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I love cheap basses!

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12 hours ago, rasher80 said:

You know what, I can't ignore these any more. 

I have to get involved.

Glad I’m not the only one thinking the same thing...

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I started a thread about a budget for £800 but I feel the need to try the Sire's as I haven't seen a bad review, with the exception of some QC problems that all brands have. There's a nice burgundy one just appeared, but I'm more tempted by the V5 with the roasted maple neck. 

Edited by BassApprentice
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52 minutes ago, BassApprentice said:

I started a thread about a budget for £800 but the need to try the Sire's as I haven't seen a bad review, with the exception of some QC problems that all brands have. There's a nice burgundy one just appeared, but I'm more tempted by the V5 with the roasted maple neck. 

I fail to see how your post relates to this thread about cheap basses?!? 

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Sorry @hooky_lowdown, I may have worded it badly. I meant that I was thinking that I need to spend £800 to get a good bass but the Sire's are classed as "cheap" and apparently incredible for the price so I'm feeling less inclined to spend more to get good bass. Another example is my Sandberg Electra feels every bit as good as my old G&L but was only £360. 

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6 minutes ago, BassApprentice said:

Sorry @hooky_lowdown, I may have worded it badly. I meant that I was thinking that I need to spend £800 to get a good bass but the Sire's are classed as "cheap" and apparently incredible for the price so I'm feeling less inclined to spend more to get good bass. Another example is my Sandberg Electra feels every bit as good as my old G&L but was only £360. 

I see, some Sire's cost over £1k which was what I was thinking you were referring to with your £800 budget. I've played numerous US fender basses which were (to me) not as good as so say lesser MIM ones I've played in terms of build quality, playability or sound.

I think you get good ones and bad ones of any mass produced range, just throwing money to get a good bass won't always pay off (pardon the pun). 

I look for general reviews from owners, if the concensus is good then it's probably a good start. This applies to any bass of any price bracket, then getting it set up well is very important, as are little tweaks like getting the fingerboard rolled - just makes playing a bass so much nicer, and often overlooked.

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8 hours ago, hooky_lowdown said:

look for general reviews from owners, if the concensus is good then it's probably a good start. This applies to any bass of any price bracket, then getting it set up well is very important, as

From Thomann at least my Sire came absolutely perfectly set up. Wonder if its the same when buying from other sources. I think I've read some blurb on their marketing that they set them up properly at the factory, all manufacturers will say that though won't they...! 

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Cheap basses have become so good these days that they've almost lost their quirky charm, lol.

But yeah, I love cheap basses too. If you know what to look for you can get a pro level instrument for very little money these days. At least if you're capable of doing a setup and maybe some minor fret leveling. Even if you pay a guitar tech or a luthier to do the work it will still be considerably cheaper than a Big Brand bass. And a Big Brand bass will often need a setup and some fret leveling too!

It's getting ridiculous how much extra money we pay for Big Brand logos on instruments that are only marginally better than the cheapest in-house brands. Of course there are some truly exceptional expensive basses out there too but I'm talking about the expensive ones that are mass manufactured by robots, just like the cheap entry level brands. Fender USA would be a very good example. The prices they charge for mass manufactured instruments that are riddled with QC issues and often not that much better than a Harley Benton is absolutely insane. But I guess we are still willing to pay £1500 extra for the Fender decal on the headstock.

Don't get me wrong, I love a GOOD Fender but I've just seen far too many shockingly bad ones come out of the Corona factory lately to justify paying more than 10x the price of a Harley Benton JB-75. If anything I've seen LESS serious issues with Harley Benton basses than with Fender USA lately.

So yeah, I love cheap basses too and I wish more people would use them in public so we can get rid of the silly notion that you'll need a "Big Brand" bass to sound great.

Edited by S.F.Sorrow
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23 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

I really wish I could get past myself in the thought that I’m not a serious bassist unless my Fenders are US made. As I’ve said the Squiers that I’ve had have been a joy to play and have sounded fine. It’s not even the thought of others judging me, it’s purely this devil on my shoulder telling me they have to be US made.

I know what you mean. It's like a made in China Cadillac, it's not the real thing.

For many years I had to slum it, and make do with MIJ fenders because I couldn't afford the US version.

I now have 3 US Fenders, 3 MIJ ones and Chinese Classic Vibe Squier. My brain tells me there's really no difference in quality but I still have a soft spot for the US ones.

 

 

 

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My lads, 

All sub 400 quid.

Got the SX P bass on here for £120, Ibby 6 string for £280 on ebay ex demo, sterling sub for £350 and squier vm for I can't remember.....(around £300).

The ibanez is the latest, ex demo and had slight scratch on headstock, really hard to even make out! It's a lotta bass for under 300 quid and powerspan pickups are 🤟

20201024_121810.jpg

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Sterling SUB Ray 4, £200

Bitsa Jazz, £100

Yamaha BBG4 fretted, about £180 off here

Yamaha BBG4 fretless, £170.

I dig them all

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Interesting comments. I’ve been wondering about a Harley Benton fretless for £144. I’ve no interest in spending loads on a fretless as it will get played relatively infrequently but equally I don’t want something unplayable. 

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1 hour ago, SuperSeagull said:

Interesting comments. I’ve been wondering about a Harley Benton fretless for £144. I’ve no interest in spending loads on a fretless as it will get played relatively infrequently but equally I don’t want something unplayable. 

You really can't go wrong. 

