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Low Cost Basses with Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bullitt, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Bullitt


    Feb 12, 2004
    Central Indiana
    I read all of your posts about the high end basses and see the pics and I just have to sit back and drool. With my kids, all 4 of them, my only chance to have an Fbass, Dingwall, Ken Smith, etc. would be to sell the kids and the Harley and go for it. Seeing as how I am not good enough to make money playing bass I think I will keep the kids and the Hog.
    Right now my budget hovers around the $300 max range which I know is not the range to get a really nice bass right now but I have been looking at the OLP MM3 as I love the MM basses. I will be doing most of my playing either at home just as a tension breaker or occasionally at church. I would like to get a nice warm, mellow tone that you would associate with maybe church music or some jazz tone. Can the OLP give me anything near what I am looking for?
    Thanks in advance and keep the pics coming. You guys own some beautiful basses!
  2. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    You can get a blimished Yamaha BB404 at MF right now for $270, shipped free.

    That might be the best under $300 deal you'll run upon if you want to buy new. Used, you have more options, but you have to be much more patient.
  4. the yamaha rbx basses are going pretty cheap on musicians frend and they sound pretty good.
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Regarding the ATK price. Check Ebay for completed items but I don't think you'd have any trouble picking up an ATK shipped fo $300 and there's always plenty of them.
  6. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Find a used Fender Jazz.
  7. I think my peavey foundation is awesome sounding, for the price. I would definately take it over a stock mim jazz. got it for i think 250 to 300 canadian, it was my first bass and will not sell it.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I would second the Yamaha BB404 which can be had new for $300. The BB405 is a heck of five string which can be had for $400. Finally, the Squire P-Bass Special Five string can be had for $250 and it has a great neck and tone although it has pretty noisy electronics.
  9. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    you might want to look at a Danelectro DC bass. THose have a GREAT tone to them and you can buy one for around $250 :D
  10. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    An Ibanez ATK would be great. You can get them on EBay for $250 easily. They are so nice too.
  11. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    I feel your pain brother, i have kids and know the pain of wanting gear but oh thoses damn bills. try to find a used fender jazz. I think new MIM jazz basses can be had for about $400. keep playing one day the little ones will grow up and then we can do some damage with momas credit card.
  12. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I would strongly recommend a good USED bass. You'll save a whole bunch of money and even if it has a ding or two or a scratch, it doesn't affect the playability/tone. Personally, I find used instruments to play better anyway since they have been used for a while.

    Depending on what type of tone you want, there are a lot of great basses out there in your price range. Mexican made Fenders are a good choice, but they vary in quality so you really need to check out the particular instrument that you'd buy. Like someone else wrote, the Squier Precision Special 5 string is a great bass. I bought a green one from Sam Ash brand new for under $200.

    If you're not in a huge hurry and live near a Guitar Center, wait for one of their "list" sales which usually happen on holiday weekends (Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween, etc.) If they have stuff that's been around for a while they often sell it off way below cost...
  13. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    at $300 you might wanna to get a used MIM Fender and put a Custom Shop pikcup in it, I had a P Bass like that, that got amazing tone, kinda wish i still had it actually. in my opinion, with MIM fenders you have to go to the store and play a ton of them to find the one in 10 or twenty that really works for you, so you might be better off if you can spend closer to $400 or $500 total and get a new one

    in the $400-$500 range a great bass is the Hamer Cruise (used) with 2 Tek, theres one on sale on this site in the gear for sale forum actually. those are GREAT basses with great tone, they weight alot but they are great basses

    that would be my 2 recommendations

    Fender Custom Shop pickups costs about $60-75 and placed in just about any lower priced bass will radically improve the tone

    alot of people here swear by Essex Basses which are crazy inexpensive (like $150 new or something like that). Take some Fender Custom Shop pickups (or Lindy Fralins, or another pickup style you like), a upgraded bridge and some nice strings in that bass and you will have some good tone
  14. fremenblue


    Jan 8, 2003
    Eugene, Or.
    I have an ATK300, it approximates a Stingray somewhat, minus some of the stringy growl/clank. It's a more smooth, tame version. If you're patient you may be able to pick up a used MusicMan SUB, which DEFINITELY is pure Stingray but two band instead of three on the EQ, slab body--a vintage 'ray vibe some say. I love mine. Dunno if you'll catch a used one quite at 300, might have to pay more. . ..hey, I bought a sweet Conklin Groovetools at five bills and got took pricewise, you should be able to get a used GrooveTools 4 string for much less than I paid.
  15. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
  16. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    $109 plus $70-$100 pickups from Fender Custom Shop or Fralin, plus maybe a new bridge or new tuners (don't know if they need new bridges or tuners, I'm not familiar with them, just saying...) ...ends up being a pretty darn good deal. pay $50-$75 for a great pro set-up from someone and you are in the tone zone for $300...not bad
  17. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    When I ordered mine, I bought a Fender '62 reissue pickup (before hearing the Essex). It was $60 plus shipping. When I got the bass I made a recording with the stock pickup, then after installing the new one I made a recording with it and compared the two. The Fender did sound marginally better, but I don't know if it was enough to justify the $60 I spent. The stock pickup sounded surprisingly good.

    I would recommend a pickup change, but for someone who doesn't want to spend the money it will sound pretty good stock. The stock bridge and tuners are very good, no need to replace them unless you want to.

    I have $200 bucks in mine, and it sounds great and plays very well. A good deal. I've used it on gigs with good results.The one thing that really needed work was the nut, which was cut a little high. That is a pretty easy and cheap fix, so I can't complain.
  18. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    I have recently seen a sale on ebay for Washburn XB900 basses for around three hundred dollars. They have a Basslines MM humbucker and three band preamp with slap contour in the volume knob. I have also seen Washburm Taurus basses on sale, they are neck through multi laminate basses with the same electronics as the XB900. I would also recomend the MF Yamaha's.
  19. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
  20. kazuhank


    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR

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