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Starter Bass + Amp, $1,000.00 Budget

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hawtin47, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. hawtin47


    Oct 9, 2003
    Lyons, Oregon

    I'm looking to buy a 4-string bass and amp (the amp mainly for practice with an electronic drum set and low-powered guitar amp) and have about a grand to spend total.

    Looking for advice on an appropriate ratio for the gear expenditure (70-30 bass?) and brand recommendations.

    I like a wider neck like a a P-style over a J-style, but have no brand preferences for anything.

    Primary music styles will be contemporary worship music along with some classic rock and cowboy country/bluegrass. I don't like the looks of the more metal-oriented basses.

    I have no experience playing the bass, but have played acoustic and electric guitar and mandolin for a couple of years.

    Also - should I consider a 5-string bass out of the chute, or stick to the 4-string for now?

    Thanks -

  2. for the kind of music you are going to play I think a 4-string P bass would work just fine. unless you like how 5-strings play or want one. but for your budget you could get a nicer 4-string than a 5-string.

    if you like the precision bass then check out a Fender Made In Mexice (MIM) Precision bass. or if you could find a used G&L SB-1 or SB-2. then for the amp I think that Yorkville amps are great quality, tone and value. here is a link to an online place that sells them:


    I think the XM200 (1X15) or XM200T (2X10) would work great for ya. just depends on what speaker configuration you want.
  3. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    from the styles of music you say you will be playing and the instruments you have presviously played i would say stick with 4 string. JT or progzilla will probably disagree with me on this (heh).

    you might want to consider going more like 50:50 actually cuz if your playing worship music your probably going to want to be loud, and you dont really get a loud amp for $300, unless of course your going to be runnign into some PA where you dont really need loud but quality sound. so consider how many people your going to be playing to, and in what size venues, tell us and we can help you with the amp.

    from what you say about necks, i would say just buy the most expensive P-bass you can afford, its pretty much the original country bass, and i thin we have ascertained here that most people start out on one. you could maybe pick up an MIA p used for $550 - $600 if your lucky... if not im sure you can get a brand new MIM and maybe afford some new "better" pickups for it.

    ok ill stop scaring you now, and finish with this:

    "go to a shop, pickup ALL their basses. play them all. decide what you like about each and what you dont like. then decide the one that ahs the most "right" in you price range"

    dont rush yourself, goto several shops, spend a few weeks play LOTS
  4. hawtin47


    Oct 9, 2003
    Lyons, Oregon
    Sorry, I should have been a bit more specific...my amp won't be used in the worship group, as they already have a beefy older SWR that works great. Mine will just be for home use and small practice sessions.

    Thanks gang -

  5. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I usually recommend the Mexican made Fender Jazz or Precision to start out with. They are good quality instruments, not too expensive, and produce the most recognizable tone in the bass market.

    Both basses sund great, but my personal preference is the Jazz bass, which to me seems more versatile.

    With regard to the 5 string, it might or might not suit you. You certainly don't 'need' it to play... But sometimes it comes in handy. Try a few out! I don't believe that Precisions come in a 5 though, but Jazzes do.
  6. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    those yorkvilles sure look good value, especially the big one (400watt) although i doubt u need that for home practice but you MAY in the blue grass band.

    i stick by what i said on basses. play them all.
  7. ChronicPyromaniac


    Jan 25, 2001
    Fender Mexican P Bass
    Ampeg BA-115
  8. MyNameIsMUD


    Sep 25, 2003
    dang 1000bucks for a starter... :eek:

    I never felt ghetto til I started posting here at TB... :meh:
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I will go against the posts so far and say that if you are playing contemporary praise and worship music, you need a low B string.

    You can get by without one, but I find a 5 or 6 invaluable for use at my church.

    As for classic rock and cowboy country, a 4 string is fine.

    So, consider what music you will be playing more, and what music is more important to you personally.

