Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

De-GAS-ing

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ben Rose, Feb 1, 2005.


  1. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Ooops, messed up the title.

    OK. This post really has 2 questions, 1 specific, and 1 that is more general.

    First, does anyone have experience with the Cort/Elrick Josh Paul Signature model, and can any comparison be made to the MTD Kingston or Heir?

    Second, I currently play some more expensive basses (FBass BN6, Ken Lawrence Brase 5) as well as some mid-range instruments (Ibanez GWB1, parts Jazz). I am as pleased with my GWB1 as I am with my FBass. So I'm thinking about de-GAS-ing and moving to a single fretted bass (5 string+) that is $1000 or less.

    Am I likely to be satisfied with the playability and tone of an instrument that lists for 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of my other instruments? Is it likely that other band members will notice the difference between the sound of the instruments? (I play gospel, jazz, top40, latin).

    I know that this may seem like a question that only I can answer for myself, but I would like to hear from other that have gone this route.
    __________________
    A friend is someone who will help you move; a good friend is someone who will help you move a body.
     
  2. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    If you bought these new, the higher end stuff will take on more depreciation at which point you have less bass and less money.

    The only person that notices your tone unless it is abnormally terrible is you.

    Seems like you are undecided and that is a bad time to make a decision. If you had a clear #1 and the rest got used through rotation it would be easy to say, this #1 and that is all I need regardless of its preceived value.

    I can not see selling a $3000 bass for $1800 and taking a $1200 loss to keep a $1000 bass that is now worth $550 instead, UNLESS you really need the money immediately.

    Anyway you slice it, the basses are worth what they are worth today and what you paid makes no difference at this time. The F Bass is so obscure most people would not even know to steal it, now if it was a Peavey or an Ibanez that would be valuable!
     
  3. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I bought all of my basses used. I'm not really thinking about it from a resale point of view, but I don't think I'll lose that much.

    My questions are more about the quality of finish.

    Are the frets going to be as level?
    Are the necks going to be as comfortable?
    Is the preamp going to be noisy?

    Some of these things can be easily remedied; others would take more work. And at what point does it become "not worth it"?

    And BTW, I did have an Ibanez that got stolen. D*mn that was a good bass.
     
  4. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    Are the frets going to be as level? You determine via wear.
    Are the necks going to be as comfortable? Pure preference issue
    Is the preamp going to be noisy? If is not noisy today then no.

    You want know can you justify a more expensive piece when you feel the tone is similar.

    You can drive from point A to point B in a Yugo or a BMW, is the BMW worth more? Depends on if the person driving feels a difference, has an internal need to have the best, does the person have the economic means to pull the BMW off?
     
  5. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I've tried this... going to a lower cost bass and I did notice a difference and sold them afterward. I've found it to be a hit and miss situation. I have a MIJ fretless that is awesome, on the other hand, I had an Ibanez 6 string. Bought it because it was cheap, but it really didn't work. What I think you will notice is that you have an instrument that is somewhere between 70-80% of what you are accustomed to and may be workable depending on what annoys you the most.
     
  6. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    These questions are directed to people who have played the Kingston/Heir or JPS basses. Are the preamps in these basses noisy? Have any of you experienced problems with fretwork out of the box? Would you describe the neck as flat or chunky? Are the shoulders soft or sharp? I'm looking for feedback from people who have played these instruments.

    If these instruments were available locally, I would have no reason for posting this thread.

    This is actually the opposite of what I am trying to do. If I am trying to justify anything, it's a trip down to Austin to check some of these basses out.
     
  7. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Thanks, Pickebass. What were some of the things that you noticed that made you sell the instruments?
     
  8. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    The concept of any high end product over the mass merchadise is always quality. To increase your attention to detail 3% you can easily see a 200% increase in price with some products. Most music has been made using mass merchandise products made by Fender. If you are not overly critical in nature, an average bass will probably suit you. It is difficult to return to average however after you've had the good stuff. The beuaty of average stuff is there are always those gems that have the mojo of a boutique on a beer budget, but it takes a lot of energy to find those. The only thing you can do is try the sub-$1000 basses and see if you can live with them.

