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What happened to your first bass?


Ricky Rioli

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My first bass was a really really awful Kay (sort of) Rickenbacker copy. The neck was bent and slightly twisted, and it was difficult to play.
However, I was undeterred from playing the bass - I'd had a "noodle" on a couple of other basses (mainly owned by pals) so I went into Gwent Music in Newports' old shopping centre, and tried a 1970's Fender Musicmaster in blue. Suddenly, I realised why the Fender was priced much higher than the Kay :) 

The Kay was sold to a guitarist who loved Ricks, and just wanted an ornament that looked something like one to hang on his wall. I don't even have a photo of me playing that bass - it would probably just induce nightmares anyway. The Musicmaster got sold to a mate, as I decided I wanted a long scale bass at the time. The mate then sold it to someone else, who has long since moved to Australia - so who knows where it has ended up. Sometimes, I wish I still had that bass (I would have fitted better pickups though, as they weren't great). There may be one or two pics of me with the Musicmaster... somewhere, but then again they are probably long gone.

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Mine is a Profile Silhouette P-Bass copy, I still have it.

They were an export brand, made in Japan and often sold in Australia.
This belonged to my ex-girlfriend who gifted it to me.

It is really excellent.

I put in a Seymour Duncan quarter pounder about 10 years ago.
A machine head broke so I replaced it, everything else is original.
I have it strung with flats at the moment.
 

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Edited by octatonic
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Mine was a short scale Arbiter SG style. I thought it was great,even though it wasn't. I replaced it with a MIJ Vantage after a short time,and o gave the Arbiter to a mate, who pulled it to bits to see how it worked. I bet if I went to his mum and Dads its probably still in the attic in bits😂

 

It looked like this, only mine was grey

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Edited by lee650
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What happened to my first bass - a 1982 Aria SB700?

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Well, I can pop upstairs and check… still got it and using it after all these years. Lovely little bass it is too!

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Recording one of those “record it on your phone and stitch it together later” videos in lockdown last year…

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Edited by TrevorR
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My first bass has been modified so extensively that the only bit left of the original is the neck plate, which says "made in Japan" though the body and neck are from Derbyshire (Alan Marshall), the electronics from Northampton (John east) and the bridge and pickups German ( schaller and Delano ).  I guess the gotoh tuners are Japanese. 🙂

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8 hours ago, NickA said:

My first bass has been modified so extensively that the only bit left of the original is the neck plate, which says "made in Japan" though the body and neck are from Derbyshire (Alan Marshall), the electronics from Northampton (John east) and the bridge and pickups German ( schaller and Delano ).  I guess the gotoh tuners are Japanese. 🙂

 

Mine wan't quite that bad. The person(s) who owned it before me had made some fairly extensive modifications including striping the original finish, removing all the logos, and modifying the scratch plate and control cavity to allow for extra electronics and controls. When I bought it had to replace the bridge and machine heads to keep it playable as well as replace all the electric components apart from the pickups, plus laminate a new top onto the scratch plate in order to hide the extra holes that had been drilled in it. If I was still using it and hadn't sold it a couple of years ago I would be looking at a refret now.

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I had a Hofner 185 Artist, for which I paid £30 in 1973, and played it until I got a Hayman 4040 in 1974 and a Fender P in 1975.

 

I gave it to a friend.

 

Looking back, it was a much better bass than I realised at the time.

 

I wish I still had it.

Edited by EssentialTension
speeling
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56 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

Mine wan't quite that bad. The person(s) who owned it before me had made some fairly extensive modifications including striping the original finish, removing all the logos, and modifying the scratch plate and control cavity to allow for extra electronics and controls. When I bought it had to replace the bridge and machine heads to keep it playable as well as replace all the electric components apart from the pickups, plus laminate a new top onto the scratch plate in order to hide the extra holes that had been drilled in it. If I was still using it and hadn't sold it a couple of years ago I would be looking at a refret now.

 

My first bass was pristine. However, my first guitar which was a kay strat got 3 humbuckers, two of which had indivudual series / paralel, coil tap and phase and overall series paralel and phase switches, 9 switches overall, and a badly put in termelo (as I didn't know how the tremelo worked until Melvyn Hiscock had pointed out the errors of my ways. So when I fixed that the front went through to the back. Was a great guitar but it looked a bit of a state and some switch combinations were less than useful!

