1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

beginner - investing in a low-mid end bass or buying a cheap one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Foo-O-Matic, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Foo-O-Matic


    Aug 10, 2004
    hi, first im new here and a friend of mine told me about this great place! :)

    ok so i want to start learning bass, and im probably buying the peavey microbass as my practice amp, and i have $300 more for a bass. i was thinkin 'bout 2 options (these are the only options i have coz i dont live in the states) here they are:
    1) using all of the money and buying a Yamaha BB404 or an Ibanez SR300DX
    2) not using all the money and starting with a cheap bass, saving it for my next bass, and buying a Yamaha RBX170 or an Ibanez GSR200

    i dont know whatta do, someone told me that i shouldnt buy a bass like the Yamaha BB404 or the Ibanez SR300DX and as a beginner i don't need a bass like that, and i better save the money, and someone else told me that i shouldnt buy something crappy like the low Yamaha or the low Ibanez, and that i better use all the money i have.

    heh im confused :rolleyes:
    please help me dear TalkBass members!
    and sorry for the long post... ;)
  2. Rvl


    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    -buy a used bass
    -buy a Jazz type(can get alot of different sounds and easy to change pickups)
    -better to buy 2 good basses than one very expensive bass (as you make more money get better basses)
    -dont sell your old basses (which means dont buy crappy basses)


    Robert VanLane
  3. Bezo


    Aug 10, 2004
    My suggestion would be to get the best bass you can afford. 2 things can happen:

    You'll love playing and would have a decent bass until you were ready to step up to the next level, or...

    You'll lose interest and try to sell the bass. The better the bass, the more it value it retains.

    Better basses are also more inspiring. Good feel, action, and tone will motivate you. Bad quality can stunt your progress.

    I would also suggest taking that $300 and buying something used. As long as you buy something in good shape, you'll get a better instrument for the money.

    If you buy the cheaper bass and stick with playing, you'll get better and will want a better bass shortly after. If you lose interest, you'll have a tougher time selling the bass and you'll be lucky to get 50% of what you paid originally.
  4. TampaBlues


    Oct 28, 2002
    Tampa, Florida
    I know this thread is about you looking for a Bass. But for a moment lets talk about the amp. The Peavey Microbass is a great little amp, but take a look at and give some consideration to the Ibanez SW35. My two cents.....It's a whole lot more bang for the buck than the Microbass and I think you would be happier in the long run with it. It has much more power and many more features than the Microbass. The tone is better. Bigger speaker, more watts, you can play it upright or kick it back like a monitor. It has CD inputs so you could hook up something a play along with it. Give it a look, I 'm telling you it's a great little amp! All for around $150.00!

    Ibanez SW35

  5. TampaBlues


    Oct 28, 2002
    Tampa, Florida
    Here is a great deal on a used Fender Jazz. $229.00 BIN.Ebay Jazz

    It's not mine by the way, but it looks to be in great shape and the thing is when you get a used Fender like this one, when and if you want to move up or sell it. The chances are very good that when you sell it you will make your money back. Fenders tend to hold their value well. :)
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I would recommend that you get the Yamaha BB404. I think it is a great bass. It has Jazz style pickups and is very versatile. It gets a great slap tone and can growl with a good set of roundwounds on it. You can also get a round r&b tone with your fingers and with a bit of treble rolled off. The neck is great (two octaves also) and the overall bass is very light. I'm guessing the weight is around seven pounds. The only thing I can warn you about is that don't believe the claim it's pickups are humbuckers, they are very much single coil jobs. If you solo the BB404's pickups, you will get some hum.
  7. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    I have no suggestions for specific basses, but get the best you can afford, and buy used if at all possible (more bang for your buck).

    Back in 1984, when I started, the 'rents got me an Ibanez Roadstar II. It was my main bass for years, and I still use it as a piccolo bass (developed a dead spot in 1998 or so). Served me very well. That should be your goal -- not my model, but a bass that can last as you grow.

  8. Foo-O-Matic


    Aug 10, 2004
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That seems to be totally irrelevant to me. I never heard of any such thing. :rolleyes:
  10. TampaBlues


    Oct 28, 2002
    Tampa, Florida
  11. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    It's kind of a circular thing in some respects. I've seen the same pattern in a number of players:

    1) As your skills develop, you pine for better gear. Eventually, if you stick with it, you'll likely invest some significant cash in a top-shelf bass.

    2) Once you have that top-shelf bass, you'll be afraid to take it/use it playing out, lest something happen to it. Too much cash invested to take that chance. Then you wish you had a decent cheapie. Sigh.

    FWIW, I purchased an ash-bodied Essex Jazz a couple of years ago. Decent player in stock form; good woods; certainly sufficient for a beginner to learn on.

    Fast-forward to today: it's been fitted with a set of Dimarzio Model J pickups, upgraded electronics, and a series/parallel wiring job using a Stew-Mac DPDT switch. I love the tone; the series/parallel option makes it versatile; and I have loads of confidence in the bass (after all, I'm familiar with every solder joint).

    But I still have less than $300 in the bass, and it's not the end of the world if it walks away from a gig one day. And the more expensive ones remain safely at home.

    There's something to be said for a decent, easily-upgraded cheapie.
  12. weldon


    Jan 3, 2003
    Denver, CO
    I would suggest cruising the for sale forum and ebay for a good used bass. You'll stand a better chance of recouping what you paid when you want to upgrade. A new bass will lose a lot of value as soon as you walk out the door with it.

    Also, while better instruments make you sound better and are more fun to play, you won't really know what you want in a bass until you've played for a while. In a year or so, shop around and play everything to see how you like active EQ, thin neck, P neck, 5-string, humbucker, J, P, PJ, or MM pups, etc. You'll know a lot better what you like and what you want out of a bass and you'll get a lot more out of what you paid for the used starter bass when you sell it to get the next one.
  13. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA

    When I first started I went out and bought a new $800 Hammer. It is a nice bass but once I started to get a feel for my own sound I realized it wasn't the right one for me. I should have just spent $300 on a good quality used bass and then purchased a more pricy one when I figured out what I wanted out of a bass.
  14. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I have the SW65 and these are excellent deals for the money. You should look at these Soundwave series amps. You will get a lot features for the bucks you spend..

    As for the bass. I would recomend that you start with a better bass. IMHO the Yamaha BB404 and the Ibanez SR300 are decent basses and will last you a lot longer than if you go buy an RBX 170 or a Squire. It can stay with you longer and you can always keep it as a good backup to your primary instrument later.

    My daughter started out on a Ibanez GSR200 a couple of years ago. She now has a Fender MIM Jazz as her primary bass. She kept her Ibanez GSR and still uses it as a back up. That is a good little bass and it sounds pretty good.