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Buying tips for my first bass

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by JDandCoke, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. patshep

    patshep Member

    Messages:
    264
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    new york city
    I only have one bass, I am a guitarist mostly, but i found a used MIM Jazz bass, which is kinda beat up, but plays great for cheap years ago, it sounds wonderful... put flatwound strings on it and it records beautifully
     
  2. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

    Messages:
    3,413
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    mars
    One trick I use that always tells me if an instrument, be it bass or guitar, will likely set up with low action.

    Hold the instrument up so you are looking at the side of the fretboard right at the 12th fret. Depress the string at the `12 th fret so that it is the same distance off the neck as it is at the 1st fret..
    Then sight the distance between the string and the fretboard from the 12th fret on up to where the fretboard ends over the body. That distance should slightly increase with each fret, the distance between the string and fretboard should gradually expand so that the fretboard is gradually falling away from the string.
    If the string and the fretboard are nearly parallel beyond the 12th fret , then chances are if you try to set low action the strings will mute out above the 10th fret.
    One of the things about Asian instruments I like is that they nearly always pass this test.
     
  3. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

    Messages:
    4,050
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I've been buying most all my guitars and basses in pawnshops for about the last 15+ years.

    Fortunately for me, pawnshops have been goldmines for good quality used guitars and basses.

    I don't know what pawnshops are like in the UK, but if there are quite a few of them, you might get lucky and find a good quality used bass at on of them.

    My suggestion to you would be to go to as many guitar shops as you can to audition all the basses you'd be interested in.

    Once you find the brand and model you like, then you can go searching for a similar model at pawnshops.

    Just for reference, here's the 4 basses I have in my collection at this moment, that I've picked up in the few years at pawnshops.

    I've had a lot more basses that I scored at crazy good prices, but these are the one's I've held on to.

    $64.64 - '74 Fender Jazz Bass
    $400 - '78 Fender P-Bass
    $225 - '94 Fender Jazz V Plus Bass (5 string)
    $125 - '90 MIJ '57RI P-Bass
     
  4. RupertB

    RupertB Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,784
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2003
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I've tried quite a few "budget" versions of the P-bass, both before & since picking up a used Lakland Skyline 44-64 (formerly the Bob Glaub model). I'm still convinced it is among the best P-style instruments out there available for less than a grand.

    If you go for a Fender MIM model, factor in the cost of a good setup. A buddy has one that was pretty stiff & not much fun to play until it had some expert attention. I used it for gigs before & after. The improvement was not subtle.

    If you're considering other than P-bass, check out late models of Warwick's Rockbass line. Not everyone's cuppa but great bang for the buck instruments.
     

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