Jump to content
Why become a member? Read more... ×
Al Krow

Your best (and worst!) bass gear purchases of 2018?

Recommended Posts

Best:

hRA6kOl.jpg

 

My SKC Bogart Blackstone. I spotted it for sale at The Gallery through the BC Commercial Sales forum and that was that, I had to have it! I've wanted a Bogart for years but my plans to buy one in years past have always fallen through. I have a different favourite bass in my collection every day but I think this one has had the most use so far this year. It makes me smile every time it comes out of the case. Graphite neck+Barts and a Noll preamp makes for a happy lad. 

Worst:

Phil Jones Bass Bighead. 

It's an amazing little pocket preamp with loads of useful applications and tight, clean tone that really lets a bass sing. However, I've had so little time to use it I haven't even flattened the battery since I got it a few months ago! I need to make an effort to use it more as it's a great bit of kit and just the sort of thing I need.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My best purchase this year should have been the Alembic Epic I bought in June, best bass I’ve ever played. Sadly, a couple of months after buying it, I contracted a bad case of six string GAS and sold the Alembic to pay for my current family of three Ibby sixes. As Al Krow says, my most recent is a 1206, too soon to if it’s my best purchase aa haven’t played it out of the house yet.

Apologies for typos, using my phone in a castle on a very windy bit of north west coast!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best: Dave Hall VT2 Eq pedal. Had one before but sold it; I’d forgotten how good they are.

Ernie Ball cobalt flats get an honourable mention too.

Worst: nothing really, I’ve managed to resist impulse purchases this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best purchase for me has been my Musicman Stingray Special. It’s been my only major purchase this year so I’ve luckily not had a ‘worst’. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought a second hand Squier p bass for £30. Replaced tuners, electronics, installed high mass bridge and spb1. Resprayed it and put a new pickguard on. With flats it sounds great.

Don't do bad purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been brought up on valves I have perpetually had a hankering for an all-valve head.  Over the years I tried Marshall, Laney, Orange and Mesa.  They were all OK up to a point but apart from the Mesa they were all far too bulky and heavy.  Following WoT's recommendations this year I bought a Handbox WB100 and I love it.  Fantastic tone and I can carry it in one hand, even though I'm a 70+ 5'6" midget.  Things got even better when I acquired a Bergantino NV115 in a trade to partner it.  What would it sound like with two of them?

Not really worst  but most mistaken purchase was probably the 2 x10" cab from BC's favourite supplier.  Nothing technically wrong with it but it just didn't do it for me.  It must be my defective hearing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Chris2112 said:

Best:

hRA6kOl.jpg

 

My SKC Bogart Blackstone. I spotted it for sale at The Gallery through the BC Commercial Sales forum and that was that, I had to have it! I've wanted a Bogart for years but my plans to buy one in years past have always fallen through. I have a different favourite bass in my collection every day but I think this one has had the most use so far this year. It makes me smile every time it comes out of the case. Graphite neck+Barts and a Noll preamp makes for a happy lad. 

Worst:

Phil Jones Bass Bighead. 

It's an amazing little pocket preamp with loads of useful applications and tight, clean tone that really lets a bass sing. However, I've had so little time to use it I haven't even flattened the battery since I got it a few months ago! I need to make an effort to use it more as it's a great bit of kit and just the sort of thing I need.

Hi Chris, could you tell me Something: I used to own a Blackstone 5 but had concerns about the neck's stability. In fact it has a slight bow even when no strings on. The guy behind the brand (I forgot his name) told me it happened sometimes and that he could mill a truss rod channel and install one, but in fact he gave no sign of life quite soon). I ended up selling the bass cheap (around E 600) -mentioning my concern- though the sound was really really good . Did you notice this slight bow with no strings on too?

Edited by totorbass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Al Krow said:

That's over 2 gigs a week and, assuming you're not doing this for a living, that's pretty impressive going! Mostly pub gigs?

