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looking for a modern bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nowontonsforme, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Hey all, I'm new here and I was wondering if I could get some opinions from ya. I'm lookin for some opinions on basses that I'm considering purchasing. I've done lots of research on this here internet thing and have spent the last 2 days searching these forums. The bass I currently own is an early-mid 90's Ibanez SR500 that I recently put EMG's into with an EMG BTS preamp. I'm happy with the sound of the bass, but the plability is less than desirable and I am ready to move on to a 5 string. I use steel strings on a maple bass with very active electronics, so having an 'unforgiving' bass or a bass with lots of highs (and lows) is basically exactly what I'm looking for. My idea of ideal tone is a bright MTD 535 american running through Eden gear. Zons are pretty nice too. I play fingerstyle and tap mainly, with a little slap on the side.

    Basses I'm considering:
    MTD Saratoga
    Pedulla Rapture
    Spector USA bolt-on
    used Zon Sonus

    I'm not married to the EMG tone even though I'm very happy with it. I'd like to try Barts in my next bass with perhaps an Aguilar onboard pre. I need a bass with 2 pups, but j/j or p/j doesn't really matter. I don't have much experience with soapbars.

    Which bass do you feel would be better for my situation? Are there any other basses in the $1k-$2k range that you would recommend? The reason I ask is that I'm not able to play the Saratoga or a Zon here in the middle of missouri (or a lot of basses in fact; the selection around here is horrible). Zons appear every once in a while, but they're rare to see one sitting at the local guitar center. I love the feel of the Pedulla (especially the neck, it was wonderful) but the price is almost too high and I thought it was going to sound a little better than it did. The Saratoga seems perfect on paper, and I'm going to look into getting one with piezos installed, but again, I've never heard or played one.
  2. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    If your looking for a custom, may I suggest talking to Chris Stambaugh from Stambaugh Designs.

    Chris will build you a custom bass to your specs at a very reasonable cost. For the options you want, it may run you a little over 2K, but it will be well worth it. There are a few Stambaugh owners on this board that can vouch for his work.

    I understand your dilemma with not having access to the basses you really want to try before you buy. I live in an area where the music stores carry your basic gear. You may also try finding some local bass player in your area that may own the type of gear you're looking for and hook up with them to try it out. Most bassers would be happy to let you try their gear. Try to organize a GTG in your area. I'm sure there're some TB'res in your neck of the woods.

    You could also keep an eye on the FOR SALE section on this board. You can find some really good deals on basses.

    Best of luck on your quest.
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    What's wrond with the playability? Have you had the bass professionally set up?
  4. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Go give a bongo a try. Crank up that 4-band preamp and you might just like it.
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Status are worth including in your list - although I'm not sure what US prices are like on these. Quality wise they match any other bass at any price, and from what you've said so far I'm sure they'd be very much your sort of thing.

  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    You should check out Sheldon Dingwall's basses. They're the very definition of 'modern' but are flexible enough that they can do a good passive/vintage sound. The Afterburner 1 & 2 are in the price range you state as well. They're great basses.
  7. thanks for the replies all, i really appreciate it

    i get the ibanez professionally set up about twice a year (usually after winter or summer has set in for good) the problem is the neck is too thin and the nut is too low. when i get good action at the nut, the strings are too high over the pickups and when i get the action right at the bridge, theres an awful lot of buzzin goin on on the neck. Ive had some problems with it S curving. generally im just ready for an upgrade. If i set the ibanez up just a little 'too high' im able to play without too many problems.

    Bongos are great basses, but theyre unfortunately too ugly for my picky tastes. I wish they werent though, id really like piezos.

    I will definitley look into status basses, ive browsed them at basscentral.com, but never looked into em enough to see what theyre all about.

    Dingwalls are super sweet, and ive actually seen one or two around here, but i have never picked one up and jammed, them fanned frets are a little intimidating. I wonder how tapping and chords would translate on those necks.

    Im sure this has been touched on before, but what are your opinions on wood vs graphite necks for the sound im going after? I know graphite is much more resiliant to weather changes, but i dont know much about their sound.

    thanks again for the suggestions everyone! keep them coming. i got GAS like nobodies bidness!
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    In my experience today's "modern" basses are almost always tomorrow's "dated" basses with a few notable exceptions. I like stuff that's more classic and timeless -cough-Fender-cough-. Since the Bongo comes from Music Man I think it may be more of the timeless variety than the dated one.
  9. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Well you cant go wrong with the MTD, and I second the opinion of the Dingwall, and Stambaugh, and I'll throw Skjold's into the mix as well.

    Dont let fanned frets scare you at all, they take no time to adjust too. Tapping is a little bit tricky in the high register, but nothing you couldnt overcome with a little shedding. Chords for me are actually more comfortable on the Dingwall due to the angle of your wrist matching the fret angles in most cases. Some may disagree, Mike Dimin for one, but he plays a little more complex things that the average Joe.

    Of the 4 Id say the Skjold will be the most versatile, the Dingwall will somewhat limit your string choices, and if you have small hands may be an issue. The other two I havent personally had much experience with so I'll leave that to folks with more experience with them, but as of yet have not really heard a bad word about either of them.
  10. modern just seems to describe the qualities im looking for, to each their own. Fenders are groovy too, a precision deluxe or american jazz are not out of the question. The best fretless ive ever played was a lined american precision. that thing played like a beaut. my main problem with fenders is that they arent as sexy as the mtd or the pedulla. theyre certainly not ugly like the bongo though.
  11. Modulus?
  12. i just played a cort A5 and a Warrior Adam Nitti model this weekend. both were great, although one was for sale for $850, and the other was $2400. I almost fell in love with that purple heart fret board on the warrior though. any opinions?
  13. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I obviously gotta suggest a Peavey Cirrus (I own one).

    The bass has everything you´re looking for:
    Modern sound, superb playability, well built, sexy looking,
    neck through, 18V active preamp. Believe me, it´s a killer bass. Do a search in TB and you´ll know what I mean.

    Besides, used ones are pretty cheap.