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Which to buy? Dilemna!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sijjvra, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    So I've been playing bass for about 12 years all together. I put it down for about 6 years since I had to sell all my equipment (one of those rough financial situations :( ) and in the last year, I've just been getting back into it.

    Playing in a band - death n' roll, groove metal, black n' roll, and I like a rather punchy tone as opposed to more muted, "warm" tones. I really like a bright growl rather to smooth and mellow.

    Other than my first bass - a really awful Lotus that I bought without really knowing what to look for other than " hey, a cheap bass! And so-and-so wants me to play in his band so I'll learn bass!" I've always played Ibanez. For a few reasons: I like their tone. I had an SR405 and 406 before I sold them, and just liked the way they sounded. I also have really REALLY small hands (seriously, small.) - being female and coming from a small-in-stature family, a slim neck really helps me out a lot, and Ibanez has the slimmer necks.

    I've been using, since I picked playing back up, a rather battered (my fault, I sorta abused this bass since I knew I'd be replacing it soon - though it still sounds alright! ) Ibanez SR-300, old model... probably about 8 years old ... and it's time to upgrade to the five string again for the low end that heavier music just sounds so good with.

    So now I've got a dilemna. I'm thinking of trying a Traben Array 5-string, as I've -heard- pretty good things about them and some notable musicians do use them. However, I'm not going to have much chance to try to play on one since... heh, there are no music stores where I'm at that carry anything except :p Fender (just not a Fender fan, sorry).

    If anyone could give me some info on the tone of these basses, action, neck-size, (in terms of thickness, not scale) and other general thoughts I'd appreciate it! I'm inclined to go with another Ibanez SR model 5-string, but at the same time... if there's something that sounds better for heavy music at the same price (and is comfortable to play) far be it from me to be a brand-snob and not try it.

  2. pjh2112


    Jan 28, 2009
    I had one. The neck is was kind of big. I wouldn't recommend if you're looking for something with a smaller neck. As far as tone goes mine was pretty growly. Probably good for metal and rock stuff. But like I said a big neck.
  3. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    That's what has me most worried - is there any dimension spec for either bass neck someone has a link to so I can check it out?
  4. Nobody

    Nobody Banned

    Jul 14, 2004
    "if there's something that sounds better for heavy music at the same price (and is comfortable to play) " Ibanez SRX series sound exactly like what you're looking for.
    OOD likes this.
  5. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    Yeah actually I decided to go with the Ibanez. While the Traben sounds alright (checked out some videos of different folks playing them on Youtube and the like) I am leary about buying a bass without playing it first, and since there are none here I can try out :p the Ibanez - which I know I like the feel and tone of - is probably the safer bet right now.
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, stick with what you know works. I see a shiny new Ibanez in your very near future.
  7. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    The John Moyer Signature sounds like a serious bet for you. Anything Traben or Ibanez.

    Even a black on black Jazz bass could pull it off.
  8. Bogster


    Oct 13, 2002
    Orange Park, FL
    What he said.

    I tried a Moyer sig standard the other day and this bass blew my mind. Sounded way better than I expected it to sound. I've tried a few Arrays and liked them, but this Moyer sig sounds better than anything I've heard from Traben thus far with the exception of the Chaos Core-and they're affordable, too! So if you like the sound of the Array, you have to hear the Moyer sig.

    Try one out, man. Killer, killer basses for metal/rock.
  9. I am a very happy Traben owner and I would definitely recommend it, but a good Ibanez will definitely get the job done.
  10. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    Well, as an update to this saga:

    I ordered by Ibanez online. What a nightmare. It was just an SR305 as I'm currently a bit poor :)p ) and on a strict budget. I've had good luck with the cheap end Ibby's before so I didn't feel there was much of a risk in getting this one. I got the maple-neck version for the brighter tone, since I like my sound a bit punchy.

    Heh, got the bass...it was a wreck. Never ordering online again after this. Was missing set-screws from the saddle on the B string, and upon replacing it, found that the hole had been made too big , the screw literally kept falling out. So of course the entire bridge rattled when I tried playing the B-string. Plus the B-string itself sounded like absolute crap - even AFTER I changed the strings. Had a very dull and soft tone, half volume of the other strings, etc which leads me to believe the bass had a bad pickup as well.

    Very shoddy feeling. Felt slapped together. I don't know if it was just this one particular bass that was a lemon or if Ibanez has let the quality on their lower end basses slip -a lot-. My old '97 SR300 felt 100 times more solid than this new model 5-string.

    So I sent it back and am getting a refund. I was pretty irked. I decided to drive around locally and see if there was anything available at the music stores in the area. We have a little mom-and-pop's place that has been around forever (really old school) that I like to take my equipment to for trade ins and repairs since the guys there are very reasonable in pricing, and then we have a Marshall, which carries mostly Fender gear.

    As stated, not a big fan of Fender because they just don't have the tone I want nor do the necks feel very comfortable for me and my little hands. Always got wrist cramps with them :p so I wasn't particularly hopeful, but I lucked out. They had a Washburn Taurus 5-string on sale, ended up picking that up for around 400 bucks. Thru-neck! My first :D

    What I like is the neck is fairly fast and the string spacing is close...I know a lot of bassists don't like smaller string spacing but it feels comfortable for me, so it works.

    Have to take it in for a set up today at the mom and pop's place as it has a bit of a fret buzz towards the 12th fret (I noticed the frets look a bit uneven - living in MI with the weather going crazy from winter-spring isn't helping ) and the action and neck need a slight tweak, but over-all I'm pretty happy. This bass feels a LOT more solid and well constructed than the Ibby SR305 (which sorta makes me sad in a way) and, despite it being HEAVY AS HECK, it feels really good in terms of playability for my style and smaller finger span.



  11. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Bad journey with a happy ending. People forget about the Washburn basses, but some of them are really nice. I've been tossing around the idea of picking up one of their Idol basses. Glad you found a bass that you bond with and was in your price range. There's a lot to be said for having a local dealer that "cares" about your business. Unfortunately, mail order is sometimes an inevitability.

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