#1
So a bit of background:

I'm generally a guitar player, but I started playing bass before I took up arms as one of the widdly high-end wankers, so I have a decent amount of experience playing bass. I'm not amazing or anything but I know what I'm doing. So I've joined a band back handling low-end duties. Thing is... I don't know if my current bass is really 100% appropriate.

Basically, I'm looking in to getting a 6 string bass, to give myself the low notes the music requires (the band play 7 strings exclusively), while also giving myself the higher range notes I like to use for chords and such. But, as ever, I don't have much money to invest without spending a good amount of time saving. I don't know if it's relevant or not for bass gear, but I'm based in the UK.

So my question is this:

Is there such a thing as a budget 6 string? If such a thing even exists, would it be worth buying one at all? If so, what are my options realistically? What's the least I should expect to spend on a 6 string and get something that's usable for gigging?
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Jul 22, 2015,
#2
Many bands play heavy with a 4 stringer, but if you're really craving a six string my go-to cheap 6er is the Ibanez sr206, sr306, sr406, sr506, etc. Depending on your budget, you can probably find one of those used on craigslist or ebay. Obviously, the higher the number the better build quality and electronics, but the cheaper ones shouldn't be too bad.

Warning, though. They switched the factory that these models were made in and I much prefer the Indonesian made basses as opposed to the Korean made basses. They have a thinner neck and are much smoother to play, in my opinion.

I have also heard that Rondo Music makes an okay cheap 6er, so look into those too. Otherwise just see whats out there on the used market.

EDIT:

I used an Ibanez SR506 for quite a while and really liked it. It's not exactly professional quality or anything, but I view it as a great bass for anyone who doesn't play music as a main source of income, and even then it's a good backup.
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Last edited by c3powil at Jul 23, 2015,
#3
sure there is - the ibanez gio GSR206. and yes, it would be worth buying. i enjoyed my time spent messing with it at several guitar centers. and after you have more money, you can always upgrade the pickups if you chose.

there's also the Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI for $50 more here in the u.s. my husband has the 5 string version, and it's a nice bass with good tone. but me - i like the ibanez a little better.

can you get to a store and try 'em out in person? or buy used and try before you buy?

the rondo 6 stringers start at a nice low price, but i haven't tried 'em in person. i haven't heard anything bad about kurt or rondo, though.
http://www.rondomusic.com/bassguitar6.html
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Last edited by patticake at Jul 23, 2015,
#4
I might be speaking out of line here, but I believe your inner 6-string guitarist instincts are kicking in and influencing your decision on a new bass.

If you have a decent 4 string bass you're satisfied with then you should be able to make it work with that. I know loads of metal bands in my area who have low-end bassists, nearly all have 4 strings with the exceptional 5.

If you really want that extra bassy punch have you considered a 5 string? 6 strings feel too prog focused like that Japanese fellow in DreamTheater, if that's what you want to play then go for it. Otherwise I think you should consider 5 strings, they're cheaper too usually.

Don't let your bandmates' extra strings intimidate your 4 string bass. They may look big and scary but when played sound like whining pussies against a fat bass string.
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#5
i wouldn't recommend getting a budget 6 string. anything specialized is gonna take a huge cut in quality - think RGA8s in the guitar world.

i'd recommend just getting a 5 string to get by if your 4 string isn't cutting it then save up for a dingwall combustion. that's kinda the be-all end-all for affordable metal basses IMHO
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#7
Quote by Deliriumbassist
If you can find a second hand Peavey Grind Bass sixer, it is, pound for pound, one of the best sub £700 six strings around. It's still listed on the Peavey website, but seems to be discontinued everywhere.


These are great! Also, any peavey should be decent for the cash, but I'm not sure if they make any other 6 stringers, aside from the cirrus line, which isn't in your budget.
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#8
Quote by Deliriumbassist
If you can find a second hand Peavey Grind Bass sixer, it is, pound for pound, one of the best sub £700 six strings around. It's still listed on the Peavey website, but seems to be discontinued everywhere.


^This! Peavey basses are criminally underrated. You'll love the thing. The Ibanez GSR206 is also a good first six-string bass.
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#9
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr


I'm generally a guitar player, but I started playing bass


Basically, I'm looking in to getting a 6 string bass, to give myself the low notes the music requires

Is there such a thing as a budget 6 string?


1. You're still thinking like a guitar player. You need to start thinking like a bass player. Repeat this over and over again.

2. A four or five string bass will give you all "the low notes the music requires." Do a bit of research and find out what your bass amp can *actually* reproduce. Bass strings are (5th string) B0=30.87Hz, (4th string) E1=41.20Hz, A1=55Hz, D2=73.42Hz, G2=98Hz You should understand the physics involved here before you delve into the mental masturbation of downtuning a bass. If you're nattering on about getting a "budget" bass, chances are really good you don't have an amp capable of reproducing any of this.

3. There are budget 6-strings out there, but not new. You're going to be hunting a while, and the brands will likely be Samick and Yamaha. Do not buy a Peavey 6-string bass.
#11
Ok, let's clarify here, because I have obviously placed emphasis wrong with what I've said:

I do not want a 6 string for the low end. I have gear that covers that just fine. My current 4 string and amp handle those notes just fine (dspellman I'm looking at you; I know what I'm doing and you're assuming too much). I am not new to bass and I'm not approaching the instrument the same way as I do the guitar.

