400 $ range

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grda, Nov 10, 2000.

  1. Grda


    Apr 5, 2000
    I'm asking for your input and help on what's
    the best bargain in the 400$ range. That would
    be somewhere beyond mere beginner range and should be
    an instrument that could last a while. What I play is
    primerly rock. I like the sound of both J and P style
    basses but I hope to jump beyond the mexican series.
    All help will be much appreciated.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Used, used, used.

    You can get various MIA Fenders used for $4-500. Prices are lowest on instruments with heavy cosmetic wear or modifications (3rd party pickups or hardware are the most common).

    Historically, Fender basses have worked well in all styles of music so are a good choice for a long-term utility instrument.

    Next best bargain is used Guild and G&L basses, these are solid, serious professional basses that typically have low resale values.
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I also recommend getting a used instrument.
    But for a new one I would have to "Evangelize" the Cort Curbow Line.
    Look at the Cort Curbow 4 String.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Peavey Palaedium

    Guild Pilot pro 4

    my .02 cents.

    Will C.:cool:
  5. The Godin SD is a fine bass at any price - with P/J pickups - made in Canada and the US. Very high quality instrument. It should fit right into your price range too.
  6. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I second the Guild/DeArmond Pilot line.
    -35" scale
    -Active electronics, 3 band eq
    -(Sorta) Stylish
    -good string spacing
    -very solid

    $299 for a 4 string, $359 for a 5 (at GC)

    How could you go wrong?

    Runners up: Dean basses, MIM Jazz, used stuff (sometimes), Ibanez SDGR 400, MIM jazz DLX.
  7. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Fender this and fender that! Buy a bass for the tone not for the name on the headstock! You get more bass for your money if you don't buy Fender. Check out some fernandes basses. Vester has stopped making basses (so I heard), you might find one at a clearence sale. My second bass was a vester Jazz copy. It played and souded great. I would go for a fernades though...check out eagle basses too. I've heard good and bad things about them. STAY AWAY from Samick.
    Yamaha basses are cheap with good tone.
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    A friend of mine has a Vester with no truss rod. Perhaps not what you'd want. I can't say anything 'bout Fernandes, except I played one model that sucked big time. Eagle basses are available in two stores in the whole world, so those could be quite hard to get...
    I agree that Yamaha's are great instruments, Samick's are not.
  9. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    >Originally posted by maxoges
    Fender this and fender that! Buy a bass for the tone not for the name on the headstock! You get more bass for your money if you don't buy Fender.

    I don't think many people will agree with those statements. Why do you think people want that name on the headstock? It ain't for looks. Fenders are the best bargain out there. Fender=tone. Fenders are heard on almost every song you ever heard. I own 18 basses and the only ones I would not ever get rid of are my Fenders.

  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I personally don't think people are recommending Fenders because of the name on the headstock. You obviously have a right to your opinion. Recommending Fender copies with iffy resale value may pass for sound advice but...I doubt it.

    By all means buy a Fernandes or Vester if it floats your boat. Better yet, get a Jay Turser...some of them "look" like MusicMan basses;)If you really want the sound of a good Jazz though, the easiest route is to find and buy a nice Fender. Jazz basses better than Fender usually cost more, too.

    Look for used G&L's, they're a bargain.
  11. If you want proof that people are obsessed with the name "Fender" being on the headstock, just ask yourself why it is that used G&L basses are so incredibly undervalued. My G&L SB-2 is by far the best passive Leo Fender bass I've ever owned yet my local shop has had another SB-2 sitting there for years at a drastically reduced price with no takers. Most people don't event consider trying the bass. They'd sooner consider the new US Fenders redesigned by who knows who before they'll look at the bass the Leo Fender himself continued to refine from his original designs.

    BTW when I got my SB-2, I sold all my old Fenders. The SB-2 was clearly superior. You should be able to find a used one for under $400 (in fact, somebody on this board just found a G&L El Toro for $60!!!) if that makes any sense! Heck, if you're really lucky, you might even find one signed by Leo Fender himself.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I know one member of this board who confided in me that he found a G&L SB2 for $199!!!!!!

