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What should I buy...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Southtowns27, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Southtowns27


    Mar 13, 2015
    Here's the abbreviated story.. Back in high school some 20 odd years ago, I played orchestral bass, as well as upright in our school's 20+ piece swing band. After I graduated I set the bass playing aside. About a year ago, I picked up an upright and set it up for rockabilly slap bass. I've been teaching myself and it's actually not going so bad. I work on ships for a living and spend about 6 months out of the year (not consecutively) bobbing around. I'm thinking I should pick up a cheap-ish short-scale electric bass that could easily travel with me. Yeah, it won't help me learn rockabilly slap, but I can certainly gain experience with my left hand and relearn theory. Since I'm a retro guy, I've been eyeballing hollow bodies. I like the look and the sound. So, what should I be looking at/for? I've seen a few Epiphone EA-260's and 5120's for less than $500, but they all seem a bit haggard.. Do I just spend the extra cash and pick up something like a Gretsch G5442? They seem to go for about $800. Yeah, it's more expensive, but it's new and a whole lot less likely to give me issues... I've also seen some new very inexpensive Chinese "no-name" models that almost look too good to be true. Thoughts? Opinions?
  2. Go to guitar center or whatever shop. Get two guitar stands. Play the cheapest bass they have. Then play the next cheapest one, work your way up. Asking yourself "Is Bass B really Xamountofmoney better than Bass A?"

    Alternatively, buy the one that looks coolest.

    Had a 5-String ESP with all kinds of knobs and tone control and everything... Have infinitely more fun on my Blackbird which has all the tonal variety of ON or OFF. Why is this? The ESP was spalted maple, the Blackbird is Pitch Black with Iron Cross Inlays.

    Dean Makes this shaggin' obnoxious green bass for like $225. If that calls to you buy it!

    You will play a bass that you enjoy more often, and as a result you will become better. Don't let anybody else tell you what to play unless they are going to buy it for you, in which case play the free bass.
    wideload, mrcbass, mikewalker and 4 others like this.
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I am a big fan of Gretsch basses - full disclosure. I have the 5123, which is a brother to the 5442, and like it very much.

    My feeling is that if you get a new Gretsch G5442, you will LOVE it. They are gorgeous and they play well. But if at all possible, play one before buying. It's short scale and the body is deeper than solid body basses, so make sure that's what you want. Not everyone likes the hollow body or the short scale.

    You may also be able to find one slightly used, which would save you money.

    My 5123:

  4. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I forgot whatever I was gonna suggest after seeing the Gretsch... omg just get that
    lowdownthump and MoeTown1986 like this.
  5. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You might want to try the Epiphone Rumblekat...semi-hollow, very woody tone.
    $350 used...$500 and change new.
    Other than that, one of the best-kept secrets in the bass world.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  6. Southtowns27


    Mar 13, 2015
    Thanks for the replies!!
    I'm *really* leaning towards the Gretsch now...
  7. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    What makes you so sure that a hollow body instrument is what you’re after? It sounds pretty theoretical at this point.
    4 Strings Good likes this.
  8. Southtowns27


    Mar 13, 2015
    I think it boils down to personal preference. Back in my former life I owned an Ibanez Roadstar II and a "Maxitone" knockoff of a Hofner 500/1. I always preferred the short scale hollow body. There's something about that tone and thump they have, especially with flat wounds that I just seem to like for whatever reason. I never played the Ibanez much...
    Stumbo likes this.
  9. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    jackn1202 and Skillet like this.
  10. Yamaha and Ibanez both make decent basses , even their cheaper basses are built fairly well, I like them better then the cheaper Fender Squires.
  11. Fender Mustang PJ should be in your candidate list, in my opinion.
  12. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    hintz, mikewalker and jackn1202 like this.
  13. Ezralyte


    Jul 19, 2018
    Washington State
    I picked up an Epi EB-0 last week. Love it! I'd recommend it for consideration.
  14. Ha, free bass :)
  15. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    There's always the Epiphone Jack Casady. I've been playing Fender's religiously for years now. Recently scored a used Jack Casady in mint condition for $500 and I absolutely LOVE that bass.
    fitzmonster and lowdownthump like this.
  16. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    basslifter and MoeTown1986 like this.
  17. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    This gets my vote! I can’t believe the range of tones you can get out of these.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  18. My concern is the traveling and different environments would cause issues on a hollow body?
  19. OP, will you be playing amp-less while you are bobbing around? I am thinking that a hollowbody instrument might not be the best choice to have, given how weather can potentially be problematic as you travel the globe!
    If it were me, I'd be looking at a solid body instrument and a headphone amp and probably a short scale bass at that.
    mrcbass and Malak the Mad like this.
  20. Malak the Mad

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

    What they said. Humidity and temperature could be huge factors while at sea.
    JZQuantum and NecroticImbecil like this.

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