New bass gal looking for some advice from vets

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SwingNThgs, Nov 15, 2001.

  1. :D hey there!!! My name is rae and I am just starting to get back into playing bass again after talk about a half of a year off. I used to play in the High school's jazz band and taught myself how to play on an upright string bass before making the switch to electric! I played on a really bad lotus four string that was just awful and I'm sure you can imagine!!
    So anyways, I want my own bass and I want both a four and a five string Ibanez. I would really appreciate it if some of you bass vets out there could give me some advice on strings, equipment, different pedals, pick up etc...I know a few things about guitars and strings and stuff from my ex-husband but don't know much about basses and I really want to get in a band and be a rock star!!!
    Thanks and I can't wait to hear from you!!

  2. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
    first,what kind (or kinds)of music do you want to play?and how much cash do you want to lay down?by the way,you've come to the right place.:cool:
  3. mix between Lifehouse/Incubus to even Linkin just depends on the singer, the lyics and the ability of the band...I don't have any money as of yet...but I am willing to put down as much as I can without losing my apartment...I've been looking at for discounts etc...thanks for helping me!!

  4. Obsius29A


    Dec 20, 1999
    Huntington, NY
    If you are sure about the Ibanez, more power to you, but I believe there are some very very reasonably priced instruments out there that are simply of a higher quality than any Ibanez bass besides the very very high quality ones.

    For example, my Schecter Diamond Series RobDelo bass cost me 499 and I would put it up amongst any Mike Pulcinella, EB/MM, etc. that I have ever played. It does the fender bass sound as good as any bass I've ever heard.

    The new Ibanez Ergodyne (sp?) 5-string, however, is an absolutely great 5 with a ton of features, a lot of snap, and a rich low-B.

    In terms of cables, use Carvins, they are extremely affordable and very transparent. I know people who like them better than Monster or George L.

    In terms of strings, I hear nothing but good things about the Dean Markley strings. I don't know what my Schecter came with stock but I am thinking that I want some really bright steel strings when I restring- maybe Thomastik Infeild?

    In terms of amps- I have to recommend the SWR Working Man's 12. It's very affordable, portable, and has an amazing pro tone without touching a dial. I got a 1x10 just because that's what guitar center had in stock and I had a gig 20 minutes later, but I haven't looked back on my decision at all. This is one hell of an amp and you can carry it in one hand and have amazing pro tone at your finger tips.

    If you are looking into effects, I find the danelectro to be very high quality and musical, albeit a little noisy, for a very low price compared to high end stuff. It might be a good idea to own a chorus pedal just in case.
  5. Aenema


    Apr 18, 2001
    heh i use to play a crappy lotus 4 string... that thing was a pos! :D zzounds has pretty good prices. check ebay and you are prolly better off buyin used.
  6. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
    well as far as strings are concerned it's a verried market but like my sig says I like the ol' earnie balls,I know Mars has them for about $17 they also carry roto sound for about the same and they are good too,since you like Flea you'll like the roundwound string,I would look for a used amp in a pawn shop or check out the for sale adds in your paper,hay don't forget to look here in the "for sale" forum.ok somebody else chime in and help Rae with some ideas.
  7. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Hello, and welcome home :D

    Ibanez does make nice BTB-series basses, but have you checked out MTD Kingstons? Very nice basses for the money, and I think if I'd want both a four and a five, I'd buy two different basses. Both BTB400-series and MTD Kingstons are around 500 bucks.
  8. Hi Rae!!

    Not sure I'd call myself a vet, but I'll chip in my tuppence worth (2 cents worth!). Don't really know of the availability of gear on your side of the pond, most of the regular contributors talk a lot about gear that isn't readily available in Scotland - I mean my Spectors had to be specially ordered!!

    You say that you're looking for a 4 and 5 stringer, wouldn't it be cheaper just now buying just one of them, and spend the rest of your cash on an amp, leads, strap, picks (if you use them). Just a thought!! In your shoes, I'd maybe go for the 5 stringer - it's already got a 4 stringer built in!!!

    I can't comment much on Ibanez basses - haven't seen many and never played one, but I've seen a lot of advice for people to consider MIM P basses or Jazz basses - is that a consideration to you???

