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Recommendations for $2000 or Less Bass Upgrade

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JamMasterJR, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. JamMasterJR


    Dec 18, 2009
    Salinas, CA
    I'm an amateur player looking for recommendations for a second, better bass that's less than $2000 with great sustain that will cut through pianos and guitars but not overpower them and not be too boomy.

    I've never cared for Fenders (J or P). Wish I did, but they just feel wrong to me.

    I briefly played around with a brand-new, Rickenbacker 4003 (with just the factory setup!) a few weeks ago. I fell in love with it: loved the tone, thought it played like butter and could easily strum power chords but I have nagging doubts. Some people seem to have bad things to say about them: painted necks, weird finish on the fingerboard that wears down, etc.

    I have an early 90's Peavey Foundation with D'Addario ECB82 chrome flats (50/70/85/105). I usually play finger style on it and love the sound for the occasional open blues jam, but the sound isn't working for me elsewhere.

    I regularly play Sunday masses (in a large church with 500+ parishoners and tall concrete walls with a lot of really weird angles) along with 3 other guitarists, a couple of teenage girl singers and a piano player on a baby grand. It's "contemporary" Catholic mass music (70's singer/songwriter style) from OCP so it's pretty subdued. My Peavey is a little too boomy but when I roll off the bass, the D and G strings are too thin.

    I also play as a volunteer at a local children's theater with a pianist on upright and/or Yamaha keyboard, a loud drummer and sometimes a guitarist. The music is show tunes, although the last series of show was mostly 1930's jazz. I sometimes have to play tied whole notes that last 4 measures or more. My Peavey can't sustain that long and it sounds lame when I have to keep hitting the same note.

    In both cases, the P.A. can't handle a bass so I play through a Roland Cube-100 combo amp that serves me well at less than %50 volume.

    Sorry for rambling. I'd appreciate any feedback you all can give me.
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    If you fell in love with the Ric, why not get that?

    People will have something bad to say about any instrument. The painted neck is a personal thing, it doesn't mean it's bad by any means.
  3. MK1


    Nov 23, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Just rub down the neck with a 3M finishing pad if you don't like the painted feel. If you really love the way the Ric feels and sounds you'll regret getting anything else. I played my first one about 12 years ago and was never able to get it out of my head. When I finally got mine last year I sold my other basses and exclusively play my Ric (it just fits me perfectly).
  4. aqsw


    May 28, 2006
    If I was going to spend $2000.00(in fact I just did) on a bass. I would(and did) purchase a Dingwall ABZ5. They weigh in around 8 lbs, have the worlds greatest B, and of course are a quality Dingwall.

  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    For $2000 you can get into the wonderful world of higher end Spectors. Once there, you'll never leave and you'll wonder how you survived anywhere else :)
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
  7. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    or put rounds on your Foundation and hear it cut through more... :)
  8. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I also with the other dude that wonders why what other people's ideas is turning you off the Ric. For real, I have read the absolute worst ideas on TB about why they don't like a bass. If you put it in your hands and it makes you want to rip and the sound while you ripping is what you want to hear, that is really all their is to it. I've spent way too much time on anal details that detracted me from really spending the time to pumping out killer basslines, and you'll know that feeling when you can do that freely. It has absoltely nothing to do with some finish film somewhere that you highlight because you've logged hours of sweat on a bass you dig.

    Yeah that's harsh, but it's how I feel. And this is not always the case, but most of the super anal comments come from dudes that I don't think gig out a ton. If you're feeling a Ric, get one and just spend a little to get it set up and be done with it. As for Spectors, the older CRs were awesome. I'd go used on either FWIW.
  9. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    You fell in love with a Ric. It's a great bass. Buy it. Or buy a bass that someone else loves instead. Up to you.
  10. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
  11. TinIndian


    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    By what you want and like. If you like the Ric and you find a good one, buy it. I like the Lakland 44-02 idea also, but if the Ric is what you like, don't let someone else's opinion on a painted neck stop you. Unless you don't like a painted neck.
  12. JamMasterJR


    Dec 18, 2009
    Salinas, CA
    Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I started with rounds and switched to flats for playing blues. The rounds had a sound that was a bit more aggressive than I was after.
  13. JamMasterJR


    Dec 18, 2009
    Salinas, CA
    Thanks for all the input. I'll probably get the Ric but I'll search for the Lakland mentioned to see if I like it.
  14. geddeeee


    Jun 30, 2006
    If you like the Rickenbacker, go for it. Don't let the nay-sayers put you off buying one.
    The 2011/2012 basses are fantastic. Build quality is immaculate.
    I've got a 2004 Ric, and it is a bitch. Great to play, but really fragile. I bought a 2011 Ric in December... What a bass. Thin neck, immaculate build quality, great sound. Worth the money easily. The QC issues have been banished I suspect.
    A lot of people hate Rickenbacker basses, but you have to follow your heart....
  15. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Id say get to a store that has lots of diff upper end imports along with european and american made ones. And buy the one you like best in that 2k and under range including case. Compare them to rickenbacker and see if rick still wins.

    Me. I'd be looking at either Monson or Moser if concidering spending over $1,200.
  16. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    One used EBMM Stingray or Sterling
    One used G&L L1000 or L2000

    Problem alleviated.
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Peavey Cirrus
  18. JamMasterJR


    Dec 18, 2009
    Salinas, CA
    Very interesting suggestion. At this point, I'm not really interested in a 5-string, but who knows? Down the road I might need one. Also, that fanned fret design is intriguing.
  19. JamMasterJR


    Dec 18, 2009
    Salinas, CA
    Thanks for the very useful info. I've ran across one opinion that Rics made in the past few years are better than they've ever been. The fact that you actually own Rics from two different years makes your opinion invaluable.
  20. JamMasterJR


    Dec 18, 2009
    Salinas, CA
    Truth be told, I don't have the energy to respond to each post, but I deeply appreciate each of you taking time to voice your opinion. A big "thank you" to all! :)

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