Beginner bass for £150-£200

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Crofts, Sep 21, 2001.

  1. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Right, I am helping a friend find a 4 string bass, his first, and at our local music shop we have narrowed it down to 2 basses.

    One is a Yamaha with J and P pups, active electronics and 24 frets.

    The other is a Peavey 'International Series' it has a flamed maple top (i think) and comes in red blue/green and yellow, it has separate tone and volume for each pickup (soapbars) and it is passive.

    I can't find it on the internet, it has quite a small body but a long upper horn and quite sharp at the end.

    The yamaha is £30 more, which one to go for? Are there any others that are better for that price bering in mind the price, he only wants 24 frets and preferably not a Fender.
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    BG to answer the actual question of the two go for the one that you/your mate likes the best. The person who should be pleased with it is the person stumping up the cash.

    BUT some points arising

    Your bud might dislike Fender but a secondhand Mim Fender (in the £250 range) is IMHO the best bang for sterling. Also it will have a greater resale value if the owner decides to upgrade or give up. Mim Fenders are also good keepers or spares. That’s my biased opinion.

    One thing that concerns me is that you have been to one shop in Hertfordshire. First go to a few shops and compare prices and set up etc.


    Coda in Stevenage (or Luton Beds) are very competitive on price. Ask for Doug at Stevenage or Matt at Luton. Machinehead in Hitchin are ok but they are not the cheapest around. Their second hand stock is normally mint but you pay for it (ask for Geoff). There was a Machinehead in Harlow but I don’t know what happened to it. The Music Dept in St Albans is ok too. Pricing is ok but service can be iffy, the guy with the gray hair (forgot his name) is the best and has run the shop for over 20 years (it was further up Hollywell Hill in a little upstairs room). The only other shop I know of is the one towards the Station in Barnet. I do not like it, poor stock, poor service.

    All of the above is my opinion.
  3. ldiezman

    ldiezman Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    why does he only want 24 frets?? if he doesn't know how to play bass, he won't be playing more than the first 7 frets for awhile. its not like he will be doing mad soloing right in the beginning... And there is nothing wrong with fender basses. That is not very cool to be so closed minded to an instrument when you are just starting out.. Not trying to be pissy but I think you should keep your options open.. Nothing wrong with Passive electronics either. But the yamaha or the peavey will be a decent beginner bass.. I still think that an MIM Fender Jazz bass would beat them both though
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    BG, is this the Peavey that you are talking about?

    <img src="">

    Peavey's website is screwed today, taking forever to load.
  5. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, a bit of a confession to make, the bass is for him but it is me who says no to fenders, I just don't like the feel of them, they feel short and stumpy and he's a bit bigger than my 6'4" so I think he'd find it a little cramped, 24 frets gives a bit more space IMHO.

    *Puts on flame-proof suit*

    We're planning on going to Denmark Street at some time and trying out loadsa basses there. Hertford Music is the only one I've been to in the HERTS area because it's 5 mins from my school at lunchtime (6th form privilege). I hate it in there though because I complained to them because they did a crap repair job on my 1st bass and they are all surly. The old guy in there is really surly to my mate Edd even though Edd's bought about £450 worth of stuff there in the past 6 months and is ALWAYS nice to them. BTW embellisher it's the same body shape I think but the hardware is a kind of satin grey, the top isn't quite as light as that, it has 24 frets and the tuning heads are 2 on each side with a really small head.

    Well, I'll let him try a Jazz but I think that may be a bit expensive, I'll let him decide.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Why would 24 frets make it less crowded?

    If 2 basses have 34" scales, and one has 20 frets and the other has 24, the fret spacing is exactly the same on both.

    And you are doing your friend a major disservice by not letting him look at Fenders, since they make one of the better low priced basses, the MIM series.
  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Its your fault for living in Hertford. I was born in St Albans HERTS and its much better :)

    Seriously if a rd trip is in order try the bass centre in wapping (go left at Tower Bridge) or wapping tube station go left for 20ft or try the gallery in Camden they are both bass specialist shops

    both advertise in guitar or guitarist but try or

    Try the new OLP stingrays they are not bad for the money (not great but not bad).

