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Higher Priority: Bass or Amp ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hgiles, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    Do you put a higher priority on your bass or your rig? I am a beginning bass player, but really getting into it! I don't know if I should make a deeper investment into the bass guitar or a broader investment in a rig.

    I have an Ibanez SR706 now and play through a Yamaha Powered Speaker 8" MSR 100 and/or a mixer and headphones. I am mostly practicing and dont see myself playing any gigs any time soon, but am GASing for a higher end bass.

    I suppose my priority is developing my musicianship, rather than impressing folks with volume.
  2. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    One of the greatest joys of being a bass player is being part of a band. An amp will make that a lot easier, but times are changing, you could have the whole band plug into a mixer and jam with head phones on. Tough choice,

    Your bass is okay, if it were me, I'd get an amp like a GK MB115 so I could bust it out and play with a live band if the situation appeared. Somehow being ready to play has a way of opening some doors.
  3. Sounds to me like you're ready for a real amp. I think you'll like it. Your neighbors, not so much.

    Seriously though, I'd much rather play a "cheap" bass through a real rig than a boutique bass through a cheap rig.
  4. It's harder plopping down the money for a nice amp because its less gratifying a purchase. You currently have a completely serviceable bass but no good amp. I recommend you get a good amp and start playing with other people. When you start really playing you'll figure out what you really want in a bass.

    I also think your current bass will sound much better through a decent amp .
  5. I think this is right on. Get some kind of an amp so you're ready to play in a band, or at least jam with friends. Don't spend a bunch of money yet, it will take a while to figure out what kind of sound you really like. Just get a used Peavey or whatever.

    And then, find some people who are at more or less the same level as you, and play together. Don't sit in your room practicing until you are "ready". You'll have more fun, and learn faster, if you start playing in some kind of a band as soon as possible.

    IMHO, of course. Have fun and good luck.
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Your bass is fine so invest in a good amp.
  7. jag872002


    Jun 16, 2009
    You dont have to have the fancy rig if you dont want it. You can get just a di like a sansamp and run it through ur mixer. Itll prob sound better and you dont have to the amp taking up all the room. Id rather have a better bass then a better rig. If your not playing with anyone theres no reason for it.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I agree get a rig so you are ready to play live if you get an oportunity and your bass is fine and remember a $10,000 Alembic isn't going to play itself you still have to practice a better rig will also make your current bass sound better. I would visit your local music store and play as many basses as you can to get a feel for what you like go to local spots that have live bands and talk to the bassists to get answers to any questions you have about gear.
  9. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    That Ibanez you have is pretty nice. In fact, I'm kinda thinking about one. Don't get me wrong, I love the Schecters I have already. But I love the contours, neck, and scale length of the SR line. They feel and sound great to me!

    I'd go for a better amp setup, personally.
  10. Get a better amp, preferably one with headphone out or another way to practice silently.

    The Ibby SR700 series is a bass most beginners step up to from something else, but if you can find a deal too good to pass up, take it. I'd still opt for a better amp.

    Good luck!
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    You don't want to go out and get a $1400.00 bass and run it thru your Yamaha 8" powered speaker trust me it will not sound like it did at the music store :)
  12. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Amp. You're missing out on that good ol' "pantsleg-shakin' thunder" feeling you get playing through a decent sized amp. THAT'S what bass=playing is all about!

    Your bass is FINE!
  13. brianerwin


    Oct 21, 2012
    In times like these, I just started playing Bass and I have the SR505. Also A very nice Bass, I am realizing that I have too much bass for learning on, however, I know that I would want a 5'er eventually and the salesman at GC, said it would be a great investment.( he gave me a good deal so I am ok with it)
    I have a sound in mind that my Acoustic B10 gives me but I feel as though the best thing to do now is to save up my pennies and get a good Bass amp and head.
    I would also suggest the same. The best thing you can do since you have a great bass,
    is to go out and find that amp.
    Someone said in another post that the bass guitar is pretty much the same and it is the amp that makes the difference.
    Let me clearify before I beat up... I am not talking about quality in basses, I know there is a difference, but as posted here you can have a $10,000 bass but if you play it through a box with a 10" woofer, it will not sound good at all.
  14. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    Fwiw, I play in bands on saxophone as it is. I just don't perform on bass, but I am enjoying learning. Bass might open some doors for sure! And some different styles of music. I appreciate all the advice.

    How would this amp be for a first?

  15. Winemule

    Winemule Guest

    Feb 27, 2005
  16. jay tay

    jay tay

    Aug 12, 2009
    Manchester UK
    I found that as a beginner, the only new gear I was interested in was Bass'. I just wanted to try and play every type of bass out their, So I added a fretless to my arsenal, then a, five string, then a Electric acoustic, then a couple of six string bass'. Eventually over the years, I found that I was happy with the instruments that I had, but it was my rig that was holding me back. I was starting to have to borrow the gear of others, because the size of venue I was playing, also the sonic limitations of my old rig began to effect my creativity, and I was looking for sounds and ranges that my amp couldn't deliver. So over the next few years I acquired a decent working rig that I could use in a variety of settings. Now that I have that covered, I have developed a wandering eye for new bass' again. Thus is the cycle of GAS.
  17. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I would get a rig nice and loud enough to be able to jam with others. As has been posted above, no bass will sound great through your little 8. Sounding good will motivate you to play even when alone. Eventually you will probably want a new bass, but I'd get a decent amp 1st......the GK MB15 was mentioned and is a good compromise. cheap enough not to cost as much as a new higher end bass, but good sounding and loud enough that should the opportunity arise to play with others, you'll be OK.
  18. I call shenanigans! When at home I use a BXL450A (45watt Behringer) and the cone is about to complete go out any day now. My bass still sounds quite amazing through this POS amp. Hell I've had this amp on (and playing) for almost a year straight now... (I play music through it when I sleep and during the day if I'm not playing bass through it)

    But I agree a Amp will be the better choice. Unless you DON'T want to play live for a while. But there are a lot of good options out there for quite cheap!
  19. slagbass


    Apr 5, 2005
    I agree with earlier comments that your first priority is an amp if you are looking to play in a band. Why are you GASing for a higher end bass? More specifically, what do you think is wrong with your current bass? This may not apply in your case but I see lots of younger musicians (myself included a LONG time ago....) who think a high end bass will allow them to play better when all they need is a proper set up on their current bass. For that matter, learning to set up your own bass will take a small investment in time and tools but will pay you back many times over.

    Another thing to keep in mind that your "ideal" bass may change once you get into a band situation with a louder amp. What sounds great in your bedroom may not work in a band situation. Long story short, I wouldn't go all spendy on a bass at your stage of the game.
  20. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    The bass that you have will take you a long way. The amp is the difference maker. Play what you have at home and then go to a music store with your bass and play through different units. You will see for yourself the difference that a good amp makes.