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30th Birthday Bass - 1986 Ideas for $500

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Esoge, Feb 8, 2016.


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  1. Esoge

    Esoge

    Jun 22, 2014
    Glassboro, NJ
    My 30th Birthday is coming up on March 19th and I've always had the dream of a birth year bass. What better time to do it than as a gift to myself on my 30th birthday.

    My budget would likely be around $500 (though I would extend that a little for the right bass). I've already got Peavey USA Mades on the radar as well as MIJ Fenders. MusicMan is probably out of my budget though is a brand I wanted to add to the collection. 5 string and active would be a plus as I also would like to fill those gaps in my collection as well.

    I put out some feelers on the local South Jersey Craigslist. So far no bites but it's only been up a few days.

    Ebay had some Peavey DynaBass and the other usual suspects in my budget but several of them looked risky as the pictures showed high action on most and I won't get to play them first.

    Any other ideas or routes you think I should go? Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. 1986 was the height of Matsumoku's power. You could get a nice MIJ Westone or Aria and have money left over. Just a thought.
     
  3. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    There's a Spector NS2-A on ebay right now. Unfortunately it has a buy it now price of $700 + $85 shipping. Awesome bass that would fulfill the active side.

    Screen shot 2016-02-08 at 1.25.37 AM.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    tbz and BlueAliceOasis like this.
  4. Esoge

    Esoge

    Jun 22, 2014
    Glassboro, NJ
    I've had great success with MIJ instruments so thats definitely something to consider. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
    basschanges and Reiska like this.
  5. DevinWard369

    DevinWard369

    Apr 30, 2012
    Utah
    The five string will be hard. I'm also an 86' and I've been looking for birth year fivers for a while. In my research the five string was just barely introduced in the early 80's so not many companies mass produced them as of yet..
     
  6. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    There is also an 1986 Aria Pro II Matsumoku up for bid 4 days remaining. Currently at $159.99 on ebay.
    Screen shot 2016-02-08 at 1.34.40 AM.
     
    fenjazz and BlueAliceOasis like this.
  7. Esoge

    Esoge

    Jun 22, 2014
    Glassboro, NJ
    Yeah tell me about it. I've found a few 5ers around that time frame, but specifically holding out until you get an actual 86 is definitely gonna add to the level of difficulty.

    5 string and active are both just wants, not needs. Neither of those is a deal breaker.
     
  8. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Toronto
    Hammersmith Music
    Ibanez had a 5er in 86, would have been Fujigen. I had one. Was called a Roadstar but it had the Soundgear body, before the slimmed SR headstocks started. RB885, which started in 1985.

    That said, Fender Japan was doing some cool things by 86. Jazz Bass Special is probably the most known, though they were doing all the normal US type stuff too. Prices have gone up on MIJ Fenders, but you can still make a score for $500 if you keep a look out.
     
    Gasman and Sweet Willie like this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Either what Marko said or a good old pointy Charvel or Kramer. :cool:

    Seriously though, as cheesy as it sounds, I had a hot pink Kramer Forum with Spector pickups that played like a dream and sounded great. If I found it I would buy it if it had a not so ridiculous price tag.
     
  10. Esoge

    Esoge

    Jun 22, 2014
    Glassboro, NJ
    I've never been a huge Ibanez fan, but I've heard the Fujigen's were good (as most Fujigen made products are at a reasonable price). I'll have to add that to my radar.
     
  11. SpazzTheBassist

    SpazzTheBassist

    Jun 20, 2006
    MIJ Jazz Bass Special....bonus if its a Power Jazz Bass Special (pictured - active with Q-Sweep, reverse P Mounting... I had one of these and totally regret ever letting it go) made between 1985-89

    jazzspcl10.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    reddog, BrentD, droskobass and 6 others like this.
  12. Sweet Willie

    Sweet Willie

    Dec 31, 2014
    NY
    Former moderator for now non-active Nordstrand Forum
    Winner.

    @wraub has/had two of these. I believe he defretted one, resulting in a fretted/fretless duo. The string spacing is tight, so that's a consideration depending on your preferences, but they sound great.

    I still regret letting go of my first bass, which was a 4-string Ibanez Roadstar II p bass. I generally advocate for mid-80s Ibanez basses, which are typically reasonably priced on the used market.

    Peace.
     
    pudgychef likes this.
  13. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I second this choice. I had two. A red one and a teal one. I got rid of them both because i didn't love the colors. Had i found a white one i would have kept it. Also, the standard Fender MIJ P and J basses from this era (E-series) are fantastic. I still own my sunburst P. It's a 84-87.
     
  14. Sweet Willie

    Sweet Willie

    Dec 31, 2014
    NY
    Former moderator for now non-active Nordstrand Forum
    PS: Summer of 1986 was when I first picked up the bass. Interesting to read a post about someone seeking a birth year instrument the year that I first shopped for a bass.
     
    Jeff Elkins, covermego and MarkoYYZ like this.
  15. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    Get yourself an Aria SB series bass. In 86 the Matsumoku factory was still going strong and producing quality. Lots of great recordings of the era were made with the SB basses. Would be a great vintage/nostalgia buy.
     
    Gluvhand likes this.
  16. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Toronto
    Hammersmith Music
    FWIW, that $424 price could probably be negotiated down a bit, as it's a touch on the high side, even though the 5s are rare. That era of Fujigen Ibanez basses does punch way outside it's weight class, as they are generally undervalued.
     
  17. Esoge

    Esoge

    Jun 22, 2014
    Glassboro, NJ
    Right now that Ibanez Roadstar is high up on the list. Price point vs. uniqueness to my collection it's probably the top pick at the moment. I don't have a 5 string currently (owned a few but never stick with it and this would sort of force me to for at least a while) and I don't own any Ibanez (again never been a fan, but I know these 80s models get superb reviews bang for the buck). Can anyone tell me more about this model. Would the stock electronics be good or would I likely be looking to update them. Ibanez Soapbars IMO always have sounded a little vague and wishy-washy for lack of a better term. I find that they want to be a middle-of-the-road "jack of all trades" on inexpensive models tonewise and therefore never nail any tone just kind of fail at all tones to my ears.

    Are these mid 80s models just a notch above the typical recent (last 10-15 years) inexpensive used Ibanez's or should I steer clear because maybe their sound is just not for me?
     
  18. Stinkoman20xx

    Stinkoman20xx

    Oct 19, 2003
    I'm not sure how to determine the year but look at some early USA Peavey. You can get a very nice quality american made bass for under $500. Most likely between 200-300 and not that hard still to find them under $200
     

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