A bass for all styles?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chris3142, Nov 4, 2000.

  1. Is there such a bass for all styles of music like Slap, metal, jazz, punk, funk, classic rock? If there is i would like to know what it is... cuz i want one! i've heard wonderful things of the Ernie Ball MusicMan bass... but i dont know, i know it's good for slap, and punk cuz like every punk band in the universe who has a good bassist plays one. But what about metal? old metallica... great stuff. I know my current Mexican P-bass is good for that, and i know that the rickenbacker4003s are good for that, but slapping's kinda tough on those. and they cant really get that funky tone. So.. anyone else know anything thats good for all styles? I've got about 1500.. and i play through an Ampeg BA115. any ideas?
  2. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I'm not a big Fender fan, but even I would recommend a Jazz type bass. I believe that their versatility, is one of the reasons why they are so popular.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Hi Chris,

    I also have an Ampeg BA115 (ever notice the name looks like BALLS), a Musicman, a Warwick and a P-bass deluxe. I play in a punk edge band and yes - the Musicman is my bass of choice for that. It gets a gritty ballsy sound that cuts through everything else better than the other 2 basses. It doesn't offer much tonal variation though, and is somewhat lacking in the deep end. I recently bought a P-bass (American standard) because I play in a cover band also, and I need the versatility. That bass covers a lot of ground. It's deep and rich, it can handle Jaco like leads, and thumpier lows than both my other basses. It has a P-bass pickup at the neck, a humbucker at the bridge and 3 band EQ that really mixes up the sounds. It was my choice for versatility and I'm extremely happy with it for that.

    I highly recommend checking out some Warwicks also. Mine is a Corvette Standard and it isn't very versatile, but they make Corvette Jazzmen, and Streamer Jazzmen that have a musicman pickup in the bridge position, and a jazz in the neck position. They also have 3 band EQ and claim to get every sound under the sun. I've never put one to the test but I'm a huge Warwick fan. I've never touched another bass that feels like my Warwick, or sounds like it. My only beef is it weighs a ton (some of the others don't). The craftsmanship is light years away from the Fender or Musicman. You gotta love Warwicks though. They feel different from most basses. As you can see from other postings here, people seem to either love the feel or hate it.

    Final suggestion - which is probably going to be the next bass I buy, the Tobias Growler. I've played these in stores a bunch of times, never with a band though - and it seems to get a million different sounds. I was a little hesitant because of the controls - confused the hell out of me. I liked that it seemed in the store to really nail a musicman sound - and not many other basses can do that. It's also real light and has a really comfortable neck, if you like thin necks.

    Good luck in your search.
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Most versatile? Amongst actives, the G&L 2000 has the widest range of sounds I've heard in a single instrument; amongst passives, that award goes to the oft-mentioned Fender Roscoe Beck 5. The discontinued Growlers admittedly had a wide range of tones, but not all of them were pleasant sounding.
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Ill say NO to the Growler... (and this is a warning to you Joe), they DONT cut at all! If you like the Growler, get the Renegae. Its got an extra pickup in neck position, and a different MM in the bridge position. I only got tones i liked out of it, and it cuts WAY better, and comes with a maple fingerboard, which cuts better than Pau Ferro (well, mine had wenge, it was fretless). So i say Growler.

    The RB5 is a great bass, even though i hate Fenders normally!

    Another bass thatd be great would be an Ibanez BTB. Silent pickups, 3 band eq, GREAT feel, very comfortable, tight b string (if you want a 5), and great sounding EADG strings. VERY versatile.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    If I were going for a one-bass-do-it-all instrument, I'd also get a Jazz bass. Alternatively, a Zon bass of some sort.

    Will C.:cool:
  7. Chris S.

    Chris S.

    Nov 4, 2000
    Ruh roh, another Chris here. :)

    I'm obviously biased because I own 2 of 'em, but I'll toss in another vote for the G&Ls, either the L-2000/2500 or the ASAT bass (the Tele shaped one), which shares the same electronics & pickup configuration. Amazing versatility: active & passive, J-bass, P-bass, Rick, MM sounds and more just by flicking a couple of switches and adjusting the knobs. The ceramic magnet MFD pickups have a lot to do with it - they're very high output with relatively low noise. - CS
  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Im a chris too!
  9. Get a Lakland. Talk about a wide variety of available sounds!

  10. I think having a bass with a Music Man pickup in the bridge and a Jazz pickup in the neck would be insanely versatile. You could install a series/parallel switch on the bridge PU to get an even wider range of tones.

    Perhaps this is why Laklands are so beloved...
  11. RB5, without question, is the most versatile (passive) tone machine I have ever played. There is NO gig where it wouldn't work, short of fretless ;)
  12. The Jazz is pretty darn good, but still a little light for rock. IMHO, the new Fender P bass with the hot rod bridge pickup and active electronics is the most versatile bass around, without going to a boutique maker. There is nothing you cannot do with it.
  13. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    G&L L2500 -- has a very wide range of sounds. The boosted-highs switch is great for slap, and the combination of pickups and series/parallel options gives you plenty of options when it comes to different sounds.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    G&L L series. Unbelievable punch, extremely versatile. My L2000E probably has the widest dynamic range of any of my fretted basses, slap this thing and you'll sound like a drummer. With all of the switching available, limits are few.

    I'm still waiting on a 3/4" spacing L2500...
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'm with Herm. I have P, J, RB5, SR5, and Pedulla, but that Lakland 55-94 leaves them all blowing in the weeds when it comes to versatility. That big Bart soapbar and the J-type pickup give you the tools to craft a respectable representation of just about anything out there. And the danged neck just plays itself. What more could you ask?
  16. Okay, i was looking at the Lakland basses and they're just to expensive! Would it be hard to put a J pickup on the p bass?? are the j pickups active? and would it be hard to put a J pickup on an Stingray? I dont have a stingray yet but i hope to get one. also how expensive would this be?
  17. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Another one to consider is the Stu Hamm Urge II. Lots of tonal variation available.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, if you like P-basses, try the new American Deluxe 5, or the regular American Deluxe 4. They have the P pickup with a mondo J pickup too. I played one at ... where else? GC, and I was pretty impressed with the tone. My P-deluxe has P-J's too, but Lace Sensors ... not quite as versatile. I'd consider selling it for about $500. It's a '93. Excellent condition, with a '98 neck on it. Hell, I'd even throw in a brand new set of Boomers.
  19. okay, so i've been lookin at the urge II and the hot rodded american bass.. the hot rod is more within my price range.. but i can get the urge in my price range.. whats the difference with the two basses, i mean i know that the urge has another pickup and all but whY? whats the difference between the two jazz pickups?? and can i go from all of the pickups.. just one of the pickups, and a combination of any two? and any other information on the urge II will be appreciated. also any information on the hot rodded series or the american deluxe series basses... anything you can tell me about these.. remember i'm looking for a bass that fits ALL styles well and within a 1500 dollar price range... if possible.

  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    If you're willing to buy used, $1500 puts you in a very nice place. You should be able to find a used Lakland for that price.