to be honest though, I just feel it is a great bass to start out on tone wise and not too many distractions.
I will probably buy a Ampeg BA-108 for home practice, I think that is all I need right now. If I stick with this and progress I will love the day I can come back here and ask for advise on stacks, I love that whole idea on stacks, pretty cool.
I must say I have been playing drums for over 46 years and I have so much more respect for bass players after studying about what they use and how they get there sound, it is really amazing to me.
So thanks in advance for all the welcome. Feel free to list basses not on the list also but in my price range and new.
I know some places to buy with set-up but I will take it to get set-up anyway regardless of where I buy it after I play it to see how I feel playing it.
Why are you so opposed to buying used? You must know at least a couple professional bassists that can help you pick out a good one on the used market. The stuff you are looking at is all commonly found used for about half the price of new. I would highly recommend a MIM Fender at >$300, if you must go new I would still pick the Fender, but I am a Fender guy. The less money you have to put in the less you lose if you are not playing in a year.
I would personally avoid the Ampeg as well but there are plenty of guys that are going to come on an disagree with me. Buy used and use the saved cash to spend on a Roland MiroCube, easily my favourite practice combo and leaps and bounds above the BA-108 in my opinion.
I, too, came from playing drums, though only semi-professionally, to take up bass.
All I can say, to your question, is anything you can buy brand new for $600 or less is likely to be a "bass that will sound good at first because I am so excited but months later will sound like what I paid for."
I'm not saying it's impossible that you will get a brand new bass for $600 or less and still be totally happy with it a few months later. I'm just saying, statistically, it's very unlikely.
I bought my first 2 basses brand new. I wish I could say I was smart enough that it didn't take 2 times for me to learn.... but it did. I've bought about 26 basses since then, all used. I doubt I will ever buy another bass brand new again. It is just TOO easy to get mint condition (just as good as new or even better*) basses on the used market for 30 to 50% less than the best Internet price for the same bass, new. Most non-Fender brands OFTEN go for 50%, used, of their new sale price.
*used basses can often be better than new because they are like new, cosmetically, but have actually been setup by the person you're buying from, so they are better, out of the box, so to speak, than when they were originally purchased brand new.
If I were shopping your price range, I would be looking for:
US-made Peavey Millennium (usually $500 +/- $100)
US-made G&L SB-2 (usually $700 +/- $100)
With either of those, if you shop just a bit for a decent price, you will have a super high quality instrument that you can flip at any time later for pretty much what you paid for it.
Thanks, so far great advice. So if I bought brand new I would have to spend much more to get a bass that will sound better as time goes on, or buy used to get one that has stood the test of time. Interesting.
I also can take advise on the Ampeg but I am not a fan of Roland anything. Long story. Any other amps you can recommend?
+1 to pretty much everything regarding used gear. Used is smart, and you'll get a get a lot more for the money. If you're pretty set on a Fender, and not dead set on either/or precision or jazz, I'd recommend a Fender P/J with a comfortable neck. Sounds to me like it'd work for your "tone goals". Priority 1 should be a comfortable instrument, and to me that means a neck you like. Go to the stores, play a bunch, and when you find a model that speaks to you, then look for a used one. Guitar Center has a huge amount of used gear online.
As for the amp, used = less money, more amp, and you can recover costs almost fully if/when it's time to upgrade to a bigger rig.
Not all used gear is ratty junky crap from the 80's! Check out the classifieds here..
Those US made G&L would be used I assume, I know where I can get a new G&L SB-2 for $549.00 but that is made overseas with American parts. Or are the US Made ones $700.00 plus, if so I would add more and just get an Fender American P, I read about those SB-2 having no tone knob which makes it kind of limiting for a novice like me as far as tone goes, I would want to start out with a tone knob.
How good is the used gear from Guitar Center, I know they have a rating system is that pretty accurate?
I will also look at the classifed on this site too, thanks.
Unless you want to spend a lot of time at Guitar Center or w/e local music store, it's best to buy used so you can get your money back if you feel like the bass isn't for you. Unless you KNOW that's a bass you will play, love, and cherish for a while then don't buy it new.
I also wouldn't put TOO much stock in the price being your indicator of quality on an instrument. I'll go ahead and beat the drum of one of my favorites, Ibanez. Not a bass type for everyone, but you can get some KILLER Ibanez basses for $600 and under (namely the SR500). For something as common and run-of-the-mill as a Precision or a P/J combo, it would be a pretty silly move to go and buy new. Plenty of cats buy them because they think it'll look cool or be the last bass they buy, but they may play something later on that blows their mind and figure their Fender is the easiest bass to sell off, so it goes first. This is the same as the guy selling off the Ampeg 8x10 fridge for really cheap, just wants it off his hands and knows it'll go quick. I wouldn't blackball Squier though, some of their basses are superior to MIM Fenders that I've played before. The pickups on CV's are as good if not better than the MIM p-up's, and P-bass pickup changes are a piece of cake for most luthiers or people who can solder two wires together.
I think your understanding on passive vs active being "purer" sounds a little...misinformed lol. True there is shaping in an active bass, but many are flat-toned with EQ flat and passive is really just a different type of shaping (types of pots you use and other factors). Not to mention you can encounter attenuation over long cable runs and other effects to your frequency response when turning down the volume on them or touching the tone knob. Don't discount them entirely, try a few because there is a LOT of variation in "active" basses.
Best of luck in your bass journey! :bassist:
What they can offer that pretty much no other place will, is a return period where you can take it back for a refund if it's not what you're after or it's messed up. Buying off "some guy" is not going to give you that safety net, I think it's well worth it IMO
Go to a music store and try the Roland Microcube, it has some good modelling so it can sound like a handful of other classic amps, Ampeg included. It has built in effects as well as compressor and tuner. Roland owns BOSS so all the effects are BOSS effects. It also includes a built in metronome capable of 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 with drum patterns in many genres as well. It is also battery powered if you want to busk and has an AUX in. The only thing it lacks is a balanced line out. It is not a cheap practice amp though, it is around $300 CDN, but I highly recommend it and would replace mine with another before I looked at something else.
Hey WELCOME to TalkBass!
So, where (roughly) are you located? There are TB guys all over the country. They may be able to specifically help you out in your area.
As stated before, used is the way to go. If you were to contribute a few bucks, you can go into the classified section here and see a gagillion basses for sale. We do a pretty good job of policing ourselves. Everyone I have ever dealt with here has been great!
I'm going to throw you a curve ball as well. A used Carvin is usually a GREAT deal. And most have an active/passive switch so you can run passive all day long if you like, but still have the active option if your tastes change. They are VERY well built basses but the resale value (for some reason) isn't great. So you can pick one up pretty cheap usually.
Get a used Fender Jazz. Great neck for a noob player.
Hello, That was like clearing my throat, I can breath better now after listening to all the great advice. So I will look at used basses, check out the cube, (yeah, the V drums, got me), nothing against electronics though for some stuff.
Thanks for the lesson on the passive sound, it did not take long for me to get some better direction from posting here but also I will not hang around too long. I will feel like the book soon, "Buying a Bass For Dummies", if they had one. Just saying much quicker and no BS responses compared to my drum sites, we argue all day. I am quite sure some do on here but thanks. I will post again when I purchase or in other forums I am quite sure once I get going.
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