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Xmas Bass - What to get for around $1000

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rbarr110, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. rbarr110


    Aug 10, 2017
    I am looking to get my son a nice bass than what he has for Christmas. He has proven over the last 7 years he has been playing guitar and bass that it isn't a passing interest and will be a major part of his life moving forward (he is now 19).

    He currently has an Ibanez SDGR (Model: SRX 3 EXQM 1) which we picked up used for about half its original retail.

    He likes the Fender Jazz basses, but the ones I looked at were around $1500 and I believe were the made in USA models. Looking for recommendations on what maybe to get, maybe the MIM Fender Jazz? He likes the brighter sounding basses but also wants to go 5-string.

    Thanks for any input/opinions.
    DirkP likes this.
  2. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
  3. AdamK


    Jan 24, 2015
    I'm turning 19 in about a week and just treated myself to a used Lakland 55-01. Super excited for my first 5 string. I sold my main 4 string to pay for a little over half, then my parents paid the difference as a Christmas gift.

    If you're looking at the MIM, I'd also look at a Squier Vintage Modified. The Squier VMs outperform MIMs quite often. I loved mine with upgraded pickups.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  4. muddycreek


    Feb 26, 2010
    I'm going through this with a 14 year old. As much as you may want to surprise him, I would really recommend going somewhere to try a bunch of basses out. Even if it's a significant drive. My daughter played a bunch locally, and really liked an Ibanez Sr300, but if/when she gets to the step up point, I'm likely to find the best variety in a 4-5 hour radius and do a quick overnight to make sure she gets a feel for what's out there.
  5. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    A lot of times people will ask if you're willing to buy used. But, based on your reasons for buying this one, I'm going to guess that you'd prefer new.

    Making that assumption, I think the suggestions for a Lakland 55-01 or for a MIM Fender Jazz Deluxe V are good ones. I never owned a 55-01 but I did own a 55-02 and, based on my experience, I can say that the Lakland Skyline series basses are outstanding values. I also owned a MIM Jazz Deluxe V and, again, that was a great value. Mine was a '99 or '00 model and at that time they had the same pickups and preamp as the USA deluxe J's. I don't know if they still do, but reviews I've seen here make me think they're still good values.

    Since you said he likes Jazz basses, other Lakland models that are Jazz basses are the DJ-5 or the 55-60. But these would likely be closer in price to the USA Fender Jazz basses. So the 55-01 would a better choice just to stay around your target price.

    Another good option is a G&L Tribute like an L-2500 or M-2500. I own a USA L-2500 and it's a fantastic bass but I've see a lot of people here give high praise to the Tribute models.

    I also see Ibanez BTB's or their higher end Soundgear (SR) basses such as a 1305 get generally good reviews as well. Ibanez seems to give you a lot of bass for the money once you get in the $1000 range.

    If you are willing to buy used, then you'll have A LOT more options. FWIW, I bought all three of my basses used here on TB for around $1000 and they were all in like new condition (a Stingray 5HH, a Precision V, and an L-2500).
    Strung_Low, Spidey2112, Ikkir and 2 others like this.
  6. You can score a Ibanez Premium for around $1k. Some models are on clearance it seems.

    I also have a SRX & they are actually great basses.
    The Premium just has a little more in the timbre vs. the SRX.
    and the Premiums are built better, titanium rods, great woods, premium fret dressing

    They're also quite stunning:


    Electric Basses - SR Series - premium | Ibanez guitars
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  7. rbarr110


    Aug 10, 2017
    I did take him under the guise of getting repairs done on one of our acoustics we have. We fiddled around the store for over an hour and we played everything from a $200 dollar up to $2500 for ***** and giggles. We noticed that at the $1000 mark and up, the basses got less muddy and brighter, particularly the $1500 Fender Jazz we played with.
    mindwell likes this.
  8. muddycreek


    Feb 26, 2010
    Did you play a jazz V? I've always found the neck dive to be a bit much.
    de1orean likes this.
  9. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Put the grand in envelope and write "bass" on the front. Allowing your kid the pleasure of the bass hunt will enhance his enjoyment and likely result in the best fit.
    Gyver, Andre678, Herrick and 29 others like this.
  10. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    G&L makes some gorgeous jazz basses that can be easily had in that range if you buy used. Personally, Id put their fit and finish well above fender at that price point. guitar centers used site should have a number of them.
    Alex Bass and SteveHeissner like this.
  11. I would suggest a G&L MJ-4. Beautiful, great playing Jazz that is under a thousand for a used US. I think they’re $1100 new. I bought one used two years ago and have been completely happy ever since.
    pudgychef and MordBass like this.
  12. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    omg right?! If I didnt have a Mike Lull I would be alllllll over the G&L.
  13. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I'd go for a Nate Mendel signature Precision. So much good in that particular model!
  14. I'd go to a Fender dealer and haggle like crazy.
    porterbass likes this.
  15. For about 1.000,- I would take a close look at the Flea Signature bass from Fender. It is made in Mexico, but very similar in hardware and wood to the American Vintage Series '64 Jazz. It has the same pickups, which sound very very good. Depends if your son would like the colour and the relicing...
    If he doesn't like the rare '60s electronics (stacked pot), this would be easy to update for him.
    My main bass is a AVS '64 jazz, my favourite among 10 mostly Fender basses. But as I saw the Flea, I thought: this bass is nearly identical for half the price...

    I guess you wouldn't want to buy a used bass for your son, otherwise I would have recommended a used AVS '62 Jazz of the older American Vintage series.
    I think the higher priced (700,- - 1.000,-) made in Mexico instruments from the classic series are very good in quality too. Some of them even have a nitro finish etc.
    When I was younger, I was quite obsessed with certain instruments. It had to be a Yamaha or Fender or Levis or Fred Perry (or or or). I wouldn't experiment with something similar or something that seems to offer more, but doesn't have the right name on the headstock. But maybe your son is more open minded than I was...
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
    beardedclam, interp and pudgychef like this.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    . Agreed. He probably has a pretty good idea what he wants. Consider looking in the classified here for something. Like a new car, depreciation of a new model is a lot.
    Spidey2112, Hanss, Big Hoss and 3 others like this.
  17. Whil57


    Aug 7, 2013
    Long Island
    I agree with some of the other posters, take him shopping. Kills three birds with one stone. Family time, he gets to see if he can find that "go to", plus you also get to browse. Win, win, win.
    mikewalker, Big Hoss and matty1039 like this.
  18. The only thing I’d add is consider renting a 5 string for a week or so to see if he’d really prefer that or not.
    pudgychef and BubbaZed like this.
  19. drewphishes

    drewphishes Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2017
    hate to self promote, but I am selling an ibanez sr 1800 which sounds like a jazz bass on steroids and sounds perfect for your son if he likes jazz bass and ibanez feel.
  20. EpicSoundtracks


    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    mbart203 and pudgychef like this.

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