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Getting Cheap With Age?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    When I first started working, I thought nothing of spending pretty big bucks on gear, and I owned the highend basses to prove it. I then went through a lean period where I couldn't spend what I wanted on gear and learned alot more about budget basses like Peaveys, TBC, and other makes. Now, things are looking up again, but I find myself getting cold feet about spending past a certain point for a bass. The bottom line is that I have no doubt about the quality of highend basses, but I keep coming back to the fact that playing is a great hobby for me. None of my gigs is paying, and I just cannot justify spending beyond a certain amount for a hobby.

    Please don't get me wrong, I have nothing but love for all bassists, whether you rock on SX or a Ritter. I am not envious nor do I feel deprived. I just feel that my limit somewhere under $1,500 and frankly half that sounds even better!:D

    I just thought I would share.:)
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I'm right with you. $1500, give or take, still gets a pretty nice bass, I think. My Ric was it that range, and nothing wrong with that. I have a band I play with for mostly fun, occasional parties, and a writing partner who I record with, and hopefully that becomes a gigging band, but in the meantime, I'm quite content right where I'm at.
  3. I have a good job but I also have many commitments, five cars to keep running (including two for daughters who are disposing of plenty of $$ in college) and plenty of other things to do with $$.

    So far I haven't spent more than $250 on a bass, and I'm really having to work myself up to think about spending $500-$600 for a Jack Casady. I don't plan on spending as much as $1000 for a bass in the foreseeable future.
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I feel ya. I have never owned high end gear or do i gas for it. The only thing i gas for is a few vintage basses which will never happen :meh: I get off on getting the best sound and playablity out of decent or cheaper gear. Getting compliments on my sound feels so much better knowing i did it with a $400.00 bass and amp. My most expensive bass was $650.00 on the floor but i traded another bass for it and only paid like $200.00 out of pocket. Amps are the same way just got a Fender 250/210 combo at GC on the labor day sale. It was $649.00 GC slashed it to $499.00 so i got it. I now will sell off a few other cabs and combo's i also bought on sale or used to pay it off.

    Years ago I competed semi professionally in another gig. I was know then as top of my game and a master of using decent to cheaper gear to beat others with gear that cost way more than mine. It was more about what i did with the gear than what i payed for it . Bass is no diffrent.
  5. Bue92


    Dec 7, 2007
    Trondheim, Norway
    You can get a great bass (Easily if you buy used) for 1500$. Not a problem.
    A 1500$ bass is no cheap bass, though :)
  6. responsibility grows with age
    unfortunately our budgets cannot grow equally

    in 1991, when I started playing, I was single and had MORE than enough

    now I'm married have 3 kids, a mortgage, things cost at least double and I have enough, but just...

    my bass budget? ~$500 and that's only if I make room (3 bass limit....for now ;) )
  7. broadblik


    Aug 10, 2008
    Sheffield, UK

    God I would kill for that kind of money to spend on gear, even my Warwick only cost me £665 new
  8. OhThePeacock


    Sep 15, 2007
    Wausau, WI
    Although I would love to own a bass that exceeds the $1000 cost, at this point in time that is just not feasible for me. The 3 basses I have bought (2 of which I still own) were about $150, $500 and $700 respectively, that is what I'm able to afford and I can still get good tones from those basses. I would be completely happy with a $200 bass if that is what I could afford. Basically, anything that's in my price range at is what I'll be happy with playing. :)
  9. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    For me, price is not as significant as the enjoyment it brings me. My situation was reversed, in that when I was younger I was a poor graduate student living on Ramen noodles and the like.

    I'm lucky enough now to be in a much better financial position, so I can afford some higher-end basses, but I'm just as thrilled with my $800 Reverends as with my $2500 NYC Sadowsky. If I ever found a MIA Fender that "turned my crank" as much as the Sadowsky does, I'd gladly sell the Sadowsky and pocket the difference (which I'd probably blow on another bass, LOL).

