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

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My advice, several years ago, would have been buy the best you can afford but then after spending time on Basschat with the huge range of experience and knowledge available I would now advise, as many people have previously on this thread, buying one of the many excellent £300-£500 price range basses available in order to begin the (possibly life long) search for the type of bass that really suits you. Thing is the quality is so good now that there are plenty of basses in this price range that may just end up as your go to bass. Most of us have one or two (some have loads) boutique basses that we play at home but no one wants to take a Fodera to the Dog & Vasectomy only to have bitter thrown over it by a 50yr old who still hasn't come to terms with his inner mod. I've worked my way through all sorts of basses and ended up with two ACGs one of which I'd gig with but I'd still be mortified if it was damaged or stolen as it is custom and therefore unique. I am very seriously considering simply buying two Sires for gigging, that way if they get knocked about or damaged then so what. Basses are, after all, tools of work. Why spend loads now when you have no idea what you'll end up with in a few years time. I'm lucky in that I've found my GAS killing fretless but my search for my GAS killer fretted bass continues and I have a sneaky feeling that when I find it it'll be in that £300-500 range.

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53 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

Most of us have one or two (some have loads) boutique basses that we play at home but no one wants to take a Fodera to the Dog & Vasectomy only to have bitter thrown over it by a 50yr old who still hasn't come to terms with his inner mod.

Played my two Wal’s at plenty of pubs and clubs, weddings and functions... and they’re still in perfectly good nick after all these years...

...I think this first photo was actually at the Dog & Vasectomy... sorry, I mean the Dog & Partridge (our local “fight pub” RIP)...

7C862DB8-3310-4FD6-9CF5-B2D4950336BC.jpeg.2b6ad9defdccc55576b5e13a2a8d40e3.jpeg 
A2729989-D39A-4353-9C37-211AA1CC663F.jpeg.cab3c63084ed230b0c388b855e0cddac.jpeg

F67963AD-1BB8-4578-825C-5FE66EF6EE23.jpeg.fb94bcc05246540fbdb73d127f91372f.jpeg

C43D1FC7-948E-42CD-931C-B1ED91F3F7EB.jpeg.1856a8d56f3adb4aced566cb66becd32.jpeg

Edited by TrevorR

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1 hour ago, Frank Blank said:

Most of us have one or two (some have loads) boutique basses that we play at home but no one wants to take a Fodera to the Dog & Vasectomy only to have bitter thrown over it by a 50yr old who still hasn't come to terms with his inner mod.

I get the sentiment, but that hardly covers everyone. In my 30+ years of playing live i have never come across anything remotely dangerous to gear, other than the odd idiot dancing too close to the PA speaker. 

If i spent £1500 on a good bass I’d bloody well play it to death (and do). 

Going out and buying a cheaper bass for gigs doesn’t seem logical to me. Well, it does in a way if you are worried about damage, but then why obses so much about high end basses, must spend all this money because it feels great, plays like a dream etc, only to go and gig with a lesser bass? It’s a tool, its like any other tool, it can get damaged, but if it works whats the problem? People seem to be thinking of resale value and not enjoying wheat they have. If you brought an expensive couch would you also by some cheap chairs to sit on so the couch can be sold at a later date for as much money as possible lol.

Nothing to say buying a bass that plays well and sounds good will not last years. The OP needs to try some, and buy the one he feels is the best for him. No matter what the cost. Don’t look to sell it before you even get it, to get something better, because if you get the one that you like how can it get any better.

....says the man with 6 basses lol. 

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30 minutes ago, TrevorR said:

Played my two Wal’s at plenty of pubs and clubs, weddings and functions... and they’re still in perfectly good nick after all these years...

...I think this first photo was actually at the Dog & Vasectomy... sorry, I mean the Dog & Partridge (our local “fight pub” RIP)...

