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need a couple of opinions about a new purchase :)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by geodeath, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. geodeath


    Apr 30, 2009
    Hi all!
    First post and a good one as well.
    Please bare with me before throwing stones my way ok?
    I am an (almost) newbie after all :bag:

    I played the bass for a metal band back in the day (which i would love to do again, given the chance) with an esp grassroots (not a real esp though, as in squire for fenders) "metal" bass which sounded probably as ok as was its price. I still have it, i like it but i have a very good opportunity to get a new bass, even a very expensive one at a VERY low price, probably at 1/4 of its price i would get it locally. Guitars & basses in Greece (as everything in Greece anyway) are hugely overpriced (as in 2000$ for bass X, 2000 Euros for the same bass here, although dollar/euro price has major differences of up to 30-40%) so i thought i should grab this chance, since i do not plan on stop playing at all. In a band or not, i want to play as much as i can.

    Given this chance, i thought of going for a very expensive bass for a beginner, thinking that its not really good to spend something close to 800$ for a mexican P or J bass or another brand's "intermediate" level basses (if you get my point) but rather head for a good, solid instrument that will not have me buying another one in the future just cause i might have grown to have better expectations or needs. And saying that, i know that i can probably just get a mexican J bass and be more than happy with it with everything i try to do, but as it happened a lot of times in my life already, sometimes, you DO get what you pay for in the long run.

    My personal "list" of basses i consider nice, good looking and sound great (from what i saw/heard but NOT played yet, some of them are not available where i live):

    1) Rickenbackers of course, they rule
    2) Fender American J basses, lots of them
    3) Thunderbirds IV

    Now, here comes the tricky part. I know that a really good bass is a generally good bass for whatever kind of music you plan to play. I even have a pandora to fiddle around, maybe even use it for something more if its up to the task. Given that i' ll probably mostly play rock & metal kinds of music (but practice and learn from other styles as well) what do you think about the above basses and what other basses would you actually suggest?

    From what i heard, the ricks are more trebley, and the jazz ones are fast (thin neck) and all around able basses with the controls they got. Of course, nothing beats holding one in your hands, but here are a couple of questions you might feel like throwing stones at me for. My current bass, which is not that worthy really is not balanced at all, so i have to also balance it by my left hand when playing which is not funny, neither good for a good playing experience. From what i read, thunderbirds tend to have that as well. I hate it, so if its true the thunderbirds are a no go. I would also prefer one of the other choices for that kind of price really.

    Now, this might be a really long kind of conversation, but given that this kind of instruments are considered the top (i mean in the price tag, of $1000-2000) for most people (not talking about these 8-9 grand boutique basses or collectibles here) what would your suggestions be? To really give you an example, i can buy a bass that costs $1200 for a very happy 450 Euros which is the steal of the century. If i go second hand, i can even get my hands on a bass like the 62 reissue J bass which retail costs 2450$ for the same price in Euros (450). So, you can see its really tempting. Some other points i would really like to see someone replying to is if getting a used instrument would require extra care of some kind apart from scratches, problems directly visible and WHAT the hell is so different in all the different American J Basses!!! I am intimidated by the HUUUGE selection so i cant really understand what would be better for me... active or not, which wood, etc etc etc. I mostly like the 62 reissue but that doesnt mean i stick to that just because i like it. After all its a musical instrument, not a picture.

    Some chat here would serve me well as you can see :)

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, your opinion matters to me a LOT, especially if it comes from people playing for a long time, or for owners of some of these (or others that you would suggest) basses.

    I am also open to other brands, shapes and whatnot, just need to know where they are better and worse... My friend that will carry out this buy for me can also go for a musicman instrument, but i am not really fond of the musicman design to tell the truth, although from the hype around its name i suppose they are great :)

    Going to take a breath, eat something then come back to read your opinions on this. It matters to me, because i probably have no access to all of these basses (to try them out) and a professional opinion (or experienced anyway) is a must for such a buy! Last time i bought a bass i bought it completely without input from experienced players and i got what i deserved. lol

  2. LowBSix

    LowBSix Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    Simple get a Jazz...
  3. geodeath


    Apr 30, 2009
    thanks for replying. Your asnwer says a lot.
    However, a couple of things still stand. Used or new? Which specific Jazz bass? I can count at least 10-20 different kinds of American J basses on fenders site & catalog... What are the key differences? I will of course lookup for this in the shop and around, but most people here seem to know a lot about these differences that might not ring a bell into a newbie :)
  4. LowBSix

    LowBSix Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    If you can find a used 2007-2009 Standard Made in American Jazz grab it...
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    The Jazz is as universal an instrument as you can find....unless you buy a Precision...they are the one universal bass. But don't buy a new one, buy a used one of either type and you'll spend much less and get better value.

