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Could use some guidance on buying an "intermediate" level bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dayman624, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Dayman624


    Apr 28, 2010
    Hey... ive been looking around the web for information about buying a new bass guitar for myself and ive basically been buried under the huge amount of information and possibilities. I was wondering if anybody could give me some bass models that would be a smart step to move up to. Ive been playin for just over a year now and my Ibanez IJXB190 (basic starter pack) seems to not be set up for what i want to play (music like the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Im looking for an "intermediate" level bass anywhere up to about $500... thanks for the help
  2. JohnnyB53


    Nov 1, 2009
    Since you like RHCP, why not look for a good intermediate "Flea" type bass? He played a Music Man Sting Ray for a long time. I'd say a single humbucker bass similarly configured should work well for you:

    You can get a Sterling by Music Man SB14 for about $599, a Flea Bass Model 32 for $499, or an Ibanez ATK300, considered by many to be a great "poor man's Sting Ray."
  3. VinKreepo


    Nov 13, 2009
    I'll take your Ibanez off your hands for you... : D
  4. markdavid


    Jun 29, 2007
    I second the Ibanez ATK300 suggestion , Ibanez make some great midpriced basses , ive got an Ibanez SR505 and its an awesome bass and ive owned an Ibanez SR900 and that was a great bass too
  5. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    The best advice I can give you is to buy used. Very few instruments have issue that are covered under warranty crop up while the instrument is still under warranty. Save yourself some money and let someone else pay the depreciation. You can either get much more bass for your money or have some change left over to upgrade your amp with.

    The TB classifieds are a great place to look. Just be careful as the classifieds can be extremely GAS inducing :D

    For the type of tone you descibe, you will probably want an active bass with humbuking pickups. IMO/IME used G&L Tributes offer tremendous value in this price range as do the MTD imports. The Ibanez ATK is another good option. Since you don't know exactly what you want, hit up the classifieds, see what's available in your price range and go snag your self a deal :bassist:
  6. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    Johnny B nailed it. It's the pickup placement as well as style. Other things will get you near the tone, but those three will hit it. Flea went from EBMM to Modulus to Fleabass which are all the same design.

    You should be able to find a SB14 new under 5 bills. I'm not going to comment on the Fleabass, too much forum baggage to carry on that subject. Try out all three if possible and see what speaks to you.
  7. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
    I have to interject and say that the ATK isn't a poorman's stingray it's a whole other animal it just happens to look and mimic the sound of it very well but, there's major differences from the two.

    1st The bridge on the ATK is wrapped around the pickup increasing the sustain and giving it a nice alternative looking vibe.

    2nd The body of the ATK is wider and thicker than a stingray increasing the bass and midrange

    3rd The ATK has a triplebucker a humbucker that can be double coil (aka Stingray) single with a high filter cut (aka P bass) or a single coil with humcanceling (aka humbucking jazz) basically it's 3 basses in one. Stingrays just have a humbucker with a dummy coil. There's no comparison here.

    4th ATK's have nice a easily adjustable trussrods located at the bottom of the neck on the front of the bass. Stingray's are set up to be adjusted with a trussrod after you take off the pickguard.

    5th and lastly the Stingray has a nice tone but, it's sorta only got one while the ATK has many tones.

    Also as a ATK owner myself I can say that I have a freind that wants me to trade my ATK for his SUB with a Delano in it I decline everytime it's that good.
  8. Flea also played Wal and Fender Jazz so take that for it what it's worth.

    Dayman624... what don't you like about your IJXB190? I've played several and don't find them lacking in anything except a decent setup and maybe fret work which will most likely also be needed with any intermediate bass you happen to buy. I've been a RHCP for about 25 years (first saw them at The Rat in Boston's Kenmore Square back in '85) and have played their covers using p basses, j basses, my ATK, SR400 and others, so I honestly feel that your bass will do fine in playing that genre of music.

    However, if you're still playing through the 15 watt Ibanez amp that came with the starter pack, I'd suggest upgrading to a better amp. At this point that will most likely be the best thing you can do for your tone.
  9. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
    Not to steal your thunder or to disrespect, but i have to disagree on some points.

    On point 1: I think Stingray's have plenty of sustain (how long do you want to last a note anyway?).

    2: these are not points you (generally) can't solve with a bit of EQing.