    If you're plenty happy with an inexpensive bass, more power to you. Nothing wrong with that. I was hoping that my heavily-modded Squier VM would be almost as good for me as my Sadowsky, but no matter how much money and effort I put into it, I just couldn't get it to play nearly as well as the Sadowsky. YMMV.
  10. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    This is another one of those threads that I should show my wife :) -

    "See, honey, this guy is LIMITING himself to $1,500 for a new bass!" This line fits right in with, "See, honey, this guy owns TEN basses!" :smug:

    I just bought a new G&L Tribute L-2000 for about $550. I believe I can make it sound as good as any boutique bass, I believe it plays just as well, and so, yeah, IMO spending anything more than $1,500 is not money well spent. :bag:

    I'm not saying I would never buy a boutique bass, but right now I just can't justify it, even if I were making tens times as much money. By the way, I only own two basses (my next one will probably be a fiver).

    Good luck, Cheese. I think you'll spend wisely.
  11. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    That's great logic, Doc Fromage.

    My gigs happen to pay, and for the past few years I have ended up funneling most - but not all - of my gig earnings back into gear. I'm now where I want to be, and the most expensive bass of the three I own is an MIA Fender P that I paid less than $1,000 for. I will probably be pocketing more of my gig money now. Well, not my pockets. I still have two kids in college...

    I have always told people that I consider myself lucky to have a hobby that is self-supporting. If none of my gigs were paying, I would certainly own less expensive gear - much less expensive.
  12. Since this is a hobby, and I am only an average player at best, I have a hard time shelling out big $$ for high-end gear. I have two basses, an Ibanez EDB-600, bought for ~$325, and an 84 Fender MIJ P-Bass, bought for ~$280.

    I cruise TB, Ebay, and Craigslist all the time, but can't justify adding to my stable, or upgrading with something pretty and expensive.
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Remember L665 is about $1,100, so you are not that far off.
  14. I'm indeed getting old, my second backup bass (that I take to gigs from time to time) is an Ibanez SX1EX2, $220 as it had a tiny scratch up in the top of the neck that I can't even reach with my fingers. Works fine.

    I still think 80% of the sound comes from fingers and the brain. A massive body bass is fun to have, though, stronger vibrating low end.
  15. willyrep


    Mar 4, 2008
    New Orleans
    I feel like if you're more than just a hobbyist and actually a working musician, you should be able to make your money back from a bass purchase after a few gigs. The nicest bass i play out with is an older version workhorse Marcus Miller sig jazz(in white) that i got used from a good friend when i moved down to nola. I think it may have cost me 500 bucks, and after gigging 3-5 nights a week for the last 2 years, it has definitely proved its worth.
  16. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    I have never spent more than $1323.72 on a bass, and probably never will unless inflation does something stupid.
  17. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    When you have options like G&L Tribute or my personal favorite Lakland Skyline its really hard to spend >$1500 on an instrument unless you are a full time player or have more than enough disposable income.

    I bought a Lakland 55-01 new for $760 and it is amazing...did I say amazing, yes amazing. I had a Stingray 5 and I like my Korean made Lakland better to many ways to mention.

    I'd still like a nice P-bass and nice J-bass to replace my Franken J Bass but I would not spend more than $1500 or probably even $1000 unless I had to.
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Let me clarify, $1,500 is an absolute limit for me. To buy a bass that costs that much, I will be doing some scrimping and saving or else GC will have one of those pay it off in 12 months interest free specials and even then I will probably sell something to knock off several hundred dollars.:bag:

    Most of my purchases are more in the neighborhood of $200-$600.;)
  19. I'm starting to have a change of heart toward budget basses since I purchased my Squier FVM Fretless. It's actually a very decent bass, and I've since installed Bartolini's in it, so now it sounds like a much more expensive instrument.

    I've had MM, Ric, early Steinberger, a beautiful 2007 Carvin LB75AP Anniversary which I got brand new so it cost a pretty penny, and just acquired my '08' MIA Jazz V, so I've got and have owned what I consider high-end basses, to me.

    But now I'm looking for a MIM Jazz V so I can install my Bartolini pups in, I think the MIM will be totally decent in quality for what I need it for and that is a backup stick for my MIA Jazz V.

    I don't see myself buying an expensive bass for sometime.:)
  20. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    After playing professionally/semi-pro for some 30 years, I finally spent more than $1000 on a bass for the first time this year.

    There's plenty of killin' choices around these days.

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