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sellisnba

Gigging with a cheap bass

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Hi all.
A question that's been floating around in my head for a while "who gigs a cheap bass". I just thought i would try and get some feedback on this. I've been looking through a few forums (probably not the best thing to do) and the attitude of some people has surprised me a bit. The fender forum was interesting, a majority of people seem to think anything that hasn't got the F logo on the headstock might as well be used as fire wood.
There seems to be (on other forums) a particular hatred for anything Chinese or Indonesian and for that matter short scale is a swear word to some people!? :unsure:
So whats the feedback from the Basschat mind? Are cheap basses good enough for the average pub band player or do you feel the need/want for more? When i first started to learn [size=1]guitar [/size]a bit of advice i was given is that a good amp can make a bad instrument sound great, plug a good instrument into a bad amp and the it will sound crap. So i guess a decent amp helps as well. I understand that some people are in a position to buy expensive gear but what about the budget conscious player.
Feedback would be appreciated.

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I regularly gig with a £150 Bass Collection with a £110 Bass Collection as a back up. Don't give a monkeys about how much it cost, if it's a player, it's a player.
Last weekend it was a raather tasty ACG, so both ends of the spectrum.

Edited by BassBunny

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Todays 'cheap instruments' are great. My main gigging bass is a Squier VM Jazz and I love it. I've gigged a 'Sue Ryder' Bass too with no problems. The circuit I play old Ethel wouldn't know the difference between a Sue Ryder or a Sadowsky anyhoo.

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I play a Squier VM precision with an Ibanez ATK as a back up, and they are great basses for the money. The Squier was £240 and the ATK was £200. Granted, I do play them through a Gallien Krueger MB210 combo paired with a 2x10 extension cab, so, yes, if you have the money to spend on a decent amp or a decent bass spend it on the amp. Basses can be modded, amps less so. Case in point - I replaced the frankly rubbish Duncan Designed pickup in my P bass for a Tonerider, have just added a Tonerider jazz pickup at the bridge, plus a new stack-pot wiring loom from Basschat's very own KiOgon. I now have a great P/J bass with extra tonal possibilities which sound fantastic through my quite lovely sounding rig. One happy bunny. :D

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I've gigged a Sue Ryder P too. And I've done 100's of gigs with a Westone Thunder, and more recently a Vintage V4 that I picked up from here for under a ton.

If it plays OK, and makes a sound that you're happy with, what's the problem?

As for those that say "it has to have the F word on the headstock" ... F 'em. As long as [i][b]I'm[/b][/i] happy playing it, I don't give a monkey's what anybody else might think.

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I was hoping to hear a few response's like this. It does feel like there is more maturity on BC than there is on other forums :P . The general gist of things is if the punter is happy with the music you play, Who gives a toss what instrument you play.

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[quote name='barkin' timestamp='1411404528' post='2559195']
As for those that say "it has to have the F word on the headstock" ... F 'em. As long as [i][b]I'm[/b][/i] happy playing it, I don't give a monkey's what anybody else might think.
[/quote]

Agreed. Plus, the punters wont know (or care) about the price of your bass.

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[quote name='sellisnba' timestamp='1411404759' post='2559200']
The general gist of things is if the punter is happy with the music you play, Who gives a toss what instrument you play.
[/quote]I keep telling our guitarist/singer this, hasn't sunk in yet! :D

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[quote name='sellisnba' timestamp='1411404759' post='2559200']
. The general gist of things is if the punter is happy with the music you play, Who gives a toss what i[s]nstrument[/s] BASS you play.
[/quote]

Fixed :D

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I have a good few basses, but at the moment I gig a Squier P I bought for £10. A guy was going to throw it away and it was pretty beaten up when I got it but after a bit of TLC it looks and plays great.

Im currently tuned to drop F♯ with a set of .175 - .85's and it sounds incredible though my rig.

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Let us face it. The weakest part of the signal chain is the player.

sh*t player + amazing bass & rig = sh*t bass.
Amazing player + sh*t bass & rig = amazing bass.

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[quote name='SteveK' timestamp='1411405125' post='2559208']
Who told you that? My guess is it was a music shop assistant knowing that you were in the market for an amp, and trying to get you to part with more of your "hard earned" than you wanted.
[/quote]

It was my guitar tutor at the time.

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I don't know what happened... I posted once, it appeared twice, I delete one, both posts disappear. Maybe a mod can un hide one.
[quote name='sellisnba' timestamp='1411405286' post='2559211']
It was my guitar tutor at the time.
[/quote]
He was wrong.

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I have two MIM Fender Precisions that I gig with which I would say are mid-range price wise but I use them because I love them.

