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Bass kit advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by il_danza, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Hi,
    I was thinkig to build myself a bass and my budget is very low (like sub 200/250€).
    (yes, I know a lot of people ask abut this but I haven't found answers for my questions, or some are dated)
    My idea was to use one of this cheap ebay kit and mod it with new pickups. I was thinking to pick a precision bass-like bass and add some others pickups, like a pj bass, or some humbuckers. So, the electronic is not a problem because I will replace it completely whit something I will DIY(I have some experience in building audio mixers & co so this will not be a problem) and I was also thinking in searching some used good pickups.
    The goal isn't make a spectacular looking bass(probably I will left it barewood or use only some oil to get a better wood grain, nothing too fancy) , I just wish it sounds good.

    So, the idea of using a cheap bass and upgrade it whit new electronics(ad probably bridge) is this good idea? or I should pick another way, like a cheap used bass and upgrade it?

    and do you know some good/decent kit for like ~70€? (I don't think they exist but also only a neck and a body for this price would be perfect)

    Thanks for your time and for the answers :)

    ps: the idea was something like this:

    pps:I'm from europe so if you know some shop here for kits...
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it's a great idea! :hyper:

    you'll have to search TB and/or google the kit thing --- there are a lot of them and several have been featured here in threads with successful builds/mods/etc.

    experienced TB members will chime in...

    be sure to share pics and progress. good luck with your kit build! :thumbsup:
    il_danza likes this.
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    IMHO, Save your time and buy a decent bass.
    U will spend more money on upgrades than what they are worth.
  4. I think the main issue you’ll face is getting a decent neck. Frets, nuts and tuners can be tuned/replaced but if you end up with no truss rod it’s unlikely to be an instrument you’ll use for long.

    If this is a limited budget but for fun build, go crazy. I’d maybe look to Gear4Music, GAK or Thomann for the kit. If this is going to be a main player look out for a recent Squier new or used and mod that!
  5. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Yes, you will spend more money on upgrades, but all those upgrades, bridge, pickups, pots, tuners, etc. are 100% recyclable. So worst case scenario, you put the last upgrade on it and the truss rod breaks or the neck warps. No big whoop. Just either get a replacement cheap neck or start a fancier project with Warmouth stuff and use the upgraded hardware from the old bass.
  6. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    You can pick up a decent bass for not much more than that. Check out I own a Harley Benton club
  7. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    The Jack and Danny basses from www.musicstore.de aren't bad either. You can get a fully functional P bass from them for as little as €89 (€78 if you go for the Rockson model) or a J bass for €99 (again, the Rockson version is €78)

    Full disclosure. I own an Olympic white J&D p bass.
    il_danza likes this.
  8. JZQuantum

    JZQuantum Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    I would be patient and wait for someone selling a Fender or Squier with a bad neck, but otherwise loaded body. Get a used fender neck and you have a nice bass with really good components.
    il_danza likes this.
  9. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    il_danza likes this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    OP: don't let these naysayers dissuade you from your quest! your idea is sound. if you are not successful (it happens) it's your own damn fault! :laugh:

    Scottgun nailed it in post #5.

    fear not. good luck! :thumbsup:
  11. Shmoe


    Nov 25, 2018
    I happen to have a precision kit bass someone gave me for free. It was pretty ugly so I stripped the body down and finished it with natural satin, upgraded the pots but left the cheapo pickups and I love the way it sounds! I can't stop fiddling with it so I recently shielded the cavities and the thing is dead quiet. I don't mind toying with it too much because it was free to begin with. The guy that gave it to me was blown away by what it looks like now. Kits may be cheap, but you can gain some valuable experience by building a bass yourself. Go for it!
  12. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Plenty of good basses available for $200 to $300 brand new, some need absolutely nothing but the right strings.
    I'm talking basses you can learn on, gig with, or use to record.
    Why mod when you can simply pick up, plug in and play?
    Sure, it might be good for some but it's unnecessary for most.
    What's your goal, to learn to play?
    I learned on a new $300 bass that I bought for $125. It needed the fret edges filed...they were downright dangerous. Bought a $12 file and learned to do it myself. I eventually sold the bass but every time I see one I long for it. Who knows, I might even buy another.
    The thing is, no one needs to settle these days. Beginner basses have never been better than they are right now.
    $300 will get you any one of these.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    JRA, wmmj, il_danza and 1 other person like this.
  13. subdude67


