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looking for a Fender Precision Bass alternative
Old 9th January 2017
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
GrabtharsHammer's Avatar
Thanks for all the good advice!

Now I am considering to buy a Fender Squier 5 String Precision and upgrade it with an active EMG P5 pickup. Could be a great combination.
Old 9th January 2017
  #32
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
Essentially you need to avoid bolt on necks and the cheap woods like Fender uses. They sound horrible.
Not everyone like the sound of neck-thru maple Rick. The bolt-on neck and ash/alder body is an essential component of the Fender sound.

If you're not a complete traditionalist, I personally would say (as someone that owns '65 and 72 American precision basses as well as a Rick 4001 and 4005 ) look for a used Japanese Fender Precision Lyte.

Nice thin neck that can still take heavy gauge strings, nice tone, and if you don't like the active electronics you can always pull them out and still have a good bass. I have a couple, and have gigged intensively with them. if you replace the plastic jack plate with a metal one, they are practically indestructible.

SBSW 1999:



Tulsa 1995:



PS . if you do get a modern P-bass, check the truss road about three months for the first year, or, if you don't know how, have someone else do it. I've seen many Squire and Mexican p-basses that needed a few adjustments in the first year. If you let the neck get too curved early on, its hard to correct after a year or so.

Last edited by norfolk martin; 9th January 2017 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: spelling mistake
Old 9th January 2017
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
If laughing makes you hurt, why would I stop?

But yea, when's the last time you bought a Squier instrument?
Last time was a couple years ago -Squier P-bass, $50 in a hock shop plus about $50 for pickups. It's a great bass that we've used on a number of recordings - it always gets compliments, sometimes quite surprised ones. I also have a Squier Telly (one of 3 I've owned) with a Lindy Fralin bridge pickup and a Squier Strat (my second or third) (tuned Nashville) and have used Squier necks on a number of builds.

They're very good, journeyman quality instruments. The only possible reason to knock them is snobbery.

When was the last time YOU bought a Squier instrument? I'm guessing never.

Quote:

Yamahas stay in tune and have decent intonation.
So do Squiers. So do Epiphones, for that matter, except maybe the absolutely cheapest ones.

Quote:
I don't give a **** what kind of company they are.
Also don't have much of a sense of humor, do you?

Quote:
I know plenty of people who's first guitar is as nice as the nicest of Les Pauls and Strats. It doesn't exactly take an engineer to build one (unless what you're trying to do is build one as cheaply as possible, an area in which I'm sure fender does a wonderful job).

I think you're just a Fender hater, which immediately disqualifies you from any reasonable discussion of electric basses on the grounds of prejudicial bias.

You're dismissed from jury duty.

Quote:
If I'm going to replace pickups it's going to be in one of those and not the garbage intonation, garbage tuners, garbage bridge and cheap sharp frets that is a Squier anything today. Actually, I'll probably just buy a nicer, older instrument.

That's funny. I've never had problems with tuning or intonation on any of the several Squires I've owned (or the dozens more I've played unless they were set up by a monkey.)

I've had more problems with new Gibsons costing several times as much.

FYI, intonation is not an attribute of an modern electric instrument, it's an aspect of setup. Your comment makes me think that you don't know how to set up an instrument properly.
Old 9th January 2017
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
they really do make poor quality guitars. Look at Peavey or Schecter The Peavey grind is an incredible bass for the money (about $250- $300 used). Far superior to a p-bass, vintage..new or other wise

Another option is the Schecter stiletto elite. You can find them at GC.com for $250. They are light years more professional sounding compare to a pbass.

Essentially you need to avoid bolt on necks and the cheap woods like Fender uses. They sound horrible.
Uh, right, if you say so....

I guess that's why Fender basses have been used on more hit records, in more sessions by A list players, on more different types of music, and in more world class studios than all other brands of bass put together?
Old 9th January 2017
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
Outside of their top line strats and tele's i've never heard a modern fender instrument that didn't sound like a piece of garbage. Would totally go with an Ibanez or Yamaha anything before buying just about any modern Fender piece of equipment so long as it doesn't come with active pickups. That said, I don't think the bolt on neck is at the root of the issue. The plywood bodies may be though. They honestly probably dampen sustain more than if they chose not to include a body at all.
Actually a non-resonant body increases sustain instead of damping it. Resonance absorbs energy. You want to kill sustain, use a light body made of solid wood with a very wide band resonance, like the crate wood used in many junk Japanese dime store instruments of the early '60s.

