Need help purchasing first bass

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Thread: Need help purchasing first bass

  1. #1

    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: Kansas
    ME: (2) Rgx610m
    MB: Yamaha RBX800
    Rig: IRT Studio

    iTrader: 0

    Need help purchasing first bass

    So I am finally getting my studio together so I can be happier with the quality of my recordings. I've been using a pitch shifter on my 7 in the mean time and it just isn't cutting it. So I am looking to grab my first bass.

    Here is what I am looking for:

    -5 string
    -not complete shit
    -under $400

    I tried out a few at work today. We have a Squier Affinity 5 Jazz bass. It played decently. Unplugged it had some nice snap to it. The string tension was weird though and the pickups weren't very clear.

    There was also an LTD that looked pretty much the same. Can't remember the model, but it had a pickguard and 2 single coil pickups just like the Squier. Unplugged it sounded a little dull, but it sounded better plugged in. Fretwork was a bit nicer, too.

    Then I tried a Fender Jazz bass that was around $699. It played and sounded much nicer. The pickups were much clearer. However, this was more than I wanted to spend.

    The last I tried was an Ibanez SR 4 string. The one with the maple fretboard (SR304?). I had much better string tension even though I'm pretty sure all the models I tried were 34" scales. I can't tell bass string gauges worth shit. Also, I don't know much about them. I can easily get ahold of the 5 string version.

    Anyways, I was told my prices on all 4 and they are all do-able minus the Fender. Each would run me about $200-250 at my price. Which makes my wallet happy. I figured I could do pickup swaps for decently cheap to any of the models like Duncan Basslines or something. But, I'm not sure which is the better bet or if there is anything that would be even better. I hear most people say that you should get a quality bass. Would one of these be good enough with a pickup swap or would these still sound crummy?

    tl;dr - Don't know shit about basses. Recommendations under $400?

  2. #2

    Join Date: Nov 2012
    Location: Parkland, FL
    ME: PRS Custom 24 SE
    Rig: GSP1101

    iTrader: 0

  3. #3

    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Narragansett, RI
    ME: Ibanez ARZ400
    MA: Ibanez AEB10e
    MB: ESP LTD F-5E
    Rig: Line 6 LD Studio 10

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by EffigyForgotten View Post
    I'd go with the ESP personally but I'm biased (see avatar).
    Biomimetic Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Designer

  4. #4

    Join Date: Nov 2012
    Location: Frozen Tundra
    ME: Ibanez-Various
    MB: Ibanez RD707
    Rig: Carvin Legacy

    iTrader: 0

    You can find old Ibanez RD707 and 727s for under that.
    They're the bass equivalent to the old RG570s and 770s.
    But that's only if you change your mind to 4-strings.
    "Retired Air Force....and loving it!"

  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
    ME: Ibanez 540PIIM
    Rig: Peavey 6505

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Why aren't you considering used? $400 buys you a lot of bass, especially compared to the Made in Crapola available brand new nowadays.
    "W yn shn y zhī, shn y xng.
    Tiān xi m nng zhī, m nng xng." - Lao Tse - my band.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: Kansas
    ME: (2) Rgx610m
    MB: Yamaha RBX800
    Rig: IRT Studio

    iTrader: 0

    I have nothing against used. I just get discounts at my work so I started looking there. Another reason is because I don't know much about bass so I was just looking at what we had in stock at the store. I'm open to anything as long as it doesn't suck, plays nicely, neck doesn't feel like a baseball bat, and it lasts.

    But I would prefer a 5 so I don't have to do any ridiculous setups to get it tuned to A. A 6 string would be cool, but I can get by just fine with a 5. Hell, I've gotten by just by pitch shifting my guitar.

    So yeah, I'm really open to any 5 or 6 string as long as it stays under my budget.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: Kansas
    ME: (2) Rgx610m
    MB: Yamaha RBX800
    Rig: IRT Studio

    iTrader: 0

    Also, that Ibanez and LTD don't look bad at all. At the store I preferred the feel of the 4 string Ibanez I played to the LTD. String difference, but it felt nicer in terms of build.

    So I'm going to see if I can check out that SRA555.

    Any used suggestions? I looked at the Carvin site awhile back and they had some options that looked pretty cool. So I'll try and keep an eye out for any of those popping up used.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: Port St. Lucie, FL
    ME: KxK Sii-7ex
    MA: Yamaha FGX700SC
    MB: Warwick Corvette 5
    Rig: JCA22

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Schecter basses are always great quality and bang for the buck. They come with great pre-amps and pickups to start with for the most part so no need to worry about replacement.

    Then the Ibanez SR500 line above is great and cheap. You can get a SR506 for like $300 if you want a good quality 6er.

    Nothing personally aganist LTD for basses but nothing of their modern style basses attracts me enough that I'll strave away from Schecter or Ibanez.

    If you expand your price point to $650 you can get lucky and snag a German Warwick Corvette or a Carvin.
    Last edited by Lopez; 11-25-2012 at 01:53 AM.

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