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SteveXFR

Told to buy new basses

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Second hand Ibanez BTB 5 string, 35" scale, there are some around without gold hardware and coffee table wood if that's not your thing (it's very much not mine).

I paid £350 for a sixer and still miss it a bit,  although it could have done with better pickups (which a lot of BTBs have)

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4 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

Is it normal for other band members to tell you what bass you need to buy? 

How would you react to being told to buy a £2500 bass?

My reply would be along the lines of, "sex and travel". 

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You are going to notice a huge neck change going from a SR300 to an NG3. Sounds to me just like something people say 'oh why don't you get an NG3' - its the sort of thing I would say when someone was looking at something cheap (well, not one of those!). Like if the guitarist was looking for a new guitar I would be saying something like 'oh why don't you get a private stock PRS - they look nice'.

If you liked the SR300 but wanted to go up a bit in the range and get a 5, go for one of the prestiges - second hand you can get them at a good price. I exchanged my Dingwall combustion for my 1605 which has been my main bass since. 

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Personally my initial reaction if I was informed that I had to spend "£2.5k on a bass that someone else chose, in order to stay in this particular band, would be to leave it. But on second thoughts I'd find the request so outrageous that I would be very intrigued to know the thinking behind it.

They obviously either really like you or are intent on stealing this Dingwall that you are being forced to acquire, otherwise they would not have made such a ridiculous suggestion.

But I am afraid the truth might be that there might be some aspect of your playing that they are uncomfortable about or is not suited to their style of music, and believe that the Dingwall might magically cure it.

Perhaps you could think back if there was anything you could have done differently in your previous sessions with them and maybe request a Sit-Down with all the members before forking out two and half grand to ask them if there is anything the band could be doing better that you could help with or improve.

BTW if you do want to go expensive and need a light but solid versatile bass with state of the art electrics you may not necessarily go at all wrong with the Musicman Bongo(IMHO)

.

 

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13 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

The amp and cabs are no problem. There's a 12 band eq on the amp.

My SR300 has been properly set up with 130, 105, 85, 65 string and a suitably altered nut and truss rod adjustment. 

Still curious on this   - also as you say - pretty weak and the tone changes so much across the range of the instrument 

How does the bass sound when played unamplified?

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For some bands image is massively important and this includes the look of the instruments that are being used. Reading between the lines, even though it hasn't been explicitly said, I'm guessing that this is an originals band with a strong visual and musical identity.

Unfortunately, although a number of people here are in denial about it, looks can be just as important as playability and sound when it comes to having the right gear for your band. maybe if you're playing a hodgepodge of covers in a pub band it doesn't really matter, but otherwise IMO it does. I've certainly discounted people auditioning for bands I've been in because they didn't have the right image and that includes their choice of musical instrument. However, since the OP is already in the band it can't all be bad.

I think this situation hasn't been helped by the OP seemingly declaring to the rest of the band that he's unhappy with the sound/performance of his bass as it currently stands, and maybe they were just trying to be helpful in suggesting alternatives for him to consider rather than insisting that he gets the Dingwall. I don't know I wasn't there at the time. Sometimes musicians aren't very good at expressing themselves verbally.

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2 minutes ago, SteveXFR said:

We're all in our 40's and don't exactly look metal. Image isn't an issue

You said you weren't sure if it was a suggestion or a demand. That says to me it was just mouthing off.

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39 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

For some bands image is massively important and this includes the look of the instruments that are being used. Reading between the lines, even though it hasn't been explicitly said, I'm guessing that this is an originals band with a strong visual and musical identity.

Unfortunately, although a number of people here are in denial about it, looks can be just as important as playability and sound when it comes to having the right gear for your band. maybe if you're playing a hodgepodge of covers in a pub band it doesn't really matter, but otherwise IMO it does. I've certainly discounted people auditioning for bands I've been in because they didn't have the right image and that includes their choice of musical instrument. However, since the OP is already in the band it can't all be bad.

I think this situation hasn't been helped by the OP seemingly declaring to the rest of the band that he's unhappy with the sound/performance of his bass as it currently stands, and maybe they were just trying to be helpful in suggesting alternatives for him to consider rather than insisting that he gets the Dingwall. I don't know I wasn't there at the time. Sometimes musicians aren't very good at expressing themselves verbally.

This makes sense. Most modern metal bands have bass players with Dingwalls, it's very much the P bass of djent - you also have to have a Darkglass distortion pedal !

