Best bass I can buy for my money?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by savethegibbons, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. savethegibbons


    Nov 29, 2003
    I've always loved bass, and I'm going to finally start playing (I'm currently a guitarist) soon, and I'm wondering what I should buy for my first bass.

    I'm looking for a good solid axe that will last me a long time and will play well. I'm a poor student, so I dont have much money available. My price limit is that of a Mexican Fender J or P.

    I want a bass that will cover good musical ground, and will work nicely for slap and pop work. I'll probably be (trying to) play everything from jazz, to funky stuff to metal (mainly melodic death metal, such as old In Flames, Opeth, Dark Tranquility etc).

    The current candidates would be the MIM Fender Jazz Bass or one of the SX rondos, although I'm in England so I would have to pay much more for the rondos (about $90 more). I'm actually tempted by the fretlesses too (love the sound) , but I'm thinking it would be unwise.

    Any suggestions on what to buy?

    Thanks. :D
  2. Have you considered the Rockbass range by warwick? Or Yamahas? Ibanez make some very good basses for that money too.
  3. SX/Brice basses are good for the money, but I don't think it would be justifiable to spend an extra $90 to get it to England, just my .02

    For a bass in your price range and for the style you want, either an Ibanez GSR200 or a MIM Fender Jazz would be good. Also, you will be needing an amp unless you already have one for some reason, so factor that in.

  4. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    If you're after an SX, look for Jim Deacon basses... same manufacturer, only difference is the decal.
  5. I think a MIM Jazz Bass, Cort basses, Ibanez!
    I know a shop in Italy that sell Peavey Fury basses, Korean Models, active and great playing and sounding...

    It's a Peavey Fury Quilt Top4 Green (available in different colors...I tried them and think they play well....
    Look there....Italian site, easy to understand is better to go:

    They ship worldwide, you can order online...
    this is what we've done for the Peavey Fury 6 of a friend and we haven't been disappointed...

  6. j-bass


    Feb 5, 2004
    Hi there, I'm in Gibraltar and also face the high gear prices we are subject to here in Europe.

    My advice would be to get a bass from Fender Japan for value for money.

    Their Ishibashi web shop sell direct and ship worldwide.

    There page is in Japanese but you can email their staff for advice and specs etc...they are very helpful and prompt.

    I've just got a fretless Jazz-Bass with US Pickups for under £500 landed, and including a flight case.

    If you want to go American I would in my opinion order from the USA from or

    they both ship international and with the weak dollar the prices are a steal.

    hope this helps !

  7. savethegibbons


    Nov 29, 2003
    I don't have a bass amp, but I do have a modeller with some bass amp models, which should suffice for a while. One of my bass playing friends plays through it when he comes around to jam, and it sounds pretty decent (to me). I'll have to look into the Jim Deacon suggestion further, as at, they actually cost the same a rondo SX would (£195), and thats without a case! :eek:

    Anyway, thanks, and keep the suggestions coming :).
  8. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    Ibanez SRX500.You can get one new for about $569.00 ,used on ebay probably half that.The bass is active, has big balls and plays like a dream.
  9. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    ¿Have you thought about Fernandes? I have a MusicMan Stingray 5 which I use much less since I got my first Fernandes Gravity 5 (formerly known -with little differences- as the APB model). My second Gravity 5 is on its way home now. I love them so much. They are very reliable and versatile basses. The main difference with other budget instruments is that they are really well constructed and finished. Even if you like Fender tones (which I hate) this bass is able to produce them. And playability is another important issue about Gravity basses. Give one a try. Maybe you can even find a used APB or Gravity 4 for less than $400. I couldn't live with my MusicMan as my only bass, but I could surely live with a Gravity as my only instrument.

  10. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I second that! I also hava Fernandes Gravity/ABP-4.
    I switched the pickups to Semore Duncans though. I've had it for 10+ years. Only problem I had was a broken battery compartment lid.
    I also have a Stingray 5. I love both basses :bassist:

  11. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.

