How bad (or good) was your first bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CochinoBass, May 13, 2022 at 9:31 AM.

  1. CochinoBass


    Feb 19, 2022
    Atlanta, GA
    I got my first bass at 16 in 1984, it was a Goya GX-23, a Korean P Bass copy with two P pickups I have no idea when it was made, but I think it was no more than a few years old when I got it. There is a thread here on TB from about five years ago where someone found one exactly like mine. I cant even remember if I paid anything for it, if I did it was not much. Goya basses and guitars seem to be, sort of, collectable, but if they play anything like mine (I still have it) people dont collect them to play them. I played it for 3 years before I got something decent, and while it sounded pretty good, its a miracle that I didnt quit, its by far the worst playing instrument I have ever put my hands on. It has string through body and the saddles cant really be lowered enough to get the action right. The string tension is super high and the action is super high. When I got it the bridge P pickup was gone and the E-A string part of the rout had been filled in with wood filler and the other chiseled out (apparently with a screwdriver) for a J pickup which was not there. The G tuner had been moved to the bottom of the head stock I guess to copy a Music Man configuration for some reason, I moved it back to the original position. I can only blame myself for the ugly '80s "splatter" paint job, it was brown when I got it. The first pic is showing what it looked like originally and the others I took today of mine.

    IMAG0632.jpg IMAG0633.jpg PXL_20220513_131836786.jpg PXL_20220513_131845135.jpg PXL_20220513_131856440.jpg PXL_20220513_131907263.jpg
  2. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    My first was a Japanese Jazz copy, also 1984. The body was ply and the neck was terrible. The pickups were also junk. The first thing I did was replace the neck with a fretless Mighty-Mite, along with some Schaller BM tuners with the really long clover keys. I then swapped the bridge pickup for a Fender and installed a Shadow 'Maxibass' piezo bridge.
    Here it is in action in 1985:

    The bass is long gone, but I still have the pickguard, removal of which was mandatory at the time;
    Bajo Clarkko, Marko 1, gcb and 6 others like this.
  3. marchone

    marchone Since 1951 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    I started on a short scale Kaye bass. The action was too high, it likely wasn’t intonated, the strings made my fingers bleed, but I was determined. Six months later I bought a Fender. By then my fingers were strengthened and I eventually learned how to do my own set ups.
    Maulraizor, Zbudah, Simon Day and 2 others like this.
  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Encore P bass copy. I honestly can’t remember if it was good or bad, but i thought it looked cool and don’t remember it having any issues.
  5. Hawk256


    Nov 19, 2021
    Yamaha BB300. Not a terrible bass at all. It was actually pretty good for the money. Didn't play it long before I bought used BB2000. Wish I had kept the 2000. But there are a lot of basses I wish I had kept.
  6. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    72 Pbass , traded a Nikon F2 with an 85/1.8 for it .
    Back in the mid 70’s , I still have it . It was my only bass for many years , looks like it went through the Boer War . Honest use relic job .
  7. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Jazz bass copy by a company called Chevy.
    There was nothing great about that bass, nothting terrible either.
    Rosewood fingerboard, black bass with tort guard.
    I upgraded the bridge pickup to a DiMarzio humbucker (I think).
    This bass was sold immediately when I got a 'real' one. I've never missed it.
    It was totally okay in terms of ergonomics and sound. Medium heavy. Okay action.
    It was just your average Jazz bass copy. Probably one of the most boring basses ever build.
    SteveCS likes this.
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Really good. A ‘79 Ibanez Studio ST-924 which I still have. I was very lucky.

