New Bass, asking for opinions and other options!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The_Brit, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. The_Brit


    Feb 3, 2014
    Dear TalkBass users,
    About a week or two ago I made a thread asking for opinions on a new $500 bass. I have no preference as to whether it is new or used, or if it is Precision or Jazz because both work for my band (we just formed and are starting to experiment, but trying to go for old Black Key sounding songs) So far I have found a $499 Sterling MM Ray 34 which as of right now I am inclined to buy. My next option was a MIM fender blacktop P. So I am wondering if you have come across any Bang for Buck guitars worth buying! Also, I do not care when it was made, actually the older it is the more I like it, however that is not a concern at all, only an added bonus!
    Cheers! :bassist:
  2. MattyH


    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    I like both of those. The Blacktop P felt nice to me. And the Ray felt and sounded just like a Stingray. I really enjoyed playing it (and regret not buying one myself).

    Now, I don't want to be "that guy" that recommends the Squier Classic Vibe line, but......Squier Classic Vibe. Haha! Seriously, they're beasts and you'll even have money left over to get a cool sounding fuzz pedal for that Black Key indie raw style sound.

    I'm not a big P Bass guy, but the Squier 60's Classic P and a fuzz would sound pretty freakin Black Keys :bassist:
  3. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    get whatever feels the best. Don't let genre or looks be the first driving factor.

    Case in point: I always loved Ricenbackers. Then I played one and was totally disappointed in the way it felt. Still love the look and sound, but would never own one cause of the feel.

    I feel like for $500, you are goign to find a great bass, just make sure to play before you buy! I would recommend trying a Jazz bass cause it is what I know...never liked the MM's so I have never tried them
  4. JCheung


    Jan 25, 2013
    Herndon, VA
    I play a ray34 at the moment and it's a beast of a bass. If you can handle the neck and like the feel, it takes to fuzz and other effects effortlessly and sounds great. I unfortunately can't speak towards the blacktop. If a fuzzed P sound is what you're after, get a squier matt freeman signature bass and the desired pedals.

    ps: the freeman signature is basically a classic vibe offered in another color and maple board
  5. Fogoverla


    May 19, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    Im not a fan of stingrays, I owned one and I traded it for a rick, didn't like that one either.

    If you find a CV that plays well you can always swap out the stock pickups for hotter output, is you have a gain knob on your amp.
  6. Wagz


    May 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    If you like the Black Keys, embrace their ethos and play something from the 60s, and something that would've been cheap in the 60s.
    Framus, Kay, an Eastwood 60s re-issue, Danelectro, etc. The Keys are all about the groove and playing something funky helps bring the mojo.
  7. MattyH


    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    The Freeman P Bass is real nice too. My friend had a Mexican P and the Freeman Squier. The build quality felt way better than a Mexican P in my opinion. The neck was fabulous.

    It depends on whether or not you want a maple neck or a rosewood. I'm a die hard rosewood user because of the warmth and smoothness, but the Freeman maple neck is really, really nice.
  8. MattyH


    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    I noticed on your gear profile that you have a Big Muff? So yea, Fogoverla has a great idea too. You've got a fuzz I recommended already, so if you grab a nice Classic Vibe P or J (both fantastic), you can put the spare dough into a nice set of 60's Fender pickups. They're great. Plus, I never played a Classic vibe that didn't play well. When I had mine (A 60's P as a placeholder for about a month), I made believers out of a few gear snob friends.

    I agree with Fogoverla too. The Sterlings are nice. The quality is there. But like Ricks, you can't escape the built in tone that they have. They'll always sound like what they are and nothing else. I say this about the P bass tone too, but at least with the P bass, you'll sit in almost every mix with ease. Its a more versatile, one dimension tone if that makes sense haha. The Classic Vibe Jazz can do pretty much anything. But either way you're getting solid tone.

    To summarize, I'd say try and track down these basses in a store and try them out. I think you'll really find something you like.

    Squier Classic Vibe 60's P
    Squier Classic Vibe 60's Jazz
    Then compare those with a Mexican Fender Jazz and P
    Then compare all of them with other models in your price range. Maybe ones with the mentioned 60's Fender pickups already standard to get the idea. But I think those are a great starting point for what you're interested in.

    Who knows, you might be able to find a used bass of better quality at a steal of a price too. It happens!
  9. mattattack187

    mattattack187 Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Bangor, ME
    I have a Ray34 & a Matt Freeman. Both are excellent Basses worth buying.
  10. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    G&L tribby are a nice opinion
  11. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I have an EBMM Stingray and a couple of American Fenders.

    I've played the Sterling Ray and Blacktop Precision and think that either one would be an excellent choice. Try both and see which feels better in your hands.
  12. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Lots of great options for $500 - new & used.
    My suggestion is plan a "shopping day". With cash in hand, hit all the music stores and pawnshops in your area. Play everything you can. We can suggest basses to you all day. You gotta do the legwork to find one that's right for you. Have fun!
  13. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    Pm me I have a bass for you

    Attached Files:

  14. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    I am going to throw another suggestion in here. If you played and like the Ray34 then try out the Sterling SUB Ray4. I had both and liked the SUB way more than the Ray34. I got rid of the Ray34 and still have the SUB. The SUB is way lighter and plays and sounds just as nice. Plus you could get one for less than $300 new. If you find a used one you would probably still have enough for a used P bass too.
  15. twc1313

    twc1313 Supporting Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    I'm with the above poster. I have a Squier VM Pbass and a SUB and love these two basses, moreso than much of the other more expensive high end basses I used to own. The SUB just draws me to it each time I practice, and sometimes it draws me to play it when I'm not planning to! The P-bass will IMHO beat most MIM P's in quality and sound and is great for recording.

    As always, it comes down to you playing them and going with what sound, feel, quality match what you want. There are MIM Pbasses and that are better than some MIJ and MIA P's, there are also a lot that are garbage. Same with the Ray34 or the SBMM SUB Ray4.
  16. Fogoverla


    May 19, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    I agree with the idea of planning a shopping day. You may want to bring your amp as well or see if they have a close facsimile. I also dial the amp eq flat as you can usually get a good idea of the tone. I just picked up a mid 80s japanese fender p for 450, already with a boatload of upgrades (and a few sad modifications). If you aren't in a hurry you will also have the most piece of mind when finally buying it.
  17. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    You might try checking out the Washburn Taurus 24. Neck-through, dependable, mostly all reviews good. Its about $500 new. Look for used first, of course.