Reliable Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Hi again. I was wondering if someone could recommend bass guitar manufacturers (and perhaps specific models) that are regarded as reliable. I have Fender written down...

    My definition of "reliable" is that you don't need to replace any parts, except for strings...even after years of regular use.

    The reason for this question is that my Samick's sound quality has just eroded over time and I never did any serious damage to it. I want to make sure that if I treat it well, it will last a few decades.

    That's reasonable, right?

  2. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Add Rickenbacker to the list.
  3. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    G&L, Alembic, Sadowsky
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    The only basses that survived Jason Newsted's bathtub test! :D
  5. i second Nanook, definately Rickenbacker, I've got a Rick from '73, never had any problems with it.....
  6. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Fender! - DEFINATELY Fender! ('Specially P's).
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Any moderately-priced bass of a reputible manufacturer should last many years as long as it is properly cared for. There is no particular maker that is known as the Volvo of basses as far as I know.

    The nice thing about Fenders is that they are sort of the Chevy of basses. If you take care of them, they will last a long time, but even if you do have a repair, there are tons of affordable and readily available parts out there for them.

    Ernie Ball and G&L basses are also very-well made. I would say that just about any American or European-made bass is going to give you years of problem-free performance. There are of course many Asian-made basses that will do the same. But most the least-expensive and poorest quality (and cheap also) stuff also comes from there. Mexican Fenders, from what I can tell, are likely to last as long as their American counterparts.

    First of all find something that you like the sound and feel of. Then worry about how dependable it is. Don't be afraid to post again once you have narrowed your options. No matter what the bass, it is likely that someone here at TB either owns or has owned it.

  8. Add Spector to your list. I've had my Czech one a couple of years - strings and battery change and that's it!!! I've had my Korean one for 4 months - nothing yet!!

    I guess Nino-Brown would have more to add on Spector - he's had more than me for longer than me I guess!!!
  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I sincerely hope you don't count the Mexican ones as well, for in that case I could prove you wrong!
  10. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    No, Just the U.S. (and Japanese)
  11. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

    Chasarms speaks the truth. I can't remember the last time I had trouble with the actual instrument. Forgive me, but your Samick is bottom of the food chain, so it's reasonable to assume you'll encounter reliability problems. I've read weird stories about Carvins too -- some people love 'em, others say they're firewood.

    If the pricerange of a Fender is what you're after, then go for a Fender...American-made if you can afford it. A lot of bassists on this site play Ibanez basses too.

    You get what you pay for. $200 is not a lot to pay to get a bass, but you don't get much of a bass for $200.
  12. Gotta go with what Chas said. I for one, have a 1979 Ibanez Musician which I bought new. I have to post pictures of this beauty; it looks brand new. The only "slight" problem it has is the 3 way pickup selector switch (like a Les Paul) crakles sometimes. After 21 years, I'd say that's not bad. In the end, I'd say it has a bit to do with luck. Some people buy a bass and never have problems with them, others get lemons.

    Consider this simple rule: The simpler the instument is, the fewer problems you're likely to encounter.

    Mike J.
  13. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Modulus is the ultimate reliable bass.
    The graphite never warps, it stays in tune better than any other bass I've tried.

    At my last gig, I dropped my Modulus and chipped the paint. The preamp was feeling nasty. But It still worked flawlessly. When I went to replace the preamp, it stopped feeling nasty. I guess that's more of a plug for EMG, but...

    I left the bass in my trunk for a week over the summer. Pulled it out and it was IN TUNE!!!
    Try that with anything that has a WOOD neck.

    Warwick is another brand. The necks are so solid that you can abuse them and they will still work. Some preamp problems I've seen, but maybe in one out of 100.

    My .02
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Chas, you make a really good point on that. You can have a $100 hondo and if you take proper care of it, then there is no reason it shouldnt last for a few years.

    Proper care IMO also includes regular tune ups and preventative maitenance just like a car would.
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA

    Peavey is famous for making products that never break, and this includes their basses. I had a 1989 Dyna-5 bolt-on that I sold in 1998. I used that bass a lot, including some stints in regular club bands, and that bass NEVER once let me down.
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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