SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#1
So I know its a little while off yet, but i'm starting university next year. And if all goes according to plan I should be studying Popular Music and Recording! Due to my Dads abnormally low wage I'm eligible for a pretty big grant/bursary. Seen as I'm studying Music, I figured it is the perfect time to finally get hold of a top quality bass.

Obviously, my idea of top quality is going to be lower than some other peoples... But I'm probably wanting to spend £1000 tops, and I want to know what people would recommend is the best bass in terms of bang for my buck.

I'm probably looking to get a second hand bass, I'm not phased by casual wear and tear and as I said, I'm looking to get the best quality bass I can and pre owned is going to be the way to go.

I'm looking for something kind of Jazz bass styled. Two single coils, 4 strings and a thin neck. Ideally I'm also looking for a maple fret board. And thats more or less it! I'd also be interesting in trying some basses with a humbucker at the bridge, like the music man although there are none anywhere near me and I hear the necks are pretty chunky which is a pretty big put off for me, also I do like to try before I buy...

Anyway, Any help you guys can offer me would be greatly appreciated as I'm sure many of you are far more well informed than I am! Thanks in advance!
bassofthe
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
21 IQ
#2
If you want a high-end Jazz, I would recommend a Dingwall Super J. I haven't tried the Super J myself, but the Dingwalls I have tried (including my own) are absolutely fantastic. Necks are pretty thin as well.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#3
I've never seen these before, they're beautiful! I noticed they offer some fanned fret options aswell, do you have any experience with them? I've always wanted to try a fanned fret bass but never had the chance
bassofthe
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
21 IQ
#4
Quote by SamWhiteBASS
I've never seen these before, they're beautiful! I noticed they offer some fanned fret options aswell, do you have any experience with them? I've always wanted to try a fanned fret bass but never had the chance
All their basses have fanned frets. They aren't any more or less easy to play than parallel frets, but they sound awesome, and the string-to-string balance is better than on a regular bass.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
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#5
Yeah, I noticed that upon looking a bit further.... I have always wanted to try one, the concept seems like it would be right up my street. But I couldn't help but notice they dont have any prices on the site... How much do you think one of these would set me back?
bassofthe
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Join date: Aug 2011
21 IQ
#6
Quote by SamWhiteBASS
Yeah, I noticed that upon looking a bit further.... I have always wanted to try one, the concept seems like it would be right up my street. But I couldn't help but notice they dont have any prices on the site... How much do you think one of these would set me back?
Depends on the model. You would have to ask them for a price list, which you can do here.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
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#8
Thankyou sir, I'll give them a message now. Although, all this price secrecy is making me think that they're way out of my price range... I just saw a used Dingwall for £2,500 on ebay so thats not too reassuring!
bassofthe
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
21 IQ
#9
Quote by Deliriumbassist
You aren't getting a Dingwall jazz for a grand anytime soon. They run at nearly £3k new.

Go used. Bassdirect.co.uk has some nice instruments in at the moment, check the secondhand bit on their site
My instinctual eraction to something I want being too expensive is to save up. I would rather wait a bit and then get the best of the best, than get something cheaper now.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#10
Although they're lovely basses, having just turned 18 and heading off to university at the start of next year, I'm not really in a position to be saving an extra £2,000 nor do I really want to even if I was! Thanks for the help man, but I really am looking to spend not much over £1000
Deliriumbassist
UG's only DB
Join date: Apr 2006
2,389 IQ
#11
Quote by bassofthe
My instinctual eraction to something I want being too expensive is to save up. I would rather wait a bit and then get the best of the best, than get something cheaper now.


And my instinct is to look at the situation. This young man is starting university next year, and from experience, dropping several thousand pounds on a bass isn't high up on the priority list next to food, rent, books etc. He's stated he only wants to really top out at a grand, and that's fine. Dingwalls tend to hold value very well, so realistically for a Dingwall jazz, he'd be looking at double his top budget. There s a time and a place to start recommending saving up more, especially 2-3 times more, but this isn't it, I feel. There are plenty good basses at the ~£1000 mark for what he wants to do.
bassofthe
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Join date: Aug 2011
21 IQ
#12
Quote by Deliriumbassist
And my instinct is to look at the situation. This young man is starting university next year, and from experience, dropping several thousand pounds on a bass isn't high up on the priority list next to food, rent, books etc. He's stated he only wants to really top out at a grand, and that's fine. Dingwalls tend to hold value very well, so realistically for a Dingwall jazz, he'd be looking at double his top budget. There s a time and a place to start recommending saving up more, especially 2-3 times more, but this isn't it, I feel. There are plenty good basses at the ~£1000 mark for what he wants to do.
I certainly see you point, but I personally would and will save up for what I believe to be the best option. The issue here is priorities; I prioritize music over most other things.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#13
Quote by Deliriumbassist
And my instinct is to look at the situation. This young man is starting university next year, and from experience, dropping several thousand pounds on a bass isn't high up on the priority list next to food, rent, books etc. He's stated he only wants to really top out at a grand, and that's fine. Dingwalls tend to hold value very well, so realistically for a Dingwall jazz, he'd be looking at double his top budget. There s a time and a place to start recommending saving up more, especially 2-3 times more, but this isn't it, I feel. There are plenty good basses at the ~£1000 mark for what he wants to do.


