Coming back after 16 years... little help?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Steve LaMantia, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Steve LaMantia

    Steve LaMantia

    Jun 12, 2019
    I’m finally getting back to playing after about 16 years! My background was from my late teens/early 20s playing in a rock/metal band. I’ve gotten a little older and my choice of music has grown even heavier and darker. However, lol as crazy as it sounds, I have a huge love for Reggae! More specifically the kind that some call “white-boy Reggae”, West Coast Reggae or SoCal Reggae.

    Before I dive in and spend thousands on gear, I’m setting a low budget for now just to see how serious this becomes. I’ve done a bit of research over the past few days on some guitars and I think I have it narrowed down to a Spector or Music Man... now I’ve already searched the forums on comparisons between the 2 or “which are better”, but only the higher end versions are compared. Remember I’m setting a low budget for now so I’m talking specifically about a Spector Q5 and a Sterling MM. I have the opportunity to purchase either one locally. I realize it’s going to come down to playing them and seeing which fits me best, however I won’t know for sure till after I choose my gear and some EQing.

    So, for Reggae with more low end tone, what would you guys choose? Any help is appreciated.
    lizardking837 and TolerancEJ like this.
  2. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Technically, any bass will work....the stuff we usually debate on here is often of the "hair-splitting" variety.....If you think your Bass is too bright? The type of strings, pickup swaps, and your hand/playing position can affect a lot of things, etc.....

    After all this time, just treat yourself to whatever ya want to get that you like and feels good in your hands -- and that will make you want to pick it up everytime you see it....

    Thats my$.02
    mc900ftj, BOOG, MrLenny1 and 9 others like this.
  3. I've gone down a similar road, picking up the bass again after more than a decade.

    To me, the most important thing is how the instrument feels in my hands, and that's something that you'll have to decide. There is no right or wrong answer here. You may end up with something that you haven't even thought about. Play whatever is available to you in the presumed price range, and go for the one that feels right *for you.*

    Wishing you the best of luck in your noble quest.
  4. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    If you are going to play Reggae, you will want a bass that has a lot of bottom, most Reggae players that I've seen have played Jazz basses, I've seen a few Precisions too. You can get either fairly cheaply too especially if you don't mind getting a MIM (Mexican) bass, I would worry more about the amp, amps that can go loud and low are not cheap.
  5. Steve LaMantia

    Steve LaMantia

    Jun 12, 2019
    Definitely agree! The amp/cabinet choice will come soon. I just planned on grabbing a used decent practice amp for the time being so I can hear some sound while noodling in my living room. Once it comes time to jam with some friends, I’ll throw some money into that stuff. It’ll be a little while still.
    lizardking837 and bobyoung53 like this.
  6. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    If you have a few extra bucks to spend, get an Ampeg SVT tube head and maybe a double 15" cab or a couple of single 15" cabs, you'll definitely have a great reggae sound with one of those, an SVT will knock a wall over. Just my recommendation, I'm not prejudiced at all:laugh:.
  7. Steve LaMantia

    Steve LaMantia

    Jun 12, 2019
    Totally been thinking Ampeg! Always loved the tone. The warmth of tubes as well.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  8. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Oh by the way, welcome! I hadn't noticed that you just joined today, great place, I've learned a lot in my time here.
  9. OP: Like you, I also experienced a rejuvenated interest in music after a 10+ year absence from when I last played actively. It certainly helped when I discovered TalkBass. Reading through the first few threads, I quickly observed that little to nothing changed in relation to playing techniques or performing. Then all the posts of people showing their beautiful basses. I contracted GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) almost immediately, and started buying instruments again.

    Pickup either the Spector Q5 or Sterling MM. You should be happy with either. You mentioned they are local to you, so at least you should get a chance to try them first.

