Meditations on first bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by plzkthxlol, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. plzkthxlol


    Oct 1, 2003
    Hello everyone.

    So i've always wanted to learn bass, mostly because i like the deep tone and because everyone and their sister plays guitar (at least people that i know). However, I've just never gotten around to getting one. Well, now I have some a couple of friends who want to play together, mostly as just a hobby to have something to do, we dont have dreams of becoming rock stars or anything. Two play guitar, one drums, so it looks like im finally getting a bass. I plan on taking lessons because im a bit of a perfectionist and want to be sure the play correctly and actually become a well player.

    Now I'm trying to decide what bass to get.

    Like most things im interested in, i found a forum and startedd reading archived threads. At first i thought this would be a reasonable easy decision, but after reading a great deal, a found there is much more too this than i originally thought. Four, five, six, seven, etc, strings.. different pickups, different amps, wood material, different basses for different styles, etc etc.. I'm really starting to get bogged down =(.

    So I'm just gonna throw this out in the open and hopefully someone can help me out.

    As far as quality goes.. I don't want something cheap as hell, but then again i just can't see myself spending a grand or more on a bass. So probably in the 500-700 dollar range. And that would be the price for something new, not used. The kind of music we will be playing will be almost exclusivly "nu metal". Music terms like these get thrown around a lot, probably by me as well, so ill just name some bands to clarify: Disturbed, Godsmack, TOOL, A perfect circle, incubus, korn, staind, system of a down, 311, im sure you get the idea. My friends who play guitar say i should go ahead and get a 5 string, and that if i get a 4 i'll regret it later. They also are both a fan of Ibanez. All this being said, the bass i've come down to is the Ibanez SRX505. Its moderatly priced around 500-550, i love the way it looks, its description includes it has simple controls and meant for a hard rock bassist, which seem to fit me good, seeing as I wont really know much about the tone controls of other, high-end basses anyway. I messed around with an SRX300, i figured the body to be mostly the same, and i liked it. I got my friend to play it, and i liked the sound too.

    After having typed all this, i feel almost certain it's the bass for me, but i want to go ahead and post, and get any imput at all. Is it true i should go ahead and get a 5 string, is this a decent bass for a hobbyistic (is that even a word, LOL) player? Answers to these few questions and anything else would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your time.
  2. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I had an Ibanez 5 string for a long time and after a while I didnt like the bass or the fifth string. If I were you I would get a Fender MIA Jazz bass. An alternative is an Essex Jazz. A lot of people like those although I dont have any experience with them and I suspect the quality is not quite that of a Fender MIA but probably close. The Fender is in your price range and it will work for all the genres you want to play as well as others. I think your guitar player friends advice about regretting buying a 4 is unwarranted and shortsighted. Good luck and welcome to the low end! :bassist:
  3. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    welcome to TB!
    I don't feel qualified to comment on Nu Metal or Ibanez, but I just wanted to say that yours is probably the finest example of a 'first post' I've seen around here. You've done your homework, you included all the right details, and it's respectful and well thought-out.
    Glad to see you here. This forum has a lot to offer.

    Have you browsed the classifieds here yet? There are usually some good deals to be had from trustworthy members.

    Have you tried any basses in the music stores yet? Strap them on, see how they feel as you reach for the 1st frets...plunk on them a little bit. Maybe you could find a bassist in your area that could help you discover your preferences before starting your lessons?

    Hope you find something you like!
    wait... I forgot! Almost all 'nu-metallers' use Warwicks! Might want to look into a used thumb?
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I would look at the Ibanez BTB 505
  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    If you are not stuck on
    Ibnanez let me suggest an MTD Kingston. definitely in the price range and one of the faves around here. Of course, you'd have to play one to see for yourself...
  6. warwick_bassguy


    Oct 6, 2003
    i love my Ibanez EDA905, my only complait is the high action near the bottom of the neck and the wide string spacing both due to the piezo pickups, but really it is the piezo pickups that give it such a cool sound. I got it for $625 almost 2 or 3 years ago. I think Ibanez makes a lot of great entry level basses though.

