1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

New bass or new amp?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I've been given permission to spend some of my tax funds this year on something music-related and I'm trying to decide whether to put my money into a new bass or a new amp. Right now I have a 30 watt practice amp and a six string bass. I don't really gig but right now I'm looking into some jams soon. What I want is either a nice four string bass and/or a nice amp that's somewhat portable but has more power than I've got now.

    As it is, the amp sounds decent enough and it's not incredibly heavy, but people keep telling me that 30w is not enough to jam or perform with, especially with a drummer. I'm not unhappy with it, but I am thinking towards the future.

    My six string is great, but I sometimes feel the yearning for a thin neck with fewer strings. It's not a case of the six being too much or not fitting my style, but sometimes it is more relaxing to just play a four. Especially when I'm playing with a pick, I like not having to mute more strings than some people have on their bass altogether!

    I could probably survive without either one, but where's the fun in that? ;)
  2. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Well, I'm getting about $1200 back from taxes and I have a saxophone I'm trying to sell, so I should have about $3000 coming in. At least half of that has to go into savings, though. I have a friend who lives a few hours away who owns a mint Ric 4003 that he's not in love with and has mentioned that he'd pass it my way for about $1100 if I want it. I haven't spent much time with Rics in general, but what experience I've had has been extremely positive.
  3. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    The amp I'm less sure about. I've heard good things about the Ampeg MicroCL and Micro VR, and great things about MarkBass, but I really have no idea otherwise.
  4. Bingo

    Bingo Banned

    Mar 3, 2014
    South by Southwest
    Didn't even read the post. Only read the title. The answer is always both.

  5. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    Generally, I would say amp. But if you think the physical ergonomics of your bass may be holding your playing back, that is an important issue (great tone from an amp doesn't make you a great player, but play great out of a crappy amp and you are still a great player).

    I would look to the bass first in this situation, but that is just me.
  6. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    For $3k you can get some serious gear rolling. I would strongly recommend playing as much stuff as you can before pulling the trigger. If you like Rics and like his, take it around with you to various stores and play your Ric through the amps/cabs there. With $1900 you can get a pretty handsome rig...that's a stones's throw from a GK Fusion 550 and GK Neo 4x12, a freakin massive rig. Consider load-in/out as well as storage before buying the amp though. See if they will let you wheel the stuff around a bit, the weight might change your mind.

    That having been said, you can get a lotta volume and tone for a reasonable price going GK, or buying used from Guitar Center's website.
  7. 1500 will buy both, I'd get a MM Sterling SUB Ray and you'll have 1200 left for a great combo, or head cab.

    happy gassing,
  8. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Well like I said, I love my bass. Its a Pedulla and its the nicest instrument I've ever played. However, an active extended range bass with humbuckers and flats just can't get a passive single coil sound. Rics and Ps are my two favorite basses that fit this category (never liked a J for some reason), and I like the slightly shorter scale of the Ric. It just feels slightly more comfortable because my fingers don't have to stretch as far, both across the frets AND across the neck since its a four instead of a six. I pretty much have my heart set on a Ric one day; the question is whether that day will be this year or a few years down the road.

    Also keep in mind that I have $3k coming in, but I can't spend more than $1200 or so max. The rest has to go into savings.
  9. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I'm actually looking at combos or micro rigs, honestly. I live in a small apartment and I don't have room for a huge cab. Honestly right now my amp is doubling as my nightstand!

    And I'm not looking to spend $3k, about $1200 at most and that's still a bit extreme.
  10. hsech

    hsech I'm not old, I'm just seasoned. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    You have to get permission to spend some of YOUR tax funds?
  11. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Yes. Indeed.
  12. cronker


    Feb 13, 2007
    I'd go for the amp. By having a gig worthy amp, you can earn money gigging and saving that coin for the wished Ric.
  13. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    It's a euphemism. I'm in a long term relationship, and we both talk to each other about our finances. We came to a mutual agreement that I could spend some of it and we would save the rest.
  14. cronker


    Feb 13, 2007
    Sounds right to me. I'm also in a LTR and if we needed a new washing machine, or vet care for the dogs, I would NOT be buying anything gear related.
    But if you have that spare coin jangling in your pockets and it's assigned to gear, I still advocate an amp.
    Think of it this way - you get to play your Pedulla 6 through a nice amp and sound great, while still saving for that elusive Ric. You can gig with your Ped and nice amp, earn some more coin and save up.
    The thing with Ric's is that they aren't all for everyone. Some Ric's are great, some not so.
    By taking your time, you can sample some of their product and make a wise decision without dropping the coin on an instrument you will regret later.
  15. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I have a similar self-imposed dilemma. I just got a raise and wanted to get myself a little gift (< $300). I didn't want to spend a whole lot, but I know I want some gear.

    I went to guitar center and tried a bunch of affordable basses and ultimately realized one thing. I really like Squier Jazz basses.....of which I already have 2....and similar priced basses (ie Ibanez, Epiphone Toby, etc) leave me disappointed. I was considering getting a 3rd in a VM jazz bass different color and with the new spec (ie glossy neck, FD pickups, etc). The alternative is buying a Hartke 210xl and pulling the head out of my kickback and using it to drive the 210. I have a BG250-210, but thought this would be a nice option.

    I know what you're thinking. Why not a P bass? The thought has crossed my mind, but I've never been a big fan of their characteristic sound.

    What should I do?
  16. pica


    Nov 26, 2009
    I'd pick up one of the new Squier CV Jazz basses. A 200-500 watt amp and bank the rest.
  17. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    You know, out of all the jazz basses I've tried, the only two I really cared for were an American Deluxe active/passive and a Jaco fretless. I've tried american standards, vintage modified squires, and MIM jazzes and they have never elicited more than a "meh" from me. To each their own, I suppose.
  18. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware rep.
    What genre of music would you be jamming to?

    Also, a 2x12 may do you better than a 2x10. Put either one up on a stand closer to ear level and you'll be good. Be sure the cab is close to the drummer or facing the drummer.

    Good luck.
  19. If you plan on jamming, I'd say a new amp is in order.
  20. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    If I was in your shoes, I'd plan on selling my current amp also. I'd buy your friend's Rick, offer him $1000 and be prepared to pay $1100. And I'd budget $300-400 for a new amp. That's $1300-1500 total. It's a bit more than the $1200 you said you want for a limit, but it leaves half of $3000 that you wanted to put in savings.

    You have to get an amp, if you want to do anything more than practice by yourself.