@bassfan

Well, in total we have 117 gigs this year. We would of done more but some dates we were not available. Next year we already have about 80 gigs booked and a couple already in 2020. No, nope doing it for a living, we all have day jobs sadly. We just work really hard and really enjoy what we do. In the summer months we've had it where we've done 3 gigs a day and we play mostly clubs, pubs, private parties, weddings and festivals, be it music or beer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, bassfan said:

113!! Noooo that’s a lot of gigs... we’ll end up around half that.  113 gigs, I think I’d be using the money to fund a divorce 😂😂

Hahaha well the total for the year is 117. Plus, I did two dep gigs for a Children in Need event the other weekend so my total for the year will be 119. It would of been more but we had to turn a few dates down 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Linus27 said:

Hahaha well the total for the year is 117. Plus, I did two dep gigs for a Children in Need event the other weekend so my total for the year will be 119. It would of been more but we had to turn a few dates down 😊

Well you're doing extremely well, I must say! What's the name of your band - I assume you have some decent promo material up on YouTube to be getting so much good work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My best purchase of the year was my Swift Lite bass made by our own @Andyjr1515

The worst (not that I had much to spend after buying the above) was a replacement Jack-to-Jack lead. Two days after buying it I found the one I'd 'lost'. It's an age thing. 😂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best - the Stingray 5 stealth I picked up a few weeks ago on here from Derek. Fitted with some pink DR Neons it looks the absolute business for my 80s band. It's superb to play and sounds great.

Worst - Behringer P2 IEM cabled up headphone amp. Thought I'd try to go cabled and cut out interference but the sound was so muffled and unclear compared to my ancient cheapo wireless unit that I used it for one rehearsal and never again. Fortunately it was only a £30 error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best for me is my Engelhardt Swingmaster ES 9. She's big, blonde and sounds great and gets as many compliments for her looks as her sound.On top of that she is fun to play and easier to haul around than I thought. My EB and EUB are good but this big acoustic has taken me to another place.

No worsts yet but I'm waiting for a new set of Zyex strings to arrive and I'm hoping they will be another good purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Well you're doing extremely well, I must say! What's the name of your band - I assume you have some decent promo material up on YouTube to be getting so much good work?

The band is called The Dolomites and we are basically a 50's/60's party band. To be honest, our guitarist is just really good at getting us gigs and its also worth mentioning that this is our first year together so not bad for a new band. We do have a few promo videos but we dont really use them to get gigs. This first one we recorded at the start of the year. It us miming to our own studio recording on top of a pub roof 😁 Cost us £50 as well 😁

This second one we did a few months back in an amazing American diner in Horsham. About a third of our gigs are acoustic so we wanted to try and capture this by doing a rough live acoustic "around the campfire" type video. Also worth saying that this Kala UBass I also bought in 2018 and is certainly a best buy for me. You can also see the Fender Mike Dirnt in the background so both of my 2018 best buys in one video 😁

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best? No contest. Bruce Thomas Profile Bass. Awesome. Worst? Markbass amp. Let me down at a gig and can't get it repaired by my choice of tech.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hah! Just had a "like" from the excellent young mister @TJ Spicer to my OP which was bigging-up my Yammy BBNE2 as my best purchase of the year. Well there's a little story here: turns out that this particular bass was originally his (passed through one other's ownership before being gratefully received into my hands). TJ went out of his way to dig out the original paperwork for me and to send it over (he happened to have bought from my favourite London store - Wunjos, just to add to my smile) - great guy and great bass!

I really do like playing my passive Yamaha BB1025 but in comparison the BBNE2 brings a degree of tonal "light and shade" that puts it in a different league. I saw an ad for a white BBNE2 just recently in the "Items Wanted NO TRADE" section; but it only needed a quick play on the bass to remind me why I fell in love with it and why moving it on any time soon would leave me with a massive dose of seller's regret.

Ok it's definitely time to unbox that Helix Stomp...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

The band is called The Dolomites and we are basically a 50's/60's party band. To be honest, our guitarist is just really good at getting us gigs and its also worth mentioning that this is our first year together so not bad for a new band. We do have a few promo videos but we dont really use them to get gigs. This first one we recorded at the start of the year. It us miming to our own studio recording on top of a pub roof 😁 Cost us £50 as well 😁

Love the pub roof video - brilliant! 

