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beginner looking for bass to buy... need opinions!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deensee, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. deensee


    Jul 12, 2001
    Southern CA
    i've been interested in getting a bass for a while now, but i have no idea which bass to get.
    i found an ibanez package for beginner bass players, but i don't know if its worth it to get it. i have the link to the site which talks about it.. it's http://www.music123.com/Item/Item.asp?po=IJSB190BK&uid=40FC9F418745460FAD52B99938EBD029
    what do you guys think of the package? it comes w/ a small amp and a gig bag and other stuff.

    if i didn't get hte package, i was thinking of getting the ibanez gsr200

    is this a good bass to get?
    i'm on a budget and would like to pay $400 or less, if possible.
    i'm open to suggestions on other basses.
  2. Old Blue

    Old Blue

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hi Sharon -

    This is just my own opinion, so take it for what it's worth: avoid the "packages" from any source - Fender, Ibanez, or whoever. Sure, it's convenient to get all the accessories in one box, but you need to be aware that the gear in these packages is usually the lowest quality items from that manufacturer. The stuff that looks so cute and convenient on display will turn out to be disappointing in terms of performance. And for a beginner, it's important to get somethinig that plays well and sounds good, or you'll get discouraged and quit playing. Go to your local stores and play as many low cost basses as you can get your hands on. You'll probably notice that some feel right and others don't, so let your hands tell you which one fits best, regardless of the brand name. As for an amp - there are a few really good practice amps on the market, and sometimes you can get one used at a very good price. Check out the Trace Elliot Boxer 30, Fender Bassman 25, Ampeg BA-110, and Peavey Microbass. A decent low cost bass plugged into one of these amps will give you a MUCH better sound than the packages, at roughly the same price. Your hands and ears will thank you.
  3. go with a fender squier p-bass and one of the amps mentioned above.
  4. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    the higher end ibanez's are great basses IMO (for the cost), but the lower end ones sound "cheap". you should go to a local used guitar shop (ones near universities usually have a good stock) and get a nice used bass. i'd much rather have a high-end old used bass then a really cheap beginer bass. instead of buying a package, you can almost certainly get a good deal from the store. if you tell them you want a cheap bass and a small amp, they will probably give you a discount on them together.
  5. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Take a day off from work and spend it in any and all guitar shops near you. Try all the used basses. Don't touch any of the new stuff. Don't let anyone advise you on what's best or what's a good deal or whatever. If you have a teacher or someone you know and trust, bring 'em along. Remember, most (I said most - not all) sales clerks are going to spot you a mile away and try to push a bunch of crap in your direction.

    I would always advise a newcomer on getting a nice used good versatile bass (like a Fender MIM P or jazz or a Yamaha BB). As your skill develops and styles change, you'll likely get another bass down the road. This first bass will be a good back-up. You don't want to be stuck with crappy brand-x that you'll get no exchange value for and end up never using after you know enough to realize it's crap. You'll pay about the same, but you'll still want to make use of that old fender to which you had a little customization done or even decided to defret maybe.

    I'd advise to get an AMP with practice in mind only. Don't invest too much because you probably won't need too much until you start gigging (if you do). A big amp isn't what you need yet, and will be too bulky to drag down to the drummer's basement for practice, but then again, not enough to keep your tone once the guitar player insists on playing at eleven.

    A Hartke kickback 12" is great for starting out at a decent price. Once you're a rock star, you will be able to use it in your apartment and not annoy the neighbors but get some nice variations in your tone settings. It also make a nice PA for you if you get to doing big rooms or state fairs. The other combos are good recommendations too. You'll end up needing something bigger once you're out and about anyway. Then, you can leave your big Mesa or Trace Elliot stack at the rehearsal room, and have the drummer load it up in his van and meet you at the gig with it.

    Avoid the packages, please. It's like cigarette companies just trying to get you hooked on their products. You're "young"* and vulnerable. Don't let 'em take advantage of you.

    *I don't know your age, I mean young in terms of experience in buying gear.
  6. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I mean a small middle of the road amp won't hold you tone well.
  7. oh, and another thing... when you first go to the music shop to browse around, DON'T buy anything that same day! look around, play all the low cost basses, see what you like, write down the prices, and then do research online or post it here, and we'll give you further advice. we don't want a salesman unloading a Rogue on an unsuspecting TBer for $300 or something. :)
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    What Old Blue says is right on the money, IMO.

