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New bass?? Hartke XL 4?????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deadman9, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. deadman9


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hello, I've been playing keyboard for the past 10 years. However, lately I keep having ideas for bass. So rather than sitting at the keyboard for an hour recording a bassline with a sample that is in much need of some resampling, I'm looking to start playing bass. I'm looking for something below $500. I'd rather not go buy one of those bass/amp/teach yourself bass book combo deals because if I enjoy playing, I'll end up wanting a new bass probably costing around 500 and if I don't like it, I'll be stuck with a crappy bass with zero resale value. I've been looking at this http://www.samash.com/catalog/showitem.asp?SKU=HXL4 any thoughts, ideas, opinions??

    thankyou all for your help
  2. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    My local store has the import 4 and 5 string versions, and I've tried them a few times. I like the idea of the aluminum neck, but I wasn't amazed at the sustain. Very good, just not amazing like they say in the marketing blurb. The main drawback for me is that the frets are medium or small, and I prefer jumbo. The US version you're looking at might be cooler, I dunno. If I ever see one for cheap I'll probably get it because the neck is pretty unique.
  3. deadman9


    Apr 7, 2003
    Think I should go neck through (I don't know if the xl 4 is or not)??? I think the majority of stuff I hear has significant sustain and kind of a mellow tone. Is it possible to play fingerstyle bass (play bass note, while it sustains play other higher notes above D). What is a good book of strength and speed building exorcises (like Hanon for keyboard)?

    thanks everybody
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    The XL-4 is bolt on. You should go to the store and try out everything in your price range. I have 1 set neck, 1 neckthru, and several boltons -- there are many other factors to take into account besides just neck/body joint, I wouldn't make it your primary criterion. Yes, it's possible to sustain a pedal tone while playing on the other strings. Try a new post in the general instruction forum to find out about the speed exercises, I don't know.
  5. deadman9


    Apr 7, 2003
    cool, thanks for the info. Any other ideas anyone? What's the best bass for $500 (or less)? What effect does fret size have on sound or playability, is it all preference?
  6. aladdin


    Mar 7, 2003
    Chiba, Japan
    Hey Deadman. I was in exactly the same situation as you. Pro musician. 12 years of Piano playing, 10 years as a sound tech.

    I am glad I did NOT buy a $500.00 bass when I started out. Reason: Because after 3 months of playing the bass I got pretty good and a $500.00 bass just didn't cut it anymore. Now, we are not beginners. We are beginners to bass playing, not music. I just purchased a $1,700.00 MusicMan Stingray because it is the only bass that sounds and feels great to me. My first bass was a $300.00 model. Plays great, sounds good, but unfulfilling. Every other $500.00 bass was the same.

    How I chose a good bass: I played an $8,000.00 Alembic. Nice tones. Horrible balance on the shoulder. I played more nice basses: Sadowsky, Moon, Bacchus, Atelier Z, Top Dog Jiro Model (I live in Japan), Yamaha BB series. I finally chose the MusicMan. After playing the MM, I could not imagine playing another bass. So I turned around and sold the first bass for $200.00. I lost only $100.00 to find out if I wanted to play bass.

    Be careful. Bass is addictive.

    My advice: Buy a decent bass from Aria Pro II or Yamaha (cheap BB or RBX) and put some money toward a decent practice amp. Aria and Yamaha make seriously nice basses for the money. They beat everyone else hands down. Recommended amps: Hartke B30 or B60, Trace Elliot Boxer 30 and 65. Gallien Kreuger backline 110. I bought the Hartke B60 and it sounds great with the MusicMan.

    If you like bass, you will be looking for a good pro-model bass soon. Take your time, try things out. If you can borrow a bass from a friend, all the better.

    Best of luck!

  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan


  8. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    Or MIM J. Depends on which one you want. With both you can get great deals. The quality control can be spotty, so if you get one, you should make sure that it was made on one of their "good days".
  9. cale


    Mar 26, 2003
    I'm new to the instrument as well, and impulsively bought that hartke xl4 because it seemed like a good deal. But shouldn't a 2400 dollar bass be neck-thru? Or is that not necessarily the case?

    I'm just thinking that it probably isn't a 2400 dollar bass at all, even though it alledgedly retails at that. It is probably at 499 for a reason.

    But I guess I'll find out! (And thank goodness for return policies) :)

    Has anyone actually played this instrument yet?
  10. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    No, many $2000+ basses are bolt-on. Check out sadowsky or any of the graphite necked basses. I think $2400 is an inflated list price, but the hartke is unique because of the aluminum neck, so $499 for a US made bass isn't that outrageous.

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