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Another one of THOSE threads

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bennny29, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. bennny29


    Jul 17, 2011
    Okay, long story short: in the process of buying a new bass, and after trying a few out, I'm still on the fence a bit (and I'm always majorly OCD with these kinds of decisions/purchases). I'm just looking for peoples opinions/experiences that are relevant to my situation, get a bit of input before I go for my second round of trying everything out AGAIN :rolleyes:.... I play heavy metal mostly, and mainly play with a pick using (by most bassists standards) a fairly hard picking hand attack.
    At the moment, my main bass is an LTD F-104. And despite it being a bottom-of-the-heap starter bass, I manage to wrestle a good tone out of it (but you can see why I need an upgrade). I tune down to drop C, and use 50 - 110 DR hibeams. I'd rather stick around the $1500 mark (or lower) so that I don't feel guilty about splashing out on a hard case, new metronome (lost my old one), a BOSS tuner pedal, and a sansamp bass driver DI (or similar pedal).

    The main three that I've got my eye on are (prices are in New Zealand dollars btw, so don't freak out):
    - Spector Legend Custom bubinga $1299
    - Warwick Pro-Series Corvette with bubinga (or ash) body, and all active (passive/active and passive/passive also available) $1299
    - LTD F404 FM $999

    Other options that I'm KIND OF interested in:
    - Dean Spire $999
    - BC. Rich Mockingbird Heritage Classic 4 $999
    - Sterling Ray 34 (a few variations) $1099
    - Warwick Pro-Series Streamer LX4 (all active) $1399
    - Warwick Pro-Series thumb 4 BO with ovangkol body (all active) $1600
    - A few of the other high-end LTD basses (surveyor, b1004, Tom Arya sig, etc)
    - SOME of the Warwick $$ (and other german standard) models are JUST cheap enough for me to consider them, but still around the $2000 mark
    - Spector ReBop 4 I guess, although when I played it (might just have been that I was being too aggressive with my picking hand), it sounded like all the tone and punch/low end was being strangled out of it - all I could hear was treble and the strings clanging against the frets... And it was over $2000

    When I was trying out these basses it was difficult to gauge their sound exactly as I wasn't playing them all through the same amp (they were at different shops), and they had different strings on - I'd be tuning them lower and using a specific set of strings on them anyway, which could alter the sound a fair bit. One worry is that, even with the heavier gauge strings I use - with both the down tuning and my heavy attack, the low string might sound a bit muddy and undefined. The F-104 I'm playing atm handles it fine with the 35" scale, but some of the 34" scale ones might suffer a little bit...
    The tone I'm after is a mix of that mean sounding mid-range growl you hear in some death metal/melodic death metal, and that awesome, punchy and well defined sound in some of the older metal/thrash (david ellefson, rex brown, etc)
    Here's a few examples of tone that gives me a stiffy:

    If you've made it this far, hope you've enjoyed the essay. What do ya guys/gals reckon?
  2. Swakey


    Nov 26, 2012
    Wait if you tune down to drop c why not just get a 5 string? That way no drop tuning no string tension issues.
  3. bennny29


    Jul 17, 2011
    Because pedal riffs written specifically for drop C basically (which I follow at least SOME of the time)... And tuning a five string UP to CGCFA/A# would be a bit of a hassle, and tuning a 5 string DOWN to GCGCF would mean the low G would get neglected. And I like the feel of 4 strings, sits better in my hands.

    If the 50 - 110's don't cut it at all, there's always the DR DDT 55 - 115 strings.

    But like I said, drop C with the 50 - 110's is fine for me at the moment with the 35" scale. I can't imagine it would be too much of a difference going down to 34" BUT it's been a while since I've played a 34" scale in drop C, so I'm a little bit doubtful.
  4. BruceBass3901


    Oct 17, 2009
    Wickham, UK
    Why not string your current LTD with the B,E,A and D strings from a 5 string set and then tuning up? It will mean adjustments like nut slots and truss rod tweaking will be required as the string size and tension will be very difficult, but that will sort of solve your problem.
  5. bennny29


    Jul 17, 2011
    Well like I said - I don't have any problems with my F-104 at the moment in terms of string tension. The reason I want to upgrade is so that I have a higher quality instrument with better wood, electronics, construction, etc and a better sound.
  6. JCheung


    Jan 25, 2013
    Herndon, VA
    Where are getting that price for a ray34? Anyways there will be others recommending all types of basses that they've used. I won't be much different. I love my ray 34, and while I don't have much experience playing any style of death metal, I think the music man sound could easily lend itself to what you may be looking for. The single MM pickup is thunderous and the preamp is nice and flexible.
  7. bennny29


    Jul 17, 2011
    Keep in mind, that's a "STERLING (by musicman)" ray 34 which is the cheaper version of the proper "EARNIE BALL (by musicman)" ray's
  8. bennny29


    Jul 17, 2011
    I guess mainly I'm seeking advice on tone and quality. They all seemed to play fine, didn't feel awkward in my hands. The string tension in drop C is something I could find a few ways to fix/work-around, but the tone and construction - not so much

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