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Could this work ok as a super cheap back-up bass? Is a back-up essential if gigging?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KristinD, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    I don’t like Ibanez basses and even I would buy that bass for that small of a price. Hope it works out for you!
    lowdownthump likes this.
  2. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    What is REALISTICALLY going to happen to a bass on a gig that you would need a backup? Like, you're playing and all the sudden you drop below 55 bpm and the bass explodes?

    If I'm bringing multiple basses to a gig it's because they fill different functions and I use them on different songs (# of strings, fretted vs fretless, etc...). If you're that worried about breaking a string (might happen once every 20 years if you're not Lemmy), you bring a set of STRINGS (not previously attached to another bass). Now, owning more than one bass is not a bad idea. That way when you have to take one into the shop, or the neck is just out of wack and isn't behaving, etc... you can bring the other one, or if the strings on one are super dead and you didnt have a chance to change them, etc... But I would say in 95% of situations, bringing a "backup bass" to a gig is complete overkill.

    Now, an amp might make sense to have a backup, especially with how small and light bass amps are getting these days. Electronics can sometimes turn on you suddenly, especially if you use them infrequently. Cabs would be the most important thing to have a backup, because they are the easiest to get damaged, BUT they are completely impractical to bring "extras" of. Of course, if your rig is a pair of cabs, at least if one goes, you can limp through on the other.

    As far as this particular bass, I like basses that aren't broken when I buy them. It might be an ok deal if you don't mind putting up to 2-300 bucks into it to fix and probably upgrade, or if you regularly fix this kind of stuff yourself anyway.

    But depending on your budget, there are a TON of inexpensive good quality basses you could get to have an extra laying around. The Yamaha BB series are ridiculously good for how crazy cheap they are. My BB415 was around $300 or so used including tax, in like new condition, lovingly taken care of, plays great, looks great, sounds great, etc... And that was a bass that I paid money for, took home, and was probably playing it at band practice a day or 2 later having done absolutely nothing to. That was about 3.5 years ago and I've never had any problems with it whatsoever.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  3. RickyT


    May 29, 2015
    Dee Why
    In over 20 years of gigging I have never, not once, taken a back up bass.

    The battery gets changed every 6 months. I have spare strings in my bag.

    Look after your gear and it will treat you well.
    Frank77 and Omega Monkey like this.
  4. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    As a working bassist, I have had issues with basses working perfectly just the night before. There are lots of things that can cause issues, even something or someone falling on a bass on stage, rendering it unplayable. Weird things can and will happen over time if you gig enough.

    A backup bass is like car insurance. You hope to never use it due to problems but it's nice for it to be there just in case.
    6Bass101 and lowdownthump like this.
  5. B-Lo

    B-Lo One day I'll figure out how to play this thing... Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2017
    Northern Alabama
    For that price, I would get it for the heck of it...if for nothing else, it could be a Frankenez platform for the mods of your wildest dreams.

  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I always brought one. Never needed it. But the show must go on. So I always will.

    I’d recommend a VM or CV Squier if you want something decent that needs no apologies.
    armyadarkness likes this.
  7. AHaze


    Feb 17, 2017
    If it's destined to just be a backup and the electronics need repair anyway, I would gut it. I think the existing pickup balance pot is before the pre-amp so you can keep that and either wire it straight to the jack or add passive volume and tone pots.
  8. Welp, looks like it's a double NBD!! Truss rod seemed fine. Husband said the bass shows some scratches in the surface but the neck looked straight and no major issues he could see or feel. Got it for $65 including the case. He's going to do some soldering on it when he gets home and we'll see if we can get it to fire up!

    In the meantime the SR655 arrived, acclimated to room temp, and I played a bit on it......I'm totally in love. It feels so comfortable, even with that fast 4 fret spread of playing the riff from Devil went Down to Georgia where the "band of demons" joins in. I was wanting to play that the octave lower off of that low D and it was no problem at all! I'll try and post an actual NBD post this evening once we see what we have with the fixer. :)
    Mekana, mmon77, TinIndian and 4 others like this.
  9. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Outstanding!! Congratulations are in order. :thumbsup::bassist:
    What a great husband you have. Nice when the spouse supports your interest.:hyper:
  10. Yes, agreed! It's a little dangerous though when both spouses have a weakness for live music and new gear. If we didn't have 4 kids to feed and care for I can only imagine the mess of gear we would have acquired by now. Haha
  11. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I always take a backup and a GK MB200 micro head as a backup for my amp, especially if I’m giggng out of town..
  12. Sounds like you have that worked out nicely.

    As far as a backup, I have only needed one once or twice.
    I watch out for potential trouble.
    I take care of stuff.

    Saturday afternoon, I went to an old friend's house for a jam to celebrate his birthday.
    He had pointed out that we wouldn't have much room, so I just took one bass.
    As I started tuning, the shaft of the G tuner broke.
    That left me with BEAD.
    OK, except that now the tension was off so the A and D strings were buzzing most of the way up the FB.
    The point is that things that can't happen will happen anyway.
    Maybe not often, but usually at the worst time possible.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  13. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Nice! It may take looking up some diagrams if the wiring is at all murky, but they're out there.

    And one really nice thing about having a spare, even if you don't often take it as a backup: if the location is crowded enough or in crappy weather, bringing the B-Team bass you're fine with abusing a little will keep the main axe dry and ding-free. I may need to look into one for that exact reason in the semi-near future.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  14. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I am always amazed when the Backup question comes up, and I see even One person state they never needed one.

    You never need one - until you do. And when you do, you'll be glad you carried a second bass.

    It's a no brainer. Gigging = at least 2 basses carried.

    That backup bass looks like a good deal to me. As long as a neck is straight and the frets aren't hosed, any electric issue can absolutely be fixed. Most - pretty easily.
    KristinD, TrustRod and lowdownthump like this.
  15. I've only needed a back up maybe 4 times in my life. Each time was the only time I didn't have one one. Now I take a back up every time, just for luck.

    That bass seems like a steal to me.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  16. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    I gig, and I have never bought a backup bass, not in 37 years of playing out. If I can't trust my bass to work I need a better bass, full stop.
    Omega Monkey likes this.
  17. jonesn4bass

    jonesn4bass Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Granville, Ma
    I'm always surprised by the "never needed a backup" posts. Have you guys never had a string break!? I mean, it's much more rare on a bass, but it does happen....and when it does, I'm thankful for backups.

    Congrats on the new basses!!
    RyanOh likes this.
  18. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Glad you got it. Great deal on a Korean Ibanez and should be a good backup.

    I don't bring an extra to church, but for every other gig I have a backup. It's on the stand, on an ABY box and tuned and ready. If I break a string or a solder lets go or a nut cracks or whatever it's only 5-10 seconds of downtime and I'm back playing again. I've only needed my backup a couple times but I'm glad to have it. I never want the guy or gal who is paying me to have to wait around while I fix something.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    KristinD, TrustRod and RyanOh like this.
  19. I've had a battery box wire break and no way to re-solder it (SLO Sterling), the output jack fall apart inside the bass (Daion), another enclosed output jack just stop working (Ibanez), a nut split at the E string (Fender Jazz), and the bridge of my old Ric let go and lift making it impossible to tune.

    Not my bass, but a drunk fell into the guitar player cracking the neck of his expensive PRS at the nut. Could have happened to me.
    KristinD and RyanOh like this.
  20. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Definitely grab that! A backup is a must for any gigging bassist
    SBassman and lowdownthump like this.

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