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What Bass should I buy?(between 1000-1500)

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55 minutes ago, OliverBlackman said:

You’re on basschat now, it won’t last a year 😂

To clarify - GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) will get you in its evil jaws. Some people own basses for just a few weeks before moving them on in favour of something else that is equally/more shiny. If it’s of reasonable quality it will do, whatever it’s price tag. Even cheap stuff is decent these days and there is enough experience here to advise how to make it better than that.

 
i would never spend your budget on a bass even now. £500 is the most I’ve ever spent on anything and that got me (admittedly with some luck) into US fender/German-made Warwick territory. 

Edited by Geek99

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This looks good to me for a newbie 

caveat - I don’t know the seller, just trying to give an indication to you

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, TJ1 said:

Thanks for the advice. Thinking about it spending this sort of money on a guitar at this time might be a little unwise/insane

As for buying something cheap to learn on I am not sure. When I was learning acoustic, my teacher said 'buy the best you can afford' and I have not regretted it.

Obviously I need to try them out but there look to be some pretty nice used Sandbergs on sale for 600-700, this might be the sweetspot in terms of a guitar that I might actually want to keep

 

 

That's very, very good advice - in general terms. Though to be fair there are probably fewer key variables when talking about an acoustic guitar - take solid woods as read then it's just body shape, neck width and profile, woods (which frankly once you've gone solid top is probably less critical) and electro or not.

With bass, you're talking about several different pickup configurations and types all of which are designed to give different tonal flavours (as opposed to an acoustic guitar where they're deliberately trying to be transparent), much wider scale length choices, body construction (solid, chambered, semi-solid, bolt on neck, set neck or thru neck), much greater variance in the range and type of active circuits (if you go that route), number of strings, body shapes (both visually and ergonomically in terms of how they sit/hang)... all of which, in the end will come down to developed personal preference. No one's suggested buying a £50 Argos bass - rather, initially, going to the mid-range of the market where the quality to pound ratio these days is, frankly, hard to believe. Take something like the Lakland or G&L brands where a £1200 US made model probably only gives you 5-10% "performance advantage" (however you could quantify that) over their £500 far-East manufactured "budget models" which are less than half the price and are fully professional quality instruments in their own right. Lots of the other mid-range brands offer similar performance to cost ratios.

Having said that, if you're looking at Sandbergs as your target instrument you, frankly, won't go far wrong with any of them . They are wonderful basses and great quality and value even at the new price point. And then if you're looking at a second hand one in the £600-£700 price range they're an absolute steal and, should you eventually move it on for some other type of bass in the future you won't really lose any money on the deal. But once again, even that's moot as Sandbergs definitely fall squarely in the potential "...this is my bass for life.." category!

I know that if I was looking for a new bass right now (I'm not but a man can still look and dream!), it would be definitely be a Sandberg - and it would very probably look very much like one either of these...

1509025407_Sandberg2.png.32545e88f56a1c12843630f37e04787c.png

254033666_Sandberg1.png.567806337416e94b78a195b4698bacc6.png

Not that I've been thinking about it, or anything! ;) 

 

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Buy 2nd hand. Then when you come to change you get nearly all your money back and sink it into the next one.

The "ONE" there is not. Only the chase there is.

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I love that blue burst. Looks similar to my Fender Sandblasted. Just needs black hardware 🙂

 

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My only advice is not to think of a 4 string as a beginner bass and a 5 string is an upgrade. 

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6 hours ago, Geek99 said:

i would never spend your budget on a bass even now. £500 is the most I’ve ever spent on anything and that got me (admittedly with some luck) into US fender/German-made Warwick territory. 

I once got tired of cheap fare and started buying more upmarket.  Spent £600 on a secondhand Ibanez single cut.  Sold it within a month. Why? It sounded and played like a bass.  Like the ones I'd routinely bought for £100-200.  The only slightly posher  bass I bought that startled me with the quality of its handling and sound was a Fender P.  The brand you don't fancy because its a brand leader. Like you, I tend to prefer looking in the corner no one else is, but with basses the masses may be right.

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3 minutes ago, lownote12 said:

I once got tired of cheap fare and started buying more upmarket.  Spent £600 on a secondhand Ibanez single cut.  Sold it within a month. Why? It sounded and played like a bass.  Like the ones I'd routinely bought for £100-200.  The only slightly posher  bass I bought that startled me with the quality of its handling and sound was a Fender P.  The brand you don't fancy because its a brand leader. Like you, I tend to prefer looking in the corner no one else is, but with basses the masses may be right.