    Happy hunting
  8. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    The actual length of the neck is greater. It gives more room than having to squash your arms right in IMO. I was thinking of taking my bass to the gallery because apparently they defret for £40 but I don't know if they do a good job of it, especially since bass centre charge £90 for the same job. I've been meaning to go 2 bass centre for a while now but the fear of mugging is too great :). I thank you all for your help.
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Martin Petersen who owns the Gallery also makes Sei basses. He set up my Stingray and re-shooted the board on my fretless.
  10. Well well.. Ok.. I have a cheap Squier.. and It works good . has good sound and looks good IMO. At the Music store i tried the Fender MIM P Bass.. and I loved it...And its not expensive for a bass by any means.. So.. i really think u should get him to try out the MIM Fenders.. or if he really wants to go cheap because its his first bass.. I suggest the Squier Series.. Its good quality for the money.. :) But get him to try out the basses.. Its wants feels and sounds good to him.;) Jus my two cents.
  11. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    IMO fenders look silly and the bodies look to big and ugly for those stupid short necks. IMO of course... I just think they're really ugly and old fashioned. Anyway...
  12. ldiezman

    ldiezman Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    dude. a 34' neck is a 34' neck is a 34' neck. if it has 22 frets or 24 it is the same length..... there is not difference.. My stingray is 34' scale with 22 frets... I'm 6'8 and it looks good on me... so i am sure a 34' scale 22 fret neck bass would look just fine on him....
  13. wroot

    wroot Guest

    Sep 14, 2001
    whoah cool. 6'8" eh? You're like a foot bigger than me. You are also a giant (I bet nobody messes with you eh?).
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    And of course, looks are all that matter, anyway.
  15. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    That's why i get clothes that sound good, and instruments that look nice.
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Is that Bass "Wimp" ? :D Seriously you are two guys of 6'4" and 6'8" or whatever? :confused:

    Actually Wapping is one of the safest places in the country since it went "upmarket" - you have to earn huge amounts of cash to be able to afford property there now - it is full of CCTV and all the paces by the river have security guards everywhere.

    I've been to the bass centre on my own many, many times - and I live in Brighton!

    It's a nice walk on a sunny day from London Bridge station along the side of the Thames, then across London Bridge - the tourist trip!

    Or if I'm working in London, I will get the number 100 bus from Liverpool Street station.

    I'ev done both ways with basses worth just under £2,000 under my arm - no problem!

    If you go to Denmark Street you get worse service and less choice - except for sheet music! The "assistants" in the bass shops are hand-picked for their ability to weed out "timewasters" - i.e. everybody except their mates! :D They are of course obnoxious to timewasters, unless you immediately mention that you will be spending money that day!!

    Whereas at the Bass Centre they will get you coffee - let you play with any number of basses for hours undisturbed, through the best rigs and even suggest trying expensive basses - even if you admit they are out of your price range! People like Grant are friendly and knowledgeable and they will do free setups. There is no comparison really!

    The Gallery is great and Martin Peterson is if anything friendlier and more knowledgeable; but it is smaller and concentrates on high-end "exotic" basses, whereas the Bass Centre has something of everything. The Gallery is also harder to get to in my experience and not served so well with public transport - and nothing will convince me to drive around in central London!
  18. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I got a coffee in the bass centre the other week and they let me try out an OLP bass even though I stated that I had no intention of buying it. I suspect the 'mugging' refers to price. Both the Bass Centre and the Gallery are not the cheapest shops in the UK but the cardboard merchants rarely set the bass up for you. They also have an unfounded superiority complex.

    Chris at the Bass Centre finished my Warwick for me when I fitted my pickups. Ok I paid him but he could have told me where to stick my jack socket.
    Martin Petersen gave me a free setup on my Stingray when I bought it from him.He also did another one 6 months later. While I waited he let me try a Warwick Thumb fretless cos I told him I had seen one in another shop. So he told me to play it to see if I got on with it. I bought the other one and paid Martin to set it up.

    I dont mind paying a bit more if it pays the wages of the staff of the bass centre and gallery.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, my feeling is that the places in Denmark street are the ones who are more likely to "mug" you if that's what the Gimp meant! ;)

    I've been back to the BassCentre a couple of times with my Tobias, that I bought there and Chris has done some minor setups things for me without charging a penny and one of the times he even gave me a special small spanner that fitted the ends of the dual truss rods exactly, as he had two of these in his toolkit!

    I find the prices in Denmark Street are usually more expensive for what I'm looking for - but then I'm not looking at the low end of the range usually, so I'm probably not the best person to give advice in this thread! ;)

    I have seen quite a few "used" bargains in the BassCentre - bought two of them , but never anything like this in Denmark Street. I suppose I just don't like the Bass Cellar etc. as they seem to be keen to get you in and out as quickly as possible.

    How do you get to the Gallery ? I would like to go more often, but find it difficult to get to?
  20. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    The last time I went I drove because I was buying a 4x10. However if its for repairs etc I park in Barnet (north London) and take the tube. Turn left out of the stn go past the supermarket and you can see the bridge. Royal college rd (whatever) is on the right. Try parking on the outskirts (south London for you) and taking the tube in.

    I tend to go on Saturdays.

    BTW I have driven to Bass Centre the past two Saturdays. The first week I left at 9 and got there at 10, the second week I had to take my youngest son to football training. I left at 10.30 and got there after 12 :( Getting back at 'lunchtime' was a disaster.