I have a used GSR200 with whatever (new) strings the store put on it.
I have a peavey 20w (or 15?) bass amp.

I have played $1000 thru neck bass' through $500 amps in the store and it sure sounds better than what I have...but I don't have $1500 laying about right now and if I did I'm not sure the wife would agree with that as a way to spend it.

What should I be saving/planning/shopping for next?

I say a used schecter through neck for $450 - very nice sounding/playing instrument. But that into a $90 amp? Really?

Perhaps an amp would be the better next thing to get. TONS of choices, new, used, 1x soemthing, 2x something or perhaps more. 10, 12, 15 or ? Combo or separates?

perhaps $20 in strings or a a pedal of some sort or preamp would be better (and cheaper).

I'd like to try coated strings but after 3 diff stores don't stock them I have to wonder if I'm even on the right track.

Goal: continue to learn/improve for my own reasons. Have no plans to play a type of music (rock in general). I like the sounds of les claypool/primus and jazz double basses if htat helps at all. My son plays guitar and is a green day fan(atic)
i would say get a better amp. i recently got a sansamp BDDI and a new bass, and it doesn't help the fact that my amp is absolutely awful (behringer BT108 ) luckily at college we have a good few bass amps and they sound excellent IMO.
to watch sky HD, you need an HD telly
as for amps, the most useful thing i know is do not go for behringer. they lure you in with low price and 'high' power and promises of warranties and customer care.
then they beat your head in with a hammer.

i rather like hartke myself, using an A70 at college and having used a few from venues.
what sort of budget are we looking at?
Last edited by moody git at Jan 29, 2013,
Agreed, a new amp would be an excellent start although if you're on a really small budget it's worth checking out a Behringer BDI21 pedal to see if that brings anything new out of your current amp.

Also it's wise to avoid Behringer amps like moody git said, the pedal is actually decent for the price.
get a new amp and a new pack of strings.
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
I'm on the bandwagon here: get a new amp. You aren't going to get a lot in the way of good bass tones from a 20-watt combo. Your GSR200 is actually a lot of bass for the money. It is a solid design, it has a pretty good bridge and the pickups and wiring are good enough to produce some fine bass tones. Whatever tone you are looking for, you are not likely to find it in a 20-watt practice amp. Plug your bass into a good bass amp at your local music shop. You'll hear a big difference.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
OK....good advice.

$400 or less for an amp...Ideally I'd like a used big name brand (best quality, lowest price, best resale options). But what's out there is a crap shoot at any given time.

So what am I looking for - as in watts, speaker size and number? What is to be avoided?

I'm guessing for what I have to spend a combo will be most likely thing I'll find.
I don't plan to play gigs but my son plays guitar and I'd like to be heard at least!

I will obviously listen to them in the store but I'm great and bringing home something too big (suitcases, furniture, etc) or something too small (my current amp).
Well you have no location listed but if you are in the US look at the Acoustic B200. 200 watts and around 350 dollars. Very solid amps with nice tone to them. But definitely look around at the store and see what sounds good and fits the pocket book.
Raise the Pickups to about 1/3" off the strings

Use Elixer Strings.

Get an Amp with no less than 100watts of power.

Find a Digitech BP-8 and play with the settings on that.

If your bass does not sound good now through an Amp at a Store, do not directly go buy an amp.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
I started on a 20W Peavey, you just can't get a great sound out of something that size and that budget. If you get a chance play through headphones and they will give you an idea of what your bass is actually putting out.

If you don't mind size and weight and want to be able to get your money (most of it anyway) out then second hand Peavey is as good as most and dirt cheap for what it is.

200W through a 2x10 or a 15 will be enough for most situations so start by deciding if you want the convenience of a combo or the flexibility of amp and cab and start looking.

Good luck