#1
I've been playing guitar for a few years now and I would like to start playing bass as well. I've played on a few different models before (dean and schecter) but I've never had the means to get both a bass and a bass amp until now.

My price limit is around $700 (plus or minus) total for an amp and a bass. While I know getting used may buy something better, I would like new. If I can offer anymore information that would help narrow down one's suggestions, let me know and I will do my best. Thanks.
#2
Without asking you the usual assortment of questions, I'll throw out some suggestions for you to mull over. I'll guess that you want to split your $700 between an amp and bass somewhat evenly.

As far as basses go, you can't really go wrong with an Ibanez. I'll always be happy to recommend an Ibanez first because they are practical for almost any musical application you could come across and are reliable instruments. For around $350, you can pick up the lower end of the SR series or possibly an ATK, which is a favorite of a couple users around here.

If Ibanez isn't your thing (some don't like the feel of their necks), you could easily have a look at the higher-end Squier line. While some would suggest a Made In Mexico Fender at this price range, users around here usually agree that Squier's high-end line has better bang for the buck, and the quality can be better in most instances. A Vintage Modified Jazz Bass or Precision Bass are both good basses to look at.

There are other brands to consider (Schecter, ESP) in this price range, as well. Both brands are also reliable and make nice basses.

The go-to amp for most users in this price bracket is Acoustic, and for good reason. Their amps are well-made and are tonally good for most applications. An Acoustic B200H and B410 half stack will get you through practices and gigs easily, and you can expand by adding another cab in the future.

I also recommend giving Peavey a look as far as amps go. While some don't like the tone they produce, very few will deny that they are rock-solid workhorses. I've owned a TNT 115 combo for several years, and it has done nothing but perform consistently every gig I use it in.

Hope this helps in your search. The golden rule for buying gear is trying it out completely first and getting a feel for it...and then if it feels good, go for it.
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#3
Overall, good advice from Graybass although it represents only one school of thought. His advice is valid, although there are several angles to approach this issue from. I represent a slightly different school of thought and there are others beyond these, all of which are valid. Just depends on your personal musical philosophy. Ultimately, the choice will be yours alone.

The advice to split your $700 evenly between guitar and amp is valid if you make a good choice from the git-go on your initial purchase. I've observed that many guitarists making the transition to bass buy an axe that they choose to upgrade within a few months of purchasing. I did this myself.

With that in mind, I'd suggest spending a bit more on the amp than the guitar. I'd also suggest that you consider a shortscale bass if you plan to continue playing the guitar. I can switch back and forth between a shortscale bass and a guitar much easier than I can switch between a longscale bass and guitar. Your experience may be different, but you would be short-changing yourself if you did not try both scale basses out before committing to a purchase. If you're abandoning guitar to take up bass then go with a longscale bass from the outset.

Personally, I think it's hard to beat a P-J bass for your first axe. Regardless of scale length, the Squier VM Jag basses offer a lot of bang for the buck. They're available in P-J configuration in either shortscale or longscale configuration. The shortscale Jag is $170. The longscale version is $200, but includes active pickups. There's also a passive P-J deluxe version for $300. Gratuitious links provided:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/squier-vintage-modified-jaguar-bass-special-ss-short-scale

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/squier-vintage-modified-jaguar-electric-bass-guitar-special/h71306

The advice about getting an Acoustic brand bass amp is also good as far as I'm concerned. Again, you get a lot of bang for the buck. The Acoustic B200 combo amp is $350 (with a single 15" speaker). If you want to go with a head-and-cab arrangement then the B200H head with a 4x10 cab is $550, and the same head with a 1x15 cab is $400. The combo amp might be the way to go for you intially, if you want to keep the pricing as low as possible.

Wait for a 15% off coupon and you could get out as cheap as $460 or as high as $650 for both an axe and amp. Good hunting.
Last edited by VeloDog at Oct 16, 2011,
#4
Quote by VeloDog
Overall, good advice from Graybass although it represents only one school of thought. His advice is valid, although there are several angles to approach this issue from. I represent a slightly different school of thought and there are others beyond these, all of which are valid. Just depends on your personal musical philosophy. Ultimately, the choice will be yours alone.

The advice to split your $700 evenly between guitar and amp is valid if you make a good choice from the git-go on your initial purchase. I've observed that many guitarists making the transition to bass buy an axe that they choose to upgrade within a few months of purchasing. I did this myself.

With that in mind, I'd suggest spending a bit more on the amp than the guitar. I'd also suggest that you consider a shortscale bass if you plan to continue playing the guitar. I can switch back and forth between a shortscale bass and a guitar much easier than I can switch between a longscale bass and guitar. Your experience may be different, but you would be short-changing yourself if you did not try both scale basses out before committing to a purchase. If you're abandoning guitar to take up bass then go with a longscale bass from the outset.

Personally, I think it's hard to beat a P-J bass for your first axe. Regardless of scale length, the Squier VM Jag basses offer a lot of bang for the buck. They're available in P-J configuration in either shortscale or longscale configuration. The shortscale Jag is $170. The longscale version is $200, but includes active pickups. There's also a passive P-J deluxe version for $300. Gratuitious links provided:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/squier-vintage-modified-jaguar-bass-special-ss-short-scale

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/squier-vintage-modified-jaguar-electric-bass-guitar-special/h71306

The advice about getting an Acoustic brand bass amp is also good as far as I'm concerned. Again, you get a lot of bang for the buck. The Acoustic B200 combo amp is $350 (with a single 15" speaker). If you want to go with a head-and-cab arrangement then the B200H head with a 4x10 cab is $550, and the same head with a 1x15 cab is $400. The combo amp might be the way to go for you intially, if you want to keep the pricing as low as possible.

Wait for a 15% off coupon and you could get out as cheap as $460 or as high as $650 for both an axe and amp. Good hunting.

This is very sound advice.
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#5
Just noticed that Musician's Friend currently has a 12% off deal going, but it's only good through end-of-day Monday, Oct. 17. Probably too short notice for you, but it's there nonetheless. You have to use coupon code 12OFFNOW when checking out on-line, or call them up and ask for the deal.
#6
I would like to thank all of you for this advice! It was helpful and it pointed me to a lot of avenues I would never have thought of. I am going to try and wait until Black Friday (or sooner if a sale comes up) as a lot of retailers have some kind of certain percent off. This will also give me time to try out the different models (if applicable) that were suggested. Thanks again!