Quote:
Modern P-basses are muddy as hell, jazz basses are even worse. Don't get me wrong, I've tried P-Basses from the 60's and they were definitely 'dark' instruments, but there was still note clarity. Old P-Basses simply had a flavor of their own. New ones sound like mud.
That's probably because the new instruments haven't been set up properly yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of the cheaper modern Fender pickups but it's not because they're "muddy", quite the contrary. It's because their cheaper pickups use steel slugs with powerful ceramic magnets under the pickup and ceramic/steel imparts a bright hardness that I find annoying - but lots of other people like that bright sound because it cuts through. If they sound muddy they're set too close to the strings.

Quote:

Squier makes garbage instruments. Mexican Strats have garbage pickups. There is no reason not to get a Yamaha which is just as well-built and throw in some nice pickups.
Yes, you have a pathological hatred of Fender, we get it. What did they do, kick sand in your face, squash your birthday cake, steal your girlfriend, what?

And there is a good reason not to get a Yamaha. Resale value.

Quote:
Cheap Tele's and Thinlines sound ridiculous. Like literally among the worst electric instruments I have ever heard in my life. The piercing unyielding honkyness of these things blows my mind. Play with tone at zero or else.
This thread is about basses, not about your rabid hatred of Fender.

Quote:

Every new Hot Rod and Deluxe I try sounds just about nothing like the originals at all.
There is no "original" of anything in the Hot Rod line. They're all modern designs.

Quote:
Basically, compared back to back with a cheaper all-tube Peavey they sound like utter ****.
You have absolutely no idea how hilarious this is - historically Peavey has got more hate for alleged "bad sound" and "unreliability" than any other US brand. While it was true of most of their early stuff it hasn't been for some time, but I still run across it fairly frequently.

Quote:
I know Fender has never been known for definition, but jeez man this is getting brutal.
More nonsense. You want a Fender amp with "definition", try a Super Reverb with JBLs. Or a Twin with JBLs.

Quote:
Saw a handwired vintage reissue of a Bassman 3 days ago that was defective 2 weeks out of the factory. Though I will say their vintage reissues sound kinda accurate (but still thinner!) they are sorely overpriced, and you may as well have bought the original.
Well, in hand wired amps there are always the occasional defective unit because handwired amps are, well, HAND wired and people occasionally make mistakes.

As far as buying the original is concerned, when was the last time you priced a real '58 Bassman?

Quote:

So yea, I'd basically go with the cheapest instrument you can find from Japan and just throw in some passive pickups, or if you love slapping and being Les Claypool (definitely a blast) pickups that can switch between active and passive if you're savvy with electronics. If you really do love the P-bass can find a Squier from years ago, people may not really recognize that they were quality instruments and you can get a deal. Fender is simply becoming a company who's only talent is increasing their profit margin.
Pickups don't switch from active to passive. Real active pickups have an embedded preamp chip and they don't pass signal if they're not on. Any bass that switches between active and passive has passive pickup with an active preamp and EQ circuit. Most of those are junk, especially the mass produced ones from (insert popular company - including Fender.) The only exception might be Musicman. There are good active preamp/eq rigs,. but you won't find them is typical off-the-shelf basses. There are a few high end basses that use Bartolini pickups and electronics, but they're not cheap.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 9th January 2017 at 11:18 PM..
Old 9th January 2017
  #36
Here for the gear
 
Mind Riot's Avatar
 

If I may I'd like to recommend a G&L Tribute L-2000.
G&L Tribute L2000 Electric Bass Guitar | Musician's Friend

Comes stock with the same pickups as G&L's American models, no upgrade needed. Also has an active preamp that can be switched off to passive for a different sound or if your battery runs out.

I have the five string version, and chose it after a long selection process. Between the pickups and the preamp the tonal options are extensive. Bridge pickup sounds like a J, middle pickup sounds like a P, both together with everything run wide open and in series sounds huge. Not quite like a Stingray but a similar idea. The preamp has passive bass and treble rolloff controls (so they still work with no battery), volume control, series/parallel switch, three way pickup switch, and three way preamp selector (active, active w/ treble boost, passive).

Had mine for a decade, never even been tempted to look at another.
Old 9th January 2017
  #37
Gear Maniac
 
standup's Avatar
I've had a late 70s Precision for decades that has been gigged a couple thousand times I suppose. Last year I started to look at the cost of replacing it if it was list or stolen, and it was a lot of money. For a bass I got used for $300 back in the day.

