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Questions from a Bass-newbie...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Robelwell202, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Robelwell202

    Robelwell202

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    Hello, folks! I've finally gotten the courage up to post a few questions, and I hope they're not totally out of left field.

    First, I have a bass, a gorgeous Fender P-bass. I can see from the headstock that it's a Mexican-built bass, but beyond that, I have no idea about it. Black body, white pick guard, and rosewood fretboard. Now, my question is this: If I supplied the serial number, could I get more info about it?

    Next, as I've been doing a lot of work to learn this instrument, I've found a couple more that I'd like to lay hands on. First on this list is the Fender Blacktop Precision, which looks and sounds exceptional to me. However, my untrained ear has only heard a few youtube vids for reviews, and I'd like a more experienced review or two to help me decide. The other one is Cort's Gene Simmons Axe bass, which seems to be a descent design, all things considered. Please, any reviews or info would be of great use!

    Thanks, in advance, for the answers. It's very much appreciated!
  2. edisonsexybeast

    edisonsexybeast

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    For the first question.. what are you trying to find out about your bass? And second if you are kind of just beginning, you dont really need more than one bass...
  3. IPYF

    IPYF

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    Buy less bass, play more bass.
  4. Aznslappadabass

    Aznslappadabass

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    I have to agree with some of the above posts, what do you feel is missing sound-wise from your current bass that you think the blacktop may provide? I'd recommend playing with your precision and seeing what sounds you can get with that tone. If you feel you are missing a sound after trying it out then look for another bass or maybe effects. I don't personally have a p-bass, kind of wish I do at the moment, but people generally pair it with a jazz bass for good coverage of multiple sounds. All in all I'd take full advantage first if that precision bass. P-basses are some of my favorite sounding basses and has a truly iconic sound.
  5. C.Linton

    C.Linton Supporting Member

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    As to your first question, the serial number isn't going to tell you much more than what you already know, except maybe for the approximate date of manufacture. Anyhting else can be learned from the product listing for the "Standard" P-bass. (not the American Standard) on the Fender website.
  6. Robelwell202

    Robelwell202

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    Hmmm... Methinks I've found the wrong site.
  7. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

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    The serial number will tell you the year it was made (within a year). So if you post the S/N (or just the first 4 letters/numbers), someone here should be able to tell you approximately when it was made. Other than that, there's probably not that much anybody could tell you. If there is a special anniversary marking on the back, that might provide a little more info.

    Mexican-made Fenders can be very good or not all that great. Not real consistent across the board; but they're generally a solid, well-made bass. Rather than run out and buy a new bass, a lot of guys will update the pickups. If you love the tone right now, you're good to go. If you switch out the pickups, you might want to try the Seymour Duncan SPB-1 replacement. Real nice, "vintagey" tone. But everybody has their own favorites.

    But as a bass player, you will definitely suffer from "GAS" (which is short for "Gear Acquisition Syndrome". It's inevitable. But enjoy that one for awhile. And when you do decide to get something new, consider buying used. Usually better value for your buck unless you find a killer sale price on something new. Good luck.
  8. SurferJoe46

    SurferJoe46

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    Hello, folks! I've finally gotten the courage up to post a few questions, and I hope they're not totally out of left field.

    No question if asked for an act of learning, is a bad or incorrect question. It only indicates a desire to learn something.

    First, I have a bass, a gorgeous Fender P-bass. I can see from the headstock that it's a Mexican-built bass, but beyond that, I have no idea about it. Black body, white pick guard, and rosewood fretboard. Now, my question is this: If I supplied the serial number, could I get more info about it?

    It was already answered - but ask yourself why you'd need this information? Bragging rights? Pride of ownership or you want to see if it's a real Fender?

    Could be a lot of reasons why you need this information. But really it's not germane to owning the bass unless you've bought it on spec and are going to put it into your retirement vault.

    Other than that - and I don't admonish you for wanting as much info as you can glean - it's a Precision made by Fender and it's a certain vintage - but mostly it's an instrument and the pedigree isn't all that important when the bloodline is already known.


    Next, as I've been doing a lot of work to learn this instrument, I've found a couple more that I'd like to lay hands on. First on this list is the Fender Blacktop Precision, which looks and sounds exceptional to me. However, my untrained ear has only heard a few youtube vids for reviews, and I'd like a more experienced review or two to help me decide.

    It's always nice to have both a Precision and a Jazz bass - you can cover a lot of sonic ground that way. I have several of each and even a couple of Ibanezezezes (sic) and the variety is a very nice spice to have. I see nothing wrong if you want another bass --- but (read on.... )

    The other one is Cort's Gene Simmons Axe bass, which seems to be a descent design, all things considered. Please, any reviews or info would be of great use!

