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Starting Out

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xbv1993, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Hello all,

    I've been borrowing a friends' bass for some time now to see if I really want to continue on with it, and having decided I do it's time for me to buy my own bass! I was wondering if you could help recommend one to me for under $400NZD (that's around $330US). In particular I've been looking at the Danelectro 63 basses, and was wondering if anyone here has had experience with these and whether they think they're any good. Thanks in advance for your help :)
  2. Aznslappadabass


    Nov 27, 2012
    At that price range I'd look for a Squier Classic Vibe series or Squier Vintage Modified Series New. Another great option may be the new Sterling by Musicman SUB Ray4 or Ray5 (Pretty new releases but sound good so far). Might I ask what kind of music and sound are you looking for?
  3. The types of music I would like to play are (reasonably) diverse, from classic rock through to heavier metal styles and perhaps even jazz (that said I'm not a very proficient bassist yet, though I hope to be one day). So a bass that can handle those styles of music would be ideal. I fantasised about a hollow or semi-hollowbody bass such as what Ronnie Lane or Bill Wyman used to play, but they are simply out of my price range and I imagine not so suited to the heavier music styles?
  4. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I would stay away from Squiers and look for a used MIM or an Ibanez.
  5. Sadly Ibanez basses, even used ones, tend not to be too cheap down here (everything in NZ is grossly overpriced due to our isolation), though I'll keep an eye out as I have seen the occasional one fall into my price bracket.

    Would you happen to know much about the Epiphone EB-0 or the Danelectro 63, and whether they're any good?
  6. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    The basses in Squier CV line are excellent basses for the money and even then some. I've been playing Fender Basses professionally for 35+ years and the Squiers are as good as most anyone I've ever owned. I own two of them now and a Squier CVC Tele and I gig with them all the time. To me the CV basses are the best products in the Squier line.

    A Jazz Bass is a good place to start since the neck is thinner and it's more tonally flexible than a PBass. But.......Jazz Basses aren't what you'd ordinarily use for Heavy Metal or Hard Rock. There a PBass would better serve your purpose.

    If it were me I'd start out with a Jazz Bass (I did 35 years ago) and when you get proficient on your instrument then look at what styles of music you'll be playing and it will be easier to decide what to match up with that. A Jazz is a good bass to learn on.

    The other advantage is that Fender style basses tend to be more popular than some others and should you decide to ever sell it you won't have much trouble finding a buyer at a reasonable price. You don't see a lot of Squier CVs for sale at least not in my neck of the woods.
  7. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Squier CV/VM series basses are by no means inferior to MIM basses.

    I'd go for a squier jazz bass if I were you. That'll get you a lot of sounds and will work in pretty much any scenario.

    A P is also a good choice, but they can sound kind of boring when you're practicing alone. They sound fantastic in a band context, though.
  8. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    +1 They are surprisingly nice and a better deal than the MIMs, IMO!
  9. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    Both short scale basses and somewhat easier to play for a beginner so they may be a fit but of the two I'd definitely go with a Dano. The first bass I ever owned was a Dano Sharkfin that's very similar to their '56 Dolphin Head model. Very easy to play.

    EB-0s in general are one trick pony basses. That huge humbucker in front makes it very one dimensional and that one dimension is boomy and muddy. Add that to the fact that if you compared an Epi EB-0 with a Squier CV the Squier would win hands down.

    A used MIM Jazz would be fine if you can find one but overall I think the Squier CVs are a better bass for less money new. If neither of those can be found within your budget get the Dano. They're actually pretty popular funky little basses and the orginals like the one I once had are collectors items now.

    Good Luck to you.
  10. Kia Ora! Another Kiwi here (living across the ditch)

    You are going to get a whole bunch of irrelevant suggestions because pricing in US is different from here. e.g. a Squier CV or VM might be about $300 in the US, but it will be about $600 NZD new.

    I'm another for the Squier CV or VM lines, however, I think it would be best if you looked them up on trademe (if that is still around).
  11. Rockbassist4


    Oct 13, 2012

    Funny you say that about Squiers because I just read an article where a very well known studio musician who has been recording since the 1960s with many well known acts said the exact opposite. They said that MIM Fenders are great for the money but they wouldn't recommend Squiers. They also stated that they primarily use Ibanez.
  12. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I started playing last year with a Yamaha RBX170 that I picked up used off of Craigslist (US online classifieds) for $160 - hardly played, came with practice amp, books, cables, & tuner. I see them new in stores for right around 200. I've been very pleased with the playability & tone since day 1 ... slim neck, 24 frets, both P & J pickups, V/V/T knobs, it's light as a feather, & it stays in tune for a long long time. I took it to an open blues jam last night & the more experienced players liked it a lot. Them & my teacher can really make it sing! Of course buying used means somebody else pays for the depreciation of whatever you buy ... as long as you know how to inspect it properly.

