Help with decision...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RookieBassist, Nov 27, 2001.

  1. I am new to playing Bass. It started with my love for listening to basses, then into my friend leaving his cheap 4 string yamaha bass at my house for over a month. I played it quite a lot during that time. Since christmas is coming up, and my gf just happens to be working at a music place, she gets 40 percent discount on any bass they can order, which is anyone that is made basically.

    I obviously have price restrictions, but I can get a bass for at the max of about 260 with discount, but then I still have to get an amp. Should I skimp on guitar and get a 4 string with passive thats cheaper, or 4 w/ active. Or even a 5 with active. What would be a nice bass for me to really start out with. Thanks a lot for your time!
  2. PJR


    Jun 20, 2001
    N.E. PA
    ...what basses have you played on , so far ??
  3. I guess my answer would have to be his (I am thinking it was an RBX264, very inexpensive) and a cort curbow at a local mars music.

    I dont want to be over-zealous and get a really nice instrument when I shouldnt be getting one so nice, but I dont want to start out with a pos just cause its so cheap, you know?
  4. PJR


    Jun 20, 2001
    N.E. PA

    You might want to consider a MIJ or MIM Fender...
    ...they can be had for pretty cheap.....and are most often very good players !!!

    ..just a suggestion... ;)

  5. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    High Wycombe, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    the rbx smokes the curbow out the water, then throws it to the groud, elbow drops it, then sais "hahaha, i'm better then you"
    umm, so get that
    i still got my RBX, after getting my new Bass Collection 5 string, and frankly i reckon i'll probly keep it, its the best budget stock bass out there!!!!

  6. Are you kidding Si-bob?
  7. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I think so...
  8. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    ask yourself these questions:

    Do you like Fenders? Or are you into something more modern? Do you want to be a 5 string player? It is best to start on a 5 string bass because it is harder to switch over if you start on a 4. Are you going to be playing in any bands in the next year or two that would require a bigger amp than say... 15 watts?

    Once you assess your needs it will be easier for us to recommend you stuff. But it looks like you already know more than the average newb right off the bat because you know what active electronics are.

    Anyway, my basic newbie rig recommendation is the 20 watt Peavey Microbass amp and a Fender standard series which is made in mexico, or "MIM" which is talkbass slang. And dont hate the peavey amp, the microbass is quite possibly the best practice amp on the market. And its 20 watts, which is more than your average 12 or 15 watts. There you go! :D
  9. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    For your budget Rookiebassist I would avoid basses with active electronics. On medium to lower end instruments the electronics are usually not good and you will end up wanting to replace them. I would go with a Mexican Fender Jazz bass or a Mexican Pbass. If you need something that has more of a modern sound look at the Yamaha BBN4, the MTD Kingston or the Dean Edge series.
    For amps take a look at ebay, you can probably get a decent Peavey combo amp for less bread than if you use your girlfriends discount. Good luck.
  10. Thanks for your help, and let me answer your questions.

    I would like something more modern. Say the body styles of a Yamaha etc, you catch my drift. I would also like to begin on a 5 because obviously it is more versatile and you are correct, it would be harder to switch to. I just really want that low b string. I doubt I would be playing in a band but you never know, since I am surrounded by "musicians" every day at school.
    I would occasionally do some simple jam sessions with some college friends of mind, but for those I wouldnt need anything more than a 15, but that 20 watt Peavey intrigues me.

    Thanks for your support and help!

    PS - I have found the exact amp you were talking about for a great price. Thanks! lo-end and KeithPas
  11. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    High Wycombe, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    why would i be kidding?
    the RBX is the best budget bass out there, even better then fenders IMO (but then i'm not fenders biggest fan :)

    get the RBX boyo, you'll never regret it
    oh, and i strongly recomend on not getting a 5 string, not yet anyway. i suggest u start at the beginning, lests be honest, u won't use it! especially if your not in a band. I got my 5 with a high c so i can play more chordal things solo bass etc 4 wen i have no band projects on the go

    start with a 4 string RBX, and if 1 year/2 years down the line u wanna progress, and u find that a B would beneficial and not just there for styles sake, then get a 5iver
    just my opinion


    u wouldn't get a B out of anything less than bout 90watts
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    When starting out, the bass is much more important than the amp. After all you play the BASS, not the amp :D

    You can get great deals on used amps so I'd advise going that route; a new amp loses 25% of it's value as soon as you leave the store with it. You can get the typical small "beginner" amp (something with an 8" speaker) for about $50 used. For $100-200 you can get amps powerful enough for jamming with friends and even some gigging (something with a 15" speaker and 50-150 watts of power).