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I really like Ibanez for cheap but sturdy stuff - got a GSR180 that I bought to cart round as a gigging backup, a GSR200b that I impulse bought because it was so light and had such a nice neck that I just had to, and a TMB30 that I was given and decided to mod and see what all the short scale fuss was about.

I'll be honest, some days I put down a £1400 Sandberg superlight, pick up the £140 GSR200b and genuinely question my choices. The Ibanez is actually lighter, just as comfortable to play, holds its tuning just as well and makes a sound very much like me playing a bass. It doesn't look flashy and of course there's a difference in the quality of the parts, but the body wood and finish of both seem to be equally soft and susceptible to damage so I can't see either coming out of a life 'on the road' unscathed and I could fully replace the Ibanez a good few times for the same money. Properly great little bass!

Still got a picture of it in my saved attachments so here we go...

IbanezGSR200b.jpg.a5ac19b0b6e13d308825557fd8666ebc.jpg

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Ibanez! Those necks.. GSR200B £165 New BAX,  SR600 £200 Gumtree, EDA900 £85 CashConverters (plus a £5 Vol pot) Oh and the £10 Gumtree Cruiser by Crafter P-a-like...

Edited by PaulThePlug

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I got rid of my Geddy Lee jazz and bought an SR600. Best idea ever. Geddy was lovely but just felt clunky and heavy. Ibanez was lovely straight away.

200 quid for an sr600 is an absolute steal. I'm putting nordys in mine so I dont buy a prestige model....

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I love my cheap budget Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Bass.

In fact one of my all time favorite basses out of all the basses I've ever owned, despite having owned a couple of 1000$+ basses.

Amazingly comfortable to play and after swapping the stock pickups for some quality ones (first a P/J set of EMG Geezer Butler pickups and then currently a DiMarzio Model P, with the Geezer J pickup disconnected and lowered considerably), it also sounds wonderful (even the stock pickups were actually quite decent, just not to my personal liking). 

Has the most stable neck I ever had on any of the guitars and basses I've owned, holds tuning extremely well, and the fretwork was as good as perfect from factory (it did however have a horrendously bad setup when I received it, in fact the absolute worst I've ever seen, but that was easily fixed, and I'd always expect to do my own setup on a new bass anyway. But seriously, the one who did the factory setup must have been seriously intoxicated, the string action could be measured in centimetres, and whoever did it had adjusted the pickups accordingly insanely high up).

Quite amazing quality for such a cheap bass, especially considering this one is from before they moved production from China to Indonesia.

Guess I was lucky getting one of the great ones.  

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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I've only ever played one expensive bass. Someone at an open mic let me use a US Fender Jazz FSR with a John East pre fitted. I didn't play with the eq settings, despite hating the midscoop that had been dialed in. That aside, it was ok.

I've only ever been able to afford cheaper basses, and some I've liked, others were meh, one or two I hated. However, they've all been decent quality, I've not bought one that had actual faults.

My current pair of basses are a Sire V7 and a Squier VM Precision. I've had them for a few years and I really love them. They do what I need them to do, I've not got the cash to splurge on something more expensive anyway 😁

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All of my 6 instruments are 2nd hand and the most expensive was my Hofner HCT violin bass which was I think £232. The others were around the £150 mark. I have gigged with a £1000 borrowed Fender P special of my brothers but felt very nervous about knocking it or causing damage. So for me I feel comfortable with a cheaper instrument. My basses are still precious and I look after them but a very expensive instrument I find intimidating,   I'm too worried about dings.

I think I'm the same about cars.

Edited by grandad
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8 hours ago, SuperSeagull said:

Hope not, just ordered it!

My overall impression of HB stuff has always been, how the hell do they even make it at that price?

Plus with Thomanns no quibble, postage paid returns policy, at I said, you literally can't go wrong. 

Report back and let us know your thoughts when it arrives. 👍

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37 minutes ago, grandad said:

 

I think I'm the same about cars.

Yahoo me too. 

My driving is awful, so no point buying a Ferrari (even if I could afford one)

Buying an exclusive bass is exactly the same mentality. It would be wasted on me. 😆

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47 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

My overall impression of HB stuff has always been, how the hell do they even make it at that price?

Plus with Thomanns no quibble, postage paid returns policy, at I said, you literally can't go wrong. 

Report back and let us know your thoughts when it arrives. 👍

Will do. Two new basses this year, a high end custom built Status and an HB - interesting contrast!

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My problem is that I’m so fussy with my setup that often cheaper instruments cannot support my preferred action and relief (both basically zero!) - this can really sort the ‘men from the boys’ - but has also given some surprises as price doesn’t always tally with my findings. 

There’s undeniably a lot of fun to be had with cheaper basses, a bit like driving a cheap car. 

However, although the price of entry might be cheap, resale is often very low, so compared to a more expensive instrument you potentially lose out in the long run. (Don’t correct me please, I’m sticking to my excuse)

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I think there’s good and bad stuff at all price points.

If you find a bass that does it for you, that’s what matters.  

It just feels even better when you know it didn’t break the bank.  

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I have several Fenders (mostly Mex, one US Precison) and an expensive Sandberg - but the only one I have played at home or taken out to play (we rehearse out doors on Sundays - and will be doing so this afternoon) is my Epiphone Jack Casady bass - cheapest one in my stable.

In fact, I am playing it while typing this post, just running through a few things for this afternoon!

Edited by FinnDave
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