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Thinking about switching to the low side. . . (help with gear)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Texabama, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Texabama


    Jun 30, 2012
    First I'd like to apologize if you guys find topics like this annoying and clutter. Been reading this site for the past couple days and never saw anything regarding beginner gear so I'm dropping in.

    So I've been playing guitar for quite a few years and it's been fun, but lately I've been feeling like I'm missing out on something better lower down, so I'm deciding on picking up some new gear and getting started learning the bass. Problem is I know next to nothing about reputable gear on the cheaper end of the market for this stuff.

    For the bass my budget is around $300, I think that should be enough to get a top tier beginner bass. However, I would be willing to sway from that if there is something really highly recommended (I've got resources). My music influences are really all over the place, from ska to funk and even some progressive rock. One bass I've been looking at is the Ibanez SR300. It's in the budget and seems like good quality for the money. Though I'm not particularly thrilled about having active pick-ups. Thoughts? Other suggestions?

    As for an amp, no real budget. Just looking for a good practice amp, nothing more nothing less. Something that will last and doesn't sound like garbage. One of my favorite practice amps for guitar is the Fender Mustang 1, sounds great and love how it came with all the varying presets like a bunch of built in pedals. Anything like that for bass? And speaking of pedals, should the ones I already own for guitar be fine or should I probably invest in ones designed for bass?

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to click on this. Every comment is greatly appreciated. And hey, if all things go well then later down the road I'll fully convert to the low side and feel more comfortable investing in something of better quality!
  2. Big mark

    Big mark

    Jun 12, 2010
    Morning and welcome,
    Ok starting on the bass, the 300 is a nice bass, the other I would recommend is the Squier Classic Vibe series (amazing tone and build)
    One of the big things to establish is the nut width you feel best with. The Ibanez will be a thinner profile than most, you then have a "jazz" neck which is in the middle, then "P" necks which are normally the chunkier necks.
    This bit will require a trip to a store to "feel the width" ;)
    On the Amp front, I really think the Roland Cube 30 are the bizz for a home practice amp, effects, amp models, built like a tank and sound sweet for the home.
    Hope that helps
  3. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to the low end! If you have a friend who knows basses, I'd suggest going used. Otherwise, I think you have the right instinct to avoid active electronics at a low price point, they tend to be pretty shoddy. I second the recommendation for Squier, with the exception of the Affinity series.

    A Roland, Peavey Max, or Ampeg BA should serve you fine for a practice amp. If you want effects, you're probably going to need to buy bass-specific ones.
  4. Texabama


    Jun 30, 2012
    Thanks a lot for the suggestions guys! So do the Squier Classic Vibes all use passive pick-ups?
  5. Big mark

    Big mark

    Jun 12, 2010
    Yep, they are straight forward Passives. To give you an idea of quality, I have several friends who gig Classic Vibe guitars!
  6. Texabama


    Jun 30, 2012
    Awesome stuff, thanks. Now I've already known the difference between J and P basses and which sound style I prefer, meaning I'm either going to get the 50's Style P or the 60's Style P from the Classic Vibes series. But I have another question - How come on the 50's Style there is only one single coil pick-up opposed to the split pick-ups you usually see on P basses?
  7. Big mark

    Big mark

    Jun 12, 2010
    IIRC the P had a single until about 56/57 when it went to a split single
  8. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Good choice with going for the P bass :)

    I was also going to recommend the Squier Classic Vibe series - also in that series is the Squier Matt Freeman signature, which is an awesome bass for the cash.
  9. Is the $300 the budget for just the bass, or for the bass and the amp?
  10. Big mark

    Big mark

    Jun 12, 2010
    OP says just for the bass
  11. Texabama


    Jun 30, 2012
    Yeah, the $300 was just for the bass alone. Also since you bring up the Matt Freeman signature bass, what is the general consensus on that? I absolutely love Matt Freeman's work; however, I usually stay away from signature models since it feels "poser-ish" if you get what I mean. But I'll stay open minded. I notice it's priced a little bit more than the classic vibe series. Does it actually justify that or is it only on par?
  12. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I really liked mine. In fact, I was really stupid to sell it.

