Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sellisnba

Gigging with a cheap bass

Recommended Posts

I regularly gig round Exeter with either a P copy I got for 30 quid 25 years ago, or a 150 quid harley benton upright, and occasionally the ibanez I got for a tenner off ebay and rebuilt with cheapy bits off an old kay (fretless it is now) all through a harley benton amp (just short of £200 for 500w).

And i am &*^%ing awesome, ask anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've kept cheaper instruments & sold on more expesive ones. My Epiphone Viola feels & sounds better than the Tokai version.

Conversely I found my Tokai EB3, (my favourite to gig), to be as good as the Gibsons I tried.

The Speakeasy Bass Collection I had, to me, was hardly any different to the MIJ originals I owned.

My first 2 intruments were a Jazz & a P from Legend & were excellent. I hated the Fender Hot-rod P, it weighed a ton.

I think there are some good quality instruments to be found nowadays at fair prices. Far-east QC is bettter now. I've been looking at the Ibanez AGB200 lately. I've not played one but by all accounts Ibanez are finished well & value for money.

I do find that I have to string, set-up & play an instrument for a few weeks before deciding to keep or not. Sometimes the strangeness or feel or tone of a new/different guitar needs to be mellowed with time. And sometimes I'll favour one over another & then later reverse the favouritism.

Edited by grandad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes absolutely you can gig lower end basses. Currently gigging an Ibanez SRX530 (£260 new) and and an Overwater Tanglewood Classic J (£299 second hand). For the level of my ability, standard rock/hard rock covers and and the Pub venues I play they are more than adequate. Tuning needs minor adjustment every few songs but tone and playability they suit me fine for now. Perhaps in a few years I will be a bit more snobby and demanding. :blink:

Edited by stuckinthepod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All my basses are well made and have good pups, with reasonable hardware. I've never paid more than £250 for any of them.

However, play what the heck you like - it's all good. If playing an expensive bass with a fancy logo gives you confidence and makes you feel good, then that's great. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gigged my Squier P-bass Special quite a bit (and in preference to my US Jazz!). It's a great Indonesian bass that cost me all of £150 second hand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends how you define "cheap" of course - but I'll happily admit to gigging with a £99 Stagg fusion fretless (albeit fitted with DiMarzio pickups, and carefully set up so it plays/sounds somewhat better than it did out of the box).

My main bass is an Ibanez SR600 (about £500 new) and for the small pubs I often play this is about as high as I'd go value-wise, as despite being careful; some of these pubs are so small that I'm hitting the wall with the headstock whilst the edges of the cymbals are denting the body. :(

If I had a bass valued any higher I'd definitely be choosy about what venues I played it in as I'm not a fan of basses that end up looking "roadworn" "relic-d" or otherwise battered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think I agree with most of what has been said here. I play various secondhand basses, and my current fave is a Vintage V4 I got secondhand from the forums here. To my mind if it plays and sounds the way I want it to, and can hold onto the tuning for more than one song, then it's good enough. That said, if someone put a stack of cash in my hand I have no doubt I would go and buy a pile of expensive 'dream' instruments on a whim, and then probably not play most of them...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main bass cost less than £300 brand new.
I've played other instruments that cost twice that will no impulse to change. My bass is exactley what I want & does everything I need.

Its down to the person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't even start me on the dear gear is better thing. All I will say is that when you are on stage with a full band c/w with a loud as hell drummer and screamer for vocals......it doesn't matter what you play because the people out front (and probably yourself) won't be able to make out the little sweet toney bits that you hear at home playing away to backing tracks etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've spent 40+ years keeping that big F on my headstock. And that was probably fine. But my two main basses are now Squiers, aP/J hybrid and a P5.
The Fender P is the backup...And very good it is too, but the hybrid smokes it. Has uograded tuners and pickup, all else is stock.
Nowt wrong with cheap these days. However, as Blue says, back in the day, it wasn't quite such an easy choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking of getting a Sandberg decal put on this, do you think it looks the part?

http://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad50/vinnybassist/soundcheck_zps94d87c5e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='TimR' timestamp='1411419455' post='2559430']
This is a fantastic thread that goes someway to answer your question (or not):

[url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/231907-what-does-it-mean-to-outgrow-cheap-but-good-for-the-price-basses"]http://basschat.co.u...he-price-basses[/url]

Cheap is a difficult quality/quantity to define.

I've gigged a £400 bass for ten years. Is £400 cheap? £40 a year, maybe £2-£3 a gig?

