#1
I've recently been blessed from above with a job, and would like to someday spend a paycheck on a bass soon. What would be the best bass i could get for between 500-600 dollars? I've heard good things about Schechter, but that's the only lead i got.
#2
What do you want from it? There are an awful lot of basses in that price range. What do you want to sound like, do you have a decent amp, what do you like or hate about other basses you've tried etc
#3
Versatility is my biggest thing... something that can do some different things, from blues stuff to maybe having like a bass big muff and do some weird things with it. Also, my next question was gonna be what's a good bass amp? This would be my first bass cause I've been a guitar player up until now. I've tried some schecters and whatnot at guitar center. My friend has a cheaper Ibanez that's easyish to play.
#4
Buy used. Much more bang for your buck. You can buy new and sell it for less than half of what you paid, or buy used and get most of, sometimes more than, your money back. I'd recommend a Peavey Dyna-Bass (with the super ferrite pickups, not the Unity) and maybe an Ampeg BA-115. I have a Dyna-Bass and thoroughly dig it, both tonewise and playability. You can snag the bass AND amp used for a total of $400 on GC right now. You will eventually outgrow the amp, but that bass is solid. Some people are buying Dyna-Basses and parting them out. Those pickups are awesome.

You should easily be able to find both a used bass and amp in good shape for $500-$600. Whatever you get, just make sure it speaks to you.
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
Last edited by deeptubes at Jun 8, 2015,
#5
If you want versatility, opt for a bass with P and J style pickups. Just hit a shop and try a bunch of used basses. Find one that feels good in your price range, looks good to your eyes, and buy it.
Don't get hung up on brand, style, or what it's "Made" for.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#6
It would be a good idea to check what's used, better value for your money. However, if you insist on buying new, it's hard to go wrong with Squiers' Classic Vibe Series, Precision or Jazz. Great quality instruments and relatively cheap, leaving you money for a decent amp.

For amps, I've been hearing good things about the Fender Rumble V3 series, planning to get a 500 soon, and Hartke, Orange and Ampeg are all great brands, again hard to go wrong.
#7
there are so many good basses for $600 and under that there's no way to list them all. i do like the schecter stiletto extreme 4, but probably getting a used fender p and j pickups would be more versatile. ibanez and squier have tons of good quality basses with every tone and style you can imagine, but buying used can open up a whole lot more basses. i just picked up a used ibanez SR500 from GC for a whopping $200 (it usually sells for $599), so i'm big on used.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#8
Schecters were always ehhh to me. Not bad playing, but never wowed me on anything.

Flame war commence?
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#9
why? everyone has their own tastes. i used to have a schector AB1+, and didn't care for it so i traded it in. i like the stiletto extras tone better, although it's not as deep as i usually prefer.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#10
There are so many fine basses in that range that picking one as the "best" is not possible. You really have to narrow down some specifics (design, pickups, electronics, fretboard, etc.) before you can make an informed choice.

Consider these points:

4-string or 5-string?
How many frets?
Design? Bolt-on neck; set neck; neck-through?
Fretboard? Maple? Rosewood? Ebony? Something else?
Pickups? How many? Single coil? Humbucker? P/J? Soapbar?
Materials? Body wood(s)? Neck wood(s)?
Active or Passive?
Bridge? Top-loader or string-through-the-body?
Any particular brand that you would prefer?

This information will help us give you better advice.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#11
The best bass you seek in that price range will fit your left hand so well that you will play things you never imagined that you could.

The tone will inspire you to pick it up every chance you get.

The hard truth is that you have asked a very vague question, and FG is trying to get to the bottom of it, but the soft truth is that even with the answers to all of the above question there is nothing amongst the answers that will create the magic of inspiration.

I grew up in Dbl Bass Violin. The Bass was what it was. It was an instrument that you made yourself fit into at the age of 9 when it was about 2x your size.

The next thing was a mustang rip off. Again, nothing spectacular, just a tool to work with.
After that was the '73 Ash Fender P with a home made J Pup.

Again, an industry standard to fit myself into, until...the 82 Handmade BC Rich Mockingbird. [Steinberger was the only other cool thing those days and was Batish on the thumb.]

Now I was getting some tone. Followed by the Ibanez Musician fretless, nice but still just something to fit into on a bunch of specs which were supposed to work. In the end the Mockingbird was the same as a twist in the neck kept me from the super low action I wanted.

5-6 Hundred is a good amount to go on an Inspiration Hunt.
Take your time. Play everything, and take the time to find the amp that sounds right to you as well. Play the basses through different amps.

For me, my Safari ended when I picked up an Ibanez BTB 455 ($555).

I was getting the Tony Levin Sting Ray out of it without a Baseball Bat feeling neck, and the punch of the bolt on was crazy.

