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What bass to buy??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stevarino, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. stevarino


    Jan 29, 2014
    HI all - I'm a guitarist most of the time, but have been playing some bass in my garage band and want to buy one. We play mostly rock/blues - Allman Bros, Clapton, Grateful Dead, Stones, Van Morrison, etc - and i like the bass line to be audible and "active/improvisational" vs just in the background. Recommendations for bass and/or amp? I don't mind spending some $$ (but like to keep bass under $500 - and i plan to buy used). Thanks for any ideas! I will be going out to try a bunch but any suggestions to help narrow down the universe would be great.
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Definitely try out a Jazz, Precision, and a Stingray. For what you mention I'm thinking the P or J is going to be what you're looking for.

    Those 3 basses are arguably the 3 most recorded of all time.
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    +1. I'd probably lean towards the J for "active/improvisational". It's got a midrange growl that cuts through the mix nicely with more melodic playing.
  4. Eric_71

    Eric_71 Supporting Member

    Jul 22, 2011
    I'd say a precision will be the most bulletproof for you at this point and is pretty hard to screw up. A MIM P seems like a decent option.
  5. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    this is great advice. Under $500 should get a real good P, J or Ray 34.
    Also keep in mind where you are going to play to help determine what amp you will want.
  6. stevarino


    Jan 29, 2014
    thanks all for the great ideas! how about recommendations for amps? we play mostly at someone's house, with only occasional open mic nights etc, so dont need a real gig amp but want something that is good nonetheless.
  7. scottavius


    Jul 9, 2013
    I say you cant go wrong with a MIM jazz bass or P bass as stated above, I prefer the J bass though. As far as amps, fender also has the rumble series which is pretty good as well and not that expensive.
  8. Maybe something like the Gallien-Kruger MB110?
  9. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Local GC has a sweet used Squier P for 130 and the SUB Sterling for around 250; for 500 you could have 2 nice but inexpensive basses. (personally I'd get as good a bass as I could get for 500 but those are good basses, I bought the same SUB).
  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Based on your playlist, I'm thinking a Jazz bass, perhaps a P bass. You should try to see which one would be most comfortable. There are other basses of course, I love the Sub, some Ibanez basses- but I think the mellow Fender sound is what you're looking for.
    You can easily get a used MIM Fender Jazz or P bass for around $300.

    Actually may be able to get a used Made in US Fender if you look hard enough on CL or even online. Here's one for $549

  11. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
    checkout the Carvin amps.....great deal for cost...just a thought.
  12. Warhawk


    Jan 31, 2003
    Canton, Ohio
    Used G&L L-2000 Tribute. That'll definitely cut through the mix.
  13. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    For amps, find the bass you like and test it thru amps in your price range. Dont be afraid of the wattage. A better amp will provide a better tone at higher volume, but still work at low volume.

    Cone size is important, i like 15s. Others like 10s or 12s. Try them all

    I like my Fender 150w combo. The new fender amps are much lighter, big plus.
  14. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    I'd check Music Go Round and craigslist. I've seen high end stuff on craigs for $500.
  15. stevarino


    Jan 29, 2014
    thanks everyone! keep the ideas coming! i know what i will be doing the next few weekends.....:)
  16. My recommendation is to spend more on a quality amp over the bass. That will make or break your sound. If I were going for something around or under $500 I'd keep an eye out for a used American Special jazz or precision bass. MIM's are "okay" but you get a better bass (graphite rods in neck, nicer neck carve, IMO) with the Specials. Barring that, the Squier Classic Vibe jazz and precision basses are really nice as well.

    The GK MB 210 combo amps are lightweight and have awesome tone. I was very impressed by the sounds I could get out of them. Guitar Center usually has some on hand.
  17. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On
  18. pudgychef

    pudgychef Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    For an amp I don't think you can beat the closeout deal on the Genz Benz Contour Amps..

    I saw a great link in a previous thread..http://www.proaudiostar.com/instrument-gear/bass-amps/genz-benz-contour-ctr500-115t-bass-amp.html

    that being said I like the Rumbles over a lot of lower priced bass amps ...but that Contour is usually a $6-700 amp (iirc)

    I would second the suggestion for a used MIM P or J (or a used Squier Classic Vibe..silly value and nice playing/sounding basses...many of us on here have gigged many times on them..)
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I am in full concurrence with this. (My version of +1, which I don't use.)