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My cheapest bass is my favorite

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Falkner, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Falkner


    Mar 5, 2008
    I own a Yamaha RBX170, an RBX5 A2, and a Squier VM jazz. I've played American Fenders, high end Schecters, Ibanez, and many others in stores. Although almost any other bass sounds better, I've come to realize that my entry level Yamaha plays and feels much better to me than any other bass I've used. Perfect action, smooth fast neck, comfortable light body, you name it.

    The only reason I don't upgrade all the electronics to make it sound decent is because the neck is pretty warped, and I think it's getting worse as time goes on. I'm seriously thinking of selling my other basses to buy a new 170 and hope for a good neck, then gut the electronics and buy some higher end things. I like it that much.

    Does anyone else feel similarly about their beginner level bass? Has anyone else found a gem in the bottom end of the bass spectrum and use that as their main bass? Or am I just crazy?

    Edit: I realize I'm probably going to get 10,000+ SX replies to this. I'm more interested in cheap basses that are peoples' number one bass, upgraded or not. The one that you'd save from a burning building if you had to choose.
  2. southernrocker

    southernrocker Banned

    Apr 4, 2009
    You are not crazy, my main is a highly modified Squier.
  3. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    I'm awfully fond of my 1997 Ibanez SR300. The thing is a tank, it has taken a heck of a beating and still...for whatever reason...sounds pretty good for such a low end bass.

    Maybe it's like how sometimes you buy a cheap car that just keeps running great vs. a high end sports car that you're repairing every week.
  4. Believe me,,I understand you!!! I owned more than 20 basses, including 2 Warwicks and one Tobias, and the only bass that I stay with it for years and not trade or sale is an OLP MM2 natural with one piece maple neck. How much it cost me? Just $199 plus taxes in GC!!! I really love that bass and a lot of people that hear my bass in live shows tell me that it has and increible sound. In the beginin I was so stupid and I wanted that the people watched that I had a expencive bass but now,,I don't care, I play something that have good sound and not just a good brand.......Righ now I have 3 basses and the OLP is the most cheaper but I use it 90% of the time. Like southernrocker said: "your are not crazy"
  5. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    I recently picked up a new Yamaha BB415 ($449), and to me it honestly plays and sounds just as good as a 5'er I recently had that had a list price of $1799 (I won't mention the brand... :ninja:). It's my main bass now.

    I also own a Squier VM Jazz ($279) and a Dean Playmate ABG ($150). I do own some higher end stuff (Spector NS-2, fretless EBMM Stingray 5), but I love the 'econo' basses I own just as much.

    There are plenty of "diamonds in the rough" to be found out there, both used and new!
  6. shamus63


    Dec 17, 2005
    San Mateo, CA
    My '84 Squier Japan Precision.

    Cost me $500 (shipped) on eBay a couple years back; intended as a back-up bass.

    Turned out to be a real player with vintage tone; all stock, except for the Switchcraft jack I had installed.

    I rarely gig it; I'll take my more-expensive (but replaceable) basses out of the house first.
  7. pjh2112


    Jan 28, 2009
    Squire VM J, Money!
  8. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I got to tell ya, I'm in the same boat right now. I have a bunch of basses, but I bought a '78 Fender P franken bass ('78 neck on a custom P body, etc) that just KILLS and I only have prob $475ish into it.

    When I got the bass, the setup was horrible. I set her up. The neck is so straight and the fret work is prob the best I've owned (the neck was refretted at some point, but it was done RIGHT)! Action can go ULTRA low. I got rid of the EMG that was in it. Bought a new Bill Lawrence P-46 pickup (the best P pickup I've ever tried), slapped on a Hipshot detuner and it's just awesome!!!

    I've got several basses that I have two, three and four times the money into and this one smokes most of them. Goes to show you that you can get killer basses @ bargain prices!

    It's the black P:

  9. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    true cases of the "least precious" being the most enjoyable.

    You can detach and just play the snot outta them w/o worrying if you are denting them or scratching them, and that is how it should be, across the board...it's a tool, it should get used within an inch of its life.
  10. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    I find the RBX170 a really nice bass, it doesn't compare to my 775, but it is a great bass :bassist:

    anyway, I too have a Fender now, but still my fave one is the Yamaha, which costed half the Fender
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'll go you one better than that. I like my basses in the exact opposite order of price. My favorite is my CIJ Jazz at around $400 (used). My next favorite (and by far most played bass) is my $600 Ibanez BTB 5. Then comes my Carvin 6 at around $1100 (sweet tone but I just don't need a 6 that much). Then my Cirrus 4 at around $1400 (too skinny for my big hands). And I just got rid of a $1500 American Dulxe Jazz 5 I had bought at $1500 because I liked it the least. I never thought about it until you brought it up, but there you go. Hoooooray for cheap basses!
  12. brianmharrison


    Oct 11, 2007
    I feel the same way about my Peavey Milestone II. Got it for $75 at a pawn shop. Has great action, sounds great with a good set of strings and it's not as heavy as the fender p I used to have. I say used to have because I kept this one over the fender.
  13. I have a $140 Turser JTB-401 ('54 P clone) with Labella Deep Talkin flats on it that sounds and plays GREAT.

    I also have a $199 Rogue VB-100 with LaBella Hofner flats that everyone on the band just loves.

    I've left my '63 P at home more than once in order to play those at gigs.
  14. spong


    Nov 20, 2006
    Ashburn Virginia
    I have probably spent over 100 grand on music equipment and probably over 20 grand on basses alone. I have had loads of different high end basses and while most have a killer tone they tend to be one trick ponies most of the time. The only basses I have right now are a Yamaha attitude standard 5 and a 65 fender P fretless. The Yamaha can hang with the best of them in both playability and tone. It actually has a really nice fendery sound which is the sound I personally like. I must admit that I am thinking about a sadowski but the Yamaha is definitely just as good a tool as most basses out there.
  15. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    My cheapest is the one you're most likely to see in my hands (almost always) at a show.

    I swear by this very tried ,true battle tested and proven SX P bass.

    It's also been used in this Music Video,

    as well as "live performance" on Boston area t.v. show "Sonic Lobotomy"
  16. Gadolinium


    Feb 3, 2007
    Wiltshire UK
    I have an RBX170 that i started out on, but then upgraded to a BTB550 Ibanez. I love my ibanez to bits, but since i defretted my yamaha and played around with the setup, its like playing butter and my Ibanez hasnt seen much action recently. The yamahas are just awesome basses
  17. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I have a feeling that once my Yamaha BB404 is done and finished that it is going to take over my main time. My warwick better shape up!
  18. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    You're okay. My fav is a MIM Jazz with a Squire II P-bass neck. I have basses that play better, have more Snob apeal, etc. But this one plays solid, looks good, and if it gets Destroyed, I'm outta $150...
  19. I played a yamaha RBX260(it was not mine, but maybe ill buy it), and now my main is a Ministar basstar. My next is an SX. Maybe a cort action junior sometime.

    (they are all less than 400$ basses)
  20. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    My Yamaha BB605 is my only bass. I did put Bartolini electronics in it, but it was pretty nice stock. I just love the Bartolini sound.

    I am looking for a 2nd bass but I haven't decided yet what that might be. I have even thought about getting a 2nd Yamaha BB605 if I could find one.

    Nothing wrong with an "inexpensive" bass if it plays well and sounds good.

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