7C862DB8-3310-4FD6-9CF5-B2D4950336BC.jpeg.2b6ad9defdccc55576b5e13a2a8d40e3.jpeg 
A2729989-D39A-4353-9C37-211AA1CC663F.jpeg.cab3c63084ed230b0c388b855e0cddac.jpeg

F67963AD-1BB8-4578-825C-5FE66EF6EE23.jpeg.fb94bcc05246540fbdb73d127f91372f.jpeg

C43D1FC7-948E-42CD-931C-B1ED91F3F7EB.jpeg.1856a8d56f3adb4aced566cb66becd32.jpeg

Sure it wasn't 'Hall Ticket Old The?

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I would suggest that little knocks to your high end gear can cause depreciation of hundreds of pounds hence people being precious about their high end gear.

I sold on my GB Rumour, Ritter Cora and what is now Frank Blank's SC ACG for just this reason. Yes, they are tools but nobody wants to see them damaged by some drunken numpty who thinks "sorry" will make it alright.

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1 hour ago, dave_bass5 said:

I get the sentiment, but that hardly covers everyone. In my 30+ years of playing live i have never come across anything remotely dangerous to gear, other than the odd idiot dancing too close to the PA speaker. 

If i spent £1500 on a good bass I’d bloody well play it to death (and do). 

Going out and buying a cheaper bass for gigs doesn’t seem logical to me. Well, it does in a way if you are worried about damage, but then why obses so much about high end basses, must spend all this money because it feels great, plays like a dream etc, only to go and gig with a lesser bass? It’s a tool, its like any other tool, it can get damaged, but if it works whats the problem? People seem to be thinking of resale value and not enjoying wheat they have. If you brought an expensive couch would you also by some cheap chairs to sit on so the couch can be sold at a later date for as much money as possible lol.

Nothing to say buying a bass that plays well and sounds good will not last years. The OP needs to try some, and buy the one he feels is the best for him. No matter what the cost. Don’t look to sell it before you even get it, to get something better, because if you get the one that you like how can it get any better.

....says the man with 6 basses lol. 

Sure, I’m not saying I’m right, I’m merely recounting my opinion. I am probably over persnickety about quality basses out on the road because a) I was a tech for years so it was my job to look after other people’s instruments and b) because I have had basses (both mine and other people’s unfortunately) damaged and stolen from gigs. All three of my basses are 1k+ and I do play them to death at home and whilst gigging. I basically agree with your last paragraph but equally I wouldn’t disregard the things other people have suggested.

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Just remember no one person is right  they are all opinions, but based on experience. You will never lose a lot on second hand  decent basses. If you buy a good American Fender brand new, you will lose a few hundred quid on resale, or 20 years time , could go up in value. I paid £1200 for a Clover Avenger. I will lose more money on that, than a Fender, and will have a harder time on resale. Not many will have tried one let alone heard of it. I bought it at bass Direct.

 If £1500 is not really a big problem on resale at a later date, i would look at somewhere like bass direct, or bass Gallery, then see what is about.There is a lot of choice. I bought a Warwick bass on Thomann. They are German  but don't be worried about buying from there. They are well packaged and get few complaints, and can be cheaper than buying here. As you can't visit shops at the moment, you can only buy online anyway.

 I went on gut instinct when i bought mine, and I am glad as I love my bass. I wasn't a member here then so my head wasn't filled with hundreds of different variables  and being left cuts my choice down tremendously. I am not selling either. I did at least try my bass before i bought my first. I would be loathe to pay £1500 without trying on my first purchase. Harley Benton could be a good choice until you can try lots out when they reopen. Will give you a better idea in 6 months time when you want to spend serious money. I bet you don't know if a fan fret would be perfect for you at this time! 

 

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1 hour ago, Frank Blank said:

Sure, I’m not saying I’m right, I’m merely recounting my opinion. I am probably over persnickety about quality basses out on the road because a) I was a tech for years so it was my job to look after other people’s instruments and b) because I have had basses (both mine and other people’s unfortunately) damaged and stolen from gigs. All three of my basses are 1k+ and I do play them to death at home and whilst gigging. I basically agree with your last paragraph but equally I wouldn’t disregard the things other people have suggested.

