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Help with Fender Geddy Lee

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wrigley, May 26, 2002.

  1. Wrigley


    May 26, 2002
    Hi. I'm new to the forums, and just started playing bass not too long ago as well. Normally, I would just lurk around and read through posts, but everyone here seems willing to lend a hand (or opinion), even to a newbie bassist.
    Here's my dilema. I'm buying my first real bass. My previous two were a 4 string Gecko (I've never heard of it either) and a really dumpy 4 string Peavey Foundation. I know no matter what I choose it'll be a huge improvement. I've narrowed down to two 4 string basses:
    The Fender Geddy Lee sig
    The Tobias Heir
    I need something thats very "comfortable and playable". Like eveyone else I'm also looking for great tone too. A search through the forums revealed that everyone seems to really feel that both of these are a very good value. I'm wondering how they compare to eachother - like plusses and minuses of each. My friend was visiting from out of state, and I got to play His Geddy Lee, and it was pretty sweet. I haven't had a chance to see the Heir in person - nobody around here carries 'em (but noboday has the Geddy Lee either). My only concern is that a few people have mentioned having to make a lot of set-up cahnges to adjust stuff (neck, saddles). One guy even mentioned having to have the frets adjusted (filed maybe?), but this may have just been a single case. Being fairly new, I'm not sure how easy or difficult stuff like this is.
    I could also splurge and go for the Fender Stu Hamm model which really impressed me. But, since I'm on a budget (about 15-18 hundred for everything), if I go for a better bass, it cuts into the money for a good combo (or amp and cab).
    I'm just looking for some thoughts since a lot of poeple here seem to be familiar with both basses.

  2. Wrigley


    May 26, 2002
    I got to check out the GL again today. It seemed pretty tight, even through my crappy combo. Does anybody have any thoughts as to how it would compare to the MTD Heir? Thanks for the help.

  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I love my Geddy Lee Jazz. I've never had the pleasure of playing an Heir, though.
  4. Even though these may be near the same price range, they really won't have the same tone, plus they will definitely feel different in your hands. This is one where I think you just have to see which bass you "bond" with. I heard the MTD Kingstons (and I assume the Heirs as well) are just incredible for the money. You get that nice asymetrical neck, too. I imagine there will be a few more tonal options. However, a Jazz bass is, well, a Jazz bass! Even with my high end MTD (which I love to death), I sometimes hanker for a nice classic Jazz bass...Just to have it.
  5. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Never tried the Tobias Heir. (Are you sure you don't mean the MTD Heir?) I have played a Geddy Lee. I liked that bass very much. The Alder body/maple nech has a great full sound and lots of punch. I personally prefer that sound over an MTD Kingston I tried. (BTW, this is one worht trying too.)

    I support your decision to save a lot of funds for the amp. I see a plenty of players with very expensive basses played through poor quality amps. What's the point? It just kills the fine tone coming from the bass. I would rather play an average bass through a good amp anyday.
  6. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    hey, welcome aboard, man! the geddy bass is a real player, as is the heir...i played a couple at bass northwest the other day. heck, i even played their used fender urge, the stu hamm bass. honestly, i would go with the heir...i'm tellin' ya, man, that's one mean sounding bass. and the one i played had a sweet subtle birdseye maple fretboard. awesome...one thing i would like to add, though...geckos _are_ real basses ;) play as many as you can, and happy hunting.
  7. Wrigley


    May 26, 2002
    embellisher: I saw on a couple other posts that you had a GL and really liked it. Are there any major drawbacks too it? Would it be fairly straightforward for a beginning player to use?

    lo-z: You're right, I am talking about the MTD Heir (my bad). Thanks for the tips on going for the better amp. That seems the smartest thing. A lot of players seems to have a couple basses (some even more). But how many people have two or three stacks? Got any recommendations for the amp?

    Neptoon: Thanks for the input. I have seen many posts on this page about the quality of both these basses. Too bad I haven't been able to really spend time with either of them. I played with the Geddy a little, but not much. Everyone seems to really like both of them. You said you preferred the Heir to the Geddy Lee. What were the reasons?
    BTW, I feel better that I don't own the only original Gecko. :p
    Thanks for the help so far.

  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The only major drawback to the Geddy Lee, for me, is that it just doesn't have enough strings.;) I wish that it were a 5 string. But it is a really good Jazz bass, with a very slim neck. It has the Fender Custom Shop 60's pickups, which sound very good IMHO. And it also looks great too, with the maple board and black block inlays.

    Some people have said that it doesn't have enough booty, but mine sounds great, plenty of bass.
  9. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I was in the same boat you were when those new tobi's came out.

    I didn't play the tobi but I went with the Geddy.