After playing a bunch of instruments, the answer for me was a Reverend with P+J pickups. Sounds great, plays great, is different from my old bass which now lives at home, but is totally satisfying to play.
Old 9th January 2017
  #38
Lives for gear
 
vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhollos View Post
A friend of mine plays a Japanese Precision that he paid £500 for and it looks, plays, feels and sounds pretty decent. I'm more of a Jazz bass kinda guy myself but when I want something a little more aggressive or driven then I play a modern Bison. The Bison covers a million bases (no pun intended) and looks the business. I wouldn't quite say it does a precision sound but it is a very versatile instrument. Don't believe the hype about modern Fenders being rubbish etc. Try some for yourself and you decide.
Have you compared a re-issue Bison to an original by any chance?
Old 9th January 2017
  #39
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Actually a non-resonant body increases sustain instead of damping it.
Ditto for bridge assemblies. A big, chunky Badass-type bridge is the opposite of "value added."
Old 9th January 2017
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
By the way, Yamaha began as a musical instrument company. Shouldn't all the bikers be laughing at the dude who purchased their hog from a music company?
Well, a lot of them do.

Yamaha does do good drums, pianos and band instruments. I have mixed feelings about their pro audio gear - I've never liked any of their consoles, their EQ always sounds funny to me, and despite their rep among consumers their build quality is not really very high and never has been. Some of their FX are pretty decent.

Quote:

So yea, I'd basically go with the cheapest instrument you can find from Japan and just throw in some passive pickups, or if you love slapping and being Les Claypool (definitely a blast) pickups that can switch between active and passive if you're savvy with electronics. If you really do love the P-bass can find a Squier from years ago, people may not really recognize that they were quality instruments and you can get a deal. Fender is simply becoming a company who's only talent is increasing their profit margin.
Old 10th January 2017
  #41
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Actually a non-resonant body increases sustain instead of damping it. Resonance absorbs energy. You want to kill sustain, use a light body made of solid wood with a very wide band resonance, like the crate wood used in many junk Japanese dime store instruments of the early '60s.



That's probably because the new instruments haven't been set up properly yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of the cheaper modern Fender pickups but it's not because they're "muddy", quite the contrary. It's because their cheaper pickups use steel slugs with powerful ceramic magnets under the pickup and ceramic/steel imparts a bright hardness that I find annoying - but lots of other people like that bright sound because it cuts through. If they sound muddy they're set too close to the strings.



Yes, you have a pathological hatred of Fender, we get it. What did they do, kick sand in your face, squash your birthday cake, steal your girlfriend, what?

And there is a good reason not to get a Yamaha. Resale value.



This thread is about basses, not about your rabid hatred of Fender.



There is no "original" of anything in the Hot Rod line. They're all modern designs.



You have absolutely no idea how hilarious this is - historically Peavey has got more hate for alleged "bad sound" and "unreliability" than any other US brand. While it was true of most of their early stuff it hasn't been for some time, but I still run across it fairly frequently.



More nonsense. You want a Fender amp with "definition", try a Super Reverb with JBLs. Or a Twin with JBLs.



Well, in hand wired amps there are always the occasional defective unit because handwired amps are, well, HAND wired and people occasionally make mistakes.

As far as buying the original is concerned, when was the last time you priced a real '58 Bassman?



Pickups don't switch from active to passive. Real active pickups have an embedded preamp chip and they don't pass signal if they're not on. Any bass that switches between active and passive has passive pickup with an active preamp and EQ circuit. Most of those are junk, especially the mass produced ones from (insert popular company - including Fender.) The only exception might be Musicman. There are good active preamp/eq rigs,. but you won't find them is typical off-the-shelf basses. There are a few high end basses that use Bartolini pickups and electronics, but they're not cheap.
I've owned 2 different Squier basses, I've owned 3 different Squier guitars and I've changed the pickups on all of them. If you don't think that tuning and intonation issues are an extremely prevalent problem with recent Squier instruments you have crap ears or you haven't tried. Just six months ago I tried 10 different examples of these instruments in the same store and only two of them were not at LEAST a ten to fifteen cents off by the twelfth fret. Most looked like they had relatively new strings without indents above the frets. It's tough to say whether there were tuning stability problems on these instruments, but in the recent past, when I owned a Squier bass that did NOT have an intonation problem, the instrument would detune minutes after I began playing it. Maybe not enough to bother most people, but enough to bother me. Call that snobbery if you must, but the problem does not exist among Ibanez's and Yamaha's that I've played, which is good enough for me when making that decision.

