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mm85

Bass purchase advice - budget up to £1,200 or so

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Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has any advice on what bass (four string) to buy next - I have a rough budget in mind of up to £1,200 but could go higher if needs be.

Looking for something punchy in tone which would cut through grunge/metal but also have the flexibility to give a bit of warmth for more restrained types of music.

I keep getting drawn to Spectors - but I worry they might be a bit pricey. Worth pushing the boat out? Happy to consider preowned etc.

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Hah, I was about to say a Spector but you're already there ahead of me. 

You should definitely head over to Spector thread, where you'll get plenty of good advice (TLDR: used Spector Euro LX4) 

Mods please do the honours and close this thread 😁

Edited by Al Krow
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Warwick (Streamer) or Spector (Euro/LX) are comparable and defo fit the bill but there are various other Warwick / Spectors that will do it.  However, you could do worse than look at Ibanez (blasphemy considering my user ID) and given a day or two there'll be a list as long as your arm!  :)    

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I'm a bit biased as my main instruments are Spectors and I really love the ergonomics and the sound they have.

If you are already thinking of getting a Spector I can't recommend enough for you to go and get one, they fit perfectly the music you described but also can be used for pretty much anything else (the neck pickup in itself with some eq'ing and light playing fits to mellow music really well, like a P bass but with more mids and definition)

The Euro models are not cheap, might be lucky and you'll get one within the budged but you shouldn't expect to pay a lot more for a used one. They are extremely well made and high quality in every way. Again, can't praise them enough. 

Good luck!

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Try out everything you can get your hands on.

Just because it's unfamiliar,  doesn't mean it can't possibly be any good! My first decent bass cost a goodly sum of money at the time, and was made by a manufacturer I'd never heard of before. It just felt and sounded better then everything else they had. 24 years later, it's still arguably the best bass I own.

It's tough at the mo', but when the shops re-open and/or you can meet other bassists and try their stuff,  it'll help give you an idea what you do and don't like. 

Needless to say, your budget will go much further second-hand.

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A lot of love for Spector from me, too. Can’t say enough great things about them. If you can find a 2nd have Euro fir hits budget, and it fits the bill, go for it. Also, look at the new Spector Pulse basses. I haven’t tried one, but they look fantastic. I think Bass Direct may have them in stock. Either way, have fun in your adventure and please, keep us posted ☺️

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Another Spector owner chiming in though I’m surprised no one’s mention a Stingray. My Ultra Precision is VERY punchy and  beautifully mellow but you may not find one with the edge you’re looking for (though the Elites are very bright).

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You'll get a Euro 4lx for that budget (used) 

Great tones on tap though the G string doesnt cut through the mix as much as my MIJ  Metro Sadowksy .

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On 27/03/2021 at 20:34, mm85 said:

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has any advice on what bass (four string) to buy next - I have a rough budget in mind of up to £1,200 but could go higher if needs be.

Looking for something punchy in tone which would cut through grunge/metal but also have the flexibility to give a bit of warmth for more restrained types of music.

I keep getting drawn to Spectors - but I worry they might be a bit pricey. Worth pushing the boat out? Happy to consider preowned etc.

Thanks

Always preowned from someone trustworthy... but the best question is what do you actually want? There’s enough opinions out there that can sway you... then the question is more... “I’m thinking of buying a spector euro lx what should  I look out for, or is there anything else about that trumps it and why?”

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I was once advised to "buy a Spector with a through neck, you can't go wrong". Absolutely agree and sound advice.

However to play devil's advocate I'd second @Lfalex v1.1's advice on trying as many basses as you can. Lots of other great basses within your budget - I've been impressed by G&Ls, Yamahas (lot of bass for your buck), and my current Lakland is worth every penny of the not many pounds it cost.

Sometimes you can have too much choice.

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You could also do something really outrageous and buy something like an extremely heavy but brilliant Ibanez Musician like this one:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Ibanez-Musician-Bass-Made-in-Japan-Top-of-the-range-BARGAIN/164772940329?hash=item265d3b8a29:g:oxAAAOSw8Ntf6smN

Image 61 - Vintage-Ibanez-Musician-Bass-Made-in-Japan-Top-of-the-range-BARGAIN

Have it chambered to reduce the weight to around 8-9lb and you'll never need to buy another bass - ever.

There's a lot you could do with £1200

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54 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Have it chambered to reduce the weight to around 8-9lb and you'll never need to buy another bass - ever.

I always wonder if it would be cheaper to copy the body in a lighter wood, or chamber the existing body. 

Anyway utterly OT

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On 28/03/2021 at 19:25, Lfalex v1.1 said:

Try out everything you can get your hands on.

Just because it's unfamiliar,  doesn't mean it can't possibly be any good! My first decent bass cost a goodly sum of money at the time, and was made by a manufacturer I'd never heard of before. It just felt and sounded better then everything else they had. 24 years later, it's still arguably the best bass I own.

It's tough at the mo', but when the shops re-open and/or you can meet other bassists and try their stuff,  it'll help give you an idea what you do and don't like. 

Needless to say, your budget will go much further second-hand.

And what is this bass you speak of out of curiosity? (You have piqued my interest!).

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7 minutes ago, CookPassBabtridge said:

And what is this bass you speak of out of curiosity? (You have piqued my interest!).

I deliberately didn't say, as I try not to infuence people one way or the other regarding bass purchases- what's right for me mightn't be right for them. 

As we're a way down the thread now, it was (and still is) a Vigier Passion 5 series 3 standard. 

