Ibanez ATK vs Spector Classic vs Squier

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by christoph h., Sep 13, 2010.

  1. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Hi guys!

    I'm finding myself in a playing situation where I need to play loud, distorted bass in Eb tuning. One song even goes to drop C#. (C# G# C# F#)

    I searched a lot of threads (including 100x "best bass for metal"). :)

    Here are the criteria:

    - must be cheap: I've got enough great basses and the band sound isn't that "hifi". Of course, playability, built-quality, etc should be "as good as possible".

    - must take drop-tuning well (4-strings)

    - react well to pick or agressive fingerstyle

    - work well with distortion (Aguilar Agro, Xotic BB , Tech21 XXL)

    - no P-Bass. In my experience (!!!) their handling doesn't work well in that context. For me, it doesn't feel "tight" enough, if that makes sense. :)

    This is what I've come up with so far, based on my forum searches. I'd appreciate any input on the following:

    1) IBANEZ ATK300 - This one seems to have many fans (at least the ATK series in general). It's also the most expensive (more than $200 more expensive here in Germany!).

    2) FENDER SQUIER VINT.MOD. JAGUAR BASS: I've only heard a Jaguar in Nine Inch Nails The Gift DVD and then found this cheap version on the net.

    3) FENDER SQUIER CLASSIC VIBE JAZZ BASS: I like how Jazz Basses react to distortion and have had good luck with a Classic Vibe P Bass.

    4) SPECTOR PERFORMER 4 CLASSIC: Spectors also get recommended a lot in the "best bass for metal threads" and this is the cheapest one I could find. :)

    Thanks for your time and help!

  2. ATK or SRX
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
  4. I was looking for the same thing until I got my T-40 (paid $300). I have it strung up w/ EB Power Slinkys and the tension on that bass tuned to C standard is awesome... Better than my other two regulars tuned to D standard (Yammy BB & Fender P). I can't say enough how happy I am with the bass. Others will say it's heavy, but it's not that bad... To me, anyway.
  5. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    I'd say an ATK or a T-40, but not sure how hard T-40's are to get in Germany. It's hard to go wrong with most Ibanez basses, regardless if you're looking at entry, mid, or high level.
  6. cioppo


    Jun 15, 2010
    Prato, Italy
    Take the ATK, very versatile and reliable, very good quality/price rapport
  7. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    ATK all the way.
  8. wetzelman1


    Feb 12, 2009
    I personally own a spector. My last tech metal band tuned CGCF it was great, great mid range growl and had a lose tension without buzzing. Now I play tuned down AGCF in a ambient doomy band and the Spector doesn't quite cut it for long low sustained notes. Moving on to either a Pbass or T-40 myself.

    I'd say your choices each point in a different musical direction. But I have experience with the Spector and it does downtune, sounds good both finger and pick, and plays very smoothly. Sustain and body are the only 2 downsides.
  9. ani10s


    Aug 10, 2010
    im not sure if muscians friend ships to germany, but thery have the atk for 300 usd, which is the same price as the squier j
  10. Essen

    Essen Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    get the atk on ebay, it's usually a lot cheaper than buying from stores if you life outside of the US.
  11. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Out of these choices, i'd get the ATK.
  12. MrGotBass


    Jul 28, 2009
    Epi Goth T-Bird

    I've had mine all the way down to ADGC and it still stays punchy and tight, while retaining lots of low end menace.
  13. ATK, for sure. Great bass, absolutely phenomenal
  14. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Another ATK vote!
  15. TwinBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Spokane, WA
    I've got an ATK, a Jazz, and a Spector Classic. I like all of them for different reasons, but if I had to choose one (with your criteria in mind) it would be the ATK. No question. It's a good solid bass with great tone, and while I don't personally ever drop lower than a D, I don't see it being a problem dropping a bit further (of course you might want to tweak the setup a hair, but thats easily done).

    Just a thought (and I seriously don't mean to offend anyone or start a 4string vs 5string war or anything), if you are consistently dropping tunings, you might want to give the 5 string ATK a look. The 5 stringers are also good and solid and shouldn't run much more than the 4. IME, IMO, YMMV, etc...
  16. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Yes, you are right about that. They all sound different, but I think I could make them all work great. Probably mostly a question of how "low" the "actual bass" sits in the band and how "high" the distortion sits in the mix. Hard to describe but I'm sure you understand!

    Thanks for your input on the Spector!
  17. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Well, if I could actually use one of my 5-strings, I wouldn't have started this thread - I'd just use my Stingray5. :)

    "Unfortunately" the music is composed by the guitarist and he uses a lot of fast open-string-riffs. I actually tried to learn the drop C# tune on a 5-string but it just wasn't possible.

    Also, an open C# sounds a lot different than the second fret on the B - at least on the basses that I have and would use for this music. The same goes for all of the strings - a drop-tuned bass just has a completely different "timbre" than standard tuning. To my ears, this difference becomes even more pronounced when using distortion or overdrive and a pick.
  18. Nikoubis


    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    ATK all the way. It is a phenomenal bass. The CV and VM Squiers are also fantastic instruments, but I just feel the aggressiveness of the ATK will work best with what you have in mind. Personally, I have yet to find a low budget (i.e. cheaper than a Rebop series) Spector that I liked.
  19. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    4 String all the way.
    Add a D Tuner to the ATK and you are set.
    115 Gauge E/D String would be good for your style.
    I tune my USATK : DADG with Rotosounds or La Bella HRS to play Tool stuff until I get a Wal inspired Bass. Its one of my most agressive basses.

    replacing the plastic nut with a metal nut helps bring more of its ringing tone on the open strings.
  20. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    That's the problem with the ATK; in order to put a Hipshot detuner on it, you'll have to find one with a smaller back plate, and I think you'll need to also replace the G tuner with one with a smaller back plate,too. It looks like the 12" HB6C's would work, but that'll cost $200 for a set with the detuner.

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