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What electric bass and amp to buy? ($1100 total for everything)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LemurBassist, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. LemurBassist


    Jul 6, 2007
    I've been playing electric bass for 2 years now. I played Jazz, Blues, Latin, and some Rock, and now I'm getting into Metal and more Rock. I've only played a school bass and school amp up until now, but now I really want to have my own set. I have $1100 to spend on everything; I can go a little bit over, and certainly less. I don't want a really super complicated amp, but one thats good for lots of styles, especially jazz and rock. I want an amp that you can make sound all distorted and cool when you want to, and not so when you don't want it to. Thanks~
    P.S. I'm in highschool, if that helps :)

    P.S.S. If its at guitar center, that would be best. ^^
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Sounds like you have a GC at your disposal. That means you have basses and amps aplenty to try out. Pick the top 3 basses and amps in your price range that you like. Then pick out the bass and amp in your price range that you like. Problem solved.
  3. +1 For that much money you can get some very decent gear. Also check out consignment gear. You can get quite a boost from buying quality used stuff. Pick your bass by how it plays, sounds and feels - not the sticker (MIM, MIJ, MIK, MIA, etc). I would spend 50/50 or 40/60 on bass:amp. You mileage may vary.
  4. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I would recomend a used Lakland Skyline 55-01 for the bass. They are really well made, and their used price is pretty consistently 525-575. That said, you really need to go to GC, and play alot of basses to find one that suits you.

    For an amp, I would get a good med-hi (200-400 watt) powered combo amp. (speakers and amp in one box) Eventually you will probably add a larger amp setup, but a good combo will serve you well for praciticing and playing out. the most reputable amplification companies, Fender, SWR, ampeg, GK and Peavey are good brands to look at. Just let your ears do the judging.
  5. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    My $.02:
    Look for a used Fender Jazz Bass. I agree: play a lot of different ones, regardless of where they're made -- America, Mexico or Japan. Actually, a new Mexican one would fit your budget easily, and they can be excellent (or sometimes not so excellent). I own one that was more resonant and had a straighter neck than any other Jazz Bass of any kind, in multiple stores. For the last five years or so, they've been made out of alder and have had good electronics. No loss there. They are officially called the "Fender Standard Jazz Bass" and have "made in Mexico" right there on the headstock.
    Once you get it, have the series/parallel modification done on it. It lets you choose between series and parallel wiring of the pickups and will cost you roughly $30-40 in total for the parts (one push-pull pot) and labor. A Jazz Bass in series sounds more like a Precision Bass; you'll very nearly cover both bases (no pun intended).
    Finally, get some kind of used Ampeg or Gallien-Krueger combo amp. Play through a few different models, and use your ears. The Ampeg "Rocket Bass" series are solid state amps that can sound almost tube-like (warm and fat) and even look cosmetically like the 1960s. Great amps, especially for blues and rock. The Gallien-Krueger ones are also solid state but sound brighter and cleaner and more aggressive and modern, if that's what you prefer. Both makes are solidly built and reliable, and used by hordes of bassists all over the known universe.
    For distortion, go for something separate like a SansAmp, or a cheaper stomp box by Boss or someone like that.
    Yes, your mileage may vary. This is simple, "meat & potatoes" gear.
    Good luck!
  6. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    1100 goes A LOT farther on used gear than new!
  7. +1

    My mostly "used" Setup:

    MusicMan S.U.B. with MM hard case puchased used from owner for $350 as-is
    Mesa WalkAbout head purchased GC clearance for $475 with 5 year factory warranty
    Ampeg SVT-806HE purchased used for $200 30 day return policy from local pawn

    Total: About $1070 including local tax (6.5%)

    All big name, all have great tone, for a price most anyone can afford. I have some other equipment, but the more I hit the local pawns and music shop. The more "buyers remorse" I have for buying new gear. Especially in this down economy there is tons of gear on CL that you knock down the price on with a little negotiation.
  8. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    For a head I would get a used GK 700RBII. Solid state and very versatile. Not easy to figure out how to use though. Buy a used cab locally or look into Avatar. I'd second a lakland 01 for a bass.
  9. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    Ima thinks the amp will be distorted more then not.

  10. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Forget GC, keep browsing the local craigslist, and the TB classifieds. Used is the way to go.

    G&L tribute L2000's are a killer deal, same with Musicman Subs, or newer MIM Fenders, especially the 60s and 50's reissues.

    The local craigslist is always packed with Ampeg and GK gear.
  11. Grizzly700


    Mar 18, 2008
    Maryville, TN
    If you must buy new I'm going to recommend a Standard Fender MIM Jazz Bass and an Ampeg BA115 Combo. Plenty of good sound coming out of that. The bass is around $450 I think, and the amp is $579 (i think), although it's possible to get it on sale for alot cheaper, mine was $400.
  12. netface


    Jan 27, 2008
  13. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007

    IMO, Get a cheap bass and the best AMP/CAB you can.

    as an example:

    Used Squier: 200
    Used Little Marrk 525
    Used Aguilar GS112 325
    Cables 50

    Actually I saw a Shuttle 6.0 for $ 500 in the classifieds section !

    Take your time, evaluate all your posabilities, look for a good deal and forget about GC !

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