First intermediate bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by craptastic, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. I'm in the market for the next step up from a beginner bass - logically, a good intermediate bass I could use for a while. I'm actually seriously considering stepping up to a six string, or maybe even a seven, but for now we'll work under the unlikely assumption that stay with a four.
    Anyway, I've progressed suprisingly quickly, especially considering that I don't really have a bass teacher. (Yes, I can read music, and yes, my technique is good. I'm not playing flat fingered or reaching over the top of the neck with my thumb or anything like that.) I need something on which I can refine my slapping technique (so it must have an exceptional slap tone [when played well, of course]), as well as something with which I could learn some double tapping. Preferably something within the $500 range. My favorite pickup combo is the dual humbucker combo that you would see on, say, the Schecter Elite 4. Fortunately, it's quite common. The P/J and J/J configurations are also good.

    Reccomendations? I realize the Fender Standard J-Bass, or possibly the Zone bass could be perfect for me, but I want to hear what you guys have to say first.
  2. i would say go with a MusicMan Stingray. they come in either 4 or 5 strings, have excellent tone, are great for slapping, and are extremely well built.

    i know this is way out of $500 range, but i would personally consider a beginner's bass to cost about $200-300, so just paying $200 or so more than what a beginner's would cost you isnt gonna get you that much of a better bass. when i consider a step-up from a beginner's bass, or a really strong intermediate bass, i would normally think you should expect to pay $700-1000. and i'm sure you could track down a good MM stingray used for in that range. i just dont think $500 will buy you what you want.

  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    $500 can buy him what he wants.

    craptastic, I recommend that you check out the MTD Kingston. It only has one pickup, but it is in your price range and is better than a lot of basses that cost twice as much.

    Here is a picture of the Kingston. The picture is a 5 string, but it is available in 4 as well,and the 4 is under $500.


    Others in your price range worth looking at are the Spector NS2000Q4, Dean Edge Yamaha RBX760 and the Peavey Fury 4.

    The Peavey won the Music and Sound Retailers new bass of the year award, but I like the Kingston better. But the Peavey does have 2 pickups, and they are the same VFL internallu active pickups that Peavey puts in their more expensive USA made basses.

    Here is a picture of the Fury.

  4. Well, I checked out the MusicMan Stingray, and I can tell you, the pickup, pickguard, and headstock are all major eyesores to me. (Note that this is OPINION, not fact. If you're a big fan of potato-shaped pickguards, that's fine.) Additionally, I don't like to have anything but volume controls (my AMP has a three-band EQ, thank you very much), but oh well.

    What do you guys think about the Schecter Elite 4? You can get it new for about $600, very slappable.


    Golden hardware, active pickups (...I THINK), a very cool finish, no inlays (save on the 12th fret), and a very nice feel (I've played both this and the five-string version before. I actually played the Elite 5 on stage once, but that's another story.)

    Yes I am indeed fourteen, and yes it will take me some time to earn this money. Fortunately, I can soon get a job, so it might be less time than I think.

    Again, how about a standard J-Bass? Sure costs a lot less. =)
  5. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I think the MIM Standard Jazz would be a good choice. Also mentioned before was the MTD Kingston which has very good reviews. Don't discount the used market, either. I've seen many American Jazz basses well in your price range used.

  6. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    Confusing. So your most important consideration is looks? The music man is a lot of bass for the money. If tone becomes your most important criteria then take a listen to the music man. Actually $500 is more like low end to me. $500-$1500 would be intermediate. Then up from there. If you want the perfect marriage of beauty and tone and price check into the Czech Spectors. The Kingston is a great bass for the money. I'm also considering the Lakland Skylines. Lakland makes very nice basses for the money. They use Bart pickups with active electronics. Of course the bridge is shapped a bit like a potato so you may not like them. But, then again no one every came up to me after a show and told me how pretty my bass looked. They have told me that it sounded great and really that matters most to me. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for you may need to increase your budget a tad. I'd also suggest considering a 5 as a practical alternative to the 4 string.

