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trying to choose a bass without being able to play them

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kima, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. kima


    Nov 28, 2010
    Help! I live overseas and I want to order a bass from the states without having the chance to try them...very frustrating task. I am considering G&L JB-2 or Sterling Ray34... I'm mostly going on recommendations from bassists I trust, not having played either of these basses, but I understand they are very different. I'm a small woman, with small hands , like to play reggae, funk and blues - any advice?
  2. loopee

    loopee Supporting Member

    May 12, 2009
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    depends on what tone you want
    depends on how heavy or light you need it to be
    depends on if you have small hands or not
  3. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    the ray34 has an almost precision bass like neck so but sounds great.
  4. KsToaDangr

    KsToaDangr Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    also depends on what you're currently playing, and what you like/dislike about it.

    i've run into a similar problem. most of the music stores around here only have a couple of basses(mostly squiers and fenders), and they aren't exactly my taste, so for the most part, i don't really have the chance to try out a bass before buying it.
  5. Winnb


    Nov 4, 2010
    Okay this is just my opinion, but I can relate. I'm a guy, but my hands are probably considered small, and I'm certainly not a large guy.

    Short and medium scale basses are going to be much more comfortable for you to play. The frets are slightly closer together and the string tension is a little less. Also the overall weight is lighter.

    If you purchase a bass and you find it physically uncomfortable to play you're going to be miserable. You'll have buyers remorse and you'll be mad at yourself for wasting your time and money.

    So my advice is to try any of the short and medium scale basses. As far as I tone I have no idea what you're looking for, but I can tell you tone won't matter to you if you have to stand on stage for 3 hours with an instrument that makes you miserable.
  6. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    I would go for the G&L. I tried the Stingray and it was nice. I own a G&L SB2 and I love it. I'm mostly a G&L fan so either one would work for you I am sure.. But if it was me, I'd go for the G&L only because I like the G&L product.
    Not much help but I don't think there is another way unless you actually buy both and return the one you like less.
  7. kima


    Nov 28, 2010
    thanks for thoughts... I checked out the usa fender jazz, and liked it a lot. and i heard the g&l is close to that sound. my gut is saying to go for that...I just hope its a fit...Is is the same size as a L2000? b/c the local store may be able to get ahold of that for me to try. I can't buy and return from overseas - way too much hassle, just gonna have to be lucky (or miserable).
  8. loopee

    loopee Supporting Member

    May 12, 2009
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    if you have small hands I would strongly suggest getting a shortscale bass but it's your decision to make.....so
  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I agree with the shortscale recommendations... however many women play a full 34" scale very well. If you are fine a 34" no reason to switch.

    As for which kind of bass, I'd say some sort of Jazz bass. There is a reason they are so popular. Lots of versatility. Also, if you dont like the tone you can swap out the pickups and achieve vastly different tones (easily done by a local electrician if you dont have the skills or dont want to try).

    The most difficult thing in your situation is that you often have to try more than a few basses to get a really good one. Unless you have the cash to buy a Sadowsky or something. BTW, Stambaugh makes an excellent shortscale J bass... I have one and love it. Not cheap though.

    Ultimately though, you can probably make most basses perform well with a good setup and fret dressing... as long as they are in decent shape to begin with.

    I'd be more concerned with neck radius, and weight in terms of the style of the bass more than anything (again assuming its in decent shape). One thing for sure is that its not too likely that you'll find a shortscale uncombfortable to play. Thats one area in which they excel.
  10. lposavad

    lposavad Supporting Member

    There's a woman up the coast, Jennifer Young, playing a Musicman Sterling bass in the Travis Larson Band. This girl has tiny hands (compared to my boat paddle paws), yet she SHREDS.
    Regarding the G&L - I've found many of their basses to be heavy. Watch out for the weight. Maybe an Ibanez would be a contender?
    As far as short scale basses, can you find an Epiphone EB-0 nearby? I believe they're 32" scale, but it might not be a good tonal fit for funk.
    Good luck in your quest.
  11. loopee

    loopee Supporting Member

    May 12, 2009
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    I would stay away from the Epi EB-O
  12. This

    Maybe an ibanez Micro? I've heard they are amazing basses for the money. All the extra money would leave you with room to upgrade electronics,hardware to your liking.
  13. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    G&L makes nice stuff, but the Ray34's are nice as well. I'd say you'd most likely be able to find a G&L neck that fits better, Stingray style necks aren't the smallest.

    And personally, I would look into a G&L JB instead of a JB-2, but that's just because I like the more classic look!

    I'd also recommend checking out a Lakland Skyline 44-60. I absolutely love mine, the neck on it is great, and it does all the music styles you listed very well. I love it for Reggae and Funk, especially.
  14. You liked the Jazz Bass so why not get that?

    if you had to go the SBMM route I would suggest the SB14 over the Ray34 as far as neck comfort. I have smallish hands but thickness and width never bothered me as much as longer scales (35"-36")

    Can you try any EBMM Stingray and Sterlings?
    That may help guage if the Ray34 is right for you as far as comfort
    I am not familiar with the JB-2

    Personally I think the Jazz bass or G&L will work for both blues and funk
    Not that the Ray34 wont be comfortable in a blues situation but to me blues= Fender
  15. Starrchild


    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    Fender Jazz covers all the styles you need and then some. Plus you played it and liked it, so there you go.
  16. G&L over the 'Ray for sure for smaller hands but Js over both. If you're unhappy with a J then maybe go for a Jaguar or better yet a Reverend (I love my Rev, but the neck is too skinny for me). The Rev does sound amazing though.
  17. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I happen to own a G&L L-2500 (2), A Stingray clone, and a Fender Jazz V. You really do have a serious problem here. The basic bottom line is that the G&L is the most versatile bass. It covers a very wide range of tone. But they are often heavy and many people hate the sort of "chunky" neck. I personally love the neck but that's me not you. The Fender which you have played is a sort of standard that covers a wide range of music but the tonal range is more limited than a G&L. Personally I also find them heavy and really it's my least favorite neck although neck feel is something that really doesn't concern me much. And lastly the Sterling tends to be a one-tone kind of thing. If you love it, you'll be in heaven! But the hard part for you would be to find out what you think of it. Personally I wouldn't get one unless I heard it first.

    A short or Medium scale will play very nicely as some have suggested, and I used to love mine (played one for years), but eventually I switched to long or extra long scales because of the better tone. So be aware that shorter strings just don't have the tone that longer ones do, even though they aren't all that bad. If you are used to 34" scales stick with that.

    I have to agree that a Fender Jazz is probably the safest bet here, with a G&L being second choice due to the versatility. And in spite of Fender being the usual choice for Blues, let me say that G&L is my "go to" blues choice over Fender and the choice of a couple of other blues bass players I know as well.
  18. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
  19. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    Don't buy a bass if you never played one of the same model.
  20. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    thomann.de has a very nice return policy, and a great selection. You did not state where overseas you live. Many Japanese stores also do very good business, e. g. Ishibashi.

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