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Please excuse the ignorance...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bluefrog988, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. bluefrog988


    Apr 4, 2009
    Hey everyone!
    I was recently looking through the ' The Official Show-Your-Basses thread, part 7 - strings attached' and realized that a good number of this forum's members seem to be collectors.

    To start off I'll give a little background. I've been playing bass for just half a year. In October I decided to take the jump from the electric guitar to the bass. For the most part I just love the deeper fuller tone of the bass. I currently play an Epiphone Embassy Standard V. It's a beautiful instrument but there are a few issues with it.

    1) It's a 5 string bass. Not a huge deal, but the strings are very close together which makes it difficult to attempt any slap style playing.
    2) There always is an annoying clicking noise when I hit most notes. For that reason I tend to avoid even using my bass amp and just plug it into my guitar amp...
    3) The guitar is a beast. It's too heavy to really stand up with for any amount of time, and that's a bit ridiculous since I'm 6'3"...

    So my question is-
    What is the best bass guitar at a decent price [[$300-$500]]?
    I don't wanna make the mistake of buying solely for looks.

  2. it all depends on what kind of bass you are looking for. Are you looking for another 5 string or 4 string bass? I am not familiar with the Epiphone you currently have, but at your price range I would check out some used MIM Fenders, which you can generally pick up at 300-500 bucks. Used G&L tributes usually pop up at the higher end of that price range and the L-2000 and L-2500 series are great instruments.

    However it all boils down to personal preferences, so try out everything and see what feels/sounds the best....then buy used so somebody else pays for the depreciation.

    My 2 cents and good luck with your purchase,

  3. Fender or G&L are NOT the only basses out there:
    Ibanez SX Traben Schector Spector Cort Samik etc.
    Try everything, figure out what you want and like (neck width, feel, sound- active/ passive, woods, etc) and then find the brands that offer that.
    Once you find what you want, get it used!
    Uded= cheaper, less of a loss when you sell it...and it comes with mojo!
    Hope this helped!
  4. Disappear


    May 9, 2008
    Buy one that you like.
  5. bluefrog988


    Apr 4, 2009
    Definitely 4-string.
    Strange thing is I can't even seem to find reviews for my bass online...closest I get is a 4 string guitar which sounds very similar.

    Would a Fender work well with heavier playing as well? I know as far as electric guitars go they have a pretty bad rep...[[even though John 5 uses them wonderfully]].
    Thanks though, I'll make sure to look into both brands. =D
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Totally personal preference, but you need to go out and play a bunch of basses in order to know what you like.
  7. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "heavier playing" but I dig in pretty hard into my Mexican Fender jazz bass when I play and it seems to respond nicely to it.

    The #1 thing echoed through threads like this is try as many brands as you can to get an idea what you would like, nobody else can tell you what you want/like besides yourself. I just listed what my choices would be, given the price range presented. I think you got a pretty large selection of entry to mid level instruments to choose from...now the easy part, hit up your local sam ash/guitar center/mom and pop shop and try out everything that fits your budget. The answer will come.
  8. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    A big fat padded strap will help with the weight.

    The clicking could be any number of things, but i'm guessing it's your finger hitting the next lowest string, and if that's the case, it will be there no matter what bass you play.

    I'd suggest spending a little bit more time with the bass you have now and work on your technique.
  9. Many basses come in various widths at the nut; my Fender Jazz is narrower at the nut, which some players dislike and favor a wider P-style. With that said, it may not be the string spacing that's giving you slapping issues -- it could be that you only have 6 months under your belt. I can't slap to save my life on generously-spaced 4 strings and I've been playing 25 years, some guys can rip on 6 strings with cramped spacing. Ultimately, it comes down to what makes you most comfortable.

    This could be a technique issue, or possibly your action/truss rod need. You don't notice the click at all through your guitar amp?

    This is completely anecdotal (and a bit tongue in cheek), but it seems like more guitarists complain about the weight of basses more often than bassists. :) As a 15 year old starting out, I complained the first few weeks of shoulder pain from playing a 4 string during hour long band practice. Now at age 40 I routinely play gigs and don't even feel my bass hanging there. Weights definitely vary, and you may also want to look into a short(er) scale 5 string (although I think the shorter scale may affect the low B string).

