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Input on the best bass package?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jon Chewning, Dec 6, 2001.


  1. My 13 year old son wants to step in his daddy's shoes and play bass. I've been looking at several bass packages (bass, amp, cable, strap, gigbag) on all the online music stores. I also had him look at several of my catalogs to get an idea of which one 'looked cool' to him. So far I've seen packages from Squier, Hartke, Ibanez and Crate. I'm leaning towards the Ibanez or Hartke combos. Has anyone played any the above four that could give me a little input on a good choice?
     
  2. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Bass Player just did this same comparison in the December issue and gave both the Hartke and Ibanez high marks as packages. Both basses scored well on 'growability' in that they were upgrade friendly. I tried to find the article on their site but came up empty...

    -robert
     
  3. Not knowing if you have the Bassplayer, December 01 issue, this is the outcome of their same test, which I will recreate because I'm a nice guy :D

    (All prices at list, unless otherwise noted)
    MusicYo.com Kramer Focus 420S Rig:
    Price: $175 (Actuall cost direct)
    Bass Construction: 4/5
    Bass Playability: 3/5
    Bass Sound 4/5
    Amp Construction: 3/5
    Amp Features: 5/5
    Amp Sound: 3/5
    Value: 3.5/5

    Hartke SB-15 Gig Pak
    Price: $429
    Bass Construction: 4/5
    Bass Playability: 4/5
    Bass Sound 4/5
    Amp Construction: 5/5
    Amp Features: 5/5
    Amp Sound: 5/5
    Value: 4.5/5

    Crate Bass Tour Pak:
    Price: $449
    Bass Construction: 4.5/5
    Bass Playability: 3/5
    Bass Sound 4/5
    Amp Construction: 5/5
    Amp Features: 3/5
    Amp Sound: 5/5
    Value: 4.5/5

    Ibanez Jumpstart:
    Price: $459
    Bass Construction: 5/5
    Bass Playability: 4/5
    Bass Sound 4/5
    Amp Construction: 5/5
    Amp Features: 4/5
    Amp Sound: 4/5
    Value: 4/5

    Squier P-Bass Pak:
    Price: $569
    Bass Construction: 4.5/5
    Bass Playability: 5/5
    Bass Sound 5/5
    Amp Construction: 5/5
    Amp Features: 3/5
    Amp Sound: 4/5
    Value: 4/5

    Epiphone EB-0 Bass Pack:
    Price: $589
    Bass Construction: 5/5
    Bass Playability: 3/5
    Bass Sound 3/5
    Amp Construction: 3/5
    Amp Features: 3/5
    Amp Sound: 3/5
    Value: 3/5

    Certain questions come to mind. How old/big is your son? If he's little, the EB-0's shorter scale may be good. Their big problem with it was that it only had one sound, and it was a good bass sound.. while, it only really ever made that sound :D

    The most important question to me, why is it that only Epiphone knows how to spell the word "pack" correctly? :D:D

    Oh, I wanted to bring up that the Hartke bass score may be a bit inflated as BP did not test the bass that came with the pack out, they tested the slightly improved model (being more expensive as well) which was not made of what I take to be a kind of highclass plywood, but infact basswood, which is far supirior. If I had to start over, I'd go with the Squier or the Epiphone pack... leaning mroe to the Squier because its amp seemed a bit more powerful, and my old Squier was actually pretty nice compared to some of the crap you can buy :D
     
  4. Dang, let's hear it for the Oregoners! Thanks HWK2, that was plenty helpful. Yeah my son's a pretty big 13 y.o. as in 5'8", 150lb. (dad gushes proudly) so I think he can handle a standard size instrument. I've let him mess around with my Rick and he acclimated to it fairly well, at least for a non-player.

    One note about the Hartke package; on Hartke.com they mention that the SB-15 bass is a basswood body w/ a maple neck and rosewood fretboard, which sounds fine by me.

    I guess my inclinations were pretty good, so it's an eeny-meeny-miny-mo between the Hartke and Ibanez.

    "Now boy, git in there and practice 'Regatta De Blanc' til your fingers bleed!" :p
     
  5. :D Nah Oregoners suck, I'm the only cool one :D

    According to BP the Harke CK-4 is made of basswood and the SB-15 is the same bass only made from "Composites" which could mean anything from particle board to laminants...

    "Hartke was unable to provide us with an SB-15 bass, but the Hartke CK-4 is the same except for the hardware color and body construction. The CK-4's body material (basswood instead of the SB-15's composite construction) resulted in a stronger more resonant fundamental then what you'd get from a composite-body bass."