I'd be more than happy gigging with anything that I was happy with regardless of how much it cost or where it was manufactured.

A bass is a bass and if you're happy with it and it works for you then thats whats most important.

Guitar wise I have a £100 Chinese Schecter and a £1000 American Gibson Les Paul... Too play I pick up the £100 Schecter first!

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Spending lots of dosh on a bass is more about making you feel better (for a little while) than about making you sound better. IMHO of course. :)

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There's a fair bit of affection here for decently screwed together budget basses - I think a decent setup can do much to improve playability and tone and my most expensive bass also happens to be my oldest (Japanese built Westone).

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In my experience, just because a bass has an expensive price tag, it doesn't necessarily guarantee it to be a great instrument.
How many of us have picked up a bass with a 4 figure price tag only to put it a minute or so later feeling totally underwhelmed by it?
And the oppose applies too - just because it's cheap it doesn't necessarily follow that it's nasty.

There are of course exceptions to both of the above!

I regularly gig a £200 Peavey Zodiac, I've even done big paying wedding gigs with it. OK, so I've upgraded the pickups and ditched the mirrored scratch plate for a plain acrylic one but other than that it's as it was when I bought it. The neck profile is by far the most comfortable I have ever played on any bass regardless of price.

And for the record I also own and gig 3 Sandberg's - a California JM, a California VM and a Basic too. There's no denying the quality of each of the Sandberg's, they simply exude it.
But, and it's a big but, the Peavey is a HUGE amount of bass for the money, it's well made, plays like butter and even looks pretty good too.

As a couple of others have already said, if it's right for you then it is right. Sod what anyone else thinks, especially the gear snobs :P

Edited by Osiris

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[quote name='xilddx' timestamp='1411405214' post='2559210']
Let us face it. The weakest part of the signal chain is the player.

sh*t player + amazing bass & rig = sh*t bass.
Amazing player + sh*t bass & rig = amazing bass.
[/quote]

These sorts of posts really do boil my waste bodily water. What utter nonsense. Great gear=great player. All my gear is cheap and I'm rubbish, proof if proof was needed so there.

;)

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IME the main issues on a cheapy bass are not with sound and playability, it's things like poor quality tuners and noisy electronics, dodgy jack sockets, cheap components that can affect its reliability and tuning.

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[quote name='xilddx' timestamp='1411408961' post='2559266']
IME the main issues on a cheapy bass are not with sound and playability, it's things like poor quality tuners and noisy electronics, dodgy jack sockets, cheap components that can affect its reliability and tuning.
[/quote]
Nail on head hit. As usual. Nicely put.

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This is reassuring. I will be gigging a cheap bass (Squier VMPJ) in the near future, purely as I currently lack the cheddar to acquire a quality bass. Going by what I'm reading, maybe I should hang on to the Squier and pour the money into a good amp instead.

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90% of the time I gig with a s/h £80 OLP 5. Had a bit of rewiring and shielding (total 25€) I don't even take my Custom Shop Jazz to gigs now as I don't break strings and don't need a back up.

Don't care what's on the headstock. I love it.

As someone already said, " if it's a player, it's a player"

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1411409785' post='2559279']
This is reassuring. I will be gigging a cheap bass (Squier VMPJ) in the near future, purely as I currently lack the cheddar to acquire a quality bass. Going by what I'm reading, maybe I should hang on to the Squier and pour the money into a good amp instead.
[/quote]

I regularly gig the active Squier Jag I won in the SE Bass Bash. I swapped the neck for a cheap Mighty Mite ebonol fretless, put Hipshot lollipop tuners on it, swapped the bridge for a Hipshot. It's a great sounding and playing bass, and it packs a mighty wallop for the dub tones I need, I don't even use the active boosts on it either, it rarely needs it, they are all set on their centre detents. Proud to play it anywhere. Looks f***ing cool too.

Edited by xilddx

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Although most of my basses are Gibsons and therefore by definition made in the USA and not "cheap" (some recent examples are firmly approaching mid priced it has to be said), I currently have a Yamaha BB450 which I restored from parts and cost me less than £100. Great bass, happy to gig it any time and have played it at several gigs. "Cheap" basses I have gigged include:

Yamaha BB450
Yamaha BB300
Yamaha BB614
Squier Bronco
Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Mid priced stuff:

G&L Tribute L-2000
G&L Tribute M-2000
Epiphone Jack Casady

Don't even start me on some of the snobbery that gets thrown around, I find it pretty disgusting to be honest. An instrument is either good or it isn't, according to the person playing it and no-one else and it doesn't matter a jot where it was made or who made it.

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