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Thought I'd ask bassists for advices

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by yanick, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. yanick


    Mar 18, 2009
    Hello dear bassists friends,

    first post here and not my first language so please bear with me...

    I'm a guitar player/songwriter/producer playing mostly alt country, 70's rock 'n roll, reggae and funk... Althought I've done a few pro recording sessions as a bassist in the past using great equipment (borrowed or rented) I'm looking for a way to improve my home studio setup for really really cheap (my gf is pregnant with our first child and spending money on gear is NOT a popular subject around here, if you know what I mean...)

    Since Im really a guitar player I have spent my money on great guitar gear in the past but my "bass" gear kinda suck therefore I cant get a satisfying sound at home...

    As it is, my "bass" rig for recording quick demos at home is a "New-York Pro" (it's a p-bass imitation probably as good or bad as a "made in mexico/china fender/squier") plugged straight into M-Box then Ik multimedia SVT Uno as a plugin its allright but i have to spent a lot of time with EQ and comp to make it sound barelly accceptable...

    Im looking for a good clean straightforward classic usable bass sound for as little money as possible using what I have as a starting point in other words if you're going to suggest "get a vintage Fender with a '70's svt" you missed the point 'cause If I could afford it, thats what I'd get...

    With "best bang for the buck" in mind, Here are a few options Im considering:

    A)Investing on better pickups and electronics but is it worth it? Will that make an entry level bass a "decent" bass, if so considering the styles mentionned earlier what pickups would you recommend?

    B)Investing on a good DI box (like sansamp or MXR)

    D)Get a better bass plugged straight into M-BOX

    E)I have read GREAT GREAT things on this forum about Sansamp VT bass, will investing on better pickups and buying the Sansamp VT bass get me there?

    I know I know Im asking for something almost impossible (great recording tone for almost no money) but I'm sure real bassist opinions and or ideas can help me get closer...
  2. If you're looking to spend the absolute least money possible but still achieve good results, I'd suggest giving the Sansamp a try first.

    I've spent a quite a bit of money on gear and basses (check my profile) to find "my" sound and I was still very impressed with the Sansamp... and it was my most recent pedal purchase! I can't believe it took me so long to buy one! I think you'd be quite happy/surprised with it, and for only $200 new, it won't break your budget. Also, if you order from someplace that has a good return policy, you can always return it if you decide it's not for you.

    I feel pretty safe saying that my Bass Driver DI has a permanent place on my pedalboard!


    P.S. You might even find that a Sansamp would fit well into your guitar rig... Who knows? :)
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    As far as a cheap bass - you can't beat the value of an SX (or Essex if you wish to search TB for reviews) as they get a lot of praise around the community.


    With a decent set of strings and maybe a setup, this will do the trick
  4. ariff


    Nov 28, 2007
    Lawrence KS
    I agree with the Sans Amp DI. I got one a few years ago, and I can't believe I had played so long without one. I tried the MXR first and could never get it to sound right, so it was returned. The Sans Amps are great and the sound guys seem to like them as well. Well worth the 200 bucks in my opinion.
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I am echoing setup and strings, then recommending a cheap Fender and a preamp.

    I would get a used MIM P-bass (2001 or later), put new strings on it, do a good set-up, and get an outboard pre. It will kill.

    The suggestion of a Sansamp is a good one, too. I like the ParaDI, not just for it's EQ/DI/Boost features, which for recording are maybe good--maybe bad, but rather for the tube drive emulation/blend. The Drive/Blend can add richness and major booty to an ordinary passive Fender tone.

    Sadowsky Black label roundwounds work great on P-basses, if you want sassy "SSprongg" with a nice solid low mid core. IMHO, this is a great tone for country (alt or altmodisch). :D
  6. yanick


    Mar 18, 2009
    Thanks to everyone for their input
    Forgot to mention...
    My current budget is about 300$ maximum
  7. Definitely start with the Sansamp then. :)

    You could expect to pay anywhere from $70-100 for a good professional setup (unless you can do it yourself), a set of pickups will probably start at around $150 at least and I'm not sure if you can return those if you don't like them.

  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Wow that's about the most generic thread title I've ever seen. EPIC WIN VAGUE THREAD TITLE!!!!!

    ....BTW for the recoring you describe your P-bass copy and a sansamp box would be perfect......
  9. Kmose


    Feb 17, 2007
    Lakland, Aguilar
    try a set of flatwounds. IMO a P bass with flats always sounds great in the mix.
  10. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Pick up...Flats...USED sans amp.300$??

    Pretty close,,I think.

  11. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Your language skills with written English may be better than mine, and English is my first language. Embarassing.

    I've heard good things about that SVT plugin, and seem to recall hearing some pretty nice sound samples here on TB. Check in with JimmyM - if its even slightly Ampeg related, he'll be able to give you the low down.

    I'm thinking maybe your bass is an issue. Do you have access to borrow another for long enough to record a quick demo track with it? This might let you rule in/out your bass.

    Also, being on a budget, if I were inclined to go the Sansamp direction, and if my gf was pregnant, and if I had a gf, I might try this - http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/BDI21.aspx - before I spent $200 on a sansamp. Many people here don't like Behringer, and its not top-of-the-line stuff, but it is usable stuff, and very budget-minded.

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