Sure, resale value is great, but this is 2017, not 2000 or 2010 when Squier still made workable instruments. My "pathological hated" of Fender roots in the garbage instruments and amplifiers they have sold me and my friends in recent years. I have no qualms at all with old Fender. You can even call me a fan. I still have my first guitar which was a Squier and it plays well!

I have literally compared 3 different modern Fender amps to one of my old Peavey's and they were total garbage comparatively and cost several hundred more dollars. I didn't believe it myself and blind A-B'ed it with 4 other people. This was about 5 years ago. The Hot Rod Deluxe is supposed to be based upon the old Deluxe is it not (and the Hot Rod DeVille is supposed to be based upon the Deville is it not?) That's what I was referring to. I feel as though this is done intentionally to confuse people. Either that or my friends are particularly dumb, and I don't believe them to be. I too have heard lots of garbage Peaveys but my 3120 was not one of them, at least when compared to modern Fenders. The old Fenders still blow it out of the water.

I have played Twins and Super Reverbs. What do you think I've never played a gig before? I've played a whole bunch of different Bassmans, I've played a Princeton. They are all very nice amplifiers, but they are significantly less versatile than other amplifiers.. there is a distinct twang in more than a few Fenders that is impossible to get rid of. I don't really like Twin cleans and don't understand all the fuss about them... not warm enough... That's vintage Fender in my opinion, but the modern Fender amps are literal garbage in comparison. How are you going to deny that?

As for the Vintage Reissues, yea obviously the 59 Bassman vintage reissue is going to be cheaper than 8000 dollars, but that's basically the one example that is ridiculous. The old amps still sound better (how and why is this even possible? what are they cheaping out on to make this difference?), and I can get a 65 twin for just as much if I just look around for local deals. With the quality you get from these reissues, you may as well go and buy the original. This applies to the Twin and the Super Reverb.

And as for Passive/Active pickups being "crap," my bassist uses a Marleaux Votan XS and it is by far the nicest electric bass I have ever heard on top of basically having the most shapable sound I've ever messed with as well. In the past year, we have tested out literal dozens of basses, ones that were called nice, ones that were called crap. Original 60's P-Basses. Even a 50's P-Bass! Rickenbackers of all kinds! Ernie Balls! Modern Fenders! Fender spinoff brand basses! Japanese basses! We carried amps from store to store and craigslist location to craigslist location to eliminate what is obviously a massive variable in testing this stuff. None were as magical and balanced-sounding (great mix of colour and clarity) as the Votan XS which has switchable passive/active pickups. I admit I do not know cheaper pickup options for this configuration, but I would be extremely surprised if something decent did not exist.

Yea, I know there's a lot of stuff I don't know as far as electric instruments and general electronics are concerned, but I have an extremely accurate sense of pitch. I know about temperament, the proper way to tune instruments (originally said guitars by accident) for several different temperaments, and I know that in 2016 eight out of ten Squiers that I tested had garbage intonation. Why did I try eight of the same instrument? When we were trying to figure out what bass would be right for my bassist we literally tried every single instrument at some stores if they would allow it. That's how open minded we tried to be. Why do I remember the exact number that had issues? Because we thought it was hilarious how poorly constructed they were. The top of the line modern P-Basses were decent instruments, but they were muddy compared to the real vintage ones. The "fake" vintage ones were just as bad as the modern P-basses. Sorry, but that's just the truth. I wouldn't be surprised if that's all in the pickups though. And I have no idea what you're talking about in terms of 'brightness' in the P-Basses, but the mud I was referring to was a lack of definition in the low-end. Too 'blocky' and 'boomy' in my opinion.

Regardless, when buying what is otherwise a pretty cheap instrument where the pickups are to be replaced, in my opinion, intonation, tuning, and playability are the most important factors, and generally recent Japanese instruments seem to have the edge in those categories. And I thoroughly explored basses in all price ranges very recently, so I don't really need your opinion because I have my own and I believe it is helpful to share it.

Last edited by untitled73; 10th January 2017 at 06:41 AM..
Old 10th January 2017
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind Riot View Post
If I may I'd like to recommend a G&L Tribute L-2000.
G&L Tribute L2000 Electric Bass Guitar | Musician's Friend

Comes stock with the same pickups as G&L's American models, no upgrade needed. Also has an active preamp that can be switched off to passive for a different sound or if your battery runs out.

