What is the Best Working Stiff's Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by j-raj, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    I'm a gigging fool. I have been playing Fender J's for a while. They are easy-going, engineers have their setting for them in most cases and they have a well-rounded tone that will work for my jazz, funk, folk, salsa, soca, fusion, Zydeco/nawlins, blues, rock, reggae and free form gigs.

    I'm the kinda of bassist that isn't looking for jewelry instrument (i.e. Alembic, Warriors... ets.), granted they're beautiful, I'm more pragmatic in my needs. I also am not into having a bunch of basses for a gig... I like to have two: Fretless and Fretted.

    What would somebody suggest as my next bass to try out that isn't over $2000, that is Solid, great versitile tone, will last (at least) 10 years and will not give me a bunch of nasty looks in the studio?

    Thank you in advance for you your suggestions.
  2. fender is the first thing that comes to mind. is there something in particular you want that your Js don't give you?
  3. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well, I think you have it already, as you say, the J-bass works everywhere... So, maybe you could try some of the boutique J-basses.. Sadowsky, Lull, Elrick, HotWire, or whatever. Most of them can be found used under 2 grand. Or perhaps you could try a Lakland? I've never played one, but they seem to be great.
  4. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    If you have a J, why not a P?

  5. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    The Fender's are cool. MY 'worker bee' Fender '94 JB Plus, w/Kubicki electronics is tired and is falling apart. Granted it is American-maded... it is only 8.5 years old, it just can't hang... it ain't like I really beat on it. Many cats around here (ATL)are telling me to try out MM's and I posted a "?" about Matt Pulcinella's basses yesterday. I would like to find a '73 JB that would work well with me (partially cause I was born in that year and it would be great for a 30th b-day present, I hope my girl is reading this!)... but I would like to get a brand new bass (as well) that is durable...

    I was just putting the posting out there to see what else others would suggest.

    thank you for replying!

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I would also agree with the purchase of a "modern" Jazz bass. A used Sadowsky can be found under $2000 as can Mike Lull, Lakland etc. They are all killer basses. I am in the midst of purchasing a Sadowsky. I have never played a better Jazz bass. They are in a word "perfect". Sadowsky's are a Fender Jazz bass on Steroids. Much better setup, playability, sound, and I don't think you could do any better using one as a Studio bass either! Check them out!:D
  7. quote: j-raj
    "What is the Best Working Stiff's Bass?"

    hu huh, hey Beavis, he said Stiff, huh, huh, huh...

  8. Modulus basses are getting great acceptance in studios and are known for being invincible live.

    That said, the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw your question was "Stingray."
  9. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    The obvious answer is G & L. Designed by Mr. Fender himself. All handmade here in the states. They're usually priced right around the grand mark. They are tone monsters with immeasurable varitions with the active electronics.
  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I think any "working bassist"* should have one of each of these:

    Fretted P
    Fretted J
    Fretless J

    A P-J boutique bass might be a good idea, but G&L and Lakland both come to mind with the idea of a versitile, all situation, easy to work with bass.


    *Im talkinga bout session bassist and bassist who have to deal with alot of different situations and styles. These basses should help you cover all ground.
  11. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Nick man,

    Good point... up until recently I had a P and a J bass... but a wild Wishnevsky 3 octave fretless 4 (don't ask, it is just wild instrument). I think that having that setup of :

    Fretted P
    Fretted J
    Fretless J

    *(pardon the pun) has the basses covered!


    I liked the ASAT and Climax (wish they would bring that back), I'm strongly considering looking at a L2500 or L1505. Great Suggestions!

    Peter McFerrin,

    Modulus is a favorite for a lot of the cats I talk to down here... partially cause they really are low maintainence and stay real true and straight. There is this guy Neal Fountain, man he is a MOFO. He plays those as well as Oteil does too. I think that Todd Smalley (from Derek Truck band) used to play one, but now he has a Curbow ...

    The only thing I have to say personally about Modulus.... "I need wood for my tone!"


    Yeah Beavis "Stiff!"... No need for viagra at my ripe age of 'nearly 30'.

