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upgrading me bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cheviot, Sep 8, 2000.

  1. cheviot


    Sep 2, 2000
    I currently have a Squier P-Bass with a Park by Marshall 30w amp. however, i like to think that i'm past the novice stage now and would like to upgrade. this is really for a couple of reasons. firstly the sound isn't always as clean as i'd like (i've been told this isn't due to my deficiencies as a bassist but something to do with heights of strings from the fret board, or something) and buzzes a bit. secondly there is often a hiss from the amp. i've tried new leads, dry atmospheric conditions to see if its moisture related but can't stop it. this hiss stops when i touch the strings. also its not really loud/clear enough to mess about with me mates properly

    what is a good next step for a mediocre yet pretentious bassist who thinks he is better than he really is? (in a non humongous budget sense)


  2. You could check out a mexican Fender P bass or go the whole hog and upgrade to the American Series P bass. As for amps, I use a Marshall B150 combo, which serves me well in the blues rock band I play in and it's easy to transport around. I have tried some Laney gear and was well impressed with their stuff as well.

  3. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    The buzz happens to quite a few guitars, but in my experience it always happens with passive fenders and fender clones. It stops when you touch the strings or bridge because your body is grounding it. It tends to happen if you have your 3 prong bass amp plug in an adapter into an outlet with 2 prongs or no ground wire.

    Here's my suggestion: If you get a new bass, get one that is active or has a well shielded cavity wherever electronics are. It may not be a perfect solution, some basses just hum, but my Warwick and Stingray don't buzz at all. My Warmoth P-Bass still hums like a mofo. It has an active preamp, but no shielded cavity. My advice is to avoid fender altogether, but I'll catch hell for saying that.

    It could be a bit from your amp too. I had one of those park bass amps and it wasn't nearly as quiet as other higher quality gear I've played. The new Fender Bassman series is nice stuff and not too expensive... but not cheap either.

    What kind of price range are you shooting for?
  4. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Does this mean that GC-Mayfield's Fender sales are about to take a nose-dive? 0h you can BET I'll be in a time or two now!


  5. cheviot


    Sep 2, 2000
    thanks for the answers. its just good to get independant advice from someone who isn't on a commission in a shop and who you feel is trying to fleece you.

    i was thinking in the £400-600 range inclusive of amp, so a s'pose in american speak thats about $700-1000
  6. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    As is said here quite often....go to music stores and play as many basses as you can in YOUR price range. Pick the one that "looks, feels, and sounds" best to YOU....regardless of the name on the headstock.
    If you any questions about THAT particular bass...by all means...ask here and I am sure that someone can give you a full lowdown on it.
    Then...if you are satisfied with what you find out about the bass.....
    buy it....:)
  7. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    No offense to fender, but like to live by this motto:

    If you don't want a bear to attack you, quit poking it with a stick.
    (I told this to my friend when he was "gettin' down" with a girl who annoyed the hell out of him.)

    It relates here because as far as I know, passive fenders like to hum. If the humming bothers you, you should avoid something that hums. A good point stressed here often is "Get what feels, looks and sounds good to you. Any questions, we'll try to help."

    I'm not totally against fender... I want to own a really heavy natural finish (clear) 70's jazz bass (not reissue) sometime before I die. Also, If a really good deal came along on a new fender, I'd consider it. I've heard some really nice sounds come from them... other than the 60 cycle hum :D
  8. in that price range i would consider a MIM j or p, the MIA is better, but wont leave you much money for the amp. Or, buy used. You might be able to find a MIA j or p for $450-$500. Amp are totally different, with approx $500, you could get a decent combo amp, or a good used combo. I would stick with combo amps in that price range, cause the whole head/cab rig will cost a bit more (im currently spending about $1000 on mine)

    And these were all in US$, so cahnge the prices to whatever funky money you used in other, inferior countries (im kidding of course)
  9. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    on mia j basses is the tone knob kind alike a switch or supposed to click?
  10. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I wouldnt buy a Fender...
    Its just upgrading a Pickup Truck 1200 to a 1400 Cubic Centimeters.
    I mean, its the same animal as the bass he has.

    I would buy an Ibanez ATK300 as my second bass. (I did that)
    I think it fits in your price range.
    A Hartke Kickback combo would be nice for you too.

    There is also another bass you could consider.
    The Tobias Toby Pro. Just $429
  11. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Don't ditch the P-Bass! Instead, take it to a luthier and get it properly set up,while he's at it get him to fit a set of Schaller P/ups (They are only around 40 quid and are brilliant!). - The amp is a pile of poo though......
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    From bitter experience I would say that the exchange rates don't necessarily apply to musical instruments, because of the large amounts of tax and customs duty we pay in the UK and the fact that the £ is strong against the Euro. Until we join the Euro, we will always be paying more for US instruments than anyone else.

    In my experience you have to pay the same in £s to get the same in $ - that is a Fender bass advertised at $1300 in the US will cost you roughly £1300 in England. The Toby Pro mentioned cost $429 in the US but costs the same in £s here. So in effect we are paying about half as much again as they are in the US for the same thing! In some cases, I have seen this go up to double - as in Laklands, Ken Smith and other high-end basses! :(

    Having said all that, I tend to agree with Paul A that (given your budget)your best move would be to keep the bass and upgrade the amp - these are not highly thought-of. Also, any shop will have a Squier P-Bass which you can try out with any amps in the shop. Go to as many shops as you can, give them your budget and ask to try all the amps that fall within this range, with the P Bass. Buy the one that sounds best - easy!

    I think you will notice a huge difference between your current amp and something like Hartke KickBack for example and for £600 you could get a very good amp, but not necessarily a bass that would sound that much better than your current one - especially if you use the same amp. My usual instinct is to go for the best bass you can, but for £600 you aren't going to get a bass and an amp that will be a noticable improvement and if your priority is being heard, then the amp is probably a good investment.

    Oh and save a bit for a professional set-up for the bass!

    [Edited by Bruce Lindfield on 09-13-2000 at 10:59 AM]

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