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[REPOST] For the Bassists

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[REPOST] For the Bassists

Post by dextoi on Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:34 am

I'm hoping to start this thread to hear your opinions ... and hopefully this will be pinned to help aspiring bassists buy something they need as oppose to buying something overly cheap or expensive and they are not satisfied with. all figures are pegged on a 4 string bass's value.
to start:
1.) 3K and below = this bass will probably be crap. it might not have truss rods and its action will probably kill your fingers or its scale length is so short, its basically a guitar with 4 strings. if its action is low, chances are it will probably buzz along the frets. no decent bass here.
avoid this price range especially when you are in a guitar store.
when to buy it:
-when you just want to have a bass lying around the house.
-when you just want to know what a bass feels like.
-when you are not sure whether you'll stick to playing bass.
2.) 3K-5K - japanese surplus stuff range. this is a very challenging price range and probably requires experience to be able to tell whether you are lucky, ripped-off or got what you payed for. some very good basses are here as far as action is concerned ... soundwise though, dont expect high output ... lets just say that they will cut thru the mix depending on the size of the venue you are playing.
if you see this price range in a store (think JB and RJ), expect them to be at 5k but will sound something like 2.5K worth.
when to buy it:
-when you are a beginner. choose the one with good action - make sure the truss rod is there and the bridge is not broken.
-when you are starting a studio business.
3.) 5K-8K - decent japanese surplus range. this is also a very challenging price range since just like the above price range, you will be either be lucky, ripped off and got what you paid for times 2. its a bigger risk ... and since you will be dealing with 2nd hand items, you need experience to really tell whether the purchase is worth it. basses here usually have a good wood in them. soundwise, they will range from being average to being good... its rare to find basses that sound really bad here - unless you are dealing with a rip-off artist.
if you see this in a guitar store, you will NOT be getting something you paid for... however, i tend to like fernando or those fender jazz bass clones ... i just think they are worth 5K max though.
when to buy it:
-when you are a serious beginner.
-when you want a decent bass for your studio business.
-when you collect good sounding but cheap stuff.
-when you need a back up bass.
-when you are in a good band but you dont have money to buy a really good bass.
4.) 8k-15k - this is the price range where you will potentially find a bass you will stick for life (or until you make money to buy a new one). a lot of good stuff here ... at 8K range, you will be finding yourself good 2nd hand greco stuff and jazz bass clones that will kick a**. you will still get ripped-off at this price range ... you will probably end up getting something thats in the 5k-8K line even if you paid 10K ... but still, it is hard to get a terrible sounding bass at this range. a lot of famous brand names are here, except they are made in korea, china, etc. this range also opens up the option of getting an active pick up courtesy of ibanez. 2nd hand stuff here is a gold mine... just look at this forum's buy and sell section.
this price range is safe in the store since most are away from the RJ's and the JB's ... just be sure to test them. they will almost all have decent wood in them...
when to get it:
-after you earned it, meaning, you are better than "beginner" level.
-when you are rich and you want a back-up bass.
-when you want a bass you will stick with for life until you make money (ive said this).
5.) 15K-30K - a lot of good basses abound here! if you can afford this price range, it is impossible to find a terrible sounding bass (most of them will be active). as usual, you will still get ripped-off but still, you will have a decent bass. i suggest you go with active basses in the 20K price range.
most stores carry stuff that are at this price range, just pick out whichever sound you like best.
when to get it:
-when you have money.
6.) 30K and up - not my field... i call this GAS level range. the ones i tried are yamaha active basses and they are pretty good, but for the price, i think it is possible to find a bass that you are completely happy with. if you try it are and are somewhat, slightly, minute-ly and a teeny weeny bit uncomfortable... do not buy it. simple as that.
Excemptions to the rule:
1.) you know the owner and he needs money desperately.
2.) a drug addict is selling it... its probably stolen or his brain has been numbed with drugs.
3.) basses that are in terrible condition but can be restored.
4.) the seller doesnt know the value of his bass. he either stole it, is a rich guy who forgot the cost of his purchase or he is just a plain rip-off artist.
5.) you are a very good haggler.
-*-
UPDATE 03/29/08
wow, amazing that this thread is still alive... i remember writing this when i got my Yamaha BB604 and i thought i wouldnt want another bass. Since then, i have owned a Pre-EB stingray and a Warwick Vampyre Darklord (i have a warwick buzzard 5 heading my way, not to mention a Vampyre LTD 5 stuck with my GF in Amsterdam) ... i had some one-night-stand basses like an MIJ Fender P-bass, and an ibanez ... but i dont consider them my GF basses *lol*
I re-read the thread and surprisingly, i still agree with a lot of the things i wrote. I still have good experience regarding the 30K and below bass price range.
I can give my opinions on the 30K and up basses now though. Here goes:
*30K - 90K basses = believe it or not, this price range is one of the MOST DIFFICULT price range to shop in. Before i get into that, let us talk about RESALE VALUE:
OK, resale value is defined as "the value of the brand new bass when you resell it."
Some mid-hi priced basses have good resale values (i.e. Fender, EB Musicman, etc.). The cheaper your bass is, the better the resale value.
Now if you own a warwick, a high end Lakland, a high end Spector, etc. then be prepared to take a loss when you resell it ... because from 90K those basses can only be sold around the 30K-40K price range.
when monetary value is your concern, try to go for those used Alembics, warwicks, etc. because they are a good buy...
When you buy something brand new, go for those hi-end Fenders, Musicmans ... you should know though, that their brand new prices are equal to the 2nd hand prices of the mid end warwicks (i.e. Thumb NT, Streamer LX, etc.)
Q: So why is it difficulty to buy in this price range?
A: Because if you dont like its sound you would feel like crap spending 50K!

Q: But aren't they suppossed to have good sound and high quality?
A: Yes, they have good sound and quality, its just unlike the 29K and below price range, where everything sounds like a different versions of Fender basses, the upper budget area bases are usually made with exotic wood, and in the process, might sound 'too modern' for you... i doubt that you would really love playing a warwick thumb NT on your reggae band.
also, most of these basses are unforgiving... unlike a yamaha BB604 that can hide sloppy playing, these mid-hi end basses are unforgiving of mistakes and lazy playing techniques.
Remember, the basses in these price range is not the "be all, end all" of your GAS ... but from my experience, it is the most rewarding ... because when you find a bass that is your voice, the happiness and joy of playing cannot be gauged by monetary value:
When to shop for basses at this price range:
1.) when you have the money
2.) when you are beginning to see who you really are as a bass player.
Note:
Contrary to my statements of "when to shop for basses" ... they are just stereotypes - there really is no "check list" to decide what bass and which price range you should buy.... realistically:
You buy a bass when you can afford it.
That's all... skills, awards, level of education are not factors in determining whether you deserve a bass of any price range.
Thank you for reading this thread ... My only reward is knowing that this little guide of mine helped you in finding a bass that is right for you.
-IncX, Philmusic
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Re: [REPOST] For the Bassists

Post by evilmickey08 on Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:00 pm

+ 1
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