Choosing a Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eslam ELbatat, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Eslam ELbatat

    Eslam ELbatat

    Oct 3, 2017
    Egypt
    Hello Im a new bassist and I have two guitar
    one of them is Hohner PJ Bass 4 strings and it's very old
    and the other is Ibanez GSR180 4 strings
    and im a little bit confused about which one would I use for live performing
    and which one is better for recording? Im thinking about upgrading them and I don't know what upgrade would I add to them..best pickups? best gear?
    I hope that I find proper answers for my questions from you
    Thank you in advance
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Which one do you like better?
     
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  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Everyone is different. I've seen people on stage with Squiers and less. The Beatle bass was about the cheapest thing Paul could find.

    What do you like and think sounds better. But if you don't know about gear, I wouldn't be modding. If you don't think your instruments are good enough for your needs, sell to a beginner and get a better bass - better one good bass than lots of trash.
     
  4. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    There isn't really anything that's a "beginners bass", there are inexpensive basses with less quality parts. :)

    I'm actually very familiar with both basses - I owned a Hohner PJ bass (Hohner PJ Professional on the headstock- I gave it to a fellow bass player in need of a bass a couple of years ago) and still have my Ibanez GSR180. I'm not a beginner, have been playing for 30+ years.
    The Hohner is actually a good player, nice neck, has that micro-tilt screw on the neck plate. I would say it's a little better in quality than most Squier models I've played with the exception of the CV. I love the neck on the Hohner as you can get the action super low. The Ibanez too has a nice Ibby neck,different, slimmer plays well.

    A good professional set up will maximize their potential but when you say recording, what do you mean? As in recording an album? Gigs? If so the pickups on both can stand to be better as Hohner and Ibanez used inexpensive ones on these basses. That would be the main thing to upgrade and make a world of difference.
    You can of course buy a new bass altogether, sell these two - perhaps go to a music store and try some out and compare them to what you already have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  5. Eslam ELbatat

    Eslam ELbatat

    Oct 3, 2017
    Egypt
    Thank you all guys for these nice replies..but Mr. MaxDusty I meant with recording is studio recording for albums..If I wanted to upgrade me basses which pickups would you advice me with your great experience ...what do you mea (with micro-tilt screw on the neck plate) on hohner PJ
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    What is your bass lacking? What sound do you want out of it that you're not getting now?
     
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  7. Eslam ELbatat

    Eslam ELbatat

    Oct 3, 2017
    Egypt
    Both are sounds good im just trying to get perfection and try to know more about both from experienced bassists
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  8. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You're making a mistake a lot of beginners make. You're assuming spending money on new parts will make you sound better. Have you tried changing the strings and setting up the bass? How's your technique?
     
  9. Eslam ELbatat

    Eslam ELbatat

    Oct 3, 2017
    Egypt
    my Technique is almost finger, little using pick..no slap at all
    I use D'Addario EPS170 ProSteels Bass strings on both basses
     
  10. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Do you sound good when you play? Are your notes clear and defined? Is your timing good? Can you lock in with the drum beat?
     
  11. Eslam ELbatat

    Eslam ELbatat

    Oct 3, 2017
    Egypt
    Yes I can Do all this..but some times notes are not 100% right..Hohner bass has a problem with socket
     
  12. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Does it say Hohner PJ Professional on the headstock? Or just PJ - it's probably only the PJ Professional that has the micro tilt. It's that black screw on the neck plate, not the ones securing the neck. You can use this to tilt or change the angle slightly of the neck in relation to the body.
    In terms of the pickups - it's certainly good enough to gig but had I kept the bass, Not familiar with all the ones out there, but I would have changed the pickups to something like Seymour Duncan Quarter pound. There are better ones of course, but more expensive.
     
    Leftka likes this.
  13. Eslam ELbatat

    Eslam ELbatat

    Oct 3, 2017
    Egypt
    it is Hohner PJ Professional bass
     
  14. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Sounds like you need a set up - I'm guessing the intonation needs to be adjusted which is why some notes may sound flat or sharp. There are instructions on the web on how to do this, basically it's moving the bridge saddles forward or backwards depending on the adjustment needed.
    In terms of the socket, would this be the output jack? If so, this is a very inexpensive fix - I just did this to one bass recently, cost me $3 for the part and took 5 minutes to solder in.

    Edit If it's the PJ Professional, there is a screw in the middle of the neck plate (can't remember if it's towards the bottom or top).
     
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    My wife bought me a G&L JB-2 Tribute bass on a closeout sale at a local store. It's a nice bass - especially for the price she paid. The neck is straight and comfy to play and has a really nice grain. The body is your basic G&L and other than being maybe a pound heavier than I like, it's a nice bass. I put on a set of my "signature" DR Hi Beams. It had a little buzz on the E string 2nd fret. I spent just a few minutes tweaking the truss rod and bridge to get to my preferred action/string height and adjusted intonation at the bridge. It now plays really well and sound pretty darn good. It's my "backup" bass. I sometimes play it just to change things up a bit. I doubt it'll replace my Roscoe Century Plus 5 string (that's not a fair comparison as my Roscoe is a hand made bass worth 10 times the G&L) but it's a nice bass and for come situations maybe a better choice.

    Long post short (too late) I can't say enough as to what a new set of strings (even on my Roscoe) and a set up will do for any bass, maybe even more so for an inexpensive bass. Try it yourself. There's not much damage you can do to your bass. Be careful wth truss rod changes (1/4 to 1/2 turn and then wait a day) but other than that just adjust things until they feel comfortable to you.
     
    Gorn likes this.
  16. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    As mentioned, it sounds very much like a set up will do wonders, especially the intonation needs to be adjusted.

    Here's some instructions on that. Setting Bass Intonation | Bass Gear | StudyBass

    Is there any buzzing? do the strings seem too high? Is the neck straight? (NOTE*** Great care should be done with any truss rod adjustment, if you're not comfortable with it, perhaps take it to a guitar store and watch how they do it so you can do it yourself in the future)
    Adjusting Bass Guitar Neck Relief | Bass Gear | StudyBass

    Here's a picture of the micro tilt on the PJ Bass. You don't really need to adjust it if your bass feels good, it's only used to change the angle of the neck in relation to the strings.
    microtilt.jpg
     
  17. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    Eslam, welcome to TalkBass.

    As others have said, make sure you have the right goal in mind if you're going to purchase a new bass. If you want a new one just to have a new one, then go for it - it's your money. If you want a new one because you think the ones you have are inferior, don't be so hasty. Even though they are lower end basses, if they are set-up properly they can play and sound fantastic. If you already like your sound, then it doesn't seem like you need to change.

    What type of amp do you play through? An amp will have a HUGE impact on your sound.
    great bass + bad amp = bad sound
    average bass + great amp = good sound

    When you record, will you be using a microphone to record your amp, or will you be going straight into the board (or a combination of both)?
     
  18. garp

    garp

    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Either bass should work fine. However, as a new international member of The Bass Tribe, you should be aware that Ernie Ball Music Man once offered a very lovely finish called "Egyptian Smoke." ;)

    music-man-stingray-5-egytian-smoke-rosewood-fb-mh-10-black.jpg
     
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  19. Eslam ELbatat

    Eslam ELbatat

    Oct 3, 2017
    Egypt
    I have Zar B-20 Bass amp
     
  20. The Zar is your weakest link most likely. Save up and spend $500-1000 on a badass rig. Or spend a little less then save up for the big rig.

    Learn to solder and fix that output jack on the hohner.