The access to the high end is what I'm really looking for; more interesting possibilities when the music allows for it, more ability to play the same part without having to move my hand up the neck, and so on.

Now: I'm not in any hurry (in fact I won't actually be buying for a while anyway), I know that a lower-cost 6 string is going to take a knock in quality, the question is does that cut make it unusable as an instrument? You guys say I need to wait and buy something much more in what I would call the mid-range of prices then so be it, whatever, but please don't try and second guess what I want or need the instrument for.

Apologies for not making myself clearer before, looking back I can see that things I said might have led you to believe I don't know what I'm doing. My bad.
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#12
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Ok, let's clarify here, because I have obviously placed emphasis wrong with what I've said:

I do not want a 6 string for the low end. I have gear that covers that just fine. My current 4 string and amp handle those notes just fine (dspellman I'm looking at you; I know what I'm doing and you're assuming too much). I am not new to bass and I'm not approaching the instrument the same way as I do the guitar.

The access to the high end is what I'm really looking for; more interesting possibilities when the music allows for it, more ability to play the same part without having to move my hand up the neck, and so on.

Now: I'm not in any hurry (in fact I won't actually be buying for a while anyway), I know that a lower-cost 6 string is going to take a knock in quality, the question is does that cut make it unusable as an instrument? You guys say I need to wait and buy something much more in what I would call the mid-range of prices then so be it, whatever, but please don't try and second guess what I want or need the instrument for.

Apologies for not making myself clearer before, looking back I can see that things I said might have led you to believe I don't know what I'm doing. My bad.



You can indeed find a playable budget six string bass. Like mentioned before, you will mostly be looking used if you want a big name brand, but the Ibanez and Peavey six string basses are great bang for your buck. Try them out for yourself and don't be dissuaded by the haters. Btw, the Ibanez SR506 sells new for 700 dollars, but can often be found in good condition on my local craigslist for 300, or sometimes less. Don't let new prices fool you! See whats out there.

EDIT: Also, I had a really good time with my ESP LTD b-206 that I got new from ebay for around 300 dollars as well.
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Last edited by c3powil at Jul 25, 2015,
#13
it depends entirely on your budget, style of music, and how you play. go try stuff out

odds are, though, any 6-strings you get your hands on are just gonna be lackluster in the sub-1k market, and at that point you have access to dingwalls, which i think are the best bang-for-your-buck if you're playing metal (which i'm assuming is the case, but you haven't provided any real information)

plus, you have to consider variation in tone...the more strings you have, the harder it is to have a full low-end and a non-fickle high end. you can't get everything you want all the time like a guitar, especially while trying to cut through a mix.

it'd help if we had a solid idea of what you want to spend and what kind of music you're playing. you say we shouldn't second-guess your needs, but for people here who don't know who you are, you just look like another nooby guitarist that hasn't given any background information except your location, lots of filler, and indecisive wording. if someone were to go into GT and say "i usually play bass but also play guitar sometimes kinda sorta i'm not great but i know what i'm doing......i need something in a budget range but i don't know how much to spend.....i'm in a band but idk what kind...also i'm in the UK", how much could you really help them?
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#14
Quote by Hail
it'd help if we had a solid idea of what you want to spend and what kind of music you're playing. you say we shouldn't second-guess your needs, but for people here who don't know who you are, you just look like another nooby guitarist that hasn't given any background information except your location, lots of filler, and indecisive wording. if someone were to go into GT and say "i usually play bass but also play guitar sometimes kinda sorta i'm not great but i know what i'm doing......i need something in a budget range but i don't know how much to spend.....i'm in a band but idk what kind...also i'm in the UK", how much could you really help them?

See, you say all that but this:

Quote by Hail
odds are, though, any 6-strings you get your hands on are just gonna be lackluster in the sub-1k market, and at that point you have access to dingwalls, which i think are the best bang-for-your-buck if you're playing metal (which i'm assuming is the case, but you haven't provided any real information)

plus, you have to consider variation in tone...the more strings you have, the harder it is to have a full low-end and a non-fickle high end. you can't get everything you want all the time like a guitar, especially while trying to cut through a mix.

This is is exactly your answer to the question I asked.

You don't think I should pay anything less than £1000, preferably a Dingwall if I can run to it (probably an ABZ since I think that's the cheapest 6 they make), and that the sacrifices to be made are going to be balances in tone between the low and high end.

That's it, that's the answer I'm looking for, it contains basically all the information I want from you.
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#15
why don't you just go to the guitar store? it would seem the logical choice since you sound like you are getting frustrated with the answers posted here.

just go to the guitar store and try some stuff. nothing beats results.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 27, 2015,
#16
Quote by ad_works
why don't you just go to the guitar store? it would seem the logical choice since you sound like you are getting frustrated with the answers posted here.

just go to the guitar store and try some stuff. nothing beats results.

Sadly not as easy as all that, the instrument shops near where I'm currently living don't tend to stock many 5 string basses, let alone 6ers; I think I saw one once, maybe? No matter though, some of you have been really helpful, thank you! You've given me stuff to think about!

Apologies if I sound frustrated, it's my own fault anyway for not being completely clear about what I'm asking.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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