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Bass advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AstralTraveler, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. AstralTraveler


    Jun 23, 2004
    I'm looking at purchasing a 4-string bass in the near future and I need some suggestions. I want a thick but extremely clear and cutting tone. The type of music I listen to is art rock/prog rock from the 70's-80's and I want to be able to cut through big time in a band situation. I just want to stay away from clankiness and harshness. Any suggestions? :hyper:
  2. AstralTraveler


    Jun 23, 2004
    btw, i'd to keep the price around $500-800.
  3. sincity

    sincity Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2002
    Get a Peavey Cirrus.

    Awesome bass for rock, classic to modern. Meaty, detailed tone that cuts through any mix.

    The 18 volt preamp gives you tons of headroom with many tone options.

    I bought the Maple/ Alder combination with the Pauerro ferro fretboard.

    My rig is a Trace elliot V6 through a Ampeg SVT 4x10 HLN Cabinet.

    Also, I really like how the 18 volt preamp drives effect pedals better. The hotter signal really makes my pedals such as a Digitech Bass Synth, DOD 250 Overdrive or Boss CE-3 chorus really come alive.

    The Cirrus can be bought anywhere from $550.00 - $800.00, depending on condition.

    Cirrus Search
  4. Buying Your First Bass

    Most importantly I would advise you not to spend too much money on your first bass. Choosing the right bass won’t be easy until after you’ve been playing for a while. Once you have a good year of lessons behind you, you can make wiser choices with your (or your parents') money.


    Bass is a large instrument. It can be played with any size hands, but for most everyone it will require some stretching in the beginning that you are not used to. For beginners, it is a little easier starting on a bass that has a smaller neck. If your hands are smaller, go with the smaller neck. If you have large, meaty hands, go with the bigger necks if you prefer.


    I could go on and on about tonal differences in basses, but in the few hundred dollars range the differences aren't that big. Get a bass that has two pickup configurations. Typically there are P-pickups and J-pickups. They are named after Fender's Precision bass and Jazz bass. The P-pickups look like two offset rectangles - one under each pair of strings. The J-pickups look like a long, thin rectangle. Both have their own sound. Also the placement of the pickups affects the tone. A beginning bass with a P-J setup will give you the most tonal variety.

    Where was it made?

    Most basses are now made in foreign countries. I have taught many beginner students and seen many beginner basses. The poorest quality basses seem to come from China, Mexico, Malaysia and Indonesia. The best quality basses seem to come from the U.S.A., Japan and Korea. This is definitely something you should pay attention to. It is usually clearly marked somewhere on the bass.

    4-String or 5-String?

    For a long time 4-string basses were your only option. Now there are 5- and 6-string basses. The difference is a 5-string bass has an extra lower string. This allows you to play 5 lower notes than a 4-string bass in standard tuning. This is pretty low! For most styles of music you don't need these lower notes. A 4-string bass can be tuned lower to get two of those lower notes. So you only really gain three extra notes on a 5-string. If you intend to play the hardest heavy metal, you probably do want a 5-string. Those extra notes will be used often.

    I think it is easier to start on 4-string. Some of the technique is easier in the beginning and changing over later is not too hard. Also, cheaper 5-string basses rarely sound very good.

    What I recommend

    For the money, I recommend MIJ Fender basses. They are Japanese made and are very consistent in quality. They sound good, are easy to play and are built well.

    What I would avoid

    I would avoid store brands such as Rogue and Essex.

  5. AstralTraveler


    Jun 23, 2004
    Thanks for the help you guys. I'm gonna go check out those Fender MIJs and the Peavey. :bassist:
  6. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Get a Spector Rebop. :)
  7. Chapbass


    Dec 11, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    2nd the cirrus....if i had that money for a bass right now (and i wish i did) id definitely buy a cirrus...

    maple bass, birdseye maple neck baby....bright as hell but im gonna love every minute of it!
  8. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    G&L L-2000 Tribute.

    A must.
  9. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    Yeah! What she said. Dig it! :p
  10. AstralTraveler


    Jun 23, 2004
    WOW! I'm in love with the looks of the G7L L-2000 :hyper:
    I love the maple neck/clear finish body. droool
  11. AstralTraveler


    Jun 23, 2004
    What setup did John Taylor he use on Rio, that song...wait, the whole cd has awesome bass tone. Did he play w/ a pick? BTW, I'm gonna go try one of those G&L/G&L Tribute L-2000s as soon as I can, those things are gorgeous..looks promising :bassist:
  12. Warwick player

    Warwick player

    Dec 31, 2002
    Bucks, UK
    I heard about the Tribute L-2500 in Issue 12 of Bass Guitar Magizine and they gave it a good rating, I take it there isn't much difference between the two apart from the extra string!

    Its another guitar which will go on the wish list!

  13. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    I'd have to recommend the Spector ReBop or any other Euro Spector or Spector Legend......

    You can't go wrong with one of these.... :bassist:
  14. Walbassman


    Nov 27, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Prog bass huh?

    One word

  15. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Amen... A used Ric would be great.. I love my ric.. I use it from everything from Funk, to Rock, to Jazz.. It's a great bass.
  16. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
  17. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    That's what I would recommend - clear, cutting, the slightly shorter scale makes playing a breeze... and the newer 4003s have more bottom end than ever.

    And mine can be had for just a leeeetle more than your projected budget... See my "Large Sale of Stuff!" thread in the FS forum. The price on it is somewhat negotiable...
  18. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    You'll also need a Mesa Boogie 400+ or SVT with 410 cabinets or and 810 to cut through, the best bass in the world won't help if you're not 'tubulated'.