    Squier, ESP, Yamaha, Schecter, Ibanez... more than I can think of right now. I'd say in that price range -- heck, *any* price range -- there really is no "best", it comes down to what feels comfortable in your hands and sounds good to your ears. Good luck!
  10. bluefrog988


    Apr 4, 2009
    I could see why guitarist complain more about the weight of a bass! When I alternate between the two the guitar seems like a toy. :p

    The clicking is probably the most obnoxious aspect of the bass. It seems to get worse as I get towards the higher end of the fretboard [[7th fret and on]]. It's very noticeable with amplification and without.

    I'm familure with most of the said companies from playing the electric guitar. I guess a good question would be-What is your favorite bass make/style and why?

    P.S. By heavier I mean genre's like metal. Should've specified more.:p
  11. bgressman82


    Mar 5, 2009
    i think your 5'er needs a good set up.

    you should try a fender jazz bass. i've used fender jazzes for several years now, and in various rock/metal bands. i'm not the only one who uses fenders for metal, either. god forbid, opeth, sepultura, fear factory.... to say they work for the genre is an understatement. just be sure you try one that has been properly set up. the factory set ups on those things are horrible.
  12. At the beginning of last year I'd been out of touch with music shops and gigging for awhile and hadn't seen any guitars in a few months. One day I walked into a music store with an expansive display of electric guitars hanging on a wall opposite a collection of basses. Looking from one side of the room to the other -- from the bass wall to the guitar wall -- the guitars looked like toys hanging there in comparison to the basses.

    And I played guitar for 30 years before switching to bass a year and a half ago so I'm not just picking on the guitars. They looked tiny in comparison.
  13. mlafrancis


    Jun 26, 2008
    Hey you should get a MIM Fender Precision Bass Special! Its amazing. Awsome tone control, you can get anything kind of sound you want out of it! I use tt for a Hard Rock/Blues band that has a bit of a Metal edge, so yes it can be used for heavier music. And I got mine new from my local music store for $480 (it was on sale) not including tax. And it came with a free case. I'm just starting to work on trying to slap, and this bass is good for that too.
  14. Before you sell or buy anything, take your bass to the store and make sure it's set up alright and check to see if the clicking is from the bass and/or your technique. Get a reasonable strap and make sure you're playing with good posture. Hanging the bass too low and slouching can make something feel heavier than it really is.
  15. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    I agree, go out there and play everything. When you find something that you like, buy it used. That way, when you decide it's not actually for you, you can sell it with very little loss.

    You're a guitarist, so you should be able to tell what feels solidly built, well set up, dodgy electronics, that kind of thing. That should save you from buying a lemon so everything else is just a different flavour of good.
  16. buy only what is comfortable to you, play EVERYTHING in the shop before deciding too. even the most expensive basses. if you try a nice custom P bass and love the tone chances are that a cheaper bass will give you that tone too, but not be as fancy.

    if the noises are a technique problem then they can be worked out of you style, i am assuming that you have played guitar before as you have a guitar amp? remember basses need different eq to guitars too much upper mids and top end can be really bad (unless you are REALLY accurate) and depending on the amp and speaker set up too much bass can be equally bad.

    as for the bass itself i did a quick search and the list price of the epi embassy 5 is around $300-500 so you have a 'decent' contender in your price range
  17. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    I have to say Yamaha, the best price/quality equation ever. Specially the RBX4 A2

    Looks great, sounds great, veeeeery light... I think that's the best "cheap" bass ever.
  18. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    If you're concerned about strings being close together, look at basses with 19mm spacing at the bridge and wider nut widths, no smaller than 2". As posted above, play as many basses as feasible. To narrow your search, first determine whether you want 5 strings. 4 bangers will be lighter as a rule and tend to have wider string spacing (19mm pretty much standard). Then nail down your preferences for neck and fingerboard-wide, flat and thin vs. thick and more heavily radiused, etc. Other major questions: active vs passive, one pup or 2, etc. Narrow these down as much as you can and look used.
  19. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Inactive

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Ibanez, Schecter, Epiphone, Yamaha, Peavey, Rogue, Traben, Laguna, RockBass (Low-end Warwick), and Washburn are all good for that price range. Figure out what you like, try everything you see.

    Someone said fender earlier but I have to disagree because those are big chunks of ballast and you said you didn't like lots of weight.
  20. Disappear


    May 9, 2008
    To summarize what everyone is saying and to pull full attention to this post; "Go play a bunch of bass guitars if you want to buy a new one. It's all personal preference and there's no one good brand."

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