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Entry level bass is total BS?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Young, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    Dec 21, 2017
    Greer, SC
    Hey guys and gals! I'm a bit perplexed and perturbed. What is the deal with the term "entry level bass"?! Entry level to me is code for "cheap". I understand not many of us have a Warwick Corvette with SVT full stack with a board full of pedals with MIDI budget but really, ENTRY level? I think the term does a disservice to the beginner. You go out you buy an insert your who's who brand here and BAM! All of a sudden the beginner is spending more time at the GC butcher, I mean repair technician spending there pennies instead of learning! IMHO the places that all of these guys go wrong is in the electronics and the bridge! The electronics will work right if the assembly is correct and come on for pete's sake use better hardware for the bridge saddles! Rant over and always friends, Keep 'em straight up there!
    CereBassum and Machiavelli like this.
  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    It's not code. It's overt.

    Are you against the designation or the existence entry level basses? Short of setup, what "repairs" are all these entry level basses requiring to function?
    Mvilmany, Thisguy, Jay2U and 8 others like this.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It is a fact that with, cheaper components, cnc, lower wage countries, and an emphasis on quality control, it possible to make functional and reliable basses for very little money. One of my favorites is the Affinity (Squier) J5. They currently run $229, and any pro could take one with a good setup, and sound like good musician with a five string Jazz at a gig.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  4. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    Dec 21, 2017
    Greer, SC
    My personal view of it is not so much the designation or existence as it is the liberal use of the term by the manufacturer. In my opinion I feel the manufacturers use sub par parts and poor quality control practices. I've encountered many beginning musicians quickly lose interest in what I consider to be one of the most amazing activities to have ever been discovered by humans. This being due to random parts affecting quality of sound and playability. To elaborate, items like bridge saddles being stripped and losing tune or loss of action or tuners not being properly fastened. The biggest foul that I have personally seen is poor ground in the control cavity. I could go on and on but thanks for the reply!
    Bassbeater and Whil57 like this.
  5. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    IMO, if you want to spend 3 grand for your first bass, thats your entry level.
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    All kinds of things make people give up while others learn how to repair or budget for a good tech. I suspect that a fair amount of these newbies would quit even if they had something as nice as a Sire V7.
    dmt, wmmj, Grahams Groove and 8 others like this.
  7. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    I talked to the rep from Bacchus and they said that their goal was to make the best priced bass in every category.

    I bought a brand new 275 USD 5 stringer jazz bass. That thing is awesome. It's my beater bass which I am thinking of just leaving at my teachers place since I hate carrying my instruments.

    Now the beauty of this instrument is that at 275 bucks, the plek machine literally could not find any fault with the frets and fingerboard. The parts? Nothing wrong. All good and sounds like a jazz bass.

    So it's not made at the custom shop in Japan. But everything is fine. Better than the many basses I have that cost 10 times more.

    You just have to find a bass like the Bacchus that the manufacturer has a clear goal in their mind. Sadly most are in it for just cranking out yet another pos bass.
    wmmj, dralionux, Mr.Ace and 2 others like this.
  8. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    Dec 21, 2017
    Greer, SC
    Awesome point on the Squier J5! I actually have a squier P5 indonesian and it sounds and plays awesome! However I ended up replacing bridge saddles on it about 2 weeks after purchase (saddles and hardware were stripped). I have had it since 2003. I'm not particularly trying to stir a pot but it kinda hurts a bit to see people so eager and inspired to delve into our realm and get frustrated at their instrument. My heart's really in our culture of music and hope yours is too! :D
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  9. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Some woud
    I really like the Race Red Affinty P bass.
    Tried six of them.
    Two were in need of truss rod adjustments, only natural considering, two were perfectly playable but simply didn't feel right…I usually enjoy some weight, one would have been good enough to gig with for many people, and one was surprisingly good…even with the factory strings it had a sound that demanded I run through half a dozen songs!
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  10. Replacing parts and doing setups on a electric bass isn't rocket science and everyone should spend some time learning. A cheap crappy bass is best to learn on since you loose nothing if something goes wrong. Cheap basses will also help you realize what you like and don't like, so if you stick with it and decide you want something better, you know what to look for. I'm sure there are some that get discouraged having crappy gear, but most I think just don't have the will to really learn how to play anyway. It took me 10 years of playing a crappy bass, learning setups on it, replacing parts until I figured out what I really wanted in my next bass purchase. In those 10 years, I was never discouraged playing something subpar.

    On the flip side. I started off playing baritone sax. Always wanted one. Cheapest you can find are Chinese ones for a grand. There is nothing you can do about it to make it better. Same with cheap upright basses.
  11. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Entry level is a term geared towards entry level players, meaning beginners that want something to get started, but aren't sure they will commit. I generally consider entry level to be $100 to $300. "Cheap" refers to price, but you can't separate low price from lower quality. You can do alot with globalization and mass manufacturing, but cost is cost. You can only build so much on a certain budget. That isn't to say that "entry level" basses are inherently bad, merely that certain features aren't there and some corners have been cut. To some people that matters, to others it doesn't.
  12. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    Dec 21, 2017
    Greer, SC
    These are the kinds of replies that have me keeping the faith! I'm not going out to set the barn on fire with this topic. I totally agree that if you are going to get into this type of thing you have to be all in. Understanding setup is as important as learning scales and such, otherwise you'd have to have a live in guitar tech for sure!
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  13. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Most beginner basses do just what they are designated to do. Maybe a little electronic or hardware tweaking and surely an enhanced setup on a $200 bass gets it as good as needed for most any bassist, really. Modern QC is pretty nice now.
    M0ses, Plectrum72, Aqualung60 and 3 others like this.
  14. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    Cheap doesn't mean "crappy" anymore like it did back in the day. Any bass can be gigged with a pro setup
  15. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I can't tell you how many times someone came up to me after a concert and started to say "Man, I really liked your tone!" but changed it mid-sentence to, "Hey, how do you manage with those cheap volume and tone controls, that pot-metal bridge and inferior tuners?"
    dmt, shodan, Eikari and 17 others like this.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    jd56hawk likes this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Ever changing landscape. Companies like Bacchus, Fender, Sire etc practice some of the best QC methods out there, that is the difference between now and then. Take some decent woods and proven simple hardware, apply stringent QC and you have a consistently good product. It's not rocket science, just good business.
    shodan, wmmj, Big Hoss and 1 other person like this.
  18. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    To be fair, the stores are full of $1000+ basses that are unplayable off the shelf and need work. The only reason people quit is because they don't want it enough. And there's nothing wrong with that. Woodwind, brass, orchestra instruments I'm in agreement with you. But typical rock band instruments like bass, guitar, and even drums you get a pretty good value. Maybe in the 60s and 70s this was not the case but today you can find gig worthy stuff for under $200.
    Ikkir, wmmj, SmokinJoe992 and 3 others like this.
  19. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
  20. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    I smile when I read this type of thread. I know several people who play Pimtel guitars, baeutiful instruments. The student models begin at $1,400.
    If you want inexpensive, go used.

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