Benefits of saving for your next bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RebelX, Nov 7, 2001.

  1. RebelX

    RebelX Guest

    Oct 27, 2001
    Merrimack, NH
    Greetings fellow players!

    Being new to TB, I've been searching and reading through a ton of posts here and I must say, I'm impressed with the information that's posted here. I'm hoping I can add to some of that.

    One of the topics that seems to pop up frequently is "What bass should I buy for this price range"? Here is the advice I just gave to a friend the other day.

    Let's start with the premise and ground rules.

    1) At least on bass is already owned and being played
    2) That bass is doing the job, it's just not the bass you want
    3) The price range you're working in won't get you the bass you really want

    When I started out (about 15 years ago), I needed something. So I worked during my 7th grade spring break and earned enough to by a used Masada P Bass clone and a 50 watt Sprecta amp. WooHoo! I soon learned that this wasn't a very good bass and that I needed to upgrade. I saved for a little while and traded that bass in and with a couple hundered dollars out of my pocket I had upgraded. I did this a bunch of times over the next ten years. Each time I paid another couple hundred dollars for an incremental bass upgrade.

    About 6 years ago I stumbled onto a used Pedulla Thunderbolt. It took my three days and many hours of playing it to admit to myself that I was in love and had to have it. I traded in some gear, gave some cash, and out the door I went. The price on the bass was $900.

    It wasn't until recently that I started refelcting on all the basses I owned over the years. I then starting thinking about how much I spent each time I upgraded. The bottom line is, it took me around $1700 in "upgrade" purchases to end up with my $900 bass. Buying my Cirrus 5 was much better: I played it, fell in love with it, saved for it, and bought it.

    I guess what I'm getting at, is that for those currently looking to upgrade, it's worth saving for the bass you really want. It's much cheaper in the long run. Watch out for the GAS attacks!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. Hey, that is a very well thought-out case for saving up for a nice bass. I think some folks are making a FAQ, and this might work nicely in there!

    Welcome to TalkBass!
  3. bman


    Dec 4, 2000
    Sandown, N.H., USA
    Nice to see another Granite State man here...

    You're so right. I've blown so much money over the years trying to go from a cheap bass to one that's a little less cheap.
    If I had just saved and bought a good bass even as recently as five years ago, I would have save a LOT of money.

    In the past five years alone (which is when I got back into bass playing after about 7 years off) I went from an Ibanez Soundgear, to a MIM Fender Jazz, to an Epiphone EB-1, to an Ashbory (a temporary experiment) to a Warwick Streamer Standard, to a Warwick Corvette (bought yesterday.)

    If I had just skipped the middle stuff and jumped straight to the Warwick, I would've been better off. But then, I would've missed out on that great 'woo hoo, I've got a new bass' feeling... :D
  4. RebelX

    RebelX Guest

    Oct 27, 2001
    Merrimack, NH
    Oh yes. The joys of the new bass feeling, which was always followed sixth months later by that feeling of "Why did I buy this again?". :confused:

    Hopefully, some folks can learn from our adventures a get some nice basses up front. Then again, maybe that's because I no longer have any basses to unload so I can make that next upgrade! :D

    Keep it low!

  5. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    that is a very good point.and the new bass feeling is was about 3 months after i got that why did i get this bass? feeling cuz ive only bought one bass,what i have right now,$h!tty squier pbass.ive been playing for 6 months,so i need something cheap when i got my firsst bass.maybe in afew months im gonna "upgrade".what do u guys think would be a good upgrade.something not a little better than my pbass,or something 1,000 more,but something in the middle.
  6. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    When I was looking for my first bass (MIA Jazz), I made up my mind that I wanted something that was good enough that I would never HAVE to upgrade. I may want to but it will not be a requirement because the quality of my gear gives me that luxury. What I've found is that I have a whole lot of room to grow with the instruments that are in my stable. There's a lot of stuff out there that can be considered better but there's also much more stuff out there that's worse in my opinion.

    I had the dreaded G.A.S. after my first purchase but my next bass (Cirrus) cured all of that! ;) Knowing that I had two of what I feel are great instruments already allowed me to focus more on getting better and I no longer visit the stores as much. I spend more time practicing and less time drooling over gear.

