I came into some money today (possible NBD)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassPlayer95, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. BassPlayer95


    Oct 1, 2011
    I did Christmas with my dad today and he surprised me with $200 To GC, he also got me a pedal which I already have, so I returned that and my current total amount to GC is $308.15! That being said, we went up to the closet one and I played a few that I knew I could find left handed versions of (please read: left handed...do not offer right handed basses) different basses. Here's what I played:
    Squier VM Jazz bass 70's (maple neck): $329.99
    Squier VM Jazz bass 70's (rosewood neck):$299.99
    Ibanez SR500:$649.99
    Ibanez SR300:$399.99

    The rosewood squier sounded good, but I didn't like the aesthetic of it...I don't like the tortishell pick guard. yeah, this can be easily fixed, but I'd just rather have a bass that looks amazing the first go.

    The maple Squier: omg, I've never really sat down and actually played a maple neck before...the snappiness and punch was amazing. The finished neck is awesome. The bass is beautiful. I love it.

    Ibanez SR300: I liked it, nice deep sound, but kind of muddy. Plus, haven't seen the iron pewter model in person.

    Ibanez SR500: Wow. Loved it. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This must be what it feels like to fall in love. The neck was smooth and flawless, it had a nice low end and I was able to also get a nice punchiness out of it. The only thing that's stopping me is price...that's a lot of money...I feel at my skill level (mediocre intermediate) that it's just too much. Plus, I'm known in my family for not being really smart with money (thank god I don't live on my own yet) and just buying stuff. I want to make an educated decision.
    Honestly no matter what I will be settling because they don't make two tone maple neck 51 P basses left handed.

    I play rock, metal, pop, and I'm beginning to venture into blues. The idea of 70's pups for metal worries me. The Ibanez can pretty much handle anything...

    So after a very long mostly irrelevant post:

    Squier VM 70's Jazz bass;
    Ibanez SR500;
    Or (honorable mention because I've only seen it online) the Schecter Damien Platnium 4 string (those bats!!)...also a lot of money...

    If you're still here thanks for reading!

  2. Sounds like the maple Squier is the right choice at this time. Once you start making lots of $ playing like the rest of us :D you can buy the Ibanez SR500 or anything else you desire.

    Rick B.
    Joedog and nerkoids like this.
  3. Rick's got the right of it go for the maple Squier. Aspire for the SR500 or Schecter but play the Squier till you get there:thumbsup:

    nerkoids likes this.
  4. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    If you really love the SR500, save up, you're almost half way there.
    Settling just leads to buyer's remorse.
    Life is too short, get what you really want.

    And keep a sharp eye out for sales.
  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    You can get a used SR500 for $300 or so if you look around for a while. Its far and away the best bass in its price range, new or used IMHO. Check the GC used instrument lists online, they will transfer stock from store to store within a certain range, and there are a lot of SR500's around. Hold out for what you really want, its almost always the best approach long term.
  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    You got money TODAY and are trying to figure out what to spend it on TODAY? Is it a wonder you have that reputation in your family? Here is your chance to show them you are learning. Plan your purchase, but buy nothing. Clearly, you really liked the Ibanez, and you have saved about half the money for it in one day. With a little patience, you can have the bass you really want rather than settling for your second choice.

    (FWIW, I'm not always very good at this either.)
    Rocky and Matthew_84 like this.
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    The Squier might be a good bet. I like the maple fretboard, too. Easiest bass to mod later on down the road when you have some extra cash...hotter pickups, which is what I'm planning on myself. Until then I wouldn't worry about it for metal...plenty of effect boxes you can use.
  8. Malak the Mad

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

    Don't forget the impact strings can have on your sound. To borrow an art school analogy; the bass may be the canvas, but the strings are your palette. I've witnessed some impressive changes in a bass' character just by trying a different set of strings. Hell, it kept me from selling a bass once!

    If I want "aggressive", I go with Ernie Ball Cobalts or D'Addario FlexSteels. If I need "mellow", I go with flatwound. And if I want to be capable of getting a bit of both, I'm leaning towards Elixir coated strings.

    As far as which one to go with, I usually lean towards the Fender/Squier side of things. Sonically and esthetically, they're kind of a Swiss Army Knife.
    SunnBass and nerkoids like this.
  9. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    What are you playing currently? Chassis-wise, even the 500 may not be much of an upgrade compared to new pickups+strings+setup on your current bass. Although...

    +1 to showing your family that you're not allergic to money.

    Perhaps just keep practicing and learning while earning dollars here and there to get a worthwhile amp. Dixie Dave gets killer rock/metal tone out of a $200 bass and a $2K amp rig.

  10. Buy it online via GC's website and they'll either ship it to you from anywhere or they'll send it to the store where you live. Return policy is also great so you have little to lose.
  11. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    I have the 70s VM Squier (I'm also a lefty! Hi there!) and it is a real workhorse.

    Here's how you choose between the Ibanez and the Squier:

    Since you're going to be bopping from one style to the next, check how the tone and volume pots work for you -- what response you like best. Then go with that bass. Because you're not going to be a set-and-forget kind of guy, and you'll need something where you can dial in that sound you're looking for when you're performing.