I doubt the other band members will know what makes them so popular, nor any alternatives (e.g. Ibanez, RedSub, Cort etc). The RedSub Coliseum 5/6 will I guarantee give the sound that was expected and also not cost a fortune, worth getting one and returning if it doesn't work out.

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14 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

It kind of started from me saying I need to upgrade from my Ibanez and I was thinking of a Stingray 5 or Jazz 5 and then was told I'd need fan frets an multiscale and a Darkglass preamp so should get a Dingwall NG3. Maybe it was intended as friendly advice and I took it the wrong way.

 

Sounds to me like they were telling you to look and sound like a generic modern metal bassist.

There is more to life than Dingwall and Darkglass.... and you can create your own musical identity in the process. Or maybe they just want your bass to disappear behind the heavy guitars and bass drum.....

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How would I react to being told I need a new bass at £2.5k? I'd laugh it off and say I have good enough basses thanks, you worry about your own gear. 

If I was discussing gear and a band mate said "mate, you need fanned frets, a dark glass pre-amp..." and a very specific list of stuff they think a bass player should have. I'd probably just think they're a gear obsessive and next week it will be all about Moolon P basses with flatwound strings that have been washed up on Skegness beach. The week after it will all be Wishbass, OK maybe not those, custom made coffee table basses... And so it goes on. Tell him no guitarist ever sounded good without a 50s Tele. A real one, from the 50s. Through a genuine original Fender Bassman amp with a serial number starting.... 

You want to upgrade your bass. You like the idea of a Jazz 5 and a Ray 5. Get what you want to play, it's your cash, your instrument and something you have to live with. This band could go under any second and you could be left holding an instrument worth 2.5k that just one of that band recommended to you once. A Sterling Ray 5 covers fractions of that. They may have been forceful in recommending it, some people are like that. And it's easy spending someone else's money.

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I suggest you marry your band.

Most people would be delighted to have a partner who insists they buy a £2.5K bass.

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I suppose the other band members are doing a bit of blue sky thinking and aiming very high with what they think is the ideal bass for the band.

They're not the ones who have to pay for it, though.

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Whilst I generally agree with the responses, was it said as advice or barked as an order? I've bought gear to fit a band's vibe (both tone and image) and had suggestions about expensive kit where me saying "that'd be cool but it's outside of my budget" was accepted as a reply. Most people are pretty reasonable and if the reality is you were thinking of upgrading and they suggested a platinum service response, surely a middle ground can be found where you meet at a appropriate compromise for everyone.

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I'm interested to know what kind of kit are the rest of the band using? is it all high end guitars running into mesa boogie amps and a custom drum kit or are they all using mid-priced guitars into whatever old amp they found in a cupboard somewhere?

I would just buy whatever bass you want that feels right and gives you the sound you want, unless they're going to buy it for you, in which case a Dingwall sounds like a great idea!

 

Matt

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The only time anyone said anything about one of my basses was when I bought my seafoam green J&D jazz, which was immediately set up to the required drop B, it went something like, "hahaha what the f*** is that??" The reply was, "My new 110 quids worth, f*** off!" At which point practice commenced and the Matamp was wound up, 3 songs in the cry from the other side of the room was, "ffs turn that thing down." The bass was forgotten.

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What gear do the rest of the band have?

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20 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

How would you react to being told to buy a £2500 bass?

"How many £ will you contribute to the purchase?"

is what I would the person making the suggestion

 

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21 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

Is it normal for other band members to tell you what bass you need to buy? 

How would you react to being told to buy a £2500 bass?

 

Probably with laughter :)

Then more laughter when pointing out the price.

But there must be a story somewhere. Why does the guitarist think you need another bass? (I assume it's the guitarist, I can't imagine anybody else ever caring :D )

 

Many years ago I was in a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band. I started with my Ibanez SR400 (P/J) and a Warwick Corvette $$ (dual MM style humbuckers). Guitarist commented a few times that it would be cool if I used a Stingray. Singer (who is also a bass player, agreed). No pressure, no telling, just good nature comments. I hated the look of Stingrays so I dismissed it entirely. A few months later I happened to find a very reasonably priced OLP clone, and I bought it just because. To my surprise, I fell in love. A few months later I bought my 2002 Stingray and it's been my #1 ever since (I left the RHCP band in 2014). Sometimes it's good to have an open mind and try things... the issue I'd have a problem with would be 1) being 'told', 2) possibly the reasons behind being told, and 3) being expected to spend a large sum of money.

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

What gear do the rest of the band have?

Guitarist has a LOT of kit. Loads of amps, effects, drums, studio and recording kit.

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