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I love cheap basses!

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I have always wondered if the same exact Indonesian made bass was made in the USA, same materials, equipment used, same finish, same amount of hands-on labor, how much would it cost?

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I bought one of those Harley Benton '51 type P basses there last year for €109. Apart from a rough fret finish I couldn't fault the bass at all. It has a great fat neck and sounded great. I actually sold it on shortly afterwards...the only reason I got rid of it was I just liked playing my other basses more and I didn't really like the position of that pickup. It was too far forward for my liking and I didn't feel comfortable resting my thumb on the exposed bobbin.  Great basses though if you can live with that quirk. 

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My main bass is an Italia that cost around £670 (list price around £750) a couple of years ago.  It was an upgrade from my Tanglewood violin bass which I bought 12 years ago for under £200 - including hard case.

I got the Tanglewood out today to give it an airing and rally enjoyed playing it.  It's light and built down to a price but I love the Hofner violin shape and it feels so easy to play.  I have often wondered whether a genuine Hofner violin bass, made in Germany, and costing nearly ten times as much as my Tanglewood, would be so much better.  I don't suppose the average punter listening in a club or (in my case - church) would be able to tell the difference.  Let's face it many folk don't even, consciously, notice the bass!

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20 minutes ago, LeftyP said:

I got the Tanglewood out today to give it an airing and rally enjoyed playing it.  It's light and built down to a price but I love the Hofner violin shape and it feels so easy to play.  I have often wondered whether a genuine Hofner violin bass, made in Germany, and costing nearly ten times as much as my Tanglewood, would be so much better.  I don't suppose the average punter listening in a club or (in my case - church) would be able to tell the difference.  Let's face it many folk don't even, consciously, notice the bass!

I did a session just before lockdown where I was asked to use the studios Tanglewood violin bass for a track. They aren't my kind of thing, but it was a nice feeling bass, and it sounded great on the track.

I think there are some good cheap basses around right now, and I often use a Sire v7 when I want that 5 string Jazz sound. I've had a lot of students with cheaper basses, mostly Squier, and they are fine. I wouldn't rush put to buy one, but they are a hundred times better than the old Axe or Encore instruments.

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OK fellow cheapskates, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to find me an affordable (cheap) white jazz with tort plate and dark wood board. 

This is merely an exercise I doubt I'll be buying any time soon. But you never know! 

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I can't speak for the quality of them, though the various reviews I've seen looked decent if you're okay doing a little fret cleanup..with that covered, if I was going to spend bare minimum...

https://uk.glarrymusic.com/glarry-jazz-electric-bass-guitar-p6.html

and then hit amazon for a better color pickguard

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=jazz+bass+pickguard&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

That'd be under £100, I guess at some point you'd want to change bits on the bass like the tuners, pickups, maybe some wood stainer if the fingerboard is actually lighter than you'd want..all things that could wait until more money was on the table.

Edited by Saul Panzer
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4 hours ago, stewblack said:

OK fellow cheapskates, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to find me an affordable (cheap) white jazz with tort plate and dark wood board. 

This is merely an exercise I doubt I'll be buying any time soon. But you never know! 

Harley Benton PJ 74...I know I know not strictly a jazz but close enough for a cheapskate! 

Edited by P-Belly Evans

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2 hours ago, P-Belly Evans said:

Harley Benton PJ 74...I know I know not strictly a jazz but close enough for a cheapskate! 

You know I'm already a massive HB fan... but (and this will make me sound silly) I want to pair a jazz with my Bass Centre P Bass, which is china white with tort pickguard.

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7 minutes ago, stewblack said:

...and this will make me sound silly...

As if ..! :|

...

...

a39K7aO.gif

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4 minutes ago, stewblack said:

You know I'm already a massive HB fan... but (and this will make me sound silly) I want to pair a jazz with my Bass Centre P Bass, which is china white with tort pickguard.

