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#1
What is the point of manufacturers producing and marketing the whole "starter bass pack" genre? Basically they give you a crap bass, a crap amp and all the useless "candy" crap like piss poor tuners that don't work, straps made out of thin nylon web and some banal instruction DVD for something like $300? We looked at a number of starter kits because me and my girlfreind are trying to start an after school music program at the local youth center, which means we gotta get lots of **** on a limited budget. We figured we could kill two birds with one stone for an average price if we bought one of these "bass packs" but so far they have all been ****, and by **** I mean even worse then your average low-end line bass.

So far we looked at Silvertone, Squire, Ibanez, Cresent, some Ebay brands and worst of all Epiphones T-bird pack. They all sucked, came with either bent necks or the amp was simply a feedback machine.

We just need a basic entry level kit for kids in the 13-16 year old range, but Chirst these were so bad it would be cruel and sadistic punishment to make these kids play on these assembly line turds.

How can such pieces of s h i t leave an assembly line and be allowed to be sold to public consumption with out these companies feeling just A LITTLE bit guilty?

Instead of doing this and wasting precious wood and money, they could just improve the low-end mid range models.
Last edited by Pizza The Hut at Nov 19, 2008,
#3
if you're looking for cheap bass amps that have nice sound check out the peavey bass max 126. cost me all of $70 and puts out a nice tone.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#5
That's the bread and butter of those companies. Chances are kids starting out would aim for that gear anyway.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#6
I know your rant wasn't against the companies but against their starter packs. Warwick tried to make a semi decent looking starter pack with their Rockbass brand, I think it was called the Black Hawk pack. You got a Streamer with a MM and J pick up and their 30 watt Blue cab combo amp (Both of which are decent entry level stuff imo) and i doubt this has sold well, simply for the price it cost. It cost nearly £400 ($800). There's not much they can do, I guess.

Now, I have to defend the cheaper basses. I think cheap basses are at the best they've been in awhile. I played an Ibanez GSR 200 recently and I thought that for £150 it was fantastic. The modern Squiers are reasonable (Im not even talking CV or VM here). John Hornby Skewes make great cheap instruments. Never played an SX, but people rate them.
#7
I rather liked my Squier starter pack.

Besides when your starting, the action being high, the neck being a little warped, the woods being used and some feedback doesn't matter to you. You want to play. As you get better you get a sense of what you want from your instrument, those kind of things start to matter.

Just get some of the packs. Most of the kids are going to be excited to be playing and learning some stuff. They're not going to care that the bass is a cheap peice of crap, there going to be too busy having some fun.
#8
Quote by Captain Insano
I rather liked my Squier starter pack.

Besides when your starting, the action being high, the neck being a little warped, the woods being used and some feedback doesn't matter to you. You want to play. As you get better you get a sense of what you want from your instrument, those kind of things start to matter.

Just get some of the packs. Most of the kids are going to be excited to be playing and learning some stuff. They're not going to care that the bass is a cheap peice of crap, there going to be too busy having some fun.



great way to put it i agree. these kids are prolly going to be holding an instrument for the first time, and they wont care or know how cheap the instruments are until they've progressed a little and by that time they'll be glad for em
#9
Quote by dmiwshicldply
great way to put it i agree. these kids are prolly going to be holding an instrument for the first time, and they wont care or know how cheap the instruments are until they've progressed a little and by that time they'll be glad for em


I think though that if the budget is high enough, you are better off avoiding the starter packs IF you are relatively certain that the kid will stay with the instrument.

A better instrument encourages enthusiasm and pride, which will leas to faster growth. I personally think the best bass dollar for dollar on the market is the Squier Vm line. For around $300 Canadian, you get an amazing instrument. Plunk down $100 for a decent amp, and for around $400 Canadian you have a setup that will last a long time. The Squier Vm basses IMHO are ones that even an enthusiast could keep for quite some time and never (outgrow).

Think of it this way too, if you buy a Squier affinity or an Ibanez gio, and the kid ends up quitting, you are stuck holding the bag. You MIGHT get back a fifth of what you paid for the package, MAYBE. If you spend a little more, you get resale value as well. You need to work these things out.

My personal opinion is that a starter bass for a kid over 10 should cost at least $300 canadian, which is about 240 US.
#10
Quote by M.P.A.Guitarist
ya my friend got a first act bass pack sucks ass wont stay in tune for 10 minutes

BECAUSE ITS A FIRST ACT!!! IT HAS THE WORD FIRST IN IT!!!!! FOR BEGINNERS, AND BY BEGINNERS I MEAN MONKEYS IN A TEST LAB WHO ARENT SERIOUS ABOUT INSTRUMENTS. and because of first act, they never will be
Try adding more delay.
#11
hmmm.

in a land where starter packs greatly fail, one man stands true... to the tone!

