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Cheap basses .... I've seen the light !

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Theres a lot of really really good cheap kit now; but cheap kit when i was starting out 25yrs ago was my AXE bass which was advertised in kerrang.
The worst piece of garbage i ever played. Crackly pots. Bridge came away from body when it was in tune. Strap buttons fell out.
I loved every bass i ever owned, cheap and dear; except this Axe abomination.
Anybody else suffer this?

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I started on guitar in my mid teens with a Satellite Les Paul, which was about as nasty as could be imagined. Glad to be rid of it when it was replaced with an unusual Epiphone Genesis.

My fist bass playing experiences a few years later were with a borrowed early 80s Squier Jazz, which was lovely. The first bass I actually owned was a 1967 Hofner Verithin, purchased from a mate for £200. I still have it; as a mid-60s semi, it doesn't have the breadth of tone or sustain of my Musicman Sabre, but it's fun to play with a great neck and very light.

Not that I've had much experience of £3,000 basses, butI can't really see myself ever justifying spending that much on one.

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I'm a confirmed "must have Fender on the headstock" kinda guy. Yet I'm rapidly leaning toward getting Squier basses, as, with a little fettling, they seem better!
I bought a Squier Affinity PJ and modified it practically out of existence. I'm about to reverse a lot of that, most particularly the neck, which is fabulous!

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I can only go by my experience that my US Fender P is the best bass I have ever owned. Better sound, playability & very nicely put together. It is better than my MIJ Jazz too (but not by much..).

All the (many) other basses I have owned were cheaper and very definitely not as good in one way or another. They just weren't - period.

Funnily enough, out of those cheaper (and yes, nastier) basses, an early 80's Aria Pro 2 was the stand out instrument that punched well above it's weight. Still couldn't cut through a band mix as well as my current two though.

There are definitely diminishing returns as you start spending more than £750 - £1000 on a bass. Yes you can pick up some cracking new basses for less than that, but I'm sorry they'll only be "great for the money " rather than being genuinely great. (Granted used basses at the moment could be a different story).

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[quote name='Dingus' timestamp='1370785811' post='2105470']
It's also worth pointing out , how good a bass sounds depends a great deal on who is playing it ! I've heard fantastic players pick up a Squire and sound like Pino and I've heard poor players on basses that cost £3000 sound like poor players . You have to have reached a certain level of ability to make any bass sound good .
[/quote]

+ 1 on that.

Jazzyvee

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I have had an OLP Stingray HH copy for nearly 6 years now and recently started looking about for a "proper" Stingray to upgrade to.

Popped into Merchant City Music in Glasgow while visiting a mate & played a £320 SUB Ray 4, a £780 SBMM Ray34 CA Fretless and a £2300 EBMM Stingray Classic.....

Yes, the EBMM was put together very nicely, but the nicest to play was the SUB at almost a tenth of the price and soundwise they were close enough that I didn't really have a preference.

Wouldn't have swapped any of them for my OLP!

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I have to both agree and disagree. I think it depends as to what you want to get out of your bass playing, the sound you're going for, and what gear the bass is going into. Yes it is subjective to your ears, but it depends what those ears want to hear. You may think you're getting a great sound with a £100 bass going into a fairly standard PA / AMP, and someone with different ears may be listening to you thinking "This sounds HORRIBLE!!" You just have to get comfortable with the sound you make.

Personally I am completely in love with my Warwick (German made) as the clarity and preciseness of the sound and it's tone, blew away every other bass i'd played up until that point in my life. I have just got back from a massive 7 hour road trip, culminating in my collection of my first ever Lakland.... so excited to play it.

Last weekend i spent 3 hours in my local music shop A/B testing Fender P and J basses. J beat P for me... and the winner was a £400 MIM Fender J bass (over £800 USA Standard and Deluxe J's) ...... Until the very helpful salesman pulled out a £1275 Fender J '62 Vintage Reissue, that completely stomped all over everything that went before it. (i don't class those fenders as high end).

But then my friend who plays bass in the band that plays at the same gigs that my band plays in, has a £300 squire that he plugs into my gear and gets an amazing sound out of and i've played it and it's brilliant.... but the sound it has is not the sound i'm after.... but i love it.

So you see why i said i agree and disagree!!!

Very early in the morning ramble over.... time to go to sleep!!!

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[quote name='The Badderer' timestamp='1375925670' post='2167582']
I have to both agree and disagree. I think it depends as to what you want to get out of your bass playing, the sound you're going for, and what gear the bass is going into. Yes it is subjective to your ears, but it depends what those ears want to hear. You may think you're getting a great sound with a £100 bass going into a fairly standard PA / AMP, and someone with different ears may be listening to you thinking "This sounds HORRIBLE!!" You just have to get comfortable with the sound you make.

