Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by davidos, Oct 17, 2017.
Looking to pickup a bass for fun... What would you recommend?
How about a good old fashioned used American Standard Fender P bass? If buying new, I recommend the road worn Fender P bass, as long as "relic" instruments are not a big turn-off.
You can substitute J for P in the previous two sentences in case you find a Jazz bass more to your liking. I'm sure you are aware that selecting YOUR instrument is an incredibly personal decision, best left for your head, ear and hands.
Do you prefer Precision Bass, Jazz Bass or other? I prefer my Precision, but I also bring out the Jazz on occasion.
I recommend the American Vintage series. Not cheap new, but within reach used and very solid/playable instruments that should keep you happy for years. They start around $1200 OBO used. Use that Make Offer button or wait for a sale and you are good. You probably won't lose money when it's time to upgrade/sell. I had a '58 AV P Bass which I sold after I found the right Custom Shop P Bass. I had it for a couple years, bout cheap and sold for the same dollar amount. It was great, but the CS is better and I'm not enough of a bassist to need two maple necked P Basses.
If you want a more modern sound or feel, there are better options. Below your limit, there are American Standards. Even MIMs are a good value.
A good bass doesn't have to be expensive, but a better bass doesn't cost much more
What is the difference between a Precision and a Jazz bass? (Forgive the news question). I mainly enjoy classic rock, blues etc.
The main differences are that the Jazz (aka J) has a smaller neck and two pickups. The Precision (aka P) has a fatter neck which is wider at the nut and a split-single pickup. The Jazz can feel a little faster. Although the J has more tonal options, I find the Precision sits perfectly most of the time. The pickups sound very different. The J's pickups are lower output and more detailed. The P has a more muscular tone with a low-mid emphasis. The P is still versatile. Versatility comes from your fingers. Some styles really benefit from a Precision or Jazz. For example, Slapping and popping (think Funk) generally works better on Jazz basses.
I recommend playing them. Here are a few demos so you can hear the difference in sounds:
The P was introduced in the 50s and the J in the 60s. They are both great for classic rock and blues IMO.
Maybe you can find out what basses players with your favorite sound used for starters? Many basses made today are based on the classic P and J basses.
^^ Thank you! I ordered one of those Road Worn Flea Jazz Basses... seems like the J would be a little easier transition coming from guitar and might be a little more fun with the extra pickup Vol and Tone options...
I see you already decided on the Flea signature Road Worn. If it's like other RW's I've tried, you should be happy with your choice.
For me, I see P-Basses as the bass you play when you just want to hold it down. Guys like James Jamerson, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Dusty Hill, Paul Simonen and Steve Harris use P-Basses.
J-Basses are for the bassist who wants to be more up front: guys like Geddy Lee, Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Larry Graham and, of course, Flea.
I find a Precision suits me better because I tend to overplay on a Jazz. My wife loves her Jazz basses though. YMMV
These are discontinued but you can find them.
They have an American special neck with the Dual graphite rods.
I'll post the photo later. I'm on the expressway right now.
I'm looking for a second one myself. That way I'll have one with flats and one with rounds on it.
I predict that you will be very happy with this purchase. I've only handled two of these Fender Flea signature J basses. Both were set up nice and had a near "custom shop" feel to them. And of course they sounded like a Jazz bass.
Do you really only want a fender?
Because I've played 2 Sire V7 basses and I'd pick those over the cheaper fender basses everyday.
Very solid basses.
I'm going to get one soon too...
Put the Flea neck on a MJT P or PJ body to try something new.
A used late 90s American Precision Deluxe. Most versatile bass ever, available for around $700. I have one in Shoreline Gold with a maple neck that is so gorgeous.
I second the turn of the century US P deluxe. It has a lot of tones, really well built and found for the same price they sold for back in the 90s. I have a 99 and love it.
I also vote for the same era US Jazz Deluxe. I have a 97 5 string, it's my desert island bass.
I played a lot of Fender basses looking for something that was going to be easy to play as a Gibson bass player.
After 20 years of looking, this is the Fender bass I pulled the trigger on as it plays and sounds like a dream: https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squie...r-bass-special-ss-short-scale/0328800506.html
They could have priced this at 3 times the amount and I still would have purchased it.
I just got the same Squier Jaguar short scale (30") yesterday. I'm gonna give it a few mods but it is amazing right out of the box (a "$700 dollar bass" for $170!) Huge sound and easy to play.
How about something more unique?
A Fender Pawn Shop Jaguar bass.
I recently bought one of the few NOS left from the original 2012 run and it is a lot of fun! Slightly shorter scale, so it is very easy to play, and really solid tone from both pickups, perfect as a straight rock machine, as long as you keep off the dusty end of the fretboard....
2 Fender Mexican Jazz basses.
I'd also vote for a nice Mexican Fender & some other gear like comp, amp, basflyrig, etc....
And I'll also vote that my favorite Fenders are made by LAKLAND. I've owned several fenders and had plenty of dead spots/notes on the necks. My Laklands are WAAAAAY more consistent (and better quality to my hands).
I bought an American P in lightly used shape for $650. It’s great.
If you wan't to get a killer American bass and most bang for your buck, you really need to go used.
If you spend some time REALLY looking around pawnshops, CL, and even you local GC, you might run into some killer deals on some good basses.
I spend a lot of time stopping by pawnshops during my sales routes.
It's payed off plenty of times.
Here are some of the basses I've picked up in the last 9 yrs.
$64.64 - '74 Fender Jazz Bass
$180 - '79 Fender P-Bass
$315 - '89 Fender Jazz Bass
$125 - '90 MIJ Fender '57RI P-Bass
$225 - '94 Fender Jazz V(5 String) Plus Bass