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Cheap Bass Needed for Outdoor Use

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tas236, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. tas236


    Apr 28, 2012
    Arlington, VA
    Hi friends! Long time no see.

    I was just booked for a weekly gig at an outdoor bar playing nights. It's getting quite chilly at night now in piedmont VA and will only get cooler as the weeks pass. I have an amazing Ibanez Prestige 4-string which I believe is simply too nice to be subjected to sub-50º weather when the time comes. So, I'm in the market for a cheap (read: cheap) substitute. I've always wanted a fretless and five string, so I wouldn't rule those out.

    I'm talking, good value for literally *dirt* cheap. I don't have a lot of money to throw around and I need a reliable bass with minimal fret buzz that will get the job done in front of drunk college kids. Any recommendations? Think between $0-200.
  2. Pokerdweebz


    Oct 26, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    Used Squier VM Jazz can be had for around 200. I've never played one, but everyone swears by them here.
  3. Pokerdweebz


    Oct 26, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    Plenty of used Yamaha basses are in that price range. I personally own three and paid 150, 125, and 120 respectively. I would play them out no problem.
  4. Brand new SX j bass to your door for under $200.
  5. I picked up a used, but practically new SX 5'er for $75 on Craigslist. If it was labeled as a Chinese Fender, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
  6. tas236


    Apr 28, 2012
    Arlington, VA
    I hadn't heard of SX until just now...any more info on these?
  7. a_ribbon


    Apr 10, 2008
  8. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Do a search for "essex". TB's search function won't look for "SX". And for the record, there's a whole lotta love for them here. Just make sure you read the descriptions carefully. Anything with a "JR" in the model is a short-scale.

    But to your original question, I've heard that ebonol fretboards are very resistant to changes in humidity and temperature. I, myself, haven't had the opportunity to put mine to the test, but it may be worth looking further into it.

    Also for the record, ebonol is not plastic, despite what some say here. It's layers of black paper and phenolic resin and is extremely durable. Squier makes a fretless bass using a lined ebonol board that can, within reason, resist grooving by roundwound strings.

    A ways back I got one of their Deluxe Active V's. Fivers and I didn't quite mesh, so I sold it here on TB. However, I liked the feel of the neck enough that I bought one of their Active IV's to harvest the neck for a parts-bass project. So far, so good! Take that, ebonol-haters! :spit:

    EDIT: Links with specs…



  9. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    An Ibanez GSR200 with a good setup and new strings is pretty good.
  10. swing


    Apr 25, 2000
    A used Sterling by Music Man SUB may work for you...
  11. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    no mention of US peavey yet? those can be found dirt cheap and are quite solid.
  12. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    There's always a used Yamaha RBX series bass for sale on Craig's or in a pawn shop or GC for $50-$150, anywhere, at any given time, or at least it seems like it. Basic meat and potatoes instrument, a 'P' derivation(some have an additional J pickup, and there are some upscale models), it should get you through just about any gig. The neck usually needs a little tweaking, but is quite playable, and if it meets some horrible fate, you might be sad for about half a minute, and then you can go out and get another one. Aside from that, +1 for SX.
  13. i played a subray at my local GC and it was simply amazing! Great value for sure(pretty sure its under 300)wish i could recommend something cheaper but i would highly recommend the subray
  14. CSBBass


    Sep 21, 2013
    Ibanez GSR200 as someone mentioned already, or GSR205 for a five string. 200 and 250 respectively. I've owned both and they are both setup quite well- if you know your stuff or have a good luthier you might be able to get the action lower but not by much. Of course this applies to the ones I've played, may not be consistent throughout all of them, as you would expect in the lower price range.
  15. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
  16. Rusty G String

    Rusty G String

    Mar 19, 2013
    Any used Ibanez SR can be picked up cheap. Or a new GSR200.
  17. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I've picked up a Yamaha RBX360 and an Ibanez SR305DX 5-er for less than 100 each.
  18. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Also FWIW you can play bass easily with gloves, either some thin-ish type and/or fingers cut off.

    One of the little known advantages to being a bass player😎
  19. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD

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