    I told him that if the neck is OK and the electronics work, to jump all over this one.

    Now that is a crime. This bass blows away MIM stuff and is comparable to MIA stuff in quality, and it is going for $199 because people are not familiar with the brand.

    Well, it's kind of a crime, but for those who fall into a deal like this, I say give 'em your money and run!
  13. Grda


    Apr 5, 2000
    Thanks to everyone who posted. I'm looking into
    Yamaha stuff and MIM. I too have heard good things
    about G&L but I haven't had a chance to play one
    because I live in Croatia, a part of Europe which has
    only a few music shops and even less bassists.
    What we do have is Ibanez and Warwick but they just
    don't do it for me.
  14. The Keeper

    The Keeper

    Sep 2, 2000
    Definitely go with the Cort Curbow!!! It is definitely the best bass for it's price. I just got one about a week ago used (only paid $240 for it!!) And it is the best thing you could do for that price range. The Mighty Mite Pickups could be better but it comes with an active onboard 3 band EQ that is great! It also has a slap switch that can be handy when you need to change your settings quickly for switching to slap. This bass also has a good rock tone due to the luthite body (I love that sound!). You can get this new for about $400.
    If you're going used I'd say go with a fender (even though I'm not much of a fan of their warm tone and would never buy one myself). Fender's are high quality instruments that deserve a lot of respect. Also, an Ibanez EDB600 or EDC700 bass can be gotten in the $400 range and those have some sweet sound. The EDC has, in my opinion, one of the best EQs on the market!!
  15. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    >If you want proof that people are obsessed with the name "Fender" being on the headstock, just ask yourself why it is that used G&L basses are so incredibly undervalued.

    How does that prove anything but that most people would rather have a Fender. Ask yourself why this is. If you like G&L's, then by all means, have one. The ones I've played are not superior to Fenders, in my not so humble opinion, and many other's opinion as well. That's not to say the G&L's aren't nice... but they are not Fenders.
  16. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    If your interested,i have a 98 A Std P in near mint condition i can let you have for 500+shipping WHSC.Also a G&L LB-100 WHSC mint also for about the same.Good luck!
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Rob, what you said was proof that people don't want G&Ls... that doesn't mean they want Fenders either. I own both and am happy with both...and they're different.

    Seems like one of the last reasons people are willing to accept as to why someone bought a Fender is that they actually liked it. Couldn't be that, must be peer pressure or headstock envy or being a lemming but not that they simply liked it. How could someone like a Fender anyway?...it's so obvious and simple and hasn't really changed and isn't neck-thru.... ;)

    The G&Ls I've liked the most are usually Ash and most people don't want to deal with the weight. The SB series don't sound like the L series and some people don't like that. The controls on the L series are not at all intuitive, if you don't know them chances are you won't figure them out:D Given all that if you do take the time to figure an L out and can deal with their attributes, they're great basses... but not for everyone. That's why the resale is so low.

    It's funny, sometimes people say that bassists ought to buy G&Ls because they were Leo's last basses. Only if you were a collector and only if they had value. If you're a player, the reason to buy it would be it sounds good, plays well and you like it. Leo's signature is nice but has very little affect on the sound or playability
  18. Well, I guess I just feel that to my ear, my passive SB-2 sounds at least as good as any vintage Fender I've played (I happen to think it sounds better, but obviously not everybody feels the same).

    I can see the L-2000 not appealing to everybody since it's a fairly complex active bass, but to me the SB-1 and SB-2 are just like really high-end Precision and Jazz basses. Sure the pickups aren't exactly the same as the '57 P pickup but I'd hardly say they don't sound as good. When I just use the P pickup on my SB-2 it just sounds like a really great P bass. With both pickups it sounds like a really great Jazz bass. And it plays like a dream. I can't say I see any deficiency in the SB basses that would cause anybody not to like them as much as a Fender.

    I guess for the players that have honestly tried the G&L SB-2 and not liked it for whatever reason, that's cool. I have just seen so many people walk by these basses in my local shop and head straight for the "wall of Fender" without even trying the G&L's. Most people don't even know what they are.

