#1
Before the actual post, a brief preface: I've been playing guitar and singing for five years, and piano for two years. A couple of roommates of mine (who play guitar and drums, respectively) have talked about forming a little band for parties and such. We have no attention of taking it anywhere after college. I've offered to pick up bass. Only problem is that I don't have a bass or amp. So what would Bass Forum recommend?

TL;DR: I need some recommendations for a bass/amp. It doesn't have to be anything close to amazing. I'll probably be playing everything from hip-hop to Muse-style rock. Ideal price range is under 500USD.

Thanks in advance for your time.
Quote by SonOfPest
Its the Lydian mode; formed in Eastern Arabia when the Persians invaded England.


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
try the sexolydian scale.
#3
Peavey Millenium BXP Bass (I play the slightly more expensice Active version), really solid and versatile bass guitar, should be $300 or less.

And for an amp, I would recommend an Line6 LowDown Studio 110 which is about $200.

But if you shop around, you should be able to get it at a better price.
Last edited by Spanner93 at Feb 19, 2012,
#4
^ If he's gonna be in a band with drums, do you really think a 1x10 would cut it? Granted, his budget isn't gonna get him a huge cab, but it shouldn't be too hard getting atleast a 115 combo.

Since you're paying with USD, I'm gonna assume you're in the US. Try looking at some Acoustic combos, or maybe you can pick up a used Peavey TKO combo.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Acoustic-B200-200W-1x15-Bass-Combo-104813787-i1399999.gc

It's about $350, but maybe you can find one used. You might not even need anything that big and loud, but if you're playing with a guitarist and a drummer, 200W is cutting the bare minimum. What is your guitarist playing through TS? And is your drummer loud? All important questions.
pinga
#5
Quote by Cb4rabid
What is your guitarist playing through TS? And is your drummer loud? All important questions.


My drummer does a lot of jazz and metal, so his volume depends on the song we're playing. Seeing as we'll probably do some quieter and some louder stuff, how does that affect what I should be looking for? Obviously I'll need a louder amp for bigger songs, but, say, a 200W amp be completely inappropriate for quieter stuff?

My guitarist uses a Strat through a Fender Blues Deville.
Quote by SonOfPest
Its the Lydian mode; formed in Eastern Arabia when the Persians invaded England.


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
try the sexolydian scale.
#6
Quote by jwd724
My drummer does a lot of jazz and metal, so his volume depends on the song we're playing. Seeing as we'll probably do some quieter and some louder stuff, how does that affect what I should be looking for? Obviously I'll need a louder amp for bigger songs, but, say, a 200W amp be completely inappropriate for quieter stuff?

My guitarist uses a Strat through a Fender Blues Deville.



My god, you're starting out your very first bass gig with a drummer than understands dynamics!?!?!?!? You guys are destined to go far.

I back up the used plan--look for used carvin/peavey/acoustic to get cheap good stuff with enough wattage to gig. Look for at least a 2x10 or 1x15 combo with 200w so that you have enough stage volume with even a good drummer like the one you describe.

On the bass end, hunt around for used again for a decent ibanez or a MiM fender or squier-- you can find a lot of good stuff from those makes in the $150-$300 range.
#7
I really think you should check out the Fender Bronco. It doesn't have a ton of power, but it has some modeling (if that is your thing) with some built in effects. It might be good to look into for a starting bassist.
#8
Quote by DrewMeyer
I really think you should check out the Fender Bronco. It doesn't have a ton of power, but it has some modeling (if that is your thing) with some built in effects. It might be good to look into for a starting bassist.



He's playing with buddies, 40w is not going to get him over a drummer for stage volume or even for rehearsal.

It's also a pretty new amp, so they'd be hard to find used. No reason to spend half his budget on a practice amp.
#9
Quote by dullsilver_mike
He's playing with buddies, 40w is not going to get him over a drummer for stage volume or even for rehearsal.

It's also a pretty new amp, so they'd be hard to find used. No reason to spend half his budget on a practice amp.

I have a 5 watt (tube) amp. Granted it is a guitar amp, so it will be different in terms of volume than a bass amp (at least I think it would be) and I can get over a drummer fine. You have a good point, though. It probably wouldn't be the best choice.
#10
Quote by jwd724
My drummer does a lot of jazz and metal, so his volume depends on the song we're playing. Seeing as we'll probably do some quieter and some louder stuff, how does that affect what I should be looking for? Obviously I'll need a louder amp for bigger songs, but, say, a 200W amp be completely inappropriate for quieter stuff?

My guitarist uses a Strat through a Fender Blues Deville.

It's always better to have ''too much'' power than too little. You can always turn the volume down, but you just can't get louder past a certain point.
pinga
#11
Quote by DrewMeyer
I have a 5 watt (tube) amp. Granted it is a guitar amp, so it will be different in terms of volume than a bass amp (at least I think it would be) and I can get over a drummer fine. You have a good point, though. It probably wouldn't be the best choice.


