Jump to content
SteveXFR

Told to buy new basses

Recommended Posts

6 minutes ago, peteb said:

But that's the point, if you are going to commit to playing this type of music then you need a dedicated bass that can handle it.

You might think think that a standard 34" Jazz bass would handle most gigs, but not this one. I joined a band that recorded an album then told me that they were going to tune down a whole step to play live . As good as the bass that I used on the album sounded, it wasn't going to work live with this tuning, so I went and bought a s/h 35" scale five string. I won't use this new bass for any other gigs that I do, so when that band finishes then I will sell it on.

Yeah, I get you.

I dunno much about down tuning, or crazy multi-scale 5 string basses. I play short scale 4 strings.

But a few people above have said a 34" scale with a good setup would do the job, and even if not, there are multi-scale basses available for very reasonable prices these days.

If twere me, I'd not want to drop a couple of grand not even knowing I was gonna get on with the multi-scale thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Vin Venal said:

I dunno much about down tuning, or crazy multi-scale 5 string basses. I play short scale 4 strings.

That’s because, Sir, you are a man of quality and distinction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Vin Venal said:

 

But a few people above have said a 34" scale with a good setup would do the job

No, it won't...! 

It's all about how much you are prepared to commit to the project and what your ambitions for it are (as well as what you can afford). Of course if the rest of the band are using top quality gear then there is a risk that any deficiencies in yours may be more apparent. 

Personally, I would look for the best suitable bass I could afford, but look to the secondhand market so I wouldn't lose too much if I needed to sell it on. 

Edited by peteb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like others have said don’t be pressured into buying a bass that they(the band) think is appropriate. If you like your SR300 then there are loads of decent second hand higher range SRs out there. You can get a decent SR800 from the 90s, made in Japan for £5-600. I have an 89 and I love it. I also had a 300 and they are like chalk and cheese in quality. The SR1820 I had was only £800 brand new as it was an ex demo discontinued line. There is an SR1000 on the bay at the mo for about £800 and that is a prestige top of the range.

Whatever YOU decide will be right.

Edited by Silky999

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/05/2021 at 16:54, 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?

If it's a good professional tribute band then I'd expect to be playing the gear that the original band used. A semi-pro tribute band, maybe the bass should be the same colour? A band leader might have requirements, but a bog standard pub band telling me to buy any bass would get a very short answer.

My basses are a P bass and a Jazz, so I don't usually get negative comments about my gear.

I wouldn't pay £2.5k for any bass!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, peteb said:

No, it won't...! 

It's all about how much you are prepared to commit to the project and what your ambitions for it are (as well as what you can afford). Of course if the rest of the band are using top quality gear then there is a risk that any deficiencies in yours may be more apparent. 

Personally, I would look for the best suitable bass I could afford, but look to the secondhand market so I wouldn't lose too much if I needed to sell it on. 

Dude, you're super adamant about what will and won't work, considering you just told us your experience of downtuned heavy music is your band wanted to tune down one step live, so you went out and bought a 35" scale 5 string cuz you thought your 34" scale bass couldn't handle that for some reason...

This bit - "Of course if the rest of the band are using top quality gear then there is a risk that any deficiencies in yours may be more apparent." - just makes me feel sad.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/05/2021 at 17:54, 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 bandmate in the Americana-band kept telling me I needed an upright bass, I kept answering him "my birthday is on November 15th".

I never got an upright bass for my birthday so I kept playing my 5-string basses.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, peteb said:

No, it won't...! 

It's all about how much you are prepared to commit to the project and what your ambitions for it are (as well as what you can afford). Of course if the rest of the band are using top quality gear then there is a risk that any deficiencies in yours may be more apparent. 

Personally, I would look for the best suitable bass I could afford, but look to the secondhand market so I wouldn't lose too much if I needed to sell it on. 

A 34", set up, strung as BEAD, then tuned down half a step to A# wont work?

Why is that? - my experience is that can work, and relatively easily too.

I've played a 33" scale 5'er, strung with a low B, was fine and I'm sure would have gone down half a step just fine too.  I've played an even shorter one too - that I think was 30.5" scale - not 100% sure on the scale, certainly less than 33" - again played well strung to low B, would go down half a step nicely too I expect.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, as a metal bassist you have to expect to tune low and in stoner, sludge or doom it's going to be at least down to C. In black metal it'll be lower than Satan's basement. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought, but what about an octaver with a low octave running all the time? Something like a TC Sub n Up? Or would that muddy the sound too much?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, peteb said:

Of course if the rest of the band are using top quality gear then there is a risk that any deficiencies in yours may be more apparent. 