    +1 GSR200
  12. Basspolizei

    Basspolizei Pseudo bass player/collector Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Buy basses and lots of guns before it's too late! You have been warned.
    Go Fender Jazz. For the cash you will not regret it. Poor like me? Check Ebay for the deal. Everything I own came from Ebay except the new 410HLF and I love it all. This includes my MIM Fender........
  13. savethegibbons


    Nov 29, 2003
    Ok, so far we have the Ibanez, the MIM Fender and the Fernandes gravity :). How is agathis though? I know I've heard that wood being bashed before by guitarists, although its probably unfounded. My favourite axe is my poplar Jackson, and that wood gets bashed sometimes too. The Fernandes looks quite tempting.

    and jbass, thanks for the suggestion, but they are a bit too expensive when you factor in customs charges :(. Plus, ordering from Japan seems very daunting to me.
  14. krazy_olie


    May 10, 2004
    I got an Ibanez Gsr200 (£169) very happy with it at the moment, great range of tones, AMZAZING value, would chose it over a MIM P bass any day, not a jazz but MIM's cost over double.
    I thought it sounded it good before i changed the strings now it actually does sound amazing. So value wise its at the top so if you want save your money and buy a good amp.
    Aria IGB's are very good as well played a £250 1 very very nice. Fortunately low/mid price range basses leave you spoilt for choice.
    I think theres some decent yamaha's going around
    These sites should have pretty much every bass for you to choose from, even if you don't want to buy online they are good price refferences
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I will be the fourth to recommend the Ibanez GSR200. Just make sure it is the new version with the active preamp. Otherwise known as Phat EQ. This is a killer little bass for the $$$. Excellent starter bass. If I didn't already have twelve basses, I would be tempted to pick one up for a beater.
  16. I have to recommend the MTD Heir for great bang for the buck. See
  17. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I was going to mention the MTD Kingston or Heir as well - I used to hear a lot of great things about them, but not so much anymore. I hear they are really great basses for the money. I agree with some of the earlier posts as well - the MIM Fender Jazz would be great (and easy to upgrade later if you like - probably my pick personally). Bass Player Magazine recently reviewed the GSR200 and gave it good marks (the fact that Embellisher has tried and seems to like them as well is good, too) - a friend of mine has one. I also like the Tribute Series by G&L, although they I think are slightly above your price point.
  18. Bruce B

    Bruce B

    Sep 2, 2004
    Another vote for the Ibanez GSR-200. I'm very pleased with mine.

  19. Blademaster Dez

    Blademaster Dez

    May 12, 2004
    I vote for the GSR200 as well, plus I vote for a Peavey Fury. My first starter bass was an Ibanez (EXB404) 10 years back and I'm still amazed that the GSR200 has better features for less money than my old EX cost back in the day.

    I also vote for the Peavey Fury. I can't believe those basses are so affordable. I tried a Peavey Fury 6-string in a music store and it looked and felt like a more expensive bass. Awesome neck. Sounded darn good too.

    I'd have probably bought that Peavey Fury had not a preowned Samick Fairlane 6 taken my heart instead that day. I love my Samick Fairlane and would like to recommend Samick basses, but folks here either love or hate Samicks. I also liked Samick's Cobra 4-string. I liked how it sounded, but the neck shape was a little too round for my tastes.

    ESP's LTD line has some good budget basses as well, and are reputed to be well built. A bass like the F104 has a 35" scale and active electronics for a great price. It's agathis wood, yes, but ESP is reputed to use good wood and one TBer who bought (and reviewed) the 5-string LTD F255 dug how it sounded.

    But all ears are different. Basswood too is reputed to be an inexpensive and 'inferior' wood, yet all of Joe Satriani's guitars are basswood, so...

    But what you really want to do is go to a music store and just play as many basses as you can, even ones beyond your budget so you can get a feel of what a more expensive axe is like. Then if a lesser priced axe gives you that same feeling of quality, then you know you have a winner.
  20. Can't go wrong with a MIM Jazz. Good variety of tones, very nice playability (great for a guitarist I'd assume), and rock solid dependability.