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Bass Recommendations

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by robjs, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. robjs


    Dec 19, 2004

    I know this has been done a thousand times before, but I'd appreciate the help of the community. Also, I know that the "best" bass to get is one that I feel wholly comfortable with, but I've played quite a few today, and to be quite honest, I liked the feel of most of them.

    I've got at the moment an Encore bass, it looks like this one http://www.lma.sageweb.co.uk/pk12b.jpg - and frankly, it's horrible. I took it to have a re-setup a few months ago, and they told me it probably wasn't going to make a difference. Lots of fret buzz, and lots of hum from the pickups (a few more experienced friends have commented on this too - so I hope it's not just my shoddy playing). Basically, it's a bass [sic] model, which I got to start playing on. Now - I've got the bass bug and I want to move onto something that's more friendly, and shift some of the blame for my mistakes from the bass to me! :p

    I'm playing by myself at the moment, just tackling various tabs, and a couple of licks and solo parts that I've bought. I'm playing stuff ranging from John Paul Jones and Led Zep, through Geyser Butler, attempting a little bit of Mark King type stuff, some of John Myung's stuff (Dream Theater), and Scott Owen from The Living End (he plays an upright in a kind of rock n' roll/punk hybrid).

    My current bass is a 4 string, but I'm wondering whether a 5 string might be nice to move onto, for the flexiblity of playing, and the fact that both Myung and JPJ have played >4 strings. I've played one or two 5 strings, and the 5th string did feel a bit crazy (probably because I'm not used to it at all).

    So, I've had a look around for myself for basses, I don't really want to buy from the US (I've been tempted by a used Stingray, and Sterling over there). So here's my semi shortlist.

    Yamaha RBX 774 or the Yamaha RBX 775 (if I decided to go for the 5er), or even the Yamaha TRB 1000

    MusicMan SUB Sterling or a used MusicMan Sterling

    I'm open to any other suggestions, I've not managed to play a SUB Sterling, or any of the Yamaha ones, there's very little in Huddersfield, and with college and exams at the moment, it's pretty tricky to go elsewhere at the moment.

    I played some Cort basses, in Woods, which I didn't really like, the body was way too light, and the workmanship on the fretboard didn't look very good at all. I'd like to buy something that'll last. I'm not a fan of the Fender P/J basses either, they just don't feel right in my hands, and with both, the body feels rather a large and awkward shape.

    My budget is anywhere up to around £800.

    Thanks for any help :)

  2. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    Hi, Rob.
    It sounds like any bass would be better than what you got! :smug:
    It's really important as you get committed to the bass to have a decent instrument, one that won't fight you. But, basses are made pretty well these days, so just about any bass that isn't sh*% will allow you to grow with it. From your post, it seems like you have strong responses to basses and that you know what you like or don't like once you've played one. Unfortuately, this means you will have to go play a bunch (sorry about school...). Otherwise, people will just tell you get this bass, get that bass., etc.

    What kind of music do you play? Do you like smaller or larger necks? Since you don't like Fenders, does that mean you like ergonomic basses (like a Spector)?
  3. robjs


    Dec 19, 2004

    First off, thanks for the response :) I'm planning to get out and try and play a few as soon as time allows. As well as getting some advice, I'm just trying to work up a picture of what's likely to be good quality, and good to play for a while.

    I play loads of different types of music, from funk, indie, metal, to some bluesy kind of stuff.

    In terms of neck size, something a little larger is good.

    And yes, ergonomic basses are good :D


  4. I played 5 string, then bumped up to six for the past few years, but in the last 6 months have tired of the "non-sense" as I call it. The options are great, but I just don't feel like I really need those other strings any more. If I want the lower that open E tone, I can play a piano/keys, and If i want higher than the 19th fret on my fender's g string, then i can go with a guitar :) But that's just me, someone who has actually played the 6 and transfered back. I personally would reccommend something like a fender jazz bass, or check out some of carvins basses, i've owned several and they were great, especially the build time options. I like playing and do play everything from metal, to fusion, to classic rock, blues, ect, and never am stumped when trying to find a tone that fits. I'm kind of a gear upgrader though, and have changed out hardware on my mim fender, with new passive pups and active electronics coming soon, but only to broaden the range of tones available. Make sure to find a clear direction "you" want to go in, then go for it completely. I've found that dedication to purpose tends to leave any disatisfaction by the wayside. Good luck.
  5. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    OK basspeople. robjs is looking for a non-Fender, ergonomic bass with a good sized neck. It needs to have some, but not a huge amount, of variety of tone. What comes to mind?

    Also, I'd stick with the 4 string for now, but I don't have a really strong argument for my position.
  6. Thats why i also added carvin, i'd stay away from peavey, i've owned a few and wasn't very satisfied with their lowend stuff, their higher end stuff might be alright. You could check out ibanez, they've got erb's that are fairly ergonomic and don't have the same fender body shapes, i've played several of their btb basses, both 4 and 5 strings, and found them easy to play and decent sounding, especially considering the pricing.