I have the five string version, and chose it after a long selection process. Between the pickups and the preamp the tonal options are extensive. Bridge pickup sounds like a J, middle pickup sounds like a P, both together with everything run wide open and in series sounds huge. Not quite like a Stingray but a similar idea. The preamp has passive bass and treble rolloff controls (so they still work with no battery), volume control, series/parallel switch, three way pickup switch, and three way preamp selector (active, active w/ treble boost, passive).

Had mine for a decade, never even been tempted to look at another.
I've had the even cheaper G&L JB-2 tribute for a couple of years now. It's a bit like a Jazz neck with a Precision body. No complaints here, and not felt the need to upgrade anything. I think they are around $500. Might not sound or look enough like a P for you though.

G&L® Tribute® Series JB-2™
Old 10th January 2017
  #43
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrabtharsHammer View Post
Hey,

I am looking for a good bass for up to $500-$700. I love the sound of Fender Precision basses but have read on many forums that their cheaper product range is quite bad quality wise.

Can someone recommend a P style bass in the mentioned price range that doesn't suck?
The Fender Standard Precision Bass doesn't suck. It's made in Mexico, but that's about the only strike against it compared to something from the American factories, even the vintage ones. Just try before you buy, don't pull the trigger online and then wonder what happened. Some consider them to be ricers, but that really just means it's a solid plank of wood that could do with a pickup upgrade, so for maybe an extra $100 for Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio aftermarket coils, you're still not halfway to an American Standard.

That goes for just about every musical instrument, but especially guitars and other wooden instruments; any luthier can make a dud. More money gets you a lower chance of it, but the Internet has become a boon for a lot of unscrupulous types buying bad examples of high end guitars and then pawning them off as brand-new to anyone naive enough to click Buy It Now.
Old 10th January 2017
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrabtharsHammer View Post
Thanks for all the good advice!

Now I am considering to buy a Fender Squier 5 String Precision and upgrade it with an active EMG P5 pickup. Could be a great combination.
Personally I always liked passive pickups better on P-basses. But that might just be me. If you want an active 5-string, be sure to check out the G&L Tributes someone mentioned. Great bang for buck! Just make sure you check basses in a store.
Old 10th January 2017
  #45
Lives for gear
 
Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Not everyone like the sound of neck-thru maple Rick. The bolt-on neck and ash/alder body is an essential component of the Fender sound.

If you're not a complete traditionalist, I personally would say (as someone that owns '65 and 72 American precision basses as well as a Rick 4001 and 4005 ) look for a used Japanese Fender Precision Lyte.

Nice thin neck that can still take heavy gauge strings, nice tone, and if you don't like the active electronics you can always pull them out and still have a good bass.
Right...I have a Lyte that I bought in the mid 90's. Same sunbursts model as in your photo. It's quite popular here at the studio. I did switch the pickups out long ago. Sounds great, very comfortable, and well balanced. They come up used in the $500 range every once in a while.
Old 10th January 2017
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post

Yamaha - the sound of Japanese industry laughing at America!

Considering their whole instrument line over the years, I have to think that the Japanese who laugh do good work in acoustic guitars, pianos, brass, woodwinds....

It's the ones who don't laugh that are a problem?



-tINY


Last edited by tINY; 11th January 2017 at 12:38 AM..
Old 10th January 2017
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
I've owned 2 different Squier basses, I've owned 3 different Squier guitars and I've changed the pickups on all of them. If you don't think that tuning and intonation issues are an extremely prevalent problem with recent Squier instruments you have crap ears or you haven't tried. Just six months ago I tried 10 different examples of these instruments in the same store and only two of them were not at LEAST a ten to fifteen cents off by the twelfth fret. Most looked like they had relatively new strings without indents above the frets. It's tough to say whether there were tuning stability problems on these instruments, but in the recent past, when I owned a Squier bass that did NOT have an intonation problem, the instrument would detune minutes after I began playing it. Maybe not enough to bother most people, but enough to bother me. Call that snobbery if you must, but the problem does not exist among Ibanez's and Yamaha's that I've played, which is good enough for me when making that decision.
You know something?

That's nonsense.

You know why it's nonsense?

It's nonsense because what you're complaining about are adjustable setup items, and no instrument, especially but not limited to less expensive models, comes from the factory with a full setup and anyone who expects them to is either a fool or very naive.

Some stores will do setups on new instruments - most will do a setup on a more costly instrument, few will bother on a low cost model fort two reasons - first because if they're selling to a beginner they can bump the unsuspecting guy for the cost of a setup, and second because if they do a really good setup on an inexpensive instrument so that it plays as well as an expensive one it serves as a disincentive for cost conscious customers to purchase the more expensive instrument.

