Bass recommendations $500

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by FenderBluesAAA, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. FenderBluesAAA

    FenderBluesAAA SS.org Regular

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    Hi everyone!

    I really don't know much, if anything, about bass guitars. I am looking for a bass to use for recording, mostly for progressive metal. I want something that I could use for a long time and won't be limited with tonally after a year or so. I wouldn't mind spending a but more than $500. Maybe up to $650 if it's really worth the extra bucks.

    I want a 5 string or 6 string. What would everyone recommend? What should I be looking for?

    I just need some guidance and direction to start my search. Thank you!
     
  2. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    Used SR505/506 would be a great starting point. Might even be able to get a 655 for ~$650.
     
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  3. GenghisCoyne

    GenghisCoyne im here to party

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    +1 for any import mtd. another +1 for used.
     
  4. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    I have a BTB 5 string that is absolutely phenomenal. The 405’s can be found for under $500 all day and are great playing basses.
     
  5. dr_game0ver

    dr_game0ver SS.org Regular

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    MIM Jazz with couple of PUs (EMG, Dimarzio, SD...)
     
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  6. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    A Fender Jazz 5 can cover about any genre. You won't be "tonally limited" with one. There are plenty of used MIM/MIJ models well within your budget.

    Ibanez SR is a good recommendation too and might be easier to play for someone coming from guitar. I'd try to find one of the ones with Nordstrand electronics, as the OEM licensed Bartolinis, while useable, are inferior IMO. Might be a source of the "tonal limitation" you're trying to avoid haha.
     
  7. FenderBluesAAA

    FenderBluesAAA SS.org Regular

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    Looks like I got a wide variety of answers. So maybe, I should ask what to look for in a bass? What makes a bass "metal". Or are Bass guitars not like standard in that sense?
     
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Depends on the type of metal bass tone you want.

    Do you have any examples?

    A lot of it is going to come down to how you approach playing (pick vs. finger), the type of strings you use (round wound vs. flat, stainless vs. nickel), and your amplification.

    Much like guitar, there's very little that really makes a guitar "metal" outside of the type of pickups and how you amplify it. A Telecaster with a bridge humbucker into a boosted 5150 is just as metal as an ESP M-II with a bridge humbucker into a boosted 5150.

    The only thing I'd probably stay away from, in the context of metal bass, would be extra short scales (sub 33") and noisier vintage spec pickups. Everything else is fair game.
     
  9. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I'd go a step farther and say that for bass, there are pretty much zero rules in terms of "what is metal". Just about anything will work, and it all comes down to taste. Some people (like me) play Jazz-style pickups through Ampeg stuff- but that's less about metal and is just a great bass sound all around. Some people like big ol' active humbuckers through dirt pedals into whatever amp they have. Some people are super concerned with scale length. At the end of the day, if it holds down the low end (which 99.9% of basses will do, in some form or another), then it'll work for metal.

    The standard advice of "go try some, and buy the one that makes you the most happy to play" applies.
     
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  10. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Full disclosure: my main bass setup (including for metal) is a Sadowsky UV70 5 into an Ampeg V4B with a couple of dirt pedals.

    While I agree it's pretty much the Wild West when it comes to finding tone, I feel it's intellectually dishonest to ignore some very apparent patterns in gear used in a given context.

    How many metal bassists are using Fender Broncos into Ampeg Fliptops vs. Ibanez SRs into SVT4PROs?

    I'm all for trying out gear, but it's not wrong to steer folks in the direction of more common gear for a given sound.

    We don't just say "get a 5150" for no reason. :lol:
     
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  11. MSS

    MSS Well-Known Member

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  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    We're only really two examples though. Out in the wild, I pretty regularly run into a lot of really varied stuff. Jazz basses and Ibanez SR, etc? Lots of em. But also lots of LTD/Schectter stuff. Lots of fretless. Lots of P-style and humbuckers. Lots of people play slap. Lots play with a pick and dirt pedals. I know all of two Ampeg owners. I see lots of H&K, Genz-Benz, Peavey amps, etc. Orange. Mesa. It's a lot less consistent than guitar stuff.
     
  13. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    None of that falls into the stuff I said you usually don't see. :shrug:

    I actually linked to some of the stuff you're talking about. :scratch:
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I guess I'm not disagreeing. I suppose my thinking is that while you don't see those very often, there's no reason they wouldn't work if someone wanted to use those. A Bronco is probably only an aesthetic thing, and in terms of amps, the important feature is just to have enough power to not get buried under an aggressive drumming style.

    Google is only showing me Squier Broncos.... is that an entry-level only kind of thing?
     
  15. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Short scale, non-humcancelling pickups, not very adjustable bridge. They tend to sound very flubby unless you gut them, but you're never going to get them snappy.

    They've made various Fender ones over the years, but they might be Squier only at the moment.

    Cool little basses, but I can't see them working in any metal context without a heap of work and for more of a "throwback" Sabbath-worship/doom kind of band.

    Again, I think it's disingenuous to say that everything will work for anything by sheer force of will. I'm not going to recommend a Les Paul Jr. for a Dream Theater cover band over something with a trem, 24 frets, and Piezo pickups. There are just features that tend to be grossly incompatible vs. features that tend to be very compatible with certain styles and sounds.
     
  16. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Fair enough.
     
  17. FenderBluesAAA

    FenderBluesAAA SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the advice! The style would be mostly progressive metal. Like Dream theater but I'll also want that tight djenty sound at times as well.

    I'll be playing with a pick for sure. But may switch to fingers once I develop those techniques.

    Strings: most likely the cheaper Ernie balls or d'addarrio, whatever type those would be.

    And amplification would be modelers like the POD HD. I won't be playing live or anything. It will be purely for recording purposes.
     
  18. Brutal08

    Brutal08 SS.org Regular

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    Ibanez sr800 805 from early 2000 people sell them for dirt cheap and they sound and play great
     

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