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First Bass and Rig Stories...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by billparks, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. billparks


    Feb 3, 2006
    After replying to a thread about all the basses you've owned, I dredged up a forgotten memory about my first Bass rig.

    It was a Teisco Del Ray Bass purchased from Sears in 1965/66 - 2 pick up Red SG style. My first amp was a Supra. My parents rented it from a local music store, we brought it home and the first jam with my band the Flames smoked it good... It went back and I got a B-15...

    What's your story?
  2. Until 1969 I played guitar and owned a Gibson electric and a Gibon B-25 acoustic which my father had given to me for my 14th birthday in 1966. When some friends of mine were putting together a band in'69 they asked me to play bass since there were already two guitarists. Well, I didn't own a bass but another friend had a Hofner (Beatle style) but wanted an acoustic guitar. We traded for my B-25 with the understanding that if either of us wanted to undo the deal we would.

    After three months he wanted the bass back so I became the owner of the B-25 again. I then traded it in on a new '68 Telecaster bass at a local music store and bought a used Coral (Danelectro) bass amp with 6x12s.

    The following August, Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast where I live and destroyed the music store where I did business.
    The following Christmas after they had reopened, my Dad was in there shopping for a present for me. The owner showed him my old Gibson that I had traded and told him it was one of the only instuments that survived the storm! So he bought it for me again.

    I've now owned that guitar three times and decided I would never part with it again. When I play it, it brings back good memories of my wonderful father who always encouraged me in my musical career.
  3. foose4string


    Feb 4, 2006
    My very first bass was a cheapy red hollow or semi hollow something or other with flatwounds on it. I think I bought it for 50 bucks or at a garage sale using money I earned from my newspaper route. I plugged into my dads hifi stereo for amplification. It actually didn't sound too bad. The speaker cabs were a very old pair, but sturdy set of Altec Lansings, each loaded with two 8" woofers. That setup lasted all of about a month or two and I honestly don't remember how or when I got rid of the guitar.

    The next "real" setup I had was a red Kramer Striker 700ST p/j style and a Peavey Basic 40 that I bought together from a nearby pawn shop. I think I paid around $200 total. Looking back, that was a pretty decent bass... wish I still had it. This all took place mid 80's.
  4. My first bass was a white-ish Harmony jobbie that I traded a Nintendo for, and it came with a little practice amp. :p The reason I got it was because at my very first jam with other people, four of us were standing around with g**tars around our necks... and it wasn't working. One of us had a drumkit, so he became the drummer (ironically he was the best g**tar player, by far). And I had always wanted to be a bassist but my parents always told me you never learned on bass, you start with g**tar (yeah, the therapy is still ongoing, LOL). So, I got a bass by the fastest means possible.

    I had that harmony for about a week, when all of a sudden I got approved for a bunch of credit cards. Then I got a five string Samick that had UFO's as fret inlays... was a cool bass actually. It had a PJ setup.. but the pickups didn't pick up the G string, so I swapped the P out with a Split-P and left it passive, with the J acting as little more than a finger rest. I did the swap myself... and it actually sounded pretty good. Also picked up a Hartke 3500 head and 115 cab... which I thought sucked after I tried playing it, and now realize it was simply my inability to actually use it properly. Also got a lot of poor info... the dude who sold me the head said I should put a lot of high-end in the graphic EQ because that's what he likes... and the dude who sold me the 115 said they were louder that 410s (and it didn't have a horn). A rather incompatible setup, I'd say. I don't shop there any more. :)

    Ah.. the good ol' days. Well, not really good, because I wasted a lot of money out of stupidity/ignorance, but it was somewhat of a learning experience. :)
  5. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    My very first "rig" was a cheap-o Mako plywood bodied bass and a g**tar/bass combo by Alamo. I paid a total of $250 for everything, including new strings and an EL34 tube for the amp. I kinda wish I still had that setup for sentimental reasons.
  6. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    Hondo p bass copy in 1982 with a Sears bass amp. I think the amp lasted a month and the bass which I bought for $50 from a friend I could probably still be playing. It was a chunk of wood, ash body and maple neck/board, Yeah I wish I still had it just for the hell of it :(
  7. When I was in grade school, I kept picking up my brother's guitar and playing along with his records. He noticed that I was picking out bass parts, and not guitar parts, so he gave me his old "Sears Special" fender copy to use. I picked it up and the rest was history. Played it through his Gibson "Thor" amplifier. Took me until high school to finally upgrade to a gibson eb and then a new Gibson G-3. Things took off after that.