*heroic music*

seriously, GC should sell this as a set V
Quote by FatalGear41
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Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

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#12
Lets put a bit of economic perspective on this from the people who purchase this stuff.

Many of these "starter" packages are going out as gifts or presents from parents, who may or may not have to seriously watch the family budget. Many of these basses are going to younger kids, who frankly are known to switch interests quickly. If there is no one musical in the family, the benefits of buying a higher end bass are not going to be apparent to anyone.

When my youngest decided to pick up guitar, he got a Squier strat and a 15 W champ 15, because we weren't sure this was going to be another experiment on his part. (However, when he moved up to middle school last year, he asked for a MIM Telecaster, which I was happy to buy since he now shows strong interest in music)

They're STARTER packs, they are meant to get you started and going with an instrument. Yes, some like the First Act are truly horrible, but the Ibanez' starter is fairly decent and I have seen the QA on the Squier packs getting better.

And if it were me, and I was starting a music after school program (which I helped do in my district btw), I'd be putting the call out for donations of instruments. If you live in near a major metropolitan area such as Boston, NY or SF, you'd be amazed at the instruments people have lying about in attics and closets. We also got sponsorship from one of the local music stores. The result was that the program got some rather nice instruments to loan out to students. If the quality of instruments on your budget upsets you that much, I'd be taking that tact instead of worrying about changing the business practices of the major bass manufacturers.
#13
I brought one of these crappy packs cause I was broke about eleven months ago, and I'm still suing it, mostly cause I'm still broke
#14
because beginner bedroom bassists don't need good gear





The starter packs are aimed at kids starting up. Kids who most likely don't care what it feels or sounds like they just want to play. Parents buy them because they're cheap and if the kid doesn't stick with the instrument the parents aren't broke from buying it.
#15
Quote by Miss G
because beginner bedroom bassists don't need good gear





Ooooooh!

Quote by Miss G

The starter packs are aimed at kids starting up. Kids who most likely don't care what it feels or sounds like they just want to play. Parents buy them because they're cheap and if the kid doesn't stick with the instrument the parents aren't broke from buying it.


Exactly. I would've thought that was pretty obvious to anyone with a brain.

TS, stop making dumb threads
#16
Quote by Miss G
because beginner bedroom bassists don't need good gear




hahahaha lol
nicely done XD
#17
just buy some 2nd hand. Seriously, I don't think I'll ever buy any instrument new from a shop when you can go 2nd hand and get the same thing for less.
#18
Quote by jimRH7
just buy some 2nd hand. Seriously, I don't think I'll ever buy any instrument new from a shop when you can go 2nd hand and get the same thing for less.


For sure you can get better gear for the same amount of money if you go shopping second hand, but for that you need some judgement that can only be acquired by experience. To get experience you must learn to play first, and for that you'll need to have working equipment.
Unless you can rely on family and friends helping you out to choose proper gear, a starter pack offer a good way to get out of this dead loop. Buy a starter pack, pay less than all the items seperately would have cost you, go home, plug in and play.
Later on you can replace all items one by one as need be and money comes.
#19
Quote by Marcel Veltman
For sure you can get better gear for the same amount of money if you go shopping second hand, but for that you need some judgement that can only be acquired by experience. To get experience you must learn to play first, and for that you'll need to have working equipment.
Unless you can rely on family and friends helping you out to choose proper gear, a starter pack offer a good way to get out of this dead loop. Buy a starter pack, pay less than all the items seperately would have cost you, go home, plug in and play.
Later on you can replace all items one by one as need be and money comes.


Agreed. Especially the bolded bit. My first bass and amp were christmas presents way back when, and start packs are good for rents to go by- I wouldn't trust my parents to tell the difference between an American Fender and a pair of dungarees.
#20
And once again from the kids perspective, they are just glad to have the opportunity to play. We've started running Sunday jams at the studio for the younger students to form impromptu groups. There is nothing greater than watching a bunch of 10 - 12 year olds jam on a simple song. They just want to play and make noise. The quality of the instruments is merely secondary.

The "here's a chord, here's another and a third. Now go start a band" is their dictum. At times I would love to be that unjaded again.
#22
Quote by thefitz
That's the bread and butter of those companies. Chances are kids starting out would aim for that gear anyway.


i got a starter guitar pack because i didnt know anything about guitars, and i didnt know how bad it could be. thats how they make all their money.
What doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger

Bass: Ibanez Gsr200
Bass amp: Ibanez sw100 stack

Guitar: squier starter pack

never buy a squier!
#23
Quote by Applehead
Ooooooh!


Exactly. I would've thought that was pretty obvious to anyone with a brain.

TS, stop making dumb threads



How about growing up?

S h i t gear will discourage kids from playing. These things are nigh playable. Low level gear that is playable and makes decent sound is totally different.

They atleast deserve something playble that stays in tune, right?

I never said it was wrong to own expensive gear as a hobby, but i just find it funny and a bit ridculous for someone to own thousands in pro equipment for '$hits and giggles".
Last edited by Pizza The Hut at Nov 20, 2008,
#24
Why do car companies make cars that fall apart in a matter of years, when they are perfectly capable of producing higher quality vehicles that can last lifetimes? Money. Geld. Mulah. Capitalism. Making the world go round.

Quote by anarkee
The "here's a chord, here's another and a third. Now go start a band" is their dictum. At times I would love to be that unjaded again.

Oh man, ain't that the truth. You see, my Moddess, this is exactly why I am deeply flattered to be quoted in your sig.
Les Claypool
Geddy Lee
Robert DeLeo
Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#25
money... but it's nice to have something basic to play without needing to spend $600 to commit to an instrument you may or may not end up liking, especially if it's your first one at all
Quote by Mr. La Fritz
"all fatties report to the gym!"


Quote by mosh_face

music should only sound like a train running into a wall of BC riches plugged into line 6 spiders
#26
Quote by Pizza The Hut
How about growing up?


You seem to need to do some growing up if you're so naive as to think that musical instrument makers would cut profits because the ickle noobie needs something of quality to stay motivated. Which would you prefer, only nice basses that are inaccessible to beginners just wanting to try out a bass, or making sub-quality basses so that beginners can have something cheap to start so they might like to keep playing? I know I for one didn't stop playing because of my starter bass, which was a piece of junk. It served me fine until I could upgrade and I'm sure there are many other people on this board and elsewhere that have had the same experience. I have a nice decent quality Fender now. I don't play for other reasons . In the end it's all about rolling in the Benjamins or Borden's or... Queens?
#27
Quote by Pizza The Hut
How about growing up?

S h i t gear will discourage kids from playing. These things are nigh playable. Low level gear that is playable and makes decent sound is totally different.

They atleast deserve something playble that stays in tune, right?

I never said it was wrong to own expensive gear as a hobby, but i just find it funny and a bit ridculous for someone to own thousands in pro equipment for '$hits and giggles".


How about you go back and read the forum rules?

Come on--most starter packs, with the exception of First Acts and maybe Silvertone are decent for beginners and stay in tune. And I find that elitist players is more likely to discourage a person from taking up an instrument than a poor ass instrument ever did.

Lets all remember that the person who is considered one of the cornerstone's of R & B bass played a low end upright as his first bass that was nearly unplayable--James Jamerson.
#29
See, this is where the no-name stuff comes in. TS, go look at a few local music stores, and try out the lesser known brands. More often than not, I've found, you'll find some very decent instruments for very cheap. Greg Bennett, for example, is just coming out of this stage, but still has very good instruments an a very affordable price, and they're not the only ones. My local music store stocks a few of these brands...my favorite is Canvas, but there have been others too. Go take a look around, and look through all the pawn shops and craigslist ads as well.

Rondomusic.com can prolly help you out as well...even if you don't trust their instruments (personally, I can't recommend them enough), they have a whole bunch of accessories like strings and cables for really cheap. This, plus a decent amp and bass would be a good start, same with the guitar counterpart.
Nope, no sig here.
Last edited by Mutant Corn at Nov 21, 2008,
#30
I'm playing a POS bass, yet I'm still sticking to it. Why?

For the fun of playing bass, of course.

It is not the instrument that stops people from playing, its the people who say that the instrument that they're holding is crap which stops them, as we're all humans. We take other people's opinion of us and use it to judge our decisions.

So stop saying the instruments are crap, instead, encourage them. In the end, regardless of instrument quality, they should be having fun.
I don't know what I'm doing, but I still do it anyway...


Just for the lulz.
#31
Quote by Mutant Corn
See, this is where the no-name stuff comes in. TS, go look at a few local music stores, and try out the lesser known brands. More often than not, I've found, you'll find some very decent instruments for very cheap. Greg Bennett, for example, is just coming out of this stage, but still has very good instruments an a very affordable price, and they're not the only ones. My local music store stocks a few of these brands...my favorite is Canvas, but there have been others too. Go take a look around, and look through all the pawn shops and craigslist ads as well.



Greg Bennett stuff rules...the build quality on his instruments are fantastic. I do find that his instruments have a....strange tonal quality that I can't describe. It's really bright, almost in a trebley way. I have always liked GBD gear tho, I liked Samick too.
#32
Quote by Pizza The Hut
How about growing up?

S h i t gear will discourage kids from playing. These things are nigh playable. Low level gear that is playable and makes decent sound is totally different.

They atleast deserve something playble that stays in tune, right?

I never said it was wrong to own expensive gear as a hobby, but i just find it funny and a bit ridculous for someone to own thousands in pro equipment for '$hits and giggles".

personally, i wouldn't want my child being guided by anyone with such a poor attitude as you display here. your use of language shows a lack of knowledge and maturity. perhaps you should "grow-up" a little before trying to pass on your skills and additude to the next generations. imo! just my 2 cents, keep the change.
#33
Another side note on some of the lower brands and food for thought. Back when I was going into middle school, my mother gave me a Japanese knock off Les Paul guitar and a smallish amp for Christmas. For a starter set it was OK and not bad. It got me playing electric and I used the guitar until the end of HS when I upgraded to a real Les Paul Studio. The dealer took the knock off as <100 USD trade in.

If only I had known that the Tokais of my youth would be worth so much now. That little starter Les Paul is now worth enough to collectors that I could have traded it for a new Urge II. Oh well...
#34
Funny I had a discussion just like this some time ago about cheap violins. Knowledgeable and dedicated violinists maintaining that those cheapies are so bad that it is impossible to play them. People selling them are supposed to be criminals spoiling the market at the expense of honest hard working music shop keepers and customers. The noobies where these fiddles are aimed at will not be able to get a decent sound out of them, get frustrated and give up the whole plan of learning to play. Evidence for that, so they pointed out, is the great number of cheap and hardly used fiddles being offered for sale on e-bay.
I checked this argument out, and found that a surprising amount of barely used EXPENSIVE violins are offered for sale.
Then I took € 160,- to the music store and bought myself a very political incorrect electric Stagg. This while the violin specialists were telling me that even a € 850,- Yamaha would be too bad to be really usefull. Yet I found the Stagg quite playable. Yes, it's crooked, sloppily finished and rediculous, but reasonably playable and the sound is surprisingly good. I play it every day with ever increasing plaesure. At this point I don't even consider replacing it.
And know what? The fact that the name Stagg was on it helped a lot to give me confidence that all those crtitics were erring. As a guitarist I knew Staggs, and I found out long ago that there's nothing wrong with them that can't be overcome with a little gaffer tape and determination. In this respect they are BETTER for educating beginning musicians than a lot of expensive instruments.
#35
You raise a good point that kinda capitalizes on what you mentioned before. You knew what to do with gaffer tape and had determination. I can see 12 year olds starting out on crappy instruments just up and quitting on unplayable instruments. I have a crappy, awfully playing $100 mandolin that simply will not play the strings evenly in tune and has impossibly high action. I go to the store and play $1000 F-style mandolins (and get some shocked looks whilst doing so) I know that there do exist mandolins that are great - mine's just a lemon. And I don't give up. But I can't see 12 year old noobs having that foresight.

But, at the same time, I think it's irrelevant, because the instruments I've played haven't been that bad. Even my dodgy OLP would have been fine to someone who didn't know what the problems were.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#36
I've been working with alot of 10 - 12 year old guitarists and bass players lately, and let me tell you it would take a really seriously flawed instrument to put one of them off playing. We had one girl come in recently to the studio and her guitar had such a warped neck that the intonation was seriously off in an unfixable way. But she had been playing it for over a month trying to teach herself to strum some simple chords.
#37
I'm willing to bet that almost everyone when they're starting out can't really tell much difference between a high end bass and their beginner one. Yes, to a trained ear it may sound a little lacking and once you've played some nice basses they feel a little cheap too but when you're starting out you just want something to PLAY! Something you can try out and if it's not for you, you're not left with a gaping hole in your pocket.

If you choose to stick to the instrument and persevere with your practice then when you do feel the beginner instrument is holding you back, get something better but until then you don't NEED anything more than a working bass, amp and a taste in music.
Quote by Bumper
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#38
Or you could just joing TalkBass. They simply refuse to make any purchase seem like a bad one, and hell, remember the idiot who traded in a Stingray 5 for several SXs? And the TBers going "wow, what a great idea, we're so awesome."
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#39
Well, I'm playing an Ibanez GSR190 right now, from one of their starter packs. It's not that great, but for $200, what can you expect? Maybe see if you can get a deal with the company, although I'm assuming that they won't really do much for 10-20 basses and amps, but something might happen, just because they will usually discount for larger quantities.
#40
Quote by 83lespaulstudio
personally, i wouldn't want my child being guided by anyone with such a poor attitude as you display here. your use of language shows a lack of knowledge and maturity. perhaps you should "grow-up" a little before trying to pass on your skills and additude to the next generations. imo! just my 2 cents, keep the change.



So you can automatically make asumptions about my life,education and upbringing because I used a four letter vernacular word common in the english language that everyone uses?

Thats some brilliant deductive skill you got there Sherlock.
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