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Nice bass or nice rig?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by clouddead, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. clouddead


    Jan 15, 2003
    at the end of this summer i will have about 2000 dollars to spend on a killer rig or a nice bass and a combo amp setup.. heres my background, bassist for a year or so, then quit ( i have no f'n clue why). i am ready to get into it and i have an hartke Ha3000 head to sell off and i still have my ibanez sr-405 sitting around, its about 2 years old. ive been out of the bass world fora bout a year and need to get an instructor once i get back to town in august.
    i have the choice of either buying a decent combo and a nice bass or i can buy a killer rig and play my bass which i kind of despise (ibanez was cool at the time, but i want somethin more sophisticated to learn on). im going to be sticking with a 5 string.
    im stuck in a rut of what to go for, i wont be gigging anytime soon and need time to shred in my room. sounds like a nice bass would do the trick, but if i buy a rig now i might get a new bass for christmas, but it might be sub par what i could afford now versus what my parents would want to shell out for christmas.they wouldnt buy me the rig i want.
    sounds like my parents are doing all buying but i cant work during school and i have worked hard this summer to earn about 2000 dollars. sooooo. thats my rambling. please give advice. thanks
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    You don't need something more sophisticated to learn on. A great rig will make that Ibanez sound way better. Spending $2000 USD on your first rig is a little much, but a $2000 bass as a learner? Not worth it, IMHO. Buy a good rig (400 watts and a good cab) that you can gig with and expand later on and save the rest and split with your folks on a good bass.

    What is it that's wrong with the Ibanez? You should probably consider getting it set up...a good setup can make a bad-feeling bass feel and sound great.
  3. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    I say spend $700 on an SWR Workingman's 15 combo, which sounds great and is turning out to be all I need for a loud, two-guitar rock band. Then spend the other $1300 on a bass. Or two.
  4. clouddead


    Jan 15, 2003
    Thats what i was thinking, the rig could make my bass sound better. Indeed, it deff. needs a setup. Its also true that i dont need a better bass to learn on, i know the saying "nice equipment doesnt make a better player." with 300 watts, it felt like nothing at all when i turned it up to 5. and when i slapped on 5, it clipped like a mofo. so thats why i want the higher output, like a 700 watt setup.
    i was thinking of an aguilar gs410 with a poweramp and pre setup. so later on i could upgrade the pre amp and still have the solid poweramp. im only 18, so nothing really is gonna break my back.
    for the rig, id have about 1700 or so to spend.
  5. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    $500 on a cab
    $300 on a used power amp
    $1200 on a new bass.

    if i would have known that when i was younger, i would have saved a fortune.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    In the years I've been on Talkbass, the "rig or instrument?" has been a recurring question.

    Without hesitation, I agree with Govithoy's first point. The differences between a mega-dollar bass and a medium-priced bass really only appear/are heard after years of experience, as your ear becomes more discerning. As long as you don't sense the playability of your bass is hindering your progress, it's enough.

    It's a bit like champagne - most people don't really appreciate the differences between a decent champagne and Dom Perignon, unless they've had loads of tastings with various champagnes.

    A good amp will almost always get you closer to your "dream tone".
    For one thing, a higher-end amp typically allows you to tweak your tone more radically than a bass. A nice amp often offers you all kinds of equalization, parameter boosts, tone tweaks, compression, and a crossover.

    Plus, a better amp will amplify everything your bass has to offer. A lesser amp with a fine bass cannot amplify the real tonal beauties of the fine bass. And, the ability to dial in higher volumes with a nice amp often "opens up" whatever the bass has to offer.

    One of the most reknowned pickup makers, Lindy Fralin, used to have an article on his website that also expressed his belief that a good amp with an "okay" instrument is better than vice-versa.
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I would go for the good amp and a mid priced bass for the same reasons Rick and Govithoy stated.
  8. Someone once told me "The tone is in your hands man..." So with that being said...my advice to you is this: Play a bass you like and get the biggest power amp you can afford with a speaker cab configuration you like. Again...my advice: 10" speakers=tight punchy sound 12" speakers=tight with more bottom 15" speakers=big ass with some of the upper stuff. The real issue for anyone who has a bass and wants to buy an amp is this: Go to a store and plug in and just f@#@@ing jam with it! Try a LOT of amps and combos. Take your friends on trips to places that carry what you want and jam on that store's equipment. Want some advice? Look up MUSICIANSFRIEND.COM or AMERICANMUSICALSUPPLY.COM or others like them and order from them. OK..I am NOT affiliated with either of those companies in any way, but have purchased from them...and been happy. Again..my advice...if you know what you want, AMS has a 45day un-conditional money back guarantee...dunna like it? not right for you? send it back for free and they'll try to get it right. I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE OR EMPLOYEE. I have had good experiences with these people and am passing on my good feelings to you.
  9. Besides, the "good bass" "good amp" argument really has one bottom line...The way you play is only as good as the way you hear. Everyone you meet will have another idea about your sound. The reality of your sound with the band you're recording with is only as good as your fans. Point in fact......Why is Jaco (God rest his soul) the ninja-samaurai-master-so many try to follow-bassist of all time...why do many who have never heard of Jaco Pastorious love Geddy Lee as the ninja-warlord-kung fu monster of the world-bassist of all time...why do so many people even consider Cliff Burton (God rest his soul) as a master of the bass of all time?.....Because these cats found a sound that "WORKED" in the context of the group of musicians they were with. FACT! There is NO one bass or amp that is right for everyone. <LOOK THERE.....PERIOD! NO AMP OR BASS IS RIGHT FOR YOU BUT WHAT YYYYOOOOUUU Like.