#1
hello everyone.

here is a little info about my situation.
i am currently borrowing a friend's squire p-bass starter pack, and i am getting my own bass this christmas. i have a limit of 600$, 140 going to amp, 60 to gig bag, and 400 going to guitar. I origionally looked at a thunderbird, but the epiphone was terrible, and the gibson was expensive (as a sidenote, there was a third brand of tbird, Dillian, but it was too expensive at 550, even though it was near gibson quality. They said it was korean hand made so i assume they used child labor.) I mainly play alternative rock a la MUSE, and i am big into distortion effects. I absolutely despise the genericness of fenders and their ilk, so i want a unique looking bass.

So, with my 400$ limit, my eyes fell upon a Traben Array Premium 4 String Bass. I have yet to try it, so i wish to ask you guys about Traben basses in general, since all i could get from previous topics (search function ftw) was that they were heavy. Are traben basses good? Do they distort well? Is it worth the money paid?

If you are against traben basses, can you suggest anything better that suits my needs?

a few comments. please note that i will most likely mod my bass a little, so if there is any thing wrong with a suggested bass that is fixable you don't need to worry about it. And as much as i hate to admit it.

TheFitz, you were right about tbirds
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
#2
I have heard that Traben basses aren't really that good... or at least not worth the money. The bridge looks interesting, but overall it seems a little bit "too out there." Heavy basses may not seem like a big deal, but heavy instruments really can wear you down after long stretches of time... trust me. That said, there are some heavy $1000+ basses but it's because of their exotic woods, so it evens out. I really can't say that for Traben.

Also, my gig bag was like $30 or something and it works fine. If you're going to spend $60 on a bag then you might as well save up a bit more and just buy a hard case.

As for Fenders being generic, it's because everyone plays them (well duh... but...) everyone plays them because they're simple, reliable, and they get the job done. With a $400 limit, you can probably buy a standard Jazz bass. Very versatile, nice neck, and if you want to mod your bass, I can't think of any bass that could get modded better than a Fender. Otherwise, I'd suggest Ibanez. The problem is most exotic or lesser known brands that are of decent or good quality aren't going to have basses in your price range. You could go for a used bass, but that's up to you.

And lastly, for distortion, I've heard a couple things. Firstly, I've played my active Ibanez bass through my friend's distortion/overdrive pedal (it was Jeckell and Hyde pedal for guitar, but I was just screwing around) and I hated the sound. It just sounded... weird.

What I have heard is that passive basses work much better with distortion pedals... so you may want to look into that. that's just what I've heard though.
2006 Warwick
MASTODON
#3
not to sure about the trabens, soundwise, but the one you mention though, i think, looks to flashy, and detracts from the look of the bass, imo

also stay away from anything by epiphone, or gibson, epiphone is pure crap, and gibson is slightly better crap, that is WAY overpriced

there are many basses that are really nice and look very unique here are some of my picks, around your price range (ps if they are out of you price range, most of them are not by much, then check used) however if you would really go try the fenders, you would see why so many people use them, however since you asked for unique, good sounding basses, here you go

Hofner

Schecter Stilletto Custom 5 look for this one used, its a bit expensive for your range, imo sexiest bass ever (in natural, check the pics on my profile if you don't believe me)

Peavey Grind

ESP F-254

Ibanez ICB 200


and lastly (way out of your price range, but i feel like mentioning it as one of the most unique mass produced basses ever made)
Steinberber Synapse


remember this is going off looks alone, i would suggest going and trying out a few of these basses and then if you find something you like, come back and ask about some pros and cons, all of these basses are very nice for the price (my personal fav. being the schecter) but it really depends on what you like
Last edited by Zar938 at Nov 5, 2007,
#4
I've played a Traben 35" scale bass for a microsecond once, so I can't give you my opinions, but one kid played one at a gig, and the tone was as a basswood-bodied instrument with some decent active electronics should - lean, even, and present.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#5
Trabens are actually fairly decent basses. I've tried a few out at a music store on more than one occasion (I had considered buying one at some point). They are heavy, as you mentioned, but from my experience, they sound pretty good, and have a decent EQ.

Unlike the lower end BC Rich basses, Trabens aren't all just looks.


If you like it, I'd say go for it. I don't know what you mean by if "it distorts well" though.
#6
I thought Trabens were gonna be a gimmick like a lot of people did. Then i tried a few at GC and actually quite liked them. I say go for it. But make sure you at least play something made by traben before making the purchase if not the exact model. The weight didn't seem that heavy to me at all. Heavier than some but then again i play a 6-string so i'm used to a 14 lbs bass. Or somewhere around there anyway.
dean edge one 5 string
Schecter studio-4
Samick fairlane-6
Ibanez sb900
Ibanez btb775
Fender p bass special deluxe

Dean Del Sol
Ibanez prestige rg2610

Peavey TKO 65
Peavey vb-2
Quote by the_perdestrian
listen to revelation, for he is wise in the way of bass-fu
#7
Update/bump

I went to a local guitar store to try out a traben array special. 4 string, basswood body, rosewood fretboard, active pickups. It was estremely light, about half the weight of my pbass. It had a real metal sound to it that i liked, however the factory settings were bad. It was tuned incredibly flat, and the action was so low that when you normally plucked a string, the string would rattle against the frets.

