Brand to recommend for new Bass - Metal style body

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by UrthCrimson, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. UrthCrimson


    Sep 21, 2022
    So I'm shopping for a new Bass, the first one I'll have had in a long while! I have not kept to date with Bass brands. I know that certain companies seem to specialize to some degree or other in the metal music genre style of body.

    So I would really appreciate any recommendation about current trends and bests for metal style basses! Off the top of my head, and again not having kept up with the matter in awhile, I can think of maybe Ibanez or Schecter Scorpion. I'd also love to know about five and six string versions, and in general including higher end models, such as Alembic (though not sure if they do metal bodies!) And I would guess there are at least one or two new makers since last I checked :)

    Oh and on that note... I presume a Bass made for metal musicians might have other acoustic features that are desirable... and perhaps the body even? lol

    So thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    Here is a pic with ICS Vortex.. I wouldn't mid buying one where the back end of the body is arced inward, to rest on the knee when you'd like. Kinda hate to steal his idea though, except I'm a huge fan so he shouldn't mind :) So does anyone recognize this maker/brand of Bass? Maybe is it custom too?

    Here's the link to the pic, sorry, having trouble attaching!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  2. Sharko


    Jun 18, 2009
    Washington, DC
    Looks like a BC Rich
  3. Jason Stock

    Jason Stock

    Aug 13, 2019
    That is a BC Rich, Warlock Bass, based on the headstock, I think they called them Warlock Revenge or Widow or something like that. On the website the still list the Chris Kael Signature Warlock with that headstock also
    UrthCrimson likes this.
  4. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    Best bass for metal, eh?
    Note: This is a frequently asked question on Talkbass, and is now a meme. No disrespect to you.

    That said, I would suggest looking for someone on Youtube playing bass along whichever metal song you like the most. Which bass are they using? Does it sound good? Does it look good to you? Then that bass will work.
  5. LowWay

    LowWay It’s got 4 strings ‘cause they’re bigger! Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    W Mass
  6. UrthCrimson


    Sep 21, 2022
    Hah sorry about this! I just joined the forum... should have maybe done a search first.

    The thing is, the musician I've pictured here is one of my favorites, and definitely my favorite who plays bass. Would there be a particular benefit to searching YouTube, as you say, perhaps to see various coverers and how they vary, maybe to get a unique angle, if that's what you'r getting at?

    So it's kind of bizarre, but when I was viewing this pic I could have sworn he was playing an ESP! I see now that t's a B.C. Rich.

    I am actually for the moment partial to the ESP F and FRX series body type, aesthetically, though the B.C. Rich looks pretty cool too. What do you all think of B.C. Rich vs. ESP, with regard to sound, and sorry to add lol, but for metal... I would especially say for variations of Black, Gothic, maybe Melodic... but also just in general, not just as a metal instrument. I should add, that my heart is set on a 5 or 6 string. Of course I will do as you have suggested, and hit YouTube, though I'd appreciate any insight into this comparison.

    I would also appreciate any suggestions for amplifiers. I am considering Engl (though their website doesn't seem to have bass amps at this point) Gallien Kreuger, Ampeg, Hartke...

    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
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  7. LowWay

    LowWay It’s got 4 strings ‘cause they’re bigger! Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    W Mass
    The best amp for metal, and any other genre, is bergantino in my opinion. A little pricy but worth every penny. Both heads and cabinets. Watch some YouTube stuff on their Forte HP and NXT line of cabinets. If I were a metal player I’d have the Forté HP and an NXT212. As I am not, I use 2 NXT112s with that head.
    UrthCrimson likes this.
  8. Zak TMD

    Zak TMD

    Apr 22, 2016
    Outside of the heart of darkness, Washington, DC
    Breaking even is the new making money.
    A lot of modern "metal" bass players have been rocking Dingwall or Ibanez (of the 5-6 string variety) and some of the older players too. Of course, a lot of folks also play fenders, and pretty much whatever else, just like every other genre.

    Shane from ND usually plays Warwick, Steve from Testament plays Ibanez BTBs, Troy from Mastodon mainly plays fenders, Olivier from Cattle Decapitation plays mainly Spectors, etc. And yea some dudes still out here using BC Riches, Schecters, etc. Some go the more custom route and go with Dunable or other boutique/small builders (that's where I'm at, though I'm only metal fringe at best).

    Find what feels good, sounds good, and looks cool to you, and you'll be good to go. Just go lay some hands on.
    pcake, GTHintz and UrthCrimson like this.
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Mothman is one of the best basses for metal.

    But really you can play whatever fits your hands the best.
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  10. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
  11. Those are beautiful. They balance lurid and tasteful just the way I like it. I go with raw function in a bass and a look like a wooden ship, but those Combustion basses could be nice to live with.