Not at all.

want at least double the guitarists wattage, and a 60 watt deville is 2x12 or a 4x10 spitting tube driven crunch. unless it's a year or two old as well, those devilles use liner pots on the pre and post gain, making its volume jump considerably.

You're gonna be looking at getting 200+ watts for sure and some cabs.

I predict a squier P bass, peavey or harkte bass head, and a dozen or so rat fur 1x15's

I have a GK mb200 head, was $250 new, and got two 1x15's for under $70 with my bronco that was still all under $500. Now I'm thinning my crap down, and that rig is just going to be a carvin 2x10 and the head for a small setup.
#12
Why don't you just play Piano? You'd be able to play the bass parts with your left hand. If The Doors could do it, I'm sure you can. Plus, you wouldn't have to spend money.
#13
Quote by TheTad00
Why don't you just play Piano? You'd be able to play the bass parts with your left hand. If The Doors could do it, I'm sure you can. Plus, you wouldn't have to spend money.

Why doesn't the guitarist just play the right side of the piano? Why doesn't the drummer just use pots and pans?
pinga
#14
Quote by Cb4rabid
Why doesn't the guitarist just play the right side of the piano? Why doesn't the drummer just use pots and pans?


To me, this is way different. This guy is talking about spending money on something I assume he doesn't know how to play already when a perfectly logical solution is staring at him in the face.
#15
Quote by TheTad00
To me, this is way different. This guy is talking about spending money on something I assume he doesn't know how to play already when a perfectly logical solution is staring at him in the face.


Wouldn't be a bad idea, but it depends on the music, and If he already had a keyboard and amp he'd be set (even as a bass amp). but I doubt he does, and it'll cost money and a real piano isn't a gig worthy item.


Also playing bass looks way cooler than standing/sitting behind a keyboard
#16
Quote by askrere



Also playing bass looks way cooler than standing/sitting behind a keyboard



I don't know about you, but I've seen one or two keyboardists rock the show with their playing and stage presence

And if they're playing a mix of hip hop and Muse influenced rock, you could do worse than a guitarist/drummer/keyboardist lineup.
Last edited by TheTad00 at Feb 20, 2012,
#17
Quote by TheTad00
I don't know about you, but I've seen one or two keyboardists rock the show with their playing and stage presence

And if they're playing a mix of hip hop and Muse influenced rock, you could do worse than a guitarist/drummer/keyboardist lineup.


Keyboard is only relevant to Muse because they use a lot of synth parts. So when he's playing the synth parts, who plays the bass? Piano lacks so much of the nuance possible when you're actually physically plucking the strings, no varying tone depending on how/where you pluck it, no "dead" notes etc. Isn't gonna cut it for replacing the bass in rock songs. Not to mention that the harmonic content of a piano is entirely different to a bass guitar, it doesn't have anywhere near the same emphasis on low frequencies as a bass even when playing in lower registers. Furthermore, the bass parts are a massively significant part to the majority of Muse songs, so no, guitarist/drummer/keyboard is by no means a great line-up for it. It's going to sound so much better/fuller by replacing keyboard with bass.

As for the original question, just look at the stickies. There's loads of information in there on recommended basses/amps for budgets. Just try and stick around 200+ watts on the amp, and you'll be fine.
#18
But it all comes back to why he wants to spend money on an instrument that he simply doesn't know how to play. There are plenty of more practical solutions. One is to play piano, or even guitar. You could find another bassist, I'm sure there are at least a few in your area. But it seems like you're making it harder than it is and you plan to spend more money than you should, in my opinion.
#19
I think he should take up bass.
Main Basses:
Warwick RB Corvette 5
Douglas Sculptor 825 NA Fretless 5


Main Rig:
Sansamp>GK Backline 600>2 GK BLX 210 Cabinets
#20
Quote by NatePlaysBass
I think he should take up bass.


As a bassist myself, I wouldn't be too opposed to that. I'm just trying to think outside the box.
#21
For gigging: go AT LEAST 100w for your bass amp. With most SS bass amps, you can turn the volume down enough for apartment/bedroom practice that you won't lose a lot of tone and still turn it up enough to compete with your guitarists/drummer (I gigged with a 120watt SS Kusom against a 120watt SS Kustom guitar amp and a 100watt tube amp, very well, in my younger years).

For the bass: The Squier "Vintage" series of any kind should not be discounted. It shouldn't be to hard to match a Squier "Vintage" bass with a 100watt amp for around 500usd. There's nothing wrong with getting a new instrument to play, apply what you know what from you play to it, learn the ins and outs of what the instrument in and I'm sure you'll do well.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#22
Quote by TheTad00
As a bassist myself, I wouldn't be too opposed to that. I'm just trying to think outside the box.