    The MIM stuff seems to go down well with other TBers, and they can be upgraded with new pickups etc when you got the spare cash!

    As far as amps go, I'm a Trace Elliot man through and through, but I don't know of the availability in the States, and also pricing could be an issue. I seem to remember Ampeg combos getting a good backing by others here on TB (B-2R,?? somebody help me out here is that even an Ampeg model??)
    SWR ususally seem to get a lot of support too.

    For strings I tend to favour Rotosound roundwounds, although I've found Warwick to be quite good lately!!!! We don't have a great deal of choice usually over here and they can be quite pricey - it's only lately I've had some disposable cash to help see if I can find anything better than Rotos!!

    I guess at the end of the day the best thing I can say to you is see what's in your price range and try everything that you can before you part with your hard earned cash!!! I'm sure everyone here would agree with that. Also, if you look through the threads for various things (you can use the search and see if there is thread on whatever you're looking for ) you will find advice, debates etc on most equipment!!!!

    Happy hunting - let us know how you get on!!!
  9. leper


    Jun 21, 2001
    actually the ibanex soundgeat may be a great choice for a first real bass for reasoning...

    The soundgears have really really narrow necks, and while it can be kind of annoying to people that have been playin a long time, its really encouraging to beginners (at least it was for me). Also, most women have slightly smaller hands than guys...than slightly thinner neck may fit her hand a little better if shes on the petite side.

    another great in expensive bass is actually the hartke ones. some are pretty awful, but, ive played a few that somebody obviously sat down and really set up right, and those were far and a way the best playing basses under 400 dollars ive ever played.

    i second the workingmans 12, whenever I go to the guitar store i play through that cuz it sounds like a much bigger amp than it is, just quieter.

    strings i like dr but i would suggest em to somebody just startin out because of three things 1) theyre a littel pricey 2) theyre rough on the fingers compared to other brands ive tried and 3)their tone isnt suited to small amps. theyve got great zing, but theyre not the deepest string there is, and out of a little amp you need some help in that department. however, if you teh the workingmans 12, DR ARE WHAT YOU WANT, maybe :D

    cables: i use monster to record and armored live, but unless youre either really specific about tone or almost attack the crowd with your bass both of these are too expensive. carvin or whatever should be fine for now.

    i suggest against effect just because i know wheni first started out and had effects i spent more time screwin with em than practicing
  10. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I will second the soundgear reccomendation. a transparent black SR800A was my first "real" bass. It did have a really nice thin neck, and i loved teh flexibility of he varimid eq. that thing had a great modern tone, id thats what youre after. the fives are great too, still a thinner neck, but nice. if youre looking for more of an "old school" or vintage tone i would say go for the MTD kingston. its passive, and so doesnt have the slap tones that the ibanez does, but i have heard wonders about its playability, as well as its construction. 4's and 5's of both models could be picked up for $500 (depending on which level soundgear, new or used) and in my opinion would blow the doors off any fender or squier product in the price range.

    as far as amps go i don't have too much experience. but if youre looking for a half stack, i would say try a carvin head out, and then give cabs from nemesis, peavey, hartke a try. as far as im aware these are less expensive than the offers from ampeg, fender, etc; and still damn good cabs.

    if you want a combo amp, take a look at carvin, as they are pretty cheap, but try to play one before you buy. ive never heard one before. also ampeg does make some great small combos that can get very loud for the size, and have a nice big round tone. i like fenders smaller amps too, and they arent too expensive. (bassman series) peavey comes to mind also. try to get something with a decent amount of power behind it, i would say at least 100 watts, if you ever want to play in a band, and thats pushing the limits. whatever you do make sure you can try our the amp with a 5 string before you buy, as many sound great with 4's, and then take a crap when you hit a low B.

    for strings i use DAddario XL's i dont know why, but i prefer thier sound over others i have tried. i have not however tried any boutique brand of strings.. like tomastik (sp) or DR. XL's run about 25 bucks for a 5 string set, 20 for a 4, and for the price i dont think they can be beat.

