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meterman

Tele bass buying advice?

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Hiya folks, my name's Lee I'm new here, can I pick your collective brains for a min?

I need a bit of advice about which bass to buy. Unfortunately I haven't got megabucks to spend and there's no option to try basses out in stores, at least not for a while.

I'm currently bassless. Well almost, I've got a kid's mini bass that I found in a charity shop for a fiver but it's not much use for recording and I can't really take it out live. I used to have a brilliant USA Fender Bullet Deluxe bass (you know, with the Mustang pickups and Tele bass neck) it was my absolute favourite to play but I had to sell it and pretty much everything else I had to raise funds to get a flat. Which is absolutely fair enough, everybody has to make sacrifices. So I've got a roof over my head but no proper bass of my own I can use. I'm currently borrowing basses in the two bands I play with, and that's no good really. And the lockdown has taken away my earnings, same as everyone else probably, and my budget is 'Tesco Value' rather than 'Tesco Finest'.

When I got my Fender Bullet Deluxe it was a real bargain, nobody seemed to want them or know much about them but that's changed now. I'll certainly never find one in my 'Tesco Value' budget! Unless I find a stripped or modded one but the chances of that happening are pretty slim I'd guess. I know there's the MIJ Squier versions but I never see them anywhere, they seem to be rarer than the USA Fender models. 

I've been thinking about getting a Squier Telecaster Bass, the big slab bodied one with the fat humbucker, but I'm only finding them in sunburst. Did Squier do one in that 50's mustard-y buttery colour (don't know the exact name of it) or were they all 3 tone sunburst? 

Or is there a Tele bass by another company I'm not aware of that would be a good bet that isn't Fender USA money? Or should I just get a Squier Precision and get on with it?

I really appreciate any help or advice you can give me on this! 🙏

Cheers - Lee

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Ah, I forgot pics! 

My old Fender Bullet bass / the toy bass I currently own / the style of bass I'd be looking for:

 

Bullet bass.jpeg

33630426_1732500653463579_3116409367826530304_n.jpg

dbabhubn625wkb7olysl.jpg

unnamed-1.jpg

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With a tight budget in mind and the first thing that springs to mind is the Harley Benton PB50. great original Tele/precision look although it doesnt have the fat humbucker but it sounds great. Price wise it punches well above its weight and might just be the ticket.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_pb_50_fr_vintage_series.htm

 

and if you feel you need to it its quite easy to trim the headstock to the tele shape.

 

i did a refinish and headstock change on one a while ago.

 

 

 

Edited by simon88wilson
added more info
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This may be beyond your budget( and a lot of money for what it is. I've just sold a genuine Fender Blueflower for what they are asking)? : https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FENDER-MODERN-PLAYER-TELECASTER-BASS-BUTTERSCOTCH-BLONDE-2011/193453252688?hash=item2d0ab66050:g:qzoAAOSw1XNesqFu

However I'd support the suggestion of a HB from Thomann, although not available in blonde. There's plenty of upgrade pickups in the classifieds here too.

I'm a fan of the Telecaster bass, here's a gratuitous  pic of mine which is very similar to one of your photos. Oh and you occasionally see other Basses for sale which are a similar copy to the Squier, but with the authentic headstock. I thought called 'Freeway' but not!

P1050074.thumb.JPG.08b01b8cbee1145cd38c1058e6ce3149.JPG

Edited by yorks5stringer
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3 hours ago, simon88wilson said:

With a tight budget in mind and the first thing that springs to mind is the Harley Benton PB50. great original Tele/precision look although it doesnt have the fat humbucker but it sounds great. Price wise it punches well above its weight and might just be the ticket.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_pb_50_fr_vintage_series.htm

 

and if you feel you need to it its quite easy to trim the headstock to the tele shape.

 

i did a refinish and headstock change on one a while ago.

 

 

 

Man, you did a great job with that! Nice playing too 😎

I've got no tools, no DIY skills and nowhere to work otherwise I'd be tempted to try and do something similar. £98 though, that's a Kwik Save price for a bass!

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2 hours ago, yorks5stringer said:

This may be beyond your budget( and a lot of money for what it is. I've just sold a genuine Fender Blueflower for what they are asking)? : https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FENDER-MODERN-PLAYER-TELECASTER-BASS-BUTTERSCOTCH-BLONDE-2011/193453252688?hash=item2d0ab66050:g:qzoAAOSw1XNesqFu

However I'd support the suggestion of a HB from Thomann, although not available in blonde. There's plenty of upgrade pickups in the classifieds here too.

