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Bass Players with Cheap Basses...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ThumbyAche, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. ThumbyAche

    ThumbyAche Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Pacific NW
    I know it's the player not the instrument but sometimes, I'm just blown away at what some bass players are playing, like when Will Turpin from Collective Soul was sporting a Cort Curbow or even when Robert Trujillo is playing his Fernandes. Granted, maybe theirs are a little customized and they record with different basses but is it more about $$ or choice?
  2. I would hazard to guess that it is, to a certain degree, all about choice.
  3. Also does Jeff Berlin not play a Dean 4 model which isn't that expensive. Maybe I'm wrong!

  4. One could make the case that guys like Marcus Miller and Jaco use(d) 'cheap' basses compared to the cost of your typical Fodera and Alembic...
  5. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    A bass that's setup up correctly for you and delivers the sound that you want doesn't have to cost $7,000 and doesn't have to have fabulous woods and inlays.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Correct but to use a $300 instrument is a bit extreme. $300 instruments will not play and sound like a $1000+ instrument. I think any professional musician playing a bass that costs under $700-$800 is odd.
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL

    I see this a little differently. All og my guitars are pretty much sub 300 dollar instruments, save a beat up ibanez. For my basses, I have one that was 150 new (albeit customized), one that's worth about 400, and one that's worth about 1000. I play pretty much all of them interchangeably. A cheaper instrument does not always mean a worse instrument. I have seen many gems come from SX on this board. But this all has to do with the individual's tastes and preferences.
  8. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I've always used MIM Fenders. Never a single bad comment, all positive. The guy sitting across from me with his $1500 Warwick asked me "Man, that bass sounds soooo amazing, is that a MIA?" My answer: "Nope. MIM P bass, all stock, with flatwounds."

    I wouldn't be so quick to knock the sub-$700 basses. Sure, I could order me some tricked out Fodera. But it wouldn't sound like my Fender precision. I think the only real thing that custom shop basses have over stock Fenders is incredible build quality and immediate, consistent playability. I'm not even a big fan of the custom sound, all the midrange is scooped right out. That seems to be a pretty crappy trend. Honestly, give me a well-made MIM jazz over an Alembic any day.

    EDIT: And when it comes down to it, you have to put aside all the exotic woods, custom hardware, and souped-up pickups and figure your fingers into all this. How you play and the consistency of your fingers has more to do with sound and tone than any Magical Redwood of Awesome +1 will.

  9. i'd like to add that because its cheap and not name brand or quality build doesnt mean that its crap. yeah it may sound dead in some spots but nothing a little tlc will take care of. who cares if its a million dollars. you are not going to sound any better than you did before. not you specifically but in general. i go to the music store a good bit to see what new products they have. nothing. maybe one new thing but thats rare. i see and hear kids playing basses that are 2 3 thousand and i know they can afford it. its the side of town i live in. but they sound like crap when they play. im 21 and very experience and i pick up the most expensive just to see what all the hype is about. well to my ears and eyes its nothing short of ordinary. ive recently picked up a ibanez soundgear 6 string priced at 549 and i like more than the alembic or spector, or peavey cirrus they have. even more than warwicks, maybe its just cause the b sounds good to me.,
    i just cant help but to be offended by your comment. its not odd that a pro plays a ****ty bass its not odd that a newb plays a pro's bass. you can go both ways. if i am correct i think that these pros get their basses given to them by endorsments. ie. geddy lee's bass is priced @ what 699, thats under 700-800, does that seem odd.

  10. Obviously I'm not a professional, but My Ibanez GSR 190 is worth new, only $200. Stock its ok sounding and great playing. I've now put a couple hundred $$$ (Dimarzio Ultra Jazz's, Badass bridge, defretted...) in it and it is definitely a way better bass. The neck is amazing (as with all SR's IMO), the acoustic sound of it is great and the amplified sound has greatly improved.

    There are some $1000 basses that my Ibanez smoked (Warwick Corvette $$, Corvette Standard Passive Fretted, An MM Stingray 2 band), These basses IMO didnt cound as good as my beat up I-ben-had, sure more care may have been put into them in building and set up, but my Ibanez still felt and sounded better. And there are also some it can barely keep up with (too many to name, even some less than $1000, IE Geddy Lee, SR 505...).