    About the Mothman, it occurs to me that a well-known Gothic rival to it ought to exist, called the Batwing, but I'm not aware of any such animal.
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  12. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Commercial User

    This guy’s basses look pretty freakin’ metal. Not that I know anything about metal, nor do I know anything about his instruments, but…

    Monson Guitars
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  13. Smokey P

    Smokey P Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2021
    Yeah I mean no one is more popular in modern metal than dingwall of course, they nearly have a monopoly on it between them and Darkglass lol. Sandberg makes a good looking pointy bass called the forty eight.
    UrthCrimson likes this.
  14. rashrader

    rashrader Inactive

    Mar 4, 2004
    shag TALKBASS
    I say a Dingwall.
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  15. I own a Warlock -
    And an F-series -
    So I'll take a moment to talk about both and compare some things, since I actually have them and I actually like them both. What I've learned here on TB is that the vast majority do not like Warlocks, thus they tend to speak poorly of them. I'm an owner, so I'll give you my take.

    IMO, the Warlock is a typical P/J bass and it sounds like any typical P/J bass would sound. The only real difference is the shape of the body, which is not greatly ergonomic. It doesn't sit well on your leg when playing sitting down. But I'm guessing if you're playing metal you probably don't have a lot of chairs on the stage with you so that shouldn't really matter. Does it have "neck dive"? Yes. Any bass that doesn't have the upper horn extending close to the 12th fret will. Is it horrible and the end all be all? No, it really doesn't bother me much and to be honest, I played Warlocks back in my gigging days when I was younger too, so I've literally owned them off and on since the early 90s and it has never bothered me. But again, it sounds like a P/J bass, you're just buying a body shape for a look.
    The ESP/LTD F-Series; mine is the F-104 and it is bone stock, I've done no upgrades to it. Why? Because it sounds bad azz like it is. It has humbucker pickups instead of the P/J setup so it has a completely different sound. To me, it sounds much more "metal" than a P/J bass. If I was in a metal band and we were going in the studio, this would be the one I'd grab. That being said, I can't afford a Dingwall, or I'd have one of those, because they are the bee's knees for metal. I've played them and they are insanely awesome basses with an insane "metal tone". But I'm poor, so my F-104 does the trick for me.

    I also own a second F-104 that I custom painted -
    ESP Swirl.jpg
    It was a salvage body that had to be completely rebuilt. I went with EMG humbuckers in this build. It does not sound as "metal" to me as the stock F-104 pickups do. But I do dig the body shape. So much so that I built a custom build based loosely on that shape -

    I hope that helps you out, and also, welcome to TalkBass!
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  16. 60bass

    60bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    North Carolina
    Well for that 80's metal look in an entry level bass, these Jackson's are hard to beat. The price is right and you also get a graphite reinforced neck. I recently picked one up just because I don't have a pointy headstock bass in my collection. I swapped the pup's out because I can't leave stuff alone, but the stock ones were decent enough.

    I've since shaved down the neck a bit and refinished the neck in vintage Amber and shot clear on the satin body.


    Jackson Limited-Edition JS Series Concert Bass JS1M
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  17. gunai


    Dec 22, 2016
    That is indeed a BC Rich, Mr Hestnæs even had a signature model (in both 4 and 5) with them a while back, guessing around the time he was in Dimmu Borgir.
    Do keep in mind, seeing how you're interested in the bass predominantly because of him, that he has almost exclusively been playing what appears to be a modified-to-5-strings Rickenbacker 4003 for quite some time now. You're welcome to check live Borknagar recordings from recent years for ample evidence.

    As for "metal style body", and seeing how you specified being open to high end options, get yourself a Dingwall, or one of the Mayones VF models, and you'd be set.
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  18. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Istanbul...not Constantinople Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    If you want to blend in, I'd get an Ibanez SR, basically any Warwick, a Spector, or something boutique and you'll do just fine as a metal bassist :thumbsup:
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  19. UrthCrimson


    Sep 21, 2022
    Cool, thank you very much for this. I have recently started listening to Borknagar, and it has drawn me out a bit from my focus on black metal and so forth. Borknagar reminds me a lot of Rush, who I was heavily into as a teenager, though perhaps on metal 'steroids' XD... and also Yes, which reminds me that Hestnaes's vocals were influenced by Jon Anderson, and I do believe Chris Squire, at least at that time, played the Rickenbacker, so interesting co-wink-e-dinx lol Thank you so much for the suggestions, one and all! You've given me a lot to go on :)
  20. Actually my comment earlier, about a bass with a style looking like an old wooden ship.. This might work for you, it's a 1983 Westone Thunder 1-A. It can totally nail the JJ Burnel sound, and many others, because it has active as well as passive electronics. It's the same bass that Amebix originally used in the early 1980's, so its heritage as a bass for metal should never be in doubt. Even if you find a good clean one, it won't shock you with cost, not unless for whatever reason demand beats supply, and there were enough of them made, I think, to give you good chances. Best thing is put it on an Ebay watchlist. It's a great bass, closely based on a Fender P-bass. Fender sued Matsumoku, the Japanese maker, over this detail, even though it looks different. Heavy ash body, looks like oak though, rosewood fingerboard, rock maple neck. Lots of solid brass fittings. It growls. It can be made to bite.
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