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Vomitor 2006-08-01 00:43

Buying a Bass? FAQ
 
Hi, perhaps the heading is misleading, well sorry. I am going to buy a bass and don't know the first thing about what companies are of good quality and what I should be looking out for when deciding what to purchase. I will be getting a 5 stringer, so that should narrow things down a little. Well brains, get to working!


Top Seven Companies
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1. Spector ?
2. Ibanez ?
3. Fender ?
4.
5.
6.
7.
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Active vs. Passive Pickups?

Valtiel 2006-08-01 01:12

Well we need to know a lot more info about you and your playing before we can start throwing companies out there. What style of music do you play? How big are your hands? How much money do you have?

Vomitor 2006-08-01 01:19

Well I will be using it primarily for metal and jazz styles. I'd say my hands are average? Anything less than $1,000 is in my price range though I'm really looking for something that is good but not overly pricey.

epitaph 2006-08-01 02:15

Check out used Ibanez's and Spector's. Where do you live?

Cassius 2006-08-01 11:19

Can't go wrong with a Fender Jazz bass.

Yertle4 2006-08-01 11:34

Companies are mostly irrelevant, except for those companies that only make cheap instruments. Basically, do a little research on the net (http://www.harmony-central.com/Bass/#pro) and then go play basses and look at the price tag. If you don't know the first thing about bass, it's probably fine to buy a crappy but cheap no name bass so you learn the feeling of it and then when you know what you like after a while, go buy a decent one.

Blood Red Bass 2006-08-01 11:49

If he is going to be playing jazz as well as metal, Ibanez woud be the best choice, in my opinion. Higher end spectors have very hot pickups which make them more suited for growling metal tones, but not smooth/warmer jazz ones. If your price range is up to $1000, i think you should get an Ibanez SR505. It has good active pickups, feels great, and has a look that can fit in both styles of music. It is usually $569.

Cassius 2006-08-01 18:59

Also, it might not be a bad idea to buy a four string first. Starting a five string may prove to be a little tricky as far as getting proper technique down.

BassBehemoth 2006-08-01 19:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassius
Also, it might not be a bad idea to buy a four string first. Starting a five string may prove to be a little tricky as far as getting proper technique down.



That is true.

Vomitor 2006-08-02 19:44

I live in the D.C. area. I had a chance to play a few basses, but there were so many different brands I wasn't sure which were good and which were crap. I did play an Ibanez because I recognized that company and actually liked the bass, a six string. I agree with buying cheap and then moving up, but I plan on recording right away. Plus the resale on shitty instruments can't be good I would imagine. I'll check out that link you posted, thanks. What do some of your favorite bassists use?

Zionist 2006-08-02 22:40

Buy a soundgear series Ibanez bass. A good one to start out with is the sr500 model. Or if you're looking for a five string, I would go for the sr900. But it's all up to you really. Choose wisely.

Party Time 2000 2006-08-03 12:15

one that works...

Subsonic6string 2006-08-03 22:49

Small hands or small ability???
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtiel
How big are your hands?


That has to be the most ridiculous statement ever!!!!! I have small hands and fingers, yet manage to SHRED on a 6-string. If you think hand or finger size has anything to do with ability, you are missing out on technique!!!!!!!!! Try proper hand placement (ie: thumb placed at a 90 degree angle on the middle of the neck) and you'd be amazed!!!! For a perfect example of hand or finger size having NOTHING to do with ability, check out Jean Baudin play the Mario Bros. Theme song on his 11 string bass!!!! (DUMBASS...)

That being said, I would recommend an Ibanez 5-string. Reasonably priced, yet fairly good in quality. You can always upgrade the electronics down the road.

Cheers.

:beer:

Vomitor 2006-08-04 01:03

I wouldn't think hand size should matter really. I'm no expert though, which is why I came here, for some advice. Alright then I will be looking at the Ibanez models tomorrow and see what happens. Any other brands besides Fender that I should check out?

Vomitor 2006-08-04 01:06

Ah and though they sound good I'm not a big fan of those battery operated pickups, what are they called EMG's? I just know I played with a guitar that had one and it was fun, but then the battery died.....end of fun. What sort of pickups come with the Ibanez basses? This probably doesn't matter a whole lot, but if I can say that pickups on guitar are pretty important, not sure about bass.

Vomitor 2006-08-04 03:51

Here's a bit of a list

Guitarcenter.com
________________
Squier® SQ MB-5 5-String Bass $229.99
Squier® Standard P Bass Special 5 5-String Bass $249.99
OLP MM3 with Flamed Maple Top 5-String Bass $279.99
Ibanez GSR205 5-String Bass $279.99
Ibanez SR305DX 5-String Bass Electric Guitar $339.99
OLP Tony Levin Signature 5-String Bass $349.99
Ibanez BTB205 Electric 5-String Bass $379.99
Yamaha RBX375 5-String Bass Guitar $396.99
Ibanez SR305FM 5-String Bass $399.99
Ibanez EDB405 Electric 5-String Bass $399.99
Schecter Stiletto Deluxe-5 Bass $399.99
Schecter Omen-5 5-String Bass Guitar $399.99
Cort Curbow 5-String Bass $429.99
RockBass by Warwick Streamer Standard 5-String Bass $429.99
Yamaha BB415 5-String Bass $449.99
Ibanez SR405 Soundgear 5-String Bass $479.99
Yamaha BB615 Active 5-String Bass $499.99
Ibanez SRX505 5-String Bass Guitar $529.99
Schecter Stiletto Custom-5 Bass $549.99
Schecter C-5 5-String Bass $549.99
Ibanez SR505 Bass $579.99
RockBass by Warwick Corvette Basic 5-String Bass $589.00
Schecter Stiletto Elite-5 Bass Guitar $599.99
RockBass by Warwick Corvette Classic 5-String Bass $599.99
Fender® Deluxe Active Jazz Bass V $629.99
Schecter Stiletto Studio-5 Fretless Bass $649.99
Ibanez SRX705 5-String Bass Guitar $699.99
Ibanez BTB555MP Electric 5-String Bass $699.99
Fender® Dimension 5 5-String Bass $769.99
Yamaha TRB1005 5-String Electric Bass $799.99
Ibanez SR905 Soundgear 5-String Bass $849.99
Schecter Stiletto Studio-6 Bass $699.99

