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Good <$1500 basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scott D, Apr 21, 2004.


  1. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey, I've decided that I'm going to go for a bass in this price range. I would prefer something used. I've done searches, and haven't come up with much. I found a used Ken Smith 5 for $900, but i'm not sure about that. What good basses are currently in this price range? I've heard alot of good stuff about the Lakland 44-02/55-02, but i've never played a Lakland. I want either a fretted 4 or a fretted 5. I saw a F-bass BN5, Benavente Single-Cut, and some other intriguing ones in this range. What do you think would be a good bass in this range? I've got about ~$900 right now, but I do have a steady job, and will easily be able to come up with some more in the future (and birthday money). Thanks for your help.
     
  2. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Spector would be a good option to try out. the CFRM Czech basses are about $1500 new and $700-$1000 used, depending on the stain and 4 or 5 string. IMO, these are some of the very best basses for the price. Spector also makes a USA Jazz 5 string that's about $1800 new and $1200-$1500 used. You can find them every now and then on ebay.

    Mtd has several nice models in the the $700-$1500 range that you could look into. Also, the Lakland is definately worth a look. Keep your options open- the there are probably more quality basses to choose from in the $1000-$1500 range than any other price range. Good Luck!
     
  3. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Second the Spector suggestion.
     
  4. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, I"m not really into spectors too much. I've seen a few Zon's in this price range, but I'm hesitant to get an expensive bass that i've not yet tried out. I'll try and find some higher-end dealers around here.
     
  5. rusty

    rusty

    Mar 29, 2004
    Singapore
    How about a used Roscoe? :) The fbass sounds like a good idea if you can get your hands on one... :)
     
  6. man the choices at that price range are plentyfull... but id never throw over $600 at a bass that ive never played before unless it was from a reputable source and at a price that would allow me to break even or make a little money when i went to resell if it wasnt to my liking... start hitting up the websites of brands you like to look for dealers in your area and play a lot of different things to see what does it for you
     
  7. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, I've spent the majority of the night searching, and i've found something that really sparks my interest. A Zon Sonus 4-
    [​IMG]

    $1000.
    What do you guys think? I've never played a Zon before, but i've heard alot of good things. I really dig Single-Coils, especially barts. I dig ash bodies too. Does this bass have a trussrod? It's on consignment at a shop in NC.
     
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Zons do not have a truss rod. That is a good price. Can't go wrong with a Zon!
     
  9. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    But what if I don't like the action? Is the action generally low? What is the tension like? Does it sound reminscant of a J-bass?

    Thanks,
    Scott D.
     
  10. Is the Ken Smith bass afformentioned one of his U.S. customs or a KSD? If its one of the US custom ones and you dont want it at that price i would like it!!
     
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    hamletnavalforce, that Zon will sound a lot like a Jazz bass, but more modern, and more tonally flexible. Zons have very low action.The tension is similar to most good quality 4 string basses.
     
  12. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Wow, this thing sounds right up my alley. So this is a good price for this bass?

    Nick-the Smith is a US Custom. (90's Burner 5 w/ Kent Armstrong J/J and 2 band active/passive HAZ LABS Pre.)
     
  13. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Nick-here's a pic of the Smith... It's not totally out of my mind, but I don't know if i'd want my main bass to be a 5. If all checks out, i might be going for this Zon! I've loved the looks of them ever since I've seen one...I found a Zon dealer around here (www.planetbass.com) but it doesn't have this model. I think i'm going to check them out, and see how zon's are in the tone/feel dept. Also, there's a Burner of the same age at a GC over here, so I might want to spend some time with that. At this consignment shop, they also have a sweet MPG Level 5 for $1000. It's got some KILLER Birdseye maple going on... here's a pic of it...
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    oops, I also forgot to ask... What kind of Pre's come standard with the Sonus 4? Are they 9V or 18V? Sorry about the huge barrage of questions, i'm just sort of excited.

    Thanks,
    Scott D.
     
  15. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    It's a 9-volt.

    That particular Zon is one of the earlier Sonus models, with Bart pickps. The transparent finish makes it a deluxe, as opposed to the standard models that had solid finishes. I've owned one of those and I miss it immensely.
     
  16. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
     
  17. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Romeo,
    Are you looking for a 4-string or a 5? You've shown us both. You generally pay less for a 4, so if money's tight, that would be a good way to go. Are you comfortable playing a 5-string?

    I was also going to suggest the Pulcinella. In fact, I almost bought that very model. I have never played one myself, but you will not find a bad review on his basses on this whole site.

    I've had 3 Zon basses. They are all very consistent in quality. I had the fingerboard go bad on 1 of them. BIG BUMMER! I wish they had truss rods -- and a more comprehensive warranty. :(
     
  18. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks for the help guys. I really appriciate it. See, i'm not too sure if I want to have my "Main bass" be a 4 or a 5 yet. I do have a 5 right now, but the 4's are getting alot more play time. I'm sort of shying away from the MPG because I know there will be no way that i could try one out around here, and i don't really like soaps. I really dig single-coils. I've listened to some Zon clips, and this thing really sounds like something i'd be into. But i'm not sure yet, I've seen a used Benavente SC5 for only $250 more than this, an R-bass 4 for $250 more, and a F-bass BN5 for about $350 more. So i'm really not sure. I do have an opportunity to try out the Ken Smith, there's a used one (that model) at my local guitar center (but it's $1399 and doesn't look nearly as good). Do you guys think this Zon would be a good bet? I'm planning on calling this store today and getting a little more info on it.


    Thanks alot,
    Scott D.
     
  19. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    I'm sure you would get some type of test/approval period if you're ordering over the net.
     
  20. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    Turkey-Istanbul
    I say buy the Zon. If you don't like it you can, or want a breeze you can always trade it with some cash. Thats the good thing on better basses.
     

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