    I think that the hardware quality on the cheaper basses is an issue that you will come face to face with in a decade where the potential for better quality metals and built to better tolerences should be the norm on a high end bass.

    Lower priced basses are built for a price point where everyone makes money for the given MSRP.

    Boutiques are ideally made to be the best of everything, the price is the result of the customer choices, but the hardware, electronics etc....are all supposed to be the best that exist, price be damned. When you have a boutique built there is a base price, but often people add options that make that number grow considerably to suit their preferences.
     
  9. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I think you're right. The MOJO does not descriminate by price point alone. I'll probably have to go down to BassEmporium to check some of these puppies out. Hopefully I'll find something there with the vibe, man. :rolleyes:
     
  10. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    Boutique builders buy better wood so in theory they should get the magic more often, but it is still hit or miss.

    When I was in the studio, Lenny Kravitz was there recording as well (he days, us evenings). Lenny ordered about ten vintage jazz basses to try, all but one were oars, but that one was just awesome, and it was not even the most expensive. Why the universe aligned itself for that one bass, who knows, but God was in a good mood at that moment.
     
  11. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    I have the Cort/Elrick Josh Paul signature and I have to say it is an excellent bass. It was reviewed in Bass Player about a year and a half ago and they gave it real good reviews.

    A few of its features:

    zero fret
    bartolini mk-1 pickups and preamp
    3 band eq
    push/pull active passive volume knob
    nice quilted maple top
    ebony fingerboard
    ash body
    hipshot hardware
    versatile sounding

    Rob Elrick did a good job and these are pretty much the same schematics and design as an Elrick. My bass has been mistaken for an Elrick many times and not just for the looks but how it sounds. This bass is on the line or level of the Lakland Skyline series and the G&L Tributes. All three are very good alternatives and can give you some very good tones. I was not impressed by the MTD's. I have tried the Kingston and it cannot hold a candle to any of the aforementioned basses. Just my opinion. ;)
     
  12. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Robear,

    Are the JPS electronics the same as the Skyline 55-01s? It looks like the pickups are. Could you offer any comments about the thickness of the neck?

    Thanks
     
  13. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    quality of tone was the biggest. The difference in wood is amazing sometimes. I've played a cheap J bass copy and a premium instrument with the same woods and the difference was astonishing in tone..Yes same pickups. Thought I could turn a lemon in lemonade... didn't work.

    D.C. Olson, who is a builder/player in San Antonio showed me a few of his MTDs he modified and it played and sounded better than basses costing 3x as much. He shaved the necks, fretwork, modified the electronics and made a great bass.

    I frequent bass emporium and I've never been overly impressed. The MTDs are good for their price, but not what you are used to
     
  14. I've had two (2) of the JP sig. basses. For the money you just can't beat them. The bass is far closer to an Elrick than it is to a Cort (no offense to those folks). I bought one when they first came out in the spring of 2003 largely on the basis of the BP review...BP seems to like 99% of all the gear they review, but they loved this bass so I snagged a brand new one off of Ebay for $649.00! Slim VERY fast neck, super-comfortable to play, especially for a long-time p bass guy like me...the bass was a blast to play, excellent B string (my previous fiver was an MTD 535), the electronics were very hot and a tad bit noisy - in fact, I recall that I had a $25 electronics repair. Notwithstanding that, the bass was a slap monster! Thunderous tone. However, I went to the 2003 summer NAMM show and fell in love with a "real" Elrick...at nearly three times the cost! Long story short, after another 5 or 6 fivers, several of which were in the under $1000 category (including another JP5), I've settled on a sweet F bass Studio 5. For me at least, a bass this exceptional at $1500 used is a reasonable compromise between the lower end stuff and going crazy. In the end though, if the instrument inspires you to be a better player, and you've got the $$$, I say go for it and don't look back...and if your fortunate enough to be inspired and happy with a $500 bass, you're got all that matters anyway.