First Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by findmyself07, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. findmyself07


    Aug 8, 2003
    Hey everyone. I'm new to the site, so first of all, hi! Now to the point... I definitely am going to buy a bass and begin playing, and TalkBass seemed like the best place to get advice from real people on which bass to purchase. So if you guys could help me out, I'd really appriciate it.

    I want to know which bass would be the best to purchase as a bass to learn on (when I get better, I'm planning on buying a better bass). I don't want to spend a lot of money, under $400, the lower the price, the better. So I figure that some of the basses that are in this price range aren't of the best quality, but hopefully you could help me out with which ones are good to start out with. I plan on playing rock/alt-rock music.

    If you could give me some suggestions on basses to purchase and/or some 'beginniner' suggestions, that'd be great. Thanks so much! Rock on.

  2. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Hey Danielle,

    Look for a Fender Made In Mexico (MIM) Jazz Bass. They should be in your price range, if you look around, and are very versatile. You don't want to get one with a bowed neck. When I bought mine it was pretty warped. I bought it with the condition that the warp could be taken out and stay out. They set it up correctly, strung it with some GHS Boomers and it's been an awesome bass. Get something you can stick with for a while, you'll save money in the long run. :D
  3. Hey Danielle,

    I agree with the Fender MIM option. They are cheap, close enough to a real Fender, and will last you for a while. Plus Fender Precision is kinda like the 'standard' for rock bands, so you cant go wrong.

    I also agree with looking out for warped necks. You want to make sure the action (distance between frets and strings) close to the neck is approx the same as close to the pickups. Warped necks will have HUGE action close to the pickups, and you can even notice the curvature of the neck. A little is normal.. too much is no good.

    Another good starter is the lower end Ibanez.
  4. I will second both suggestions. If you can find a MIM (Made In Mexico) Fender used in your area it should run you about US$225. If you can't find used, Essex might be the way to go. You can find them at
    Those run about US$135 shipped. From what I've heard, those are excellent basses.

    Good luck! :bassist:
  5. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    Forget about Fender MIM. Or Squier. Or any 2nd handed Fender.

    Just get an Essex for about $140, or less. Then get the superb Behringer BX300 30 watts Ultrabass combo amp. T his amp is LOUD & CLEAN, for its power rating and $$$. Built like a tank. (I use it for recording myself.) for $99. A GOOD cable ('s instrument's cables are excellent quality. DEAD QUIET and dirt-cheap too. Under $10 for a pairs of two 10 footers.) A good tuner for about $15 like the Korg. And you'll be set for happy bassing for a long times to come.

    Until you're good enough for your world concert tour. ;)

    I've owned 5 real old Fenders (3 of them basses. Two pre-CBS. Still own 2.) I also have an Essex fretless P, and a j-clone by TEAM. Both are superb clones. Nothing's cheap, as in sound and quality, in comparision to Fender but the price. I've been playing bass since 1967. The Essex is better than most MIM Fenders I've played in shops.
  6. I got the Essex BG205 (its a 5 string) and it rules! I got it for $143 shipped (across the country, from NJ to CA) and it is my favorite bass I have. I'd go for one of the Essex 4 string basses or an Ibanez GSR200 (my first bass) which is like $200 or so on Otherwise, go for one of those MIM Fender Jazz basses. Also, what kind of music are you looking to play? That could help in getting us to give you a more detailed "search" on what bass you should get. ~ Tyler
  7. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    i say go for an essex bass, i personally haven't tried one but i hear incredible things about them.
    if you do decide on a MIM fender or a squier be sure to try it out first because the quality isn't always consistent.
  8. karmapunk


    Jul 15, 2003
    ibanez gsr 200. that was my starting bass, and i kept it for 9 months. Extremely versatile and easy to play. sounds pretty good, especially for the 200 dollar price. A heads up tho, the nobs and wiring can get banged up easily.
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    MIM Fender Jazz Bass. I am selling mine, it is in great condition, i highly suggest you take advantage of the offer. PM me if interested.
  10. I would suggest the P/J Essex really. I use a PJ ESP B50 currently and I find it versitile. But a SX is so purity :)
  11. Man, I've like abused my gsr200 and it still works perfectly fine...those things are tough as hell.
  12. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Most people here will tell you to get an Essex, although thats their opinion and I respect that, its different for everyone, I started with a MIA P Bass (recently stolen :() for about 700$ and I kept it up all to the point I got it stolen last week (I've been playing for about 2 years or so)... I would recommend a MIM Jazz for the sake of decent resale if you keep it in decent condition, or if you want to keep it instead of buying a boutique bass, a few hundred bucks into it, get a J-Retro or some other nice preamp, some nice pickups, blah blah and its a bass I wouldn't mind taking to any gig myself! :)

    ~Just my 2 cents for what its worth, what I'd rather do but might not be for you
  13. findmyself07


    Aug 8, 2003
    Thank you so much to everyone who has replied so far! You all have given me a lot of great insight into which bass to purchase. I've been looking around at reviews and such, and I am pretty sure my choice has been narrowed down to an Essex or Fender MIM. I really like the Essex SJB-62 TM... does anyone know anything about this bass or would you recommend a different one?

    Keep the suggestions and advice coming- it has been so helpful so far! Thanks again!

  14. Go ahead, that's a pretty good bass. Just my .02 ~ Tyler
  15. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    its an extremely good bass (the essex sjb-62) i have the lake placid blue one, and it is perfect. i can't believe it was only 143 with shipping. its really good. i used to have an MIM P-bass, and the essex totally smokes it in everything-sound, playability... etc... its a perfect bass. i've been playin for five years, and i love this thing. get it, you won't be dissapointed.