First Bass, which one should I get?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EternalDarkness, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. EternalDarkness


    Sep 22, 2004
    Hey everyone :)

    I'm planning to buy my first Bass in a few months time (when I have saved up enogh money). Unfortunately my budget is pretty small, as I need to get an amp and pedal too.

    I will have around 150 to 200 pounds (max) (around $320) to spend on the bass. I was wandering what 4 string basses would you recommend?

    I've played quite a few basses, the Precision was rather heavy, so was the squier Jazz, though Jazz had quite a nice sound to it, the precision also had quite a nice sound, but with Only the split pickups, you can't get much tones from it?

    One bass I really liked wa the Yamaha RBX170, it was quite cheap at around 135 pounds, Very light, nice body, can come in black (favourite colour), and has a PJ style pickups. The sound was quite good, though quite light. Is the Washbirn XB100 any better?

    Do you think for a first bass, the Yamaha RBX170 is the best bet? :) I would be playing Heavy Metal. I was also wandering would it be bad if my first bass would be a 5 string? I'm not too sure which one I want. I heard the OLP MM3s are supposed to be good, and can pack a punch :)

    thanks :p
  2. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Check out an Ibanez GSR 200 series. Great starter basses, and will last you a good while till you have money for something fancier. Its quite possible you could use that bass for your whole carreer though.
  3. EternalDarkness


    Sep 22, 2004
    thanks :)

    The bass looks raelly nice, similar to the RBX170, I will need to try this out at a shop. And it's in my budget range too.

    I take it, the Ibanez has a better sound than the Yamahas?
  4. Hella_Groovy


    Aug 31, 2004
    Richmond Va
    I had a GSR200 that I just sold, Its an excellent Bass, one of the best for the money, It has a lightweight Agathis body (available in Black), and the active eq is a nice touch as well. The Phat EQ, which is a Bass/Treble Boost would definitely come in handy in a heavy metal situation. It has a slim, somewhat flat 1 piece maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and medium frets. I'd certainly recommend it to beginners.
  5. EternalDarkness


    Sep 22, 2004
    Thanks :)

    Looks like it will be the Ibanez GSR200 I'm getting, the reviews on sites are really happy with this bass. I never knew that is had active pickups?

    I also need to buy a distortion pedal, which ones are really good (but not too expesinve) too have overdrive buzzing :)
  6. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    It did not have active electronics untill this year.

    My daughter has one and it's a passive unit. It's a 2001 model. It still sounds good though.

    It's a great starter bass and well worth the money.
  7. Desire


    Jul 4, 2004
    I got and Ibanez black SR300DXL and I love it! This was my first bass and the best $400 (CDN) I ever spent and I affectionately named it "Gloria". What I like about this particular bass it's gorgeous to look at first of all. The neck (pretty much the same as on the GSR200) is slim and easy to play and learn on. Once you get comfortable with the neck it's fast and you can get up and down the neck in hurry. The sound is also really good especially for the price range, it has a somewhat "hot" sound to it, which is good for practically any sound you want but really shines with "Seattle sound" high energy type music. The body on mine is Agathis and overall light and well balanced. I noticed the body on the GSR200 is basswood and also makes for a nice light comfortable body. I also have a Dean Edge 5 and the body is basswood and it's really light and comfortable. Rented a Yamaha 5 string once and didn't like it. Heavy and sounded dull. When I bought my Ibanez I also tried a Fender Squier and the Ibanez blew it away soundwise (both were the same price). So all in all I'd get the Ibanez. If someone were to ask if I would buy another Ibanez I would buy another but unfortunately they don't have very much for lefties especially their fretless and 5 strings which is why I went with the Dean (for the 5 string). I'm off work for a few days and I'll go into a store and try out the GSR200 and post back.
  8. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    US Northeast
    Here's a vote for the Yamaha RBX170.

    Great starter bass. For the money you get a really nice neck,
    and decent enough pickups. But I was mainly after the "good neck", "light/balanced body" and "good unplugged tone". Now I'll replace the pickups to turn it into THE VOICE OF GOD MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

    I like it. Like it a lot. Been playing for about 11 years, and bought
    it recently. Great starter bass or bass for bassist on a budget (that would be me, marriage limited my bass expenditures :) )
  9. EternalDarkness


    Sep 22, 2004
    thanks everyone :)

    One thing I'm confused about is sites say that the Ibanez GSR200 has Passive pickups, yet it has Active EQ? I'm not sure what that means :confused:

    But I certainly ned to try it out,
  10. I've got the RBX 170 and it's fine IMO. And with the Ibanez support in this thread I think it's safe to say you can't go wrong with either.
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Yamaha or the Ibanez would both make a great first bass.

    The Ibanez has passive pickups, but has an active preamp, which allows you to boost the bass and treble.

    If you go the Ibanez route, make sure that you get the one with the preamp. A lot of stores still have new old stock of the passive model, and will try to pass it off as the new model.
  12. Hella_Groovy


    Aug 31, 2004
    Richmond Va
    Yeah you can tell by checking the knobs. The Passive has 3 knobs: Volume/neck pup, Volume/Bridge pup, and Master Tone (which is what friends call me ;) ) The active preamp model has a smaller 4th knob with a sticker on it that says "Boom!", this is the boost knob. If you want more info on the bass, Bass Player Magazine reviewed it in the issue with Claypool on the cover. The editors gave it a glowing review.
  13. EternalDarkness


    Sep 22, 2004
    Thanks for the info guys! :)

    I must get the new Ibanez GSR200 :D it's good I now know it must have 4 knobs.

    Does the active EQ require any batteries like the 9 volt?

    also which bass overdrive distortion pedal do you recommend? :)
  14. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Yep. I've been playing one for 3 years and I'm just now begninning to look at new basses. GREAT starter bass.
  15. Get a Hamer Slammer!!!! They are less than $99.00 brand new with gig bag (plus free strap!) and sound excellent for the price! When you smash (or should I say, slam) it out of frustration, just remember the cheap price you paid for it.

    Don't waste your money! You might conclude that playing bass blows, and decide to switch to guitar, tuba, or something else.

    Good luck! :hyper:
  16. EternalDarkness


    Sep 22, 2004
    thanks :)

    are they easy to find and are they reliable?

    I can't seem to find them in any shop websites, maybe they are extremely hard to find like Staggs?
  17. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    US Northeast
    Here are some clips of the Yamaha RBX170, so you can get an
    idea of what it sounds like:

    <a href="">Yamaha RBX170 clips</a>

    Anyway, I like this bass. My only gripe so far is that the tuners are big-time crap. I'll throw in some gotohs or hipshots as soon as I can.

  18. Yes, they are very easy to find and very sturdy! ;)
  19. EternalDarkness


    Sep 22, 2004
    oh man, those samples are really sweet :D
    is the problem with the tuners that overnight, the strings go out of tune?

    I think I might be going to buy the Yamaha rbx170, I've many places that sell them, they are really light, and I've played one, I really liked it, and its cheap, cheaper than the Ibanez gsr200, and as this would be my first bass, I think maybe the rbx170 is my perfect companion :D That way I can be an aspiring bassist :bassist: It's a real shame I need to wait so many months to save money, I really want to start jamming some low end grooves now :bassist:

    I want to thank all the kind people here at TB for the help! I really appreciate it :) This is a great (massive) forum full of quality info.

    I might form a new thread in the effects section about distorted pedals.