Gigs are the life blood of any covers band. My 50s/60s band, who have been around for a few years now, have had nothing like that amount of success in getting gigs - so hats off to your guitarist for getting sooo many gigs, particularly for a newly formed band. I take that you all have very supportive / understanding other halves who don't mind never seeing you at weekends?!

11 minutes ago, stewblack said:

 Worst? Markbass amp. Let me down at a gig and can't get it repaired by my choice of tech.

Sorry to hear about the Mbass - which model amp was it? Feels like a little bad luck - all the Mbass owners I know have found them to be incredibly reliable; I had a AC 121 Lite combo which didn't miss a heartbeat in 4 years of use and had all the headroom I could have ever wanted and for me is still one of the very best gigging combos available - would have no hesitation in recommending it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Al Krow said:

Hah! Just had a "like" from the excellent young mister @TJ Spicer to my OP which was bigging-up my Yammy BBNE2 as my best purchase of the year. Well there's a little story here: turns out that this particular bass was originally his (passed through one other's ownership before being gratefully received into my hands). TJ went out of his way to dig out the original paperwork for me and to send it over (he happened to have bought from my favourite London store - Wunjos, just to add to my smile) - great guy and great bass!

I really do like playing my passive Yamaha BB1025 but in comparison the BBNE2 brings a degree of tonal "light and shade" that puts it in a different league. I saw an ad for a white BBNE2 just recently in the "Items Wanted NO TRADE" section; but it only needed a quick play on the bass to remind me why I fell in love with it and why moving it on any time soon would leave me with a massive dose of seller's regret.

Ok it's definitely time to unbox that Helix Stomp...

I actually found some more paperwork for you Sir - the original signed certificate most importantly - it was in a different case! I need to dig out your address from the PMs and get it sent over to you in time for Xmas! Thank you for the kind words. It's a great bass, and I'm glad it's found such a loving owner. Whilst I'm here I'll play! 

Best purchase of the year is tied:

My MTD USA AG5 and Eich T900. I bought them both together which veritably destroyed any bass budget for the last 6 months of the year, but they've been great purchases and have been out with me on almost every gig since I've bought them, easily 50+.

The worst purchase sadly goes down as a bit of a surprise as my Ashdown BTA200.

A great deal and an incredible amp, which I still used to record my second EP just for the incredible tone, but it quickly suffered playtime as I purchased the Little Stubby CTM 30 prototype from Ashdown's stall at the bass guitar show this year. In all honestly in my musical situations, it's hard to crank that much brute force. However, next year could be a very different tale for the big brother Ashdown with some different and much larger gigs on the horizon!

Ultimately, no disasters and a good year of purchases, with, best of all, plenty of gigs to justify (and repay!) them all!
 

 

IMG_1234.JPG

IMG_1236.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Linus27 said:

The band is called The Dolomites ...

zZToY75.gif

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DOLOMITES  - that's bad

No hand rail on that roof 🤸‍♀️           If you had used music stands you could have put some warning tape round the band, oh sorry that's a different thread 👍

 

 

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, totorbass said:

Hi Chris, could you tell me Something: I used to own a Blackstone 5 but had concerns about the neck's stability. In fact it has a slight bow even when no strings on. The guy behind the brand (I forgot his name) told me it happened sometimes and that he could mill a truss rod channel and install one, but in fact he gave no sign of life quite soon). I ended up selling the bass cheap (around E 600) -mentioning my concern- though the sound was really really good . Did you notice this slight bow with no strings on too?

 

I have never experienced anything like that. Like all the other graphite-necked basses I have owned, the Bogart has been uniformly stable. I've went through several sets of strings (following some great advice from another Basschat user on using pliers to pull the strings taut before locking them). I never take the strings fully off any instrument though, changing one for another as I go through the pack.

