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help a n00b, 6 string decisions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matt H, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Matt H

    Matt H

    Jul 30, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    Warning: Rondo and Ibanez questions. And before anyone tells me to refer to the search, I've done it. As well as reading roughly 140 pages of the rondo "megathread".

    ok, disclaimer out of the way. Here's the situation- I'm new to the bass (been playing guitar for years). I picked up a used mexijazz std (the kind that doesn't require anti-biotics) and have been having SOOOO much fun on the thing.

    However, i'm already feeling really limited on the 4 strings and narrow jazz neck.

    I'm a poor grad student, so the budget is the number one concern here. I can afford to wait a couple of months if necessary to find "the deal".

    Anyway- I've narrowed (i think?) the search down to two major options. Buy a used ibanez (most likely the SR506) or a new (or used, if i can find it from a reputable person, maybe on this board) Rondo 6er (Brice).

    I've got small hands, but i'm not scared by wide necks or a 35" scale. I figure if i can make the switch from a 24 3/4" gibson scale to a 34" fender jazz scale in three days, another inch on that won't kill me. Also, I'm used to les paul baseball bat necks, and my hands cramp on the tiny TINY jazz neck.

    So i could use some advice- which do i look for? A used SR506 at a great price? A new HXB406? think i'd have any luck finding someone to let go of their Neck through prestige Z?

    A lot of the information i read about the HXB's were on the original 34" scale ones (therefore, i'd say there's less issues with a floppy B). Additionally, I know that rondo's line tends to improve yearly, so I'm not surprised to find the poorest reviews came from 03 and early 04.

    I think the neckthrough "prestige Z" is out of my range now. Unless I could find one of those used (though have had no luck).

    However, I've found almost NO information on the Bolt on Brice Z bass. This model seems to be an alder bodied bolt on version of the neckthru (seems to be the same pickups/electronics/hardware) . It's certainly not going to "Break the bank" compared to the HXB406. But i'm not sure if it's much "better". And, on a petty note, I like the look of the HXB Bubinga and the new SR506 in the mahogany- not so thrilled with the Z's... but frankly- i can get over cosmetics REALLy easily (especially if i land a great deal).

    People complain about the electronics on all of these, so that doesn't seem to be too much of an issue to me. (damned if you do, damned if you don't- electronics on cheap imports are, well, cheap and imported).

    I really don't want to spend more than 350 (that's even pushing it, but I could do iit... I could probably swing 400 as well if i absolutely had to- but that'd need to include shipping and maybe a case?).

    What's a guy to do? I suppose this *could* be a "poll" type post. but I don't care about the numbers. I'm really looking for a discussion (based on what I've said, and other things I haven't thought about- you supply that!)

    Yes, this post has many many words- I'm looking for you guys to give me a really good sounding board for these thoughts and lots of feedback.

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I'm not going to be much help with the Ibanez decision .... I did have an SRX505 for a while, but it was kind of a one-trick-pony (loud and very aggressive) and not, as I understand it, indicative of the Ibanez line.

    I do have some very direct experience with the Brice line. My first 6 was a Brice Z6NT, excellent bass, I recently sold it after picking up a GT7. You're right, they aren't super cheap (by Rondo standards) anymore, and the price is about to go up again according to recent info from Kurt at Rondo. That said, the Z6NT is a well made, great sounding bass and if you can manage to get one used (not easy, people usually don't sell them once they get to play them a little) you should jump on it.

    The Prestige Z's (the non-NT's) are effectively the same bass but in a bolt on. Primary differences (aside from the BO vs NT) are in general body size (NT is slightly larger), balance (IMHO the NT balances better on a strap), and weight (BO is just a shade lighter). Electronics are the same, realistically the sound/tone is the same. Both necks are extremely playable, both have wide string spacing (19mm).

    The HBX basses are more of a slab body, as compared to the more sculpted bodies on the Z's. To me, the necks didn't seem as well dressed on the HBX's as they are on the Z's. Not to say the HBX's have bad necks, I just preferred the Z's. The electronics seem very similar, but I've never recorded with the HBX so I'm not 100% sure how they hold up in a recording situation. On live gigs, the HBX sounded great, but I preferred the Z's body style ..... that slab-type body just doesn't do it for me.

    Brice basses are excellent values, but if you read through any of the SX mega-thread, a lot of the info related to the difficulties in the SX set-up hold true with the Brice basses, as well. Be prepared to spend some quality time with the bass to get it set-up properly ..... :cool:
  3. Matt H

    Matt H

    Jul 30, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    thanks for the response! (54 views and 1 response.. hmm, either other people are asking the same questions- or people don't want to chime in)

    anyway- i've read many of your threads about the Z6NT, one of the reasons I actually started considering it.

    I know all of these guitars (especially the ones from rondo) will need a setup. I haven't done a massive setup on a bass before, but have on lead guitars. The specifics are different, but the general methods are the same, so I'm not TOO worried about that.

    It also seems that the HXB has wider string spacing than the Ibanez (between it and the Z series).

    Well, i think i'm just going to have to wait for a deal on something to fall into my lap. I can't quite swing the 450 on the z6nt, and if it's going up again- well... you get the idea.
  4. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    If you keep an eye on the 'bay, the HBX series does show up every now and then, as well as the older Brice V2 series (also very good basses, couple of guys here on TB have them). I wouldn't bail out on the Ibanez idea, though .... they seem to be somewhat more available and a lot of players like 'em big time .... :cool: