Jump to content
Dan Dare

Beater bass becomes a favourite

Recommended Posts

Anyone else keep a beater bass lying round at home to practice on? I made a bitsa P which I use for the purpose. Lives on a stand in the lounge. I'm rapidly getting to like it more than my other, apparently better (and certainly much more expensive) instruments. Perhaps it's because I play it every day and am very familiar with the feel of it. Have even started taking it out on jobs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my fave basses is a £100 J&D jazz that I bought coz I like the colour, gets picked up more often than counterparts that are five times the price

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edging its way forward in my affections is my Frankenstein bass, which is the body of an old cheapo Encore double cutaway married to the neck of a Hondo II H-1015 with a Ki0gon loom and an Entwistle P pickup.  It is remarkably good and only 3.1kg.  Its just been promoted from home practice and rehearsals to gig back up.  I think I may give it a try out next gig, has a different kind of vibe to the Gibson LP Jnr DC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up a Yamaha rbx170 a little while ago for peanuts as a backup, put in a fender CS 62 pickup, new electrics, and my strings of choice and it's blinding. I've owned 100+ basses over the years, and the neck is phenomenal, second best I've ever played, plays like butter, sound's awesome, and only weighs 7 lbs. 👍

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have loads to choose from, but two of my favourites are a bitsa P I put together from bits I got on eBay and a Vintage V94 fretless with Rotosound Funkmasters on it. Very much the bottom end value wise. An Encore LTD 83 with flats is also surprisingly good, definitely the best Encore I've played 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up a Warwick '97 Fortress Masterman 5 a while ago as mid-price beater to preserve the better basses for nicer jobs such as home practice and recording.

It's proven to be a firm favourite. Tough, dependable and sits well in the mix (think Stingray)

If it is a shade heavy, the balance is excellent, thanks to that epic long upper horn...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favourite basses ever is my Ibanez Talman short scale, they're only £150 new, cheaper than a set of boutique pickups! Admittedly it's had some minor hardware upgrades - new pots, £10 eBay special high mass bridge, Wilkinson machine heads and I swapped out the pickups for a set from my old Peavey Zodiac. But the upgrades cost no more £50 in total.

It's been shielded and I've rolled the fretboard edges. It's comfortable to play with its distinctly un-Ibanez chunky neck, but it sounds great, resonates as good as anything ten times the cost and it just looks cool, a bit like a Jaguar but with a daft shaped head stock. The only gripe is that it's a bit heavy but it's my go to bass. I prefer it over a number of basses that I've owned that cost many times as much but the Talman just feels right in my hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

361BECDE-2FC6-436A-9087-269FAD9585EE.thumb.jpeg.7cf896781b6521ce4748925714efe1ac.jpeg

This...initial cost £120. Bits and bobs (pickguard and Yamaha Attitude Bridge) £50 ish.

Has seen off more expensive BB’s (1024x/1100s/614) and holds it’s own against any Fender I’ve played (a lot). Lives it’s life beside two basses which would cost £10,000 to order today...and I think these were £399 when in the shops.

A58F583F-C28C-40DC-86B1-3EE737DF52C8.thumb.jpeg.0417313817c4038e1f35b87f55bb29ee.jpeg

  • Like 5

Share this post


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

Encore LTD 83 with flats is also surprisingly good, definitely the best Encore I've played 👍

What flats do you have on your Encore E83? I recall having flats on an old E83 and because of the jumbo frets I kept getting a 'clank' sound every note I played, because of the higher tension of flats against the fatter frets. 😪

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, hooky_lowdown said:

What flats do you have on your Encore E83? I recall having flats on an old E83 and because of the jumbo frets I kept getting a 'clank' sound every note I played, because of the higher tension of flats against the fatter frets. 😪

I don't know for sure - it came with them fitted. They look like D'addario going by the ball end colours and have dark blue silks.

I'm quite heavy handed, but haven't noticed any unusual clanking.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Harley Benton 51 p bass that gets just as much playing time as any other bass, more than some actually.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My old Aria Primary.  Gumtree find.  I've done stuff to it...Dunlop Straploks, Hipshot Kickass bridge, Delano pickup, scratchplate and controls.  Every time I take it out of the house I make sure I ding it somewhere.

This photo is a bit old, it's in even worse condition now. 

 

20190516_194721.thumb.jpg.a92c4c22627e679a7559b373c5fe06cb.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put one together to keep at our rehearsal studio - the idea being to have something good enough to play weekly but not so good that if I turned up to find out the storeroom had been cleaned out one night I’d be overly upset.