    Mine is for sale if you are interested?
  7. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    I have the SRX300. I think the SRX505 would be a good choice, a big step in quality from the GSRs and whatnot.

    One thing I've found with the 300 is that the stock tuners may be need to replaced, I'm running into some tuning stability problems after agressive sessions.

    I say, try to play the 505, and see if you like the low B (I'm assuming here). You will be your ultimate guide. Not your friends. And no, the bass is not easier than guitar. I picked up passable guitar skills a lot faster than I did on bass.

    One other thing, the pickups.

    They are fairly unforgiving on technique, and respond very well to dynamics, so some times you just go to reign in on that right hand with em.

    I find them to be very woody sounding. I'm usually playing with the blend knob around 70/30 of neck and bridge. This may or may not fit in with the sound of the band, but I dig it in my metal band.

    I'm not sure of the string spacing on the 505, but I know the EMG 35 series soapbars will fit in the 300 if ever wanted to replace them. You would need the 40 series for the 5'er.

    Good luck on your band.
  8. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Suspended Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA

    This bass would be an excellent choice. Just buy it, have a local guy set it up for you (action, pickup height, trussrod, etc) and start playing your ass off.


    BTW - learn to play with your fingers, & with a pick, and learn to slap. Just do it. You'll understand later. :)

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

  10. Yamaha makes some good mid-range basses. I think a 5er might be harmful at first, because I feel practicing on a 4 first would be better, and you can make the jump later. But if you're going for Nu-metal, you'll probably need the 5er. Try a 4 and a 5 and figure out which feels better for you.
  11. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    In your price range there are a lot of good instruments. You should definately try out some Fenders, both Precsions and Jazz. One great thing about a 5 string bass is that its is easy to transition to D when guitarists play is drop D tuning. Also, the B string gives you the option to play really thick and heavy, if that is what your band is into.

    Congrats on the new band! It's lots of fun. :) Kiss all your extra money goodbye, though. :p
  12. I also have the SRX300, if you can get a good price on it I feel its a pretty good bass to start out with. The thin neck was what really did it for me. I havn't had the tuner problem mentioned above but have heard about it on several occasions so you may want to look into that. I wouldn't buy into the 5 over 4 string hype just yet, there are plenty of people out there doing incredible things with just 4 strings.
    good luck with your search
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Your friends are absolutely right: based on the music you are playing, you should start on 5-string and not 4, or you WILL regret it. Starting on five is no harder than starting on four... might even be easier. I wish I had started on five string, but that wasn't a realistic option back in 1976!

    Asbestos: as always I'm not trying to imply 5+ is "better" than 4 overall, but it definitely is for nu-metal and modern rock (and some other genres too...)
  14. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    First of all, congrats on the done homework! As long as you give stuff some thought, you shouldn't be regretting it later.

    On the string matter, perhaps it would be the wisest if you go and buy a used 4-string axe which is easy to unload if you decide that you really need the fifth string. Also, don't be afraid to look into 80's models, for example Yamaha BB's and Aria Pro II's have good workmanship and tone for few hundred bucks.

    If you decide to get a new axe, especially a 5-string one, the forementioned MTD Kingston is an excellent choice and probably has the nicest B-string in your budget. It's also a very simple design, and when most budget basses seem to compete in the amount of bells and whistles I personally would choose a more basic but better quality axe.
  15. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    and he's back to lurkin'... :)
    you still there plzkthxlol?
  16. Along with everyone else here, welcome, and good luck on your new found journey as a bassist. :D

    Ive been playing Ibanez basses for quite awhile and i always liked the SRX series, the pickups are big and aggressive sounding (very nu-metallish), and the 5 will definitely help you, so if you go the extra money to spend on one, just do it. Its also nice that you can get a figured maple top in that price range. If you decide to step up to the SRX700 you can get a swamp ash body and thru-neck design as well... but no maple top. :( However youre off to a really great start, just make sure you get a decent set of strings put on it, and its set-up right. And try hard to find a fellow bassist you can get friendly with to help you along.

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