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#1
I'm looking into getting a new bass guitar so I can stop playing with this piece of junk (link).

But, I guess that bass wasn't all bad. In my efforts to identify (and if I could, fix) what was wrong with it. I learned a lot about what I'm looking for in my first real bass. The problem is... I can't seem to find the features I want all on the same bass in any of the local stores. So I'm here to see if any of you happen to know a bass that fits these specs:

  • Tilted headstock, mainly so I don't have to worry about the string tree.
  • Solid and adjustable bridge, preferably through-body
  • Pickups capable of delivering a deep warm sound (don't need punchy) without an odd hum in between.
  • a nut that's actually the correct thickness.
  • and a neck that's actually made of an even wood (so I don't have rough spots and bumps on it)


Is that too much to ask? So far, it's looking like it. But if you can find something that fits that description and can deliver a warm smooth sound with good sustain. I will be very happy.

note: I am on a budget... but the exact amount is debatable.
#3



Nuts are different sizes, you have to try them out.

Gear:
Fender Standard Jazz Bass
Artec Matrix Pedal Tuner
BBE Optostomp
Boss GEB 7
EHX NYC Big Muff
Ashdown MAG C410T-300
Torque T100BX
GAS-ing for:
Boss SYB5
Behringer Intelligate IG9
#4
For price, were talking no higher then 1,200. But I would most likely be shopping around a bit for a good deal on whatever bass I want. So just because this list price is high doesn't mean that's what I'm paying.

And as for the nut, I'm just worried about it holding the strings too close or too far from the fretboard, as long as I can play open E then F and actually have it sound like an E and an F and not an E and an F# or a buzz and an F flat I'm fine.
#5
Ibanez SR?
they have thick nuts, good feel, and adjustable bridges.
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Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#6
Quote by K.I.A.
Tilted headstock, mainly so I don't have to worry about the string tree.

what worries?
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#7
Quote by alternitivebass
what worries?

I'm also wondering this.

I'd say an Ibanez ATK comes close but it's very punchy rather than warm.
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#8
I'm wondering what issue string trees give you... I'm confused, I guess 4 of my guitars have a problem...

There's very little you're looking for, ts, that you can't get out of that SX. Slap a new pickup in it, a bad ass II bridge, new electronics, a new nut and you've got everything taken care of except the string tree and the rough patches on the neck. Which, I can't imagine rough patches on the neck... did you sand it down in certain spots for some reason?
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#9
String trees affect your tone in a BIG way. It's a physical fact that using string trees steals a lot of the string performance from the strings, the fender headstock design is probably the worst in the business. Say what you wnat about the Gibson design, but it's solid and based on physics (Except gravity...see "Gibson split neck problem".
#10
Quote by K.I.A.
And as for the nut, I'm just worried about it holding the strings too close or too far from the fretboard, as long as I can play open E then F and actually have it sound like an E and an F and not an E and an F# or a buzz and an F flat I'm fine.


You'll be hard pushed to find a bass in your price range that won't have a note sound like the note it's meant to be. (Also, I'd consider F flat to be E ), sane with the smooth neck you're after, I've never found a bump in the neck on any bass I've played!

Also, I wouldn't consider string tree's to be that much of a problem at all.


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#12
Quote by Captain Insano
I would look at a Warwick Corvette. Seems to be everything you want.

This would be my recommendation as well. Also, if you are willing to buy used, I see them all the time on Craigslist and eBay for around $500-$700 USD. I personally own three Warwicks that feature the Corvette body style (including a Warwick Corvette Std. Fretless) and would be more than happy to answer any questions that you have about the bass (either in this thread or through PM).
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#13
Quote by Anjohl
String trees affect your tone in a BIG way. It's a physical fact that using string trees steals a lot of the string performance from the strings, the fender headstock design is probably the worst in the business. Say what you wnat about the Gibson design, but it's solid and based on physics (Except gravity...see "Gibson split neck problem".

Because Gibson basses sound so much better than Fender basses?
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#14
TS, I have a bass that's very similar to yours, maybe I can help? Mine plays very well and in tune, no buzzing.

As for what bass to get, really anything can be set up to play well. The only real limitation there is if the bass has a badly warped neck. Sounds like you don't want a Fender or copy...I'm inclined to suggest Peavey. Sounds like build quality is important to you, and that's where Peavey excels, especially with the old MIA models. They go for between $150 and $500, and generally are better quality than most anything Fender has ever produced, and have a very unique (and very good) sound to them. (Unless you're talking about the T-40, in which case it has quite a few very good sounds to it)
Nope, no sig here.
Last edited by Mutant Corn at Nov 22, 2008,
#15
Quote by Anjohl
String trees affect your tone in a BIG way. It's a physical fact that using string trees steals a lot of the string performance from the strings, the fender headstock design is probably the worst in the business. Say what you wnat about the Gibson design, but it's solid and based on physics (Except gravity...see "Gibson split neck problem".

I have honestly NEVER heard anyone say that string trees negatively affect your tone before tonight. I have head that the gibson tilted headstock improves sustain... but not tha the string trees negatively affect tone. I would think they positively affect tone, becuase they essentially do to the strings they hold down what the gibson neck does and they also give the string one more place to vibrate with the wood of the guitar.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#16
Quote by Thomme
I have honestly NEVER heard anyone say that string trees negatively affect your tone before tonight. I have head that the gibson tilted headstock improves sustain... but not tha the string trees negatively affect tone. I would think they positively affect tone, becuase they essentially do to the strings they hold down what the gibson neck does and they also give the string one more place to vibrate with the wood of the guitar.

I have. I'm still undecided on the correctness of it though, it would make sense if your nut is crap.
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I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

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HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#17
^ Nah, the nuts they use are fine. Sounds like he just got one that was cut a little too deep.
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#18
Quote by Mutant Corn
^ Nah, the nuts they use are fine. Sounds like he just got one that was cut a little too deep.

crap like this is why SX is all wrong. and if it's too deep, it's crap. that nut would be causing him to have neck bow to get those low notes unbuzzed, making those high notes a beast.

thus wasting a good piece of wood.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#19
Are you serious? You get problems like that in any budget bass line, not just SX. It's not really a big deal to change a nut anyway...
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#20
Quote by Mutant Corn
Are you serious? You get problems like that in any budget bass line, not just SX. It's not really a big deal to change a nut anyway...

$30 at a reputable music repair shop, you get a nice custom cut nut. $60-100 at a REALLY high end repair place, you get the PERFECT nut for that bass. Problem solved.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#21
Quote by Mutant Corn
Are you serious? You get problems like that in any budget bass line, not just SX. It's not really a big deal to change a nut anyway...

no. not every one. not terribly bad. Ive played 3. 2 had bad nuts.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#22
I have to second the Warwick Corvette. Trying not to be biased, though. They are very well-made instruments, and have a reputation for lasting quality. It sounds like you have had a tough run of okay/mediocre instruments. The Corvette Std. is your cure, imo.
Duck

Bass tones are hard to find.
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#23
Warwick and Ibanez both fit the bill...just get out there and try a load of basses.

I'm with you on the hating string trees. It's a lazy workaround for a problem that shouldn't have existed.
#24
Quote by smb
I'm with you on the hating string trees. It's a lazy workaround for a problem that shouldn't have existed.


Yea, I'm kinda shocked so few people agree though. Now, I know it's not this way for all basses with string trees. But at least with my cheap little SX, the string tree is actually holding the strings down at such a sharp angle the in order to tune my D and G strings I need to press down on the string on both sides of the tree a few times after every adjustment to try and equalize the tension... otherwise, it can get tuned so tight it wants to snap above the tree, but with no change on the main part of the string. I'm sure that's just my luck though.

I looked into some of the comments about the cheap bass nuts... and yes, I think it is set in too far... suddenly all my little problems are making much more sense. thanks

As for the suggestions: I played some peavey basses, talked to some people at guitar center, and was very unimpressed. The warwicks sound cool inspite of the price tag... but none of my local stores carry them, and I don't want to buy one without testing the sound and examining the parts in person first. I might travel a little to try and find a bigger store though, get a good look at the warwicks. thanks again.

To answer a few suggestions to simply improve the bass I already have: by time I replaced the nut, pickups, bridge, perhaps the tuning nobs and some of the wiring, I will have spent more on upgrades then the thing cost... and it still wouldn't sound like anything special, but it would still have warn out fretwire, strange lumps and rough spots on the neck (no, I haven't sanded it at all) and an annoying yet unavoidable headstock setup.

For any of you that had the patience to read all that, I also would like any thoughts on this bass: the Epiphone limited edition les paul Guitar center recently got one in that was damaged slightly in shipping but is otherwise new, so their selling it for $200. Tried it out and thought it sounded and felt great (better then any of the other guitars, and I've been shopping through them for weeks, always on the same amp) does anyone have any thoughts or warnings? Any completely unrelated suggestions (of bass guitars) are still appreciated though
#25
Quote by K.I.A.
Yea, I'm kinda shocked so few people agree though. Now, I know it's not this way for all basses with string trees. But at least with my cheap little SX, the string tree is actually holding the strings down at such a sharp angle the in order to tune my D and G strings I need to press down on the string on both sides of the tree a few times after every adjustment to try and equalize the tension... otherwise, it can get tuned so tight it wants to snap above the tree, but with no change on the main part of the string. I'm sure that's just my luck though.


That does not normally happen. My Squire Affinity did not have that problem. Most likely you managed to get one with a little flaw that caught onto the strings.


And Epiphone basses are very love or hate. Worst of all, they are often the basses you love at first then hate. They have a number of design stage flaws (a lot of the neck dive, and have poor access) and (generally) a very low end based tone, that is often described as bland and/or muddy.

Think carefully before you get one.
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Damn you and Warwickyness

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+1
Last edited by gm jack at Nov 22, 2008,
#26
Yea, at first it was that the string tree was flawed. I went to whites and grabbed a new string tree with the same dimensions that was actually smooth though. And it did help, but the problem persisted.

Hmmm... love at first then hate? That doesn't sound good. But it does mean that someone is likely to get as impressed as I was and make it an impulse purchase over the weekend though. I guess that wouldn't be a loss if it turns out a really don't want one, but it does mean I'm going to want to figure it out quick.
#27
Quote by K.I.A.
Yea, at first it was that the string tree was flawed. I went to whites and grabbed a new string tree with the same dimensions that was actually smooth though. And it did help, but the problem persisted.

Hmmm... love at first then hate? That doesn't sound good. But it does mean that someone is likely to get as impressed as I was and make it an impulse purchase over the weekend though. I guess that wouldn't be a loss if it turns out a really don't want one, but it does mean I'm going to want to figure it out quick.


I don't like them from the start, but apparently, to begin with, you overlook the flaws for various reasons.

However, if the good points are not perfect for you, the flaws then begin to come back and bug you once the honeymoon period is over.
Warwick freak of the Bass Militia. PM Nutter_101 to join

Quote by elliott FTW
Damn you and Warwickyness

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Quote by CLIFF_BURTON
gm jack knows everything
+1
#28
maybe an ibanez SR if you like thin nuts
My Gear

Squier VM p-bass(i chosed it over a fender!!!) with quarter pounder and gotoh 201!!
fender MIM P bass
epiphone SG 400
#29
Yea, the SR is one I've been looking at for a while. A friend of mine owns one. And everyone seems to be recommending them... but I just have yet to be impressed by their sound or feel.
#31
yeah, concering the string trees, I've got two P's with string trees, one even has two, and an ibanez strat with a string tree, and I have NO problems what-so-ever with them. You may want to try moving the string tree back and/or lubricating it with graphite. The only guitar that I have any tuning problems with is my Les Paul, which has an angled neck. The strings catch in the nut frequently.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#32
Quote by Thomme
yeah, concering the string trees, I've got two P's with string trees, one even has two, and an ibanez strat with a string tree, and I have NO problems what-so-ever with them. You may want to try moving the string tree back and/or lubricating it with graphite. The only guitar that I have any tuning problems with is my Les Paul, which has an angled neck. The strings catch in the nut frequently.


That's probably what I'd agree with most! Also considering the bass is an SX which are known for then un-consistency and bad build quality it could be the reason the nut and string tree suck.
Gear:

Musicman SUB 5
Ibanez SRX305
Ibanez GSR200
Ashdown MAG300 C115
Ashdown MAG 210 cab

Soon a Fender Deluxe Jazz V & an LTD 206
#33
wait, you have a les paul bass where the nut keeps catching the strings? Is this a Gibson or a Epephone?

Yea, I should have known the SX was a bad buy. Even though it was my first bass... I should have taken advantage of the return policy when I took it into a guitar shop the first time the tress rod went bad. Showed it to the owner and started explaining my problem, his face cringed and he said "Where did you get this? Not here I hope."
Last edited by K.I.A. at Nov 22, 2008,
#34
Quote by K.I.A.
wait, you have a les paul bass where the nut keeps catching the strings? Is this a Gibson or a Epephone?


