A Mom needs some help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kvanhuy, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. kvanhuy


    Feb 28, 2003
    Western New York
    Hey folks,
    My 15 year old son has been playing bass (upright and electric) for 5 years. He has a band (they play things like CHili Peppers, The Police, Dave matthews Band), and he is also in an award winning Jazz band. He has been playing with an entry level bass for 5 years, and we would like to surprise him with a new bass for his birthday.
    These are what we have narrowed down to:

    Ibanez BTB510

    Ibanez BTB300

    Ibanez SR-3000

    Fender Jazz Deluxe (is that right?)

    Fender American Jazz (?) i don't have the paper with me

    Warwick RockBass Corvette SE

    I would really appreciate any feedback on these basses, and what you would consider the best choice for a serious , but still young player.
    Thanks so much!

    Edited on March 4:
    Okay Folks! Boy am I happy I came here!

    My son and I took a drive to the Guitar Center today. He spent 3 1/2 hours playing all the basses he could get his hands on. And like many of you said, there was one that really spoke to him. He liked the Fender Jazz very much, he thought it sounded great, but it just didn't feel like the one. He did NOT like the Ibanez, which is what he was leaning towards from what he had read and seen on the web. The bass that just felt like home was a Warwick. He played a fretless Warwick which sounded UNBELIEVABLE, he played it so well. He loved it, but he said if he were only going to have one bass, he would prefer the fretted 4 string for what he called the Slap factor (? lol). SO the one he completely fell for was the Warwick Thumb-4.
    I think we got an okay deal on it, 1199. and an awesome thickly padded case by Levy's. We can search for a better price and they will match it.
    I can't tell you how cool it was to see him light up when he played that bass. Wow!

    SO THANK YOU to all of you, for all of your help! As you can see... I got the supporting membership as soon as we got home!
  2. I would go with the american jazz bass, but all bassists are different. So, I would just ask him, because in the end he will be much happier. Hope that helped. Good luck.
  3. kvanhuy


    Feb 28, 2003
    Western New York
    Unfortunately he has not had the opportunity to evr play anything else but his bass, and he really would not know much about them. Otherwise it would be much easier to just ask him!:)
  4. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I would forget that RockBass.What is your budget? Which bass is he playing now? Does he want a 5-string?
  5. kvanhuy


    Feb 28, 2003
    Western New York
    Our budget is under 1000, and he is playing a 300.00 Alvarez. He really prefers a four string if he is going to have just one bass. He has thought about fretless too, but we'll add that later:)
  6. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, ma'am, what is your price range? I've done a lot of testing and shopping for this sort of thing, and price is a major factor.

    For the money, I would reccomend the MTD Kingston. It's an excellent bass that's built very well, and would probably fit the bill to a T. It's one of the best values out there, in the opinion of quite a few of us.

    I'd also suggest the Lakland Skyline Series 44-01. It's simmilarly priced, and might fit a Jazz bass player a bit better.

    Can't go wrong with either.

    Of the ones you listed, I would feel the safest with the Fender Jazz Deluxe, and any of the BTB basses.


    All have incredibly helpful people who will go out of their way to help you in your search.

    Happy Hunting.
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Addendum: a used Peavey Cirrus can be had for that much, and those regularly get rave reviews.
  8. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I would consider "the best choice for a serious, but still young player" the MIA (Made in America) Fender Jazz. That is a pro instrument that should serve him well for his whole life. Although I own 19 basses, I have been gigging with the same Fender Jazz for 20 years.
  9. Starrchild


    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    Fender Jazz all the way,you can't go wrong.
    And like Turock said he'll never need to upgrade.

    You're a Sweet Mom..:D ,Can i come over for Cookies.
  10. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Considering wide range of music styles he plays, and assuming that you want to get him a new bass (rather than a used one), I'd go with American Standard Jazz with a J-Retro preamp. That would give him a huge range of tones, and would be easy to sell later if he decides that he wants something else.
  11. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    You could present him with a nice card/certificate "good for 1 bass up to $xyz" and let him pick it himself. Print it out on a nice card with a picture of a bass and you get to surprise him with the gift and he gets to buy the bass that "speaks" to him.

