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Beginner Looking at ESP LTDs. . . Help, please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mike biz, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. This is my first post so I will give a little background. I have toyed around with the guitar a bit over the years, but I just don't enjoy it. I have alway been a BIG fan of the bass, but I've never played one. I have a bunch of friends who play guitar and they are always looking for a bassist to jam with. I'm a fan of most music, primarily blues, classic rock, metal, jam bands. I primarily listen to the Grateful Dead, Garcia Band Allman Brothers, Zeppelin, Hendrix, SRV and a ton of others.

    After hearing a lot of great things about them, I have pretty much settled on ESP LTDs basses (I prefer the B line shape), but there are so many choices that I just don't know what to do. I have heard good things about the B-50, but I'm a bit concerned about the bridge pickup buzz. For the price I've read that it's a fantastic bass.

    However, would it be better to spend a little more and get a bass with humbuckers, like the B-104 or 154DX. For the bass I'm not looking to spend much more than $300.

    And while you are at it, could someone recommend a good combo amp to add to this. I'd like to go with 100W or more I think. I have done research on Ampeg, Ashdown, Hartke, G-K, and fender. There are so many that are alike I can't decide. I don't want to spend a fortune (around $400 or less if possible)Like I said I would probably be jamming with some friends (guitar, drums, maybe another guitar). We'll probably play in a large basement or other room or outside. No bars or any gigs for me yet:p

    Thanks for the help guys.
  2. The B-50 is their absolute basic bottom of the barrel starter model...however IMHO it is much better than your average Fender Squier...

    If your set on ESP (mind you I own three) I would look at getting the most for your money by buying used, if you have to buy new look at the ESP LTD D-4, B-104 or 154DX, like you suggested. they are really good instruments and don't get the props they deserve. Most of them sport features only found on higher priced models among their competition. Play as many of these instruments as you can and pick what feels and sounds the best to you. If you don't like the look and the sound chanches are you won't play it much. Buy something that you are going to want to play.

    I'm stoked that you are looking at ESP, but you might want to look at Ibanez as well, they make a good product for a decent price and you can find them used just about anywhere.

    Same with the Amps..... with Ampeg and Ashdown you will be paying a premium for their name...there are other companies out there with products just as good that won't cost as much again play as many as you can (i would suggest Peavey for a decent amp at a decent price, and they can be found used just about anywhere as well) and buy what sounds the best for what you can afford.

    Good luck

    and remember

    Play what you like and like what you play
  3. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Not sure where you're located, but the Sam Ash near me (Raleigh, NC) had a new B-254 for $299 left over from a close-out sale (I bought the other one) last month. It's a great bass for the price (neck-thru, passive EMG-HZ's, 3 band EMG EQ, string-thru or top-loaded bridge, amberburst, black chrome hardware). It's really nice and very easy to play (24 frets on thin, fast neck). It will need a setup (mine did) and your favorite strings, but I think it's a great deal on a real good bass.

    If you want, I can call over there and see if they still have it. I actually saw this exact bass in the Sam Ash in Clearwater, FL for $460 only 2 weeks ago.

    Good luck
  4. mellowgerman


    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I would actually recommend the b50 over the humbucker models, based on the music you like. I've found (and I like a lot of the bands you like) that I prefer a passive, p/j bass for that more traditional sound. The humbuckers and active electronics tend to be more appropriate for the metal and heavier stuff.
    You might even be better off just grabbing a used fender somewhere. I would recommend avoiding squiers though because from my experiences they are poor instruments.
  5. Thank for the help guys. I'm in New Jersey by the way. That 254 looks beautiful. I've always loved sunburst finishes.

    Now, as I said, I have never played a lick of bass (no pun intended), so Iwould not be wise to buy one without messing around with it? My thinking is that if if I don't try another model will I ever know what I'm missing if I stick with this one for awhile? I'm sure that is not recommended, but thought I'd throw it out there.

    If I was to go to a store and try one, I guess I'm just looking to get a feel for the neck, the weight and balance of the bass, etc since I don't have a lot else to look at since I know next to nothing. I still think I should consider the B-50 as well, but damn that burst is hot.

    I have small hands as well, so I figure a narrower neck would be more appropriate.
  6. The second bass I bought was a B105 (also the only 5 string I've ever bought) It played great, had really low action sounded fine. I just couldn't get into playing a five string and I got more into the image of vintageish basses so I sold it off for practically nothing. I say it's a great bass to learn on. Might look used for a b104 though.
  7. oyobass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Spanaway, WA
    I have the B-155 (not the DX, it is last years model). I bought it used with the express idea of removing the frets. To me, it has too much of that Classic Rock vibe, I'm looking for the modern, full-range or hi-fi sound.

    Don't get me wrong the sound it has is great, full and punchy. I felt bad taking the frets off, it sounded so good as-is. I love the sound of it, as a matter of fact, but it isn't the Music Man sound that fits in with the band so well.

    The bridge pickup does the Jaco sound well enough to give me the shivers.:D

    For sitting at home practicing, the LTD is my go-to bass. For playing out, I'll have to work with my amp settings and the soundman a bit more to see if it'll work for my sound.

    It sounds like it, (or the B-154 4-stringer), would be perfect for you and the old-school sound you are after. This year's DX models have a three band EQ too. I kinda wish I had waited, since mine only has a two band control...:meh:

    All in all, I think this has a great bang-for-the-buck factor.

    Looks cool too!

  8. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I have had 2 ESP. I think the last one was a B1005? Not sure. I would go used Fender or G&L Tribute. Same on the amp. there are plenty of really good used amps out there for under $400. In fact, I think Musicians Friend has a GK new for under $400.
  9. Enmesarra


    Apr 29, 2007
    IMHO stay away from the stuff below 2xx, the ones I played didn't sound or feel good enough for the money.
  10. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Mike, I sent you a rather lengthy response to your PM
  11. Alcyon


    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I can't recommend the F-series (I know you like the B anyway), I find them flimsy feeling... Not enough body in those basses. If you can afford it, the D-4 is gorgeous and feels great, and the B-1004 is one of the nicest basses I've ever seen/played:

  12. Yeah I looked at the D-4 and it's a stunner as well. I'm off to Sam Ash to look at a bunch of stuff. Then I'll try to hit some used places over the weekend. Thanks for all the help. Don't stop now. I need all the help I can get. Thanks again guys.
  13. I traded in my 2007 ESP LTD B155 for the NEW B155DX in see-thru blue. I can't tell you how fantastic it sounds with passive pu's/active 3 band EQ! It has a real sweet narrow/low action neck. The FM finish is gorgeous. I'm sure the B154DX is the same. You won't be disapointed! I have also owned 3 Ibanez Roadstars, and an SDGR 5er. A Fender, and G&L 4banger, and an old Vox.


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