I'm a fan of the Telecaster bass, here's a gratuitous  pic of mine which is very similar to one of your photos. Oh and you occasionally see other Basses for sale which are a similar copy to the Squier, but with the authentic headstock. I thought called 'Freeway' but not!

P1050074.thumb.JPG.08b01b8cbee1145cd38c1058e6ce3149.JPG

Thanks for the heads up on the Modern Player, yes it is above my budget sadly.

Your Telecaster bass is a beauty! That's a dream instrument for me :)

Cheers - Lee

 

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@meterman

 

If you want a Telebass I'm afraid you either buy one or build one.

 

The PB-50 is a great bass,owned about 6 of them. It's not a Telebass.  Buying one to mod as Telebass is quite a task,even if you can find the wide humbucker.
You need a much bigger pickguard to hide the single coil hole,or you fill it and do a re-finish.

 

Some folks think the Artec Mudbucker might work. String spacings are totally different. Here it is in two positions.

DSC_0568.JPG.3ce81dd6eca6a57d8801ae52c0851b5e.JPGDSC_0575.JPG.e6cab863eec1d6023707b05d6372a60d.JPG

 

The DiMarzio Willpower or The One are no good as they are the opposite of a Mudbucker,they are wound to be clean and bright. Another fella makes a version called the UnMudbucker.

 

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2 hours ago, RichardH said:

For some more £££ than the HB, I think Fender are doing a Squier 51 Classic Vibe bass again now in white blonde...

That's a handsome looking bass. I wouldn't have to attempt any DIY headstock reshaping if I bought one of those, or the slab / humbucker version either. Thank you!

- Lee

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2 hours ago, yorks5stringer said:

This may be beyond your budget( and a lot of money for what it is. I've just sold a genuine Fender Blueflower for what they are asking)? : https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FENDER-MODERN-PLAYER-TELECASTER-BASS-BUTTERSCOTCH-BLONDE-2011/193453252688?hash=item2d0ab66050:g:qzoAAOSw1XNesqFu

However I'd support the suggestion of a HB from Thomann, although not available in blonde. There's plenty of upgrade pickups in the classifieds here too.

I'm a fan of the Telecaster bass, here's a gratuitous  pic of mine which is very similar to one of your photos. Oh and you occasionally see other Basses for sale which are a similar copy to the Squier, but with the authentic headstock. I thought called 'Freeway' but not!

P1050074.thumb.JPG.08b01b8cbee1145cd38c1058e6ce3149.JPG

Yup , I have a 1972 all original Telecaster Bass,  same as yours. Huge sound with a great range of tones.  I see yours has the customary crack in the pickguard between the Pup and neck. What's the third hole in the control section of the pickguard? 

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1 minute ago, kodiakblair said:

@meterman

 

If you want a Telebass I'm afraid you either buy one or build one.

 

The PB-50 is a great bass,owned about 6 of them. It's not a Telebass.  Buying one to mod as Telebass is quite a task,even if you can find the wide humbucker.
You need a much bigger pickguard to hide the single coil hole,or you fill it and do a re-finish.

 

Some folks think the Artec Mudbucker might work. String spacings are totally different. Here it is in two positions.

DSC_0568.JPG.3ce81dd6eca6a57d8801ae52c0851b5e.JPGDSC_0575.JPG.e6cab863eec1d6023707b05d6372a60d.JPG

 

The DiMarzio Willpower or The One are no good as they are the opposite of a Mudbucker,they are wound to be clean and bright. Another fella makes a version called the UnMudbucker.

 

See, this is great advice, exactly the kind of stuff I have no idea about.

Modding is not really an option for me anyway as I've no tools, skills or space to work in. Good to know what's possible and what isn't. 

 🙏 Thank you!

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4 minutes ago, meterman said:

 🙏 Thank you!

You're welcome 🙂

 

Single coil P-basses and Tele basses are my favourites. I've built a few so have an idea what works and what doesn't.

1444732800_TeleBasses.thumb.JPG.9140f65bf06df2b0d1c5059023da1a0c.JPG

There's another couple of single coils in the early planning stages, if I can sort out the humbucker issue I'll knock up a Tele bass too.

Don't give up hope 👍

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1 hour ago, kodiakblair said:

You're welcome 🙂

 

Single coil P-basses and Tele basses are my favourites. I've built a few so have an idea what works and what doesn't.