    A friend of mine owns another local shop and although he truly believes that the G&L guitars and basses are superior, he's stopped carrying G&L because the instruments just sit there for years unsold.

    By the way they do come also with alder bodies too, but the swamp ash is used for the ones with the fancier finishes.

    Maybe this should be its own thread but I really don't see why the SB-1 isn't generally liked as being a really good P-bass. That's the way I feel about it. I don't miss my vintage P basses one bit and I don't feel like I'm missing any part of that sound. Maybe I should rephrase it: tell me exactly how the SB-1 or SB-2 is inferior to a Fender Precision, because I don't see it, feel or hear it.
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    They're not inferior, Rob. Like I said, I own one, a 1980 (81?,I forget) L2000E. It's excellent.

    Here's what I see as one of the problems... lack of exposure. Who do you see playing G&Ls? That doesn't make them sound any different but if there is a way to get a jump on achieving a sound you've heard, and seen the artist, people assume that getting the same instrument is it. This of course must drive Geddy Lee fans nut as they switch from Fender Jazz to Rick to Wal while Geddy sounds like Geddy on all of them;)

    Picture this, for example: Flea playing a G&L. There is nothing he couldn't do on a G&L that he does on a Modulus or StingRay, etc., rumor is that there is a cash incentive involved. Fender has tons of endorsers, who does G&L have? If this is going to be strictly a word-of-mouth thing, that takes time. How many people do you think would play a G&L because they saw Flea do it?

    Sometimes the easiest way to get a basic Fender sound is to buy a Fender. As simple as that sounds, it took me a long time to come to grips with that. It wasn't that all of the 70's Fenders sucked, I think my technique needed work and now I appreciate basses for what I can do with them as opposed to what they do for me. Confusing?

    Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Even with the stellar word-of-mouth Roger Sadowsky has, he still advertises, probably as much as or more than G&L, a much larger company. What's wrong with that picture? I also think they focus more on guitars than bass...cool if you're a guitarist but...

    They also put out some fairly odd products. What's up with the splatter and swirl finishes, is that supposed to attract a serious bassist? That just seems desperate. When was the last time you sat around with a bass-playing buddy and pined for a bass that had a telecaster *guitar* body?:rolleyes: With people complaining for years now about 5 strings with too-tight spacing, why do they refuse to make something people are obviously asking for? This is the sole reason I will not buy an L2500, narrow spacing. So I buy other basses from companies that quite frankly IMO don't have their head up their butt. I think the majority of this is G&L's fault, hey, they have Leo's legacy and still can't sell basses...I wouldn't blame the potential customers for that. It's not enough to build a great product, you have to sell it, too, and my experience with G&L has been that they just don't understand the business. People keep touting the fact that they are handmade...BFD;)

    Another problem...there is no readily definable "G&L" sound, it's still about Fender.

    You may be thinking what does all of this have to do with an SB-1? It's the overall impression that G&L as a company doesn't care about basses, period. SB-1's are nice P-basses but Fender P-basses don't cost much so why bother? Most people need a reason to not go with the obvious choice and if it's a choice between a known with predictable resale value and an unknown... Besides, IMO the real battleground is in the Jazz bass arena and Fender is making some nice ones for very little money.

    So...keep making goofy finishes, ignore the flourishing 5 string market, don't acknowledge what bassists apparently want and voila!

    You have G&L.

  20. Unless I'm mistaken, thanks to the new US Fender line, a G&L is actually cheaper now. At least in Toronto anyway.

    I'm not a big fan of the weird finishes either, that's why I have a 3 colour sunburst, a 2 colour tobacco burst and a natural swamp ash (clear). They make a huge range of colour and finish choices - probably more than just about anybody.

    Thanks for your input Brad. :) I know I'm extremely happy with all 3 of my G&L's (especially my SB-2). I do always wonder why they aren't more popular but I suppose it shouldn't matter all that much to me. I have some great basses that I feel are the best for me and if they never do catch on in earnest (which is doubtful after 20 years!) I will continue to find great deals on more G&L's.