    If you need a small amp for home use, I highly recommend the Fender Bassman 25. I have one, and it is a great little amp. Louder than most other 25 watt combos, good tone, and if you go for a five, it handles the low B better than any small combo under $600. It is such a solid little amp that I have actually used it at church services, accompanying piano, organ, a quiet drummer, and an electric guitar. I played a fretless 5 string through it, in an auditorium that seats 200+, and had no problem being heard. They are $269 at Guitar Center and Musician's Friend, and that leaves you about $700(after tax) to spend on a bass.

    Play a lot of basses. Go to all of your local stores and try some 4 and 5 stringers.

    Low priced good buys include MTD Kingston, G&L Tribute L series, Cort Elrick Josh Paul signature and Spector Q series.

    If you don't mind buying used, you can get things like a Lakland Skyline, a Peavey Cirrus, a Musicman Stingray, or a Warwick Corvette, and lots of other nice basses.
  10. extreme

    extreme Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    It somewhat depends on whether you know what you're looking for in a bass. If you're just starting out, your perceptions and taste can and will change as you get experience with different gear. There are lots of affordable options on solid basses.

    Musician's Friend just blew out some Yamaha BB1500s for only $199, so look for one of those on eBay or check out the G&L SB-2 Tribute basses that Musician's Friend is currently blowing out for only $299. These would both be great options. If you want something "more" then watch eBay for a US Fender P or J for $500-$550 and you'd be doing really well and be able to get your money back reselling it down the road if you go a different direction.

    As far as "bang for the buck", the Bag End S15-D is a great cab - very efficient & punchy, will handle whatever amp you use just fine, and small and light for moving around. BassNW has about 3 used S15-Ds in stock right now for only $299.

    This leaves you with $200-$500 left for an amp head (depending on how much you spend on a bass). You can probably find a GK 400RB amp used for around $200 and if you go up to $500 there will be lots of options (used Eden WT-300? new GK 700RB? (only $399 at Musician's Friend right now), maybe an older tube amp like an Ampeg V4B or a Musicman HD-130).

    If you don't need to be too loud, then you might want to automatically go for a used American Fender P or J, an Ampeg B-100R combo amp, and a Sansamp Bass Driver DI. I personally like a separate head and cab for versatility, expandability, and movability. Many combo amps tend to be either too heavy or not loud enough and they're usually awkward to try to move around.

    Okay, I'll breathe now and see what others have to say!
  11. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I got to hear one of these little combos at the shop cheezewiz part-timer's it at last week.

    Heck of a nice little amp!
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Inactive

    Dec 11, 1999
    Here is my .02

    An MTD Kingston 4 (about 450)and an SWR Workingman's 12 (about 550). This combination would just be killer. They also will take you through the phases of getting better w/o feeling that need to upgrade.

    Mike Dimin
  13. Here is my take on this..

    If I was in your situation, I would get

    Cort Elrick Josh Paul signature (used: there is one at Accessbass.com)
    Ampeg BA-115

    These two will be around $1000 maybe a little less.

    my $.02
  14. Well, it appears you have some experience, so follow your gut!

    Think about the brands of your other instruments, do they feel and sound good to your ears? If so, shop for this same brand only try the basses and try the amps. Use the experience you already have to help you decide what best suits your needs!

  15. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I started playing on a 4 (I play mainly at church), so its definately doable, but I thought I would never switch to a 5, but it feels like I'm at home with my current 5-stringer when I'm doing praise music n whatever at church.
  16. hawtin47


    Oct 9, 2003
    Lyons, Oregon
    Found a used Peavey Cirrus 5 in excellent condition (supposedly) for $600 plus shipping...I'll have my local guy check it out when it gets here.

    Probably going to go with the Bassman 25, as I'll have about $350 left over.

    Thanks so much for all your help - great group! I'll post some photos when it gets here.


  17. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA



    Fender Jazz 5, MTD Kingston 4, SWR WM 12. JMO :)
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Good price on the Cirrus!

    I like your choices, since I have a Cirrus 6 and a Bassman 25.:p

    Seriously, I think that you will be very happy with the bass and the amp. I had loaned my Bassman out for a couple of months, and had been using a Rockman/headphones for home practice.

    I got it back last night, and played through it for about an hour. I forgot how good it sounded!:bassist:
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    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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