    I'm not advocating that all new players get gear that is similar in price to what I have and there are a lot of options out there that are much more expensive than what I have. I'm simply saying that you should try to make your first purchase one that you will be very satisfied with for a while.

    Find your comfort zone. If that's a Squier, Rogue or other inexpensive bass, it alright as long as you are happy. Don't focus on getting something just because it's inexpensive though. One more thing, have fun learning! If I have any regrets about this it's the fact that I didn't start earlier. I'm just a newbie but I'm a well equipped one! :D Now I've just got to get better.
  7. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Get the best bass that you can afford that makes you happy and I don't mean just that "new bass" feeling. I look forward to owning all of my basses for the duration.
  8. RebelX

    RebelX Guest

    Oct 27, 2001
    Merrimack, NH
    Good replies Ebozzz!

    Thinking back to when I started. I should've kept that old Masada P Bass for a while longer. It wasn't great, and it definitely wasn't the cool bass to own, but it had four strings, stayed in tune and made bass type sounds :D when I plugged it in. Had I played this bass for a while longer I, would've been smart enough to know what to look for in the next bass.

    Think about your bass playing goals, You already own a bass, but it seems you need an amp based on your other posts. Get the amp so you have some way of hearing yourself. Then spend the time practicing. Make sure that the next time you are looking to buy a bass you know the following:

    1) What are you looking for in a bass?
    2) What sound are you looking for?
    3) What do you dislike about your current bass?
    4) How is the new bass going to help you achieve your playing goals?
    5) Can you afford the bass I'm looking for?
    6) How long until you can afford it?

    I never asked myself these questions in the early days. I wish I would've asked myself these questions. And, as a last ditch effort to stop GAS from taking over, I found that having a monster bass player play my piece of crap bass always showed me how much of the sound is in your hands, not the bass.

  9. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    hey i wasnt thinking of gettin another bass for like a year something.oh,the amp im getting,well i've had enough money for a long time its just a matter of my friends mom wanting to the sell the amp.
  10. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    what exactly does G.A.S stand for???
  11. RebelX

    RebelX Guest

    Oct 27, 2001
    Merrimack, NH
    Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Nasty stuff. Good luck with the amp purchase and the playing.

    Rebel X
  12. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I can say that all your statements have very valid points.
    But also, as you mature as a player you begin to look for "different" things not just "better".

    Also, How can a Newbie know what is what they really NEED or want if they dont have a lot of previous experience?
    What could feel nice on your hands now can feel akward when compared to somthing else some years later.

    In my case, Upgrades have been because my needs have evolved.
    I started on a P-Bass copy, so to have a decent slap sound I had to upgrade to a better bass with good fretwork and great tone.
    I got an Ibanez ATK...
    For some years it was enough but I wanted a Stingray 4 string. And thats what I REALLY wanted.
    But guess what? My needs evolved when I got into progressive music and found the need for a 6 string bass. So I sold the ATK.
    I got a SR506 borrowed for some time and then bought my Cort Curbow 6 String, wich has great low action and almost all I need. It has the playability, it has the looks... but it lacks some soulful tone.
    I cant try as many basses as I would like becasue there are no decent stores in my area, besides MY OWN store. But I dont stock anything.
    Having the experience of playing my uncle´s basses (Lakland, Warwick, Fodera, Modulus,Ibanez,just to name a few) I decided to go custom... using all my saved money and all my knowledge about what I wanted.
    It didnt went the way I expected so I returned it.
    Now Im expecting a Warwick Streamer LX 6 String for next tuesday.

    This purchase is definetly Gas Involved, as I already have a 6 string. This is the only purchase where some of your points are right.
    But I needed to get a 6 String asap (refering to the curbow)instead of saving a lot of time to get something I really wanted (The Warwick or similar HQ bass)
    The purchase of the Curbow was between it and a Cort Artisan A6 at Ebay. I lost the auction of the Artisan and won the Curbow. End of the story Im happy.

    I guess what Im trying to say, is that there are specific cases where you really need to go upgrading by little.
    Anyone sharing a similar experience?
  13. masaru


    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    I'm saving for my MM5 and that ought to just about do it...:D
  14. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    what are some basses that have REALLY low action,that are under $500???
  15. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    A better question would be, "Which bass is decent that's under $500."

