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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by maddie122585, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. maddie122585


    Dec 16, 2004
    undefinedOkay so for my boyfriend's birthday I am planning on buying him a 5-string bass. The problem is I don't play the bass or really know much about them. He doesn't play Jazz, so I don't think I should get him a Jazz bass, but there's so much out there and I am not very well informed. If someone could help me with this I would be SO greatful. I want to get him something nice, but my price limit is about $700 give or take a little. He has a 4-string Ibanez that's ok, but I want to get him something nicer. Suggestions?
  2. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Instruments are such a personal thing, that you run a very serious risk of buying him something he doesnt want - Or isn't appropriate for his needs.

    I'd seriously consider telling him what you want to buy him, and the budget, and then going to some guitar stores with him and choosing together.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY

    It spoils the surprise, but you'll both be more content in the long run.
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Read this post again.

    The reason there are so many choices is because everyone likes something differnet and its a very personal choice. The fact that the suprise is ruined is no big deal next to getting him a bass, that although nice, is a dissapointment to him.

    Oh, and jazz basses are not just for jazz. They are actually used in a lot of rock.
  5. maddie122585


    Dec 16, 2004
    I get what ur saying about all that...but he's not a REAL experienced player. I mean he's good, but this is more for expanding his knowledge. He's got the 4-string and is intrested in learning about the 5-string. So it's not something he's THAT familiar with either. And some background: I got him a 5-string Ibanez (can't remember which one) for Christmas about...2 years ago. We had a HUGE fight one time and it ended up breaking. That was a Jazz bass. I know they are not only for Jazz, and he liked it, but I think he would have prefered it not to be a Jazz bass. I want it to be a surprise. I am looking at Fender's right now because I like them and I have some experience with their instruments (I have a Fender electric violin). I think he would like it best if I surprised him too. Also (STUPID QUESTION COMING) what's the different between a Jazz bass and a regular one...I kinda have an idea cuz he was explaining it to me once, but we never really got too into it.
  6. voicelessone


    Dec 15, 2004
    Seriously, don't just buy him a bass and expect him to love it. As people have said above...your boyfriend needs to try them out himself. Say for example you get him a Yamaha RBX775.....ne may HATE active electronices (although if he has an Ibanez chance are he plays active already) he may hate the neck dimensions or the intonation, he may desperatly want to play a fretless, he may distinctly hate all things Yamaha for political reasons and third world famine! :)

    All these things only he knows the answer too and if you get one wrong then he is NEVER going to get the best out of the bass.

    But if you have to get him one, don't get a 5 string Fender. Perhaps a fiver made by Ibanez if he already has one? But you have a VERY slim chance of getting it right cos basses are so personal. Good luck!

  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    If someone wanted to buy me a bass I would hope he (or she) would give me a gift certificate at the store where I do business or, better yet, take me to various stores and let me pick one out. I never know when I might stumble across a bass I might love that I hadn't considered before.

    The ONLY person I would even CONSIDER letting pick out a bass for me is the salesman where I do most of my business and that's only because he knows what I like. Even then I would rather pick it out myself.

    I understand the surprise thing, but your boyfriend will be happier picking out his own bass. Losing the surprise value will be more than offset by the pleasure he recieves from his new bass (that he picked out).
  8. They all have a point, but if you want it to be a suprise and still get him a bass which you hope he might like, get him a spector, legends and performers run in the 400-500 area .
  9. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    The name Jazz bass means nothing, it's not designed nor is it only used for Jazz. Actually the Jazz basses are some of the best and most versatile basses in the world so don't worry about a Jazz only being used to play Jazz, because it's not :) I actually thought the exact same thing when I went to buy my first bass and got a really weird look from the guitar store owner.... No worries, but he really should come with you. It won't spoil how awesome the gift is. My girlfriend gave me a cheap 6 string bass for our anniversary and even though I had told her to get it for me, as a joke thinking she'd never go for it, she did and it was still cool as all hell. He'll appreciate the bass more than the surprise and if he gets to pick it out he's FAR more likely to keep it and use it. Because if he doesn't like its tone or playability he'll never touch it, no matter who gave it to him. Good luck, and what a cool gift!
  10. maddie122585


    Dec 16, 2004
    Yea...his best friend works at the Guitar Center near where I live. He's real knowledgable. I am thinking of going there first and then seeing wussup. I just thought I would try this first since getting to the actual store is always a problem. Between work and boyfriends and all that nonsense....AH! But thank you ;) I just wanna do something nice for him.
  11. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    big +1 on letting him know what you want to do for him, and letting him make his own decision.

    you could also talk to musician friends of his, and see if he has mentioned a particular bass. the only problem is that basses come wioth many choices, and those choices are critical to certain players. here is sample

    active or passive electronics
    1 or 2 pickups
    maple or rosewood neck
    ash or alder body (+many others)
    1/4" or neutrik
    pickguard or wood
    thin or thick neck
    symmetrical, or assymetrical neck
    double or single cutaway
    headless or headed
    brand (this is the big one)
    fretless or fretted
    34, 35, or 36" scale length
    string spacing

    you could always introduce him to talkbass, and then monitor his posts...hey!! wait a minute...maybe he is already on tb, and you are baiting him to post...hmmm?

    well if that is the case, then he doesnt want a 5 string, he wants a 6 string fretless...a yahama trb will be just fine, dear.
    :D :p :) ;)
  12. Leo Fender named his invention in 1959 "Jazz Bass", because it had slimmer neck than the other model (precision), and was intended for "advanced players with jazz technique". Altough it wasn't nearly accepted only by jazz musicans.
    As for your present: mainly the happy guy chooses the bass himself. There were some situations when a wife bought her husband for 10th or 20th anniversary a nice bass. But then she knew, what to choose.

    Happy hunting !

  13. For the $700 you are budgeting I'd get a Lakland Skyline 55-01. That's a lot of bass for the money.

    Whatever you purchase, get an exchange policy with it so you can swap it out if he hates it.
  14. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    gift certificate from Guitar Center, Music123.com or musiciansfriend.com this is the best way to go. I'm sure that he will be thrilled and he may even want to kick in some money on his own to get something else. Trust me on this one.
  15. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA

    I agree with Hammer. I had a girlfriend say she thought of doing that for a present once and decided it was something "too specialized". She was so right but the thought was very sweet. Gift cert !!
  16. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I moved up from an Ibaniz to a Traben Phoenix 5 string, but he would really need to play one before you get it.