Want to buy first bass: your thoughts on these Craigslist deals?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ryan01880, Dec 20, 2013.


  1. Ryan01880

    Ryan01880

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Hi all,

    I just wrote this long intro post that somehow got lost when I tried to post it, so here is the abbreviated version:

    1. I am just a normal family guy in my late 30s (and I live in New England, but hopefully my similarities with Peter Griffin end there!)

    [​IMG]

    2. I always wanted to learn how to play a guitar beyond a few chords, so when I saw an ad for Rocksmith 2014 last month I was excited, my wife got me the game, I bought a Peavey Rockmaster off of Amazon for $53, and I was good to go.

    3. I liked playing the game, and one day I switch over to "emulated bass" just for kicks, and I loved playing bass! Now that is almost all I do on the game, play "emulated bass", so it is time for me to buy a real bass guitar!

    4. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a starter bass. Well, I actually do want to do this, but I don't want to totally piss off my amazing wife, so I am going to try and be frugal.

    I found these two basses locally on Craigslist and I would love your thoughts:

    1) Lotus bass. I think $75 is a little much for this, and if I were to make an offer I would offer less. The seller doesn't know much about the bass. Beyond what is in the ad, I know he bought it at a local music shop. Probably not the greatest bass in the world, but, for the right price, would this be a good starter bass?

    2) Yamaha bass. Looks like an older model compared to the newer Yamaha basses I see online. Plus, it is missing a tuning peg and string. Still, that would be easy to fix, right? And Yamahas are solid, correct? $70 for this might be a great deal...thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for any and all feedback!
  2. drul

    drul

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
  3. Ryan01880

    Ryan01880

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Thanks for the response and taking a look at the other ads in my area. I hadn't seen the Squier and you are right, definitely a much better bass if I can get them down a little on price (and, frankly, that price seems pretty fair based on what I have seen looking at used Guitar Center basses). Any reason I should seriously consider a short scale? Pardon my ignorance, but isn't a short scale more for kids?
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo I like turtles. Supporting Member

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    Aug 5, 2009
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    Upstate, South Carolina
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  6. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Earth
    First you have to understand that what you will likely be getting off CL for that money is a not representative of what a quality instrument (regardless if price) is likely to play like or how one will feel in your hands. Understand first that if you are lucky, they won't be in need of at least a basic setup or at worst have a truss rod that is inoperable or a warped neck. If you understand those things, by all means, go for it.

    Otherwise, save up a little more or take mmbongo's advice.
  7. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah Pleasantly plucky Supporting Member

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    +1

    Those SX basses are a much better deal than most people know. I know it seems tempting to go "on the cheap", but anything sub $150 is REALLY low and basic prices for a decently functioning instrument. The Squier affinity series instruments are a good place to start and are typically built solid. SX is a step above and may be something that entices you to take things further. I would also suggest checking Guitar Center's online used section. I walked away with a PRISTINE Ibanez SRX3EX for about $150 (was $350 new). I'd keep surfing around here, look at reviews, browse new instruments online, and keep an open mind and ear :bassist:
  8. Bass Fund

    Bass Fund

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Your chances are probably high that you end up meeting a pervert, on craigslist.
  9. Dale Johnson

    Dale Johnson Supporting Member

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Coldwater Kansas
    Short scale is great for some people. I happen to love mine, it's a fender musicmaster. It depends on your personal preference, & the only way to find out is to play one. Good Short scales don't give up anything if equipped equally with the comparison guitar. Most of all have fun & buy what your hands & heart like.
  10. Greevus

    Greevus

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Squier and SX are great guitars. Particularly great when you look at price. I love my Squier, but I am going to have to agree that SX is the best bang. Way better quality than I expected when I played one.
  11. Ryan01880

    Ryan01880

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Thanks for the feedback. I think I am picking up what you are putting down:

    1) Unless you know what the !@$*# you are looking for on Craiglist, avoid it (unless you want to meet a pervert).

    2) I should actually go and handle some basses somewhere to see what I like.

    3) There are a lot of SX fans out there!

