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Help purchasing bass guitar
Old 11th May 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Help purchasing bass guitar

I've been on the prowl for a beginner bass guitar. The primary purpose of the purchase is to play simple riffs/stabs and sample them. Tone wise, i'd like to get a style that is suitable for soul/funk. I've been told Jazz and P-Bass is where it's at if I want a rounder warmer sound. Obviously I'm not looking to get a 58 OG, I just want something that sounds descent, and won't break my bank. If I can get a little more particular, Olympic or Artic white would be ideal for color. Any suggestions? Perhaps someone is selling a bass right now that'll suite my needs? Know where to score a deal? Let me know. I'd like to spend around $350. I'd guess 4 string is fine, but perhaps a 5 string with the extra low chord might be useful for my application?
Old 12th May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 

SX basses are surprisingly good value. I can't buy them new, because the dealer won't ship internationally, but I have one I picked up second hand. I'm continually looking for good bass guitars that don't suck, and I chose this over a shop full of Fenders, regardless of price.

http://www.rondomusic.net/bassguitars4.html

Wood is a huge variable, and even Fenders can be made from poor wood and have dead spots and rattles and problems.

The advantage of buying a Fender clone is that you can always replace parts. The neck is the main thing. If you have a bass with a great neck, you can always replace the pickup. If the instrument is acousticly flawed, don't even bother with it.

Seymour Duncans make great replacement pickups. If you have AC hum/buzz issues, you might want to investigate EMG's.
Old 12th May 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I would get a 4 string. You can always tune to drop D or lower since you are just making samples.
Old 12th May 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Appreciate the link Kiwi. The pricing on these is amazing. Dirt cheap basically. You say they sound descent huh? On par with lower priced Fenders? Any audio examples? Anyone else have anything to contribute about these SX basses? Perhaps other options? Keep the information flowing.
Old 12th May 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Kiwi:

I couldn't resist man. That XYW Yellow Jazz was calling my name. For $145 shipped, I couldn't not buy one. So I purchased one. Should be here next Wednesday. I'll report back when it touches down. Once again, appreciate the tip.

That said, i'm still interested in hearing opinions and some bass basics to further my quest.
Old 12th May 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Audio examples would be fairly useless. My SX Jazz came with a different pickup - judging by the other set of screw holes. I have no idea what it is, but is sounds great except I hate single coil hum.

My point is that you can always replace the pickup - and whether you get a Fender or an SX, you probaby want to replace the pickup for something good and something humbucking (unless you are blessed with total immunity from AC hum).

In my view, the strings you use define your bass sound. The bass is pretty much a string and pickup holder. So you will get vastly different tones just by changing to high quality strings.

But the wood in the bass can either enhance or destroy your tone. In my opinion, whatever you get will require setting up and probably pickup and string replacement. It's a little easier making new holes in a cheap (but solid) bass.
Old 12th May 2006
  #7
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darkwater's Avatar
 

An engineer buddy of mine described his first engineering class at Berkeley. He said the first thing the professor did was write the word "Fender" on the blackboard. His comment was, "This is the type of electric bass to record for the proper sound". I always thought that was hilarious. I'm not a big fan of new Fenders, but I have seen a couple of Mexican made (believe it or not) with exceptional wood, great playability and sound. It's a crapshoot. If you have the budget, look for an older Fender.

If you are looking for more bottom, I'd go with a Music Man Stingray.
Old 12th May 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 

For the price, Carvin's rock... 5 string neck through under a grand.
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