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Help me choose my next budget bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by oldcatfish, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    Hello everyone.
    I have a budget of about 300 dollars max, and am wanting to buy a budget bass. I am looking for something a little different than what I currently have. I have some ideas, but am open to others.

    Here are the criteria....
    -no 5 strings (I physically can't play them due to CTS)
    -I prefer sunburst or wood grain basses.
    -I prefer a fender style neck similar to a jazz neck.
    - Decent quality like old USA Peavey and Squier VM/CV series.

    Here is what I currently own....
    --Squier VM jazz with nickel rounds
    --Peavey USA Fury p-bass with tapewounds
    --Peavey Milestone Korean made p-bass with flatwounds

    I am considering the following....
    ---Sterling/Musicman Sub Ray 4 in walnut stain or honeyburst
    ---Squier active jazz in sunburst
    ---Squier VM jaquar special passive p/j in sunburst
    ---SX jazz passive with humbucker in bridge in sunburst
    ---Douglas NB-C2 active in sunburst

    **I've never played a musicman, the SX, or Douglas but have heard good things about each. My current basses really cover everything that I need for gigs except the low notes of a 5 string---so I'm just using my Zoom B2's octave effect for that. Not great but gets the job done. The new bass will just be for my own variety/ fun, but I would like it to be high quality enough to gig with it at least at church and rehearsals with my other bands.
    I plan on trying out the musicman, and Squier basses at Guitar Center next weekend during their sale...but if the SX and Douglas are equal quality, I'll definitely keep them in mind.
    What would you guys/gals choose? And I'm open to suggestions other than I listed.
  2. pocketgroove

    pocketgroove

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    Just get a Ray 4 and call it a night.
  3. tuBass

    tuBass Supporting Member

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    Squier VM jaquar
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

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    I'm afraid I don't get what you need or want the new bass for. Do you mean you want something to tune BEAD or something to get the lower notes than on the basses you have? Or is this sheer GAS, just because?

    I've had the VM Jag and the J/HH SX Jazz. Both perfectly satisfactory for what they are; if it were a toss up, I might pick the Jag (less noisy electronics). Don't know much about the others. On the other hand, a Ray is the most different from what you already have, so if it's just for variety, I'd go with that.
  5. redhed

    redhed TUBE LOVER! Gold Supporting Member

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    All good choices, but seriously stay away from SX!
  6. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    Oh, this is mostly just a GAS purchase...as I said, just looking for something a little different--for a little variety.

    Depending on what I go with though, I am considering tuning one of my basses to BEAD. Just haven't decided for sure yet.

    So the SX/Douglas have noisy electronics? If so, I'll cross them off the list.

    Right now, I am really leaning toward something with active pickups, just because I only have passives now. And the RAY is leading the pack, because it would be the most different.
  7. chef wong

    chef wong

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    I think you almost have to buy Fender after owning Peavey.
  8. thunderbird66

    thunderbird66

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    Epiphone les Paul bass. Can't beat it for the money. The necks feel alot like a jazz bass to me.
  9. wilfred

    wilfred

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    SX or a Sterling music man bass ive had one last year it was kick ass!
  10. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines I'll hump your leg Supporting Member

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    I played a Ray4, and the drop off from the Ray34 is steep, which I own. It was far too light, and just did not feel good to me. IMO, the quality is not there that exists in the Fender Vintage Modifieds.

    If you think you want to go the MM route, I'd budget in just a little bit more and get a used Ray34 instead.
  11. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

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    It's not on your list, but try looking for a Peavey Patriot. I think they're less than $400 (If you can find it). My Pat is an 87, and they're quite the looker...the sound is almost like if a P, a J, and a Ric had a weird thee way love child. The neck is a hair narrower than my jazz neck.
  12. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    Quote "I played a Ray4, and the drop off from the Ray34 is steep, which I own. It was far too light, and just did not feel good to me. IMO, the quality is not there that exists in the Fender Vintage Modifieds."

    Has anyone tried the Squier VM jaguar with the humbucker...how does that sound compared to a Ray4? Even though it doesn't come in sunburst, I could live with another color if it sounds a lot different than any of my current basses.
  13. Roadkill

    Roadkill Short Scale Addict Supporting Member

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    Yah, a 'Ray will give you a "different" sound. OTOH if you have CTS how about a shortscale? :D
  14. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    Quote "Epiphone les Paul bass. Can't beat it for the money. The necks feel alot like a jazz bass to me."

    I didn't even consider these. Because I am also a guitar player and used to own a Gibson Les Paul. I loved the tone but hated the weight, so I got rid of it. I assumed the Les Paul style basses would be even heavier. Are they actually lightweight?
  15. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    Quote" Yah, a 'Ray will give you a "different" sound. OTOH if you have CTS how about a shortscale?'

    I prefer 34 inch scale. Only wide necks seem to bother my CTS. And narrow spaced 5 stringers didn't work for me---I hate the right hand spacing and they still are wide enough to cause issues. Absolutely no issues with any of my 3 4 stringers though.
  16. Roadkill

    Roadkill Short Scale Addict Supporting Member

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    That Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special HB looks nice too but dunno how close to a 'Ray it sounds. I'd have bought one if it was shortscale :( .
  17. voodoobassist

    voodoobassist Supporting Member

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    I just played a walnut stained Ray 4 today at the local GC. I have to say, I was really impressed! Punchy thick tone, harmonics ringing out VERY well, and the weight and balance were not bad at all. My only complaint was the volume knob. It went from completely off to just below full volume with only a slight touch of the knob. A replacement of the volume pot would probably be an easy fix, and for $279.00, I'd say it's about the best value bass I've laid hands on in quite a while.
    I've been considering picking up a VM fretless, but I'm actually tempted to grab this Ray and do a Jaco defret on it. Very nice bass with a LOT of bang for your buck.
  18. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    Quote "I just played a walnut stained Ray 4 today at the local GC. I have to say, I was really impressed! Punchy thick tone, harmonics ringing out VERY well, and the weight and balance were not bad at all. My only complaint was the volume knob. It went from completely off to just below full volume with only a slight touch of the knob."

    That wouldn't even be an issue for me. I use a volume pedal or tuner/mute. So I tend to leave the volume knob on full except when I blend the jazz pickups.

    If it sounds great and plays well, that's all that I'm really looking for. Plus the walnut stain fits my looks criteria too.
  19. 3234718

    3234718 Supporting Member

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    Go for something awesome and used. GC's website had some awesome finds sometimes in the used section sometimes.
  20. Roadkill

    Roadkill Short Scale Addict Supporting Member

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    You know you want it - give in to the G.A.S. :D

    [​IMG]

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