Cheap cheap basses

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Axe Cop, May 12, 2018.

  1. Axe Cop

    Axe Cop SS.org Regular

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    I'm looking to buy a cheap bass for recording. I'm a guitarist and know nothing about basses.

    The two I'm looking at are the Ibanez GSR200 and the Yamaha TRBX174. Does anyone have any experience with these or would I be better off saving up a bit more for something like a Peavey Millenium or an Ibanez SR300?
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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  3. Axe Cop

    Axe Cop SS.org Regular

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    Unfortunately no. I'm about an hour from anywhere like that and I would hate to burn half a day striking out.
     
  4. Dumple Stilzkin

    Dumple Stilzkin Special needs member

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    Old Ibanez sound gear is what you need, you snag a Japanese made one. It will play and sound really good, for around 300$.
     
  5. johnucol

    johnucol New album out now: https://goo.gl/PdPVYh

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    +1 for old Ibanez basses. I've seen SRX basses fetch for like 200-250 USD (sans shipping if none in your locality), those were good as my first bass, though they were quite heavy.
     
  6. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist SS.org Regular

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    I picked up a Yamaha RBX170 new for under $200 about 15 years ago and it's still doing the job. You could probably find a used one now for $100 or less.

    I've recorded countless tracks with this bass. Good neck, good action, decent tuners and bridge. Solid as a rock and flexible sound with the P/J pickups. The pots are a little wobbly, that's about the only negative thing I can say. I've been thinking about replacing the electronics and maybe putting in a set of DiMarzios, but I hate messing with something that works fine.

    The low string could use a little more definition, but I'm expecting some improvement with a string change to a slightly higher gauge... right now it still has the strings that were on it when I bought it :D
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Your location in your profile is listed as "Moon." Since shipping to the moon is astronomical, you ought to go ahead and buy a nicer bass.

    Seriously, though, it totally depends on your personal tastes. Nearly everyone here loves Ibanez basses, because of the guitar-like feel of the instrument. A few of us can't stand them for exactly that reason, though. There are lots of cheap basses out there, and most of the newer budget models are actually decent in quality.

    I say take the plunge and then, if you don't like it, trade it for something else. Rinse and repeat until you find something you like. Or, much smarter, make the drive to a music store and try a bunch of basses out to see what you like and don't like, and save yourself hundreds of dollars in shipping back and forth and all of the weeks of waiting.
     
  8. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    In addition to the ones mentioned above, the Fender Classic Vibe and Vintage Modified models seem to be decent value.

    I've got the lowest-end Ibanez Talman bass and I'm pretty happy with it. I think it retailed for $179, and I got it for less than that with a GC coupon.
     
  9. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    In my opinion, the biggest factor affecting how comfortable the bass is to play is nut width. P-basses and copies have an extra wide nut, which I do not care for because it makes the strings too far apart. I prefer a jazz bass nut, which is 1.5"

    Honestly though if they made a bass with an even narrower neck than that I would want it.
     
  10. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    You're not alone in thinking that.

    A lot of old P-Basses have J-Bass neck swaps. The opposite is also fairly common when digging through old Fender basses.
     
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  11. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Glad to know they are easily swappable because I've always thought it would be cool to have a p bass body
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Maaaaaan this place is great. :lol:

    But anyway,
    IMO, it's harder to cheap out on a bass than on a guitar because you're more likely to leave it clean in the mix - the character of the instrument comes through a lot more than it would if you buried it under a mountain of gain (although maybe you plan on doing that anyway). I think a big consideration should be the kind of bass sound you're aiming for. I really like the clean J bass sound, so I would tend to aim for something with good passive single coils in it. Maybe you want the more "modern" sound, where you can get away with humbucker-type options and one of those Darkglass pedals. I never liked a lot of Ibanez basses for precisely the reason lots of people like them- that is, they're very "guitar feeling" kinds of basses. They're easy to play and accessible to someone coming from guitar, so that's a selling point for some.
     
  13. Axe Cop

    Axe Cop SS.org Regular

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    Thank you guys for your input I really appreciate it. I know you are right saying I just need to go out and try a bunch of basses. I didn't even consider nut width or realize it was smaller on Ibanez basses so thanks for that tip.
     
  14. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    I went through a few cheap basses and ended up liking an old beat up Squier PJ Bass. I ended up buying a brand new one and swapped the neck on it, as well as al the parts. Came out well, but not sure about the DiMarzio pickups anymore.

    Skip to 2:56
     
  15. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    That DOOM bit at the end hahahaha
     
  16. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    Thanks!



    I re-uploaded the video for those that hated the intro on the other one...
     
  17. TheGuitarPit

    TheGuitarPit SS.org Regular

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    I just bought a cheap bass...and it sucks! Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass. Even at $230, it's hard to recommend. It's possible I got two lemons in a row, but that's enough hassle for me.

    Here is a video review:

     
  18. stevexc

    stevexc Contributor

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    Honestly, given the reviews for them (and my own experience) I'd say you did get two lemons in a row. They're generally very well received, if not as well as the Classic Vibes.
     
  19. TheGuitarPit

    TheGuitarPit SS.org Regular

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    I bought it because I've heard so many great things about the classic vibes. I know this one was a tier down, but figured it would be at least 75% as good.

    The first one I received had a broken neck joint and two of the tuners were literally rusted clean off. How is that even possible? I was busy with other stuff and this one (the replacement) sat in the box until the return window closed. It's got a lot of other things I didn't bother covering in the video -- glue on the fretboard, the pickup makes a bunch of noise if you touch the plastic housing (wtf), and obviously it's impossible to set up because the neck isn't straight, even after a truss adjustment.

    I know that's my bad, but 2/2 isn't great. Just wanted to put that out there because I see a lot of unanimous Squier recommendations, but my luck has been less than ideal.
     
  20. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    You're pretty much flipping a coin on the Vintage Modifieds.

    I tend to recommend them, but with the idea that they're so incredibly common at Guitar Center, Sam Ash and just about any Fender dealer that stocks basses, that you try the exact one before you buy.

    If you're going to buy stuff like this online, go with a dealer that actually inspects thier stuff, like DCGL or Sweetwater, or take advantage of GCs new setup feature. It's typically a few bucks more, but there's a better chance of not getting junk.
     
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