Ultimate Beginner - Purchasing first Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jrw, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. jrw


    Nov 28, 2001
    I am very interested in learning the Bass guitar. My wife has a 12 string Ovation acoustic and plays in a church band. I would like to learn bass to eventually practice with and maybe play in her band.
    Now, I am a true beginner and am looking for a good starter bass. I'm trying not to spend more than $300.
    I haved looked online at the Ibanez GSR200 and have found a good price ($199) at a local music store. Do you have any comments on this particular bass and what other brands/models should I be looking at?

    By the way, I'm also looking at the Crate BFX25 as my starter amp. Any opinions on this?

    Thanks very much
  2. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I think it's a great starter set up. I would, however suggest a Squire P bass. They run about $150 -200. The reason is because of their neck's width. It'll get you used to a more standard sized neck. Good luck and welcome to the Brotherhood Of Bass!;)
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I would recommend a MIM (made in Mexico))Fender Precision or Jazz. Either one should be close to your price range.
  4. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hi! first off, welcome aboard! this is a great forum for beginners like yourself, as well as intermediate and advanced players...as you will see, there are players here with all levels of experience, as well as pros who will be more than willing to help with any questions you have....as for your question, what to buy...we've seen this question a zillion times and if you use the search function, you'll find that there are several issues that have been brought up and resolved already. just gobs of information. you already know your budget, so the best thing for you to do is get out there and play basses. find one that is comfortable to you...there is so much out there in terms of ergonomics, string spacing, stuff like that, that only _you_ will be accustomed to. other's opinions are going to be of little help at best. to start with. the ibanez and crate are just fine. just remember that good strings and a professional setup go a long way. a high end bass with a shoddy setup isn't going to play well. with that in mind, search the board before you ask too many questions (just talkbass etiquette), set your spam sensitivity level to maximum and have a blast...good luck!
  5. The following is in your price range:
    Aria Pro STB-PJ
    Cort Action Bass
    Danelectro DC Bass
    Dean Edge 4*
    Fender Standard Jazz*
    Ibanez SGR-200
    LTD B-104 (Made by ESP guitars)
    Peavey Fury II*
    Washburn XB-100
    Yamaha RBX-260*

    The * means theses are the best basses for the money IMO. I would try as many basses listed above as possible.

    Also note, not all of these dealers may be in your area. For example, you may not have an Aria Pro dealer near you. Happy hunting and good luck!
  6. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania

    You neglected to mention the MIM Precision. Just kind of came as strange to me that you'd mention the Jazz without the Precision. :)

    I'll fill in the question which is most likely coming next (which would be "Which is better, Jazz or Precision?).

    The Precision has an expressive high mid character to it, while the Jazz can be very full, or very articulate.

    It's subjective.
    I think the Precision does chords better than the Jazz, but the Jazz slaps much better than the Precision.

    I'd personally go with one of the MIMs.
    I'm even considering getting an MIM for myself, so I can upgrade it. :)
  7. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I would go with an American (MIA) Fender Jazz purchased off of ebay. You will go one of three ways: lose interest and want to sell, improve to the point you want to upgrade, or be satisfied with the bass you have. With the MIA Jazz, if you lose interest you can sell at no great loss because you bought it used and it has resale value. If you improve and want to upgrade, again you can sell or trade with no great loss. Finally, you are most likely to remain satisfied with a Fender Jazz for the longest period of time before Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS for short) sets in!
  8. You're right about the Mexican made Precision being in the price range too.

    Personally, I think the Jazz would be the better choice if I had to have just one bass over the Precision. The reason, having the 2 Jazz pickups over the single P pickup gives you more tonal options. Perhaps the Precision could be the choice for a 2nd bass.
  9. Welcome Aboard!
    As neptoon said, it's really what you want it to feel like. A while back i ran out to buy a MIM fender jazz only to find out that i hated the way it felt so i ended up buyin' an ibanez 300 instead. I sugest an Ibanez GR200 as opose to every one esle on the planet, I've never play an easier (cheaper) bass than the SR.:)
  10. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'd recomend a used mim jazz or p(precision)-bass. You should probably go to a music store and play some of the basses and see what you like best. Then look for it used. :)
  11. Catch


    Nov 23, 2001
    I learned to play on an aria, which was okay for beginners. I also had a yamaha and i just got an ibanez. The ibanez is my favorite.

