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New bass in moderate price range?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LazyFatNinja, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. LazyFatNinja


    Mar 19, 2013

    I've been playing on a extremely cheap Washburn for a few weeks, yesterday it broke (easily fixable I think) but it made me realise that I want to buy a solid bass which will hold up for a while.

    I really do play everything, but mainly metal and rock. Pantera, RCHP, Foo Fighters, Stone Sour, Slipknot are some examples of bands I like. I think I want a really clear and deep tone. I think I'm going for a 4 string but I am open for suggestions.
    I'm hoping to find a lightweight bass since I want to stand up and play as much as possible.

    I am a big fan of the "broomstick"-model. I've been looking at the Steinbergers but according to most people they really are not that good. I've also checked out the Epiphone Les Paul Special (mainly for the looks) but then I've heard it's kind of bulky.

    Last but not least, my budget would be about: $775 / 600 EU

  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Used Fender MIA P or J.
  3. Skygoneblue


    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Can you give us some examples of bassists whose tone you really like? That might help narrow it down a bit.

    There are literally hundreds of good basses in that price range, and on this forum, all you're going to get is "OMG MIM FENDER" as a reply if you aren't more specific.
  4. LazyFatNinja


    Mar 19, 2013
    Hmm.. My favourite bassist would be Rex Brown (Pantera) he has a pretty dark groovy tone. I like it, however a bit more clear would fit me better I think. I don't know if you can work from that?
  5. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    I would say something active with humbuckers in that case. Maybe an Ibanez, ESP or Schecter? they all have some good offerings in a lower price-range.
  6. LazyFatNinja


    Mar 19, 2013
    I've looked at the Ibanez ATK series. I really did not like the look but the sound is definitly great. Somone recomended that I buy a 5 string since I play so different types of music. When I think about it I think it would be great with a B string too, since I really like the dark sound. Thoughts?
  7. fisticuffs


    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    G&L. Used USA or a new Tribute. Can't miss.
  8. Skygoneblue


    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Yep, agreed. Rex's signature bass has dual humbuckers (Spector), but it's a little out of your price range.

    Here's a good one from ESP if you like unique body shapes:


    Schecter also makes a lot of great basses with dual EMG humbuckers. Here's an example:


    Check out a site like Musician's Friend and use some of their sorting filters. Search 4-string basses, narrow it down by price, and look for basses with two humbuckers to see what jumps out at you.

    If you come up with 2-3 that you like, let us know and we'll be glad to break it down even further for ya!
  9. LazyFatNinja


    Mar 19, 2013
    Will do! However, I'm starting to think about 5 strings now. Somone recomended it since I will play a wide arrange of music and I also like the dark tones. Would it be wiser to just play a tuned down 4 string?
  10. Tristan


    Jan 28, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Personally never tried one, but ESP LTD with real EMGs would probably be a good fit. I've heard good things about them.

    Be careful though that Schecter has EMG-HZ (passive) which are totally different, so try before you buy.
  11. Skygoneblue


    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Well, I'm into a lot of hard rock and metal as well, and I've never seen it as a necessity. That's not to say a 5 string doesn't have its place, but it's not mandatory. Here's my reasoning...

    A lot of the bands I like to cover and jam to are in drop-D, drop-C#, drop-C, etc. In that case, a 5 string doesn't do me any favors because I would basically have to constantly "capo" 1, 2, or 3 fret with my left hand to play their root notes. And with as quickly as a lot of metal riffs can move between open root notes and higher frets, that's just not a feasible option. I had a 5-string, and even when playing bands like Mudvayne (who were in drop-B at the time), I just ended up tuning my whole bass down anyway.

    The other issue is that in the example like I outlined above, the B string just gets in the way. I like rocking out hard, and I hate having to constantly mute the low B when it's not tuned to the root of what I'm playing.

    If you're playing along with a guitarist with a 7-string, or planning on covering a lot of music that is played in B or lower (like Korn who is in A tuning), then I could see opting for a 5-string over a 4 for sure. Or if you want the absolute most flexibility possible, then a 5 will be fine as well. I just hesitate to instantly say that "metal = you need a 5 string" because it's 100% false, and there are dozens of bassists who prove that to be true.
  12. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I would recommend a Spector- it's a pretty reliable bass which is pretty adaptable to a wide range of music. It's my go-to bass. I also have one of the "broomstick" basses you mentioned, a Hohner B2A- it's an active bass, good sound, inexpensive if you find one used but much like most headless basses, including Steinbergers, I find that it doesn't quite have the warm tone I'm looking for. Still good though and light, you can actually buy an adapter for it so you won't have to limit yourself to the double ball strings (for headless basses) and you can use any bass strings out there.
  13. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    The suggestions you have gotten are fine but there are a couple of companies (both Canadian, I believe) that you don't hear of as much with offerings a little different from the norm and might appeal to you: Godin Guitars (check out the performance and a series) and Eastwood Guitars. If you are looking you might as well consider all the options.

