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"Classic" style bass : what should I look into?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Inconnu, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Hi!

    I've got a few great basses I really love and that are all keepers, but what I don't have is a "classic" or "vintage" style bass... I'd like to have one (it's a medium-term project/idea, I'm not in a hurry), but if I'm to get an extra fretted bass, it has to give me a type of sound I'm not covering yet. That's where your input comes handy! The basses I own right now are the following :
    - Ibanez Destroyer (vintage, passive, very agressive sounding)
    - G&L L-2500 (swiss knife bass, covering a lot of Fender style tones)
    - Godin BG4 (typical twin humbucker modern bass)
    - Spector Spectorcore (semi-hollow with an humbucker and piezo, capable of warm hollow-body style tones, but with a modern, more detailed twist)

    What classic or vintage style, still in production (so I could be able to find new if needed), bass I should look into to cover another spectrum? Price range 1000$ and less.

    Make your suggestions, don't hesitate to post pics!
  2. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Any of the following come to mind:

    Guild Starfire
    Gibson EB0/3
    Rickenbacker 4001
    Steinberger XL
    Kubicki XFactor
  3. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    Gibson with a mudbucker.
    Do you play around with string types too for different sounds?
  4. Are the Epiphone a good value these days?
  5. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    If I were in your shoes I'd be leaning toward what bass(s) feel good to me. Something like a Gretsch G6119BO would cover some classic tones but the medium scale and thick/non-contoured body isn't for everybody.
    Another factor I would consider is sometimes working with a percieved "limitation" can be enlightening....I'm sure your G&L can get a good Precision tone, but plugging-in a straight P-bass and working with a single pickup/single tone set-up can be an interesting experience and yield different results altogether.
  6. Actually, I once (or twice) tried a Gretsch G5442BDC which I quite liked actually... makes me want to try an Hagstrom Viking if I ever come across one as well... but you're right about the P-bass thing too...
  7. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    There are a lot of basses where you can get a "Precision-like" tone (usually by soloing the neck pickup) but nothing nails that tone like an honest-to-goodness split-single coil Precision. One pickup, one volume knob, one tone knob, one unforgettable sound!
  8. Definitely. I went back to the "bass"-ics after spending eight years on Ibanez active basses (one Soundgear SR400 and two BTBs). I currently use a 2011 MIA American Standard Precision. These basses have the Custom Shop 60s pups in them.
  9. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    Can it get anymore "classic" looking than THIS?:

  10. Amen. A P is the original - so why not go for a Telecaster-bodied Precision with a single coil pickup? That's as classic as it gets, and it doesn't sound like anything the OP has....


    ...this is where my vote goes.
  11. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    < $. 1,000.00 and worth every single cent

    They're classy and glossy and unmistakeably "Fender" on all counts!

  12. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    +1 on this. ymmv but every scpb squier classic vibe ive played has been phenomenal, especially for the price. definitely worth looking into as a fairly cheap experiment imo. good luck on the hunt! :)
  13. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    P or J, done!
  14. seescottrock


    Apr 13, 2011
    Utica, NY
    Get a Danelectro Longhorn, or a Rick 4001, Or something semi-hollow.
  15. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    Also check out the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Bass. Less than $1000, currently in production, and a tone that harkens back to the days of yore.
  16. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    A Squier Vintage Modified Precision TB (Telecaster Bass)

    It's the 3TS basswood bodied bass with all maple neck n' fingerboard, with lone Fender WideRange neck pickup

    It's 2/3 the price of Fender Modern Player Telecaster but sports the same lowend

    For Modern Player's bridge pickup, which is the very same neck Fender WideRange, unfortunately lays unalligned from strings due to obviously different string spacin' from neck to bridge: thus bein' nothin' more than a "thumbrest"

  17. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    While it's true about the string spacing on the bridge pickup, it's still a useful pickup on the MP Tele bass, and the spacing issue doesn't seem to have a huge impact on the tone (the unaligned strings still sound good and not jarringly different from the aligned strings). Blending it in with the neck pickup gives you really good control over how much punch vs boom you get, so don't write it off OP.

    At the time I bought it, I actually spent a lot of time A/Bing it against the VM P bass of which Wallace speaks. It was a nice bass, but I had budgeted for more, and I prefered the tone and versatility of the MP Tele. The VM P is still a great bass though. Try em both OP!
  18. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha & Grosbeak. I’m Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    OP has some already good taste in basses. However, to get the classic vibe, I'd go P, Single Coil P, J or Rickenbacker. If he wants vintage but more obscure, anything by Eastwood or Italia.

    Personally, I'd stick with a regular P or J.
  19. Shardik


    May 24, 2011
    Halden, Norway
    I have to agree here. Until recently I hadn't tried much with a Precision pickup, and since I hadn't I didn't miss it either.

    A couple of months ago I started to look for a replacement for my backup bass (I have 3 basses, and intend to keep the number that way). I had humbuckers and J-type basses before, but not a P. Then I started testing those. And suddenly I understood why this is such a classic. The Precision bass has a sound of its own that cuts through. I think it is the clarity of single coils combined with the offset that provides more thump to the deep strings and more definition to the bright strings.

    There are still many options, but I don't think you can get more classic than the sound of a Precision.

    PS. I personally ended up with a PJ, which in my case is a compromise to achieve the right price and some versatility, but still the main reason for choosing that is the classic P-pickup.
  20. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX


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