    Nearly any bass you can adjust the saddles on.

    ...we really need the newbie FAQ...

    For the record though, MIM Fenders are great basses for that range... Along with Ibanez basses... There's plenty of basses.
  16. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    im talking about low action.cuz i have a squier pbass,when i lower the action,i get fret buzz.i wanna get a bass that has very,very low action but no fret buzz.
  17. RebelX

    RebelX Guest

    Oct 27, 2001
    Merrimack, NH

    I agree with the evolution upgrading. I sounds like you moved into some different musical styles as you moved on, which is very cool. I did lot's of experiementing as well, though every thing seemed to stay somewhat centered on rock. When I got into the progessive side of rock, my gut reaction was "I need a faster bass". So I went and bought a new charvel to replace my Ric (the Ric needed a full fret job anyway). A fun bass at the time, but not very versatile and it didn't really have a good tone, so I thought. It was in that period that I started to realize how much of the sound was in my hands. It started when I replaced that bass with a Yamaha, and I had replaced my amp. My brother, who had always liked my sound, walked into the room and said "Yep, it sounds like you all right, just louder". This killed me since I wasn't that happy with my sound. The bottom line for me became practice!:eek: I could've saved a lot of time and frustration if I had access to all of the knowledge that exists on these boards. I encourage everyone to step out and try new things (basses, amps, strings, whatever), but with all of the knowledge around here, I hope some newer players end up logging more practice hours per bass than I did. I spent a lot of money to find out I wasn't getting that much better. Thanks for providing an opposing viewpoint.


    I'm not sure how low you can get your action, but I bet that a nicely performed setup on your Squier P Bass would help. Find a competent setup shop and see how much they charge. They can look at the neck, adjust the relief, see if the nut is cut right, and generally make the bass more playable. Try it, you may like it.

    Rebel X
  18. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    All good points were brought up. I currently own a Squier P bass, (Not a great bass, but I love) a Musicmaster (starter bass), Ibanez SR400 (my first "pro" bass) and an Ibanez SR305DX. Well, I started playing gigs, and I started making money, so I got the bug that I wanted to buy another bass. :D I saw an Alverez in Musician's Friend that was beautiful. I was going to get it, but then I saw it was "Factory Reconditioned". (All the Alverez's I've played were excellent instruments, but there's just something about "factory reconditioned" that scares me, I could just see my self up on stage playing, and have the pickups cut out mid song, or have the pots fall right out of the bass) Then I thought about getting a Danelectro Rumor, which was like 150 bucks. My dream bass has always been a Carvin LB70, which I want to buy once I get a job. I basically sat down and thought to myself "The Ibanez's and Squier are fine instruments, why should I go buy a lower end bass, just to say I have a new bass? I might as well choke up and save for a bass I really want." I'm glad I took that route. I still can't see how you people can trade your basses like trading baseball cards. I couldn't bare to leave any of my instruments. Even the ones that aren't so great. :)
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    This thread is full of good advice, but this is the best of all. Take your Squier and have it set up. You might be surprised at how low the action can be set.

    By the way, welcome to Talkbass, Rebel X.:)
  20. And yet another bass player joins the fray.... Hi guys. Nice place you have here. This is a good thread to jump in on. For years, Ric's were my dream bass. It took me a while to be able to afford one, but I finally attained that goal. 18 yrs later, and I've worn it out! Time to replace it, so I did a lot of shopping and comparing. I ended up W/ a Warwick MM fortress one. It's a real funk machine IMHO. Well less than a year later I "discovered" My Pedulla Rapture fretless and Woo Hoo! Now everything I own is collectin' dust. Last year I picked up a cheap 5 string. (Epi LP) But then I found myself lusting for a MIM jazz fretless. Since I got it, I've been having fun with it. It's funny how each time I get my 'dream bass', the thrill wears out after a while. I was impressed witha local band here recently, where the bassist was playing with a beat up yamaha. They're a popular band around here, & he could probably afford anything he wants but he uses a 'cheapie'. My point? The sound really does come from the hands first. And beware of the GAS. Be happy, and just play!