New Guy Lucked Out? - New Bass Player Seeks Advice . . .

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by markfsanderson, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. A quick introduction . . . I purchased a Peavey bass a couple of years ago to learn, then had to sell it. I've played other instruments (Piano, Sax, Trombone, Clarinet and Organ), and have a fairly good grounding in music theory. I go the 'bug' recently and just this last Friday dropped by a local Guitar Center here in the north side of Houston. I was shopping for a beginners bass, and they had a fretless fender for about 460.00. With a practice amp, books, metronome, tuner and stand - I'd probably get w/about $600.00 spent - not bad. I went in there looking for a good beginners bass, and that seemed to be it (I like Oregon, Weather Report, Jaco, Geddy as well as Cuban music and country) . . .so this seemed to be goood choice. The store was closing in about 30 minutes so I poked around and spied this beautiful purple bass for 629.00 and asked about it. The salesman became quite animated and excited (only $200 difference) and said that this bass was a Spector Euro 4 (not the LX - neck thru) made in Czech republic. I seemed to have remembed the Spector name . . and he showed me the price tags . . . retail at 1999.00, 1399.00 normal price, marked down to 869 for a couple of months and then put in the fron of the store (dust and all) for 629.00. He played the bass - sounded much better than the Fender(but the fender isn't bad), and it felt - right -. Balance, looks everything . . .
    So, to ask some questions:
    1) Do you think that 629.00 for a Purple Spector Euro 4 (fretted NOT the LX) is a good deal? it has a small pin prick on the reverse side - hardly visible. I looked it over reall well. . . the neck looked good . . but needs new strings. I haven't been able to find a new one on the net for less than 1400.00 . . . Is this model to be discontinued? It doesn't appear that way . . . . The salesman told me that they just don't have much of a market for 'high-end' bass . . .

    2) What kind of strings should I buy? Brand name, type and etc . . . Keep in mind I'm brand spank'n new.

    3) What would be a good practice amp?

    4) Are there any good DVDs for self-instruction? I plan on using an instructor as well, and have a line on a good one.

    5) Any other advice?

    I put the bass on lay-away . . . . it appeared to be too good to turn down . . .

    Thanks for your responses!

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hicory Bass Player
  2. picknslap


    Sep 9, 2004
    well, if your willing to spend that much, that's a great deal. But you have to know that you wan't to stick with it. A good practice amp, any of the Fender Rumble series.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    There's no apostrophe in "want". :)

    But, go for it. It's a good bass that will serve you well.
  4. {OE}


    Sep 23, 2004
    Connecticut, U.S.
    Welcome to the forum. :D

    Well you've stumbled onto a goldmine by joining this forum, familiarize yourself with it and the search function and you will likely have any and all bass-related questions answered.

    In general for strings, I'd say try out as many different sets as is financially viable. After I started using Ken Smiths I didnt look for anything else as I was very happy with their performance. ( I used Ernie Ball Slinky's when I couldnt get Smiths) Since joining the forum Ive decided to try out some other strings that may fit me better. ( spec. the Sadowsky nickels and flats and the Joe Osborn Sig. Lakland flats.)
  5. {OE},
    Thanks for the advice on strings . . .I stumbled upon this place when I was using google . . . the last messages that I saw on this bass were dated about 2 months ago - they all seemed positive. The $200.00 price difference wasn't a big deal at all . . . If nothing else I should be able to sell if for what I payed for if necessary - I get burned out or whatever. I'll search around for nickel vs steel vs rounded vs flat . . unless anyone has anything to say about it here - particularly w/new players in mind . . . .

    Thanks again!

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hickory Bass Player
  6. Rhythmalism


    Sep 25, 2004
    Nickel rounds will treat you well. Nothing wrong with going with the standard. Find some for $18 or so. Avoid the $10 sets. Spending $35 or more for strings is a bit of a waste unless you know what you're getting.

    And I bet the Spector will treat you well.
  7. Rhythmalism,
    Sonically and 'feel wise' what are the differences between flat and round wound? Also, I had a friend in college that used to boil his strings after using them for a while . . .he claimed that it at partially restored them . . . . ever heard such a thing?

    Thanks for those who responded . . . I've read up more thorougly on the Spectors, and this is definitly not a 'beginners' bass . . .but the price was right! Seems that I've bumped into a good deal . . . .

    Thanks again!

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hickory Bass Player
  8. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Feel wise, rounds will feel textured, while flats will feel slipery almost. I personally dont enjoy playing flats because they dont seem to stick to my fingers well.

    As for boiling, it works in most cases, but Id recomend new strings anyway. Saving $20 for an extra month isnt worth the time and effort to me at least. And thats comming from a guy who pays $45 for a set of strings. I replace mine about every 3-6 months depending on wear.
  9. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    Man, that's a steal for a Euro4. I wish the jokers at GC in Dallas & Plano (TX) would give me a deal like that. I refuse to shop there.... very, very bad experiences at 2 different stores.