    For a beginner buying a first amp used I'd stick with Peavey or Crate as they are cheap, plentiful, sound OK and are reliable.
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Play as many different basses as you can in local shops, and pick what looks and sounds best to you. If you want a little more specific advice, narrow it down to 2 or 3 basses that you like and ask us pros and cons on each one.

    You've already been given good advice on the amp. The Peavey Microbass is the best starter amp on the market.

    As far as the number of strings, what kind of music do you like and want to play? Do most of the bassists you like use 4 strings or 5? There is no need to start a 4 and work your way up. If you think a 4 is what you want to play, great, get a 4. If you think that you will need a 5 to play the music you are wanting to play, get a 5. And I would definitely not get something with active electronics unless you are wanting to spend quite a bit of money. Most basses under $700 that have active electronics have very poor electronics. In this price range, you are better off with passive.

    Good luck, and welcome to Talkbass.:)
  14. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I don't know if i would start out on a 5 string just so I could already have that low-b. 4-strings is plenty for any bassists... I think that 5th string may hinder your ability to progress. I could be wrong.... I play on a 5-string now.. and to me it was easy to make the switch... just my 2 cents
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I wish that I had started on a fretless 5 string. I can't imagine how good my technique would be if I had been playing fretless 5 for 21 years.
  16. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    i would suggest you start on a standard 4-string also, as most likely you'll only be using that big fat B as a big bendy thumb-rest when you first start out anyway :) shy away from "Fender" Squiers, because while cheap, they're really shoddy basses IMO (i started on one, and was disatisfied with it for the entire time i owned it). an Ibanez might be the go - you can get them really cheap and they sound very good when compared to some of the other lower-budget basses around.
    most importantly, don't buy a bass that is such that it discourages you from wanting to progress because you can't seem to get a decent sound out of it. and if the idea of a fretless ever crossed your mind, forget it :D unless you like the sight of a disembodied bass lying shattered against your bedroom wall, that is :p
  17. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Get a used bass. Go to a local music shop and get an old bass. Try them all. It's like a car. The value of a new bass is about 60% of what it was once you take it out of the shop. Get a nice 80's/90's standard bass like a Fender, G&L, Yamaha, Aria, Ibanez...just keep in mind your first bass may not be your best bass. My first car was a Vette...a Chevette that is. Work your way up. Good luck.
  18. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I disagree with two things about your post. First of all, it is a good idea to start on a five because you WILL use the fifth string. When you learn to play a five as your first bass, you utilize the B a lot more than someone who was trained on a 4 and then switched to a 5. Also, I hear many reviews about the Peavey Microbass, which is 20 watts, that say it can pick up the low B very well. You shouldnt just say an amp cant produce the B unless you've actually tried it out.

    As for Rookiebassist, may I recommend the MTD Kingston 5 string. Its a very modern design and has the best B string in its class. To get a better 5 string you'd have to pay upwards of $1500. The only 5 string bass that I have tried that was better than this one was the Musicman Stingray5, which costs something like $1600. You could probably get one used, but it would still be above your price range. Might make a good second bass though? But lets not get ahead of ourselves... :D

    Anyway, the MTD Kingston 5 can be had for around $450 new.

  19. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    High Wycombe, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    in my opinion, theres two types of bassist, theres the bassist who picks up the bass because no-one else in the band wanted the job, they learn on the fly, and buy gear that there faveroute band uses and playes like them. Then theres a bassist, who's interested in all types af music, who wants to be the best player they can and excel at every style and technique etc. now for that kind of player i think that starting on a 4 string is important because it allows the begenner to hone their technique, develp there style, and not have a floppy B string (excluding the kingston :) getting in the way. Don't get me wrong, i know there are a lot brilliant bassist out there who use 5 strings (hell i'm one of them :) but i feel that wen your beggining you'v gotta keep it real, wen u relise u wanna upgrade then do so. I have a friend who brought a 5 string, and he playes a lotta metal!, now he said to me that if he had the chance he woulda brought a better 4 for the money if he could go back.

    in summary, i thihk its better for a beginner to not get bogged down in what they think they need, before they know how to do it justice!


    i don't want this to become a nasty thread, i'm interested in other people views on this....HAVE YOUR SAY PEOPLE! :)
  20. A lot of good points are being made. I do basically already have my mind set on the peavey mircrobass since it is 20 watts and can be had for a good price used. The bass on the other hand I dont have my mind set on. As much as I would rather have a 5 string from the beginning, it seems as if the majority says to get a passive 4 string, a nice/decent one that is, from the start. So I might end up doing that. If I do, what would be the best 4 string I could get for 400 or less new? With modern style such as the MTD Kingston, Yamaha, and Ibanez guitars.