More on bass for standards/bebop jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by markr, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. markr


    Mar 1, 2002
    There was a great thread on this with some good suggestions, both for particular basses & EB jazz players to listen to. I have a particular question in visiting a music store near me (Subways in Berkeley).
    They have an incredible number of basses, and I'd like to get a feel of where to start. Many are custum creations, for example, a Warmoth body and neck, with Alembic soapbar pick-up driven by active Bartolini circuitry. Or a USA fender neck, warmoth body, Bartolini pick-up and active tone. There are all sorts of variations, around $600-700.
    They sound like quality parts, but are these brands and active circuitry an advantage for straightahead jazz? I'm coming from a short background in upright, playing with other amateurs; I won't be doing a ton of slapping, though who knows? I associate Alembic sound with Clarke, not sure its too appropriate for bebop or standards.
    Recently Bass Player mag did basses under $800 reviews; the Washburn T-34 sounded like a good bet (online new about $420). How hard would it be to upgrade later in pickups if I wanted a better sound?
    I'll have about $1500 to work with for guitar & amp when I sell my upright.)
  2. JRB

    JRB Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    I am a Bay Area bass player to so I have been into Subway a number of times. I would however, say that you need to be very very careful with anything you bye there. I have seen there building rooms and they just throw the parts around with very little respect for them. There necks are just sitting in a big pile. A lot of the instruments I have picked up there have had problems with the preamps not working or one of the nobs having problems. For the money you have to spend I think subway might still be a good way to go, but make sure to really look over any instrument. Also about your other questions I think that a preamp is helpful in all types of music, for straight ahead it comes in handy when going to the back pickup for solo's or getting more punch more walking, I would just make sure to get a jazz bass if that is what you are going to be playing. Well, I hope this long reply helps
    PS if you want a used cab I have a swr workingman 410T for sale in SF ($300).
  3. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    I would definitely distance myself from more "modern" sounding basses. I do use an older (80s) MIJ Jazz Fretless on such occasions.

    If you are intent on replicating a more upright like sound, there are some ABGs out there that offer a decent approximation. You should have several options in your stated budget.