    I don't know how to tell you this - but that bass is something that I'd take to a fight as a defensive weapon only - if I were to carry it in public, that is.

    Now to tell the truth: I've met Mr. Simmons sans makeup and the boots, and he looks like a normal human in spite of his stage persona.

    But I'd never want to look like him en-mufti, nor would I want to own, hold, play nor be seen in public with a bass in that shape. That's just me - and I suspect a lot of other people too - but you may want to look like him - I dunnow.

    And NO -- I wouldn't even want his money either. If he had a 1969 Green/White Z28 Camaro, I might consider that - but otherwise I'm not going there.

    I'm old school (read: no tats, piercings, no spikes, horns or body lacing. I have been known to wear a Nehru/Beatle jacket some times though.


    Thanks, in advance, for the answers. It's very much appreciated![/QUOTE]

    And of course - what I say is MY opinion and should be regarded in your evaluation of whom you want to be, play like or even look like.

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  9. DingoBlues

    DingoBlues

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    Welcome to Talkbass!

    The first 3 letters & numbers will give you the approximate year:

    M - Made in Mexico
    N - 1990's or Z - 2000's
    1 digit year


    A new scheme was adopted for 2010. You can read all about it here:

    http://www.fender.com/support/articles/mexican-instruments-product-dating
  10. davidjackson

    davidjackson Supporting Member

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    I wish I could remember who first said this on TalkBass because I love it, and it is always appropriate in this kind of case:

    "Less eBay, more Mel Bay."

    You have to become fairly competent before you can really know what you want or need from a bass.
  11. soulman969

    soulman969

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    Maybe and maybe not. I'm not gonna give you advice about what you should or shouldn't be doing or looking to buy but I will give you these answers.

    You can find out all about the specs of your MIM PBass by visiting the Fender website. You can post the SN# here and someone can tell you it's vintage or go to this website and find out what year your bass was manufactured by typing in the serial number;

    http://www.guitardaterproject.org/fender.aspx

    If you use the search function you'll find numerous thread discussing your bass vs others and you'll also find a few discussing the Fender Blacktop Bass and more than likely at least one discussing Cort Basses although maybe not that one in particular.

    The answers are here for those willing to seek them and only you can decide whether this is the right place for you or not. Many of us think it is. Cheers!
  12. jmclearnon

    jmclearnon

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    +1000 on that, i feel exactly that.... whats the point buying a 5er for example if you haven't learned all of the notes on a 4.
  13. Wallace320

    Wallace320

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    Good bass you got, much more than a common "starter" I think

    I had same bass for awhile, just maple fingerboard, so brighter in sound than yours but otherwise completely on pair.

    I'd suggest you to opt for a BlackTop Jazz bass: the Jazz bass
    has a smarter asymmetrical body design and, as we all know and love P sound with splitpickups, the BlackTop Jazz couples Jazz bass body with dual split (P style) pickups. I owned one of these as well...
    It's a tone machine at same Standards street price (it's MIM).

    Talkin' about Gene Simmons, the God of Thunder (Destroyer), I think it's better the Cort Punisher...

    Same Cort P/J pickups and wirings, yet a smarter lookin' body.

    Cheers,
    Wallace
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

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    On the serial number; as others have said, it basically tells you year of manufacture. There isn't a big database somewhere of information on each individual instrument. These are mass-produced instruments, it's like knowing the serial number of your toaster.

    On buying other basses: save your money till you have some playing time under your belt and know what you want beyond what your p-bass does. Maybe there are tones you want that it doesn't do; maybe you'll be looking for a different neck profile or something, or you want a set of active electronics. The other good reason for buying a second instrument is if you want to have a backup, which is to say if you're gigging and need to able to still play if something were to fail on your main bass. One further consideration here is that there may be other elements of your rig that will be worth upgrading before you start thinking about additional basses; what amp are you using? Is it loud enough to be heard over a drummer? If not, once you start playing with a band you'll need money for an amp, and that will take priority over a bass.

    Of course, at the end of the day it's your money and you can do as you please. This is just how I would see it.

    As far as the basses you mentioned; the blacktop P is interesting with the dual humbuckers, otherwise I don't know too much about it. If I already had a standard P, it's not the first thing I would want - I'd go with a jazz or a fiver or something more different. But if you like it, you like it. The Gene Simmons bass - is very heavy and unbalanced and, while OK, is kind of bland in terms of tone. But if you really want to have a big battleaxe hanging from your shoulder, there aren't a heck of a lot of other options, are there?

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