Gear Upgrade

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LightForce104, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Alright, it's that time. Upgrad'n time.

    My current (extremely beginner) rig is a Squier Short Scale Jaguar going into an Ampeg BA-108. I am the on-call bassist in my friend group, which means I end up playing songs by Nirvana, the Foo Fighters, America, the Beatles, Two Door Cinema Club, and many more, from a wide range of genres.

    I have $800. I have almost no way to buy used. What do you suggest I do?

    Addendum: I'm also looking at the Blacktop Jazz bass, but that will run me $500.
  2. Splods


    Oct 7, 2012
    Adelaide, SA
    My first recommendation would be a good amp. The Ampeg BA-108 is good (I use the 110 for small gigs myself) but I find that you need to crank it a lot of the time, and that is not good if you are relying on it.

    As for your bass, a lot of people really love the SS jag (an old friend has been gigging a silver one for the past 4 years) So I don't really see a need to change yet. When the time comes, I would suggest looking at something MIM or MIA, but your bass will not fail you for a long time.

    Have fun and remember to enjoy the groove.
  3. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    Seattle WA area
    LF, why can't you buy used?
  4. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    Squier makes some excellent products these days, so unless you don't like your jag, you shouldn't change it. That said, I feel a Blacktop Jazz would be a step up in quality, and it would provide you the versatility you would need. All that said, you will need a better amp if you're going to be on call. Focus your money on that first, and if you have extra, a new bass, or even new pickups for your jag.
    DrummerwStrings and codycon96 like this.
  5. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I once had it and still recall it

    $. 500.00 goin'?

    $. 300.00 and you can get a line6 lowdown 150w bass combo

    it's a tilt back combo worth 12" speaker, factory amp modelling

    I can assure you you can gig with it among many occasion.

    But if your goin' to keep it for long, at the very same price you can look for an Ibanez promethean 3110

    the number stays for: 300w in 1 10" speaker

  6. Well, I can't use craigslist or ebay, and the stores around here don't carry much used gear.

    Keep the suggestions coming, guys. I just want as much feedback as possible.
  7. shrigg

    shrigg Beta Tester for AudioKinesis Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Traverse City, MI
    Keep the amp and hunt for a good deal on a P Bass or a Jazz Bass!
  8. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Have you had a chance to physically try out a Blacktop Jazz? If not, I can post a sound clip created by a fellow TB'er. If so, what is it that makes it stand out to you? For me, it was the sheer, roaring aggression that pushed me into buying one.

    Have you talked to anyone at Guitar Center about shipping out to the Islands? I know they'll ship all over the continental U.S. for $25, but I've never thought about Hawaii. But come to think of it, that might get complicated since there are apparently no GC's out there to return a dud to.
  9. shrigg

    shrigg Beta Tester for AudioKinesis Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Traverse City, MI
    +1 GC ships for real cheap, that may be a great option.
  10. Haven't actually played one. I have heard sound clips, but if you could post some, that would be fantastic.

    Shipping appears to be about $60. MF shipping is close to $40.
  11. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    I think you should be putting that money first into an amp, dude! That Ampeg just isn't gonna support all the kinds of gigs you can do. I'd look into something with more speakers and watts. I always feel that an average bass > great amp will sound better than the reverse.

    And those Jags are good, man! I have a couple students who have them, and when I plug them into my rig (Orange TB500 + a couple cabs), they sound big as hell! Great tones, which can cover all the artists you listed. *maybe* try upgrading the pickups in them, but that's about it.

    I'm tellin you, man, a bigger amp will make for a more practical upgrade on an $800 budget
  12. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Ask and ye shall receive!

    Do bear in mind, the clips author, audiomitch, is using a pick. It adds a bit of twang-iness to the attack, but it surely doesn't detract from the growl.
  13. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    The best new bass you could get with that amount of money would be a Fender Mark Hoppus.
  14. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Can you borrow the bass rig in your friend's group?

    Or do they have a nice PA with good monitors and maybe even a subwoofer?

    If they answer to either of those is "yes" then by all means get that Blacktop Jazz and continue to save the rest of your money towards a bigger amp later.

    If the answer to both of those is "no" then keep your Squier (nothing wrong with it at all) and go ahead and shop for a larger amp.
  15. Well, it seems to be a general consensus that upgrading my amp, then pickups. Thank y'all for the assistance, Feel free to add anything else if you want to.

    Malak, I just want that Blacktop even more than ever now, though.
  16. Amp! I recommend GK. Look at their newer MB Series combo amps. Great sound, portable, and you can easily add a second cab later if you need it (you might not, I've never needed more than a single 410 cab).
  17. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    All in due time. I got struck with Blacktop-GAS the moment I first plucked it's E-string. It's rare for a bass to make me do a double-take. Even more rare is when it makes someone else do the exact same thing. Swear to Bob, when mine first came in to GC, I un-boxed it, plugged it in and at that first pluck someone twenty feet away did the same double-take I did. :eek:

    If you want more input, advice and opinions on them, check out our Blacktop Club. And if you ever get one, let us know and we'll get you fixed up with a number and everything.

    Ciao for now!
  18. jamersonburton


    Jul 22, 2011
    $500 total?
    Hmmm... as mentioned above, a good amp is important.
    Buy used (but make sure *good* condition!).

    If you look hard, you might find a killer deal on an GK MB115 (Most likely wont be able to get the GK AND a new bass < 500)
    Ampeg BA115 (nice subtle-ish upgrade)

    Fender Precision bass
    Fender Jazz bass
    Epiphone Thunderbird (watch out for neck dive though...)
    Squier classic vibe pbass
    Squier classic vibe jbass
    Sterling by MusicMan Ray4 OR Ray5 (latter option if you want the 5 string model)

    If you still have extra left over,$25 for new strings (on avg), setup, pickups, hardware... whatever you can get if you feel your purchase is missing something.