Yep, not saying there is only one way either. Just how I see it. 
Just based on my experience. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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Whether you plan to spend £150, or £1500 on your first bass.. it doesn't matter where on that scale your purchase is - find someone IRL who can help you test drive the bass. It is so easy, even on the marketplace here to get ripped off buying second hand. An experienced player with no vested interest in the transaction will be invaluable for spotting problems that you will miss as a beginner. Basses are very individual creatures, so try to buy the actual one you get to hold in the shop.

But for your first (and hopefully your only bass for awhile) buy something that will inspire you to play. Make sure it is comfortable, suits you physically, a nice weight and looks the way YOU want it to look. I don't think that bass lives amongst the Harley Benton's of this world - but it might for you. A lot of GAS that people talk of is the result of people making compromises when they buy.... there is no real reason to go through the ladder of acquisition that so many speak of. Especially if you have a decent budget to start with.

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

No there is not a 'Reason' other than maybe self deception [with a dose of Ego] as I mentioned before.

You also made your reply[to me] about yourself like many on this thread as opposed to dealing with OP's question.

And this thread may have succeeded in changing the OP's mind based on his recent post, congrats; And sympathy for the OP

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11 hours ago, yorks5stringer said:

Sure it wasn't 'Hall Ticket Old The?

Well, the second photo was definitely taken at Windsor and Eton Riverside railway station. I will certainly give you that! ;) 

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Thank you again for the advice. Thinking about it buying a really good second hand bass seems to make sense rather than purchasing new either an expensive one or a cheap one. That way I would'nt lose money if I did'nt like it and would hopefully not have to go through the charade of trading up. I like the look of the Lakland Skyline and reviews seem to suggest it is built to a high standard.- is this a decent allrounder? or the Sandberg?

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6 hours ago, sammybee said:

Whether you plan to spend £150, or £1500 on your first bass.. it doesn't matter where on that scale your purchase is - find someone IRL who can help you test drive the bass. It is so easy, even on the marketplace here to get ripped off buying second hand. An experienced player with no vested interest in the transaction will be invaluable for spotting problems that you will miss as a beginner. Basses are very individual creatures, so try to buy the actual one you get to hold in the shop.

 

The problem is I don't really know any experienced bass players to accompany me. I thought if I went to a reputable retailer like Bass direct and tried a few, this would minimise the chances of buying a lemon? or is this niave?

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Here’s an alternative take. Don’t read this thread any further. Make a decision of your own and then learn from it. As I predicted in the beginning all you’re doing is going round and round being led  by other people’s thoughts, opinions and prejudices. You’re not gaining or learning anything and will end up paying for owning someone else’s idea of the ideal bass. 

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6 hours ago, Nebadon2000 said:

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

No there is not a 'Reason' other than maybe self deception [with a dose of Ego] as I mentioned before.

You also made your reply[to me] about yourself like many on this thread as opposed to dealing with OP's question.

And this thread may have succeeded in changing the OP's mind based on his recent post, congrats; And sympathy for the OP

Can one also assume that self deception (with an optional side salad of ego) also works the other way too? I.e. "I spent a considerable amount of money on this bass ergo it's conclusively better than anything of lesser value". Apologies if this is not what you're saying but having read your last 2 posts it does very much seem to be the implication. 

At the risk of making this post all about me and deliberately evading the OP's question, in my own personal experience I have played and owned dozens of basses over the years at many different price points, there have been good and bad (for my personal tastes) examples of each regardless of cost. For example, one that stands out as being laughable in its build quality was a Fender USA custom shop jazz bass. It was up for just shy of £3000 but the pricing was clearly out by 2, arguably 3, decimal places. There was a gap in the neck pocket of 2-3mm, the transfer on the head stock was wonky, and from the right angle under the bright lights in the shop you could see where the paint work on the body was streaky. Needless to say I didn't even pick it up let alone plug it in.

In contrast to this, my current favourite bass that I own cost £150. New. Admittedly it's had a few hardware upgrades, New bridge, machine heads and pickups, but that's still no more than another £80 or so on top. But the neck is perfect for my tastes, it just feels right. The bass resonates as well as one costing many times more. It plays brilliantly and sounds fantastic. And it has none of the quality issues that the custom shop jazz had despite being built to a budget of some 5% of the former. The only gripe is that it's a touch heavy, not prohibitively so but if it was around a kilo lighter it would help.

