Which bass should I go for?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nellsalot, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. I'm looking for my second bass in the under-$500 price range. I'm planning to sell my first bass (a vintage short scale '67 Kalamazoo) as it has a pretty thin, buzzy tone that is greatly limiting me (although it does have a neat vintage vibe). Read on and you'll see that I'm pretty clear on my options but I'm posting to see if anyone has any bright alternative ideas or any experience with said models. I'm not totally sure what to do.

    I've been wanting a Rickenbacker very badly and had an idea that it might be the only kind of bass I'd love to have (I covet Chris Squire's sound). Recently I've been rethinking simply because of the price, as guitar is my main instrument and while I love bass a lot it's more important to me to be able to spend my (limited) money on other gear. Even a vintage Ric for $700ish is a bit steep considering how many other things I'd like to get (nice amp, lap steel, 12-string, etc). But after having played a few basses I can see that while the Ric is unique, I would be quite happy with a different and cheaper instrument.

    I spent a long time at the store today and found that I really liked the Fender MIM Jazz. Surprisingly more than an American I tried, equal or a tinsie bit inferior to a Geddy Lee and I didn't care for the Precision. I also dug the Ibanez Artcore AGB140 hollow bass. I picked it up quite randomly, not knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised by the rich, sweet tone and the feel of the neck (slim but wide, very comfortable for me). Thing is, the tone knob barely does anything and the whole thing is a bit of a one-trick pony, but what a seductive trick! I'm also drawn to the fact that it's less common, a little more "different". Anyway, the Jazz bass seems very versatile and has a beautiful tone that I could really get into. It is just a little more common feeling. But also probably far more practical and useful.

    Sorry about my ranting, I just get really analytical and talkative about this stuff. Anyway, here's a summation of my point. I like the Jazz bass. I like the Artcore bass. I'm leaning towards the Jazz bass because it's more versatile and can have more bite and growl to it, which I love. I love the Artcore's tone and vibe and I can coax some different, more aggressive sounds out of it but it's generally a pretty mellow, round sound without much else going on. Certainly the Jazz can go in that direction but the Artcore has a unique character. I want to say I'm solid on getting the Jazz and I sort of am but I do keep thinking back to that hollow body.

    The other option I can see is an SX Jazz copy, but I've never played it and I'm not sure I want to risk the shipping costs to buy one and return it. I've heard so much hype over the SX, but is it really as good as the MIM Jazz?
  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Get the Jazz Bass and don't think twice.
    You can't go wrong with a J.

  3. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    I've also heard all the good hype over SX but don't know much about them. Personally i would take the jazz over the artcore, if your a versatile player or at least think your style will change some time the jazz has the upper hand.
  4. That is true in ways besides a J bass......