    Besides the excellent points Blue raises, part of your expenditure on those package deals is wasted on the crummy strap, the crummy video,and the inferior cable that typically are included.

    Sure, they make shopping for the gear to get started a no-brainer and that's the market they're preying on - beginners who don't know much at all about gear and parents buying their son/daughter a gift but don't know anything about gear nor do they have the time to learn.

    To get the most for your money, my advice is to get USED gear by all means. Yes, it takes more work to source it and sort through it. But you're much better off. If you want used gear sources, just ask for them here.

    Another good source are the "Hot Buys", "Closeouts" and "Blowouts" you'll find in Musicians Friend catalogs. The catalog is sent to you free from their website, www.musiciansfriend.com . Even if you don't find anything in the catalogs they send every few months, you get to see a lot of gear and get a good feel for what's on the market.
  9. deensee


    Jul 12, 2001
    Southern CA
    thanks all you guys for all your advice on what to do... i was totally leaning toward getting the package, until i read some more posts, and all you guys' responses.
    i've read a lot about people saying MIM fenders are good, but didn't really find any information on them. if you can help me, i'd appreciate it very much.
  10. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    MIM Fenders are a very good deal for the money. Many people recommend MIM Fenders over an Ibanez for a beginner or someone strapped for cash. IMO the tone is much better then the cheaper Ibanezs. If you can find one for a good price and <b>you</b> like the way it sounds and feels then I say go for it.
  11. i think that you should pass on the squier, i'm big fan of fender, however i found the squier to be a pain in the butt to learn on, i've only been playing for about a year, and most of the playing was on the squier. it's not bad for sound and price but i would try out every kind of bass in your price range and then decide don't get stuck with just buying the big names try them all even ones in pond shops, and get the one that you feel most comfortable with. i'm only now happy with my bass, i now have the ibanez sr 800. which i love do to the small neck and light weight. anyways, just get something that's feels right when your playing it!
  12. deensee


    Jul 12, 2001
    Southern CA
    since i was thinking of going used, i found someone who was selling a sr405 for $450 . is this a good deal?? should i consider? or drop it?
    i have no idea how the cost matches w/ how good it is, so i need some of your good advice on what to do.
    i'm also gonna post this as a new post, just in case no one checks this anymore.
  13. Thats too much for a beginner bass. You can get a used MIM Fender for around $200, and theyre not beginner basses at all. Look around, deals are to be had
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    If the bass is in good condition then I think thats a pretty good price, especially for a 5 string. New they cost aproximatly $520-$550.


    MIM is a beginner bass or they wouldnt be priced so inexpensive. Those and Squire are what we used to recomend to someone just starting to play when I worked for Throughbred Music. Im not a huge Ibanez fan, but I think that the SR405 would be a better choice in this situation, maple body instead of poplar used on the Fender, no hum in the etronics, like the standard series mim fenders have. The Sr405 gives you a bit more tonal capabilities than the MIM does,(unless you get the deluxe active jazz) due to the 3 band eq them.
  15. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Get a Sadowsky, they're cheap and the quality is ok for the money.
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Yeah, right.:D:D
  17. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    On behalf of many here, what bass(es) do you currently own? :confused:

    I just wanted to make sure there wasn't some luthier in the galaxy I hadn't heard about where you shop. :D
  18. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
  19. Hi Sharon!

    Guess I will play the Devil`s Advocate here(no,not the movie).I started out on the very kit you are looiking at.True,the package deals are not what you would call quality gear but....for a raw beginner they will do the job.My main reason for going this route was to see if I was going to stick with the bass.The other upside to the packages;they get you playing/learning fairly quickly.I did`nt want the hassle of comp shopping,etc.I wanted to be ready to go with one purchase.

    If it is your style to do the shopping and comparing,then by all means do it! :) You can and will find some good deals.For me it just was`nt practical so I opted for the package deal.Mine had the GSR 190(decent beginner bass) and a wimpy lil 10 watt amp....the strap is ok,the video so so,the cord is no good...lol

    Whatever you decide to do good luck! :)

    Please get a teacher if you can afford it!!

  20. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    IMO, the MIM jazz is a great bass for the price. And please, do NOT get a package, they will only leave you wanting more. From personal experience, the Fender Bassman 25 is a great practice amp (good tone for such a small thing). I haven't played anything from Ibanez, but I have played a Stingray. I thought it was pretty good, considering the owner had some very crappy strings on it.

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