    Best of luck in your search. :)
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'd go with the Kingston. Those things are absolute beasts. Killer B string, great electronics, and playability that slays quite a few basses well over double the price.
  8. No way! As anybody who's ever played with TruBass strings knows, looks... aren't... everything. However, If I can get equivalent Stingray tone and killer looks for roughly the same price, why not go for it?
  9. The MTD Kingston is ok, but I wouldn't says "it's better than a lot basses costing twice the price". Who started this rumor anyway???? I have a Kingston 4 and I can tell you it's not much better, if any than a Fender MIM. . Craptastic. I would go with the Lakland.
  10. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    Ok, I’m with you. If you want a bass that looks something like the Schecter but that actually has tone I’d say the Spector is your bass. I just sold my Czech Spector for around $800 and that would be something to look into. Great finishes and very good tone. Some of the finishes on the Korean Spectors are very nice too and the tone isn’t too bad although not as nice as the Czech’s or the US model. I really think if buying new is your thing you should check the Lakland. I really wasn’t into them until someone on these boards recommended them. When I checked them out I was amazed at what you get for the money. You can also get a quilt top option on their Skyline series which probably looks great. I haven’t seen the quilted models.
  11. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
  12. Extreme. Do you play that bass? I have had a zillion Fenders and I never could play any of them with the pickup covers they make the bass look yucky! IMO.
  13. Well, not wanting to be a Negative Nancy or anything, I tried the Stingray today at Guitar Center, and I have to say it's not very impressive for a $1000 bass. The Elite 4 which I tried was, by comparison, a superb instrument. The slap tone blew me away! It was like that scene in Back to the Future where Michael J. Fox strums a power chord on this huge amp and it blows him across the room; way better than even the stingray.

    How 'bout no. =) Certainly not one of those monstrosities with the "ash tray" over the pickup, but a J-Bass... possibly someday.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

  15. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    So, the $300 Schecter blew away the USA made MM? Houston we have a problem. What kind of music do you play? Just curious. Really the HZ EMG's are nothing to get excited about. I'm pretty sure the cheaper Schecters use those pups. There are many aspects that make a bass a better bass. You seem overly fixated on cosmetic issues. Hey if the Schecter floats your boat I pretty much think you've got your winner!
  16. Well, it looks like you had your mind set on a bass before you posted. If you like the Schecter so much, buy it. It's all about what feels good to you.
  17. OneLuvIbanez

    OneLuvIbanez Guest

    Jul 28, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Very much agreed.

    Um Honestly though, and this is just my opinion,

    I was in the same boat as you bout 2 weeks ago, and I took a look at the Schecter, not bad for the under $500 price range, BUT, to me, it was to fancy, and didnt have the sound to live up to the look.

    What did take my eyes, and ears, though was the Austin Custom Eclipse Series 5 String.

    They Retail for about $449-515. I bought mine for $295. (dont you just love bargans)

    They also have 4 strings.
    [​IMG] (This is the color I got mine in I might add)

    They are very light weight, durable, and have an over all nice tone to them.

    How you said you dont want more than Volume controle knobs on it too, It has 2 Tone knobs (1 per pickup) and 1 Master Vol knob.
    Composite Material body, but nice. Nice Taught B, and the layout is very well spaced.

    Granted I know this isnt the BEST bass in the world, but for a Inexpensive, Intermediate bass, its a great instrument.

    Give it a test, dont like it, well than its not what you preffer.
  18. Craptastic looks like you already made the decision so you asking... I dunno...

    But here goes: my intermediate bass I already have... sort of.

    It's the Fender Standard MIM Jazz. Got it for $399 two years ago. Has behaved quite well. Slim neck... if you are 14 and your hands are not big that could help. Good sound...

    BUT... order replacement pickups to your luthier, like many here at TB have done or said they would (I can't coz no money) have them install the new PUPs (don't try it at home I wouldn't) and you have a quality bass for what? 600 bucks? 700 at most?

    So think about it: Upgraded MIM Fender with Barts or SDs... mm mmm mmm...

    4 or 5 string avaliable...
  19. WAIT! What if you go back in time?

    Didn't the Ibanez Musician of the 80s have the dual humbuckers???

    I'd search for that...
  20. Did any of you read my last post? :confused: I am *not* overly fixated on cosmetic issues, it was just the first thing I noticed, as would anybody else. When the bass is sitting there on my screen, it's the only educated observation I can make at first. I can't glance at it and say, "damn, what a feel!" I do not, however, judge a bass by its finish. That's why I went to Guitar Center. I tried the Stingray out, and I decided that while it is a good instrument, it's not for me. I had the Elite 4 in mind as what might be a candidate, seeing as how I played its five-string cousin on stage in front of several hundred people and it sounded like a 4/4 Stradivari, but when I actually tried it out in detail, slapping, pizzicato, flamenco strumming and all, it blew my mind. It simply performed better than the Stingray. I'm still open to suggestions.

    OneLuvIbanez: An "Austin?" I've never heard of them; where can I find them?

    BTW NewWaveBasser, I have big hands; I can reach from the first fret to the middle of the fifth on my 34" scale Squier Affinity P-Bass. (Why must I be cursed with a Squier Affinity P-Bass?) Size is generally not a problem.