I think he meant guitar as in not a bass.
Gear:

Musicman SUB 5
Ibanez SRX305
Ibanez GSR200
Ashdown MAG300 C115
Ashdown MAG 210 cab

Soon a Fender Deluxe Jazz V & an LTD 206
#35
Try Traben. Some of their models sound rather warm, IMO. I really liked the Traben Neo Custom. Thing's got a lot of warmth and sustain for days.
Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
Ibanez SRX2EX1
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Gallien Krueger Neo 410
#36
Quote by Rywad
I think he meant guitar as in not a bass.


If that is what he meant... then of course the string trees are working fine, and it's no surprise the nut is catching the strings. Bass guitars and regular electrics have very difforent sized strings... so very difforent problems will occur.
#37
Quote by K.I.A.
If that is what he meant... then of course the string trees are working fine, and it's no surprise the nut is catching the strings. Bass guitars and regular electrics have very difforent sized strings... so very difforent problems will occur.

do you hear yourself? The strings may be differant, but the basic premise is the same.

Ok, here's facts. I have 3 p-basses, 2 of which are fenders, 1 of which is an epiphone. The epiphone is a "cheap knockoff," which unfrotunetely has a slightly longer neck than a normal P-bass, so I can't swap the neck... but, the Epi has a tilted headstock. It's nice, the string tension seems a little higher on the epiphone, but it makes no differance compared to the two fenders I've got. My 96' P-bass had a busted truss rod at one point, so my action was absurdly high and the A-string buzzed because the break over the nut was horrible, so I added another string tree, since then I succesfully fixed the truss rod, so the extra string tree is really of no concern... but between my '02 with the fender vintage pickup and the 96 with the duncan vintage, there's no discernable differance on open notes due to the string tree.

Now, if this theory is correct, then it would mean that the same theory transfers over to guitars exactly the same as with basses. So, my 70's Ibanez's E,B,G and D should all sound dead and flat compared to my Epi strat and my Paul, when it fact it does not.

I would actually think that contrary, though string trees used to increase break over angle may not be as effectient as the tilted necks, it serves the same purple as the tilted necks, it increases the break over angle over the nut.

Concerning the issue with the neck, that is your fault that you didn't return a broken product to the company your ordered it from, you can't be surley that you ordered a bass, it arrived broken and you didn't even ATTEMPT to RMA it. I have honestly heard almost nothing but good things for SX and Agile guitars and basses and have found myself tempted to order one up many time.

Also, with the nuts, most basses, including the 5-900 range, have junk plastic nuts. My 96, my Epi P-bass, my Epi Strat, my Epi Paul, my 02 P-bass all had junk plastic nuts on them, that I eventually replaced. My new blueridge actually has the same junk plastic nut, but it hasn't given me any trouble yet, so it remains. By replacing those nuts, I've improved the guitars' performance and tone substantially. I use tusq nuts on all my instruments.

What I'm getting at, is short of the Fender American Standards, Gibson basses (not epiphone) and the higher end ranges of ALL basses, you'll have the same issues with nuts and string trees, you'll also run into issues with bad necks on ALOT of basses right now, considering it's the winter and wood's dryin' up and I've had to setup ALL of my instruments again...

All I'm saying is: the issues you're having with the SX, other than the truss rod, are all common issues on low-mid range instruments that most people deal with and fix.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#38
this is the third time I'm typing about these basses because IE keeps crashing when I hit "save changes" editing my post... but the basses I'd suggest for you would be:
Warwick Thumb Bass: tilted headstock, great neck, awesome sound and feel, solid as a rock... just ugly.
Ibanez ATK: either the new or old ones, you'll still want to replace the nut if it's got the stock nut and the pickup if it's a new model. They play, sound and look groud, though. Tilted headstock.
Musicman Stingray: does it need any explanation?
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#39
I Never said it wasn't my fault for not returning the bad instrument. Heck, I think I said it was my fault. But in the end, it still means I wound up with a goofy bass. And I do realize that most of these problems are common, I'm sorry if I stated otherwise.
I simply noted the fact that almost everything would need fixing, and therefore is unlikely to be worth the time or money if I could get a better or even good bass that already had most if not all of those problems dealt with within a reasonable price range, as the new bass may also have some features and potential that I could not achieve from this one no matter how hard I tried. I'm planning ahead, and looking into getting a bass that I can learn on for a long time and not feel like I need to get a new one or make too many big changes. so as I'm learning, I'm also becoming accustomed to an instrument that has the potential to go wherever I take it. I've noticed that a lot of you have a lot of basses... I only need one, so I want one that counts.

I'm surprised you spent so much time typing all that out though. And you still didn't loose your head or make unbackable statements. So you do have my respect and thanks.
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