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Good Starting bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HiThereJimHerald, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. HiThereJimHerald


    Mar 27, 2015
    I have been playing our school's bass for about 8 months now,and i've been looking into getting my own.The price range i'm looking at is $0-$400.So far these are the bass guitars that have stood out to me.This first one is a Short-Scale Ibanez Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar | Musician's Friend The Second is the Epiphone Thunderbird Epiphone Thunderbird IV Bass Vintage Sunburst | Musician's Friend and the third is the Epiphone Eb-3 Epiphone EB-3 SG Bass | Musician's Friend I'm looking for a guitar that's got a good solid loud tone.
  2. Those are all decent. You may want to check out Squiers as well.
  3. Bill Thompson

    Bill Thompson

    Sep 19, 2014
    All of the basses are not bad choices, but you should go for the best one you can get for your money. Only thing to add is, Thunderbirds have a problem with neck dive because the headstock is so big. Cheers. ;^D.
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  4. Torn Bassist

    Torn Bassist

    Feb 8, 2013
    When I decided to try fretless I purchased a Squier Vintage Modified and was surprised about the quality of the bass, you might want to take one (or a few) for a test drive....Spector also has a few basses from Korea that might be cool to try, the Legend series is cool and you can find these in the classified section.
  5. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you don't have any compelling reason, I'd stick to a full scale and avoid the Mirko.
    fourstringgirl and bholder like this.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    If you have $400 to spend, seriously consider ordering a Sire M3, it's about the best bass for the money I can imagine. Easily competes with much more expensive instruments / major brands.
    Edit: Nothing wrong with the basses mentioned, but I sincerely believe the Sire M3 is a far better value if you're buying new. Of course, there are some very good basses on the used market in the price range as well, but I really don't think there's much that matches the Sire.
    Malak the Mad, jamro217 and joel406 like this.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Unless you really know what you want, you can't go wrong with a Precision or Jazz (or clone) - accepted and known design, good resale, easy to work on. For that price, I would at least check out used - Craigslist, TB classified, etc. It's a buyer's market right now.
    jamro217 and tastybasslines like this.
  8. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Check the whole Ibanez SR series, the SR300 is a great bass for the money, SR500 even better for a little more. As others said, Squier VM series are a great deal. I think the VM jazz is z little more versatile
  9. Try the SBMM SUB Ray4. $300 bucks brand new. I got mine barely used for $200. Nice necks and good growly tone!
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Squier Precision Bass.
    Squier Vintage Modified Cabronita Precision Bass Black | Musician's Friend

    These are used basses in mint condition.
    Used Squier Classic Vibe '70s Precision Bass Black | Musician's Friend
    Used Squier Mike Dirnt Signature Precision Bass Aged White | Musician's Friend
  11. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    I've never laid may hands on one of these, but they certainly do seem like a great value. May be a fantastic 1st bass.
    OP, $400 can get you a good used bass in good shape. As others have mentioned, Ibanez SR's, Squier VM's/CV's, and Sterling By Music Man (SBMM) Subs are good starting points. There are tons of deals on used basses out there. Your budget should give you plenty of solid used options.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
  13. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    Welcome to TB. It may be a good idea to get used to the long scale basses available (34" or so). Short scale basses aren't the norm, and if you're starting out on one you may encounter a bit of a shock when you upgrade to a standard. Check out the used market for bargains, be clear on the return policy and always have someone who is familiar with basses conduct a thorough inspection before buying. It's a good idea to try the bass out in person before purchasing, although with online retailers that's tough. One thing in your favor is that you seem to gravitate towards Gibson style basses. These are usually less expensive than rival Fender products. Hope this helps.
  14. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    If those are your three choices I'm not going to try talking you into something else.
    Go for the Thunderbird, but check Guitar Center and get a Thunderbird Classic Pro with the Gibson pickups. New, they're $499, but you can find a used one for less.
    There's one on ebay right now for a little over $200 with only a day to go.
    Selling my Thunderbird Pro IV was my biggest bass mistake!
    I'll buy another one, for sure.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  15. Malak the Mad

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

    Of all the $500 or less (brand-new, that is) basses I've tried and/or owned, two really stood out to me by their versatility and power; a Squier Classic Vibe Jazz and a Fender Blacktop Jazz. Both were capable of ranging from "mellow" to "aggressive", depending on the settings and how I play, and were excellently built.

    A new CV Jazz goes for $380, but I've seen used ones on eBay and Guitar Center's used database for around $250.

    Used Blacktops are a bit more rare, but when they pop up, I usually see them go for $350 to $400. One little side-note, even though these can be "mellowed-out" by soloing the neck pickup, both together at/near 100% turns it into a roaring-freakin'-beast! Like I said…quite versatile. ;)

    Also, what @bholder says about the new Sire V7 is being echoed by a lot of satisfied customers. I only wish I had the space and budget for one at the moment. It sounds like an stupendous bass for an amazing cost.

    Whichever way you decide to go, enjoy the Hell out of it! Welcome to TalkBass!!
  16. Jonithen


    Dec 3, 2012
    Seacoast NH
    Go used. You can get something in a weight class above your posted budget. I'd say just get it in person, I had a bad start to the year with multiple disappointments. If you can't find anything decent or within your budget in the local area, then I guess going off the shelf or ordering online would be on the table.
  17. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    For an entry level budget conscious buyer, nothing better, at least new. I was actually suggesting the M3 4 string rather than the V7 (4 or 5), because it's about $100 cheaper, both are excellent deals. Loving my M3, easily stands with much more expensive basses. This ain't no Squier or SX...
  18. Malak the Mad

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

    D'oh! :facepalm:

    My bad, but I'll still stand behind my reporting of the V7's reviews. :)
  19. LT131


    Jan 25, 2015
    Deep South
    If you live near a GC or other of the larger music stores I'd strongly suggest going and test driving anything you can. For a newer bass player fit, IMO, is more important the tone. Look for neck and body comfort and balance. If you find something that feels right that is out of your budget start looking used and get an experienced person to help evaluate. Or, buy from a source with an ironclad return policy.
    400 smackers can get you a lot of bass these days. It can get you a decnt little practice amp too.
    tastybasslines likes this.
  20. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    This makes alot of sense.

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