1444732800_TeleBasses.thumb.JPG.9140f65bf06df2b0d1c5059023da1a0c.JPG

There's another couple of single coils in the early planning stages, if I can sort out the humbucker issue I'll knock up a Tele bass too.

Don't give up hope 👍

That mint one lying down is a beauty!  Did you do a build diary thread for that one, too?

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11 minutes ago, meterman said:

@kodiakblair

🙌 Thanks for the encouragement!

Is that blonde 51-style in your pic a Harley Benton? You've got skills man :)

The blonde was one discreet did a couple of years back. 

 

1 minute ago, Pea Turgh said:

That mint one lying down is a beauty!  Did you do a build diary thread for that one, too?

It's the Paisley Pink Torpedo from year before last.  Was never happy with the end product. Stripped it back and refinished it last summer.

The old man had lung cancer and I needed something to work on in between toilet trips,bed changes etc. He went downhill that fast I couldn't afford delivery times. Colour was decided by what B&M had in stock 😀 

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Sorry to hear about your dad.  Really good that you had a focus/outlet in the bass building - always need to look after yourself, too.

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2 hours ago, JohnDaBass said:

Yup , I have a 1972 all original Telecaster Bass,  same as yours. Huge sound with a great range of tones.  I see yours has the customary crack in the pickguard between the Pup and neck. What's the third hole in the control section of the pickguard? 

Sorry to hijack the thread but the OP may be interested?

That's where I had a 'Producer Switch': you may have seen Lee Sklars YT channel where he talks about a 'switch' that is not connected so the Producer thinks he is dialling in another tone?

Actually, real reason is when I bought it it had 2 Mudbuckers and a variety of non standard mods ( as per photo-see if you notice them all?). I've sensitively restored it but left the scratchplate, although it now has a small white plastic insert in the place of a gaping hole. I've not been able to source a replacement scratchplate (other than custom or make myself) and I think the originality is better than a new replacement anyway?

20171011_150148.thumb.jpg.c7269aaf20f4b3e932f03b22400ec664.jpg

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If that kids bass has 'Tanglewood' written on the headstock, you did OK for £5 - normally I'd expect them to fetch £40-£50 or more.

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2 hours ago, Pea Turgh said:

Sorry to hear about your dad.  Really good that you had a focus/outlet in the bass building - always need to look after yourself, too.

Thanks. It came in handy, when things got tough and I was stressed I just blamed the bass 😁

 

2 hours ago, yorks5stringer said:

I've not been able to source a replacement scratchplate

I'm pretty sure the PG maker I was talking to last Sunday has the template.

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18 minutes ago, kodiakblair said:

Thanks. It came in handy, when things got tough and I was stressed I just blamed the bass 😁

 

I'm pretty sure the PG maker I was talking to last Sunday has the template.

I did see your post and looked at his site, but did not see a 72 Telebass plate however.

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1 hour ago, pete.young said:

If that kids bass has 'Tanglewood' written on the headstock, you did OK for £5 - normally I'd expect them to fetch £40-£50 or more.

Well spotted, yes it's a tiny little Tanglewood EB-18 bass.

When I bought it, it only had 3 strings and the control cover on the back was missing so it had wires poking out of it. Wasn't sure it would work but took a chance on it because I liked the colour and it was £5. It has La Bella flats on it now, they cost more than the bass is worth 😄

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54 minutes ago, yorks5stringer said:

I did see your post and looked at his site, but did not see a 72 Telebass plate however.

I got an email from Brian last night. He's trying to update his ebay inventory while working through the orders backlog.

 

Best course of action would be just ask him.  I've hand cut a 3 ply Tele PG before ,not an experience I fancy repeating 😀

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On 26/05/2020 at 20:01, kodiakblair said:

I got an email from Brian last night. He's trying to update his ebay inventory while working through the orders backlog.

 

Best course of action would be just ask him.  I've hand cut a 3 ply Tele PG before ,not an experience I fancy repeating 😀

Just dropped him a message on ebay.

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I love a Tele II bass. My Squier has been bastardised into a hippyish jack-of-all-trades so can be many things, but I'm still a huge fan of that whopping great neck pickup! (Photo to follow, as I'm on my laptop and any snaps I have are on my phone!)

@meterman, I'm pretty sure the Squier Precision TB was just Sunburst, although I share your love of that colour- Butterscotch Blonde, maybe?! I dunno, all those colour names seem to belong to the world of audiophiles and wine snobs, but yeah... that one. It feels like the archetypal Tele II bass colour.

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