Recently I've been thinking of buying my first personal bass. I want to be sure that the bass I get is going to be a decent one, but there are so many different basses out there with totally different prices. Now don't just tell me to get the most expensive bass. I want to know what are the things that make a bass expensive, so I won't get ripped off.

1) So I understand that pickups are important to the bass' sound. Are active pickups always a better choice?

2) Bridge. How will it affect the performance of the bass.

3) What the hell is a preamp?
Active pickups and actice electronics are two different things. The preamp is the bit that is "active" when you hear people talk of active basses. it basically means that you have control over your signal, attentuate and boost. Passive basses you can only attenuate. They are not better or worse, just different. Some people like passive, some electronic.

The bridge affects your tone to a point but also the amount of sustain the notes will have. it's also horrid playing on a cheap bass where the bridge is rock solid. i love the MM and the Bad Ass2 bridges personally.

How much money do you have to spend and what kind of music will you want to play?
Well, I have about 500-600$ and I'd like a bass that really delivers, you know? A bass suitable for any style of music. Slapping n' popping, heavy metal low notes and stuff.

From what you said it seems that active electronics are better, because you can get more different sounds, right? But what's the difference between an active pickup and a passive pickup, besides that an active pickup needs a battery?
Same as Apple said. What is your pricerange? What styles of music do you plan on playing? Also what basses are you interested in? It is normally a bad idea to buy a bass just because someone else suggested it.

Edit: my bad you beat me to the answer. I would suggest a Warwick (most likely corvette). Great tone, great feel, and overall a great insrument. You may have to look to find one in that pricerange but you can go used if you have to, I picked up my Corvette fretless for $500 perfect condition and with a hardcase.
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Last edited by Beast_Within at Jan 14, 2007,
Quote by Beast_Within
It is normally a bad idea to buy a bass just because someone else suggested it.

I was actually hoping, that you guys would give me some ideas so I could go to my local music store and check them out, to see which one of them suits me to best.
it all depends on your liking if you like the sound feel and body shape of it and its within your price range
If you want heavy metal low notes you might like a 5-string, but then the strings are closer together, making slapping and popping a little more difficult though not impossible.
I've held a bass in my hands before. I just want to know what makes a bass expensive.

So would anyone please recomend me some good basses between 500$ and 600$. That way I will know what basses to look out for when I'm going to my local music store to try some out.

And once again: what's the difference between an active pickup and a passive pickup? Does the active pickup have better quality or what? Or is there no point getting a bass with active pickups?
if its your first one, im a fan of the squier affinity series, p-bass or jazz, but if you have the money, personally i like ibanez
Quote by 10secondepic
if its your first one, im a fan of the squier affinity series, p-bass or jazz, but if you have the money, personally i like ibanez

Ibanez makes great quality basses with reasonable prices. I suggest you check them out.
If you can manage to find a warwick for that price, then you should definatly check it out, However in england warwicks are £600 cheapest so I dout you would find one in your price range.
Also check out Ibenez (Great basses and good prices) Also possibly fender mexican jazz and p-bass (dunno how much they are). Also look at the musicman SUB range (though I think they are being discontinued soon). Also check out the warwick Rockbass series. Tbh you should try everything out and see what you like, but thoughs are my ideas
Warwick Jazzman
Hartke 1415 140Watt
Boss Overdrive
1) What makes a bass expensive? Quality woods, quality hardware, quality finish, quality everything.

2) What features that you don't really need make some basses expensive? Extensive mother of pearl inlays, gold plated metal ware, special paint jobs.

3) What makes a lot of basses unneccesarily expensive? Brand name worshipping, crazy profit margins for manufacturers and dealers.
Trying to get back on topic
1. Though pickups are a large part of your tone it's not everything. The type of wood will also affect the tone. As for active pickups, they're very nice to have but a bit of a pain to keep up with. Active pickups outputs are alot higher output than passive but you must change the battery of couple of weeks.

2. Like Applehead said, it will mostly effect your sustain.

3. As for a preamp, see Appleheads comment, he is all knowing.
Quote by rob_bass_man
to be honest, its not the bass thats supposed to be good, its the bassist whos playin

Ability goes a long way, but a good bass is a huge factor in finding a good tone.

Definately check out Warwick, Ibanez and Yamaha (yes, Yamaha) gear as they all generally tend to produce extremely versatile, high-output tone monsters, perfect for what you need.

For the genres you're looking at playing, it would probably be wise to buy a bass with an active preamp, as this will give you extra tone-shaping capability (i.e. the ability to boost or cut your Bass/Mids/Treble from your bass) in comparison with a passive bass where you are only able to modify the treble end of your signal.

Good luck.