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I need help picking a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dwagner, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. I've recently started a band and until this point all we've been doing is a little songwriting/recording. All of the bass parts of the songs are just pitched down processed guitar for now until I find a good bass. Our band will consist of a bassist (me), drums, and synths.

    I am searching for a bass anywhere between 0 and 700 USD. I am looking for a bass which I can get the high mid/treble-ey tones (Mark Hoppus) which punk rock specifically is known for. I need one that basically gives some actual thumping bass, but fills the mid range and some high end as well. Basically, the tone I want is one that fills in the void between low, low bass and the high freq synths.

    I am LEFT HANDED, so my options are very limited.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Is the Hofner Icon good for this if I put roundwounds and play with a pick?

    I also see the Schecter Stilettos but they are a little high for me.

    I'd really like the best bass I can get for the money -- not just some crappy bass that is...er...crap.
    Something that is great for recording but most importantly gigging.

    I appreciate your opinion.

  2. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    Thumping bass, high end, full midrange........sounds like a p-bass with steel rounds to me.
    Fortunately their a dime-o-dozen in these here parts. 0 to 700 US $ gets you a new Squire to a Fender American P-bass (used) and everything in-between. For a while the honeyburst american p-basses were going for 699.00, brand spanking new, wow!!! Keep your eyes open and look for deals!! Good luck!

  3. Do they make left-handed ones that are common as well though?
  4. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    hmmmm!! stumped#$%! I would imagine......
  5. Warhawk


    Jan 31, 2003
    Canton, Ohio
  6. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    A Hoppus bass with Brite flats is what I play. Plenty thumpy, and decent treble when you play by the bridge.
  7. 1bassleft


    Dec 21, 2012
    NW England
    I was thinking "Sid Vicious, white P bass" but, all of a sudden, the Precision type has turned from being the commonest lefty around to all but vanishing. The Squier Affinity is a bit meh, the Vintage Modified is Jazz only, Custom Vibe bass not at all. You could keep eyes peeled for a used Fender US or even Fender Japan but, new, I'd definitely check the G+L Tribute and also a Sterling Ray34. I don't get the "Stingrays are only for slapping funkmeisters" idea. Plenty of Indie songs with a good Ray sound. Look at the UK version of the video for "Spitting Games" by Snow Patrol on Yootoob.
  8. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
  9. Yeah, I was eyeing up that Sterling Ray34.
  10. 1bassleft


    Dec 21, 2012
    NW England
    I have a lefty Jazz in black which doesn't look so un-punk as, say, sunburst. It's a big body but, whether it's the offfset waist, I don't find it any more of a hassle to hold. Assuming the pups are decent, blending around the neck and bridge and varying from plec to fingers (and where to strike) gets quite a range of tones. The neck is thinner to the nut than a Precision and many prefer it (J neck on a P body is much more common than vice versa) although I like a P neck, with my "naughty naughty" baseball grip. If at all possible, actually getting to try and hold a lefty P and a lefty J (even if they're copies; neck profiles vary a lot) is a good starter on finding what falls most easily into you.

    If you'd prefer to spend <<$700, see if the Sterling SUB Ray4 is out there in lefty. I haven't checked the spec differences between the SUB 4 and the Ray34 myself, but I have the old OLP, like it, and confirmed 'rayfans reckon the "Sterling by" is a much better bass. Difficult for a lefty (again) but I think a maple board looks cooler and (for me, but :bag: because there are a lot of "wood has nothing to do with it" types; albeit they usually only attack over body wood) sounds snappier.
  11. Does anyone think you could get bright, snappy tones from the Hofner Icon, or is that just not possible?
  12. Musky


    Nov 5, 2005
    You could possibly coax something out of it, but that's not really what they're about. Their strength is a full, rounded, woody thump.
  13. How about this?

    I like the price -- gives me more room for other gear.

    Or should I go one more up in the tier and get the Stiletto Custom?
  14. JCheung


    Jan 25, 2013
    Herndon, VA
    Ordinarily I would completely suggest a Ray34 all the way, and it's still up there in my suggestions for you (especially because I think they just released some new finish options at NAMM) However I've been exploring some Schecter Diamond P Customs and they look and sound awesome, come in left handed, and would fit a little closer to what you're looking for. For the upper end if your budget you may be able to find a used lefty Fender P (which would be my 1st suggestion).

    For me the Ray34 is an awesome bass and it is my main player but it's a different sound than a single split P Precision sound which I think is closer to what you're looking for.
  15. maguire


    Nov 24, 2010
    NYC / Westchester
    +1 for Ray34 or 35

    +1 for used American P

    Also the Hamer USA cruise bass.
  16. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Look around at the For Sale Forums here: you'll absolutely get more Bass/likely in Like New condition for your money than buying new or from a Guitar Center, Pawn Shop, etc...
  17. Dugachug


    Oct 9, 2012
    You can get a bright snappy tone with most fretted basses by using stainless steel strings(i use blue steels because the new string sound sticks around alot longer than other strings) and a pick. In the future i think you want to get a stingray, but for now i think this would be a good bass, but it's 20 dollars over. hope u can stretch it a tiny bit.

  18. 1bassleft


    Dec 21, 2012
    NW England
    DWag, I hesitate to say "don't consider further" but, in the case of the Hofner, I don't see it - given the style you're intending to use it for. A friend down my street had one (60s) and offered it to me for a hundred quid or so. Another one of those "why didn't I..?" moves, from the purely investment POV, but the reasons at the time were sound.

    It's possible to change anything, but a short-scale, hollow body with those pups and - probably - the wrong strings - seems like an awful lot to overcome. Even then, and however shallow this may seem, it just wouldn't look right for your material. Like wearing a moptop haircut and suit with no lapels.

    The Schecters, though, absolutely give them a try if you can; why not? Before I sound too shallow, my main bass unavoidably came with multi-lam thru-neck and bird's eye koa top + back. I look like I'm going to do freeform jazz instead of my talentless riffing but the sound and feel is great so it's my tough.

    I'm still towards the (necessarily, used) USA or Japan Precision or the Sterling by Musicman. The SUB4 is a great price but irritatingly the only ref to a lefty I found on Google was a plaintive (and completely unanswered) query on the Ernie Ball forum. So, extra expense (Ray34) for the lefty again :spit: