I'm about to order a Musicman Stingray through a local store, $1600, for all the options that I want, which is a fair price, however, it's still going to break me financially for the next little bit.

What I'm wondering though, is that I'm currently playing a Fender Squier P-bass through a Peavy Max 110 bass amp. I'm not playing any gigs, but right now, I'm more or less just dealing with starter gear, even though I've been playing for a while, I won't be able to afford a decent amp for some time.

So, can I still expect to get the great, Musicman sound through a decent starter amp?
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No guitar or bass sounds good with ANY amp. Your amp is near to 80% of your tone. No matter how good the guitar is, if it's run through an awful amp, the tone is going to be poor.
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Umm spend your money on a decent amp instead. An Ampeg, markbass, or GK combo maybe. Hell, with that much money you can buy a head and cab. And even have enough left over to maybe pick up a nice ibanez bass.
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No guitar or bass sounds good with ANY amp. Your amp is near to 80% of your tone. No matter how good the guitar is, if it's run through an awful amp, the tone is going to be poor.

That's pretty much what I figured.

I'll go ahead and get the bass, (if not for the sound, it's also a show piece). But just make more of a priority to get a good head/cabinet.
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Umm spend your money on a decent amp instead. An Ampeg, markbass, or GK combo maybe. Hell, with that much money you can buy a head and cab. And even have enough left over to maybe pick up a nice ibanez bass.

especially an ATK its a super awesome bass with a similar style :P and a nice amp it would be just as good as a music man rig.Awesome amp + awesome mid range guitar.
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You see where I'm going with that

You have the potential to sound awesome tone-wise with that bass, however, you do need the amp for the job.
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i have no helpful advice

well sure fat mike sounds amazing even without an amp. if your good, you can make that little piece of shnub amp sound great.
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^no, just no.

In simple terms.

An OK bass will sound much better through a higher end amp. The opposite is never true.

If you are looking to improve your sound, its better to upgrade an amp than a bass, unless your starter bass is a truly awful instrument.
For that money you could probably get a used Musicman Sub and a decent amp, which is going to be far more useable short term, also the Sub won't lose much value if you do upgrade leter on.
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Spending more than a grand on a bass that you're planning on playing through a starter amp is not a very good idea. Take that same 1.6k n split it 800/800 or maybe 600/1000 for a bass/amp. You're better off spending more on your amp than the bass, it has more to do with your tone.
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get a sterling by musicman stingray, and get a good amp. it will get that tone you want, and you will have an amp too
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Anyway, the amp won't fix anything if you just don't have the right instrument for the sound you want. Trust me on this; I have experience.

But if there isn't anything wrong with the bass, the amp will contribute more towards improving TS's sound. An MM through a starter pack amp will sound bad, while conversely a Squier through a nice Markbass or GK will sound alright.

In this case I'm in favor of splitting the money used for the MM and using it to buy a perfectly serviceable mid-tier bass and amp, instead of splurging on one or the other.
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^ not a clue. Its probably just an estimation, or an exaggeration to prove a point. While I agree that the bass itself is important, the amp is more important. It doesn't really matter how much it contributes to the tone in comparison to the bass, an MM Stingray is not going to sound too good through a starter amp, regardless of how great the MM may be.
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Id say personaly the tone comes mostly from the amp followed by playability followed by wood-pups-hardware

anyway, If you are going to be getting a new amp in the next few months then go for what ever your heart desires bass wise, especially since your not performing. If you are gonna continue to play through your lil budget amp for a year you'd be better off splitting it 600-1000 on a bass/amp.
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Just my input - Sometimes it can be more important to have an instrument you truly appreciate than to have something you like, and an amp to match. I don't know what the situations are like where everyone else is but everywhere I've played so far there has been backline gear that has at least sounded decent.
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Quote by obeythepenguin
Well, my point was I've never heard a particularly convincing explanation of why the amp is more important. Everyone says it, but nobody seems to have evidence to support it.

My guess for why an amp would be considered more important is because it actually takes the vibrations from the strings and turns them into audible sounds. Its through the amp that the sound is modified via EQ and speakers etc. Granted the bass actually makes the vibrations and the better the wood/components the better the sound, but you cant really hear it without the amp (well you can but not fully). A higher quality amp will also be able to modify the input from a low quality bass and give it a pleasant sounding tone, while a low quality amp will generally take a high quality input from a high quality bass and degrade its original tone. So since the amp is the last thing that affects the tone it could be said that it's more important than the bass.

And I say all this having spent much more on my basses than my amp. So yea.
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Last edited by matttehbassist at Jul 22, 2010,
Quote by obeythepenguin
@ mattehbassist: Almost missed your reply. Pretty solid reasoning, but I'd still argue no amp can fundamentally alter the character of the input; garbage in, garbage out. And while the part about high/low quality amps makes perfect sense and is quite relevant to the original discussion, it would seem to suggest the 80% rule only applies in that specific context (i.e., it's obvious with cheap vs. quality gear, but it's unclear how important the amp is when you're comparing gear of similar quality).

Eh, but I should give it a rest. I'm too tired now to go all English major on this stuff.

The way I see it, bass, amps, strings, etc add distinctive nuances and character to the tone coming out of the amp. The most important part IMO (of course) is the bassist.

Fundamentally, all of the elements filter the sound. Either making it better or worse.

Again, that is just IMO.

meh the 80% thing's always been arbitrary and it's more visible when you actually type out the reasoning behind it.

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The most important part IMO (of course) is the bassist.


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Im going to step in and play the devil's advocate here for a minute... Stingrays are awesome basses, and Peavey makes awesome amps. Now while you wont get the best possible tone out of a small amp like that, its still gonna sound pretty freakin' good.
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My Stingray5 sounds pretty good coming out of my Fender Rumble 100. As long as you tweak your settings a bit it'll sound good. Not as good as it sounds running through GuitarRig2, but it still sounds acceptable.