    Personally, I don't worry about all the models - the differences are minor and many of them are cosmetic more than functional. The US made instruments are generally assumed to be better quality in terms of pickups, and you can get nitro finish on some of them. That may matter to you, although it doesn't to me.
  6. geodeath


    Apr 30, 2009
    thanks for the replies guys.
    So, all the different signature & 62, 75 and whatever reissues have only minor differences? Sorry for keep asking this again and again, but i would love for someone that actually played a couple to explain the differences in greater depth, assuming he has the time to do it. Of course i am not assuming that a 62 reissue is 100% different to the standard american one, but there might be something really good about specific versions that matter to some people.. :D (or something really worse as well!)
  7. TheBasicBassist


    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    i personally dig the sounds of the new american precisions/jazzes. and the '62 reissue pbass.
    rics are sweet though if you could get a good price from a good dealer otherwise i wouldn't really do it..
    but as someone said you can never go wrong with p's or j's. my only advice is don't go for the deluxe models.
  8. LowBSix

    LowBSix Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
  9. Underworld


    Apr 25, 2009
    Santa Cruz
    Yiasas Giorgis, kalo pou vriska alos Elinas etho. :)

    The Ricks do balance better on the strap than a Fender Jazz, but I think you'll find the Jazz to be more versatile for your needs and I'd imagine a lot easier to find in Greece (gotta love that Rick tone though!). Frankly, you can't go wrong with a Fender Jazz. I wouldn't worry about finding a particular version of MIA Fender Jazz more than just finding one that feels right in your hands. Pickups such parts can be changed, but the right feel of the instrument itself has to be there from the start. Don't count out a G&L if you come across one, for example the SB-2. That would be very versatile as it has a Precision pickup in the neck and a J bridge pickup, yet has a very classic look.

    Since you're in Europe, I'm thinking you might be able to get a hold of something like a Warwick, as they are made in Germany. The look is different than the examples you listed, but if you get the chance to try one, you should, as you might find yourself going home with it.

  10. geodeath


    Apr 30, 2009
    LowBSix, is that an MIA or MIM? just asking for clarification.. Its indeed nice :) but i have some time until i settle for a bass, maybe one or a couple of months time.

    Underworld, kalispera :)
    Although finding jazz bases in Greece will be easy (there are local representatives here) i wouldnt pick it up from here so i can use that 1/4 of a price trick i can :) But of course i could always visit the store to hold them and try them for sure. Whats a G&L? i am not that much into the bass argo really, will catch up fast. I thought about a lot of different brands before settling for the 2-3 i listed, but really, the sound i heard from a couple of J ones is hard to forget! If tomorrow it was a working day i would go visit the local fender seller but no chance of the store opening really so that has to go on the next working day.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    This is a great answer. What's important is that the instrument feels good to you, whether it's a MIM, MIA or MIJ. Pieces can be changed.
  12. I would get a used G&L L2000 or new L2000 Tribute. You can cop Jazz, Precision, and Stingray tones, it balances well, and it's a very solid instrument. You can do anything on one of these basses!

    This would be a stunning one.

    !BRCPb9g!2k~$(KGrHgoH-DUEjlLlypo6BJ75P07LQQ~~_1. d7e8_1.
  13. geodeath


    Apr 30, 2009
    thats a great suggestion!
    I am already looking to find a good deal on a new L-2000 or a used one.
    Because as i said previously, i will pay just a fraction of the price, getting the USA one will not be a problem for me, after all i think only the USA ones come with the hard case which i think i ll need :)

    If you have some shops to suggest other than musiciansfriend shoot. I am already looking on craigslist and ebay, will have a look here as well, but not a lot of people sell these bases from what it seems.

    (of course, the jazz is still on my mind, but given the price/versatility of this one..)
  14. geodeath


    Apr 30, 2009
    I finally decided (and was able to pay) for a G&L L-2000 USA made one right here in TB.
    Thanks everybody for suggestions and opinions i will surely update this to reflect when i get it, although it will be some time before its in my hands!

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