Well, this is grim to hear there's people reasoning like this AND factually false, especially when you are talking about electric instruments; which is what makes this statement sad, considering it's been spoken as truth lol.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Muzz said:

Just a thought, but what about an octaver with a low octave running all the time? Something like a TC Sub n Up? Or would that muddy the sound too much?

Yes, that would give the pitch - in the Stoner/Doom etc mentioned above, downtuning also gives the sloppy/rattle quality to the sound too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhh, I see - not my genre, and I hate loose strings, so I see my mistake there... 🙁🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, akabane said:

Well, this is grim to hear there's people reasoning like this AND factually false, especially when you are talking about electric instruments; which is what makes this statement sad, considering it's been spoken as truth lol.

Yeah I agree - I (still).... I dont think the poor old Ibanez bass is the problem.

For this genre - £250 ish quid on a second hand Tech 21 Dug Pedal or a second hand HX stomp - 10 minutes downloading some presets and picking the one that worked best and you'd be golden on this.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, bagsieblue said:

Yeah I agree - I (still).... I dont think the poor old Ibanez bass is the problem.

For this genre - £250 ish quid on a second hand Tech 21 Dug Pedal or a second hand HX stomp - 10 minutes downloading some presets and picking the one that worked best and you'd be golden on this.

To be fair to the argument, I do understand the need for specific looks  or qualilties, especially in the normified metal/djent genre where if you don't turn up with a dingwall with a darkglass fx you'll likely be laughed at, regardless of the sound your current instrument can produce.

I do agree that depending on commitment to the band(or genre), OP should try to compromise; surely not 2.5k worth of compromise though, that's the point. One spends 2.5k on an electric instrument if they REALLY want it and they REALLY  can afford it.

That doesn't change that my quoted point in the previous post is a sad and false statement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bagsieblue said:

A 34", set up, strung as BEAD, then tuned down half a step to A# wont work?

Why is that? - my experience is that can work, and relatively easily too.

I've played a 33" scale 5'er, strung with a low B, was fine and I'm sure would have gone down half a step just fine too.  I've played an even shorter one too - that I think was 30.5" scale - not 100% sure on the scale, certainly less than 33" - again played well strung to low B, would go down half a step nicely too I expect.

I'm afraid that I have to row back a bit on what I've said - I thought that he was tuning down to A flat (i.e. three half steps). Tuning down a half step on a 34" will certainly work. 

16 minutes ago, SteveXFR said:

To be fair, as a metal bassist you have to expect to tune low and in stoner, sludge or doom it's going to be at least down to C. In black metal it'll be lower than Satan's basement. 

Absolutely - that's what I thought you needed to do. I know people who do this and their basses are completely different beasts to mine. However, if you are only tuning down a half step then most of what I said above doesn't really apply. If you think that the band is worth it, I would still suggest the best bass you can afford that works with that type of music. But you don't have to look at anything drastic if you're only tuning down to Bb / A#. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, akabane said:

To be fair to the argument, I do understand the need for specific looks  or qualilties, especially in the normified metal/djent genre where if you don't turn up with a dingwall with a darkglass fx you'll likely be laughed at, regardless of the sound your current instrument can produce.

I do agree that depending on commitment to the band(or genre), OP should try to compromise; surely not 2.5k worth of compromise though, that's the point. One spends 2.5k on an electric instrument if they REALLY want it and they REALLY  can afford it.

That doesn't change that my quoted point in the previous post is a sad and false statement.

Yeah - fair point.  I was commenting on the background of the Ibanez comments of it being well set up, sounds OK unamplified, but doesnt sound good when amplified..weak, sounds like 2 different basses.

Or to put it another way - I can forsee a possibility here of trying a different bass - into the same rig and the same mix -  and that too sounding weak and like 2 basses.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, peteb said:

I'm afraid that I have to row back a bit on what I've said - I thought that he was tuning down to A flat (i.e. three half steps). Tuning down a half step on a 34" will certainly work. 

