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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Greenantgods, Oct 21, 2004.
What is a good starter bass?
Whats your budget?
eh not much maybe 250 at the most...
Try both of these:
Fender Squire Jazz
Fender Squire Precision
Check out www.rondomusic.net as well. If you want to do some research on their instruments do a search here, there is tons of info on them.
Many people here, myself included, own a Brice or an SX and are VERY happy with them.
I always recommend a P or PJ as a first bass.
I like the generic P basses the Peavey used to make. They were cheap new in the early 90's. I think they smoke the squires in quality. I never like the high-end peavey basses though.
Ibanez makes a nice entry one if you are not into the old school thing. Are you looking new or used?
One of the best starter basses for a rockbottom price is the Ibanez GSR200. It has more features/appointments at a lower price than my starter Ibanez did 10 years ago. However, Ibanez neck profiles are a love it/hate it deal, so try before you buy.
Under $300 could also net you an ESP/LTD F104. Granted my firsthand experience with ESP/LTD is nil, but I was seriously considering buying an LTD bass for a long time. They're supposed to be built very well, even the lower end ones. The the F104 has a 35" scale (for those who like to use dropped tunings) and a body shape that's "metal" without being cheeseball and unergonomic.
Yamaha RBX is an option too. I personally prefer Yamaha neck profiles to Ibanez neck profiles and build quality is usually good on Yamahas.
Peavey has some nice starter basses. The Milleniums are supposed to be good. I got a good impression from a 6-string Fury. The Grinds can be hit or miss and are uncomfortably heavy.
And if you're not above buying a bass preowned, there are some great deals.
But really, go to music stores and try as many as you can. At least you'll get a feel of which ones feel comfortable in terms of weight, neck dive, neck profile, etc. And if a slightly more expensive bass than you can afford is what really inspires you, save up. Don't compromise. If you have an instrument you really love, you'll want to play it much more than an instrument you feel kinda ambivalent towards.
Oh, and when you're testing basses, play through an amp close to what you use at home. Try turning the pots up all the way. If you get a scratchy sound or hiss to the point of madness, you may want to skip that bass. Granted, a little 60-cycle hum is the norm with single-coil J-basses, but if the hum is abnormally loud and annoying to you, it will make you want to smash your rig.
Starter basses to avoid:
-Austin. To me, these really feel and sound cheap.
-Silvertone and low-end Samicks. Again, they feel cheap. However, higher-end Samicks (i.e. the extended range Fairlanes, the Cobra, the Tabu) are surprisingly good and underrated basses. I play a Fairlane 6 myself and like it a lot. I dig the Cobra too.
My initial advice to any starter would be hold out for the ultimate bass in a G&L . But, since it's usually a matter of money, I suggest you do this to cure your P vs. J choice problems. Look here, www.rondomusic.com. This is the only place you will get a better than average starter bass for next to nothing. In fact, you can spend your $250.00 and get 2, "much better than Squire" basses. The brand is SX, made in China and they have decent quality control. Much better IMO than any Squire bass. You could get the Precision and Jazz models for less than $250.00. Check out the site!
I'd steer away from getting a brand new starter bass at that price. You can usually always find a good quality, nice bass used for a good price. I got a peavey grind bxp (active electronics, great finish, bolt on) for $300. I'm probably alone when I say this, but I really like those cheap neckthrough peaveys too. I think you can get those for $350 new.
But like dincrest said, just play all of them until you find the perfect one.
I would stay away from anything made by Squire, as I've had very bad experiences with every one that I have come across (unless it was one made in the 80's.) Personally, I would highly recommend the SX (Essex) basses that others mentioned in this thread. Another great, low priced bass is the Yamaha BBN4(III) although they are no longer made. Also, check for used (and sometimes new) basses on ebay and on these sites:
Hope that helps, good luck finding one and let us know which bass you end up going for!
I have to agree with the Ibanez Gsr200. Great Bass for a starter and only $204.00 at Zzounds
yeah those one on that websight are only like 110 dollars new. that is really cheap!
actually for your budget, you can get this bridge ($200):
but eventually you would need to add the other components-strings, pickups, tuning machines, finished body and neck and electronics.