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Bass for guitar player

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by crointernet, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. crointernet


    Sep 1, 2018
    Hello folks!

    Kindly need your advice. I am a guitar player. Will buy a bass for home studio purpose (I will play it). Mostly rock/pop genre.
    I am choosing between two ESP ltd basses. The stream 204 is 550$ and B-154DX is about 350$.

    Here are the samples:
    Stream 204 and 154DX

    The technical specs show, beside obvious difference in cutaways, that the stream has two same pups and the cheaper 154dx has different pups. The question is which one should be easier to play for a guitar player? As I understand they have both same scale lenght, meaning that the 154dx will have the first fret on the same distance to reach but less space between frets since it's full 24 note scale, right? Not taking the price into consideration what are your thoughs overall? Pup upgradeability, playability. Any downsides to stream 204 not having the top cutaway?

    Thank you very much,
    Kind regards!
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  2. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Buy the one that isn't shaped weird.
    Buy the most common shape so that it is most likely to feel familiar to whomever is playing it. I recommend a Fender shaped bass as a studio hanger.
  3. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    I think the 154 might be less prone to neck dive. That said, I like the looks of the Stream better ... :)
    crointernet likes this.
  4. crointernet


    Sep 1, 2018
    Thanks for the advice. Just edited the post. I will be playing it so it's not relevant to me if it's similar to standard basses.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  5. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Oh, then just buy the one that isn't shaped weird. :D
    I would consider a 5 string for pop.
    SBassman likes this.
  6. Krizz


    May 26, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    Not familiar with either of those, but,,,

    The guitarist I play with loves fooling around with my SG short scale (30"), says he finds it comfortable. He prefers the P tone of my Yamaha 425 5 string (34"), but doesn't like the longer scale at all.

    Just something to think about
    ajkula66 and jd56hawk like this.
  7. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    get a short scale
    dmt and ajkula66 like this.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Simple advice.
    Go to Guitar Center, Sam Ash or wherever and try out as many basses as you possibly can.
    There are plenty of good basses to choose from if you have $500 to spend.
    Sorry, but I can name a dozen I’d choose before I even considered either one of those...and yes, I’ve played both and several other ESP basses. Is there any reason you’re limiting your choice between those two?
    Nashrakh, Element Zero, dmt and 2 others like this.
  9. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Well, I started my bass journey as a guitarist who got a bass largely (not only, but largely) for recording purposes too, and I wouldn’t get either of those two basses — which only goes to prove: you should get the one YOU want! If you like one of those two, assuming that the individual instrument for sale has no particular issues like a broken truss rod or whatever, get it. Either one should work absolutely fine.

    My advice for a guitarist who only intends to play bass for his recordings and wants something that’s mainly just easiest to quickly transition to on those occasional times when he needs to record a bass line would be to get a short scale bass. They sound plenty bassy and they’re most similar to a guitar to play,

    Alternatively, if some particular tonal authenticity is the requirement for your recordings, get whatever bass is most popular in your type of music. For eample, if you want to record old school slap sounds, get a Jazz. If you want your bass lines to sound like the guy from Yes (Chris Squire), get a Ric, etc.

    Finally, if you just need something cheap that works, just get something cheap that works :cool:
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    jd56hawk likes this.
  10. InternetAlias


    Dec 16, 2010
    Try a lot of them, then decide. Everyone will just suggest you their favorite type of a bass.
    jhb138, BAG and BOOG like this.
  11. Kriegs

    Kriegs Peace Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2018
    MA/ RI area
    Go to your local music store and try every bass that they have until you find one that feels right. You're a guitarist so you know what I mean when I say 'feels right'. Each instrument brings its own, unique feel, sound and mojo to the table. You have the funds, so go and sample what's out there, don't just lock yourself into what you see and read online. Instruments are mean to be heard and felt :thumbsup:
    jd56hawk likes this.
  12. I was in a similar boat, looking for as cheap of a bass as I could. What helped me was (even though I didn't know a lick of bass, or even how to hold one, as I was coming from a guitar background) sitting down and fumbling around with a couple of 'em. I was initially drawn into the short-scale Squier Bronco, and loved the rough, ragged sound of the Strat pickups in it, but when I was offered the chance to play the full-scale Ibanez that I wound up buying, something clicked and I knew I had to have that one.

