Inevitable 'what bass to buy?' thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by danlad, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. danlad


    Jan 3, 2015
    Sorry to bring another one of these up. I have used the search functions, honest!

    Anyway, the scenario is I've been asked to play bass in a couple of bands after some 25 years of guitar playing. My playing I always used to joke is like a bass player's and now my bluff is called.

    I have a 30 odd year old Westone Concord II I picked up a few years ago for fun, originally left handed but converted to righty. Kind of looks like the reverse Jaguar pawnshop totally by coincidence. I worry about the reliability though - it has a unique (so far as I know) tone control using a double pot which I think i
    works as a normal treble cut to halfway, hits a detente then it's a coil split blend past that. If those pots go, that's it though. No direct replacements are available.

    The Westone is P/J pickups with a neck more Jazz than anything else.

    So I'm looking for something to fill in, just in case, but with an eye to value.

    I've played a few and came away with a short list of:
    1. Ibanez ATK200
    2. Squier CV 50s Precision
    3. Squier VM or CV Jazz

    I've never used an active bass and the chunky neck of the Ibanez was very different but nothing you can't adapt to. I don't like the idea of the battery dying when I least expect.

    The CV 50s felt again chunky, probably the nicest of the three looks-wise but I worry the pickup might turn out to be too polite and not up for a rock three piece with a guitarist who loves his effects.

    The Squier Jazzes felt not too far from the Westone neck-wise, which is either going to make it a seamless option or a lack of adventurousness on my part and I may as well not bother getting something so similar. I also worry that parts might need upgrading. Or rather too many parts will be available and I'll get sucked in and what was a bargain suddenly isn't (I'm a tinkerer).

    Any helpful experiences you can chip in with?

  2. Malak the Mad

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

    Welcome to TalkBass, dan!

    I had a CV Jazz that was absolutely killer…so much so that it made me abandon the oft-used "…for the price I paid for it" suffix. Who knows? Maybe I just lucked out and got an exemplary one. It's worth pointing out that for the cost of a new CV Jazz, you can get a used Fender Standard Jazz from places like Craigslist or Guitar Center's used database. (an excellent resource, by the way)

    But all this is just stabbing in the dark. If you tell us what kind of music and/or band-situation you're into, we may be able to make better suggestions.
  3. Welcome to the Dark Side! ;)

    The Squier CV/VM Jazz is a good place to start, particularly as there are so many off the shelf parts you can upgrade or change. Aguilar 60's pickups, anyone?!

    I'd also have a look at the Yamaha TRBX series. The 304/305 model is really affordable and sounds fantastic. Yes, it's an active instrument, but the preamp actually helps you "push" the sound out. Less effort on your part, anyway.
  4. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    we don't need potty mouth talk like that sir . :)

    are you somehow implying a bassists knowledge of music is less than a gui****s? I know what some of those little black dots mean too !

    get a Squier CV 50s P they look gorgeous and play well too.
    danlad likes this.
  5. danlad


    Jan 3, 2015
    Thanks for those suggestions.

    I did try a few Yamahas but I didn't like them as much as I'd hoped as they were very well priced. Maybe I just like glossier finished necks more.

    It is a straight 3 piece rock band really, though it'll take a few detours from that no doubt.

    I've an old 100w PA valve head on loan to use if I fix it up if that changes matters. Do active basses push them too hard? Is it best to stay passive and the valves do their thing?
  6. danlad


    Jan 3, 2015
    The used route didn't yield much of interest either, and what there was seemed to be almost the same as a new one in the January sales.
  7. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central New Jersey
    2nd a VM Squier.

    New for less than $300.

    Used for under $200.

    Can't go wrong.
  8. red_rhino

    red_rhino Currently on Double Secret Probation Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2001
    Over Macho Grandé
    I'm not sure I've ever heard an Ibanez neck described as "chunky". That may be the case with the ATK series, but generally speaking, Ibanez necks tend to be thinner when compared to other basses, especially the SR series. String spacing on an Ibanez SR's also tends to be narrower, and some folks coming from the guitar side find that to be an easier adjustment.

    If you like the sound of an active bass, don't be put off by the battery thing. It's really a non-issue. You learn two things when playing active: don't leave the bass plugged in for days at a time when not playing it; change the battery every six months or so. (I change mine with the Daylight Savings Time clock change.)

    The Squiers are excellent value and playability as well, especially when properly set up. Can't go wrong there either.

    Good luck.

  9. Need2KnowBasses


    Aug 30, 2010
  10. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Squier CV...either the James Johnston Jazz or one in Inca Silver.
    Looks good, feels good, sounds good...easy to upgrade the pickups, too.
  11. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    I was going to suggest Yamaha, but I see you don't like their necks.

    What's your budget?
  12. danlad


    Jan 3, 2015
    Budget is up to around £300 tops.

    I see the G&L JB Tribute could come under that too for a blem or demo model, though I haven't tried one.

    So many decent quality options about. It's crazy.
  13. danlad


    Jan 3, 2015
    The ATK was quite a mighty, meaty chunk of wood.
  14. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    I just picked up a Squier VM Jazz last week. I am very impressed with both the sound and quality of it. I was out the door for under 270.00 US.

    It has a definite "vintage" tone quality to it that would work well for R&R (IM).
  15. I saw Ibanez ATK's mentioned earlier... You can pick them up new for £250. I got a new one for a pupil a couple of years ago and it's a great bass. Ash bodied too!
  16. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    That is it on the left - American Stnd on the right

    danlad likes this.