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My Trip to the GC

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mud Flaps, Jan 17, 2005.


  1. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    This weekend, I went down to the Guitar Center and tried out all the basses, amps, and keyboards they had in stock. Here's what I thought:

    Liked

    Music Man Sterling- I was really impressed with the tone and playability of the Sterling. In fact, I prefer it to the Stingray 4 (and most other basses). I ended up playing this more than any other bass at the GC mostly because I felt right at home with the thin neck and string height.

    Mesa Stack- I had never played anything built by Mesa until this weekend. But wow, just wow. Great punch and tone. It's nasty when you want it to be nasty, clear when you want it to be clear, and punchy when you want it to be punchy.

    Fender Geddy Lee- One of the best value basses I have ever come across. I don't even like Geddy Lee! Totally nails the vintage tone, great for slap!

    Fender Marcus Miller- Another one of the best value basses I have ever come across. Sounds a lot like the Geddy Lee. The shell that covers the neck pickup is a stupid idea. I was so tempted to remove it right there and throw it into the bushes outside. It didn't get in the way as much as I thought it would though.

    Music Man Stingray 5- Great bass! Most playable 5 string I have ever come across. Sounds like the Sterling. I'm deciding whether I want to buy this or an MTD Heir or Kingston for my 2nd 5'er.

    G&L L-2000- Holy crap! Tone is somehow extremely unique and eclectic at the same time. Monster slapper. Monster finger style. Monster bass.

    Fender 1968 Jazz Relic- Yup, they let me play it! :D

    Pedulla Buzz Fretless 5- I've heard a J/J fretless before. There is no fretless bass as good as a Pedulla, period.

    Ken Smith 6- Best designed bass I have ever come across. Passive is about equally as loud as the active so you can switch back and forth between the shows. Construction was awesome, the pickup and preamp blew me away.

    Aguilar 4x10 and 2x12- A fart would sound beautiful through one of those.

    Top-of-the-Line Yamaha, Korg, and Roland Keyboards- Keyboards these days are just rediculous.


    meh

    Warwick Streamer I 5- This bass ended up playing an important role in my life. Specifically, my previous philosophy of string spacing, "wider is better." It made me realize that there is a point where I will say "too wide," like this bass. However wide that string spacing was, it was just too wide. It hurt my wrist to play it. Otherwise, the bass was just meh. I didn't like the tone as much as the Stingray 5.

    Ibanez SRX Series- The tone of these basses is terrific, but the necks are just too thin. I can't play 'em.

    All Ampeg Stuff- I like Ampeg cabs (in fact I have one), but I've never liked their heads or preamps. Their combos are awesome though (yes, I know the combos have Ampeg heads in them). I played through a 1x15 combo amp, and a SVT-4 through a SVT410HE, both were meh.

    Specter Euro 5 - Meh. Tone kind of sucked.

    SWR Stack- I played a 350x through a Goliath III. The subwave feature was awful. The tone was okay, but because its only feature was bad, the head became featureless and thus meh.

    Music Man Stingray 4- I don't like the neck. I find it to be too chunky. But it is a Stingray!

    Music Man Bongo 4 and 5- I was a bit underwhelmed by it. It didn't seem worthy of the rave reviews. I don't think the tone is as good as a Stingray or Sterling.


    Disliked

    Fender P-Basses- I hate the sound of P-Basses.

    Fender MIA Jazz- Extremely poor value. Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller sounded exponentially better.

    Other Ibanezes- They just sounded like crap. If you want something inexpensive, buy an SX or a Tribute G&L.

    Other Warwick 5's- These were utterly impossible to play. I don't know how anyone can play a bass with that thin string spacing.

    Warwick Thumb Bleached Blond 4- Appallingly poor value, worse than the MIA Jazz. The tone is cool, but not $3500 cool.

    Schecter MM/J- Lousy tone. I don't know why, the pickups were designed by Seymour Duncan. Maybe it was the preamp. Or maybe I screwed with the knobs too much.

    SWR Workingman's 2x12- You might as well play through a tin can. With this amp, all you're paying for is the SWR name. It doesn't really sound like an SWR.


    If I think of anything else, I'll make sure to post it.
     
  2. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Cool reviews, glad you liked the Sterling ;) Interesting to hear you prefered Sterling tone over Bongo tone. I have yet to play a Bongo and iwant to hear one just for kicks, to see what the buzz is about.
     
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    D#*#*, What GC was this?, Ken Smith, Agular, 68 Relic. In the Detroit Metro area your lucky if you can find ANY MIA Fender! No Smiths!! that's for sure. Are they a Smith Dealer? Was it a new GC? When they opened up out here they had a lot of cool stuff, They quickly dumped the cool stuff for MIM Fenders and MIK Warwicks!
     
  4. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Isn't the Thumb blonde $2499? I played it and I kind of enjoyed it. I liked mine better :p.
     
  5. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Hey, thanks!! Nice concise review ..... you gotta figure that you probably PO'd a whole bunch of people with your dislike section, and probably a few more in your "meh" section.

    I agree about the Ibanez SRX line, it's the only one worth a d*mn IMO, but those necks are really thin, plus the bass has a limited range of sounds (mostly just thunder :p ). What didn't you like about the Euro 5? I had heard pretty decent stuff about that bass. I also agree about the Fender MIA Jazz, too much money for what it is ........
     
  6. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Seroulsy! I have never seem a Smith, G&L, Old Fenders, Aggie cabs at a GC, where is this? IMO the Spector's sound good!!! You must have played it through one of those tin can rigs.
     
  7. cetera

    cetera

    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    Either that, or the strings were dead.... or the battery dying...
     
  8. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I went to the Guitar Center in Fairfax, VA (around 10 mi. outside of DC).

    I didn't think the tone of the Spector was very gripping. I attribute it to the j/p pickup configuration and the EMG-HZ pickups. My problem with EMG-HZ's is that they're not aggressive enough to play heavy or slap lines and their not smooth enough to play supporting or jazz lines. This is really how I felt about the Spector too. If I wanted to play somehting smooth, I'd go with a 55-02 or 55-94 w/ Barts, if I wanted to play something aggressive, I'd go with a Stingray, L-2500, 55-94 w/ Basslines etc. Spector seems to try both and comes short of both.

    Edit: To Spector's credit, the basses are very, very playable.
     
  9. cetera

    cetera

    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    If it had EMG-HZ pickups then it was unlikely to be a Euro Spector unless it was a ReBop with EMG-HZ soapbars. It must therefore have been an Asian import, possibly one of the new Professional Series 'Legend' basses... :meh:

    However, if it had EMG P/J configuration then it can't have been a five string.... from ANYWHERE... :meh:

    I'm confused.... how many strings and what pickups?! :confused: :confused:
     
  10. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Yea, you're right. I must be confusing it with another one. I'll get back to you on that.
     
  11. I'm still waiting for the Thumb Blond jokes to start! :p