    Jan 18, 2010
    If you enjoy assembling your bass from a kit I recommend the Harley Benton P bass Form Thomann. Or spend a few Euros more and get the bass finished. In any case you get very good value for money.
    And try the original pickup before you swap them. I was disappointed when I swapped an original HB pickup with a Seymour Duncan and it sounded pretty much the same with slightly lower output.
    jackn1202, safikex, TrustRod and 2 others like this.
  14. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    I've build half dozen bass kits. This one was a jazz I got off of ebay for about $85. Used multiple coats of poly on the neck and rustoleum 2X spray can on body, followed by rustoleum clear coat. However, you MUST wait 2-3 weeks before doing the clear coat. The Pups sound great and I threw on flats. VERY happy with outcome.
    IMG_1752.JPG IMG_1750.JPG IMG_1755.JPG IMG_1751.JPG
    wintremute, JRA, GoesThump and 2 others like this.
  15. Luigir


    Mar 15, 2018
    Last yearI 've payed 350€ dei an used g&l l2000 tribute which is a superb instrument. IMHO if you want to assemble a bass for the sake of doing it go ahead otherwise take a look at the used market: yamaha, ibanez, g&l and cort basses can be found easily in your price range and you should find one you like.

    Notice that with a used one in case you end up changing your mind you can resell it for (almost) the same price you've bought it.

    In case you look for kits or new basses take a look at Thomann. It's the largest European distributor of musical instruments. Notice that the kit costs as much as their basic assembled instrument.

    For second hand shopping it depends where you live. In Italy mercatinomusicale is the standard. In any case I'd rather suggest you to try before buying second hand.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    il_danza likes this.
  16. Magthegrate

    Magthegrate Way less skilled than my gear suggests.

    Sep 18, 2017
    Austin, TX
    I made a diyguitar.com kit that I spent $150 on. It was a very good intro into building, and I used all of that knowledge when I eventually built a MUCH nicer bass.

    That being said: the knowledge was good, the pickups were crap, the neck is crap but I fixed it up and defretted it since it was cheap and I didn't care about messing it up. It still hangs on my wall. Maybe some day it will get better pickups.
    JRA and il_danza like this.
  17. Ok so, thank you all for the answers ; )

    So basically the best thing I can do is to pick a used bass and then upgrade it where it need it, and if I want change the look.

    For a used bass I was thinking I can also search something whit bad electronics and repair it?

    Yes, some of you asked, this will be my first bass
  18. Luigir


    Mar 15, 2018
    If this is your first bass I would rather go with a 200€ (or less) new one. No issues, good sound and more than enough to learn for years. IMHO upgrades are necessaries when you know what you're looking for.

    For example you could take a look at: https://www.thomann.de/it/ibanez_tmb100_bk_talman_bass.htm

    View attachment 3228035

    The bass I've mentioned is just an example. Nevertheless, it doesn't need IMHO any upgrade and it's super cool. It's a working class bass that will allow you playing whatever you want. PJ configuration with a lot of tonal flexibility.

    IMHO you'll be disappointed in buying upgrades for your first bass and you'll probably end up spending more than buying just a standard bass.

    P.s. the electric bass is an industrial product: it's cheaper to buy the product than assemble it by yourself by definition. Companies like Cort produce a huge amounts of instruments and are paying way less than you for components. Chances are they are better than you in assembling too.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    il_danza likes this.
  19. Avigdor


    Aug 23, 2018
    Don't forget to factor in cost for tools - if you have all tools you may need it is a different proposition than if you also have to factor in cost for tools.

    In my experience you build an instrument because you want one that YOU built, not because it is cheaper.
    il_danza, Luigir and subdude67 like this.
  20. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    If you want to do the kit thing, that's fine.
    I would also think about buying a cheaper( money, not quality) bass. Squier, MM SUB-I've owned both.
    Aside from the Thomman gear, I have 3 basses from here: BASS GUITARS
    I've used a lot of high end gear but these basses have all I need from a bass.
    il_danza likes this.

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