I've never owned a Squier bass (or guitar, for that matter) that had tuning stability problems, but then I know how to install and stretch strings properly. I guessing that you probably don't. I HAVE encountered instruments with tuning problems - "Chibson" counterfeits generally need tuner replacement, other off brand guitars can have problems.

It should be understood that ANY Strat style guitar with a fully floating vibrato can have tuning problems if it has not been set up by an expert, regardless of price and manufacturer.

Quote:

I have literally compared 3 different modern Fender amps to one of my old Peavey's and they were total garbage comparatively and cost several hundred more dollars. I didn't believe it myself and blind A-B'ed it with 4 other people. This was about 5 years ago.
I don't know if you're aware of this or not (You should be - I've talked about it often enough), but I'm not a fan of any of the "Hot" Rod series"
amps except the Pro Jr, which is simple enough that it has no real opportunities to screw it up. The rest are pooly designed and poorly constructed , full of poor design choices favoring low production costs at the expense of quality, longevity, and performance. I don't know which models of Peavey you might have, some of their stuff is quite good. However I can't speak for any opf their new imported stuff.

Quote:
The Hot Rod Deluxe is supposed to be based upon the old Deluxe is it not (and the Hot Rod DeVille is supposed to be based upon the Deville is it not?)
Where did you get that nonsense? Some green kid at Guitar Center? To my knowledge Fender has NEVER claimed that the Hot Rod Deluxe has anything to do with the traditional Deluxe (except possibly some ad-speak crap about "The spirit of" or such garbage* - if you believe that kind of PR crap I have an excellent opportunity for you to invest in some bridges. You can choose between bridges located in the New York City area, the San Francisco Bay, southern Louisiana, and the Florida Keys. Excellent discounts are available, cash only, please.)

As to the Hot Rod DeVille being "based on the DeVille", well I suppose that you could say that it's based on itself - Fender never made any amp called a "DeVille" before the HRD - it's named after a model of Cadillac automobile. (Or the villainess in Disney's 101 Dalmatians.)

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That's what I was referring to. I feel as though this is done intentionally to confuse people.
I don't think you need any help in that department.

Quote:
Either that or my friends are particularly dumb, and I don't believe them to be.
I'm not sure if I'd agree with that...









* - And I've never hears them say even that, but it could be possible - some of the people who write their ad copy are either really ignorant or really "imaginative" - it's hard to tell. Rule #1 - never believe what you read in an advertisement without corroboration.
Old 10th January 2017
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
And as for Passive/Active pickups being "crap," my bassist uses a Marleaux Votan XS and it is by far the nicest electric bass I have ever heard on top of basically having the most shapable sound I've ever messed with as well. In the past year, we have tested out literal dozens of basses, ones that were called nice, ones that were called crap. Original 60's P-Basses. Even a 50's P-Bass! Rickenbackers of all kinds! Ernie Balls! Modern Fenders! Fender spinoff brand basses! Japanese basses! We carried amps from store to store and craigslist location to craigslist location to eliminate what is obviously a massive variable in testing this stuff. None were as magical and balanced-sounding (great mix of colour and clarity) as the Votan XS which has switchable passive/active pickups. I admit I do not know cheaper pickup options for this configuration, but I would be extremely surprised if something decent did not exist.
You don't read very well. I was specifically talking about mass produced so-called "active" basses such as those made by Fender and Yamaha that have a cheap-ass preamp driven by passive pickups. In other words, most of the affordable active basses you're going to find hanging on the wall at a typical guitar store.

I specifically stated that there are some basses available that use much higher quality components, notably pickups and electronics by Bartolini. (there are a few others, but bot as well known or available.)

Your friend's Marleaux is a hand made, custom bass. It isn't in the same class. It uses custom electronics from a boutique German manufacturer that's so small that I've never heard of it before. (However looking at their web page they appear to be very much like a German version of Bartolini.) They used hand selected woods aged in their own facility. Each instrument is hand shaped and hand finished, then custom set up. And no, I really don't think they're likely to make cheap basses after looking at their website. Not even close.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 10th January 2017 at 11:10 PM..
Old 10th January 2017
  #49
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
You don't read very well. I was specifically talking about mass produced so-called "active" basses such as those made by Fender and Yamaha that have a cheap-ass preamp driven by passive pickups. In other words, most of the affordable active basses you're going to find hanging on the wall at a typical guitar store.

I specifically stated that there are some basses available that use much higher quality components, notably pickups and electronics by Bartolini. (there are a few others, but bot as well known or available.)

Your friend's Marleaux is a hand made, custom bass. It isn't in the same class. And no, I really don't think they're likely to make cheap basses after looking at their website.
I knew that you were specifically talking about those basses, but not exclusively and you only mentioned one passive/active set of pickups you were aware of that was of quality and noted it to be quite costly if remember correctly?

By configuration I meant the passive/active configuration. You're sure there are no affordable pickups that can serve that configuration reasonably well? The pickups used in the Votan XS are 100 euro each. Is that so crazily priced or do I make more money than I think I do?
Old 10th January 2017
  #50
Don't want to get involved too much in that discussion, but I can honestly say that I have seen instruments with unbelievably bad setups from almost any brands in any price ranges. There might be brands who seem to be more consistent in their QC, and a 4000€ guitar is rarely set up bad, but also not necessarily good. In my experience you should be prepared to expect everything when going to a music store. ANd you should also be prepared to like a particular instrument (whatever the price range) and do some setup work at home or get that done by a tech. In fact, every instrument I buy goes to a tech I trust because I know for a fact he sets it up the way I like it.
Old 10th January 2017
  #51
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
You know something?
Fender never made any amp called a "DeVille" before the HRD - it's named after a model of Cadillac automobile. (Or the villainess in Disney's 101 Dalmatians.)
Oh. Really?

Fender Blues DeVille | Ampwares

Was one of the first amps I ever played in my life (pretty sure it was the first one, actually). Not a very good amp by any means, but honestly the Hot Rod Deville is still a pile of tubes and trash compared to it. Clean channel is only a little worse, but man that distortion is brutal. From what I'm reading it seems as though the Blues Deville supposed to be loosely based off of a Bassman? Not sure. Just parroting what I'm hearing and seeing elsewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8ADb6Zo5tY

And Mr. Eppstein, I don't know, personally I don't prefer to have to tinker with an instrument a bunch of times to get it to play perfectly and get it to stay playing perfectly. There is no excuse for intonation to be that far off if the strings are not corroded. And there's no reason for me to buy Fender if I don't find these problems in other instruments unless I simply want to support american companies (that outsource to other countries anyway lol). I totally believe that you get your Fender instruments working fine, but I don't see the point in putting in the work when you don't have to.

I'm completely aware of how to stretch strings, playing mainly on nylon instruments you sort of have to. Guys who don't stretch their classical's strings (and believe me some idiots believe it increases the chances of the string popping during a performance) thoroughly end up waiting two weeks for them to stabilize. It's ridiculous. Some players have multiple nylon stringed guitars because of the two week wait period they set upon themselves.
Old 10th January 2017
  #52
Lives for gear
 
s.d.finley's Avatar
I get my basses restrung and set up at least 2-3 times a year. Sometimes more depending on how much they are getting played. Especially one of my Fender squire P bass specials. Its made in Korea in 1993 and its one of the best basses I have ever played. That include vintage pbasses and jazzes and Ricks. I love it so much I tracked down another p bass special made in the same Korean factory, Cort, and one year earlier:1992. Well that one has all kinds of issues and I had to get a new neck. I also replace the bridge and PUs on both squires and have them rewired, new everything and done with all passive electronics. That's just how I like it.

On another note, Carvin will custom make you a bass and guarantee that you will love it or your money back. I have a buddy with 2 Carvin gtrs and he loves them and they do play/sound great and look nice too.
Old 11th January 2017
  #53
Gear Addict
 
AstroZon's Avatar
 

Big P-Bass fan here. I've never tried the Squier versions, so I can't comment on those.

Some alternatives to the P-Bass are:
1. G&L L-1000 - no longer produced and expensive used. Still, they're nice basses and occasionally pop up for $500 - $600.

2. Yamaha BB-424 - These are still in production as the BB-424X. Basically, a lower priced version of Michael Anthony's BB-3000.

3. Schecter Omen Extreme 4. This is an active bass meaning that it requires a 9v battery to work. My friend just got the sunburst version of this bass, and it can do the P-Bass sound nicely (plus J-Bass, and a lot of other tones.) A very nice playing bass.
Old 11th January 2017
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
I've owned 2 different Squier basses, I've owned 3 different Squier guitars and I've changed the pickups on all of them. If you don't think that tuning and intonation issues are an extremely prevalent problem with recent Squier instruments you have crap ears or you haven't tried. Just six months ago I tried 10 different examples of these instruments in the same store and only two of them were not at LEAST a ten to fifteen cents off by the twelfth fret. Most looked like they had relatively new strings without indents above the frets. It's tough to say whether there were tuning stability problems on these instruments, but in the recent past, when I owned a Squier bass that did NOT have an intonation problem, the instrument would detune minutes after I began playing it. Maybe not enough to bother most people, but enough to bother me. Call that snobbery if you must, but the problem does not exist among Ibanez's and Yamaha's that I've played, which is good enough for me when making that decision.
Do you know how to perform a decent setup on an instrument?

