1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Hi, I'm Steve. I'm gonna buy a bass ...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Totally Yankee, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. Hi guys,

    I haven't bought a bass guitar yet. This will be my first guitar. Unless I want to drive 1½ hours (one way) I'll have no opportunity to actually touch one. I'm still watching Youtube reviews and researching the various components. I'll be playing for my own enjoyment at home and have no interest in joining a band.

    Based simply on cost, I'm very interested in Squiers.

    A few questions:

    1) Squier calls one of their lines 'Vintage', does that means they also have a line of 'Modern' guitars?

    2) What does 'modified' mean?

    3) Which new-in-box basses for less than $300 have active boost (9v batt)? I like the dynamics of active.

    4) Are humbuckers used in basses?

  2. Take the drive. Play as many basses as you can in your price range, get a feel for them and figure out which you like best. Can't really figure out if a bass is a good fit for you from a youtube video.
    ZeroGlockThirty and trothwell like this.
  3. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    not to be flippant - The round trip will be well worth it. What looks, sounds. feels, or plays good for someone else may not feel the same to you.
    Generally as a rule of thumb you should be thinking that no two will be alike.
    robd likes this.
  4. gabrielvv7


    Mar 10, 2013
    as far as i know, the "vintage" squiers refers to the body and pickup selection they use. not necessarily the same quality as a real fender, but similar.

    and there is not a "modern" series bass. fender has basses in the "modern player series" though. these are usually the same body, but they use different pickups (traditional Fenders use jazz pickups or precision pickups) you tube them.

    modified from squier's point of view, refers to slight differences between them and Fenders... for example, the Affinity has a bass with a precision AND a jazz pickup... if im not mistaken, most Fenders with precision pickups do not have a jazz to combine it with.

    for $300 or less you can get these beauties:
    Fender Squier Deluxe Jazz Bass Active V 5 String Electric Bass Guitar | eBay

    and finally, yes, humbuckers are used on basses. usually they are called just that (humbuckers), or called "soapbar" pickups, there are the "musicman" pickups, oh! precision pickups are hum-canceling. all of these with their respective sound attributes. youtube has many examples of each.
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    For very slightly more, you can get one of these, a huge step up in quality / $: Marcus Miller M3 STR - Thomann UK 351756.
    gabrielvv7 likes this.
  6. gabrielvv7


    Mar 10, 2013
    almost missed it, jazz pickups are generally not humbuckers/hum cancelling... unless you get them specifically to be. in this case, they will work in one of few ways: 1) two linear coils in a jazz pickup housing, think of this as a precision pickup inside a jazz cover. however, these tend to be the ones that alter the typical jazz tone and sound the most. or 2) they will have a phantom/dummy coil to help eliminate the hum/buzz. these dummy coils are usually beneath the working coil and are the ones that change your typical jazz bass "sound" and tone the least. these are the most common types that come to mind.
  7. gabrielvv7


    Mar 10, 2013
    the bass i posted has jazz pickups, the bass bholder posted has humbuckers... in case you wonder.
  8. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    Hi Steve,

    Let's talk about what will really work for you in a bass, shall we?

    First off it is NOT the brand. Period.

    You should be looking at the following:

    1) scale length (33,34,34.5,35")
    2) string spacing (<16mm, 16, 17, 17.5, 18, 19, 20mm, >20mm)
    3) neck profile

    The most important part of your instrument is not the brand or color, it is what feels good in you hands. For example, small hands may dictate a 33" scale works best for you. I personally have large hands but feel most comfortable at 34" scale, 17.5mm string spacing (Pedullas). I have talked to guys with smaller hands who like 35" 20mm basses. There are basses at 16mm that I would have a hard time playing.

    Along with this you have the shape of the neck. Some are pretty C-shaped, others pretty flat. You may end up "gripping" the neck like a bat, and a C-shaped neck will be better for you, or you may just float your thumb on the back and like a flat neck. You wont know until you try a few.

    Moving on from this you should consider the quality of the bass. Like car brands, a Lexus and Yugo get you to the same place, but one with more comfort, style and dependability. A "cheap" instrument may (not always) lead you to "fight" to play it. It may fall out of tune easy, or the neck may be off, or the build quality not so clean. There are trade-offs like everything else. You may get lucky and find that 4 string Fender (Mexico) is perfect, or like me you may try a lot of basses until you find that a Pedulla at (34"/17.5mm medium flat neck) is the bass you should have had all along.

    One thing I can tell you is that when you find that bass that feels the best in your hands, that is the bass you should own and play. Not thebass someone tells you you should play, or the one your "bass god" plays, or the one your buddy plays or whatever.

    Music really is a deeply personal experience that we all share. It begins in a comfort zone of knowing your instrument and liking it -- enough to be ale to pick i tup and play it with a grin on your face every time.

    Take the drive.

    Go try as many different basses as you can. You don't have to "pay up" but try not to be "cheap" either.

    "Feeeeeeeellllll" your bass in your hands. The string spacing, the fret spacing, the spread of your fingers, the shape of the neck, and then the sound.

