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Bass Buying tips

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by patman2k, May 15, 2001.


  1. patman2k

    patman2k Guest

    May 15, 2001
    Palatka, FLorida
    Im interested in buying a new bass this summer. Ive been lookin at SO MANY different retailers, makers, private citizens that biuld, I just cant sort it all out. I was wondering if any of you had some tips on basses that you have played & like. BTW I play mostly hardcore & punk, but I go to a school where Ill be playing classical
     
  2. patman2k

    patman2k Guest

    May 15, 2001
    Palatka, FLorida
    Im only interested in 5-strings & up, and also any tips for me on bassaes that sound good down tuned, B-A, E-D, A-G, D-C, but I leave the G for slapping/popping purposes :).
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Decent B-strings in descending order of price:

    Pedulla Rapture
    Roscoe Beck
    Warwick Corvette
    MTD Grendel
    MTD Kingston
    Yamaha RBX765
    Ibanez BTB405 (yes, Ibanez)

    Rapture's got the smallest and most comfortable body, IMO. Good attention to detail, though if you're playing punk, who cares? Roscoe Beck's probably the best Fender being made right now; downside is that it's on the large side (didn't stop me from ordering one, though). Corvette's stylish and has a nice tight B, but check the tone before you buy; it's sort of midrangey and not to everyone's liking. You'll also have to look after the finish. Grendel and Kingston are great values; can't say anything bad about them, other than you may find string spacing a little tight. The Yamaha, IMO, is the best of the cheapies. The Ibanez isn't as well made, and I don't like the tone, but I'll admit that the B feels fantastic. My 2 cents.
     
  4. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    i'll add to the list the amazing spector ns5cr.
     
  5. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida

    Fender MIA or Even MIM Jazz bass deulxe and deluxe active jazz bass have very good tones, as do Spectors, not the ns-2000 ones but the usa or chezh ones. also mm string rays are a very good choice in my opinion. and dont count out the MIA Fender P bass deluxe either.
     
  6. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Rather than name brands (because you'll get WAY too much of that with this thread), I'll say this...don't buy right away. Spend a good amount of time playing each bass and getting to know each instrument.

    First, I'd look to see that the instrument is in good shape: no chips, scratches, dents, no extra screw-holes, etc...whatever you can think of.

    Then, play unplugged. Get an idea for the instrument's resonance on your body with your hands. How does it feel? How does the unplugged sound come across? Bottom line here is, is it comfortable for you?

    Lastly, plug it in. Play the same things you played unplugged to check its amplified tone. Sometimes instruments have crappy electronics that you can't identify when unplugged. This is a good test, but only after playing it UNPLUGGED FIRST!

    There are a lot of great brands out there, and there are as many opinions as there are registered members of Talk Bass;) Get some ideas that are within your price range, but go play them before you spend your money. Enjoy:D
     
  7. If buying from a store, my biggest advice is to attempt to visit during the quiet hours of the day. Nothing's more annoying than having to wait to try out an instrument. Take your time, plan on spending alot of time with different instruments. Never feel rushed and use all your senses when examining a bass (maybe except for taste). Focus on sight sound and feel when trying the different basses out.

    I've got a schecter elite 5 string that plays like a dream. But, as you can read above, there are many great suggestions and just as many great basses out there. Bottom line: try it out!
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    In addition to other good advice already posted, my advice is try out several of the same model. These are production line instruments. Sometimes quality control is on their toes, sometimes it's out to lunch.

    If you like the sound of one but not the playability, have them tweak it for you. If you think they might not adjust it for you, ask them about payment options, even if you intend to spend cash. This let's them know you are serious, not some school kid with an hour to blow. And don't bite on the first price they give you. Act unimpressed, even though the instrument wows you.

    Finally, don't let them plug you into some Rolls-Royce-level amp to try them out. Who doesn't like a bass through a $3,000 amp? Try them out either on the amp you brought with you or the one in the store that most resembles the amp you will be using.
     
  9. If you are a spanker/slapper, make sure to play scales, chords and real music when trying a bass. Listen for richness, sustain and a singing in the tone. Make sure there is an evenness in the volume across the fretboard. Put on a strap and stand, while noticing the overall comfort. If it's too neck heavy, put it back. Basically make sure you're buying a quality instrument because you want something versatile as your playing grows.