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Good mid-price range basses? ($500 to $600-ish)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ben709, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Ben709


    Mar 15, 2011
    I've been an occasional bass player for a couple of years now, drums being my main instrument for much of my life (granted I'm only 18 years old), but I've been finding myself playing more and more bass lately, and my drums have been collecting dust. My current bass is a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz, which is nice for the most part, but I'm starting to consider upgrading. I have very few preferences or biases as far as basses go, mainly because of my limited knowledge and experience. I want a solid, dependable rock bass that I can hold onto for a while. I find the neck of my bass too be maybe a bit too thin, so I'd like to stay away from toothpick necks similar to it. I'm willing to spend up to 5 or 6 hundred if I find one I really like, but of course I have no problem with spending less than that! ;) So please, start recommending basses to me! Thanks in advance!
  2. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    The Ibanez SR500 is worth playing. If you dig the fender thing, a Mexi fender would be worth playing, but I don't think it'd outplay your VM squier. What about the squier is it that's making you want to upgrade? Maybe it just needs a good setup job?
  3. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Yeah, I don't think a MIM Fender would be much, if any, of an upgrade.
    Check out the G&L Tribute Series, Lakland Skyline 44-01, or the Sterling by MusicMan basses. All would be very nice additions to your Squier. Look used, especially here in the classifieds. Your money, especially in that range, will go much further. And half of the basses for sale here are like new.
  4. Ben709


    Mar 15, 2011
    I've looked at the Ibanez SR500, definitely a contendor, as I used to own an Ibanez and I really like them, plus the finishes the SR500 comes in look really cool. The Sterling by MM's look very nice too, I'd definitely like to try one. And the reason I'm not entirely loving my Squier is mainly the very thin neck on it - I have fairly large hands and I just don't find this thing comfortable to play for long periods of time.
  5. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Just so you know, but I am no expert, but Ibanez is famous for their thin necks.

    You may just want to move sideways and get a decent P bass. For $300, you can pick up a damn fine Squier CV '60s P. A P neck sounds right up your alley.
  6. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    You could put a P neck on the VM Jazz. Most people are normally going the other way (jazz neck on p bass) so hey are normally available.

    But agreed with the 4401, SBMM and G&L Tributes. They are good quality instruments.
  7. Ben709


    Mar 15, 2011
    Maybe the P bass is what I'm looking for. I haven't played a P bass recently, but I have heard that their necks are bigger than J necks. As for the Ibanez thing, I did like the neck on my old Ibanez (GSR105EX), but the fact that it was a 5-string probably made it a little bigger than a 4-string would be, therefore making it more to my liking. I'll have to try a 4 string to see how it feels, and I'll definitely look at some P basses!

    On a side note regarding Fender/Squier, I'm under the impression that a higher-end Squier would offer similar quality to the MIM Fender, despite being less expensive. Thoughts on that?
  8. _Sasquatch_


    Sep 27, 2009
    Peavey Cirrus BXP...600 bucks at your local guitar center. Pretty damn good playing bass for the price.
  9. BigOldHarry


    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    USED Carvin or G&L.
  10. Orpheus55

    Orpheus55 Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Port Charlotte, FL
    The new Yamaha BB424/425 are on special pricing from MF; the new ATK is a solid-looking bass too with a comfortable neck (I had an ATK700 which I stupidly sold twice...hey Stan, sell it back to me?); Spector Lgend Classic can be had for around $500or less new and even less used. A Hwy 1 P would be great too.
  11. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Marietta, Ga
    This or the SBMM line.

    Definitely buy used if at all possible.
  12. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Used active Musicman SUB. These run $400-$500 and are a great value.
  13. Need2KnowBasses


    Aug 30, 2010
    You can find many great basses in your price range buying either used or new. For buying used I recommend the Talkbass classifieds, Craigslist and Ebay.

    New Models/Lines that I would recommend in your price range.
    G&L Tribute
    Spector Legend
    Warwick Rockbass
    MTD Kingston
    Cort A4 (I've never tried one of these but they look nice and are built with quality components. Cort also builds basses for other manufacturers like G&L. This is probably the most bang for your buck you will find buying new at retail price)

    If you are going used two of my favorite manufacturers are Warwick and G&L. There are many great options out there. I recommend getting your hands on as many basses as you can at local shops and try to refine what you are looking for. What type of necks do you like? What do you prefer in pick ups? Do you want something with simple controls or something with more options? Look around and figure out what works for you.


    Dec 29, 2009
    If you're fine with Squiers, check out Vintage Modified Jaguars. I would definitely consider them for rock. Precision pickup in the neck position and a Jazz in the bridge with seperate tone knobs, it's an outstanding bass.
  15. Ben709


    Mar 15, 2011
    Great post, thanks for the suggestions. (Same goes for everyone else posting here, I appreciate it!) As far as my preferences you are asking about, I do not have strong opinions on many of your questions yet, as I am fairly new to playing bass :p All I can say as far as necks go is that I want something comfortable for my hands - not extremely small like my current Squier VM Jazz, but I don't want a tree trunk either. My old Ibanez GSR105EX neck felt quite comfortable to me. I have no preference in pick ups either, I've never tried active electronics so I don't know if that's something I would like or not. And for controls, I want a bass that can produce nice tones, if that means playing with a zillion options to get there, so be it, but simple controls that get the job done would probably be my preference.
  16. SaucyJackBass

    SaucyJackBass Supporting Member

    May 6, 2009
    Depends what kind of music you play, but don't cut short the Traben Chaos Core.
  17. Antny


    Jan 30, 2011
    New York
    Try out a Spector NS2A . Chunkier neck than a Jazz, has a P and J pup configuration, active controls, very wide range of tones, great for slamming hard rock as well as slap. You should be able to find a nice model for less than $500, usually in the $400 range.
  18. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    First thing's first.... go try a P. If you don't care for it, then start looking at everything else:cool:
  19. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    And if you decide you want a P, find a used fender MIJ one. They're great, and can be found for $500-600.
  20. Need2KnowBasses


    Aug 30, 2010
    That is where the going to shops and getting your hands on everything possible comes into play. How do you find what necks you like? Try out as many as possible. How do you find what you like in pick ups? Same answer. Go to as many shops as possible and check out everything you can. With a little time and patience this should help you get a more specific idea of what you are looking for.