#1
So today I went shopping for some prices on my first amp and bass. Some opinions on the following choices would be wonderful.

The scenario is I've never played bass before and I am saving up my own money (Which I do not get much of, mostly birthdays, christmas and probably going to be starving for my lunch money too ) and so I've been looking to get quite a cheap package, The amp isn't extremely important at this stage as I will most likely have to use headphones for the majority of the time, I'll probably upgrade my amp later. So in no particular order here goes:

Option 1 - Gear 4 Music Bass Starter - This is about £115 (+P&P) and comes with the bass, 15W amp (With headphone jack), gig bag, strap, pick etc. It seems like a fairly good deal to me but I've read a few reviews and it appears to be pot luck as to whether you get a good quality one or not and I wouldn't like to recieve the package only to find its not very playable.

Option 2 - Local music shop - Today I went out to find that the local music shop has a Johnny Brook bass guitar and Ashton Amp for just under £160, this is without a gig bag (Although I'll most likely play it a lot so it won't gather dust all that easily), no strap (Pretty cheap though) and no pick (I wouldn't even want to play bass with a pick). However I can test the guitar before buying (Eliminating the possiblity of a disappointing delivery) and the amp also has an MP3 plug which is something which I would really like to have as I'll probably play along to tracks when I'm first learning. Also, the instrument seemed better quality than the reviews that I've read of the G4M stuff.

Option 3 - Your suggestions - If anyone has any further suggestions of good packages then that would be lovely and I'd love to hear them! My budget is somewhere within £200 but having a low price would be great. I don't particularly want anything expensive but I don't want anything so bad quality that it's unplayable.


Any comments on my current options and any other suggestions are very welcome and would by greatly appriciated
Last edited by 01000011 at Aug 7, 2009,
#4
Well I'm not entirely sure what genre I'll play most but I suspect it will mostly be alternative (since thats the kind of music I'm into). If there are any good basses for that then I'd be happy to hear about them ^_^
#5
I say save up for a pretty good used bass when you have a low budget. Its just my two cents but stuff like squires doesnt feel right at all in my hands. Go to a shop and play any and everything they have
#6
Yeah, used is good. Hopefully you can get one with cigarette burns on the headstock. Those are good mojo.

New I really like the Squires, but I also play Fender so I'm biased. Squire's 70s Jazz bass is around $250 here in the States, and is easily the best bass I've ever played in that price range. It's even better than a lot of used instruments I've played at the same price. More importantly, the wood is good enough to bother upgrading. You can put a Badass bridge on it and rewire it with some Seymour Duncans a couple years from now, and it'll be just as good as any Fender bass made in Mexico. It won't have the right name on the headstock, but that's a small price to pay for getting the same sound for half price.

If you don't like the Fender sound, Ibanez is a great choice too, and (at least here in the States) they pop up used all the time. Same deal there ... electronics and pickups aren't great, but the wood is, and they take upgrades well. Just be sure to buy a string-though model, as Ibanez uses weird screws on their bridges, and you'll have a hell of a time finding replacements.

As far as your amp goes, I wouldn't worry about it yet. If you've got 10" or bigger speakers, and your amp is at least 50 watts (15 watts for tube), you can play through your guitar amp for now. Keep the volume around 50% or less, and don't use any bass octavers, and you won't break anything. Oh, for the love of God don't use bass octavers. Your low end won't be great, but it'll sound as good as a cheap practice amp, and there's no point in buying a 'real' bass amp until you're playing with other people.

Right now I'm using my Orange Tiny Terror guitar amp into 12" Vintage 30 speakers, and it sounds awesome at practice levels. Obviously I'll need a real bass amp to play with a band, but I figure I have a while to go until that's an issue.
#7
Quote by 01000011
Well I'm not entirely sure what genre I'll play most but I suspect it will mostly be alternative (since thats the kind of music I'm into). If there are any good basses for that then I'd be happy to hear about them ^_^


must...not...rage...at...'alternative'..as...a...genre...

Vintage Modified Jazz Bass by Squier and a Kustom KBA16x, the ideal starter package

edit: *actually reads thread for once"

£200 is not going to get you anything but ****. £300, however, will get you a decent Squier (not affinity series) or Ibanez bass and a good practise amp.

Quote by jean_genie
If you've got 10" or bigger speakers, and your amp is at least 50 watts (15 watts for tube), you can play through your guitar amp for now. Keep the volume around 50% or less, and don't use any bass octavers, and you won't break anything. Oh, for the love of God don't use bass octavers. Your


This is pretty risky, a better idea is to plug the guitar amp into a set of hifi or computer speakers (USING THE HEADPHONE SOCKET NOT THE AUX SOCKET ON THE AMP), **** tone but no risk of your amp assploding due to too much awesome low end.

Edit: CHECK THE FAQ, can't believe I forgot it. Has a list of all the best starter basses and amps.
Last edited by Spaz91 at Aug 7, 2009,
#8
Spaz, I love your signature. People that don't drink coffee - or at least tea - make me nervous. It's like saying, "Oh, I don't use the computer. Or the phone. Or own a car." I'm waiting for them to mail me anthrax or something.
#9
Quote by jean_genie
Spaz, I love your signature. People that don't drink coffee - or at least tea - make me nervous. It's like saying, "Oh, I don't use the computer. Or the phone. Or own a car." I'm waiting for them to mail me anthrax or something.


Yay caffeine dependency
#10
If you're on a budget, and you have access to it, I recommend you buy used gear. Assuming used gear is cheaper than new in your area (which it should be) you'll get more "bang for your buck".
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix
#11
Quote by Spaz91
must...not...rage...at...'alternative'..as...a...genre...


Haha, sorry but I listen to quite a wide range of music and so it's the best term I can find for it that covers the different kinds of music

I know that £200 isn't going to get me far but I honestly can't save up much more than that at the moment as I can't get a job (Under minimum wage age) and I don't get pocket money, just the ocassional £10 or so when I go out shopping (About once a month now). So I don't expect anything great but I'll have to deal with it.
In regards to buying used stuff it would have to be good condition (I.E. Not obvious its used) as my Mother has some sort of issue with used stuff and refuses to let me buy it.
Last edited by 01000011 at Aug 7, 2009,
#12
Bass wise, there's the GSR 180, which GAK has in for £134. Amp wise, there's the KBA16 at £69, same site. I had it's little brother as a practice amp, and still use it for home use, since 180 watts when the rents want to watch TV is pushing it a tad It's never let me down, and is a steal at £69.

Sure, it'll take you ever so slightly over, but it's good gear.