Haha, hit the nail on he head there! I just want to get the best quality bass I can for playing/recording within my uni course.

I've been looking at the Fender Geddy Lee signature recently, I really like the feel of the neck and it ticks all the boxes in what I was looking for specs wise. But so far, I've owned two squire basses and I'm looking at buying a fender and I cant help but feel I'm only looking at fenders to kind of play it safe.

I haven't really looked into many other brands and I just want some advice on what is actually out there in this kind of price range and if I can get anything that might be more suited to what I want from another brand.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
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#14
Quote by bassofthe
I certainly see you point, but I personally would and will save up for what I believe to be the best option. The issue here is priorities; I prioritize music over most other things.


I'm studying Popular Music and Recording at university I have prioritized music over more or less everything and £1000 is really the most I can muster up at the moment. I need to get a good quality bass for my university work and I feel I can get something that'll suit my needs within this price range
Deliriumbassist
UG's only DB
Join date: Apr 2006
2,389 IQ
#15
Quote by bassofthe
I certainly see you point, but I personally would and will save up for what I believe to be the best option. The issue here is priorities; I prioritize music over most other things.


As do a lot of us. However, prioritsing does not mean blowing out over the odds for an instrument. In fact, prioritising is a non-issue here. If I knew Sam in real life, and he prioritised the instrument over everything else right now, I'd slap him upside of the head and tell him he's an idiot. Evidently he knows the value of money, and I applaud him on that. Plus, more money does not equal the best. I spenr £1659 on my CS Warwick. I worked two jobs for it at uni. I fell out of love with it for 2 months, but I've played more basses than I care to count, and it's still one of the best basses I've played at any price. It seems you're equating cost with how good something. You probably don't, but that's how it's coming across. And before you start saying you prioritise music above most things again, I f*cked up my early career as a biomedical scientist by signing a record deal, after three years of very hard study. I overprioritised music, if anything. You say you'd save up for the best option? It looks like Sam already has, and it's a grand. Law of diminishing returns is definately in effect with bass guitars, and that's coming from a Warwick, Ritter and Drozd fan.

Sorry for the rant.
bassofthe
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
21 IQ
#16
"Saving up" means waiting, not spending more than you have. I would rather wait until I could afford what I really wanted than buy something cheaper.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#17
Just going to throw this out there, I dont know what I really want... I'm looking for ideas of what to buy and where to look!

Despite the Dingwalls being beautiful basses, £3,000 is almost an alien sum of money to me and I dont intend to spend that on a bass. I have waited and I have saved what I deem a suitable amount of money for me to spend on a bass. To me, £1000 is a lot of money and probably more than I can justify spending on a bass in the first place.

£1000 isnt my limit just because its all I can afford, its also my limit because I would not feel comfortable spending much more than that on a bass
Deliriumbassist
UG's only DB
Join date: Apr 2006
2,389 IQ
#18
Sorry Sam.

As I said, try bassdirect.co.uk. Also, The Bass Gallery tends to keep a good stock of second hand instruments. Both have physical shops (Reading I think, and London respectively), so if you could go down to at least one of them for a day, that'd be a good thing to do.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#19
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Sorry Sam.

As I said, try bassdirect.co.uk. Also, The Bass Gallery tends to keep a good stock of second hand instruments. Both have physical shops (Reading I think, and London respectively), so if you could go down to at least one of them for a day, that'd be a good thing to do.


Thanks for that, I'll check out the website now
Deliriumbassist
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Join date: Apr 2006
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#20
Also trying to think of places more up your neck of the woods (I studied in Chester, so a bit closer to home than London/Reading). I went to a place just outside Stockport I think which had a decent bass collection (including a Warwick BO 5 string at below a grand, which was ridiculous). I'll post once my mate gets back to me on where it was, he bought his amp from there.
Sudaka
Novice Bass Player
Join date: Sep 2008
1,096 IQ
#22
I'll do some on topic, because off topic is too mainstream (at least in this thread)
Well, the Geddy Lee you mentioned is a great bass, for what i could get out of it when i tried at a store, and today it would be my choice in your place. I'm not actually going after it because I kinda fallen in love with 5ers and BTB's... But i recall that the Geddy Lee felt like no other bass felt and sounded. Still, If i were you, I'd compare all the fenders in your price range. If getting a used MIA standard (pr deluxe) is a possibility, go try them at stores to get a clue about them and their feel. Also look at the Marcus Miller sig if you happen to like active jazzes, i think it's somewhat cheaper than a MIA deluxe, so it could be another great option. If you'd like to save some cash, you could look for a Highway one Jazz used, you're most likely going to find them quite worn out because the finish is really thin and sensible... But you may dig the worn out look. I personally disliked the Amercian Special, they felt pretty cheap for me, and the price tag was almost the same as the Geddy Lee's which blown it out of the water effortless. And if you would like to save some more, Mexican 70's reissue are also very good for their price, but this time I'm not talking for my own experience.