    Adrian Juras,

    Sadowsky's, Lull's, Atelier Z's, and other Boutique Fender jazz high end knock-offs are great. I have played them... but, from what I remember most of them (new) $2900 and up! And I really don't want to do a used bass, except for that '73 for my 30th b-day present.

    ***** I guess I have some homework to do!

    Thank you again.
  12. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Give Carvin a tumble.
  13. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!

    Good point... They have always had the reputation of making solid instruments... I actually work with a cat that a Bunny Brunel 5... I guess that would be the way to try one out prior to ordering one.

    Is that what you play?
  14. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    J-raj - I LOVE my ASAT. It's the second coolest looking bass next to my Rick, but that's a different thread! I also have a L-1000 fretless that sounds absolutely HUGE. Only downfall is it's Mahogany body, trying to get through a 4 hour gig with it requires a trip to the chiropracter the next day!
  15. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    if it helps i only run 2 basses right now too. a stingray 5 and a carvin 6 fretless. in about 6 months i will begin hunting for a compliment to those 2 but i went from havin 5 basses down to those 2!
  16. I do not like them myself but I think a great idea might be a rick 4003.

    Other than that I second the stingray idea.
  17. I'm primarily a blues guy and my main gigging bass is a Reverend Rumblefish XL. I used a '72 Jazz for about 10 years, until it became the money pit. The 'fish is very Jazz like but it has a series/parallel/single coil switch that allows access to the massive bottom available in the series mode. The parallel setting is like a more focused Jazz bass, thanks to the angled pickups and the single coil setting allows for "Jacotone." They sell for about $700 brand new but you can find them used for much less; I paid $360 for mine. I also usually take a MIJ fretless Jazz Bass to gigs and I have a fretted P-clone that I sometimes use. All are utilitarian instruments, short on flash but long on tone.
  18. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!

    Heavy basses have their tonal qualities (well, not always)... But I hear ya on the chiro thing... Most of my gigs are between 3.5-5 hours (on the cover gigs), so weigh is big factor... That is why I hear that these Matt Pulcinella basses are really good.. I just need to get my hands on one in the ATL area to try one out.



    Actually as I may have mentioned in a different thread... I have been going to the Guitar Center during some of my lunch breaks and trying out all of the Stingray 5's that they have... Gosh their all different. Bassically, That is one bass that I'm totally considering.

    Some else mentioned Carvin's, I know someone that has one here at work, so that might give me the oppty to try one.


    4001 & 4003's are cool, but the tone and the neck aren't my bag... plus appearance might run people off... no offense, they ARE a solid company and instrument, I just haven't found one of them that I like. Thank you for supporting the motion of the Stingray... as that is becoming a growing choice of mine.

    Talk to you soon,


    The Reverend's are hip looking (which isn't the biggest factor), and I've noticed that they are light. But I would need an instrument company that has some history. I think (correct me if I'm wrong), Reverend's are only a recent company. See, Basses can be like cars (funny, Matt Pulcinella made a similar analogy, but this is different), when Mitsubishi came out in the US, people were weary of them. Pary, because they hadn't been on the market long enough to track some of the construction flaws (even if it is one of the oldest car companies in Japan)... I guess that is like lasik eye surgery for me, I would lie to have it, but I need to hear more horror stories prior to making my judgement on it.

    I promise that I will revisit the Reverend, give it the due time in the practice room.

    "...All are utilitarian instruments, short on flash but long on tone..." That's nice... I'm gonna use that somewhere.

    Thank y'all.......

    I guess the Basses that I have to strongly consider:

    Stingray 5
    G&L L-1505, L-2500... oh yeah an ASAT
    Carvin 5
    More USA Fender Jazzbasses
    Elrick (I love Rob's wry sense of humour and how critical he is on other bass companies)
    And maybe a used Sadowsky (unless Roger can cut me a deal)


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Have you looked into Sadowsky Tokyo basses? You should check them out at www.sadowsky.com
  20. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    A Fender P or J will get you through almost any musical situation. They are they Clydesdales of the industry.