    There aren’t many things I’d trade a Nikkor 85/1.8 for but a ‘72 P might definitely be one of them.
    mclean_justin and SteveCS like this.
  9. SloFingers


    Mar 24, 2022
    1978 or so Encore P.O.S. Double P bass pickups. Ridiculously high action above the 12th fret and still was able to maintain some fret buzz. In the early 80's I received a Fullerton P in Oly? White for Xmas. Wish I still had that one.
    Maulraizor and bobyoung53 like this.
  10. duanev3

    duanev3 Inactive

    Dec 1, 2020
    When I was playing bass right handed the below colossal piece of crap was the worse bass geetar my hands had the displeasure of playing. I think it's a 66-67 Hofner and once I got all the parts put together, the action was just too high and it now sits in one of my brothers closet with a few other of my guitars. Maybe someday I'll go get it and sell it..... Maybe..


    leftybass54 and Hurricane Jimmie like this.
  11. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    The only thing I can honestly remember about my very first bass is that it was a P copy, probably black, maybe rosewood fingerboard. Got it around '94 and played it through a Peavey TNT combo with a big 15" Black Widow!! Can't even remember if it sounded better or felt like a better fit than whatever else I was looking over at the time.

    I can probably remember every single other bass I've owned aside from that one... it must have really sucked :bag:
  12. My first bass was pretty good playability wise. But it was huge, and I'm short. Got it for a good deal and passed it on after not playing it too seriously. It was an Ibanez lawsuit Ric copy.
  13. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    Mine was an Ibanez P-thing, it was pretty darn good, and I did everything I could to ruin it. My newest bass is an Ibanez, and I already got two Ibanez acoustics, and when people ask my advice on a first instrument I usually recommend Ibanez (and/or Yamaha) - so I guess they impressed some brand loyalty in me with that first instrument.
    LowActionHero and KaraQ like this.
  14. nickpc


    Jul 23, 2012
    North Carolina
    Mid/late 90's Squier Affinity P-Bass, as part of an "everything you need in one box" kit.

    It wouldn't hold tune, the action was poor and seemed to change with the time of day, but it actually sounded pretty good (even through the Rumble 15 that came with it) when I could actually play it. Once I realized I needed to take lessons I also had to get a better bass, picking up a 92 MIM P that I never should have given up.
    Maulraizor likes this.
  15. TideSwing

    TideSwing Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2014

    I had one if these in black in 1987. All I remember was it more comfortable than a 6-string guitar.
  16. Gibsonchild

    Gibsonchild Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2022
    Mine was a Vantage 5 string in the most hideous “blue vomit” paint scheme that I bought for $150 in ‘97. It weighed a ton and the neck was as big around as an F350. But at least it sounded terrible. IIRC, it was ultra-muddy and wooly, even with Blue Steels on it.

    I hated it so much, I decided to become a guitar player 6 months later and traded it on a MIM Strat.

    Not my pic:

    AceOfBassFace likes this.
  17. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    My first bass was positively awful. A Global Les Paul copy that was missing two tuners and terrible, scratchy electronics. And to top it off, I played it through a 3-watt Tronix guitar amp. They both came from one of the local pawn shops - I can't imagine my mom gave much for them, but in retrospect I'm glad she did.

    But I would have MURDERED for a Goya double P as a first bass. In fact, I'd love to have one now! :D
    mikewalker likes this.
  18. AceOfBassFace


    Jun 23, 2019
    My first was a Peavey T-40 - guessing an early 80's model. I was 14 when I got it. The tone was pretty good from what I remember, but the setup was terrible - it was a real struggle to play for me, and I had no idea it could even be fixed or improved. It weighed a ton too. Eventually sold it and got an Ibanez PL5050 - which was amaze-balls.
    Fumble Fingers and bobyoung53 like this.
  19. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    My first bass was an Aria Diamond hollow body, just like this one.....

    Aria_Diamond_Hollowbody_Bass-2712.jpg Played and sounded good.
    Dave Neal, Ric4003S and bobyoung53 like this.
  20. LowWay

    LowWay It’s got 4 strings ‘cause they’re bigger! Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    W Mass
    3678CE8D-D7E0-4C5E-89A6-06DF88D003AB.jpeg Mine was a 1986 Guild Pilot. I loved that bass. Candy apple red with a black painted headstock. EMG P/J pickups. Light weight. Played great. Sounded great. I got it on sale at a music store for $350 brand new which I saved up with my high school part time job. Bought a GK 400RB and a fender cab with a 15 and 2 10s. Never loved the head. Hated the cabinet. Loved the bass.
    Last edited: May 13, 2022 at 12:43 PM
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