Turned out alright - found a mighty mite rosewood on maple neck that somebody had only used to practice applying dodgy F decals and lacquer (not a horrendous job but not fooling anyone!), a white Fender mex-spare-part P body still in the box, Wilkinson tuners, Quarter Pounder pickup, BadAss II bridge, dark tort guard off a Squier CV, CTS/Switchcraft/Sprague parts to build the loom and all the rest of the bits like neck plate, knobs and string tree just Fender spares. I shopped around so it all owes me just shy of £400 for what amounts to a quite pimped up mex standard.

It doesn’t seem to care about being in storage at all sorts of crazy temperatures, I play it every week; it’s comfy and sounds right. Mission accomplished apart from the bit where I wouldn’t be annoyed if it got pinched.. I’d be bloody livid!

F44E96E5-9A3E-4F4A-A192-E2545F8C6D54.thumb.jpeg.33258152f01ec1ba3e02c24eea12dbad.jpeg

Edited by Ed_S
Realised I had a picture to prove it happened, as is the law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My very old Marlin Sidewinder. Wired up just the p pickup, stuck some flatwounds on. Surprisingly enjoyable to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently bought a 70s VM squier maple body. I attached an old MIJ Silver Squier neck to it, that I had hanging around, and it sounds and plays really great.

I'm thinking of fitting a John East Pre amp (which I have hanging around), which will probably end up sentencing, my other much posher basses, to the space under the bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

My old Aria Primary.  Gumtree find.  I've done stuff to it...Dunlop Straploks, Hipshot Kickass bridge, Delano pickup, scratchplate and controls.  Every time I take it out of the house I make sure I ding it somewhere.

This photo is a bit old, it's in even worse condition now. 

 

20190516_194721.thumb.jpg.a92c4c22627e679a7559b373c5fe06cb.jpg

It looks like it's been savaged by a pack of dogs!

I like it!!!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

My very old Marlin Sidewinder. Wired up just the p pickup, stuck some flatwounds on. Surprisingly enjoyable to play.

You may be the first person ever who enjoyed playing a marlin sidewinder. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every time I pick up my Korean MTD Heir which I payed £180 for on here I do wonder why I have so many other basses. If it was my only bass I could be perfectly happy with it. Which begs the question why I keep the rest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, gjones said:

It looks like it's been savaged by a pack of dogs!

I like it!!!!!

I used it for the last gig I did with my old band, kind of knew that was it...I was shouting my way through the last chorus, took it off midway and threw it across the stage.  It had been a fairly rowdy punky gig, a few boisterous punters.

I remember seeing it fly through the air and clatter onto the floor, thinking OMFG.   It was like slow motion.  There were people watching who were just gasping.  

It just lie there, the strings vibrating nastily.  No big damage.  The thing is breakproof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

I remember seeing it fly through the air and clatter onto the floor, thinking OMFG.   It was like slow motion.  There were people watching who were just gasping.  

Far and away it was the best ending to "Moon River" we have ever done.

Glad the bass survived though!

Edited by Richard R
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another beater favourite (though it's in good nick) is my Ibanez EDB605.

Yep. A plastic bass.

Neck is very slim and truss rod needs a tweak from time to time, but tonally it's great, if a bit cold-sounding.

Inspired by this thread, I slackened the strings enough to get the ball-ends out of the bridge and shoved a couple of bits of corrugated card under the neck pick-up as it's always been too low. Adjusted it properly for string-to-string volume and BAM! Now it's really good. Especially for £150.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 19/01/2020 at 17:35, Dan Dare said:

I'm rapidly getting to like it more than my other, apparently better (and certainly much more expensive) instruments. Perhaps it's because I play it every day and am very familiar with the feel of it

I think it may also be that you have limited expectations of such an instrument, so when it delivers you can't help but be impressed. This becomes a somewhat virtuous circle. I have this with a bitsa bass as well. Thing was put together on a shoestring and plays quite nicely. Strange how the psyche works!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed my Korean Squier P. Sold it because I was having some issues with my left hand when playing it, and ideally it needed a fretstone, but would happily have it back. In a band it was better than some boutiques I’ve had. I think it was £120, plus a new scratch plate and wiring loom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/01/2020 at 22:29, hooky_lowdown said:

You may be the first person ever who enjoyed playing a marlin sidewinder. 😉

I know! It just has a very nice neck and still has the NO Technique sticker i put on it about 30 years ago 😀

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...