    I have had a couple of problems with mine being the tuners and I want a bit more sustain.

    any big musicians that you really take after?

    I have a few suggestions but I need to know what type of music you'll be playing
  10. Wrigley


    May 26, 2002
    embellisher: Thanks for the info on your Geddy. You mentioned that you wish it were a 5 string, what made you pick a GL up? My goal is to eventually go 5 string. In your opinion, should I pick up the 5 string now to start with, or go 4 string first? Thanks for the info.

    steve_man: It's too bad that you're having a couple problems with your GL. I have heard people in other posts mention adding after market tuners - the tuners seem like the one downside to this bad boy. Anyway, I'm playing mostly rock music. Like anybody else, I'm trying to get something deep and punchy. And, like I said above, I'm starting to consider (maybe) going 5 string. Thanks for the help.

  11. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I don't have a GL, I have a Geddy Lee Signature.

    I had to replace them but it was under warranty.
    Just a bit of hassle there and It's been alright.

    If you are into rock I say definetly go for the Geddy!!!

    The only other big disagreement with this bass is that I want more sustain because I really dig in!!! And I liked the American standards where they had the strings through the body design birdge. plus on fender's website it says that the american and the american deluxe both use premium woods?!?
    later you may want to go active with a much nicer (than the fender american deluxe and especially those new tobias's) sadowsky preamp.

    Those new tobi's look like Cort artisians and from my reaction with those basses was not impressive at all.
  12. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    if you can't afford the American Std. then go for the Geddy. I'm liking those basses from japan more and more!

    It's extremely extremely bright, punchy great for slapping, has the fender orginal pickups that are found on the much more expensive 62 vintage jazz bass and is absolutely a the answer for inexpensive rock tones!

    also check the amp you're thinking about buying before you go and buy your bass!

    and if your wondering the geddy from my experience has matched up with pretty much any rock amp I've played with.
  13. Wrigley


    May 26, 2002
    steve_man: Good to hear you like the Geddy Lee. It sounds like a great bass for the money. The only tough thing to consider, is that I can probably get the American Jazz now for a couple hundred more. I'm not sure it's worth the extra money though. You're right, it would be nice if the Geddy could string thru-body. Any thoughts on if the American Jazz would be woth the extra money?
    As far as the amp goes, I think I'm going for the SWR Balck Beauty Combo (350 Watts, 1x15 w/horn). (any thoughts?)

    Thanks for the help.

  14. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I actually prefer the Geddy over the American series Jazz. Try them both side by side! They dont sound the same. No one sounds better. Just different. The vintage pups used in the Geddy are the same as in the US 62 RI and they contribute to the warmer more oldschool sound.

    And as far as throughbody stringing. I read on an other forum bout a guy who A/Bed his bass strung through and string in bridge and recorded the result. Noone of his friends could tell the difference. Neither could he.:)
  15. The '62 pickups in the Geddy Lee sound much much better than an American Std./Series Jazz bass. If you have to choose between the two bass (brand new), I would recommend the Geddy Lee because of the thinner neck, better pickups, guaranteed cool look and lower price.
  16. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I have playeed a few Geddy's and owned one that I traded toward a 70's Jazz bass and I a have loved them all. Great bass great price and a very punchy and comfortable.
    Mine had Custom Shop 60's pup's and it had a nice old school tone.
    Just my opinion you can't go wrong with a Jazz bass, they fit in just about any musical situation.
  17. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    Then I'll say this...

    I don't know what the quality of the wood is like on the americans compared to the geddy.

    The only reason I would choose an american over a geddy would be the sustain and the tuners and that is it!:oops:

    I haven't checked the price list for fender but I think the american is 1299 (retail american currency) and the geddy I know is 899.

    so you're saving yourself 400 bucks!!!

    and even if you get shotty tuners like mine then you could go and spend some money down the road on a nice pair of black schallers or hipshots.
  18. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    another thing I was thinking I would do is take off all the chrome hardware and do it up with black and gold.:eek:

    eg. replace all the screws with gold plated screws,
    gold plated control plate with black nobs and a gold plated leo quan badass. Then along with some premium black tuners

    That would look soooo nice with the black block inlays!!!:cool:

    It might cost you a bit but for one that I would still be less costly than the american. Also you don't have to spend an extra $400 all at once when you are already spending a good lot on the bass itself.

    better pups than on the american. And from what people seem to be saying around here that doesn't seem to be just my opinion.
  19. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    I picked up my Geddy Lee Jazz awhile back and I really love the bass. Brand new I paid $629 plus shipping. If you can still find one for that price its a great deal.
    Also I have not run into any problems with the tuners or anything else.

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