Tony, Geddy, Entwistle tones grab me, so it was a no brainer. In 4 months I had 3 more BTBs.
r
I am in awe of them. Shame Ibanez does not support them with more readily available parts, and really lost their way since the 400 series in my opinion.
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
#13
what i look for if Im not making my own to the tonal quality of the wood does it sound dead when playing notes or is it bright. the next thing would be the scale of the instrument they come in many the most common is 34 in but go up to 36 and some more than that down to 27 is the smallest one i have ever seen if you are used to playing guitar you are used to the notes being closer together so you may want a shorter scale. everything else you can upgrade very easily with no modifications necessary. find something that is comfortable to play. Telling you of what woods sound good together would take up a lot of pages so just follow you ear and feel of the wood playing it against your body good wood will sustain through your body.
#14
Quote by milhouse666
what i look for if Im not making my own to the tonal quality of the wood does it sound dead when playing notes or is it bright. the next thing would be the scale of the instrument they come in many the most common is 34 in but go up to 36 and some more than that down to 27 is the smallest one i have ever seen if you are used to playing guitar you are used to the notes being closer together so you may want a shorter scale. everything else you can upgrade very easily with no modifications necessary. find something that is comfortable to play. Telling you of what woods sound good together would take up a lot of pages so just follow you ear and feel of the wood playing it against your body good wood will sustain through your body.


Many would argue that the wood used matters little or none at all. The experiments that have been done to examine this have not upheld the tonewood theory.

Why be so concerned about it in a 600 dollar bass?

Quote by milhouse666
just follow you ear and feel of the wood playing it against your body good wood will sustain through your body.


Im pretty sure that any wood will sustain when held against a body.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
Last edited by c3powil at Jun 17, 2015,
#15
There are basses for half the price (or less) that will speak to you spiritually. There are basses for twice the price that you will hold for 3 seconds and hate. Don't look at the price tag until you feel and hear it. The more appropriate question might be "how do I find the best bass for me?"

My response to that is easy. You will just know. Play them all.
#16
Ibanez ATK-300 is a great bass. $500. Maybe not sexiest bass around but for function it's awesome. It also looks better in person than in pictures. Don't know why. Only two small issues are that it's a little heavy and the barrel jacks wear out, but that's an easy enough fix. Even better with M/M pick-up swap.
Last edited by mattedbird at Jul 5, 2015,
#17
Musicman SUB Basses are actually really good and you could probably get one for less than $500
I want '61 Jazz Bass!
#18
For under 500 new I would say a Squier Jazz bass and put in active EMG's when you can. I know a killer professional player who has been playing the same squire jazz exclusivly for the last 25 yrs. I bought one when they first came out back in the 80's and it was a surprisingly good bass. Sometimes I wish I still had it. I traded it in for a "neck thru" Vantage (yes vantage, not vintage) bass that had 2 p-bass creme dimarzio's in it. Also a great bass. Another amazing cheap bass was/is an Aria Pro. Can't remember the model but Cliff Burton used a black one, and whatever his name in Duran Duran used one as well through a few SVT's.
#19
Regarding tonewood. I think it's all in the way the seperate resonant frequencies of the body and neck work together. I have owned a lot of very expensive old fenders that have unforgivable dead spots on the neck usually on the first string btwn the 5th and 7th fret. Right now I have a blond 1974 precision and the C at the 5th fret on the first string is completely dead. You know it's a resonant frequency problem because you can move the dead spot up and down the neck by tightening and loosening the string. A loose volume knob gives off a rattle as the body is absorbing the vibration on that one note only. I had the exact same problem on a high-end Pedulla that I ended up returning to the store. So it's not always a bolt-on neck issue. I think the maple used in necks is probably alot harder than body woods so the problem might lie there. I have seen many a fender neck with grain that runs up and down AND ones with side to side grain. Doesn't seem to be all be Quarter sawn? How that works with a particular body is what makes a good guitar. Someday I want to get a bass made of 100% ebony and see what happens.
#20
Quote by deeptubes
Buy used. Much more bang for your buck. You can buy new and sell it for less than half of what you paid, or buy used and get most of, sometimes more than, your money back. I'd recommend a Peavey Dyna-Bass (with the super ferrite pickups, not the Unity) and maybe an Ampeg BA-115. I have a Dyna-Bass and thoroughly dig it, both tonewise and playability. You can snag the bass AND amp used for a total of $400 on GC right now. You will eventually outgrow the amp, but that bass is solid. Some people are buying Dyna-Basses and parting them out. Those pickups are awesome.

You should easily be able to find both a used bass and amp in good shape for $500-$600. Whatever you get, just make sure it speaks to you.



Peavey guitars are very good quality just too bloody ugly for me. I think they were the first to come out with unfinished or rubbed oil neck finishes when everybody else was having to sand their necks. I think Rudy Sarzo had a sig bass model back in the late 80's in quiet riot.
#21
Quote by nylgutman
I've recently been blessed from above with a job, and would like to someday spend a paycheck on a bass soon. What would be the best bass i could get for between 500-600 dollars? I've heard good things about Schechter, but that's the only lead i got.



Shecter necks and bodies are very good and have been around forever. They were the original Fender substitute and always seen with the old cream Dimarzio's. The only problem is you will be playing a no name bass. I don't know if they have logo's now but they never used too. For a youngster wanting to look good that could be an issue. You could always get a Fender logo sticker for 20 bux and slap it on the headstock.