    I guess thats why not many starter basses come in natural finish :D or else you could tell whats under all that paint.

    The Hartke sounds like a good deal to me, the only thing that they warn about is that the pickups don't have alot of foam under them, so they feel pretty wobbly.. which is infact, the only Con they list :D
     
  6. For the price and reliability you can't beat Squier. They are under the wing of the most noticeable and probably most respected company out there in basses, Fender. Most of us know the 50-year old Fender story and they sound great 4 an enrty level bass. I received the Bass-(Pak?) for christmas and couldn't be more happy(until my American P-Bass showed up :) ) The BP-15 amp could use a little work but is fine for practice. That is my opinion I hope it helps
     
  7. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Obviously a transplanted Californian!!! :p A true webfoot says 'Oregonian'... I'm not a native, but my wife and kids are... that gets me citizenship, doesn't it???

    -robert
     
  8. outofstep

    outofstep

    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    I started out on the squire p-bass pak... It's a pretty good investment.. It comes with a little instructional video and everything...

    I still use my p-bass (built like a tank) every once in a while... for the price of the bass, you can't go wrong as an entry level... but put new strings on it, because those huge strings are too hard to play for those little hands...

    the amp is pretty weak.. it might just be mine, but when I had turned mine up, it got distorted... but what can you expect from a little practice amp like that..

    so in conclusion I recommend the squire pak.. plus you can find it for like 250 at musicians friend i think...
     
  9. My opinion, is not to get a Package and just buy it seperately. A OLP MM 4, Fender Bassman 25, strap, guitar/bass tuner, a semi-good cable and a book or video. That will basically get you what's normally in a package, just better quality amp and cable.
     
  10. i agree with bert, on the OLP and other things, but i will personlly vouch for Hartke amps! best out there in my opinion. and i tried a few of there top of the range basses, quite nice, not sure bout the lower range stuff
    Can't go far wrong with Hartke though, considering they only make bass stuff, they know what they're doin!

    *Si*
     
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    The only thing I noticed about the Squier pack was it doesnt come with a tuner like all the other starter packs do.I realize that a tuner can be had for $20 or less,but Im suprised that they dont include one.Imo the most important thing for any Bass player(especially a beginner) is to be in tune.

    Sorry to rant about this,but imo someone at Squier really dropped the ball on this one.........
     
  12. Nah, actually from Upstate NY, moved here 11 years ago.. I was just quoting what Jon said :D
     
  13. i just went thru this and got my 16 yr old daughter a squire pak,........seemed like the best deal,....bass was nice and light and the neck isnt too wide. i played it and the rig sounds fine............she was so thrilled she cried in the store!!............really made me feel like santa....., now what about christmas? im sure she doesnt think im done with her yet,,,........dang good kid though.........this is kinda like growing a bassplayer from a seed for me, im excited to have learned of her interest........now practice practice practice,.......hohoho
     
  14. The Ibanez package is decent for a beginner.That is the one I began with.Granted the amp is weenieville but to fart around with in the bedroom or what ever...

    Oh,he`ll have to bum a cable off of you dad,the one it comes with is really garbage.:D
     
  15. The squier pak is the only one with the a good cable.... of course it also doesn't include a tuner or a video or anything :p hey I guess they gotta make up the cost somewhere.
     
  16. I say go with the Ibanez Rumblepack.You get a nice little tuner,strap,video,cable(garbage)picks,gigbag.....then just buy a nice cable! :D
     
  17. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    I gotta agree with Bert & Si "creating" the package could make a difference, it's what my dad did for me. Fender MIM Jazz, Fender BXR 15 [decent bedroom amp], then cables, strap. If you can find a DeArmond Pilot [any series] in your area that coupled with an amp in my mind would be a good move-then again i really love my Pilot Plus 5 :D Depending on christmas money an OLP 5 & a carvin PB200 could be coming home before summer. :)
     
  18. RHCFlea

    RHCFlea

    Jun 16, 2001
    Washington DC
    I got the squier pack for 180. The bass is good, in fact, everything is except the amp sucks
     
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Bassman 25 blows away the small Hartke amps in tone and volume.
     
  20. If you have the money and are willing to spend it then,by all means,create your own beginner pack!
    That would be the best,just was not sure how much you were looking to spend.If he is serious enough ,go for the mix n match setup! :D :D