So that's a neck-through 10/90 carbon& maple neck, alder wings, 18v semi-parametric eq in a solid colour (black) Schaller tuners and a Kahler bridge.

Excellent instrument. 

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+1 for a second hand Sandberg, what about a Forty Eight? (I'm biased, got one recently and I love it).

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53 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

I deliberately didn't say, as I try not to infuence people one way or the other regarding bass purchases- what's right for me mightn't be right for them. 

As we're a way down the thread now, it was (and still is) a Vigier Passion 5 series 3 standard. 

So that's a neck-through 10/90 carbon& maple neck, alder wings, 18v semi-parametric eq in a solid colour (black) Schaller tuners and a Kahler bridge.

Excellent instrument. 

Awesome. Funnily enough I also have a Vigier Passion (series IV, 4 string) and agree with everything you’ve said! Worth the OP considering one second hand, definitely meets the criteria. 

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Posted (edited)

There has never been more variety or options for a bassist, so it's a great time to have this choice to make but it can also be bewildering. That's a lot of money to spend on something you don't know whether you want or not. If it were me, I'd start with the basics:

  • What size neck do you like? Chunky or slim? Precision sized nut or Jazz sized nut? If it's not right for your hand, you're never going to love it no matter what it sounds like.
  • What kind of pickups do you like? P, P&J, J&J, J&MM, P&MM, MM, single coil soapbars or humbucking soapbars? Probably the most important consideration after neck size, in my opinion. You can change individual pickups but changing the type of pickup can require surgery.
  • Is weight an issue? If you're uncomfortable with a heavy bass, you need to rule out heavy basses straight away.
  • How many strings?
  • Active or passive? Again, a massively important consideration. Like pickups, this can be changed afterwards but you're better off getting it right first time.
  • Ergonomics - an extension of the neck consideration, I suppose, but do you need a forearm contour, for example?

It's fine lashing out brand names at you but you need to figure out what type of bass you actually want first and then start looking at the options within that kind of specification across the range of brands. Only you know what kind of neck you like. If you post examples of the kind of tone you like, it would be easier to make recommendations on how to get that kind of sound.

 

Edited by Doctor J
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33 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

There has never been more variety or options for a bassist, so it's a great time to have this choice to make but it can also be bewildering. That's a lot of money to spend on something you don't know whether you want or not. If it were me, I'd start with the basics:

  • What size neck do you like? Chunky or slim? Precision sized nut or Jazz sized nut? If it's not right for your hand, you're never going to love it no matter what it sounds like.
  • What kind of pickups do you like? P, P&J, J&J, J&MM, P&MM, MM, single coil soapbars or humbucking soapbars? Probably the most important consideration after neck size, in my opinion. You can change individual pickups but changing the type of pickup can require surgery.
  • Is weight an issue? If you're uncomfortable with a heavy bass, you need to rule out heavy basses straight away.
  • How many strings?
  • Active or passive? Again, a massively important consideration. Like pickups, this can be changed afterwards but you're better off getting it right first time.
  • Ergonomics - an extension of the neck consideration, I suppose, but do you need a forearm contour, for example?

It's fine lashing out brand names at you but you need to figure out what type of bass you actually want first and then start looking at the options within that kind of specification across the range of brands. Only you know what kind of neck you like. If you post examples of the kind of tone you like, it would be easier to make recommendations on how to get that kind of sound.

 

Extremely sound advice in my view.  Certainly worth spending some time thinking about (and listing) desired characteristics - and less-desired characteristics -  prior to taking further time to actually try some basses that might fit your needs.  I'll admit that I immediately thought of Spectors and Stingrays when I read the opening post, though the ergonomics of the former don't work for everybody.  You have a good budget to work with and buying from a trusted source on here is probably an excellent idea.  Unless you really know what you want in terms of set-up and can do this yourself, I'd think of maybe retaining a bit of your budget for new strings and a set-up.  For me, this can really improve the pleasure of playing and ergonomics of pretty much any bass  

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43 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

There has never been more variety or options for a bassist, so it's a great time to have this choice to make but it can also be bewildering. That's a lot of money to spend on something you don't know whether you want or not. If it were me, I'd start with the basics:

  • What size neck do you like? Chunky or slim? Precision sized nut or Jazz sized nut? If it's not right for your hand, you're never going to love it no matter what it sounds like.
  • What kind of pickups do you like? P, P&J, J&J, J&MM, P&MM, MM, single coil soapbars or humbucking soapbars? Probably the most important consideration after neck size, in my opinion. You can change individual pickups but changing the type of pickup can require surgery.
  • Is weight an issue? If you're uncomfortable with a heavy bass, you need to rule out heavy basses straight away.
  • How many strings?
  • Active or passive? Again, a massively important consideration. Like pickups, this can be changed afterwards but you're better off getting it right first time.
  • Ergonomics - an extension of the neck consideration, I suppose, but do you need a forearm contour, for example?

It's fine lashing out brand names at you but you need to figure out what type of bass you actually want first and then start looking at the options within that kind of specification across the range of brands. Only you know what kind of neck you like. If you post examples of the kind of tone you like, it would be easier to make recommendations on how to get that kind of sound.

 

I'll quote this again as it's really good advice

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The OP hasn’t been back since the topic was opened, so we’re all talking amongst ourselves for the time being 😂.

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14 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

I always wonder if it would be cheaper to copy the body in a lighter wood, or chamber the existing body. 

Anyway utterly OT

Absolutely....the one I posted is a thru neck though

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4 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Absolutely....the one I posted is a thru neck though

I should have known that!

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