Valtiel 2006-08-04 04:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subsonic6string
That has to be the most ridiculous statement ever!!!!! I have small hands and fingers, yet manage to SHRED on a 6-string. If you think hand or finger size has anything to do with ability, you are missing out on technique!!!!!!!!! Try proper hand placement (ie: thumb placed at a 90 degree angle on the middle of the neck) and you'd be amazed!!!! For a perfect example of hand or finger size having NOTHING to do with ability, check out Jean Baudin play the Mario Bros. Theme song on his 11 string bass!!!! (DUMBASS...)

That being said, I would recommend an Ibanez 5-string. Reasonably priced, yet fairly good in quality. You can always upgrade the electronics down the road.

Cheers.

:beer:


Haha chill, I never said ANYTHING about it effecting technique or ability, just someting to consider when buying a bass, i.e. something with a slimmer neck if he has really small hands. Wouldnt want to to give someone with tiny hands a Warwick. Hand size does matter, given that you obviously play with them, their size will be something to consider.

And yes I know all about Jean Baudin and his extended range insanity. And if the dumbass was directed at me, that wasnt necessary and neither was the technique lesson. Im sorry, its just ive always been a stickler for having everything to do with an instrument, playing or otherwise as flawless as humanly possible.

Quote:
Ah and though they sound good I'm not a big fan of those battery operated pickups, what are they called EMG's? I just know I played with a guitar that had one and it was fun, but then the battery died.....end of fun. What sort of pickups come with the Ibanez basses? This probably doesn't matter a whole lot, but if I can say that pickups on guitar are pretty important, not sure about bass.


Most Ibanez basses come with passive pickups, ones without a battery. Active pickups are pickups that have a preamp built into them to boost their output, making up for the fact that the pickups themselves have much fewer windings of copper (meaning less output) and this preamp is what the battery powers. If you want, i'll explain the basic tonal differences between active and passive pickups if you fell it will help.

Blood Red Bass 2006-08-04 06:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vomitor
Ah and though they sound good I'm not a big fan of those battery operated pickups, what are they called EMG's? I just know I played with a guitar that had one and it was fun, but then the battery died.....end of fun. What sort of pickups come with the Ibanez basses? This probably doesn't matter a whole lot, but if I can say that pickups on guitar are pretty important, not sure about bass.

As you go higher up the quality list, you will usually find more basses are fitted with active pickups. EMGs are a particular brand of active pickups and one of the best examples of how they can make a guitar sound at least, I don't think I have ever seen them for basses though. But yeah, most of the time with active pickups the battery will last 16-24 hours of playing time depending on how long you play. The Ibanez SR505 is outfitted with Bartiloni's which are pretty fuckin sweet and the same pickups Flea uses. Active pickups do tend to get really annoying when you are playing and then the sound suddenly dies, but with a little maintence, you can really get a louder, punchier sound.

Valtiel 2006-08-04 16:33

Actually, once you reach a certain point, most basses have passive pickups (Ken Smith, Modulus, Pedulla, MusicMan, Tobias, Roscoe, Nueser) most of which have passive Bartolinis or their own design of pickups coupled with some form of active preamp. IMO, in the bass world active pickups are mostly used as a gimmick on mid-priced instruments. Its not to say that active pickups arent good, its just it seems the word "active" is thrown around just because it has a more positive connotation than the word "passive". Most really high end manufacturers that build quality instruments use passive pickups, with a few exceptions, like Alembic, but they have their own design of active pickup which are much more natural sounding than something like EMG's.

epitaph 2006-08-04 16:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vomitor
I live in the D.C. area


Its enough for you to live in the states, we have around 3 shops in the town
and every shop carries around 5 different basses.

Now the resale thing.
You might want to buy an used bass thats utter shit, you can always
resell it for the same price if its cheap enough.
I'd always suggest to buy a used bass, preferably from a trusted source.

I've only played a few Fender 5-string basses, but I could already tell
from those two that they should just stick in making 4-string models.

Just go check out the five stringed ones by:

Ibanez (I only have a little experience with them, some have
shitty B strings and some have wide necks, i.e. BTB series)
Spector (performer and legend series are affordable gems)
Warwick (you can get a Corvette STD for like 600$ as used)
Yamaha (not much to say, only played a few basses, they were decent)

But dont bother with Washburns and Warwick rocbasses,
those are usually full of shit from my experience.

People tend to say get a 4 string first, they might be right, cant tell.
My first bass was a 5 stringed one, but I still ended up getting a 4 string
as my main bass. See for yourself, I dont really have that much of a use
for a 5 string one at this point, I might have in a year or two though.


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