His friend plays guitar, and his other friend plays drums. He plays guitar as well, I don't know who plays guitar better, but I assume our TS is newer to guitar and thus being made to do a McCartney.
#23
everything recommend now, search for it used.

i second the 200Watts plus 1X15" speaker.

however i managed to play with drummer and guitarist with my 100ish watt amp (it needs a second 8 ohm cab to get the full 160 watts).

bass: Squier Vintage Modified Jazz or Precision is the best IMO. also, i'd reccomend yamaha's RBX, Washburm taurus (if you like a dark sounding bass), or Rockbass, if you like soapbars. those are the ones i liked the most aroud your price range.

as for amps, i agree with the advice given. if you come across a fender m80, bear it in mind, it sounds nicely. however, fender's BXR series sucks. and nowadays rumble series are ok. however, there are better amps for less money, i think. and avoid low end ampegs. they suck, and are expensive
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
#24
Wow. I honestly didn't expect all of this. Where to start...

askrere, I'm actually probably the best guitarist of the group (we all play, but I've got the most experience). The guy who actually plays guitar isn't bad, just less experienced. I volunteered to pick up bass because I'm a nice guy and I've already got some experience with the instrument (I just never bought one).

Regarding the piano v. bass discussion, I acknowledge the point made by the pro-piano camp--and is certainly a valid possibility--but we'd already talked about that and decided bass was the better direction. Furthermore, I'm far less proficient with keys than with strings, so that's not really a great idea. And we could look for another bassist, but I live in a college town and finding a bassist who isn't blazed most of the time is extremely difficult.

I'll take everybody's recommendations and start doing some research and playing around. If all goes according to plan, you should see my NBD thread here in a month or two.
Quote by SonOfPest
Its the Lydian mode; formed in Eastern Arabia when the Persians invaded England.


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
try the sexolydian scale.
#25
Quote by Sudaka
everything recommend now, search for it used.

i second the 200Watts plus 1X15" speaker.

fender's BXR series sucks.


Lol my first real amp was a fender BXR 200 1x15 combo, loved that thing. Grossly over paid for it and played it constantly until I got tired of the heavy thing. I'd never call it shitty cause I loved it while I played it. Now might be a different story but I haven't seen one since.

And I was just making fun cause McCartney had to go with bass, though I would try and be the guitarist, just cause if he is worse off than you, you might as well play your strength and let him start on root note pumping to get the band going if possible.
#26
Quote by askrere
Lol my first real amp was a fender BXR 200 1x15 combo, loved that thing. Grossly over paid for it and played it constantly until I got tired of the heavy thing. I'd never call it shitty cause I loved it while I played it. Now might be a different story but I haven't seen one since.

And I was just making fun cause McCartney had to go with bass, though I would try and be the guitarist, just cause if he is worse off than you, you might as well play your strength and let him start on root note pumping to get the band going if possible.

That's a good point. It's better, in my opinion, for a less experienced guitarist to pick up the easy root note bass lines and for the more experienced guitarist to show of his skills on the guitar (since, honestly, most people pay attention to guitar instead of bass), thus making the band most likely a lot better. Not to diss on either the less experienced guitarists or bassists, just a better idea.
#27
Quote by DrewMeyer
That's a good point. It's better, in my opinion, for a less experienced guitarist to pick up the easy root note bass lines and for the more experienced guitarist to show of his skills on the guitar (since, honestly, most people pay attention to guitar instead of bass), thus making the band most likely a lot better. Not to diss on either the less experienced guitarists or bassists, just a better idea.


IMO not necessarily. I'd say if the better guitarist is fine with it then moving to bass for the band may be beneficial. Sure, initially they may not be as good as the other way around, but later on it will possibly save much frustration about the bassist not being able to learn songs fast enough. The better guitarist moving to bass will likely reduce the difference in skill levels between players, which in my experience has been a common reason to break up a band.
#28
Quote by askrere
Lol my first real amp was a fender BXR 200 1x15 combo, loved that thing. Grossly over paid for it and played it constantly until I got tired of the heavy thing. I'd never call it shitty cause I loved it while I played it. Now might be a different story but I haven't seen one since.

And I was just making fun cause McCartney had to go with bass, though I would try and be the guitarist, just cause if he is worse off than you, you might as well play your strength and let him start on root note pumping to get the band going if possible.

well, i tried a BXR that was like 70 watts or 100, i can't remember, and it's tone was really meh. it added nothing extra that couldn't be achieved by other, cheaper amps. that was my impression, and it wasn't a 200 watter, that maybe sounds better I think there's a 300 watts version that is valve powererd amp? well, whatever, i did not like it at all. and it was pricey.
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2