    All depends on the player I guess, but to say that a $300 bass can't sound and play like a $1000+ is a bit out there IMO.
  11. Those may be "cheap" basses according to the name on the headstock but as many here have said, it has a lot to do how a particular bass is set up for your tastes and hands.

    You can take an off the shelf xyz bass that costs $300. It may be playable or it may not be. Lets assume that that bass has a good neck and is made of "good" wood (not plywood!)

    Most importantly, if something about that bass "Speaks" to you -- it just says, "C'mon baby, take me home." (And we all know what that's like.)

    Lets say all that is true.

    If you ...

    Get a good setup (key!)
    Upgrade the electronics (if necessary)
    Get the frets dressed/leveled

    ... you still have a bass with a "cheap" name on the headstock but now it plays exactly like you want it to. It's YOUR baby ... and you didn't have to pay $1,000 to get it.

    I don't mean to imply that $1,000 + basses are not worth the money, nor do I mean to imply that all cheap basses are worth upgrading -- but I know for a FACT that the scenario I just laid out happens all the time ... including to some gigging pros.

    Just my .02
  12. my guitar player plays a cheap-o epi les paul.
    he is in a few other bands that are quite professional.
    more so than 99% of people that own 2K and up les pauls.

    i play a pimped SX.......
    i aint pro

  13. +1

    i agree. pro level equipment has about a $700 "buy in". everything else, is just trying to imitate, the good stuff.

    to the thread starter,
    just keep playing. your skill level will point you, in the right direction. :cool:
  14. I bought all my basses used, the most expensive one (my #1, a Hamer 2-Tek CruiseBass) cost me $500. My cheap P-Bass clone with a Fender "Original '62" pickup sounds incredibly rich and plays like a dream so it sees an awful lot of stage time...more than my Rumblefish XL or my fretless MIJ Jazz Bass. The big name players play what gets "their" sound, and that isn't necessarily something that's preposterously expensive.
  15. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    victor wooten's brother (guitar player) was slapping on a squire stratocaster on the bass day dvd. He didn't seem to mind that it was a squier and his brother had a fodera.

    It's all in the hands. Great bass players make cheap instruments like squiers sound awesome. Its all in how you work it. Provided the bass is comfortable and is setup to your liking and sounds reasonably good through your setup, whether it's an SX or ken smith it must be a good bass (regardless of the logo\names on the headstock).
  16. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I paid less than $700 for both of my EBMM Stingrays :)
  17. parttimeluthier


    May 7, 2005
    Is the native down in someplace like New Guinea who makes a couple of drums out of a log and some goatskin and loves to play any less of a musician than somebody here who buys a premium DW drum kit with the most expensive cymbals? The native guy might be a master of rhythm on his homemade instruments where the "rich kid" may suck on the DW kit. To me it's the same thing with basses.
    There are very well a ton of great bassists in poorer areas like( like the rural south or the inner cities) who own P-bass or J-bass knockoffs, Squires, OLP's, Kents, Corts, Samicks, or whatever who can groove better than alot of people who own way more expensive basses. Do I have sacrifice from my family and scrimp to purchase an expensive bass to be a good bass player? I think not!
    It allways seems to come down to money and status does'nt it. people can be so shallow huh. :eyebrow:
  18. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I dunno - I've got a MIM P bass that's played some pretty large venues - and it plays and sounds better(to me, anyways) than a fair amount of MIA Fenders I've played... The day I bought it, I A/B'd it with 2 other MIMs and 2 MIA P basses - and I liked it the best - that was '92, and I've had it ever since... IMO, price doesn't always dictate quality - although it's usually a good indicator...

    - georgestrings
  19. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    I got an SX that was easy to setup and had decent pickups and frets. I've gotten many compliments on the finish and it sounds great with newer strings. neck is comfortable, no buzzes. I'm not overly fond with the tone but it may just be a pickup swap away from being a great bass
  20. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    It's all about choice period. It's about how you want to look/feel on stage, in the studio, or at home. You want a bass that just does the job plain and simple? Endless options from super cheap basses to the most expensive of boutiques. You want a bass that does the job AND is gonna last you for decades with little maintenace? Smaller group and the cheap ones start to fall off...you want one that is built like a piece of art and has a very individual look and sound? Even less choices at even higher prices. You gets ma drift? :)