    Good luck in your search :bassist:
  13. Hi! I have certainly been keeping a keen eye out on Trademe, but there doesn't seem to be much on offer (either that or I'm not looking properly :meh:).

    Those Danelectro's that I'm badgering you all about are pretty cheap at the moment, on special at a local music store which is why I was wondering whether they were any good. Obviously I'm not just going to run out and buy one just because I can afford it, I was just curious as to whether they were a good option.

    soulman969, was your Danelectro well constructed and would modern ones be too?
  14. Aznslappadabass


    Nov 27, 2012
    If you're focusing on rock, personally my favorite two options are Precisions and Basses based on MM Stingrays such as the SUB Ray4. From that picture I can't personally tell which squier that is. The advantage to the Ray could be the neck which I find very easy to play with.
  15. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Well ibanez is just about the last brand that I would recommend to someone looking for a bass haha. And there really is very little difference between the quality of the higher up Squiers and the MIM basses. The Squiers are generally lighter, which is nice, and they are also much cheaper, which is awesome since they are just as good.

    Honestly, the Chinese are getting very good at putting out consistent quality. And they take most fender parts well, so they're just as easy to mod as MIMs.
  16. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    ...I would stay away from the Danelectros if you are really looking to get into the different styles of music you mentioned. Especially the hard, and metal side of thing. Danelectros will tend to get a thin sound and be sort of limiting. It would be a cool 2nd bass to have. I think you would want a solid body bass since they are the most versatile...
  17. Looks like I'll be looking mostly for a Squier Jazz bass :D

    It's funny what you said about the Danelectro having a thin sound xUptheIronsx, I always assumed being modelled after an early 60s bass that they would have a deeper sound for bluesy and/or jazzy style music that was popular then. I've never heard one though and am by no means an expert so I'm not questioning your knowledge haha
  18. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I love it! I was going to ask if you could find a bass pretty much exactly like this. :D It's a precision-style body with what looks like a slimmer jazz neck. It's meant to be the best of both worlds all wrapped up in one bass.

    Now, you may want to take this advice with a grain o' salt. I've only been playing bass for a year, but I've been a drummer since the late 1980's. Tone and sound are not unfamiliar concepts to me. That said, here's my two cents worth…

    I've collected more than a few basses over the past year and the ones I keep gravitating towards are the Precision/Jazz combo configurations like this one. In fact, three out of the five that I own are P/J configs and I love them. If I want a "thumpy" sound, I turn the jazz pickup down halfway to zero. If I want a "toothy/brighter" sound, I'll bring them both up to full. From there I adjust the tone to fine-tune the sound I want at that particular moment. It's great having that kind of flexibility all wrapped up in one bass!

    One other thing that I haven't seen mentioned is the subject of "which strings to use". I've tried out several brands and types (rounds, flats, tape-wound, coated, even half-wounds). I cannot stress enough the different sounds one type of string can evoke over another. I almost sold a bass of mine because I wasn't liking the sound I was getting out of it. Fortunately, I tried out another set of strings on it, and…WOW! What a difference!

    I'm a big fan of the Ernie Ball Cobalts for their very "toothy" sound. Same for the DR Black Beauties. (Someone said they are just coated versions of the DR Sunbeams. Can y'all verify that? I'm just curious.) If you want a softer, more "thumpy" sound, you'll want flat-wounds. However, I don't think that'll work well for a "metal" sound. But this is probably a discussion for another thread. Back to your original question.

    It's very similar to my favorite bass. I say "similar" instead of "exactly" because I haven't seen a Squier with those particular headstock decals. I'm going to guess that the "California Series" is an older model, yes? Either way, if it's a solid piece of work, it should meet your needs, both as a good beginner's bass and as something with the versatility you'll need for different sound/tone. Once you're more comfortable with how the electronics work, you should be able to fine-tune it to your heart's content.

    Regardless of what you choose, I hope you find something decent that you'll love for years to come. ;)
  19. THAT ^ is a nice bass for the money IMO. I'm not crazy about paying a little extra for a strap/amp thing, but a P-Bass Special with a case for that amount in NZD is a pretty good deal. It also has a Jazz pup in the bridge spot, so you get the best of both P&J worlds.