I absolutely fell in love with the look of the bass, it had abalone inlays, the head was something other than the terribly generic fender machinehead, more of a dean edge kind of head. The bridge had a gunmetal look to it, and it looked like it scratches easily, however i could use some steel wool to give it a nice brushed metal look when it gets too scratched up. i am also thinking of changing the nobs when this happens. Another problem is that the battery slot for the active pickups is screwed on, which is more of an annoyance than anything else. another minor annoyance was the lack of the pickguard, however the bridge is gigantic and takes up most of the body space and i am mainly a finger user, however i am purchasing picks to give it a swing soon.

any input on the following would help a lot.
how do i fix the rattling of the strings?
are there any reccomended sites that sell nobs?
should i worry about the screwed cover for the batteries?
should i worry about a pickguard/install a tiny pickguard?
any general thoughts about the bass?
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
#8
I don't see why factory settings matter at all. Why can't you fix everything yourself? Why would it matter if factory settings were bad?

Oh, and:
To fix the rattlings, raise your action. If that doesn't help, a truss rod adjustment may be in order.
Yes, sites sell knobs, but Google that. Maybe Warmoth.
You shouldn't really worry, but I'd carry a small screw driver with you to gigs, and always have a replacement battery since it's active. But it shouldn't affect your buying of a bass at all. That's far too minor, in my opinion.
No, you shouldn't worry about the pickguard. Even playing with a pick, I can't imagine you'd scratch to a horrid point, or at all.
Last edited by MustangMan311 at Nov 11, 2007,
#9
Quote by Zar938
not to sure about the trabens, soundwise, but the one you mention though, i think, looks to flashy, and detracts from the look of the bass, imo

also stay away from anything by epiphone, or gibson, epiphone is pure crap, and gibson is slightly better crap, that is WAY overpriced

there are many basses that are really nice and look very unique here are some of my picks, around your price range (ps if they are out of you price range, most of them are not by much, then check used) however if you would really go try the fenders, you would see why so many people use them, however since you asked for unique, good sounding basses, here you go

Hofner

Schecter Stilletto Custom 5 look for this one used, its a bit expensive for your range, imo sexiest bass ever (in natural, check the pics on my profile if you don't believe me)

Peavey Grind

ESP F-254

Ibanez ICB 200


and lastly (way out of your price range, but i feel like mentioning it as one of the most unique mass produced basses ever made)
Steinberber Synapse


remember this is going off looks alone, i would suggest going and trying out a few of these basses and then if you find something you like, come back and ask about some pros and cons, all of these basses are very nice for the price (my personal fav. being the schecter) but it really depends on what you like



ha he just had to throw in the schecter

good call, good bass
*
#10
Update/bump again

I've narrowed it down again, although now i am faced with a decision.

do i get the traben array special in black with gunmetal hardware, or do i get the sunburst limited with chrome hardware?

i am personally leaning towards the limited, but since it is called limited it may be fairly hard to find >.>

for comparison

special
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Traben-Array-Special-Electric-Bass-Guitar-514204-i1276123.gc

limited
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Traben-Array-Limited-Electric-Bass-Guitar-514199-i1321201.gc

general questions

besides coloring, are there any real differences between the two?
would my local guitar outlet be able to get the limited version? (they already carry the special)
which would you recommend? (i have tried out the special, however not the limited)
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
#11
Other than maybe a veneer on the Limited, the Special has neckthrough, while the Limited is bolt-on. The Special has a brass nut (KEY!), while the Limited has a normal nut. Other than that, they have pretty much all the same parts.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#12
i have a traben array limited 5-string and its my first bass. i always heard they were heavy but i didnt have any trouble with mine. once i played around with the eq and the amp settings as well as pedal settings ive been able to find different sounds i like. i have no trouble playing along the neck but the factory set up wasnt great for mine either. i had buzzing between the nut and fret i was playing. i put in more relief to the neck and fixed the problem. i use a boss ODB3 for distortion and i love the sounds i can get out of it. from a somewhat spacey high and low end fuzz distortion to a really thick low end distortion with a high-end crunch making its sound like thunder or a bomb and even a buzzsaw sound. personally the more i played around with everything, the more i loved it. my set up seems great for a beginner and should take me right into being a more advanced player. but once we get up to a higher level we'll probably want a more custom and higher end set up.