    If GC is willing to sell it for $629 - I say go for it.
  10. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    I used to be loyal to D'Addario XL's which are nickel roundwound. They keep some snap in them after they are dead and are a good price.

    Here's an alternative to boiling stings: Wash your hands before you play whenever possible. You can also use that clear hand sanitizer lotion to clean your hands. This will greatly increase string life, at least it has for me.

    Oh yeah, get the Spector. That sounds like a great deal that is to good to pass up. Take good care of it and if you don't like it down the road, you will be able to sell it for a profit.
  11. For strings I would suggest Ernie Ball, have used them for a while with no complaints, I used to use the Super Slinkys(Pink Pack) but am now using the Extra Slinkys(Blue) as they are easier on my fingers, some wouldn't suggest you start with such a soft gauge though, just a thought, all the best in your endeavor
  12. Thanks for your responses!

    Scottie - I like you technique the best - preventative! Much less hassle! I've read links from this site that people use Ketone Methly hydride whatever to wash their strings . . . too much hassle and pain!

    Robman - I've heard bad things about GC here and on other boards . . I've feeling that it's just the people - not the store itself. The guys and gals at this location North Freeway in Houston just south of 1960W on the south feeder - seem to be really nice. Not pushy, they let me just hang around and play (what I could!) spent time with me and demo'd the basses for me . . . no real problems as far as I could tell. But I definitly shop where I felt comfortable . . . so far so good. They kind of reminded me of some of the music shops in Austin when I lived there . . . pretty laid back. The odd thing is that this bass just stayed at 869.00 (or something like that) for about 6 months . . . in desperation they marched it out to the front of the store, didn't clean it up at all, and put a 629.00 price tag on it - it stayed there for 1 week before I put it into layaway . . . Decided that was the right way to go in case I'd grabbled a bad bass . . . but that doesn't seem to be the case!

    It appears that this Spector Euro 4 is good deal :hyper: . . . just wish it was fretless - but I'll live! . . I guess I can convert it if I want to . . .

    Again - thanks for your advice guys . . . I guess I'm going to buy a little Fender Rumble 15, and experiment with nickel round and flat wounds . . . see what I like!

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hickory Bass Player
  13. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    I've heard terrific things about the Euro. Good going!! It's pretty easy to pick up a used fretless P or Jazz sometime, just keep your eyes open. It's good to have one of each...

    Also, there's a whole forum on strings here are TB. I learned a lifetime's worth of info by reading the string section every day for a few months. In the meantime, any half way decent set will do you until you decide what you want.
    Very generally:
    Stainless steel tends to be bright, but can be tough on your fingers (actually roughs them up!).
    Nickels tend to be warmer and are more comfortable
    Roundwounds have more sustain and usually more highs. They make fret noise when you move your fingers up and down.
    Flatwounds have less sustain, are usually more associated with 'thump', and are very comfortable and quiet.
    Flatwounds were around long before roundwounds, even though most people use roundwounds now. The strings of the 60's were flats.
    Welcome and enjoy!!
  14. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    Agreed... It's not the store itself, or the salesmen/women... It's the sales managers... :meh:
  15. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    Agreed... It's not the store itself, or the salesmen/women... It's the store/sales managers... :meh: And, it's about whether or not they're going to make money on a sale. All about profit...
  16. BlueMonk,
    That's a great idea . . . eventually I'll run into a nice fretless for a good price. I've been reading the String forum and FAQs . . amazing stuff . . a lot of very knowledgable people hang out it seems! I'm into comfort, so I'll probably do the Nickle . . and get a set of round and a set of flat just to see what I like.

    Thanks for the welcome . . . . I might have to cough up the $20 for the 'membership' . . . seems that it will pay for itself!

    Again - thanks alot!
    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hickory Bass Player
  17. Yeah . . . until we do away with money . . . we're stuck with it! And we'll probably be stuck with it for a while! The sales manager here pretty much stayed out of the way . . and she was quite happy to see that bass go!

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hickory Bass Player
  18. A bit of a correction . . the price was not 629.00 but was 639.99 . . . I just looked at the receipt again . . .but it's still a great deal!

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hickory Bass Player
  19. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    DON'T rip the frets out. You can get a cheapo bass to do that to or get a used Mexican fretless for cheap. You'll kill any value the Euro has by messing with it like that.
  20. WaxComb,
    thanks . . . I was considering that modifying it would mess up the value - unless perhaps it was done by the Spector shop itself - but they might not do these kind of upgrades. I'll probably just wait for a good used fretless to popup . . .

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Hickory Bas Player