    I'm genuinely thinking about putting my MIA P up for trade for a Squier Matt Freeman and badly needed cash.
  13. Big mark

    Big mark

    Jun 12, 2010
    Good call EVIL!
  14. Texabama


    Jun 30, 2012

    So I went to the music store to test drive some of these recommendations. No Matt Freeman model there but the other Squiers were pretty dang good. Now don't get me wrong, these were great like y'all said, but one bass caught my eye and when I sat down and played it I just knew I had to have it.

    Walked out with the Ibanez SR505. Has the active pick-ups but they are Bartolini which sounded amazing and very versatile. Five strings really didn't feel much different than a four string to me, so figured might as well have more options. Great finish and I really dig the slim body design which makes it very comfortable. And compared to the SR300 I originally mentioned (and it was at the store) it was no contest.

    So yeah. Over the set budget but very satisfied. Thanks for the help.
  15. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yup. You did good. And now that you are officially with us, we can reveal what TB is all about. I must admit that recently I walked into the used instrument store saw a SR 206 bar bass and just HAD to have it! It just sounded and played so good. Thin fast neck. Fat "modern" sound! And understand I've got a room full of boutique expensive basses of all kinds. So what am I doing buying this Ibanez? Well, it's all about GAS. (gear acquisition syndrome) You see something and you HAVE to have. And all TB does is AMPLIFY GAS!

    So it starts. but an Ibanez is the classic "modern" bass. And it's a great place to start. But why give up on "old school" basses. A jazz or P-bass all have their unique qualities. Eventually you may want to go there. I know I did even though I thought I never would. But that's when "the rule" begins to apply:

    TB Rule: You can never own too many instruments!

    PS. And now you'll have to think about an amp. I do NOT recommend underpowered "practice" amps. I'd urge you to find some kind of smallish combo bass amp in the 50 -100 watt or so range. With bass more power is better, but you also have to cart it around too. The idea is it makes a killer practice amp but is also big enough it can get you started in small venues or just having fun playing with fellow noobs. My "practice amp" is a Laney combo about 75 watts. Works out great. I do actually own some true "practice" amps in the 20 watt range and find them mostly useful only for driving headphones. I never practice with them.

    Good luck and Welcome!
  16. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    The SR505 has actually gone UP in price. It's a great 5 string. You'll get a more modern sound for sure with the active PUPs. I don't 'need' another bass, but the Squier CV P bass in Fiesta (I think) red looks nice. However, I'll probably go with a MIJ PB-70 if I can find a good price. Congrats on the new bass. You will now need to post pics. Cuz, TB says 'no pics, no bass'.

    Also, if you can afford it, get the TC Electronic BG-250 (you'll dig the Toneprint) http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/tc-electronic-bg250-250w-1x15-bass-combo-amp

    More info here: http://www.tcelectronic.com/bg250.asp
  17. Electricblue


    Feb 1, 2011
    I disagree. I have a Squier Affinity Jazz, and I loved it straight out of the box.

    Since then, it's had a wiring reconfig, a setup, repaint, and new strings. Now I prefer it to my friend's Fender Mex Jazz.

    It's a bombproof bass, sounds pretty meaty too now. I bought it as an additional instrument.

    I've been playing guitar since I was 5 and I'm competent with electronics too. I'm a bit fussy about basses and amps but I like it.
  18. CLMSHQ


    Apr 17, 2007
    Danielson, CT
    Welcome NewB!

    Definately a Squier CV or VM...as for a practice amp, I would even recommend a Behringer 150 or 300....my choice is a Ampeg BA115 though.
  19. Big mark

    Big mark

    Jun 12, 2010
    Congrats on the Ibanez bud!

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