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Shopping for a bass.. my findings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AndrewShirley, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. I've been in the market for a new bass for a little while now. My P-Bass Lyte Deluxe is a great instrument but I wanted to add something with a little "byte" :)

    Anyway, I headed down to one of my favourite shops, The Arts in Newmarket, Ontario. Their prices are comparible to L&M's in Toronto. I've purchased my last 2 basses there.

    Here are my findings:

    A) Godin BG-4 with Semour Duncan PUPs.
    - Dead sounding, no bite. Played well but had no workable tone.
    - Notes were indistinct from each other.
    B) MusicMan Sub (I was told they are a flawed Stingray - which is really what I wanted to look at)
    - So-So sounding. Good slap tone. Average finger tone.
    - With the missing neck PUP it was very ackward since I'm used to planting my thumb there.
    C) MusicMan Bongo.
    - Had the absolute BEST slap tone I've ever heard! Beautiful instrument for that.
    - Had the WORST finger tone out of all the basses I tried.Muddy and indistinct, no matter what I did with the EQ.
    - Played very well, great neck!
    D) Fender Jazz MIA.
    - Sounded good finger style
    - Sounded average slap
    - Played like crud. The neck felt cramped even though my P-Lyte Deluxe has a Jazz(y) neck.
    - fret inserts felt like they were too high. It was like driving a truck over speed bumps.
    E) Godin BG-4 with Godin PUPs.
    - Average to Good slap tone
    - Great finger tone. Best of the bunch
    - Plays like a dream.
    - Has the clearest sound of the bunch. I could hear all of the hammer-ons between the bass slaps on the root. It was like throwing on a dual-band comp with long attack. Sounded wonderful
    - I could easily dial in growl by adding the bridge PUP.

    Just to be sure that I didn't accidentally try a dud BG4 with the Seymour Duncans, I tried another one (used) that sounded the exact same... crappy.

    Just to be fair, I had previously tried a BG4 with Godin PUPs at another store and found it sterile and cold.

    I ended up buying the BG4 with Godin PUPs since I don't play much slap in my band currently. Here's the great part... it was also the CHEAPEST of the bunch! I picked it up for $540CDN (Approx $442USD). That's less then my P-Bass Lyte, and has a superior sound! My Lyte has a better slap sound, so I'm set up.

    Anyway, my conclusion is this: Try EVERY bass you can when looking. Every bass will sound unique, even between models as I can attest to from trying different Godin BG4s.

    Bring your own bass and try it through the same rig you are testing with. You have to compare to what you already have or you will have no frame of reference.

    The shop I was at only had one Bongo, one Sub and one Sterling. I wish there were a couple more I could have tried. If I could have found a Bongo with good finger sounds, that would have been the clear winner even though it was almost 3X the price of a Godin. I would have been willing to trade-in my P-Bass Lyte.

    Hope this helps anyone looking for a new bass.

    - Andrew
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Nice choice. I have a godin sd4 (put bartolini pickups in it) and its a great bass, and i have yet to play a bass that i like the feel of more.
  3. The feel of the bass was a large factor for sure! Its well balanced sitting on my knee - I have yet to put a strap on it though :( The fret board just feels fast and light to the touch, much MUCH better then the Jazz I tried. Feels even better then my P-Bass Lyte.

    - Andrew