And yes, if i wouldn't be sas caught up as i am for 5ers, a Maple fretboarded Fender Jazz would be my GASing goal. So good luck to you!
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skippy_moogoose
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Join date: Jul 2006
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#23
I myself own a Sandberg, they are damn well made German instruments, and I got mine for less than £800 brand spanking new! And that was a few years ago! I went for the Ken Taylor model, which has a 3 band active pre-amp, as well as a push/pull active passive switch and a coil switch to go from humbucker to Jazz config. It's got a maple neck/fretboard and a nice little blend knob for oodles of potential sounds. I've seen second hand sandbergs go for as low as £400 on various websites such as basschat and that is A LOT of bang for your buck! Well within your budget even for a brand new one, and they are kinda like super fenders!! here's a link to their website which has a list of suppliers to go try out http://www.sandberg-guitars.com/
I know Spaz was looking at getting one at a point, and they are generally held in pretty high regard on the forums. I know I might be coming across as a fanboy but I really do love mine to death and if your after a jazz style kidna thing with great build and versatility you could do a lot worse than try one out!!
Hope this helps!!
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SamWhiteBASS
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#24
Hahah thanks guys I was hoping someone would bring this back on topic... But I will go and try out a bunch of fender Jazz's and see which I like best! I hear the Geddy Lee is pretty highly regarded which is reassuring, because the one I played was a good two years ago and I might have been way off with my interpretation... But I do remember really liking it and it is currently on the top of my list of basses to play again.

As for the Sandbergs, they look like really nice instruments actually! The price list has kind of baffled me a little as there seems to be so many variations of the same bass, plus a hundred and one variations on each one of those... But that said, they do look to be more or less within my price range. I'm going to have a bit of a look into them now actually

Thanks guys!
will42
UG's bassoon-master
Join date: Aug 2010
1,093 IQ
#25
I second the idea of the Marcus Miller Jazz Bass. One of my favorite Js that I've played, and I've played quite a few. It feels nice and has a great range of tones, both ridiculously funky and those "other" tones. But really you can't go wrong with the MIJ and MIA jazz basses.
Strauss!
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absolutely what will said

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SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
1,201 IQ
#26
I've wanted to play a Marcus Miller Jazz for a while but they don't seem to stock them in any stores near me... kind of annoying to be honest!

I have just seen some Over water basses on the site of a music store near me however. They where coming in about the £550 price mark, though I could be a little bit off there. But yeah, I just checked out the site and found out they're a custom builder but have a, well for lack of better words 'mass produced' range. They look pretty decent but has anyone had any experience with them? I'll be making a trip to the music stores soon but I'm just trying to get a heads up on everything.

The fact they're made by tanglewood is kind of off putting however because I've always associated them with relatively low quality beginner instruments. Although, having never really played much by them, I could be way off there aswell

EDIT: This is the particular model I was looking at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Overwater-Contemporary-Series-Jazz-Bass-2011-Immaculate-and-stunning-bass-/121022172714?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV&hash=item1c2d7bce2a
Last edited by SamWhiteBASS at Nov 17, 2012,
dicam
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Join date: Nov 2012
12 IQ
#27
Go for the best bass you can afford ... You mentioned that you have (or had) two Squire basses previously. these are pretty much entry level and given that you are seeking guidance, you are going to go through a few purchases before you are truly happy with your instrument. You are going to learn more about what you like as time goes on. I would not recommend a boutique bass like a Dingwall for uni.
SamWhiteBASS
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Join date: Apr 2010
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#28
Quote by dicam
Go for the best bass you can afford ... You mentioned that you have (or had) two Squire basses previously. these are pretty much entry level and given that you are seeking guidance, you are going to go through a few purchases before you are truly happy with your instrument. You are going to learn more about what you like as time goes on. I would not recommend a boutique bass like a Dingwall for uni.


Yeah like I said, I intend to spend no more than £1000 and obviously, a Dingwall is way out of that price range. I'm just looking for different basses to try out and see what I like the most inside my price range
Sliide90027
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Join date: Oct 2012
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#29
Ok OP.

I had a $5000 custom Birdseye Maple Board, Bookend Matched Maple Top 5 String Custom Bass. AS much as I like a Bright and Punchy Bass, I ran with all the Treble down. Still too bright.

Since the lutier was a liar and fake, and it was only worth $1400 used, it is somewhere in HongKong now as the central focus of a Religion.

I now own 4 Ibanez BTB's, Basswood Bodies and Rosewood Boards (Well the Fretless is MIJ with a Mahogany Core 1006). All Bolt ons from the 400 and 450 Series. Some have Barts some do not. They are all stunning in their Tone.

The cheaper Walnut Stringered instruments have needed no adjustment in 6 years and many altitude changes, the more expensive Bubinga needed a little attention once.

For me a neck either has two Stringers or Graphite/Carbon Fiber in it.

Being Poor I stick to stringers.