    Do you already have an amp? Or is this something you also hope to find?
    Steve LaMantia likes this.
  10. Baruch1994

    Baruch1994 Guest

    May 13, 2019
    Well there you go. You got company here. I left the bass guitar in the dust after my life-change gig over 20 years ago. I ended up spending the rest of my life playing and singing all kinds of music as a government funded musician. You mentioned an interest in reggae. I played bass briefly in a hot afro-cuban band in '93. I had a steinberger 5 string and a SWR redhead. I'm a real old timer now at 58. I sold my bass in '02 while playing alto sax in a Christian reggae band in San Diego. How I got that gig I don't remember. The bass player in the band bought my steinberger for $400. My old model is almost impossible to find. Like you I've decided to "come home" and play bass again if my aging mind and body can do it. I bought a pre-Modulus 5 string bass here about a month ago. I have an audition with a fellow oldtimer whom I ran into at a VA hospital. He saw the Taylor 12 string I had and now we'll see if I actually make a comeback on the ol' 5-string. I have a music degree now and did lots of stuff. So I hope your return to reggae is a success spiritually and musically.
    ajkula66, Stumbo, Bodeanly and 2 others like this.
  11. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I'd go for the sterling. They're cheap, comfortable, and very great sounding. You'll just put on some flats, roll the tone off, up the mids and bass, and play near the neck. Should be well worth the couple hundred. And, fit very nicely for just about anything else you end up doing in the future.
    Steve LaMantia likes this.
  12. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'd imagine any bass you're comfortable with will do.
    I've seen reggae played on anything from Precisions to Steinbergers.
    Amplification will be important once you start playing with others.
    Luckily for you it seems there's a lot of older heavier gear available cheaply second-hand that should do nicely...
    Steve LaMantia and jd56hawk like this.
  13. GallienUser


    Feb 26, 2006
    Hi and welcome back with the low tones!
    I play in a rock cover band and some tunes have a strong reggae feel to them (for example State Radio, 311 or Dispatch). For these songs my Spector Euro5 with these settings sounds great: neck-only humbucker, treble slightly lowered and bass slightly up, played towards the neck with fingers.
    I do have a MusicMan Stingray 5 (built in 1995) and it is a nice instrument. For reggae I would use the Spector though.
    Steve LaMantia likes this.
  14. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    For reggae Id choose the Spector of the two choices simply because it has a neck pickup. When I do Reggae (on my jazz bass albeit) I use the neck pu and roll the tone off
    Stumbo, RichT and Steve LaMantia like this.
  15. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Welcome back to bass! And welcome to Talkbass.

    If you have any music stores near you I'd suggest going and checking out as many basses as you can. See if anything speaks to you or seems more right than others. There is a ton of great information on here and some truly helpful people. We'll happily tell you what we think you should do or buy. As well as tell you the terrible choices you made but it's really a matter of personal preference. You can spend a lot of time and money chasing buying what is right for others before finding what is right for you.

    You are lucky that there are so many choices. No shortage of great gear. I like several Gibson basses for a big sound. You can never, ever go wrong with a good P bass though.

    Good luck!
  16. I agree with most to me it is P bass or Jazz with flats,
    if you get a Sans Amp bass Di you can pretty much pull that tone out of any amp :)
    Steve LaMantia likes this.
  17. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    Flats are probably a plus, not as much for the tone, as for the playability and longivity. I'm convinced you can get good tone out of round wounds, but you have to dial them back. But then Whats the point of having rounds...

    This might sound a little sacrilegious, but am I wrong in asking, can't you typically get reasonable low end tone out of almost any bass? Seems that if a bass is lacking it's usually missing the brighter high end? If I was looking, all I'd really care about for that style is the playability of the bass, in other words... does it have a comfortable neck.
    Steve LaMantia likes this.
  18. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Consider a gently used upper end of the EBMM / Spectre models...already broken-in, seasoned etc. Obviously, it's up to you, just throwing it out there. Agree with other commenters; get what "feels" the best for you.
    BTW, what's "White Boy" reggae? Babylon's closin' in.
    Steve LaMantia likes this.
  19. What bass did you play in the past? I took about 10 yrs off. I never sold my old bass but have to added others to the collection. It is odd how much more comfortable I am on the old bass.
    Steve LaMantia likes this.
  20. Solude


    Sep 16, 2017
    Given I fall into the same 'trap' from time to time on several hobbies... rent a bass and amp for a month from a place that will let you apply the rental cost to a purchase to be sure the drive sticks. The graveyard of e-drums through here will thank you ;)
    Steve LaMantia and Koala of Doom like this.