I’m a big fan of not paying too much, but I think its worth pointing out that a better made bass has more chance of lasting. Ive never damaged any bass ive had, but ive had cheap basses whose necks would never stop changing, tuners that needed replacing, wiring that was poor and unreliable. These were all cheap (sub £300) basses ive had over the years. These days £300 will get you decent gear, but doesn’t guarantee a long lasting 100% reliable bass if you are going on tour etc.

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Lots of sound advice with these ringing true for me..

3 hours ago, owen said:

Buy 2nd hand. Then when you come to change you get nearly all your money back and sink it into the next one.

The "ONE" there is not. Only the chase there is.

I'm not a fan of "run of the mill" basses and I think I've only ever owned 3x Fenders, none of which impressed.

As many have pointed out, there are very few poorly built new basses - lots of people have recommended Sire, G&L, but the entry models for Spectors and Warwick are very usable and shouldn't be ignored.This is true of many brands - surprised there haven't been more recommendations for the Revelations.

Looking through the "Basses for Sale" thread there are some excellent basses available (including my Spector and G&L) a very nice through neck Spector, some very good VFM Squiers (don't think of them as a "Poor man's Fender") all in your budget and leaving plenty for a nice (Trace Elliot??) amp.

I'm not too far from you - if you want to come and try some of my equipment for ideas, then PM me.

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That sounds like a good offer to me ...,

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34 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

surprised there haven't been more recommendations for the Revelations.

Out of my 40 + basses down the years one of the best made, playing and sounding is my fretless Revelation.  £199 new. Don't know what their fretted basses are like. There's more room for painful skimping when you've got frets to fettle.

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12 hours ago, TJ1 said:

Thanks for the advice. Thinking about it spending this sort of money on a guitar at this time might be a little unwise/insane

As for buying something cheap to learn on I am not sure. When I was learning acoustic, my teacher said 'buy the best you can afford' and I have not regretted it.

No reason you would regret it. But you also don't know if you would have regretted something cheap.

I have done over 80 gigs with a bass that cost less than £300, the rest with something a bit more expensive. Once you get past £300 you are just finessing what you want, which obviously you don't know.

If you haven't played the bass before, getting something over £300 would seem a little mad to me, but obviously its your money.

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11 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

I love that blue burst. Looks similar to my Fender Sandblasted. Just needs black hardware 🙂

 

You can waste/invest sooooooo much I’ve on the Sandberg “Configurator” web page ! ;)

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Just now, TrevorR said:

You can waste/invest sooooooo much I’ve on the Sandberg “Configurator” web page ! ;)

Yeah, been there many times. Always had a lucky escape though 😁

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I joined this Forum to take a break from 'Talkbass' but judging by this thread 'There's nothing new under the Sun' . You would get same type of responses trying to urge you towards buying cheap and save you from yourself and getting a quality Bass. Some [not most] may have good intentions . If you get the chance to play a few you will soon find a Squire is not a Sandberg, American G&L or Fender American etc.. The theory all Basses are adequate or True Gig ready has not proven true in my experience. Playability, and comfort are crucial along with tone, neck consistency and build quality.

Best Advice so far was from your Guitar teacher.   'buy the best you can afford'

I will add; You are  never sorry  for buying the best.

Reading this thread and many similar a favorite quote of mine comes to mind;

" Humans greatest affliction is Self Deception" 

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Here's the deal:

* Buy a Harley Benton starter kit - bass, case, strap, lead - £138 (less than the depreciation on a new £1000 bass)
* When the lockdown eases, take it to a luthier and get it set up. It may play better and you may want to join a band
* You can't join a band playing a Harley Benton so buy a Squier
* Play some gigs
* When you get good and you're regularly playing gigs go and buy a £1500 bass
* You'll worry about taking a £1500 bass to a gig so leave it at home and take the Squier with the HB as a back-up

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6 hours ago, Nebadon2000 said:

I joined this Forum to take a break from 'Talkbass' but judging by this thread 'There's nothing new under the Sun' . You would get same type of responses trying to urge you towards buying cheap and save you from yourself and getting a quality Bass. Some [not most] may have good intentions . If you get the chance to play a few you will soon find a Squire is not a Sandberg, American G&L or Fender American etc.. The theory all Basses are adequate or True Gig ready has not proven true in my experience. Playability, and comfort are crucial along with tone, neck consistency and build quality.

