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Guys! I need advice on my next purchase!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TheIndieKid, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Hello guys,

    I’ll give you a bit of backstory first. This idea toying with my brain is probably a result of Aspergers Syndrome I have, and me being a very impulsive buyer who has to be told no to see common sense when purchasing things. Of course, when it comes to bass gear and the ever lasting quest for tone :smug:, it’s not a good position to be in.

    Anyhow, for absolute ages I’ve been sold on the idea of a Lightwave bass. The theory behind how it is kind of the successor to magnetic pickup-equipped basses really appeals to me. I had my heart set on it. Five string strung with TI Jazz Flats was gonna be perfect, and would probably be the perfect accompaniment to my lil’ Fender MIJ Mustang strung with LaBella 760-MUS flatwounds.

    Now, here’s the kicker...and I’ll add the fact I’m very easily swung in opinion if the idea is convincing enough, but I had my heart set on a Mesa Walkabout 1x15 combi at one stage. I don’t know why, but I jumped on the transparent gear thing and forgot about it, but I’ve been reading some things on amps these past few days, and how nothing apart from FRFR monitors and DI’s are flat response and they can be too sterile for pleasurable listening. I also read that most basses need some EQ added anyway to play in different rooms (which I knew anyway, but just didn’t really give me eureka moment till now :laugh:), and tubes stress the even order harmonic thing and sound a lot more three dimensional, full and sometimes, more pleasing in a mix. I’m now in limbo with whether I should go down the original path of the Lightwave Bass or see if I could get this Mess Boogie combo (which has an all tube preamp). About 3 months after purchasing a PJB Double Four for practice in my room. I also figured what’s the point in getting an ultra transparent bass, if the amp doesn’t reflect it.

    I’ve asked this question to my tutor and he mentioned that I should get the bass (this was before I bought the Double Four. I didn’t mention about the Mesa Combo) , because there’s no point letting 300 watts/£1,600 sit around just for bedroom practice, sometimes through headphones. My grandmother, who I live with has also said the same. I’m not gigging yet, but I’ve just joined the music academy band, and ultimately, we’ve been told we are going to do a gig. Who knows what could evolved from there? 300 Watts is more than enough longevity for an amp with an added 10” port too. It’ll handle gigs good.

    Anyway, I think you’ve heard me waffle on enough, but this is a bit of backstory just to help you give me some advice based on my scenario, but I was wondering if you could advise me on what I should do? I know if I say I’m going to buy the amp, my grandmother will say no and disagree till the worlds end, but what would you guys say/or do?
    Novarocker likes this.
  2. RickyT


    May 29, 2015
    Dee Why
    I can't help.....but......£1600 for a 300w combo!?!?!?! That's a joke right? Misprint?

    No freaking way would I drop that kind of money on a combo. You could get the most killer 700-1000w amp and 212 for that kind of price. Shop around dude.

    Edit - I just did the conversion to Australia $$....that's $2700. ***! I could buy the rig I have now, Darkglass Microtubes 900 and a used Ampeg 810, for that much.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    Rip Van Dan and TheIndieKid like this.
  3. I know. It’s very expensive. I think it’s bevause of the use of tubes in it. I think it’s four tubes in the preamp. And the fact Mesa is “off the shelf boutique” if that makes sense. Not a lot of places I know sell Mess gear. Although to put it into context, the 1x12 version is on Thomann for just shy of £2,400.

    Edit: by the way, thanks for reading through that hefty autobiography (might as well have been :rollno:). I suppose some people might be put off at the length of that post. Thanks for giving your advice too :)
  4. RickyT


    May 29, 2015
    Dee Why
    Tubes aren't that expensive.
    Mesa is not "boutique".

    That's an absolute rip off. Obviously it's your money, your call. But I definitely wouldn't be dropping that kind of cash on a combo.
    andruca, Westsailor and TheIndieKid like this.
  5. This tone you seek, how do you know it'll work with other musicians ? Nothing wrong with any of your wants but could you be somewhat too focused on the gear rather than how the gear will fit in ? Course I could have picked you up wrong and your desire is for the wonderful TI jazz flats to be heard :) No sarcasm, I happen to love TI flats myself.