    If not out of the choices you listed I'd go with the American Jazz.
  12. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    G&L L-2000 might be worth a look too. About $900 new I think, and hundreds less than that used. Solid construction, very road worthy basses. They are very versatile, and play pretty well too.

    A used Czech Spector can be had for less than a grand as well. NS4CR or NS4CRFM. Not as versatile as the L-2000, but they sound wonderful nonetheless. Built to last a lifetime, and Spector's customer service is top notch. I should mention though that Spectors are more suited to rock than jazz, just my opinion.

    On the Fender side, the Geddy Lee jazz bass plays extremely well, and it sounds nice too (about $600-650 new). It can be had for much less than the American models. It is made in Japan, but if you find a nice one, you'd be hard pressed to find anything lacking when compared to the US models.

    The MTD Kingston is a good suggestion too. That would be the lowest price by far, you could buy two for under a grand. The used Cirrus suggestion is very good too, wonderful basses. Very well suited to jazz or rock.

    Regardless of which bass you go with, I would recommend having it professionally set-up before giving it your son. It can really make the difference between a bass that plays ok, and one that plays like a dream. Slight adjustments can really bring out the best playability in an instrument.

    Good luck!
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    From your list - the American Jazz, hands down. No contest.

    Others to consider, IMO:

    G&L L-2000
    Ernie Ball MusicMan Sterling

    Any of these are a lifetime instrument!
  14. well, the basses listed are all pretty good choices. but they each have a different feel to them. neck shape, weight, electronics, etc. etc. i think the best thing to do would be to take your son to a Guitar Center or some such place (depending on what's in your area) so that he can try out all of the choices, as well as anything else they have available. Guitar center also usually has some interesting, somewhat rare used basses for an okay price as well.
    good luck:)
  15. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Is there anybody that could fish around to determine his preferences aesthetics-wise?
    Can make a pretty big difference for a guy that age...or any age, probably.

    My parents got me a Carvin for graduation, but had my sister conduct a little covert op to determine exactly what I'd want 'looks-wise,' and that's what I got. I think I was even more inspired to play because it looked exactly like what I would have picked. Didn't know much about basses back then, but I've still got that one 17 years later, and it's doing fine.

    Could you 'just happen' to 'coincidentally' stop by a music store and have him try a few to see what style he prefers, or is that not viable where you are? (can't tell, no details in your profile...)

    Nice gesture to get him a good bass, he's going to love it!
  16. It might be best to have him assist in this decision- for being such expensive items, instrument choice can be pretty personal.
    My personal preference from your list would probably be the Fender American Jazz bass, but the funny thing about those (and most other large manufacturers) is that not all of them are created equal. So even then it might be best to take him to a store that carries several and let him test-play them.
    If you let us know what state/country you're in, someone from that area can probably recommend a good store within reasonable driving distance.
    By the way, it's great that you support your son's hobby. Many parents would be hard-pressed to list what bands their kids like.
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    If the basses are all at the same store, how about a gift certificate? Or just labor going with your son to each music store and let him pick.

    You could also consider throwing (as an extra) in $20.00 for a TalkBass Supporting Membership.

    Good Luck. Happy Birthday.
  18. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    im not that old but that dont mean im not wise.
    Sure it would be good for the surprise just to see his face on that morning but then it will wear off after a little while and you never know he may not like it and might not have the courage to say to you that its not what he likes.

    The soloution
    get one of his mates to phone him up and say sumin like hey matey, do u wanna come in to town with me coz i might be gettin a new guitar/bass/drums (whatever instrument in a shop that also sells bass guitars) and then when you are in the shop you get his friend to say hey look at that bass or wow arent they nice, lets try one out and then his mate comes back and reports to you, and then you get the best of each parts
  19. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I agree with those who say you somehow should let him decide, either directly or by somehow figuring out through friends what bass he would like. It can be very individual what instrument a person feels comfortable with, both in terms of style and playability. One solution already mentioned would be a gift certificate, or why not you both go out shopping together.
  20. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    I would go with an Ibanez SR3000.. those things were just killer!!