Admittedly, I've only been playing for around 35 years so I'm still at that stage where I can comfortably delude myself that this is the right bass for me, that this bass is somehow the best. What is also unhelpful is nebulous terms like "the best" which usually seem to go unqualified for some reason, what metrics are being used to measure bestness? Ultimately, in my own personal experience - which may well be the absolute antithesis of yours - the "best" bass is the one that's right for you, the one that puts a grin on your face every time you play it. It doesn't matter whether it costs £50 or 5000, in my experience price has only ever been indicative of cost, a higher price not always giving the guarantee of improved quality. 

And while we're talking about me and my ego the size of a planet, Basschat is almost exclusively a friendly, helpful, relaxed and fun place to hang out. With a couple of your first posts suggesting that some of the members may be delusional and egotistical may not necessarily be "the best" way of being welcomed by other members. 

 

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18 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

I get the sentiment, but that hardly covers everyone. In my 30+ years of playing live i have never come across anything remotely dangerous to gear, other than the odd idiot dancing too close to the PA speaker. 

If i spent £1500 on a good bass I’d bloody well play it to death (and do). 

Going out and buying a cheaper bass for gigs doesn’t seem logical to me. Well, it does in a way if you are worried about damage, but then why obses so much about high end basses, must spend all this money because it feels great, plays like a dream etc, only to go and gig with a lesser bass? It’s a tool, its like any other tool, it can get damaged, but if it works whats the problem? People seem to be thinking of resale value and not enjoying wheat they have. If you brought an expensive couch would you also by some cheap chairs to sit on so the couch can be sold at a later date for as much money as possible lol.

Nothing to say buying a bass that plays well and sounds good will not last years. The OP needs to try some, and buy the one he feels is the best for him. No matter what the cost. Don’t look to sell it before you even get it, to get something better, because if you get the one that you like how can it get any better.

....says the man with 6 basses lol. 

That's entirely relevant and appropriate as an approach to what the OP is asking.

What I would say is that basses can be more than just tools. They can also be beautiful examples of craftsmanship and can be enjoyed as collectibles or just be for home use. Besides not everyone plays in a gigging band. It's possible to have different basses fulfilling different roles - there isn't a right answer here: what works for one won't necessarily for another. At the end of the day we're all grown ups and part of that is being able to spend our hard earned cash on whatever gives us joy and use, or simply appreciate, our gear how we choose.

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

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

Imo, this is a very good idea, you can’t really go wrong with a Sandberg, there’s a long thread about them on here and to my knowledge I don’t think anyone has had a bad one, they play very nice and are well built , also at that price, if for some reason you don’t like it you won’t lose much money , good luck with your search TJ1,   I look forward to seeing what you get 🙂

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4 hours ago, TJ1 said:

Thank you again for the advice. Thinking about it buying a really good second hand bass seems to make sense rather than purchasing new either an expensive one or a cheap one. That way I would'nt lose money if I did'nt like it and would hopefully not have to go through the charade of trading up. I like the look of the Lakland Skyline and reviews seem to suggest it is built to a high standard.- is this a decent allrounder? or the Sandberg?

Skyline and Sandberg both decent. TBH there’s aren’t very many people making really bad basses. I would have a look through the for sale forums on here and find a few things that look nice and then ask for a balanced review or comparison of them- the most important consideration really isn’t the instrument but the music you’re going to play on it- if you are wanting to play funk the “best bass” advice might be a bit different from trad jazz or djent 

 

to try and sum up the argument above... 

more expensive basses are generally better. But not as much better than one would like if you’ve self justified spending loads on one.

The other point of view is similar to if you’re just starting out driving you want a shiney Ferrari with go faster stripes and track suspension... actually to get to your average wage work and put the dogs in the back at the weekend a Honda jazz might be a better buy. 

 

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6 hours ago, TJ1 said:

The problem is I don't really know any experienced bass players to accompany me. I thought if I went to a reputable retailer like Bass direct and tried a few, this would minimise the chances of buying a lemon? or is this niave?