    Save your cash. Get some experience playing with others, see about renting a Mesa and if it works for you. I'll do a quick look for UK gear rental OK.
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  6. I get what you’re saying. I know there was a lot of information there. I kinda waffled and lost myself in there. Maybe I do need practice. I do know that my LaBella’s fit nicely in the mix, but I just want a bit more oomph to my sound and a bit more versatility. But don’t bother with the looking up rental. I don’t suppose it’s a long task, but you don’t need to do that for me :) I appreciate it, but I don’t want you using up your time on that, when you could be searching for Gear for yourself ;)
  7. Maybe I’m wrong about the boutique part- I just figure they’re not in abundance like other manufacturers. What’s your opinion on the Lightwave bass? That’s about £1,300 I think. My thoughts behind that is id like a new bass. My Mustang was £520, and so moving up in scale length, amount of frets, sound and the fact it’s fretless would be an upgrade I guess,
  8. TheIndieKid likes this.
  9. I’m a little way from Bristol and London. That is the only trouble. I’m from Birmingham. I just wish there was a tube combo that was cheaper or what not. Guy at the music academy has an original Fender Bassman with the original Jensens in it. Oh I wish.

    Doesn’t help that I’m really sold on the idea of a combo. Portability and all, but it also greatly restricts my range of purchase. I mean, I’d love something like an Ampeg PF-50T but even they’re topping 800 bucks.

    Would you go bass or amp? Or stick it out with my current stuff? I just feel my bass isn’t that versatile.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    kodiakblair likes this.
  10. Birmingham !! Ok That means I can narrow the search :) Early start tomorrow so I'll get back to you later.
  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Rent before you buy.
    Bass gear especially amps/combos ... sound very different
    outside of a music store.
    Happy hunting.
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  12. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    I have two Lightwave basses and I love them. Shop around and get one used. Save some money. I might be selling my fretted one soon. I have too many basses and have been playing fretless most of the time. Of course, shipping would probably be a killer from the US.
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  13. madmaskbass


    Apr 29, 2008
    Do you like the Double Four? That's a pretty high quality practice amp you've got there...

    One of the great things about conventional pickups over the lightwave is that they are pretty interchangeable with differently voiced variants and styles of pickups from other brands. The light wave system may be great technology but it has not been adopted into the mainstream popularity..there are reasons for this and I don't know enough to go against it tbh..

    IMO get yourself a nice bass that speaks to you..lightwave or not..maybe something with greater versatility than the mustang as you say this is a weakness..PJB makes incredible quality gear that is easy to make sound good. Unless your band is going to be crazy loud the PJB coupled with a D.I into P.A (again depending on the gig...could work in the beginning.

    Biggest advice is to try to buy quality secondhand gear to mitigate the shock of the devaluation of your gear..facebook and gumtree are the go music store catalouges should only be reference points IMO

    Good luck with it all mate...Honestly most of us have been where you are I sure have spent huge $$$ on gear over the years and have lost lots too lol...as long as you find happiness and joy then it is all cool!!
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    IME over the past few decades, obsessing over equipment will not elevate your bass skills.

    Focus on your practicing.

    When you need an amp to gig, it's easy to find one.

    Save your money until you have more experience.

    Your room tone is not what you'll gig with.
    You have time. TB will still be here.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  15. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    You can try the Army surplus store...
  16. bfields


    Apr 9, 2015
    Ann Arbor, MI
    OK, cool, but what specific problem does this solve for you? What are you expecting to be able to do with the Lightwave bass that you can't currently do with your Mustang?

    In general I find I make better decisions when I start with the problem I'm trying to solve and then figure out what tool would best solve it, rather than finding a cool tool and then trying to figure out what I would use it for.
    Rich Fiscus, TheIndieKid and Stumbo like this.
  17. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    I don't play well.
    As someone who owns both combos and separate heads/cabs, I don't believe that combos are more portable, compared to separate head/cabs of same output. Especially one with a tube head. I personally find most gig-worthy combos quite un-portable, some people have to learn this for themselves though.

    If you like the PJB, I would either invest that money in a "gigable" PJB combo, or look into adding one of their powered cabs to your existing combo. If you dig that transparent sound, then why bother with something else? Particularly something that sounds absolutely nothing like your rehearsal rig.

    I would not spend that kind of money on a new bass unless I could play it (or others like it) first or there was a very generous return policy. But, I don't think it's a crazy amount to drop on a bass. If you're a new player, however, I think it's a bit much.
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  18. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    How well do you play, and what are your realistic playing/gigging plans and timeframe? What is your realistic budget? Realistic...

    Sounds like you have a big ol' case of GAS.
  19. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Bada Boom.
  20. stevej1982


    Sep 24, 2013
    The nice thing about the combo you have is that it is a blank canvas,it's a great practice amp because you hear all the nuances of your playing, it also a great base for a gig rig because you can add a pjb powered extension. Not every gig needs a crunchy tube sound especially if you plan to gig and wind up doing covers or theatre work, but for the gigs that do require it, and if you are playing in a band that has more creative freedom then best bet it to add a character preamp pedal, like a sans amp vt, a tone hammer or dark glass pedal
    TheIndieKid likes this.

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