    Then, buy the best one.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: I forgot to mention the radius of the fingerboard. Personally, I just cannot play a flat fingerboard like you find on some Warwicks. I once traded a bass to get a fantastic Warwick, only to find that it was just hugely uncomfortable due to the flat fingerboard.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  9. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    first of all, always try before you buy. and while you're trying be sure to check out Ibanez. even their cheaper models are solid instruments.
    47th Street and kwaping like this.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Where are you located? If you're in the Monadnock area, it shouldn't be 1 1/2 hours to a guitar store. There's at least one in Peterborough, two in Milford. That should be more like 30-45 minutes one way. I can definitely recommend Guitar Gallery in Milford.

    To answer your question, Squier introduced the "Vintage Modified" series as a line of instruments that were based on classic "vintage" designs, but not exact replicas - hence the "modified" part. Basically, they're good versions of your basic J and P basses, and Jaguars. The Jaguar part of the series are mostly active basses if you want active. They used to have a version of the Jag with a humbucker, but now they seem to have dropped that and are offering a Dimension with the humbucker instead, same $299 price point.

    Squier Deluxe Dimension Bass IV Rosewood Fingerboard Electric Bass Guitar 3-Color Sunburst | Musician's Friend

    Ibanez will also have some active models at your budget point.
  11. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    Come on guys.

    First of all, HI Steve! Welcome to talk Bass!

    We usually like to start out that way with someone who is new, or at least I do. TB is a great place to get advice on all things bass, I'm glad that you found your way here.

    Now on to your questions.

    To answer questions one and two, Squier does make some basses that are really good values. The Vintage Modified series is particularly well respected here. As was mentioned, the series takes established Fender designs and puts a little twist in them. I don't think that series has any active models off of the top of my head.

    As for question number three, yes, there are some Squiers that are active designs, the "Squier Deluxe Jazz Bass IV Active" comes to mind and it is in the same price range.

    The Squire Dimension runs about $320, but it is not an active design.

    There other players in the market in that price range that also make some nice basses. Ibanez was mentioned, they have a new model called the TMB 300 that seems like it might be something for you to look at, it runs $300 new.

    Several people suggest that you try to check out a few to see how they feel in your hands. It is good advice when possible, although it not always is.

    Where ever you choose to buy, ask them to do a "set up" on the bass before you take it home. That consists of setting string height and intonation so that it plays well right off the bat. If you are thinking of buying on line "Sweetwater" is good to deal with and provides that service on every bass and guitar they sell.

    Again, welcome to our nut house. Have fun!
    Imaginary Pony likes this.
  12. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    welcome to TB and to bass !

    like the rest have said, you really HAVE to take the drive and try out a few basses. If you're not even prepared to do that then maybe you haven't got the dedication to learn an instrument, don't bother,find something else.
    If you take the trip,you will quickly find out which styles of basses suit you and which don't. You won't find out any of that via youtube I'm afraid.

    Plus, you'll need a strap, cable etc, get em all there
  13. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    For basses, the lower the price, the more of a wildcard quality will be.
    In the $300 range you will see enough variation on quality to justify trying before you buy.

    On top of actually trying the bass before you buy it,
    try to recruit someone who knows crap from quality in bass guitars to help you pick.
    beginners just don't know what they don't know about bass quality.
  14. Trying them out won't do any good. I've never even touched one. Even the best-fitting guitar will be awkward at this point. My first guitar will show me my preferences only after I've played it for a while. Besides, I don't give up easily.

    Anyway, I ordered a Candy Apple Red Yamaha TBRX304 4-string.

    Now I need a practice amp for my small livingroom.
  15. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Hi Steve have you also put some thought into what type of amp you will be buying? and in general what type of music will you be playing?>
  16. This site is slowing me down so much it's unusable. I use Firefox. I turned off all the add-ons to allow everything and it sped right up and my Norton Anti-virus went into high gear, blocking all kinds of viruses, not just tracking cookies.

    I'm outa here.

    I'll come back in a week or two to see if things change.
  17. I'm back and I'm still having trouble with this site. I belong to quite a few forums and this is the only one that I have probs with.

    First, as soon as I enter TalkBass my disk activity goes through the roof. Second, all the composition edit buttons and small images, e.g., the small icons below our avatars for 'Joined' and 'Location', are replaced with tiny boxes with code in them.

    Any idea what's going on?

    I'm using Hal Leonard's Bass Method (Books 1, 2, and 3 with CD) 2nd Ed.

    Tonight I'll have an 'intro to the electric bass guitar' lesson from a local pro.

  18. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Welcome, and nice choice on your first bass! I've considered the TRBX - they seem very versatile.

    On your site issue, try another browser like Chrome. BTW I use IE 11 both at work and home and never have any issues. Sounds like you might have some malware, also.
  19. Bodhammer


    Feb 26, 2015
    I have used both Chrome and Firefox with Ghostery on this site with zero issues.
    I suggest a couple free online virus scans such as Trend Micro's free one and also run CCCleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.