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Professional bassists/musicians who choose to use cheap gear?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ren Key, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. Ren Key

    Ren Key

    Nov 25, 2014
    NOT counting bass sponsorships.

    Off the top of my head:

    Before switching to a Fender Precision and despite her bandmates using fancy Gibsons and Marshalls, Kim Deal of the Pixies used an Aria Pro II Cardinal bass (which was considered a "starter" bass back in the '80s and cost less than $100) paired with a Peavey Combo 300. She used this setup for years, and even recorded the band's first two releases with it.

    As seen above, Mac Demarco's bass player uses a cheap Stagg bass. Not that Demarco even minds, though, as he's well know himself for his choice of using an extremely cheap Teisco guitar.

    Indie band Yuck's bassist Mariko Doi in known for her love of using cheap amps. Half the time she uses an Ampeg Micro VR and the other half, as seen in the video above, she uses a cheap Hartke Kickback 12 combo amp.
  2. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Abe Laboriel used a Goya Panther bass for a lot of well-known award-winning recordings earlier in his career. They're sort of rare and sought after now, but they were budget instruments decades ago.
  3. Ren Key

    Ren Key

    Nov 25, 2014
    Very interesting! I've honestly never even heard of a Goya Panther bass before so I had to look it up just now.
  4. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    What i found is Mike Dirnt play his cheap squier signature pbass at squier website, yes, it just a photo shot.
    And , never seem he bring his squier for show or stage performe.
  5. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    If they sound good and hold up, who cares?

    Holding up has been my issue with "cheap" basses. Forget the name or model, you can tell a cheap bass when you've played it for a while. Could be a no-name, could be a squire. Heck, I had a G&L L2000 that I always felt like I was fighting to play. If a MIM Squire felt more at home in my hands and was durable, I'd consider it a "better" bass.
  6. I don't think they make Squiers out of Mexico. These days they're out of the same factory as Cort in Indonesia & it's spelled Squier. Nothing to do with Chris Squire or a knight's apprentice.
  7. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    paul-mccartney-picture-1-580. Seems to have been a good choice.
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    LOL! Good catch!

    T'was a time before the lowly 500/1 was called "The Beatle Bass," when a Hofner didn't command anywhere near the money or respect it receives now that it is called that.

    How soon we forget. :laugh:
  9. McCartney was my first thought, also. Here's his famous quote about why he bought the Hofner:

    "I remember going along there, and there was this bass which was quite cheap. I couldn't afford a Fender. Fenders even then seemed to be about £100. All I could really afford was about £30 ... so for about £30 I found this Hofner violin bass. And to me it seemed like, because I was left-handed, it looked less daft because it was symmetrical. Didn't look as bad as a cutaway which was the wrong way. So I got into that."
  10. Symmetrical is less daft, LOL.
    He's playing a lefty in the photo though.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    True. An upside down Fender looks a little odd. But IIRC he also mentioned in an interview once that he flipped the strings on a righty at first. So a symmetrical head would have made it a lot easier.

    I knew a few lefty players who got EB-0/3s or Gretsch basses back in the 60s instead of the ubiquitous Fenders for exactly the same reason. Its still a hassle if you're a lefthander despite lefty basses being marginally easier to find today.
  12. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Another old timer who you will see playing or talking about playing so-so stuff is Carole Kaye, bassist and guitarist with nothing to prove. I remember her talking about her latest bass, an Aria pro II in an interview.

    caroleguit. carolkaye.
  13. I'm a lefty, but the thought of playing guitar or bass lefty never even occurred to me. Making chord shapes with your dominant hand just makes more sense to me.
    With a symmetrical instrument, all you'd need to do is change the nut, maybe even just flip it. Those controls would still be in your way though.
    Dale Griffith and leonard like this.
  14. Made in Japan, should be good quality.
    dutchwife and Moosehead1966 like this.
  15. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    @bdwgmi, you miss the point my friend. the thread is not about symmetry or quality or place of origin, it's about cheap. there are lots of so called cheap instruments that do the job just fine.
    That's what the discussion is discussing. Let's discuss it.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  16. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    I had a cheap Ibanez Roadster with the heart shaped tuners that I stupidly got rid of because it was so cheap. Wish I had held onto it!
    chaurett, Alembic83 and Snowglo like this.
  17. Thank you thread police!

    For a lefty, taking a "regular" bass & just flipping the nut & restringing is CHEAP.

    Does that satisfy the discussion?
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Jack Bruce was endorsing the Aria Pro II for awhile too. Check out his website.

    I remember the ads. Something about "It's a bloody good bass." if memory serves.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  19. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Bill Wyman

    BillWyman. billWymanFramusBass. wbillwyman2.
  20. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    The whole "garage rock" thing was somewhat predicated on the use of $50 guitars.

    Bands that come to mind are the Gories and the somewhat better known White Stripes.

    And both of those bands are bassless!

    gip111 and AaronVonRock like this.

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