Help me buy a bass! :eyebrow:

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jzucker, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. jzucker


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Just some background,

    I'm the author of Sheets of Sound for Guitar which a guitar techinque guide to playing Coltraneesque types of lines on the guitar. During the last few months, I have been working on tapping, slapping and popping on guitar and Baritone guitar and I want to explore some of these techniques on bass as well.

    Some parameters:
    • 34" scale or less
    • Big frets
    • 12" radius (or flatter)
    • undecided on fingerboard but leaning towards maple
    • 4 string would be fine. I'd consider 5 or 6 string if the string spacing were fairly close.
    • I'd also consider a 30-32" tenor bass
    • Prefer bolt-on neck
    • approximately $1500 price limit

    Unfortunately, it seems that the local music stores have mostly student level basses so it's hard to try anything out first. Just wondering what recommendations you guys would have.

    In another thread, some folks have suggested the Peavey Cirrus and the Ibanez SR-900 basses.
  2. britrit


    Jan 22, 2006
    I think a carvin Bolt on would work well.
  3. BassDerek


    Aug 15, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    The SR900/905 is well within your price range, and in my opinion, a good value. Neck-Thru construction feels more solid and gives you better sustain and tone on that bass. out of all the under $1000 basses at the local shops, that is one of my top picks, especially with neck-thru at that price. I don't know if it is 34 or 35" their site doesn't say.

    Fretboard is rosewood, not maple.. It does have 24 frets though.

    Although reading now, you say you prefer bolt-on, so there is the Ibanez sr500/505, which have gorgeous natural finishes and all the things i love about the 900 minus the neck thru. The necks on those are pretty narrow, so string spaceing on the 5 would be closer together, like you suggested. However thats only a $500-600 bass and you might be able to find something better within your limit.

    Thats my 2 cents
  4. well you've eliminated 40% of your bass choices.... other than that we'd just recommend you to pick out a bass we like, no idea what you want.
  5. jzucker


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    True but since I know virtually nothing about bass brand names, I was hoping to get yay-nay kind of status about warwick, tobias, etc.

    I should mention that I'm a huge fan of Jaco's and Gary Willis' tone and I'd consider a fretted Willis bass though they seem to be fairly rare. I also love Victor Wooten's sound on his Federa Tenor bass. I'd consider spending more money to get something like that though I don't know if I'd go above $2500...

    And I love Louis Johnson's tone for slapping...

    I wouldn't rule out a glued in or through neck but it seems that with guitars, the through-neck instruments seem to lack a bit of character. Maybe it's not an issue on bass. I had a through-neck Kawai some years ago that sounded very good. Very Alembic-like...It was a relatively cheap instrument.

    I guess I'll just have to buy several different basses! :)
  6. BassDerek


    Aug 15, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    In the bass world, neck through seems to be a bit backwards of the guitar world. Many basses with neck thru are higher quality construction, feel more solid, and have a better tone/sustain.
  7. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I disagree with this statement. Just my personal opinion though. I think there are MANY Bolt-on neck basses with top notch construction, and with plenty of tone and sustain. I would not choose a bass for neck-tru or bolt-on alone. If it played and sounded good, and was well constructed, I wouldnt limit myself to one preference or the other personally.

    I think the OP should maybe check out a Fender American Jazz Deluxe. Its above your price range, but worth looking at in my opinion.
  8. Yeah, I hear ya, you'll get yea-nay on any brand of course.

    But now you're talking! You know honestly Fender is Fender. If you get a nice CIJ or MIA Fender (try before you buy, some are sketchy). Fender is just going to be "that tone" that fits into almost every style of music. I'm a fan of ibanez too. Their thin neck profile is very appealing to me and both of these basses sit well standing. Geddy Lee jazz fender has a neck profile similar to ibanez. Both have wider string spacings on 4s then you would on a warwick or something like that. It's probably easier to record with the Fender but both will work or course. I honestly recommend both Fender, and Ibanez as great starter basses.

    Starting out, anything probably will work. The peavy cirrus and warwick etc etc are great guitars. I just think that as one really bonds with an instrument, they'll know which type they want really. I come from guitar backgroudn as well, I went with ibby for it's thinner neck. Felt more at home with that. The Gary Willis bass is outstanding. Of course I unfortunately played the fretless version and I didn't play the lower level of it, but it was a very high quality bass. One of the best I've seen Ibanez do. Good luck with your choice.
  9. jzucker


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    That has a 9.5" radius if I'm not mistaken. I'd like at least a 12" radius for tapping. Also, fender seems to use really heavy woods in those american deluxe guitars and basses. I've owned a couple of the American Deluxe Strats and they were very nice. Does the American Deluxe Jazz bass use Lawrence SCN pickups like the guitar does? Those pickups sounded great on guitar.
  10. Mongo Slade

    Mongo Slade Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Northern New Jersey
    Find yourself a used Alembic Spoiler for less than $1500
    Flat neck, neck-through, big frets, narrow spacing, active electronics, and 32" scale to boot.
    Not a bad looking bass, either.
  11. jzucker


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I had one of the korean skyline's with a rosewood board a while ago. It was the $699 model. It was nice but the neck was a little spongy (wobbly).

    Can you enlighten me as to the difference between their different models? Which ones are US made?
  12. jzucker


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    ended up buying a warwick corvette from guitar center. It's great for slapping. I liked it better than the Ernie Ball or music man (even with the maple neck). It's also got a thin enough neck that I can wrap my thumb around to mute the A string when playing slapped patterns starting on the low E string! The neck width is about like the Fender Geddy Lee but the neck is deeper.

    The only negative thing is it doesn't have the clarity or growl of a fender jazz for fingerstyle but in most other ways it was the best bass in the house.

    Action is very low and it's perfect for tapping...
  13. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    sounds great man. as valuable as talkbass suggestion is, it just comes down to doing what feels right. warwicks are great stuff. enjoy!