I think if you went to Bass Direct, or somewhere like the Bass Gallery you would be better off than trying to score anywhere else. As long as you are aware, those places you will pay a significant premium on their 2nd hand gear just because they have it in their shop. Maybe there is a friendly Basschatter nearby that would accompany you?

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One consideration that seems to have been omitted so far is that of weight.

I mention this as the OP is being steered towards a Sandberg, for good reason (build quality/ playability), however I know of a few BCers who have moved theirs on because of the weight issue.

Though 1lb doesn't sound like a lot expect to notice this if you're buying either a 9 or 10lb instrument.

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55 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

I mention this as the OP is being steered towards a Sandberg, for good reason (build quality/ playability), however I know of a few BCers who have moved theirs on because of the weight issue.

Not disagreeing, as there are definitely some heavier ones, but Sandberg are one of the few manufacturers who do specifically have a line of lightweight basses (their "SL" range = "Super Light") which are all under 7lbs.

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Just now, jrixn1 said:

Not disagreeing, as there are definitely some heavier ones, but Sandberg are one of the few manufacturers who do specifically have a line of lightweight basses (their "SL" range = "Super Light") which are all under 7lbs.

I love this site. I was considering a Sandberg but was gradually being put off by the reports of heaviness. SL you say, cheers @jrixn1

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17 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

Not disagreeing, as there are definitely some heavier ones, but Sandberg are one of the few manufacturers who do specifically have a line of lightweight basses (their "SL" range = "Super Light") which are all under 7lbs.

 

15 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

I love this site. I was considering a Sandberg but was gradually being put off by the reports of heaviness. SL you say, cheers @jrixn1

I, too, was unaware of the Super light range...food for thought in the future.

Thanks

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6 hours ago, Osiris said:

Can one also assume that self deception (with an optional side salad of ego) also works the other way too? I.e. "I spent a considerable amount of money on this bass ergo it's conclusively better than anything of lesser value". Apologies if this is not what you're saying but having read your last 2 posts it does very much seem to be the implication. 

At the risk of making this post all about me and deliberately evading the OP's question, in my own personal experience I have played and owned dozens of basses over the years at many different price points, there have been good and bad (for my personal tastes) examples of each regardless of cost. For example, one that stands out as being laughable in its build quality was a Fender USA custom shop jazz bass. It was up for just shy of £3000 but the pricing was clearly out by 2, arguably 3, decimal places. There was a gap in the neck pocket of 2-3mm, the transfer on the head stock was wonky, and from the right angle under the bright lights in the shop you could see where the paint work on the body was streaky. Needless to say I didn't even pick it up let alone plug it in.

In contrast to this, my current favourite bass that I own cost £150. New. Admittedly it's had a few hardware upgrades, New bridge, machine heads and pickups, but that's still no more than another £80 or so on top. But the neck is perfect for my tastes, it just feels right. The bass resonates as well as one costing many times more. It plays brilliantly and sounds fantastic. And it has none of the quality issues that the custom shop jazz had despite being built to a budget of some 5% of the former. The only gripe is that it's a touch heavy, not prohibitively so but if it was around a kilo lighter it would help.

Admittedly, I've only been playing for around 35 years so I'm still at that stage where I can comfortably delude myself that this is the right bass for me, that this bass is somehow the best. What is also unhelpful is nebulous terms like "the best" which usually seem to go unqualified for some reason, what metrics are being used to measure bestness? Ultimately, in my own personal experience - which may well be the absolute antithesis of yours - the "best" bass is the one that's right for you, the one that puts a grin on your face every time you play it. It doesn't matter whether it costs £50 or 5000, in my experience price has only ever been indicative of cost, a higher price not always giving the guarantee of improved quality. 

And while we're talking about me and my ego the size of a planet, Basschat is almost exclusively a friendly, helpful, relaxed and fun place to hang out. With a couple of your first posts suggesting that some of the members may be delusional and egotistical may not necessarily be "the best" way of being welcomed by other members. 

 

😂

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