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Nicko

Cheap gigging gear

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We played a short gig at a school for charity.  We were luck enough to be able to set up in the hall on on Thursday, set levels and  and simply turn up to play on Friday.  It wasn't a particularly big space but I'd decided to go with a backline as well as DI and used my old Ashdown Mi10 rather than my Markbass 102.  It sounded great from where I was standing at least.

As everything was working fine on Thursday I didn't bother taking my spare bass.  Whoops. As I plugged in five minutes before we were due to start the jack socket disappeared into the hole and I was left bassless.  While I frantically tried to remove the pickguard to fix it the drummer turned up with a borrowed bass from the school's music department.

An Encore PB copy.  Currently availabe new for about £100.

The fingerboard was a bit narrow but it sounded OK and the levels weren't massively different from my own Squier CV Precision (available new at around £340) which I use in preference to my American Special PB (no longer available new but around £900 new).  The Mi10 was around £200 while the Markbass is about double that.

So the important lessons are

1.take a spare bass

2. Inext time you buy something start with trying the cheap stuff.

 

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Isn’t your story also a case of checking your gear regularly? I’m guessing the jack socket is held on by a nut and washer that had come loose, or fallen off?

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3 hours ago, ambient said:

Isn’t your story also a case of checking your gear regularly? I’m guessing the jack socket is held on by a nut and washer that had come loose, or fallen off?

Yes - entirely my fault as the nut has come loose several times before. 

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It’s a good call, last year my bass inexplicably wouldn’t work at a gig - was fine at home when I checked it before leaving - so borrowed a Squier Matt Freeman Precision for the gig. Was great, only cost a third (maybe even a quarter) of my US Precision and was plenty enough for me - why on Earth did Squier stop making them?

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Because we all know the US versions turn you into a rock god! 😉

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My Fender P was playing up last year at a rehearsal (some pickup soldering had come loose) so my mate dug out a cheapo Squier P he’d been using for teaching. 

It sounded absolutely fine - plenty of bassy noises and perfectly good to play too. I’ll be borrowing that as a spare in future. 

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I realised a long time ago that, when it comes to instruments (especially Fender's and Gibson's) top of the range doesn't necessarily mean the pinnacle of playability, I have a couple of US Precision's that sit in cases whilst Mexican or  bitsa basses get the gigs, it has likely saved me thousands of pounds in disappointing spends on high end famous basses when I know the budget stuff can be so capable and rewarding!

Perfect example, I have now owned and sold 3 really nice Gibson Les Paul's whilst I have kept and still love a bottom of the range Chinese  built Tokai Love Rock, which guitarists in two of the bands I played in have chosen to record with over their USA expensive counterparts! Both have offered to buy the guitar if I ever choose to sell it. The best £300.00 I have ever spent.

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My Church used to meet in a school. I was not down to play bass that morning. The bassist could not make it. I had to step in. I raided the music room and picked up the only bass there. Plywood. Tuned the G with pliers cos the machine head was not there. It was ....... not what we all hope for. It made that bass sound and no one even noticed that I did not bring any of my basses which have cost at least 10 times as much.

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12 minutes ago, Roger2611 said:

Perfect example, I have now owned and sold 3 really nice Gibson Les Paul's whilst I have kept and still love a bottom of the range Chinese  built Tokai Love Rock, which guitarists in two of the bands I played in have chosen to record with over their USA expensive counterparts! Both have offered to buy the guitar if I ever choose to sell it. The best £300.00 I have ever spent.

Our guitarist in an old punk covers band did exactly the same, Les Paul Custom out of the door, Love Rock there to stay. Fantastic guitars.

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16 hours ago, Roger2611 said:

Perfect example, I have now owned and sold 3 really nice Gibson Les Paul's whilst I have kept and still love a bottom of the range Chinese  built Tokai Love Rock, which guitarists in two of the bands I played in have chosen to record with over their USA expensive counterparts! Both have offered to buy the guitar if I ever choose to sell it. The best £300.00 I have ever spent.

Many years ago, feeling a bit flush after a year or so in my first job in London, I went down to Denmark Street with the intention of buying a Les Paul. I tried a few but wasn't impressed with any of them. I came away with a Korean-made Love Rock, which I still have and love.

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I've got an old Arbiter Les Paul which I bought for pin money years ago in a second-hand shop, which is a fantastic version. No idea where it was made, but it's a good un...

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There's something in this

I have a Mike Lull (fantastic) a Maruszczyk (nearly as good) and a Bass Collection precision that cost £100, which is not quite as good as the other 2 but not far behind at all. If I gigged the Bass Collection no-one would notice the difference sound-wise and it looks good too.

Maybe as I'm an old git I remember the awful cheapo basses and guitars from the 70's which is why I've bought the expensive stuff

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On 08/02/2020 at 16:56, Lozz196 said:

It’s a good call, last year my bass inexplicably wouldn’t work at a gig - was fine at home when I checked it before leaving - so borrowed a Squier Matt Freeman Precision for the gig. Was great, only cost a third (maybe even a quarter) of my US Precision and was plenty enough for me - why on Earth did Squier stop making them?

Royalty issues I believe. 
 

I wanted one and put the feelers out recently. I got offered a couple, the respective owners wanted £425 and £450. For a Squier... 

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I gig regularly with a J&D ‘75 Jazz bass which is excellent and cost me £105 new. The bang for buck factor is strong.

Edited by BrunoBass

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