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My first was a Japanese Fender sunburst Precision Bass. Being LH, it was the only one that my local music shop where I grew up had and it took me a good couple of months (1987/88?) to save up for it, during which time tried it out a few times in store and tbh it never really felt that comfortable to me, but between being about 14 and thinking as i continued to grow that would change/get used to it and being LH, back then, beggars couldn't be choosers. Had always loved the sound of the bass in songs so it was the only instrument wanted to play. I did try out and enquire about some of the RH models that they had if they were available to be ordered in LH (always would be told no... c'est la vie. :/

 

That ended up being stolen some years later when I was at uni. Was coming home on a Sunday night after a weekend away and as would often do, looked in the various windows of pawnbrokers etc. Anyhow walked past this one storefront and remember thinking that it looked a lot like mine, because LH, not exactly that common a sight for starters, but couldn't get a proper look at it.

 

Low and behold when get home, and find the bass gone, the amp gone and pretty much all my CDs, CD player, video player, TV, you name it - pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down, so to speak - along with the guy who had been boarding out a room from my gf at the time and I. He had scarpered, pretty much cleaning us out. Did go to the pawnbroker and confirmed it was indeed my bass, but there wasn't much I could do about it. Visited other pawnbrokers and apart from some of the CD's never tracked down anything else. By the time I had the wherewithall to get that bass back it had been sold on, so yeah.

 

Blessing in disguise though, as have never really liked the Fenders, as they've always felt like carting around a battleship, and same with the playability, always felt awkward. Got a 2nd hand Ibanez that did the trick for a while (and actually preferred the neck on that to the Fender), just to have something to play, but not long after that, around 1996, I walked into a random music shop and first laid eyes on an assortment of Warwick basses - had never seen anything as beautiful in all my (musical) life, and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

 

Edited by Green Monster
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  • 5 months later...

I still have my first bass. 
 

about 8/9 years ago, I knew a guy who knew a guy who collected guitars. I said I was interested in trying a bass if he came across a dirt cheap one. 
a few weeks later, this arrived. No name, I’m presuming 80’sish? It’s been well played however old it is. It cost me a grand total of £20. Which seemed like a bargain, but when I eventually managed to plug it in, it didn’t work. I’ve no idea if it sounds good and I’m not technical enough to figure out what’s wrong. 
 

I’ve kept it around but I’m running out of space so it’ll have to go somewhere soon. It looks like it’s had a good life, plenty of wear in it. 

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19 minutes ago, Harps said:

I still have my first bass. 
 

about 8/9 years ago, I knew a guy who knew a guy who collected guitars. I said I was interested in trying a bass if he came across a dirt cheap one. 
a few weeks later, this arrived. No name, I’m presuming 80’sish? It’s been well played however old it is. It cost me a grand total of £20. Which seemed like a bargain, but when I eventually managed to plug it in, it didn’t work. I’ve no idea if it sounds good and I’m not technical enough to figure out what’s wrong. 
 

I’ve kept it around but I’m running out of space so it’ll have to go somewhere soon. It looks like it’s had a good life, plenty of wear in it. 

48F2C7ED-96DB-43CD-AF80-25F26AEE405E.jpeg

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Early 70s Japanese, sold unbranded & with a bunch of random names, common in the UK branded Jedson, if you Google Jedson Tele bass you'll find loads of pictures & loads of info, most of which will be rubbish. Just so you know in advance - they weren't made by Teisco. :)

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4 hours ago, Bassassin said:

 

Early 70s Japanese, sold unbranded & with a bunch of random names, common in the UK branded Jedson, if you Google Jedson Tele bass you'll find loads of pictures & loads of info, most of which will be rubbish. Just so you know in advance - they weren't made by Teisco. :)

That’s awesome, thanks for the info. Looking though I think considering the condition it’s in, it’s probably not worth spending too much time on! 

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20 hours ago, Bassassin said:

 

Early 70s Japanese, sold unbranded & with a bunch of random names, common in the UK branded Jedson, if you Google Jedson Tele bass you'll find loads of pictures & loads of info, most of which will be rubbish. Just so you know in advance - they weren't made by Teisco. :)

Mick Karn's first bass was also a Jedson Tele, iirc. 🙃

 

My first bass was a Hondo Rickenbacker copy, which my dad bought me for a birthday present. For my next birthday I got an upgrade to a Westone Thunder 2A fretless, and the Hondo went as a part-exchange for the Westone.