  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i would second this recommendation.

    oh, and welcome to talkbass, and good luck on your bass adventure - i'm a bit jealous i must say, when i first started out it was very exciting. :D
  13. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    fenders are good beginner basses. however, it is important to know what kind of sound you are wanting. Fender is the kind of vintage. so if you want a modern sound, you may want to look elsewhere. just go and play as much as you can, but used will be your best bet once you know what you want, as you wont lose money on resale if you decide to ditch the bass, and your money buys you more when you buy used. good luck, and welcome to the fold!
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Lots of good advice in this thread. The GSR isn't terrible, but you owe it to yourself to try some of the other basses in this thread.

    As far as the amp goes, I would not recommend the Crate. I have the BX15, and it sounds like a cardboard box with a speaker made of typing paper. And the effects aren't very good, and not worth the extra money. Look into a Peavey Microbass. They are less expensive than the Crate, and they sound like a real bass amp. For what the Crate costs, you could even go first class and get the best small amp made(IMHO) the Fender Bassman 25. It's around $260, and it blows the Crate off th planet.

    But it's your decision. Check out lots of gear, and if you need more advice, we'll all be here for you.

    By the way, welcome to Talkbass!:)
  15. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Ever heard "try before you buy"? Go out and do that, if you feel inaccurate, bring someone. Then try everything you see (regardless of price). In several shops if you can.
    Then decide which ones feel right. And sound right. Pick the one you can afford!

    I'll throw in a couple of suggestions:
    Danelectro Longhorn
    Cort (not Curbow - in my taste)

    Trace Elliot Boxer (amp)

    Good luck, welcome to the Grooovers!
  16. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania

    I second the Microbass, that was what I used for my first amp. I made the dumb mistake of getting a Hartke B20 for my practice amp, which I absolutely hate. :(
    I believe G-K also makes a smaller combo, too.
    You could consider checking that out.

    For the bass, I just thought of another.
    The Peavey Foundation wouldn't be a bad thought.

    Lastly, I forgot to say "Welcome to Talkbass also." :eek:
    So here goes! "Welcome to Talkbass!" :)

    *starts talking baselessly*
    I remember my first setup as clear as day.
    It was a Squire Music Master, with a Peavey Microbass.
    It wasn't really much, but I loved that setup whole heartedly, it more than fit my needs.
    *stops talking baselessly*

    Either way you go though, anything that was really suggested in this thread will result in a positive turnout. :)
  17. ethm1

    ethm1 Guest

    Jul 4, 2000
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    Hey-Welcome too! This forum has turned out ot be a lot nicer (and cleaner) than any "newsgroup" type list I've found.
    Last Feb. I bought a DeArmond Pilot 5 string to play just in church. Since you are starting out you are gonna want something that has a nice bottom sound to it. I run into a lot of stuff at church out of the hymnals that just don't sound right doing a lot to them, so I just play the root note to give it that nice bass bottom. I like my DeArmond because it has active electronics that allow me to turn up the bottom end and turn down the top end. But, that's just me. I figure if your are gonna play BASS, then sound like a BASS.
    You might want to try a 5 string since they are out there and in your price range.
    Email me if you want any more info from a church beginner.
  18. wroot


    Sep 14, 2001
    Uhhh well dude I've got an Ibanez GSR200- had it for about a month now. Playablity is quite good, tone variation poor but sound the you get is decent. Nice and light, solid tuners, although I have noticed the supposed 'tone' control doesn't do very much. I have the red one. I would definitely recommend it as a starter bass. Although I played a Peavey Fury at the store- try and get one of those if you can- if i remember rightly they have thru-body stringing, adjustable truss rod, can't remember any more. Oh they look cool too.
  19. Sorry, but uh, to me it sounds more like mud that you play.
  20. everyone else is gonna hate me for saying this, but...

    I definatly recomend the GSR-200. Its the best begginner bass in its prce range by far. I used to own the top of the range fender squire. I had it for about 10 months then GAS kicked in. I was looking at basses costing about $500 and then picked up the ibanez as a joke and ended up walking out the shop with it it was so good.

    I definatly recomend you try and find a nearly new GSR-200, that way its in near perfect condition and the value has dropped by a good amount leaving you with more cash for your amp and a smaller loss if you decide to re-sell it.

    Also, if your wanting to go straight into a band, id recommend you try and find a second hand more powerful amp. The one I have just now is 120 watts, ( you wont need it that big, but you'll probably want more than 25 which is what your suggesting i think,) and its the first one ive ever bought because I did have the intention of playing along side a drummer (noisy buggers) straight away and im very glad I didnt takre my parents advice in getting a small (ober priced) one.

    But welcome to talkbass and good luck on finding a bass that suits you. I have to second that its what feels and sounds good to you that matters though, so good hunting.

    p.s. those made in mexico fenders are probably too expensive if the $3oo is including the amp.