Not silly at all. Not quite the same, but I wanted to do it with blocks and binding. IMAG0156.thumb.jpg.d4613efddef10945f84df46eee53695d.jpg

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On 04/11/2020 at 12:26, Saul Panzer said:

I can't speak for the quality of them, though the various reviews I've seen looked decent if you're okay doing a little fret cleanup..with that covered, if I was going to spend bare minimum...

https://uk.glarrymusic.com/glarry-jazz-electric-bass-guitar-p6.html

and then hit amazon for a better color pickguard

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=jazz+bass+pickguard&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

That'd be under £100, I guess at some point you'd want to change bits on the bass like the tuners, pickups, maybe some wood stainer if the fingerboard is actually lighter than you'd want..all things that could wait until more money was on the table.

Hi, sorry I missed this first time around. That looks like an amazing deal, thank you 

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So was going to spend more than £200 on my next bass - didn't bother. I've wanted an MTD for a while now but the Kingston Super5 is still £1000 and then the real deals are very expensive, enter the Artist 5.

£200 got me all the design features I wanted and a good base for tinkering, very happy!

PXL_20201104_091157029.jpg

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On 04/11/2020 at 15:38, stewblack said:

You know I'm already a massive HB fan... but (and this will make me sound silly) I want to pair a jazz with my Bass Centre P Bass, which is china white with tort pickguard.

I did just that with my Aria STB basses. They both cost less than £50 each, the P now has a 1/4 pounder pickup and Chromes, and the J has Entwistle JBXNs with a series switch and rounds 

Both are seriously good to play and sound great. 

1z69hUv.jpg

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Those look great @Maude Aria STB are on my radar, but you just bumped them up! 

Hang on 50 quid??? 

Edited by stewblack

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25 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Those look great @Maude Aria STB are on my radar, but you just bumped them up! 

Hang on 50 quid??? 

Second hand, £40 each 😁

Just be aware though that they both have the same necks. It's a P neck rather than a J. Very nice necks to be honest, well finished and smooth frets and a not too chunky P feel. If you want a skinny J then it might not be right for you. 

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1 minute ago, Maude said:

Second hand, £40 each 😁

Just be aware though that they both have the same necks. It's a P neck rather than a J. Very nice necks to be honest, well finished and smooth frets and a not too chunky P feel. If you want a skinny J then it might not be right for you. 

No no no, I'm a chunky neck guy. They sound absolutely perfect. You say you bought new scratchplates for them? Was it difficult finding them to fit? 

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Yes, I was about to say they came with white but I've a feeling they may have been tort, unless I toyed with the idea of tort, I know the P had tort at some point, anyway rambling. I just bought the black ones from ebay, el cheapo, no name jobbies and they fit handsomely. It's possible a couple of screw hole might not have lined up perfectly, I can't remember, but as they are cheap basses a couple of fresh holes wouldn't have hurt. 

I don't know when they started making the STB series but the P has some wonderful aged colour to the neck. A real vintage darkening that isn't a stain. The J is much lighter. 

I actually gigged the P for about a year when I got it as it just feels so nice. With that band I always went through the PA with a monitor so I plugged in via a Behringer BDI21, forty pound bass, 30 pound pedal, I'm done 😁. Such a liberating way to gig. 

 

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1 hour ago, BassApprentice said:

So was going to spend more than £200 on my next bass - didn't bother. I've wanted an MTD for a while now but the Kingston Super5 is still £1000 and then the real deals are very expensive, enter the Artist 5.

£200 got me all the design features I wanted and a good base for tinkering, very happy!

PXL_20201104_091157029.jpg

Bargain. Those ealy MTD Kingston basses are great. I've had a 4 string Heir (which is the same bass but with an added Jazz pickup) for years.

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I've noticed that since my c̶h̶e̶a̶p̶ affordable bass obsession began, my idea of an expensive bass has drastically altered. 

Anything over 300 is pricey, 500 astronomical, 850 and over just forget it. 

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1 hour ago, stewblack said:

I've noticed that since my c̶h̶e̶a̶p̶ affordable bass obsession began, my idea of an expensive bass has drastically altered. 

Anything over 300 is pricey, 500 astronomical, 850 and over just forget it. 

That's pretty much where I'm at too mate. My most expensive bass is about £300.

The most I ever paid was about £1300, but those days are long gone for me. 

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9 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

That's pretty much where I'm at too mate. My most expensive bass is about £300.

The most I ever paid was about £1300, but those days are long gone for me. 

The only expensive bass I want is a sterling MM HH maybe and I'll probably wait till one comes up here in a year😁

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