Best Advice so far was from your Guitar teacher.   'buy the best you can afford'

I will add; You are  never sorry  for buying the best.

Reading this thread and many similar a favorite quote of mine comes to mind;

" Humans greatest affliction is Self Deception" 

You’ve clearly not read properly. The advice is that there are lots of variations and what Configuration suits the player is not known by a beginner, therefore what is the “best”? 

Starting with a cheaper bass will save money as the player works out what he/ she likes. For example I have a need for a Squier VMJ but not a Sandberg or US G&L.

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@TJ1 - what kinda music will you be playing?
 

On the basis it's a first bass that needs to work in a lot of possible musical scenarios, it might not be your main or first instrument, and you don't know yet how much you would be playing it... buy secondhand.
a Fender precision or Jazz bass is kinda the standard for the last 80 years of music. You're not going to go wrong turning up at an audition with one of them. Neither is better than the other, pick your top ten bands you want to sound like and see what they are mostly playing... Squier are the budget range and really very good. 

If you don't want a Fender I wouldn't stray far from the design. Yamaha make some amazing basses, G&L and Sandberg too. Sire do some decent Jazz copies. A secondhand Yamaha BB for 250-300 would be more than adequate. Musicman make some basses that are also very good and have their own sound.

Ultimately secondhand £1000- 15000 gets you into a price range that you're going into specialist basses. You could buy a secondhand Sadowsky metro, Rickenbacker, or some custom that someone's had built. I've no doubt they will be great basses but how do you know that's specialism is what you want?
If you're buying new even less reason to risk your money. If you see a bass that looks good, at a decent price for sale here on bass chat then you typically might be able to pick up something really really nice - just don't be blinded by shiny things! 

for additional info, I've been playing a while and bought secondhand... I've got 4 basses at the moment, Sadowsky metro, Lakland USA, early G&L and a early Warwick - I hate think what they would cost to buy new today (over £10k?!) - I've also got my friends Mexican Fender at the moment as it needed a new jack fitted... set up properly with nice new strings it plays no worse and is no less an instrument than any of the others. 

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Well, I'm new here and new to bass. I don't yet know what I want from a bass guitar other than wanting something that I can use to play in a lower register than I can with my guitars (which include Gibson, Fender and Taylor). So I bought a Harley Benton 450 Progressive for £129 delivered. I've had it a week and I'm very impressed with it. 

Over time I will find things about it that I love or hate. Things it can do or can't do. What's it like standing up, sitting down? Does it balance nicely, do bits of it get in the way or annoy me? Is it stable and reliable and if not what's changing or causing problems? Do I enjoy playing bass? Am I any good at it? Etc.

When all that has seeped in, I will be in much better position to know what to look for in a higher quality and more expensive bass, if indeed that's what I want.

As a basic and reasonable starting point for bass, I think that the HB bass I have is hard to beat. 

On the other hand, If you have clearer ideas of what you want and would rather have a higher quality instrument from the get go and can afford it; go for it! 

Either way, I hope you enjoy it.

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My reasons for suggest the version 2 Sires are:

1. You can easily get the colour style you would like - from traditional single colours to sunburst and even classic colours. Might not sound a big thing - but you really need to look at your bass and love it. It has to have something to make you want to pick it up.

2. The basses come set up from the factory. This is a big thing. It means the basses are playable to a high standard right away and wont need adjustment. This is especially helpful when you are starting off and dont really know what to compare an un set up bass to.

3. The value £300 - £400 new, means you arent terrified of dropping, scratching or damaging it as much as a £1500 immaculate custom fender. As also said above - you'll be happy to take this to a gig and not be terrified you or someone else wont scratch or damage it. I had a USA precision years ago - a work of art - I used to love just looking at it. Then one day I dropped it off its stand and it had a slight scratch on it. I could never look at it the same way again! No matter what I did, I could only see that scratch from then on (even though it was hardly noticeable). It was too expensive to get another one and I was gutted.