    Happy hunting,

  14. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    I bought a Steinberger Spirit 5 online untested unknown. It needed setup and it really needed some Status half-wound strings. It's a woody thunky tone with sustain into next week.
    About a year later, I also bought a Yamaha BB425x to get the more traditional P/J tone and the Yamaha feel is smoother tighter and more refined than the Steinie, but 90% of the time I'm playing the Steinberger. It just suits me.

    You need to try out as many bassses as you can to find one that feels like it was made for you. Don't expect one bass to do it all -- a set of affordable playable basses seems a much better bargain than one expensive bass expected to do it all.
  15. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I definitely don't know him, but always (not the only one over here for sure) very good points in a synthetic, straightforward
    "metal-to-the-masses" way of communicate

    I totally agree

    I'd tell Ibanez Paul Gray bass, if you still can find one (I could)
    View attachment 325609
    It was equipped with a thinner neck than on ordinary Atks (I briefly owned an Atk 310 as well) which got matched finished with the body (transblack on ash or burgundy wine on ash) it retained factory TripleCoil pickup (a true attempt to replicate MusicMan versatility) capable of serial with highcut filter, serial
    and parallel option at a flick of a switch (and a three band eq)
    finally it came factory strung B, E, A, D to cope with 'not dual baritone (B to B) electric guitar attack.

    Mine swapped string out with the Atk 310, which in turn got traded for
    an Ampeg combo btw, and now is tuned D, G, C, F with room for a Hipshot Bt7 bass extender (if you dig)

    Problem bein' machineheads come in cosmoblack while Hipshot doesn't offer that option, so you could opt for plain black one, thus accustom you to a drop C tunin' that goes (D)C, G, C, F.

    Anyway I really think a good 5 string, like a G&L L2500 tribute or a Yamaha Trb1005J (35" scale) tuned A, D, G, C, F just like Korn is what you'll find more useful with 7 string guitars (I do) but a former Paul Gray or a present Atk800e Premium (even if only comparable down to design to the Paul Gray bass) are a very good startin' point for durable aggressive and sharp 4ers.

  16. Skygoneblue


    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Phht, care to tell my wife that? :cool:
  17. LazyFatNinja


    Mar 19, 2013
    Makes sense, I think I will do fine with a 4 string.
    I listened to some samples from Spector in my price range and I did not really like it.. However I like Rex's tone. Maybe there is a big difference between the models.
    Did not really like the design of the basses in my price range, also it seems that they will be hard to get in Sweden. However, thanks anyway!
    The thing is, I live in a pretty small town, we've got 2 music shops carrying maybe 10 basses permanently in stock. So I do not have the chance to try the stuff.. More so when I am looking for a bit of special stuff. The mainly just carry the plain ol Fenders.
    I will look for the Paul Gray signature, I liked the tone of the ATK but I really did not like the design. This one however looks good. I'll check out some samples and see if it's anything I like!

    These are the "top-3" right now I think: http://www.thomann.de/se/yamaha_rbx_374_blk.htm
  18. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    If you dare:bag:

    Bad element:bawl:

  19. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    If that's the tone you're looking for you can get a Spector Legend in that range. Used you could pick a Rex model.....:bassist:
  20. Skygoneblue


    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I actually just got the 5-string model of that Yamaha last week from Musician's Friend (contrary to everything I just said above). It's a cool bass, but I have to say, you get what you pay for with it - It's under $400 for a reason.

    The battery cover is total crap. It barely closes with just the battery in it, and they put this shoe-string-lookin piece of fabric in there to help you yank the battery out when it dies because of how damn hard you have to shove the thing in there.

    On top of that, the 5-string was pretty neck-heavy, which made it a pain in the ass to play. The 4 might be a different story, but because the body shape is pretty small, and the wood is light-weight, it may do the same thing. That might not be a concern for you, but it annoys the piss out of me having to hold my bass up with my left hand instead of just fretting.

    Now, those two small quirks aside, it's a fine bass with a good rock tone. A few folks warned me about the pre-amp being poopy, and one of my pots did arrive with a scratchy tone. However, that was easily taken care of with some detox spray.

    The RBX is a fine bass for what you pay, but if your budget is truly $770, you'd be better suited to spend a little extra. In my experience, the difference between a $400 bass and a $600 bass is really the difference between "beginner crap" and "intermediate level bass that will actually last you a long time".

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