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#761
Alrighty, I'll put it in a post in this thread to work on it then let everyone know when I feel it's done. The spoiler tags will be coming in handy. I'll back it all up on dropbox too.


Placeholder: Beginner Gear: Bass guitars, bass amps, bass effects and paraphernalia.

Welcome to the fascinating and rewarding world of bass! Whether you're an absolute beginner, buying for someone else or just want a good backup, in this thread I'll be going through all the best entry-level gear that you can use to get started at every price point and for every situation.

Just a few notes:
  1. Prices are as of September 2016.
  2. 2nd hand gear is not listed here as prices, condition and reliability vary too much. Feel free to ask about specific sales in this thread.
  3. Less reliable brands occasionally make well made gear and reliable brands occasionally make poor quality gear. This is a guide and not an endorsement, please don't be upset if your favourite bass isn't on the list or if you had a bad experience with any of the gear below. You're more than welcome to discuss it in the thread though.

Bass Guitars.

First off, you're going to need a bass. Cheap basses are an absolute nightmare to find and a minefield when it comes to QC but despair not, there are some diamonds in the rough for every style.

Please note: You will see a lot of brands repeated. This isn't out of any kind of shilling or brand loyalty, they've simply made constantly reliable products.



Amplification.

Not nearly as fun as buying a new guitar but sadly just as necessary. With bass guitar you get the additional pain of needing far more power than a normal guitar would. Without a PA you'll usually need at least 200-300w of power and a decent amount of speaker area if you want to keep up with drums and most electric instruments. For this reason I'm reluctant to recommend 'practise amps' as their low wattage makes them all but useless compared to some of the other options. An overlooked option is to get a decent USB interface as this will allow you to play through headphones, record and use amp & effect simulation software.




Effects pedals, etc.

By a long way the most dangerous and addictive part of guitar and bass gear but I'll be boring, I'll be mum. You do not need to buy effects pedals; there is not a single style or genre of music that requiresthe bass guitarist to have effects. Stop buying pedals instead of saving up for a new bass or amp. Do not buy an EHX Bassballs just because it's cheap.

That said, here's some cool toys to buy:



  1. QC - Quality control.

  2. Active - The bass uses a powered onboard EQ or powered pickups. These will require 1 or 2 9v batteries to operate.

  3. Scale Length - Essentially how long the neck is. Higher scale lengths increase tension (good for B strings) whereas lower scales have a warmer and fatter tone and are easier on the fingers.

    Short Scale - 30" (ish)
    Medium Scale - 32"
    Long Scale - 34" This is the standard scale length for bass guitars. Assume all of the bass guitars in this list are this scale unless otherwise stated.
    Extended / Extra long scale - 35"+

  4. Extended Range - Any bass with more than 4 strings.

  5. Pickups:

    Single coil - i.e. jazz bass pickups. Bright sound and full midrange; can create a lot of signal noise (hum).
    Split coil - i.e. precision bass pickups. A hum-cancelling single coil pickup.
    Humbucker - A pickup with two coils to cancel out the hum, usually with very pronounced bass and treble.
    Soapbar - A generic and easily swappable pickup housing that can contain single coil or humbucking pickups.


For info on the various parts of a bass guitar, see this handy-dandy diagram.
Wood doesn't affect tone. Grow up.
Last edited by Spaz91 at Sep 11, 2016,
#762
Looks good, Spaz. Good to see some people from the olden days are still around. That being said, I'm back, though I wouldn't blame you if I've been forgotten. I'd like to be here for the long haul, and I want to make the bass forum great again... Oh God, what's happening to me? Anyways, if there's anything I can lend a hand with, message me and I'll gladly supply any contact information you could need.
Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
Ibanez SRX2EX1
Gallien Krueger 1001rbii
Gallien Krueger Neo 410
#763
Good call on the spoilers, nice and tidy.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#764
Great start--like the headings and topics but...