    I love my VM Squier, but felt the pots were not really good at precision tone or volume blending rolloffs. I got myself a new loaded control plate and now I have something that's way more accurate (and it further opened up the sound of my pickups too). I'm not a fan of how Ibanez's typically look. What I really wanted was a P-bass, but we both know our choices are rather limited right now unless we go used. But that's me.

    That said, it's the only weak part of the bass. Everything else on it is top notch.

    Either case, you won't go wrong. It might be easier to upgrade the Squier with Fender parts, but if the Ibanez is perfect from the get-go, that's the one for you then.
  12. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
  13. I keep re-reading the OP and there's a couple of points I'm unsure of. His dad gave him $200 and a pedal that he returned giving him $308.15.
    If the pedal cost $60 he went to the store with $48 of his own.

    Now he freely admits being bad with money so may have went to the store with no cash.While it's great saying save the cash and buy what you want,
    when someone says they're lousy with money and just buy stuff they ain't joking. There's a good chance by Saturday the $308.15 won't still be $308.15

    I get the impression he's a young guy. It's New Year, there'll be parties ,it's a lot to ask young folks to stay in and miss out. Could be if he doesn't buy
    now while he has some cash it might be months before he saves even enough for the rosewood Squier.

    Hope I'm wrong and he does save up but equally even with good intentions, a pizza here and a movie there. Pretty soon you end up with zlich or he
    could hit his dad for another $22 and have a bass.
    plong123 likes this.
  14. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Inland Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Forget about your current skill level. Just think about this: Do you love playing? and are you determined to get better? If so, get the best bass you can afford. In this case, given the options you mentioned, go for the Ibanez SR500. A good bass that sounds good and feels great in your hands is only going to make you want to play it more.

    Ibanez is underrated, and IMO underappreciated here on TB. They aren't for everyone, just like any other instrument isn't for everyone. But for those whom it fits, an Ibanez is an excellent choice.

    That said, you only mentioned four basses. I'm assuming that is because those were the four best left handed basses that you tried at your local GC. There are a helluva lot of other options out there that might be a great fit for you -- the only issue is the possibility of getting your hands on them to give them a tryout. If it isn't possible... if it was me, I'd do what I could do to get the Ibanez.
    Ace Of Bass likes this.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Not to interfere in your personal life here or go against all the enablers ;) but I'm with your family. That money's burning a hole in your pocket. Having multiple basses is fun, but you can only play one at a time, and in the learning stages, I think multiple basses are a distraction you don't need.
  16. toberoo


    Mar 9, 2007
    I don't know if this effects your decision but a fender jazz bass is probably the most common instrument used in metal.
  17. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    if you play a bass and you love it, and you can afford it - buy it. That simple.
    So many folks buy based on a pretty picture or what a bass is *supposed* to do. If you found that it *did* it, then DO IT.
    plong123 and kodiakblair like this.
  18. nosnowking


    Oct 18, 2014
    I played the same range of basses (plus a few more) at my local shop yesterday.

    So, the SR500... Ibanez basses IMHO are just so, so underrated. For me the necks are just sublime, a real pleasure to play. I tried the 500 and 700 and they are superb instruments. My only gripe was the fact that the tone was just a little bit bland...but that's Bartolinis for you. Some people love 'em, I find them a bit uninspiring.

    The VM Jazz... I really, really like the VM series (I'm actually considering buying a VM PJ or Jaguar as a project...) The best thing about Fender/Squier stuff is that it's very easily customised. The tone was, well, jazz bass. Fit and finish were excellent! Setup was fairly poor but that's easily remedied.

    For me I'd go for the Jazz. However, if you'd asked me the same question 10 years ago I'd have said go for the Ibanez. Something about that flat, hi-fi tone leaves me cold now, and there's a reason why the jazz is so widely used...it cuts through the mix in a band situ and offers a huge range of tones. Plus, if you come across some more money you could always upgrade the bridge, pickups, add a preamp, get a new neck, new tuners etc. That's not to say the Squier NEEDS upgrading, but it's amazing what a difference a new set of pickups can do for a bass you're getting a bit tired of a couple of years down the line.

    Oh, and don't believe that beginners/intermediates somehow deserve cheaper guitars than experts...that's a load of #@*%! Most of your tone comes from your fingers! Expensive guitars don't make you a better player, just as cheap guitars don't make you a worse player. I had a £2000 handbuilt bass when I was at college nearly 20 years ago, and am now playing a £300 Indonesian copy. Guess what? My playing sounds better now than it ever did!

    I'm with SanDiegoHarry in the above post...buy with your heart, not with your head. Your heart will make you want to pick up the bass day after day!
  19. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I can't really tell you which is better. The Squier VM 70's I played last week was literally the worst bass I'd ever touched. But I'm sure that one was a dud. And I've never really played an Ibanez in many years.

    If you're worried about blowing the money on beer and girls give it to someone to hold for you until you decide on a bass. No sense on blowing it all simply because it's in your pocket.
  20. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    The Bartolini's in the SR500 and 700 range aren't your high-end US pickups, but instead are cheaper alternatives made for the Ibanez's. If you were to upgrade the pups to 'real' US Bart's the bass would become a brilliant bang-for-buck monster!
    77stingray likes this.