From your comments I'd suspect no9t.

The things you keep complaining about are all things that can be corrected by a good setup. Inexpensive instruments don't come with a good factory setup. Why would they? It would add another $50 in labor to the wholesale cost of the instrument, which translates to $100 street price. Don't you understand ANYTHING about business economics?

[QUOTE]< repetitious blather deleted.> (One time is more than enough.)

We get it. You don't like Fender. You think guitars should come from the factory with a perfect setup (which is impossible for mass produced instruments because no two musicians are likely to want a guitar or bass set up the same way.) You think you have the greatest ear in the world yet you don't understand that no 12 tone instrument can ever really play in tune. (Read the Jack Endino article.)

Quote:
As for the Vintage Reissues, yea obviously the 59 Bassman vintage reissue is going to be cheaper than 8000 dollars, but that's basically the one example that is ridiculous. The old amps still sound better (how and why is this even possible?
I could explain it but it would take far too long. You can look for my old posts on the subject, or you can pay me for my time to go through the whole thing again. $75/hr flat rate.

Quote:
what are they cheaping out on to make this difference?), and I can get a 65 twin for just as much if I just look around for local deals. With the quality you get from these reissues, you may as well go and buy the original. This applies to the Twin and the Super Reverb.
Depending on location you can sometimes score a Twin cheap because they're so loud. Super Reverb? MUCH less likely. Anything smaller? Doubtful, very, very doubtful.

Quote:

And as for Passive/Active pickups being "crap,"
, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "PASSIVE/ACTIVE PICKUP". It's like being "a little bit pregnant". Either you are or you're not. If an instrument has a "passive mode" then the pickups are passive. Period. No argument.
Old 11th January 2017
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
I knew that you were specifically talking about those basses, but not exclusively and you only mentioned one passive/active set of pickups you were aware of that was of quality and noted it to be quite costly if remember correctly?
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "PASSIVE/ACTIVE PICKUP!!! Please get that through your head.

An instrument with "passive/active" options has passive pickups that can be switched through an add-on (perhaps at the factory, sometimes aftermarket) preamp/EQ section.

Quote:
By configuration I meant the passive/active configuration. You're sure there are no affordable pickups that can serve that configuration reasonably well? The pickups used in the Votan XS are 100 euro each. Is that so crazily priced or do I make more money than I think I do?
Plus the cost of the preamp and EQ modules, which are the active part.

And you're not going to find that level of quality on a mass produced instrument. By anyone.
Old 11th January 2017
  #56
Gear Addict
Well I'm not going to try and talk you out of some misguided dislike for fender.
As for an alternitive I will recomend Lakland basses. Very well made, very smooth playing and imo very good sounding.
Doesnt sound like a vintage P-bass but has its own sound that I dig.
Old 11th January 2017
  #57
Gear Maniac
 
GrabtharsHammer's Avatar
The Yamaha BB425X looks very interesting! I just watched a couple of clips on youtube and the one with James Lomenzo explaining the sound of the pickups was really convincing.
Old 11th January 2017
  #58
Gear Nut
 

I searched around a lot last year and bought an
Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV for $500.
I don't know much about how it compares.
It's definitely the best bass I ever had.
Old 11th January 2017
  #59
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by General TAWH View Post
I searched around a lot last year and bought an
Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV for $500.
I don't know much about how it compares.
It's definitely the best bass I ever had.
The Gibson basses are quite different beasts. I have a soft spot for them in certain applications. They have a tone that some musicians describe as "warm" thick" and "rich" while other consider them a bit "muddy." They can be both.

As I found out in the 70s/80s, If you walk into a studio with a Gibson bass (or a Rick 4001) The engineer will start hinting that he'd rather you use a Fender. I don't think it has anything to do with the relative merits of the instruments, but the engineer has worked with Fenders 100s of times, and has a set of stock settings he can use.
Old 11th January 2017
  #60
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
As I found out in the 70s/80s, If you walk into a studio with a Gibson bass (or a Rick 4001) The engineer will start hinting that he'd rather you use a Fender.
At which point you say to him, "And I'd rather you use a Neve."
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