Absolutely - that's what I thought you needed to do. I know people who do this and their basses are completely different beasts to mine. However, if you are only tuning down a half step then most of what I said above doesn't really apply. If you think that the band is worth it, I would still suggest the best bass you can afford that works with that type of music. But you don't have to look at anything drastic if you're only tuning down to Bb / A#. 

Haha - gotcha - three half steps isnt really that much either....

In my band the E string is dropped to C# - three half steps, the other strings dropped down a half step.  3 x  half steps on 34" works for me - happy to link to recent recordings.

With suitable strings and a suitable set up this works fine too across multiple basses.  Of course, its not a sound for everyone - Agreed this changes the quality of the sound with the slackness and the rattle of the string as well as the pitch, different sounding beasts indeed.

 

 

Edited by bagsieblue
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, bagsieblue said:

Haha - gotcha - three half steps isnt really that much either....

In my band the E string is dropped to C# - three half steps, the other strings dropped down a half step.  

With suitable strings and a suitable set up this works fine too across multiple basses.  Agreed this changes the quality of the sound with the slackness and the rattle of the string as well as the pitch, different sounding beasts indeed.

 

 

Most gigs I do are tuned down a half step, with a D tuner to drop the E string to C#. I assume that you are using a 110 or 115 on the E, if you play the whole set with the bottom string dropped? 

My basses that are tuned down a half step are set up differently to those in concert pitch. 

Personally, by the time you're tuning down a whole step (let alone any lower), I would want a 35" scale. 

Edited by peteb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, peteb said:

Most gigs I do are tuned down a half step, with a D tuner to drop the E string to C#. I assume that you are using a 110 or 115 on the E, if you play the whole set with the bottom string dropped? 

My basses that are tuned down a half step are set up differently to those in concert pitch. 

Personally, by the time you're tuning down a whole step (let alone any lower), I would want a 35" scale. 

For a couple of songs the E goes up a step to D#.

Yes - set up is key - absolutely.

My gigging basses are set up accommodate the switch between C# and D#

Using various different strings - I'm not wedded to one string type, gauge, manufacturer.  I like/dislike different strings similar to how I like/dislike certain basses.

For me, If anything was unsuitable to my playing preference, I'd change the strings and the set up.  Scale length is way down on my list of things to change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bagsieblue said:

A 34", set up, strung as BEAD, then tuned down half a step to A# wont work?

Why is that? - my experience is that can work, and relatively easily too.

Worked fine for me too. Yamaha BB 5'er factory strings down a half step and cut the Trace 12 band EQ's low sliders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a crap old encore P I tune down to low A with the bottom 4 of a 5 string set. I had to loosen the rod a bit to get the low A working properly, and the action is a bit high, but it's not unplayable and it sounds fine. Are the bottom two strings rattling/buzzing a lot?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do go for multi-scale then I'd suggest they aren't for everyone, they weren't for me anyway. I'm in the minority saying that though, almost every comment about them online is positive.

I gave them a good try having owned an Ibanez SRMS805 and then a Dingwall Combustion but neither quite did it for me, I've now got a Sandberg TM5 SL and I much prefer it.

The Dingwall 37" B is clearer than the Sandberg 34" B and there is more even tension and tone across the strings but not in a drastic way, I don't think many people listening would notice much difference but I find the Sandberg more enjoyable and easier to play and I prefer the tones I get from it.

Fanned frets aren't difficult  (right up at either end takes a bit of getting used to though), what I found more tricky is even with normal vertical pickups you need to pluck the G a bit closer to the neck and the B closer to the Bridge to have an even tone - add the angled pickups of a multi-scale and you've got to shift the plucking even further, I didn't find it comfortable or natural to play like that. Also, the Dingwall was quite heavy, it's quite a long reach to the first frets, no tone control when playing passive, no mixing between pickups (just switching), and a clean clear modern tone rather than more I guess what could be described as warm/character/vintage of the TM5. The SRMS805 was good, but string spacing too close for me.

This is just my experience with 5 string multi-scales, I expect there is even less value in multi-scale with 4 strings. 

Edited by SumOne
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if your happy with the ibby you only need to go as high a s a 505 or 605 with the bartolinis.so about £500 at the most but with their attitude id tell em to f**k off at the start

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Band: "we think you should buy this ba......"

Me:"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ...."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   1 member



×
×
  • Create New...