    3: the P pickup position is not accurate on the ATK and the Jazz position only features the rear Jazz pup on the ATK.

    4: truss rods are very conveniently located at a clear patch at the bottom of the neck on nearly all Musicman instruments. The pickguard does not cover this at all.

    5: the ATK most likely has more tones, but it's discussable if the Stingray only has one. I tend to disagree.

    To the OP: all previously suggested options seem very valid. I personally would suggest a Sterling by Musicman.
  10. LDonnie and XtheDeadPawn... I agree and disagree with both of you on different matters but in short (and IMHO) the ATK is not a StingRay copy as many people claim and I have an ATK because I like it more than a StingRay. It's not necessarily better or worse, just different in a way that I prefer.
  11. Dayman624


    Apr 28, 2010
    Yea... im still squeezin out as much time as i can with the original amp that came with the bass and i figured that it wouldnt give me alot of range in tone or just overall quality for that matter. I also plan on pickin up a new amp along with another bass (if and when i decide on one) but that is a whole 'nother quest for me to go on and search and decide.

    As for WHY i want to upgrade the bass.... the single and split coil pickup design seem to be good for pick and finger style songs, but now im startin to get into some slap pop stuff and the fact that the coils are basically everywhere i want to 'pop'
    my finger just gets caught up a few times. Am i right in thinking that the "humbucker" pickup design is good for slap pop?
  12. progrmr


    Sep 3, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    Yea, this not correct at all. Any Stingray that has a 3 band pre-amp has just as many tonal options as an ATK. Not sure when they went from 2 to 3, but it's been awhile.

    Now the neck is a very different story - the Stingray has a taller fretboard and wider string spacing. But the tone - well it's way better than an ATK (this is my opinion, I realize "better" is subjective).
  13. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN

    A better amp will change your world. If you're having trouble slapping on a P/J then you might need to adjust your technique. That pickup configuration certainly doesn't seem to hamper Wooten's playing.
  14. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
    I'm just stating my opinions and in retrospetic I admit I was wrong on a couple points yes most stingrays do have a trussrod on the heel, I'll take the fall on that one.

    However it is true that the ATK is thicker body wise I mearly was pointing that out to the OP that the ATK is a bulldozer compared to the toothpick stingray body width.
    That is all and I mearly pointed out how that makes the ATK sound different I'm sure everyone already knows about EQ by now so that is why I didn't point that fact out. I will in the future.

    Also I thought with a few twists of the Pre on my ATk I got it to sound like a P bass so I figured that the EQ also applies to that point as well.

    Finally I am with Diogenes I own a ATK because I like it better than a stingray and I like it because of the price tag and more so for the oddball factor the weird headstock, the huge bridge, the overgrown neck are all reasons why I love it.

    The Pickup is too.

    The only reason I made those points is not to start a argument but, too just prove to JohnnyB53 that the ATK isn't just another stingray clone but, it's own animal.

    Just like there is only one Jaco, or Hendrix, or Cobain, or Claypool, or Geddy. The ATK's as far as I'm concered are in a class all by themselves looks and sound wise.
  15. Theres alot of desent basses out there in that price range. Everything above would be good suggestions including SRXs, SRs or even a good used Jazz. I would go to a music store and try out as many as possible. Whats right for someone might not be right for another.

    IMO, I wolud keep the GSR190. I've upgraded with several basses sence I got my GSR190. Including a SR, SRX and a P-bass and I still play my GSR190 all the time. You might try a good setup and lowering the action to get some descent slap tones out of that thing.

    Definently check out the used selection, more bang for the buck

    +1 on upgrading amp.
  16. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    I do believe that's the first time I've ever heard that description of a 'Ray body. I have always found them to be quite substantial.
  17. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Skip the debate and get a used G&L Tribute L2000. Killer bass, tons of tonal options, built to last longer than you.
  18. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
    Again PSPookie it's my opinion. :rollno:

    Can we just help out the OP?????
  19. Dayman624


    Apr 28, 2010
    Hmmm..... you guys got me thinkin.... i think i should buy a new amp first, see what difference it makes to my current Ibanez sound/tone and then make a decision about gettin another bass a few weeks later..... It might be better to get some more mileage out of my current bass before i drop down some cash for a Stingray, Jazz, or the Ibanez you suggested earlier....
  20. You may just want to take your bass into a music store and try it out with a bunch of amps.

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