4. The active / passive options will allow you to see if you like that type of bass.

5. They are fairly easy to play, sound great, and will last you no matter what standard you play at.

6. Thay hold their value well should you wish to sell.

7. You can tell they have been helped in design by Marcus Miller. He hasn't just put his name to it, he has genuinely had a good input. The rolled frets make it smooth to play. The active pre amp is astounding (probably worth £200 on its own). The bass sits in the mix perfectly. It's very well built and finished. I genuinely think they will take over the market in the mid price range.

8. If it helps - and its horses for courses - I have a £1000 fender precision for sale. I love it. It looks unbelievably cool to me. Sounds fantastic. It was the bass of my dreams and my main gigging bass. I'm selling it. To replace with Sires.

Oh...... and everyone is right. You'll never stop chopping and changing when on here! Your favourite bass in the world today, the bass you love and will never sell, will be sold and replaced by your new favourite bass tomorrow. And so on, forever.

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It's all about what type of band you are going to be playing in, finding the bass /amp partnership that works for you, sometimes it's easy, sometimes....not so much. In my originals band for over 10 years I had one bass, a Washburn 5 string 'modern jazz' type bass. Never even looked at another bass. Once I started doing covers I wanted something lighter weight, more 'classic' and I had a Fender P Mex, then a Warwick Corvette with jazz pups, then a Mex Jazz, but eventually all were superseded by a Yamaha BB 414 purchased for £160 used off this site. It was perfect. 
I wish I'd kept the Warwick and Mex P bass, they were both great and I'd love to play them now I've'retired' from gigging, but every time I play the Yamaha at home after looking at basses I'd love to buy online, I think ' I've got all the bass I'll ever need in my hands....'

Happy Searching!!!!!

Edited by sykilz

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On 07/05/2020 at 04:36, TJ1 said:

Thanks for the advice. Thinking about it spending this sort of money on a guitar at this time might be a little unwise/insane

As for buying something cheap to learn on I am not sure. When I was learning acoustic, my teacher said 'buy the best you can afford' and I have not regretted it.

Obviously I need to try them out but there look to be some pretty nice used Sandbergs on sale for 600-700, this might be the sweetspot in terms of a guitar that I might actually want to keep

 

 

I have played expensive basses that were difficult to play and cheaper ones that were a dream to play. The difference in playability was due to the setup.

Took me a long time to figure that out :)

So if you get an expensive/not so expensive bass, make sure it's set up well (a decent set up won't cost you much). It makes a world of difference. Especially when you're starting out.

Edited by gjones
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Now that we are getting into discussions on lower priced basses, a couple of points to bear in mind. Some brands have absolutely awful resale value. Cort, Ibanez, Warwick, G&L all make excellent basses for mid range budget, but will not hold their value anywhere near any Fender/Squier. I think Sire are holding their secondhand value at the moment. Essential to bear in mind if you are thinking that you will want to upgrade to your higher budget later on.

Second thing with residual values is that higher priced versions of the above mentioned will drop their prices even further, so when you do go to upgrade, and you are confident buying secondhand you will get much better value. 

Good luck with the search and enjoy the ride!

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3 hours ago, OliverBlackman said:

You’ve clearly not read properly. The advice is that there are lots of variations and what Configuration suits the player is not known by a beginner, therefore what is the “best”? 

Starting with a cheaper bass will save money as the player works out what he/ she likes. For example I have a need for a Squier VMJ but not a Sandberg or US G&L.

Exactly. Why max out the budget on a really good, but not suitable bass. Any bass should be able to do the Job, especially in this price range, but not all basses will feel or sound the same. Could be a costly mistake. 

I do agree though that although cheaper basses are good enough, when you pay more you get a bit more. The worst thing is to get a bass and struggle with it because its not holding tuning or there is fret sprout etc. This is less likely to happen further up the price scale, but not uncommon.

Edited by dave_bass5

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10 hours ago, Nebadon2000 said:

I joined this Forum to take a break from 'Talkbass' but judging by this thread 'There's nothing new under the Sun' . You would get same type of responses trying to urge you towards buying cheap and save you from yourself and getting a quality Bass.

Maybe there is a reason for that if everyone says it.

having played many quality bases, I have not seen this correlation that an expensive bass has to be better than a cheap bass. Some expensive basses have been dogs, some cheap basses have been gems. A Harley Benton jazz had the best playability and tone of any jazz I had played, after the neck was set up, only problem was it weighed a ton and was more than I could comfortably play (seriously it must have been 12lb or over or I would still have it)

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