However, I can understand the issues you have had. A few years ago, SKC Bogart folded. It has since been resurrected by the original builder, Stefan Heß. I have read posts from one Bogart owner in America who could not get some parts for his bass whilst the company was inoperative. They have been back up and running for a few years now and have expanded their model range beyond the Blackstone models that seemed to be their sole product the first time around. I have heard of graphite necks shifting, though it's very rare. Anecdotally, I recall accounts from Talkbass about a Zon and a Modulus (both pre-truss rod) where the neck had 'shifted' after fitting and produced an unacceptable bow. Certainly in the case of the Zon, the neck was replaced and the instrument went on. With the Bogart being a bolt on neck, I would imagine a replacement neck would solve the issue, as would the solution of having the instrument fitted with a truss rod, though neither is ideal. My bass is almost 25 years old so I think it will be alright. For the price I paid for it (£950) I think it's just sublime. The tone is just gorgeous and it sits really well, being articulate and clear without being too prominent or obnoxious in a mix. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Just three weeks before this year's out, so for anyone in BC land still looking to make their mind up on what to ask Santa for (or to plead with him to definitely avoid) what's the thing that has bought the biggest grin to your face and is, for sure, going to be a keeper and what got the thumbs down big time?

Only "house rules" are that it's bass gear and something you bought it in 2018.

Let me get the ball rolling :) best purchase: it's going to have to be one of three basses - either my Ibanez SR1805 with it's very well balanced (and not too heavy) body, playable neck, 3 band EQ (with variable mids) and last but definitely not least "to-die-for" Nordstrand big single pups with their trademark growl, or possibly the fantastically good value Yamaha BB1025 P/J which, with its treble tone dialled off on pure P or combined P/J, is just lush! And then there's the Yammy BBNE2 (I fortunately managed to pick up used 'cos they're definitely not cheap). This matches everything the Ibby has to offer, including individual bridge string pieces, and then adds a sculpted body (to thoughtfully accommodate the older less-slimline gent such as me), a lovely neck-through and has one of the most more versatile EQs (this side of a Status with its full parametric set up!)

Hmmm...well today it's the BBNE2

Yamaha BBNE2.JPG

My worst - well my 'meh' prize should probably go to the EHX Bass Microsynth, which was just very 'meh' in everything it did and lasted all of couple of weeks in the Krow household (Aside: if you want a gig-able, excellent bass synth pedal the best out there IMO is still the Panda FI and I'm very grateful to my mate @bassfan for making his available to me!)

 

:D

I used to have a Microsynth... loved it, but ended up not using it much and sold it... 10 years ago.

Back in 2015 I bought a Future Impact. Impressive range of sounds. As a 'synth', it is superior, no question. But as something that goes with bass rather than substitute it, I prefer the Microsynth. That's why the Future Impact was sold after just a few months and... I've just bought one of the newer EHX Bass Microsynth  pedals that run at 9V. I just wish it could store presets. Seriously funky pedal. To me, obviously ;)

Now, to the point... best 2018 purchase? It's got to be the Schecter Model T bass...

ModelT_BFTwo10_UrangMatangGalashiels_May

 

The worst... the little Eno TC-61 envelope filter. Just... terrible on bass.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, mcnach said:

Now, to the point... best 2018 purchase? It's got to be the Schecter Model T bass...

ModelT_BFTwo10_UrangMatangGalashiels_May

Damn! That is one fine looking rig! And there was me previously thinking that the black grilled BF cabs were a touch ugly. They're clearly not! :) 

And the "form-factor" of your Schecter is just kinda spot on, isn't it?

I did finally yield to getting an 8 string a few months back, and yes it was a Schecter that I had been hankering since the start of the year and which came up used from a great chap in Scotland who has subsequently recently joined BC:

Schecter I.jpg

The only reason it's not made my short list of best bass gear I bought in 2018, is well errr...I've still no idea how I'm going to be using it in either of my bands' sets! 😂

All you need now is to trade in your Mesa D800+ for that rather splendid recently released Mesa WD-800 and you'd have me very envious indeed! 

Edited by Al Krow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, mcnach said:

... I've just bought one of the newer EHX Bass Microsynth  pedals that run at 9V. I just wish it could store presets. Seriously funky pedal. To me, obviously ;)

Oh yes, you've totally reminded me, that's another BIG bug-bear of mine, pedals where you could potentially have several different settings for live use and then not be able to store presets. Had a MAJOR rant about that earlier in the year! 😂

Edited by Al Krow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×