    Thanks again for the feedback guys. I think I need to head over to my local guitar shop and handle a few basses before I buy anything.
  12. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Where in New England are you, Ryan? I could recommend some stores and/or makes. If you're close by, I could even kill an hour showing you what makes a good bass (and no, I'm not a pervert, at least by the legal definition). :smug:
  13. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Definitely try some basses out first. I would also recommend trying out an Ibanez SR300 for a beginner- has a slimmer neck than most and also light. You can find them used for about $120-200 pretty easily.
    CL isn't as bad as some make it out to be, it depends where you live of course. However, a basic knowledge of knowing what to avoid and look out for is definitely called for. How to check a neck, electronics, bridge etc.
    You can get some amazing deals this time of year (some need to sell their basses for the xmas holidays ). I just picked up a MIM Fender Jazz Bass 5 string in great condition for $160 on CL. Then again, someone else had one on sale with a a crack near the neck pocket of the bass that would eventually present problems- so caution is called for on CL, but the deals are there too.
    I haven't met any perverts in my many transactions- at least none that would admit it.
  14. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I've done okay on craigslist, even when I was a total newbie.

    I picked up an older American made Peavey Fury for $125, THAT was an amazing bang for the buck bass.
  15. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    You could get a used Squier Bronco from Guitar Center for around $80. They are a solid functional bass and also a very popular platform for hot rodding and customization down the road. Probably the best bang for the buck in the under $100 used bass department.
    Guitar Center has an excellent no hassle 30 day return policy. If for ANY reason you don't like it you can return for a full refund. Try that on Craigslist or eBay or Sam Ash - :meh:
  16. fourstringgirl

    fourstringgirl

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    The power of suggestion is strong - am I the only one who read all of OPs posts imagining Peter Griffin's voice in my head?? :bag:
  17. Ryan01880

    Ryan01880

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Fretless Mainly, thanks for the offer. I will send you a PM. And thank you all once again for the great feedback...what a fantastic forum! GBassNorth, there is a Guitar Center super close to me, so I will likely check our their used selection (although the particular GC location close to me has horrible Yelp reviews). I would like to check out a few local independently owned places as well.
  18. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Forgot to mention, local pawn shops can have some really good deals too. For some reason my local one has numerous Squier P-basses on sale, it's easy to talk them down because they have so many of that particular model. lol
    You can also find some great hard to find basses too.
  19. schecter5string

    schecter5string

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Morton IL USA
    Welcome to the low end Ryan!
    Your story is similar to mine, i played bass as a kid/teenager. Then life happened and it fell to the way side.
    10 years ago i was playing guitar hero, the bass lines that is, and i said to myself....self this is stupid!!! Go get back in music.
    The next day i sold the game, went and bought some used gear and started playing music for real.
    Im now a pretty good player, i have good gear, a good band, and a great time playing music!!!!!
  20. Stealth Fighter

    Stealth Fighter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina, USA
    I don't understand where all this animosity for/fear of Craig's list is coming from. I have personally bought a Squier Affinity and a small Peavey amp ($75 total) from an airman at the air force base in my hometown. Next, I bought a 2005 MIM Fender Jazz in mint condition for $280 from a guitar instructor at a local music store. Then, a '95 MIA Precision with one small scratch on rear for ~$500 form a guy in a nearby town. Finally, I bought an Ampeg SB-12 minus driver and in good condition for ~$275. Two of these transactions took place in the seller's homes in decent neighborhoods, one in front of a pawnshop on Bragg Blvd, in Fayetteville, NC, and the other in a church in Washington, NC. There are some good deals to be had on CL. Just do your homework, check out the area, and don't do something stupid.
  21. RBS_Johnson

    RBS_Johnson

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Location:
    Athens, OH
    I have had many, many craigslist deals go down just fine. And I usually get a heck of a deal too. I mostly used it for cars/car stuff, but I have gotten instruments a couple times. Only a couple guys I wanted to cause physical injury to, the percentage would have to be like 5%. The other 95% were fine, if not very nice people.

    If you have a friend(or a local from the forum here) that knows guitars and can go with you it makes huge difference. I would say just look around online to see if the price is reasonable, and most people will take a lower price after some haggling.

    That said, SX basses are a great way to go, and you can catch them on sale occasionally. I have heard great things about the guy who runs Rondo Music too(SX`s US distributor).

    -Jake

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