How can I test it if I cannot yet play it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mrginga, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Mrginga


    Aug 30, 2013
    Hey guys I'm looking to buy my first bass, maybe in a couple days if all goes well. Where I'm from I found a 4-string Fender deluxe jazz bass MIM, for $250 and from what I can tell in the pictures on Craigslist there isn't anything wrong cosmetically but here's my problem. I don't play bass yet so I can't really test its sound. The guy I might be buying from can't play it because he lost two fingers, which is why he's selling it. So what do I do to make sure the bass isn't crap sound wise?
  2. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    It's your first bass, Fender and for $250... don't mind that for now
  3. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    I have this model, the Eq options on the bass give you plenty of tone control. Assuming there is no electrical problem with the bass, you should be good to go.

    I've gigged mine, works fine, though the factory strings might be on their way out
  4. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    This. I got my first Ric that way, never played one in person and paid $1600 for it used.
  5. Agreed with all the above. One of my favorite basses is a MIM P-Bass deluxe and I paid far more for that one. Play the snot out of it, decide what you like about it and maybe what you find lacking in that bass.

    If you like the feel of the bass, and they do feel very nice, they're definitely worth upgrading if you find it lacking. For $250 you're hard pressed to find a better bass.
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Take a friend along who can play bass.
  7. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Edit^this, indeed.

    At the very least, plug it in (I'm assuming the seller has a bass rig that you can use), wiggle the cord in the jack a bit to check that's working, and run the knobs through their full range of rotation. Listen for static (not a huge deal to fix, but you want something plug and play to start), and make sure the volume works, and listen to check if the pickup blend knobs actually change the tone. Beyond that, you want to avoid neck problems, which may be more expensive to deal with, but aren't common on these basses, for the most part.

    All in all, the MIM Fenders are solid instruments that won't necessarily wow you, but do the job very well.
  8. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    You're worried about the fly specs and missing the notes.

    While I may be out on a limb here but no ( I'll bet this is true to 99.99%) Fender bass is going to sound 'Bad".

    I would check the neck for straightness by fretting the strings, E and G and checking the gap. And then by sighting down the neck organopletically.

    Before you plug it in check the top five frets for buzzing. And honestly at $250 if it buzzes spend the $50 bucks to get a setup. Or better yet watch and on line setup vid and dig in.

    If you're going to play bass bass you'll be fixing basses.
  9. Mrginga


    Aug 30, 2013
    I thought of that but I only know two people who play bass and I don't know them very well so I doubt either one would come with me about two hours to check out a bass. ( I know I said in my area but that's sort of in the area right?)
    Though if I just do what everyone else has advised I should be fine without someone really knowing how to play.
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    So take a guitar player. Bass is really easy for them.
  11. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    cant tell if you're being sarcastic. I know many guitar players who think they can play bass...
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Trying to cajole a friend who plays bass to go along is the Best Bet, but if that doesn't work then grab a friend who plays guitar instead. If they have any experience at all they will be able to check out if knobs and electronics are working right and see if neck is straight or frets buzz, but more importantly they would be able to tell if the buzzes are just the instrument needing a setup or if the neck is warped. That is important.

    That's really all you need is someone to scan the instrument for major defects. As for tone or playability or other details of the bass, that is really nice and all but the important thing for a beginner is that the everything works. You can worry about what you want in a bass later as you get to be a better and more knowledgeable player.
  13. Relayer71


    Jun 25, 2009
    Lol! Funniest thing I've read all week!
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    This is true - guitarists can turn the knobs.
  15. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    $250 for a deluxe jazz is a great price. This isn't the 70s anymore, and aside from things that are really visible, most basses are made pretty well. Even if anything is wrong with it, it wouldn't cost a whole lot to fix. I'd say plug it in, make sure all the knobs work, buy it, and then get someone to do a setup for you. Worst case scenario, even if it did have some sort of issue that really bugged you, you'd be able to resell it with full disclosure for that price. Lotsa people here would jump on an active jazz for $250, if even just for parts.
  16. onefallinghope


    Nov 25, 2012
    Groton, CT
    Just get it and sort any issues later. :)

    ...I have no clue where you're located, but I live in New London, CT and will gladly go for a ride and check it out for you if you are near me. ...all I require is a coffee. :)
  17. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I'd venture that's a far nicer first bass than most people on here had. Just get it. If you don't like it you can probably sell it for a few bucks more than you paid.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Agreed with them. Just get it. It's a fine first bass and any Fender can be made to be quite playable if it's not already. And even electronic problems can be fixed pretty easily. You can usually fix crackly knobs with a shot of Deoxit contact cleaner to the parts under the pickguard, or even just working the knob back and forth several times quickly. And any tech can solder any broken wires.
  19. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    For $250?! Hell yeah! Grab it and have someone set it up, stem to stern. I paid $60 for my very first setup. Even though it needed little more than a new set of strings (something you might want to invest in as well), it gave me some peace of mind knowing that it was in proper working order and a worthwhile investment to boot.

    One little, but important, detail should you get it; an active instrument will eat away at the battery if a cable is plugged into the output jack…even if the other end isn't plugged into anything.

    Oh, and share some pics when you get it, 'kay? Forum tradition; no pics…no bass!
  20. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    On that note, if the bass doesn't work at all when you check it out, or if it sounds really distorted - there is a good chance it might just need a battery. You might want to take a 9 volt along with you when you go to check it out, battery goes in the back. Not sure how a MIM jazz handles that... theres usually a little popup compartment, but on some basses you'll need a phillips head screwdriver to take a few screws out before being able to replace it.