    as for pedals go, the only kinds of pedals i like for bass are the boss super chorus, danelectro cool cat (also a chorus) a good bass synth, or an auto wah. I have a bawl buster bass wah, and i hardly ever use it, as it just kinda moans, doesnt do the really funky stuff well. i also have a boss bass overdrive. i never use either of them. the overdrive cuts out too many low end frequencies. the only way i would ever use distortion on bass would be if i had two amps, so i could get a clean signal to one so as not to lose my low end reinforcement. effects are expensive, at least for the good ones, and you really do get what you pay for. for the amount of time i use my pedals, i wouldnt say they are worth the money i spent on them. i say stay away.

    if it helps: my personal setup includes an ibanez ATK 5 string (discontinued), an ibanez soundgear SR800A 4 string, a carvin LB75PF five string, a carvin RC210 combo, and an 18" extension cabinet. the carvin does it all except slap funk, the two ibanez's are my favorite of all basses i have ever played for slapping.
  11. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Hi Rae, and Welcome to TB!

    Guess I qualify as a "Veteran"...almost 25 yrs of giggin' (somebody pass me that cane...). I can tell you that you'll get a million different answers to the questions you've asked. Everybody here has an opinion and lots of them directly conflict with each other.

    My advice would be to get out and try as many different basses as you can, in your price range. Pay special attention to the ones that "speak" to you. Then come back here and ask specific questions about other's experiences with service, etc. within your narrowed-down field of possibilities. There are many of us here who enjoy and own high-end basses, but they really aren't necessary. There are many reasonably-priced basses that will do quite nicely. In the end, it's YOUR perception and taste that matters.

    When you've got that done, think about the gigs you want to play and start looking at amps that'd cover it. If you plan on some woodshedding at first until you get up to speed, maybe you could consider a small practice amp or even a headphone amp until you're ready to "break out" and play with others. You need to be aware that in many band situations that a smaller amp like the SWR Workingman's series just won't cut might need something larger. Think ahead here, and buy for what you're shooting for, not where you are.

    As always, we're here to help.
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Although I like and use SWR gear, I would NOT recommend the Workingman's 12 based on rae's description of her musical style. She needs BIG and LOUD to play shows.

    I'd say buy a used GK 400RB head and a used Peavey 410TX cabinet. That should cost $5-600 tops and would be of more utility than the SWR. Add a second 410TX when finances allow.
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    try out a MIM fender jazz 5 (made in mexico). they generally sound very good and have an excellent low B, and they are extremely reasonably priced.
  14. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I never thought the soundgears were bad basses, I even had one up until about 5 months ago... traded it for an SWR head! But that's another story...

    One thing you might want to look out for on the Ibanez sdgrs is the active circuits... I had a 305 that was passive, and I think that the passives were a little better than the actives they came out with later, especially the "phat" boost... I didn't think that was very good. So If you are set on a sdgr, then look for an older one that is used, and if it's active, then really check out how you like the sound...

    You might want to also look into the BTB series others already mentioned.... they seem to be pretty nice, and are creeping there way onto my list of stuff to acquire.

    Ampeg is making a great 100 watt combo (BA-115) that goes for 429 most places. I think the world of it, but most of the big names have something comparable, SWR workingman, Carvin, Peavey, so on and so on.... That list is not exclusive, just some of the top of my head!

  15. Rae:

    You're only 18, and you are already divorced?!?

    (I checked your profile after you mentioned High School and ex-husband and thought it was strange.)

    Damn! So were you married to Macauley Culkin or what?
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    That's what I was thinking, too.:eek:

    Anyways, I am not a fan of the Soundgears. If you are going to go Ibanez, check out the BTB series. Much better basses, IMHO. Also, the MIM Fenders are a pretty good buy. There are tons of basses available for not too much money, that will keep you happy for a long time.
  17. Are you dead set on an Ibanez??? If so, ok, but...
    I would suggest some other alternatives personally!
  18. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
  19. Yes I am divorced! Spiritually not actually divorced..but it makes no difference to me!! Oh and Aenema I do write my own music and my own lyrics when I do write...I'm no rapper or britany.
    :) thanks for all your advice on stuff to get for my begining ways of being a bass player please keep replying to me I'm still look at different basses and what not. And gear too. Thanks all!!

    coocoo red hair bass rae
  20. oh and I'm a Giants fan but I temporaily switched for the was awesome.