    Ah...the good old days!:D
  8. verbass


    Apr 26, 2004
    dayville ct
    Had the ultimate n Applause p/j bass Really cheap w/lousy action and a Gorilla 20 watt Combo played it for a year then traded up to Aria and Crate . What Did I know? I was young and it was the eighties.
  9. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Mine was a bright red Ibanez Destroyer with a Peavey Basic 40 amp. It sounded like absolute garbage, and it took me about two songs in my first audition for the leader to say "could you turn up your amp and play a little softer?"

    I don't care if I never see a basic 40 again, but I do wish I still had that bass. It brought out the Def Leppard in me (which is harder and harder to do these days).
  10. My first bass and rig came from ebay my freshman year of highschool (I'm now a senior). I got a 1985 Ibanez Musician bass and an Aria Pro II bass along with a 10 watt traynor practice amp, all for around $150 off of ebay.

    My first gigging rig came in the form of a Hartke VX 4 x 10 cabinet with a crappy 100 watt Rogue bass head that I bought for far too much money. I've since sold both and upgraded to a rack setup and a GK 2 x 12.

    I still own every bit of setup from the first paragraph and don't think I'd trade the Ibanez for anything. The Aria is in pieces right now since I'm trying to upgrade parts on it, but never really get around to it. The little traynor amp doesn't work so well for bass, so my girlfriend is using it with her piano. All in all, I think I lucked out as far as first bass.
  11. foose4string


    Feb 4, 2006
    That pretty much sums it up for me too. The sound when turned up on that amp was something akin to a loud fart. I got by with it for maybe a year tops, but ended up replacing it with a new TNT150 which I still own.
  12. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    My first Bass was a Danelectro double cutaway, it was copper with white sides and I had my first 6 Bass lessons with it at Ernie Ball's original music store in Tarzana, CA. This was in 1960 and I was just 15, in fact my Mom used to have to drive me to my lessons because I couldn't legally drive yet. My first amp was a brown tolex Fender Concert w/4-10's that my older cousin and I shared, he used it to amplify his upright piano with a contact mike on the soundboard. Great memories! Rock was young and so was I, LOL.

  13. Geeeeeze, I started with a "Roktek" 30watt amp and a Status Sihouette Series bass, something akin to a nasty particle board P bass... wanted a black one but had to settle for a red with white scratch plate... funny how I dont miss it at all :bassist:
  14. irjason


    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Cool story lbwdog.

    For Christmas one year when I was in high-school. My dad got me a Harmony bass from a pawn shop. It was black with chromed humbucker pickups. I also got a Gorilla 30 watt amp with 8" speaker to go with it.
    The combination sounded like someone banging on garbage cans. But I stuck with it, and got a better bass after a few months. I don't miss either of them.
  15. relayer66


    Oct 10, 2002
    Ebina, Japan
    Peavey T-20 bass and Basic 40 amp. Woah!!! Possibly the crappiest combination ever!!!
    Like WJGreer, I failed to appreciate the charms of the Basic 40 amp. It would overheat and cut off even when playing at low volumes, and I had to replace the transformer once. You could barely hear it if you were playing with someone else, I mean, even a couple of loud acoustic players. Then it would turn itself off for about 10 minutes every half-hour or so. I only had it for 3 years and never really abused it, and it still treated me like that...what a classic piece of crap! When I ditched it I got a Peavey Mark IV, now that was a loud amp! 300 watts of pure crap sounding transistor magic!
  16. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Ibanez RB800, last September. Got it because it was Green, and heard ogod things about roadstar basses.

    Amp? Peavey Basic 112. Sounds good, I'm happy with it...
  17. My first bass was a Vantage P copy which I ended up using for 3 years. My first amp was an old Hondo Fame 50w solid state 115, I sorta liked that neat little combo.
  18. rebelbass


    Feb 16, 2006
    New Jersey
    I started playing bass in 1974. Band I was in had me and 5 other guys,all on guitar and a drummer! we flipped coins,2 guitars quit and I lost next toss;play bass or quit was the rules. I already had a good guitat,a gretsch tennesean (late 60 worth $$ today if I still owned it!) so I bought a cheepo beetle bass knock off. Had to stuff it with styrofoam to keep it from howling played it thru 100 watt sears silvertone head and cabinet me & dad threw together night before battle of the bands! It had a 12",8" and huge round horn. Still trying to get back that sweet sound; kinda between a howl and a big nasty honk!
  19. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    I started playing bass in 1975. My first bass was a Squier P bass. First amp was a silverface Fender Bassman 100 tube head and matching 2X15 cab (wish I still had that one!).

    Soon after I started (6 mos? 1 yr? can't remember) I got a Rickenbacker.
  20. JazzBassMayn


    Dec 10, 2005
    Oregon, OH
    My first bass is the same bass I play now. MIM Fender Jazz. Fancied it up a bit lately though. My first amp was/is my dad's '68 Bassman through an Avatar 212. Just used it in the bedroom. Sounds great!