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What is the best entry level bass you have played

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ampslut, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    This goes along with an earlier post about entry level basses. The best one I've played was an Ibanez Talman 4 string. TLM-100 I think. Setup was great, sounded like a good p-j and the retro look was very cool.
    Badwater, LUCE, JeffJ2112 and 2 others like this.
  2. Define specifically what you would call a "entry level bass?"
    Dave Neal, Leiria, Plectrum72 and 4 others like this.
  3. Ibanez Talman 100. And it's not even close with the second.
    LUCE, JeffJ2112, HeavyJazz and 2 others like this.
  4. SR370E:

    dbsfgyd1, Badwater, SJan3 and 11 others like this.
  5. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    “Entry level” is a subjective term. What criteria are you considering characteristics of an entry level bass?
    Dave Neal and Plectrum72 like this.
  6. RobTheRiot


    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    The Sterling by MM series of SUB Basses I think are a great value for the money. I got one as a beater, couldn’t pass up at that price. I’ve gigged it a number of times; outdoor shows during winter and shows like that where I don’t want to have to worry too much about my bass.
    I’ve been really happy with it for most part - fit and finish I think are great, neck is fast and comfortable.
    I think the biggest weak point is the electronics - they’re decent, and honestly you can’t expect much better at that price point. It does the aggressive MM tone pretty well, just not as full and refined sounding as better instruments.

    I also have to agree with what was said earlier - the Ibanez Talman seems very solid too, tho I don’t have much experience with them. Definitely cool to see a unique looking bass at that price.
  7. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    My thought of entry level is any bass $500 or less
    So using that I would say
    G&L tribute any model
    Any Schecter
    Badwater, RichAnthony, SJan3 and 2 others like this.
  8. I've posted about this many times. Bought a £70 Harley Benton just to see what you got for so little money. It was great,did every thing I needed a bass to do except it came with D'Addario roundwounds. Set of tapes and it was prefect ,near 4 years later it still is :D I bought another as a mod platform, 3 1/2 year later it's still the bass I play most.

    Now I'm not alone in thinking it's a good bass,long term players who buy them agree. The usual deal was buy them, swap pickup for a Duncan and reshape the headstock. Most don't go beyond the headstock work :laugh: Think it's 2nd bestselling P-bass for Thomann,outselling the Fenders by a wide margin. As you move up the Harley Benton price range they're nice enough basses but down at the bottom Thomann get it right. A new player doesn't want or need hassles so puts out good quality basses in the hope that when they want another folks will remember the big T fondly and buy from them.

    Here's my 2,those in the background aren't forgotten don't worry about that :thumbsup:
    PB 50s (2).
  9. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    By that criteria, my 2011/2000 Fender MIM Jazz Bass is it. However, it has underwent some pretty substantial upgrades :smug:
    InhumanResource and dbsfgyd1 like this.
  10. It was stock Squier Affinity 5.
  11. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Squier Vintage Modified Precision 5, a gig worthy $299 bass
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  12. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    For the sake of this discussion, I'll also go with the "sub-$500" range. I'll also stick with stock instruments, not my inexpensive parts-basses.

    I've sampled many basses in that range and some have been surprisingly excellent, even the Squier Affinities, VM's and Standards. But the ones that top the list are the Squier Classic Vibe Jazzes I've tried/owned and my Fender Blacktop Jazz. All were anywhere from great to fantastic and if I were in a band-sitch, I'd gig any one of them. :thumbsup:
    rfarmer17, lowdownthump and Ampslut like this.
  13. I don't really agree with the $500 limit, but I'm not sure exactly what the limit should be, or if "entry level" should be defined purely by price. I don't think MIM Fenders, for example, are generally aimed at beginners. That's more what Squiers are intended for -- which is not to say that Squiers aren't quality instruments.

    In terms of what I would consider an entry-level bass, I would say the best one I've played is my daughter's 2012 Squier VM Jaguar bass (the 34" scale model with concentric pots). It feels and sounds very good, and it was a pretty amazing deal for what we paid for it (we bought it new for somewhere around $200, but I don't recall the exact price).
    rfarmer17, Leiria, BassBrass and 2 others like this.
  14. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    My current main, a bass that can be had for about 180$ from new, an Ibanez Mikro GSRM20 bass from 2010 with basswood body, 28,6" scale, on which I replaced the stock pickups for a pair of P/J EMG Geezer Butler, although I went on for a long time with just the original pickups.

    Seriously, it's not only the best entry level bass I ever played, it's the one single bass that has felt most comfortable in my hands to play on, that I ever played, and that include the Jerry Jones Longhorn, I once owned but was stupid enough to sell at some point.

    A bass that, when it was still in production costed little over 1000$ from new and was sort of a highend/high quality clone of the semi hollow 30" short scale Danelectro Longhorn.

    The Jerry Jones comes in on a close second though regarding playabillity of all the basses I ever laid my hands on.

    To get back to my Mikro, admittedly the pickup swap to the EMG Geezers was a huge tone improvement, but the stock pickups were not right out bad, they were in fact quite decent and usable, even if a bit weak and lacking some clarity and definition in my opinion and in comparison.

    It's perfectly possible that I just got lucky though with that particular bass (even if I guess countless entries by other people in the "Official" Mikro Bass Club thread would counter that statement), cause I recently bought another Mikro, a 2017 GSRM20B with mahogany body, and it just didn't seem right to me, neither in the way it felt, played or sounded.

    Also the piece of wood they used for the neck seems better on the old one, I know for sure at least it is really stable.

    No fret buzz either, even at pretty low action, neither any sharp frets or anything like that.

    Simply plays amazing.

    So there you have my answer, to sum it up:

    Best entry level bass I ever played, and still play, and that I am probably going to play in any foreseeable future, is my black Ibanez Mikro GSRM20 bass from 2010 with a basswood body.

    Here's a picture of it, if you want it (after several mainly visual modifications, including my haphazardly failed attempt to drill an extra far neck cavity for an extra pickup, why I had to fill it out with filler mass and paint and varnish it over, which explains some of why the bass looks so beaten up):
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    SBMM SUB Ray4. Paid $251 new. Found an EMG MMcs pickup and BTC here for $60.
  16. Yeah I played one at GC recently and really couldn’t believe how well it played. That said , there were 5 there, 2 were amazing 1 was good, and 2 sucked- mile high action, stripped out treble and bass pots etc...
    RobTheRiot likes this.
  17. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Tone 4. Lost my in the last divorce... she probably broke it up and burned it.

    18W preamp, Bergatino style pups, light weight, reasonable action( plekked). Weird but interesting body(not unlike the ex).
  18. jeffbassguy

    jeffbassguy "Less is more, unless the guitarist sucks"

    Feb 4, 2001
    warwick rockbass played and sounded like a 2k+ bass
    Badwater and Helix like this.
  19. Greg Waldon

    Greg Waldon

    Aug 22, 2017
    I would have to say either a Peavey Foundation or a Sterling Sub4. Both play and sound incredible for the price that was paid for them. They were both < $300.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  20. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Sub sterling ray 5. Solid action. Huge meaty sound. I thik GC had it for maybe 200 bucks and i distinctly remember liking it more than the other EBMM rays there. Neary took it home.
    edencab likes this.

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