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Mine was a mid-‘60’s Kalamazoo KB-1, bought in 1977 (when I was 16) for £25.   Like in the pic below,  but mine was rather badly sprayed black and previous owner had added a Hofner mini-humbucker in the bridge position.

 

Kakamazoo was Gibson’s US based budget brand in the 1960’s.   The KB-1 was a short scale budget model in 2 body styles; one like an EB-0 / SG, the other vaguely like a Fender Mustang (as mine).   Body was made of a kind of compressed MDF (subcontracted to a manufacturer of toilet seats), neck was very decent maple / rosewood, and the hardware (except for the Japanese tuners) was Gibson, exactly the same as on the EB-0.    So not a bad starter bass, and being in a punk band it really looked the part too.   The hot output and low frequencies from the mudbucker blew the driver in my puny first amp the first time I used it. 

 

Dismantled when I acquired my first long scale bass a couple of years later (a vile Columbus Jazz bass copy), with a kind of notion to lake a custom out of it with a Ric shaped wood body - I really wanted a Ric.   I put the big mudbucker on the Jazz copy in the neck position to make a kind of dub-monster (which got swapped for a bike).   The rest stayed in my parts drawer until very recently; mini-humbucker went on a bitsa fretless, neck and bridge went on BC, still got a few bits and bobs from it all these years later.

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11 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

Early 80’s yamaha bb300…I did a thing. Regrettably.

 

I then sold it to a mate in about 2007, who still has it as far as I know.

 

I was thinking, how come Andy's forgotten that he's already posted on this thread? .... and then discovered – to my total surprise – that I was the thread's OP.... 🤦 😖

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20 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

 

I was thinking, how come Andy's forgotten that he's already posted on this thread? .... and then discovered – to my total surprise – that I was the thread's OP.... 🤦 😖

Age mate

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I sold it after I got my Ibby Ricky copy. Wasn't until my 40s that I realised selling your first one is a heinous crime. 

 

A Höfner HS 185 just like this,  with the faux croc-skin, plush-lined case that smelled of vanilla, a smell that permeated even the bass itself. Occasionally I'll remember her and scour the ads but to no avail. There's one for sale down south but it's a bit more than I'd pay right now as other guitars still incoming. Couriers permitting, of course. 

 

 

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My first bass was a secondhand Westbury Track 2 that I (my Dad) bought from the Mum of a young lad who'd joined the army. It was being sold via the Classified Ads in the St Albans Advertiser. 
 

It didn't have the pickguard and was covered in about half an inch of black car paint. I seem to recall we paid £20 for it. 
 

It had terrible neck dive and I played it for a few years before deciding to take the frets out and fill the holes with wood filler to turn it in to a Fretless. 
 

I eventually replaced the pickup and fitted a Badass Bridge to it. My Grandad refinished it for me in gloss black and my Dad has one of the designers at his work make a pickguard for me. 
 

When I went to university I took my saxes and my Fender P Bass with me and left the Westbury in my wardrobe at home. 
 

I dug it out when I was home on holiday a year later and sadly the truss rod had failed as it resembled a longbow more than a bass. 
 

On the plus side, I managed to sell it to Kevin Costner and he used it extensively in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. 
 

I sometimes toy with the idea of finding another, just for old time's sake.

Edited by Old Horse Murphy
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Cash Converters…

 

We got into serious money trouble, through no fault of mine and it’s something I am still bitter about. I loved that bass more than I can express, for more reasons than I want to go into…

 

it was a Westone Raider I in the silver/grey colour scheme.

 

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This isn’t mine, I have no photos of mine (and my ex kept the photos of my 18th birthday cake that was made in it’s image). Annoyingly, I just found this photo while Googling, and found it on BassChat from a year ago, where it was pointed out that it hadn’t sold on eBay. If only I had come back to BassChat a year earlier!

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1 minute ago, KingBollock said:

We got into serious money trouble, through no fault of mine and it’s something I am still bitter about. I loved that bass more than I can express, for more reasons than I want to go into…

 

I know what you mean. In my 20s I had a beautiful 12/6 doubleneck ibanez (their copy of the Gibson 1250 but bolt on) in white, with a hard case. Loved that thing, played it all the time and as a rush fan it was perfect. GF at the time spent the rent money as she just thought we had a glut of money, so I had to sell it. Still a little bitter and now 30 years later!

 

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I sold my first bass to a mate. It was a truly dreadful Westone Spectrum II. My mate asked me a couple of years ago if I wanted to buy it back. I politely declined...especially when I found out it had a nice split in the headstock.

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