The only issue I have is that you need to put a caveat on basses for smaller players I'm one of the more height challenged (and smaller hand players) on this forum and I've never had an issue playing any standard sized bass. It's ok if someone wants a small scale bass for the sound or slimmer neck for a preferred feel, but "smaller players"?? ugh.
#765
Noted, I was meaning more for children but I'll clear that up right away.
Wood doesn't affect tone. Grow up.
#767
I'm having a bit of trouble thinking up examples for the 'cheap' basses; there's not much I'm willing to vouch for besides Squier Standard and Ibanez GSR. Even those I'm having to put a disclaimer on.

(I'm also adding a note about store brand and generic basses as well as Rondo Music.)
Wood doesn't affect tone. Grow up.
#768
Peavey Millenium range
Yamaha entry level stuff

About the 'tried and tested' bit... I'd pretty much just leave it out. Unless enough people contribute, or you become Ed Friedland and get sent every bass under the sun, you aren't going to have the amount of experience with the range of beginner basses required to write up such a section. As you say yourself, you're only willing to vouch for Squier and Ibanez and talk about disclaimers.

I would just sort a price range out, stick in every mainstream brand in there and a little blurb where you can.
Last edited by Deliriumbassist at Sep 12, 2016,
#769
Oh its not going to be a long section. Its mainly the things that will automatically be suggested in every forum when someone wants a beginner bass, i.e. Classic Vibe, SR300, RBX/BB.

I'm going with an upper limit of £350 on basses and gigging amps. Does that seem fair to everyone?
Wood doesn't affect tone. Grow up.
#770
Is that enough for gigging amps? You're looking at a few 1x10 and 1x12 combos with enough headroom and there's plenty of heads that would fit that range, but is that going to get you enough speaker area without buying used?
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#771
Tree-fiddy will get you at 300w and a 15" driver which should do for rock band in a smallish venue, there'll be a note about getting the right wattage and speaker coverage as well as DI; I'll the subject of matching amps and cabs to a more advanced FAQ. (Just for the record, £350 is just under $500.

Would a section of 'brands to avoid' be too contentious? I feel pretty confident in saying that people shouldn't buy Behringer and Bugera products but it might spark the wrong conversations (i.e. the age old 'my one is good therefore they're all good, etc'). Personally, I'd like to blacklist Laney but someone somehow comes to their defense every time.
Wood doesn't affect tone. Grow up.
#773
I completely forgot Laney even existed.

+1 to adding Dean to that list. Your note about in-house brand basses and the like could go in there too, and maybe a mention about the trap of buying "starter packs."

When it comes to the FAQ overhaul itself, what do you guys think about nixing the tonewood section and some of the more extreme modifications that are in the maintenance section? Stuff like neck modification, heel removal, routing, etc. that most people would go look to GB&C for in the first place.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#775
Quote by Tostitos
I completely forgot Laney even existed.

+1 to adding Dean to that list. Your note about in-house brand basses and the like could go in there too, and maybe a mention about the trap of buying "starter packs."

When it comes to the FAQ overhaul itself, what do you guys think about nixing the tonewood section and some of the more extreme modifications that are in the maintenance section? Stuff like neck modification, heel removal, routing, etc. that most people would go look to GB&C for in the first place.


I think the entire modding section can go. GB&C is a more appropriate place for it.
Quote by bassmanjoe08
Dan

Don't stop being you <3


Quote by fatgoogle
I think after this relentless adding for the last 10 mins, that Dan is the coolest looking. Goddamn welsh people and my great etc etc etc etc etc granddad is welsh.
#776
If we are looking to have more of "first time bass player" basic FAQ, I agree--the modding can go to GB&C and generally, if someone has a question on specific modding, they can open up a thread here or in GB&C. No one who is looking to get their "starter bass" generally is going to think about overhauling their instrument at first blush.
#777
Another good section would be a couple of exercises for finger strength and technique, its probably the most important thing for a beginner to get right.

I think for the sake of being easy to digest, anything that could go in a different forum should (with links.)

Just a heads up, I've been writing the new bass stuff every time I have a few minutes spare but I've been called in to do a ten hour night shift (2.5 x overtime rates, get in) so my sleep cycle is a little squiffy. It's on its way and it won't be long but I doubt it'll be done by tomorrow evening.
Wood doesn't affect tone. Grow up.
Last edited by Spaz91 at Sep 15, 2016,