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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malisent, Dec 13, 2005.
Im Looking for a new 4 string bass in the $300-$450 price range. Any ideas or any suguestions?
I'm quite taken with the new range of basses from The Bass Company. They're selling them direct through e-bay:
I've only heard a few reviews of their sound/feel but they were overwhelmingly positive, and I think they look goldang sexy. Handmade by a company owned factory in China, it's handmade quality at affordable prices.
Other than that, you could probably find a used US fender on e-bay for about $450 if you're patient.
If you can save another hundred bucks in the next month, and are willing to wait, $550 will get you quite a few very sweet basses.
Not a bad idea, but i was looking at Fender Standard Jazz or Fender Standard Precision. what do you think of thoes 2? or which to you like and why?
I tell ya, the best bang for the buck are the U.S. made Peavey Millenniums (yes spelled w two ll's and two nn's). They can be had used here on TB or Ebay for $300 - $500ish. Shame they don't command more of a price because they are FINE instruments and easliy worth twice that. MusiciansFriend.com had a blowout on new/old stock recently where you could have picked one up for $299 and $399 respectively (for the Standard or Pro or Plus models). The MSRP on these was $899 - $1379 and they used to go for not much cheaper at dealers.
Do not mistake these Millenniums with the lesser versions made overseas. I got a U.S. one recently and I tell ya, the build quality is up there with just about anything and the 18 volt electronics are top notch!!! There are some on Ebay right now... I've yet to find more bass for that kind of money (and I've looked hard)!
Do you live somewhere where you have a chance to play a lot of Standard (which means made in Mexico) Fender basses?
If so, I'd say go ahead and try a lot of them and pick the one with the straightest neck and the most resonant body. Both Precisions and Jazzes are great, but the Jazz is a bit more versatile. (Then again, the Precision's one sound is something you can't achieve with a Jazz, unless you modify the Jazz to give you a choice between series and parallel wiring of the pickups.)
Anyway, if you get a good one, you can always modify it gradually with a Badass bridge, different pickups, different tuners, prettier pickguard, etc. Or you can leave it just the way it is.
Fenders are easy to resell, even modified, and if you get a good one they're great-- even the Mexican ones.
Why anybody would buy a Mex Fender over a U.S. Peavey is beyond me. I've owned both and they are not even in the same league. The Peavey has Hipshot hardware, top notch electronics and the craftsmanship BLOWS the Mex Fender away. You should never buy an instrument that you have to weed through several bad ones to find a "gem".
The Peavey Millenniums are great if you can find one. if not, i would recommend a Cort Curbow or Yamaha BB414 or 415 as great basses in the $450 range.
The Bass Company
I recently bought an Ibanez Artcore and I am very happy with it. GC has them for $400 and you can probably talk them into the strings of your choice on it for that price.
They look ok but built in China. No offense, but of all of the Asian countries manufacturing basses, China has the worst reputation while Japan has the best followed by Korea, Indonesia, etc... Again, I'll take a hand crafted U.S. made one with KNOWN quality hardware (Hipshot, etc) vs one made overseas with no name hardware and electronics...
$400 can buy you a whole lot of Yamaha...
I'm sorry, I'm biased, I want a BB415 in a bad way
I 100% disagree.
A gem is a gem, regardless of what you have to wade through to get it. I have a fretless MIM fender jazz that I love, and frankly I've never played a Peavey I liked.
In fact, I was just at a bass shop moments ago playing a custom luthier fretless that was selling for $2400, and my MIM is way more playable. (I didn't plug it in, so I can't speak for tone.)
If you find the right bass, it's the right bass. I generally don't like fenders, but I'm quite attached to this bass.
TBC doesn't farm out their basses to sweatshops though. They have a beautiful factory with highly trained workers, all personally overseen by the owners of the company. Check out their site, I applaud what they're doing even if I don't like shipping manufacturing overseas.
Plus, when playing a Peavey you have to wear a bag over your head. (Ha ha, just kidding!)
I tried not to go there.
OK now! You are going to tell me that a $299.00 bass plays and sounds better than a $2400.00 custom bass?
A set of pickups with a preamp on a custom bass cost more than your bass at $299.00.
Is it the name on the head top, the price paid for the MIM
or the real quality and playability of the custom made that you are comparing and putting in question?
I find it very hard to believe that you can make or play professional music with a bass that you paid $299.00.
You don't see too many professionals on TV or on stage with a $299.00 bass.
Why? There must be a reason!
Is it because they are so good? And The Professional bassist can not see the sound, the quality and the true value in those basses?
Come on now, lets be realistic!
If you were a brand new bassist, I would definitely suggest a Fender Jazz or Precision. These are "Standards of the industry" and provide a good jumping off point for your development as a bassist.
Even if you aren't a brand newbie, these are still excellent choices. Hundreds of Fender J's and P's are being bought every day. The caveat however, is that you need to try and play the one you buy before you buy it to make sure the fit/finish/feel/sound are up to your personal standards.
If this isn't your first bass, I would give a strong look to The Bass Company. Their instruments appear to be well made and the company is run by good, knowledgeable, conscientious people. Check out their website and see if their models appeal to you. IMO, you could do a lot worse.
Read it again, slick. I said it played better, but "I DIDN'T PLUG IT IN, so I can't speak for tone." I'd be very surprised if my MIM jazz electronics could stand up to that thing.
Oh, and I got it for $200.
Agree 1,000,000%. I've owned everything from MIM Fenders, SX, Hondo, up to LeCompte, MIA G&L, Pedulla, MIA Peavey, and everything in between. I'm hear to tell ya that the lower end basses cannot keep pace with the higher end. Most guys that have only owned lower end don't know what a good fret job feels like, what great electronics sound like, what REAL craftmanship really looks like, etc. I'm sorry to break it to some of you folks, but there is a difference and a substaintal one at that.
So that point is, if you can get a REAL hand crafted, top notch instrument for about the same money as a assembly line one with lesser electronics, why the hell would you, for the Fender name??? I think not. That's just STUPID!
As for the Peavey name, yes they have also farmed out a lot of their basses and guitars overseas and got a bad rep for it, but the U.S. is top notch. I have NEVER worried about names, only sound, craftmanship and playability. The choice is obvious...
I'll agree with you...to a point...
lower end instruments CAN be made to sound quite good and play very well, if the owner knows a little about electronics, shielding, and setups...
granted my $150 yamaha RBX-170 will never play or sound as good as a Celinder, Sadowsky, or Lull. But, after a little work, and knowledge, my RBX170 (not everyone else's, MINE) is one of the best sounding playing instruments of its model in the country. And it most definitely meets my current needs in a 4-string P/J.
Like you, I look for sound and playability as #1 and #2 in an instrument and in most cases, both aspects can be improved DRAMATICALLY from the off-the-shelf models with a bit of knowledge and experience.