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Suggestions for a beginner

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by macaroon9, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Hey everyone!
    As the title suggests, I am just starting out and I need advice on a good bass for a newbie like me. My budget is max $400. I do realize that I'll need other equipment and I'm willing to spend upto $150 for an amp. Any advice for other equipment will be appreciated.
  2. jwj1701


    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    Brand names are going to be your personal
    Preference. The biggest thing I can suggest doesn't have anything to do with gear, but find a good teacher and take lessons. That will really be worth your money. There are plenty of good combo amps on the market. Just like your bass, start trying them out until you find one that has that sound your looking for. I know that's not what you were looking for but you can compare brands an prices until the cows come home. It's just something you have to hear for your self. And when you find it, play the hell out of it. Enjoy your new rig whatever it turns out to be.
  3. For that price, in my opinion, the choice is easy. The Ibanez SR300 is a 4 string with 24 frets.

    I've played the SR500 (outside the price range) and it sounds great for the price, and features for the price are great.

    For a great starter bass I also recommend the Ibanez GSR200. My youngest son has this bass. I LOVE the tone color on that thing. Plus, where are you going to get a 9v active bass with a P/J configuration for $200 bucks? It seems too cheap to be any good, but my EARS tell me this is a great bass for the price.

    The other route, of course, would be to save up longer and get a higher-than-entry-level instrument. Or perhaps do a kit build from Carvin, etc, etc.

    Happy hunting!
  4. Thanks for the responses so far guys, I would also love to know what your thoughts are on the Fleabass and some of the Fender Squier basses.. I know this is a bass forum but what would be ideal amp for practicing at home? Is 15 Watts too less?
  5. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    If you're going to play with any other musicians, put MOST of your money into the amp. That's what makes the sound, and if you're going to play out with a drummer, no $150 amp will likely do that.

    If you're NOT going to play out, get as good a bass as you can and a practice headphone amp. And practice. You'll get good quick, and your neighbors won't hate you.

    You're VERY lucky as there are many good choices for new bassists starting out as far as budget instruments. The Ibby's, the Squiers, the SX's all quite good starter basses.

    But if you want to play well with others, get as much amp as you can afford.
  6. jwj1701


    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    I'm a fender guy so yeah I can tell you a bit about squires. You can find some really good ones for about 300. You may have to get a used model but that's cool. The classic vibe series basses are usually a great deal. Have played with the Precision and the Jazz and they're both very good models. The vintage modifides are really good on a budget. I also agree with the earlier post of ibanez sound gear 300. Had one of those myself for about 6 years and liked it a lot. 15 watt amps are plenty for home practice. A lot of brands have those around a 100 bucks or so. Again, maybe look used and save a few bucks or maybe something a bit louder 15. Or maybe a little left over lessons. They really will be worth it.
  7. Go used. You can get a used Squier for $100, a decent used amp for $200, which leaves you $100 in your budget for lessons. That's 5 weeks at $20/lesson, and you can learn a lot in 5 weeks as a beginner.

    The Squier Vintage Modified and Classic Vibe series are both reviewed very favorably here. Just stay away from the Affinity series. It's the low end line of Squier, which is the low end line of Fender, which is a low end line of basses in general when you consider all of the upper tier builders there are. And trust me, you don't want the lowest of the lowest of the low.

    A 15w amp will suit you fine for practicing at home. As M.R. Ogle said though, you won't be able to hold up in a group setting with one. Fender Rumble 150's run $300 new, and that's a 150w amp with a 15" speaker. I've never owned one, but have never been disappointed by one when trying it out at Guitar Center. I'm sure you can find one (or something similar) used for $200.

    One thing though, if you do decide do go the used route then take a friend who knows what they're doing with you. You can get some really really great deals on the used market, but you can also get some not-so-great ones. Just have someone there to try it out, make sure everything works right, etc.
  8. What ampelmann said is great advice. It all depends on availablility, I suppose. But yeah. Aim used if you can. If you want to be a gear snob, you won't get anywhere far. But I suppose it all depends on your needs.
    Will this be a hobby? If so, get a nice bass and a headphone amp will do you well.

    Do you aim to gig? Get a bigger amp and a so-so bass. Then later you can upgrade.

    Are you sure you're serious? If not, don't burn too much money. I've seen people buy Fender Jazzes only to sell them at half-price 6 months down the line. Other than that, hope you have a great time, and welcome to the dark side. :bassist:
  9. At this point its just a hobby.. maybe some jam sessions with friends but I do have a tendency to get into things wayyy to much so you never know!
  10. If you're even looking at jam sessions I'd say go with option number 2. Just don't forget to look for used. Craigslist can sometimes be a friend in these matters.
  11. Thanks! I think I might consider cutting down on the money for the bass to make more money for the amp.. I don't want my bass sounding "bad" because I cheaped out on the amp.
  12. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    There are so many choices these days I would suggest you get with an experienced player to help walk you through the process. I strongly suggest you also get with a teacher who is actively gigging. This will provide you with instruction as well keep up your interest. You will also repsect what your instructor says if you can actually see that he/she is a good player and practicing what they preach. There is no substitute for one on one instruction. I will attest to the Ibanez GSR2xxx range being a decent bass to start on. They are light weight and the money spent to value ratio is there, and they sound decent enough. Rondo music also sells some Chinese made basses that are decent but need setup work out of the box and they are really inexpensive. The Fender/Squire Line also offers decent basses and affordable prices. Another vendor that sells decent quality basses in your price range would be Dean. The story can go on and on. I can even suggest that you check out (at least) the possiblity of getting a used Brubaker Brute. Awesome sounding basses for what they cost. You may be able to find a used 4 string in the classifieds in TB. I would also suggest that before you buy, put your hands on as many different basses (even from same manufacturer) before you separate with your cash. You'll be able to find one that meets your needs and your budget. Lastly, you may be able to get more amp, if you buy used, again an experienced player can help you out with this. Do not lay out a lot of money on something that will be too small to jam with others and be heard. Of course you can get a small practice amp for the bedroom, but in terms of getting an amp to play with others your money may go further by buying used. Guys are always selling decent used gear for whatever reasons and you may walk into a good deal.

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