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Studio Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Syndrome, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Syndrome


    May 26, 2013
    So a little background, I can't sing, am not the greatest musician in the world, but I have a passion for music so I took the next logical step and decided to start looking towards writing/production.

    Part of that has involved buying various instruments (Guitars, basses, a drum kit, and a futon since buying instruments has put an actual bed far beyond my economic reach) and learning to play them to the best of my abilities (I am absolutely confident that I can write and play a pop song as long as it doesn't have an F chord in it).

    Looking at my current collection though, I know damn well that my bass (A cheap Ibanez with buzzy MMs) is not gonna cut it so I started looking towards an upgrade. The two options I found were the Fender American Standard P bass and the Schecter Custom 4.

    The Fender would seem to be the clear winner since it's just about the cleanest sounding thing I've ever heard, although it's about twice the price and not the most versatile bass.

    The Schecter is cheaper (Which is nice cause I'm still paying off a $2k Pearl kit) and is a little more versatile, but I'm not sure how it would sound "in the booth", and I'm not really saving money if I have to go out and replace the cheaper bass as I'm finding out with this Ibanez.

    So I'm torn between the two, or is there a third option sort of in the same price range that might work? I'm just not sure about the transition from a practice amp to the studio.
  2. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've always heard musicians and technicians both generally prefer a p bass for recording purposes.
  3. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    You’ll most likely see a ton of responses telling you to go with the p-bass, especially given the options you posted, with which I will agree. There’s a reason why it is the most recoded bass – because it works in every genre of music. Its only limitation, as with any other bass, is the person playing it. I’ve recorded with a SR, Jazz, Precision and a Ric and I will say that of those my favorite was the precision. That’s not to say that any of the other basses didn’t have their merit, which they did… Just my .02.
  4. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    p basses are pretty good for an all around useful sound that you won't have to spend too much time trying to fit into a mix (they just tend to sit well in any mix, punching through and still holding down the low end). If you haven't already, check out some of the squier p basses that are out now, particularly in the Classic Vibe or Vintage Modified series' (way cheaper than an Am standard, and still solid quality). As you mentioned, they aren't super versatile in themselves, with only one pickup and a tone knob, but you can get pretty versatile sounds from them if you use a variety of techniques; picking, fingerstyle, picking or plucking closer to the bridge, closer to the neck, anywhere in between, slapping, palm muting...
  5. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    This. Also, if you do want more tonal variety, look for ones with a P/J pickup configuration. Classic split P paired with a Jazz bridge pickup for more edgy, treble bite.

    There's a growing number of people in these parts who swear by their Fender copies made by 'Rondo'. Definitely worth a look. Don't fall into the trap of equating certain brands or price brackets as being better. Having 'Fender' or 'made in the USA' on the headstock isn't always everything it's cracked up to be. I'd happily put my Yamaha Attitude up against any MIA Fender P for a battle of the basses ;)
  6. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    A p may not be as versatile in that there aren't as many sounds, but it is exceedingly versatile in that it sounds good in every genre.

    if you want more versatility and a cheaper price tag, get a used MIM PJ. You can find these for around $300, and they're nice. Not as nice as a MIA, but nice enough. If you can score a used MIJ, even better.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Get a Fender made in mexico P bass and call it good. No need to spend a ton of cash. those well well and sound fine.
  8. I had a schecter studio 5, nice bass, recorded good.
    Then a got a used mij fender p/j.
    The schecter was sold 3 months later. I still own the fender.
  9. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    If I could only have one bass for my studio to do everything with, for <$1K, I would get a Road Worn. Whether you like the finish or not, I think they're the best bang for the buck in terms of sound and playabiity.. and they're cheaper than an American Std P.
  10. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    A lot of engineers will make you play on a P-Bass anyway.

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78!

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    I second what Chef said^^
    There are some very nice instruments by Fender/Mexico. They feel pretty good and will get you that familiar Precision sound for a lot less $$. As someone also said, Fender/Squier has some shockingly quality instruments for VERY little dough.

    You can also check right here on the TB classifieds. Good deals to be had.
  12. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    The Roadworn basses track very very well. I'd suggest a P, just because a J is a great recording bass too, but a P is easier suited for someone new to production due to the tonal balance.
  13. You better buy an old used Ibanez Roadster with PJ configuration from 80s. Costs only a few hundreds on ebay but the wood is great and the pickups are just super. Really great instruments! The wood of my RS824 is better than my Fodera had.
  14. Syndrome


    May 26, 2013
    Kinda went left field and picked up an SR750. The American Standard got sold and the next best thing was an American Special that felt like its knobs were glued to the pick guard, had to put strength into turning them was kind of a turn off. There was a Fender Mexican that was pretty decent, and I almost picked it up but the tone knob didn't do anything util it was dimed, it pretty much could have been a switch.

    The SR750 was clean, had some versatility and best of all was cheap ($500) so if it doesn't cut it I might just go back and pick up the Mexican anyways.
  15. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    If you're using the bass for recording, it's critically important that it sounds good, and notes are even up and down the neck. Good woods help too. I'd spend the extra coin for a US made instrument.
  16. Go get the mexican P before it gets away. I know the tone knob doesn't seem to do much to the ear , but it is very usefull in recording. You will hear changes in the mix that aren't as noticeable to the ear. Any thing else you need to do , you will be able to EQ from the board. I have been using a 2000 MIM P bass for years now , both for recording and live stuff and have never had any problems due to the tone knob. (BTW I scored mine for 200 bucks with a gigbag) I also have an Ibanez and a beautifull playing Cort but the P has always been the go to for most anything.
  17. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Pbass for sure
  18. MikeWfromNJ

    MikeWfromNJ Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Central NJ
    I was never much into the P bass after having a '75 Jazz re-issue but got my hands on a Tony Franklin fretless and was blown away by the power of the sing split pickups (blade forward); I also have a Yamaha Attitude III and FEEL the value of the extra wood; My Jazz bass has great tone propped up with a compressor/limiter and for certain styles, it's best but overall best bass and for the money the Mexican P is a great answer.
  19. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I am surprised that noone has told you to get a bed yet!

    Maybe with the cash you save between a MIM and a MIA Fender, you could approch this subject? :D
  20. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    To be well prepared for any mix, you would need a P and a J. If you're getting only one bass, get the P. The sound fits in just about anywhere, the tone knob makes it incredibly flexible, and it responds very well to any outboard EQ you might need to do for the particular situation.