    For my money, a bass is a different instrument than a regular ol' 6-string guitar, and should be approached as such...so, don't look for a bass that's as similar to a guitar as you can, look for a bass that you'll be comfortable with and enjoy playing.
  13. PeterF

    PeterF Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    North East Wisconsin
    Get a Bass 6 style instrument. I have a Danelectro. Sold as a Baritone but with a 29.75" $400. Eq it clean and a little bass heavy. Perfectly decent bass tone and NO learning curve.
    vvvmmm likes this.
  14. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    1. Go to music store(s)
    2. Play all their basses.
    3. Buy the one that feels most comfortable and sounds the best.
    jhb138 likes this.
  15. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    Fender P bass is the most recorded bass in history! Just sayin
    3rdworlder and saabfender like this.
  16. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    That is not how scale length works.

    If they're both 34" scale then all the frets will be exactly the same distance apart on both. One will just have a few extras tacked on at the end.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  17. Nope. The space between every fret will be the same. The 21st fret on both basses will be in the exact same location.

    The 24 fret neck will need to be longer to allow the three extra frets.

    EDIT: Oops, I didn't see lz4005's post above
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    What the other guys said about frets. Same scale, same distance between frets - just one of them has more little ones at the high end.

    Of those two, just looking at them and not knowing more, I would go for the B154DX, because I have a phobia of neck dive and that stream bass looks like neck dive city to me.
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  19. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Admittedly in need of adult supervision... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    I’m a bass player who is a reformed guitarist. I think you will be happier with a shot or medium scale bass. Short scale is typically 30” +/- @ 1” or so. Medium scale is 32-33”. Personally, I like play medium scale because it’s a nice compromise between tone and comfort. You can get an old Made in Japan Aria Pro II medium scale model built by Matsumoku in the price range you are considering.

    The CSB Cardinal Series and the TSB Thor Sound Series models, which are 32.5” scale and are fantastic basses in every way. The build quality is amazing for the money, they have really comfortable necks, aren’t too heavy, and they are absolute tone monsters! They have MB pickups (MB-I, MB-II and MB-III, depending on the year) in rectangular housings like humbuckers, but they are actually reverse-P split coil pickups.

    If you want some guidance on finding and selecting one, just send me a PM and I’ll be happy to share what I know. I am certainly not an expert, but I have shopped around a lot for those Aria models and have owned four of them.

    There are lots of other medium scale options, but it’s hard to beat to quality-to-cost ratio of the Arias. I suppose the Fujigen-built Fernandes and the Greco medium scale P/J models would be comparable from a value standpoint.

    EDIT: Also, the string spacing on these models isn’t too wide and may be easier for you to adjust to than many other basses.

    Here are a couple of examples of the models I’m referring to:
    EAF4D956-D85E-441B-A4C2-C5CDE1E3AC2B. 91C1DBBB-8891-4342-9B76-083CEB09ECF1. 4E8AF346-24A7-4421-AA94-235BC2009F35. E9776D2C-ACC5-4151-99B7-3CC0AC802E32. EBC05558-A5C5-4617-A95C-C62691477EEF.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    Herrick and fermata like this.
  20. I would imagine that other than the body shape difference, those two basses will seem quite similar, especially for someone just making the jump from guitar. Either would be more than adequate as a "basic" bass for recording etc. My experience with similar LTDs has been clean build quality, good playability, and clear, balanced sound from the EMGs.

    The other posters in this thread have made some good points, though. If nailing classic tones quickly is important to you, you might want to consider a passive Fender-style J, P, or P/J instrument. And if you really want to ease your learning curve there are the Bass VI style instruments, as PeterF pointed out - I find the Ibanez SRC6 in particular plays very much like a guitar, and gets a "real bass" sound pretty easily with its EMG electronics. I have a Squier VI and it could do the job too, but would probably be a bit more fiddly based on my experience. But if what you're looking for is a solid, fairly neutral-sounding bass and you aren't worried about full-size scale and string spacing, either of those LTDs would be a solid choice.

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