Personally I am completely in love with my Warwick (German made) as the clarity and preciseness of the sound and it's tone, blew away every other bass i'd played up until that point in my life. I have just got back from a massive 7 hour road trip, culminating in my collection of my first ever Lakland.... so excited to play it.

Last weekend i spent 3 hours in my local music shop A/B testing Fender P and J basses. J beat P for me... and the winner was a £400 MIM Fender J bass (over £800 USA Standard and Deluxe J's) ...... Until the very helpful salesman pulled out a £1275 Fender J '62 Vintage Reissue, that completely stomped all over everything that went before it. (i don't class those fenders as high end).

But then my friend who plays bass in the band that plays at the same gigs that my band plays in, has a £300 squire that he plugs into my gear and gets an amazing sound out of and i've played it and it's brilliant.... but the sound it has is not the sound i'm after.... but i love it.

So you see why i said i agree and disagree!!!

Very early in the morning ramble over.... time to go to sleep!!!
[/quote]
This is the point. In basic terms, more cash gets you a better bass. However, this will not necessarily translate into a better sound or playing experience.
What works for you, works. Doesn't matter if it cost £50 or £5000.

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[quote name='fender73' timestamp='1370964947' post='2108031']
Squier CV Jazz. Case closed.

I lust after high end gear, but when it comes down to it, I gig my CV weekly and it does evrrything I need. Its all in the set up for me.
[/quote]

This!

I was on Denmark St with my guitarist friend (we all have one, right?) and we were both blown away by the CV Precision I tried. To echo a few other posts as much as I would love an £xk bass, there's as much joy to be found in discovering a 'diamond in the rough'!

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I agree with the OP wholeheartedly. It's all about working out which cheap basses really are cheap and which are merely inexpensive. I adored my Peavey Fury when I had it and am now in absolute lust with my ibanez SR300, with a neck thin enough to satisfy even my small female hands. The fact that it sounds as great as it looks and plays merely proves the point. It's not necessary to be well-off in order to play a decent bass.


[quote name='Dingus' timestamp='1370790311' post='2105531']
Isn't Daisy Rock a girls bass ?
[/quote]

And your point is...?

When Gibson and Fender started making electric guitars and basses back in the day, I dare say they didn't imagine women playing them. So are these "boy's" instruments, then? And if so, is there anything wrong with girls playing them? The answer - of course - is no, there isn't. And what's more, nobody comments or raises a brow if they do - just as it should be. So why the other way round?

Daisy Rock are indeed geared towards females insomuch as they are guitars and basses with slim, narrow necks and lighter bodies. Yes, there are a few with "fun" shapes like flowers and hearts etc. although, to be fair, those [b]are [/b]short scales and aimed primarily at kids. Most Daisy Rocks are actually full scale and of a "normal" guitar shape. Although, as we all know, plenty of adults play short scales too.

You may be surprised at just how many blokes do play Daisy Rocks. They're a subsidiary of Schecter and come kitted with some serious hardware and pups. Homo sapiens of both sexes are attracted by a combination of quality, sound and a narrow, slim neck. Although, my Ibanez SR300 could kick Daisy's backside when it comes to slender necks and light bodies, it has to be said. But wait! My Ibanez is pretty and slender and sparkly. And this is my point. Blokes play sparkly, lightweight, narrow-necked guitars without raising comment so long as they're not branded as a girl's guitar. My Ibanez could easily be mistaken for a Daisy Rock if it wasn't for the name on the headstock.

I know you didn't actually say there was anything wrong with a fellah playing a Daisy Rock but the comment alone suggests surprise that a bloke would play an instrument made for girls. Nobody questions a female playing other brands which don't need to be advertised as "made for men" since they mostly are anyway! Just as women have become liberated, why shouldn't blokes be liberated too and not be singled out for playing a "girls" guitar? And many men also like the colour pink without losing their masculinity. This [b]is [/b]the 21st century. Surely we can leave stereotypes behind.

No offence or anything. Just sayin'.


[quote name='TRBboy' timestamp='1371140166' post='2110433']
Personally, I wouldn't even bother with the can! Any cheap basses I've had in the last few years that suffer shiny/sticky neck syndrome get a light but even rub down with 1200 grit paper. Goodbye stickiness, hello silky smooth!
[/quote]

Agreed absolutely! I always touch up my plain wood necks - I've even de-varnished one as it was definitely on the sticky side. But I never use anything beyond 600 grit myself. Gives that glassy-smooth finish in no time, especially when buffed with a little beeswax. I like my unvarnished wood necks to be an almost frictionless surface and it only takes me a few minutes to effect this miraculous transformation.

Edited by Cat

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