Don't know.
[/quote]

that would make bobby vega's J worth about 3p per gig :gas:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been through 16 basses and almost half as many amps/cabs in three years. Of that lot, my go-to bass was a £10 Aria P Bass clone, although now it's a Tanglewater Classic jazz that jumps in my lap. Some basses do that and some don't. Plus a good setup and experimenting with different strings can make a big difference - they're not all the same, including between different basses. And amps do matter. I could never get on with my TC BH250, but my Warwick Fet IV will be buried with me.

Looking back, my best bargains were the £10 Aria and a £50 HiWatt combo. Never had them at the same time but I think that would have done me - £60 for bass and combo. End of! :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Squier electric basses exclusively now, having previously owned £1500+ basses. I've just recorded our next album on a Squier too. I agree with Xilddx here. Some people are very quick to spend a fortune on basses and rigs, less keen to spend out on lessons or put time in on practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Vinny' timestamp='1411482304' post='2559907']
I was thinking of getting a Sandberg decal put on this, do you think it looks the part?

[url="http://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad50/vinnybassist/soundcheck_zps94d87c5e.jpg"]http://i920.photobuc...zps94d87c5e.jpg[/url]
[/quote]

Top man!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='BigGuyAtTheBack' timestamp='1411455353' post='2559577']
Just about to gig a £40 Peavey Milestone 3 from evilbay.
[/quote]

I have one of those that came at the same price. When you look at the spec - alder body, maple neck, single coil pickups etc etc and compare it to the big F there is little difference. The body is an excellent design. Is my USA G&L x15 better - very debatable.

Edited by 3below

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my basses are sort of mid-price to relatively expensive and I've grown quite attached to them. A recent trip to the US had me worried that whatever bass I took might have an accident in transit or go missing. Thinking I'd be rather upset, I bought a Squier Affinity PJ for £190 to use on the trip. When it arrived, I got the toolkit out ready to adjust the action and intonation, only to find it was perfectly intonated and I was quite happy with the action. I ran it straight through the PA for a couple of gigs I did before we left and it sounded great. I've done about a dozen gigs with it so far and it's more than paid for itself. I loaned it to a young bass player nearby who was really impressed by it so I ordered one for him which he loves. If I'd one complaint, it would be that the tuners are a little too easily upset by being put in the case etc., but that's being picky. For the money, I can't believe how good it is and I'll be keeping it for similar trips. The airline managed not to damage it, but they did push one of the feet in on the case I used for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='steve-bbb' timestamp='1411483271' post='2559921']


that would make bobby vega's J worth about 3p per gig :gas:
[/quote]

That's really my point. The bass is a tool. It wears, you replace parts (pots, strings, nuts, machine heads, frets). Will a cheap bass last 10 years? Is it a cheap bass if it lasts 10years?

I think it's about return on what you paid for the bass rather than absolute value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you can just look at this forum to see that a great bass doesn't have to be an expensive bass, there is a lot of love on here for Bass Collection basses and Squire VM basses, personally I regularly gig an £80 battered half to death, Squier Mike Dirnt Precision, brought purely because a few people on here raved about how good they are....they were completely correct, it is as good and giggable as any of the far more expensive basses I own, in fact on two occasions only someone has come up after a gig and said "wow your bass sounded awesome" both gigs were with the Mike Dirnt Squier !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least we play a readily affordable instrument, and one that we can sensibly aspire to own the exact same instrument and gear as any of our musical heroes. Indeed, I find it quite humbling to know that in my Fender P & J basses I own two instruments that have been used by some of the greatest players to have ever lived and immortalised in countless recordings and hit records. Humbling because it gives me no help in excusing my mediocre ability.

Perhaps I should have taken up violin so that I could blame my performances on the fact that I can't afford a Stradivarius ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use to gig occasionally with a Dan Electro about $150.00. Great sounding thing, cool looking and getting rid of it was probably a mistake. Not that any of you will even notice the bass. :D

Blue

Edited by blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='jonsmith' timestamp='1411499265' post='2560143']
Most of my basses are sort of mid-price to relatively expensive and I've grown quite attached to them. .
[/quote]

Yeah, this Gibson ES-335 is my newest bass haven't gigged a lot with it yet. I paid a little over 2K. For me that's expensive.

Blue

Edited by blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='blue' timestamp='1411514773' post='2560361']
I paid a little over 2K. For me that's expensive.

Blue
[/quote]

Expensive for most i would guess Blue.
Lovely looking bass though :gas:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...