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Guitarist Needs Bass Advise

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by A6stringthing, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. A6stringthing


    Feb 26, 2020
    I am a guitarist with a studio full of Gibson & Fender Guitar’s and Marshall and Friedman amps. So I know that side well. Recently I got a cheap Sterling MM bass so I didn’t have to bug friends to lay bass tracks. Now I’m bitten by the bass bug lol. I really enjoy the other side lol.

    So now I want to buy a better bass. I was thinking MM but then figured a Fender P bass. Or should I go Jazz? So I think I settled on a Precision with a Jazz pickup as well since it’s only for recording. So now I need to figure out rosewood or maple? Ash or alder?

    I played and enjoyed an American Performer P Bass. Is that a good upgrade or should I go with the elite series? I think I prefer the passive tone.

    I write and play mostly rock. Some favorites are AC/DC, RUSH, Tesla, Black Crowe’s, Triumph but I also love ABB and Steely Dan and TOP.

    Sorry for rambling trying to give a good idea of background. Any advise would be great!
  2. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    A P-bass would work just fine. It doesn't so much matter how high-end of a model you go with (IMHO). Its more important to find one that feels & sounds good to you. There is also no reason to get rid of the Sterling, it can give you some more options for tracking.

    If you want a more versatile bass check out the G&L L2000. People refer to them as a "swiss army bass" cause the controls allow for a lot of variety. I think they sound like a cross between a stingray and a jazz bass. Despite being really well made, the used market for US-made G&Ls is kinda soft so there are often great deals to be had.
    nFinnyD, Gilmourisgod, Mr_Moo and 6 others like this.
  3. A6stringthing


    Feb 26, 2020
    Thank you! Agree on keeping the Sterling. It actually sounds really good believe it or not. I’ll check out a G&L. And since I don’t want to go crazy money wise I was liking the American Performer.
    Bass Man Dan and Reedt2000 like this.
  4. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Job one for a studio that wants to have bass gear is to get a P-bass and an Ampeg amp (or suitable sims in your DAW). That stuff is going to get you most of the places you want to go. If you wanted to do something Rush-flavored, more bass forward, you might want to bust out the Stingray or a Jazz bass.
  5. A6stringthing


    Feb 26, 2020
    Thank you! I have some UA Ampeg plug ins that sound great. I plan to get an SVT pro 2:oops:r something as well. Right now I have a PF500 that sounds decent.
  6. Sounds good from here. Kind suggestion - focus less on the hardware and own that sound, it is timeless and wonderful...
    smogg and A6stringthing like this.
  7. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I should have bought a new $300 SUB stingray instead of my 2002 MIM Fender Deluxe Jazz bass that I paid almost $500 for used.
    Bassdirty likes this.
  8. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    This is a good explanation of why a P bass works so well.

  9. I recommend a PJ if you are going to own a single bass.

    Performer vs Elite? Depends on the particular bass. You can turn the Performer into active or the Elite into passive if you like; but if the wood quality & resonance & feeling-good isn't there, those can't be added later on.

    I would definitely pick a resonate & lightweight Performer without dead spots over a heavy Elite with a dull E string. Believe me, both exist somewhere in the market.

    Theoretically though; the Elite is supposed to be a higher quality & more versatile instrument.
  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I myself don't own a P-bass. I have owned one before. It was my daily driver in the early- to mid-80s. Mostly I've moved on to more modern sounds. But here's why so many session cats do the P-bass thing.

    dmt and A6stringthing like this.
  11. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    A passive P-bass won't always get you the girls but you won't get kicked out of most studios either. You want sexy...get a Ric.
    mikewalker and A6stringthing like this.
  12. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    I'm going to buck the trend, and say Peavey T40. Very, very flexible sonic palette and modestly priced secondhand compared to the boutique fender clones.
    There are even charts floating around on this forum that show how to dial them in to mimic a range of different basses. Only drawback is they're legend for their weight, but in a studio, that should be less of an issue.

    Edit: I'm going the other way, so I bought a PRS Standard 24.
  13. A6stringthing


    Feb 26, 2020
    Great video!
    king_biscuit likes this.
  14. A6stringthing


    Feb 26, 2020
    They do sound good! Definitely has more treble. As suggested I am going to keep my Sterling as a different tone. It plays great.
  15. A6stringthing


    Feb 26, 2020
    That’s too funny! I had one and liked it. I’m Definitely a Gibson guy. May get a EB-0 one day because I love the bass on the first Boston record.
  16. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    I have 2 Sterling 5 stringers (licenced by EB made in Indonesia), the SUB is the one I leave at a studio...That bass can sound allot like a P if you pluck it near the neck. The SUB, which has a high output pu, works great with flatwound strings, super punchy (I use Labella Low Tension because they feel like 10y.o. worn flats) so that's another sound option as well. The Sterlings have a unique comfortable but not too thin neck, you can try tons of basses and not find one that plays better, and there are so many options available, your second bass upgrade might be a revolving door. (that's why I have 12 basses) I recommend the Schecter CV for a do it all sound option, P, Jazz, PP, PJ are all doable. (It almost has as many sound options as a Peavey T-40 but a few lbs lighter)(it's still aint light being ash)
    nFinnyD and DiscoRiceJ like this.
  17. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    I still regret selling my L-2000 years ago. It is indeed the "swiss army knife" of basses. With just a few clicks or twists you can get that thing to sound like a whole bunch of other basses and they are (for me anyway) very comfortable to play. My L-2000 was the first bass I ever owned that I thought sounded great with roundwound strings.
    A6stringthing and Reedt2000 like this.
  18. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended Supporting Member

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    Just about every studio I've been in has a passive p that's set up for their equipment. I've always used their basses for tracking. I've read that rosewood is the preferred fingerboard for studios, and that's been the case in the studio basses I've used.
    A6stringthing likes this.
  19. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    I, too, started on the guitar side, and from my perspective basses are a lot less tone-sensitive than guitars. By which I mean I think there's a greater difference between the tone of a Tele and of a Strat, than there is between the tone of a P and of a J. To my ears, anyway. YMMV, and that's fine. I generally prefer brighter-sounding instruments overall, so for me it's all Teles and Ricks and Jazzes and such. But that's as far as I'll go.

    Get something ergonomically sound (as far as nut width) and with a decent amp, it'll sound fine as long as you can play it well.
    A6stringthing and Mr_Moo like this.
  20. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Pro studios are very time concsious operations, so it makes sense for them to be able to get a sound quickly that experience tells them how to fit into the mix well. Doesn't mean it's best, just efficient. A self owned studio, not on the clock does not have this issue.
    Mr_Moo and oldfclefer like this.

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