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KahunaNui

Newbie advice please - just about to pull the trigger on a bass

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Hi folks.

 

I'm about to order a bass (I'm a guitarist) just to noodle on, and maybe do a bit of home recording, so I need something versatile, but I'm not planning on spending more than £300.  Style and tone wise, I'd like to cover everything if possible, and I've narrowed it down to 3 possibles - I'll be shopping at Andertons.

The two most likely are the Sire M2 and the Ibanez SR300 - I've looked at the Sire V3, but I'd like humbuckers and 24 frets.  I don't use an amp, and only play through a Focusrite interface into TH-U and Amplitube 5.

I've been leaning more towards the Sire M2, but the only thing that's giving me pause is the flimsy looking bridge compared to the Ibanez.

Can anyone offer any advice regarding these particular basses, and whether or not the bridge will even be an issue.

 

Thanks

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Hi did you watch the Andertons shoot out ? 

 

Edited by Adee

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1 minute ago, Adee said:

Hi did you watch the Andertons shoot out ? 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ef9GYkbA9Kc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Yeah, but it didn't really go into much detail on the hardware, or reach any conclusions other than "They're both about the same, buy this one or that one.  Whatever"

I've always loved Ibanez, but I'm worried this might be their really cheap range.  I like the look of the Sire, but that bent steel bridge is nagging at me.

 

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Also, the version 2 of the Sire is out now, with a rolled fingerboard, so that's another point in its favour.  I suppose I could always drop a heavy bridge on it, despite there being no direct replacements.  So long as the existing holes didn't show, all I'd be missing is the through-body string option, which isn't a deal killer for me.

 

Somebody please tell me I'm an idiot for worrying about the bridge.

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1 minute ago, KahunaNui said:

Also, the version 2 of the Sire is out now, with a rolled fingerboard, so that's another point in its favour.  I suppose I could always drop a heavy bridge on it, despite there being no direct replacements.  So long as the existing holes didn't show, all I'd be missing is the through-body string option, which isn't a deal killer for me.

 

Somebody please tell me I'm an idiot for worrying about the bridge.

A BBOT ( look it up) is standard on so many Basses and as you say you could always upgrade if you were that bothered. A heavier duty one may not make much if any difference to the tone which is supposedly down to the woods......(runs for cover)!

  • Haha 1

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1 minute ago, yorks5stringer said:

 the tone which is supposedly down to the woods......(runs for cover)!

Dude!  You had to go there!

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OK, I've been Googling hardware replacement on Sire basses, and there seems to be an awful lot of unhappy people. The consensus seems to be that the hardware isn't very sturdy, and poor quality. 

 

I'm talking myself into the Ibanez, aren't I! 

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I've got a first generation Sire V7.

The bridge on that is as solid as most basic BBOTs.

If you pull the bottom E sideways you can move the saddle, but you do have to pull it with a force far greater than most people would ever use when playing.

Other than that it's solid.

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If ya going to get it from Andertons...

Give em a ring, see if you can order both... Have a day or two to get to know em... then return the one ya dont want?  Hopefully with a free return...

Edited by PaulThePlug
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There have been a number of Musicman Sub Rays available recently within your budget - a few on eBay currently.

You could do worse.

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Every Ibanez bass I've ever owned at whatever price has been a dream to play. And I really wish the $250US one that I had in the 80's hadn't been stolen

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...that worn pebble body shape and super skinny neck of the SR... 😉

The cheaper 'Gio' GSR series is different...

Edited by PaulThePlug

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I've owned both a Sire (P7 Mk2) and a few Ibby's and can recommend them both highly as brands.

4 hours ago, KahunaNui said:

but I'd like humbuckers and 24 frets. 

If that's a key criteria for you - I'd suggest worth also checking this out: Yamaha TRBX 304 White - Basses For Sale - Basschat - and, personally, I'd be tempted to go for that in preference to both the basses on your shortlist, but I don't think you're going to go too far wrong with the either the Sire or the Ibby as your first bass.

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But all this talk of HB basses though (and not just here)...very tempted to get the flagship BZ-5000 with it's lovely neck through design, B stock delivered to my door for < £300. Seriously?!! 

Here's the 4 string version for the OP:

 

Done a bit more research on these basses...this was a really helpful "warts and all review" (albeit of the 6 string sibling). Few comments worth noting - it's a heavy bass with no passive tone control; the finish a little less than perfect (air bubbles / some wonky frets) -although that does not impact its playability. Vol spike when switching from active / passive. Tuners come for a bit of stick and weakest piece of the jigsaw from comments elsewhere seems to be the preamp. But actually that is weirdly reassuring: a lot of us have been wondering how HB can make such fully featured basses for the prices they do! If it had been a little lighter, it could make for a fantastic project bass. Still looks very good value, but I'd probably still make a bee-line for that Yammy TRBX 304 in the FS.

 

Edited by Al Krow

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14 hours ago, KahunaNui said:

OK, I've been Googling hardware replacement on Sire basses, and there seems to be an awful lot of unhappy people. The consensus seems to be that the hardware isn't very sturdy, and poor quality. 

 

I'm talking myself into the Ibanez, aren't I! 

The hardware on Sire basses is fine.  I've used a V7 on a load of gigs and recordings, and it's done exactly what it's supposed to.  Sure, it's not Hipshot or Gotoh, but it's cool.

Personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on humbuckers or 24 frets, and I'd get a Sire, which are my favourite basses in their price range.

 

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14 hours ago, PaulThePlug said:

If ya going to get it from Andertons...

Give em a ring, see if you can order both... Have a day or two to get to know em... then return the one ya dont want?  Hopefully with a free return...

Excellent suggestion. There is no substitute for holding & playing the instrument you're thinking about buying.

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You couldn’t buy a bass today with a ‘flimsy’ bridge if you tried, and you’d have to be especially unlucky to have any reliability issues at all. 

Rest assured you really won’t use the extra frets, that’s what your guitar is for :) .

Safest bet starting out is just buy the bass you like the look of the most. 

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3 minutes ago, Drax said:

Safest bet starting out is just buy the bass you like the look of the most. 

This is superb advice for any beginner or more experienced player's alike. 😀

 

Edited by hooky_lowdown
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Ok, so I've rationalised it like this:

Both have 24 frets, slim necks, humbuckers, and active pickups.

The Ibanez wins on bridge-chunkiness, however...

The Sire has a parametric mid control and a passive option

The Sire looks a bit more metal than I'd like, but it's got to be the sensible choice I think.  

What's everyone's thoughts on string gauges?  100 to 40 too light?  I play with .008's on ALL my guitars.

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3 minutes ago, KahunaNui said:

Now please tell me why I shouldn't buy a 5 string...

Right you have me completely stumped now! 😂

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