Advise on bass upgrade?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rncf87, May 5, 2005.

  1. Rncf87


    May 5, 2005
    I currently have a 4 string Johnson bass, I'm not even sure what kind it is. I got it as something to learn on about 2 years ago, but now my band and I feel that it's time for an upgrade. my current bass has alot of wear and tear on it, because thats just happens sometimes during our shows. so on the one hand i want to get a nice new bass, but then again i wouldnt want to pay alot and then scar up the body during shows. so my question is should i just keep with the johnson body and just upgrade the pickups?(if so ideas for new pickups?) or do i need to go out and get a whole new bass? either way my limit's about $1,000. we play all kinds of music from fast loud punk to slow jazz type stuff. also for someone with alot of stage time, how much does the quality of the bass come through in a loud, live show? any advise is welcomed
  2. I think you need to think more about A: what is wrong with your bass and B: what do you want in a new bass.

    Do you want a new sound, and if so what type of sound? Do you want a blue bass instead of the red one you have? :)

    When I had been playing for about 2 years, I went into a local music store looking for something new. The sales guy asked me all these questions that I didn't have answers for at the time, so he asked me to bring in my bass (Hondo P bass) next time and we could do some comparing. The first thing he noticed was how bad the set up was, how dull and out of tune the strings were and how hard it was to play. He made quick adjustments right then and there. I came in a week later and spent money on new strings and a complete set up and ended up keeping that same bass for 2 more years until I knew what I wanted to change (a 2 pickup bass, a jazz bass).
  3. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I couldn't agree more with Big Benner....

    I have had and heard mixed results of doing mods on a bass, the combination of body, beck, strings, Pickups etc. create a sound unique to each instrument.

    I have been playing for 15 years and am still in search of the perfect instrument. The best advice I can give is try a lot of them, get something that will have a good resale value and once you've decided on what you want see if you can pick up one used.

    Personally I am a jazz bass guy, but the Ernie Ball Musicman is a great bass (I have the 5 string) that fits many styles, used you should be able to find one under a grand.

    As for your question about playing live, you have to work on a combination of your instrument, amp and your playing style. I have found the sound of a passive instrument like a jazz or P is created with your hands and is thus recreatable on a large variaety of instruments and amps. Many may disagree.