#1
Okay, here's the deal. I want to play bass, and I know I'm going to be taking it seriously. Getting lessons, playing in a band, everything like that. So I figured I should get some at least high-end beginners equipment. My major concern is what amp to get, but I guess I'll show everything I've been planning on. My budget is going to be around $600 by the end of christmas, maybe a little more. So I was planning on getting:

Epiphone Goth Thunderbird IV Bass
Drive 20w Combo Amp
Sony Headphones
Korg Tuner

I know everyone here seems to hate the thunderbird. I honestly could care less. I tried it out at a music store and it was one of the best I tried. I also think it looks amazing. The amp is probably too low power to play in a band with, so help would be appreciated there. Also, I heard it would be a good idea to have a metranome to practice with. Can anyone reccomend a decent one? And the headphones are so I can practice at night without waking people up. I'm not sure if they'll sound decent/work with a bass though.
#2
A Squier Vintage Modified bass would be much, much better. Not only that, but you'd be able to afford a much nicer bass amp, like a Roland Cube Bass or an Ashdown of some kind.

If you're using headphones, there's some headphone amp that's meant to be good, but its name escapes me.
#3
all you need is 4x10 for an amp at this point, and also I'd say go with the Thunderbird, They kick ass. Metronomes can be downloaded for free online, look into that.
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#4
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#5
Quote by ValoRhoads
all you need is 4x10 for an amp at this point, and also I'd say go with the Thunderbird, They kick ass. Metronomes can be downloaded for free online, look into that.

I'd rather not have to sit at a computer when I play, which is also why I'm getting a tuner. So that's a no on the online metronomes. And sorry for being ignorant, but what is a 4x10 amp?

And to the guy who mentioned headphone amps, that's not really what I'm looking for either. I want to be able to play loud, but use headphones at night. And no. I'm using the thunderbird.


Update: I was looking around and I'm interested in the Fender Rumble amps. Does anyone know anything about them? And should I stick with the 60 watt one or save up for the 100 watt?
Last edited by InTheRain at Nov 6, 2007,
#6
Just for the record, if you went to a store and a Thunderbird was the best one there, that says more about the store than the bass.

The general thing is that you need 4x the wattage of the guitar player to be heard. If your guitar player is rocking out a 25W amp, the 100 should do. As far as playing with a drummer, that's all relative to the size of the room, the walls, the type of drummer, etc.

I have a 15W Rumble and don't like it one bit. I find them fragile and cheap-ish. However, there are some Rumble fans here. Personally, I think the Fender Rumble is a 'transitional' piece of gear that you will eventually 'grow out of.'
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#7
The Rumble will do you fine as a beginner if you get the 60 or more likely the 100 watt. If you are a fool and buy it as an intermediate piece of gear, you will be out $500 in a few months with nothing to show for it. /bitter Anyway, as much as you love the T-bird I still wouldn't recommend it.
#9
Okay, so the Thunderbird is bad enough as it is. So Epiphone paint one in matt black, call it the "Goth" version and tack about £50 onto the price, and it's somehow a better deal?
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#12
Quote by bass dude nick
Just so you know that tuner's just for guitar, you'l need the silver one for bass


It's chromatic. It'll be fine.
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#13
Whatever you do, I wouldn't get a Thunderbird. I'm guessing you're partial to the aesthetics and that's why you want one. I can't imagine why there'd be any real reason why you'd want one, no offense. Much better basses can be found for around the same price. Plus, they're passive. If you're going to buy a passive bass, it should be a Fender or a Warwick. But Warwick's prices are up there.
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#14
I have a Fender Rumble 100 and I like it. Many people do not though. The 1x15 has plenty of low end but is slightly lacking on the highs it seems. This doesn't bother me since I can get the tone I want from it but it might not work for you. If you decide that is one of the amps you are considering, try to test it out first. As for a starter bass, I'd look at Ibanez. The GSR200 is a good starter for the money.
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#15
GO USED! You can save lots of money there.

For an amp, you'll want at least 100 watts. Here are some examples. I own the ampeg, and its great. The ashdown is more watts, but more expensive and IMO not as good tone.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ampeg-BA115-Bass-Amp-Series-Combo?sku=481777

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ashdown-Electric-Blue-15180-Bass-Combo-Amp?sku=485037

Also, look at brands such as crate and roland. Their stuff will be cheaper, but the tone wont be as good (not saying its bad). It also will give you more money for a bass.

Lulz at the thunderbird. Honestly, no matter how good you think it is, there are much better instruments for the same price.

A Squier VM series bass or an Ibanez will do good. Also, Schecter is an EXCELLENT company, though they may be a bit out of your price range.
#16
Okay, you've convinced me to look into other basses. Mostly the guy who said I was just partial to the look of it. I guess that was true. So I was looking and am stuck between:

Ibanez SRX500 (Honey Sunburst)
And
Rouge LX400 (Qulitted Liquid Sunset)

I'm sure the Ibanez is better, but looking at it budget-wise. Would it be better to save the $100 and get the Rouge, and buy a much better amp? Assuming the Rouge isn't a POS.

And yea, the tuner is chromatic so it should work for bass, right?
#17
Quote by IndianRockStar
GO USED! You can save lots of money there.

+1

go for a used 150-200w amp of your favorite and maybe get a fender jazz bass at guitar center cuz the thunderbird sucks
I'll lay waiting, just waiting for my time to come
#18
I have only heard bad things about Rouge or Rogue or whatever it is. Of those two, I would go Ibanez... however, I would look into the GSR200. They're great for the price.

I play an Ibanez SRX300, which isn't too far out of your price range. They're like $330, and they're awesome for the price... except it's not everything I want, so I'm upgrading. But they might suit you well.

You really need to get out to a store and play potential basses though, because that will help you A LOT.
2006 Warwick
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#19
Ibanez over Rogue every time. The only thing I would choose a Rogue over is that Thunderbird you posted before.
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#20
I agree that for a starter bass, go with the Ibanez Soundgear series bass guitars. They're cheap and they're built decently. But dont buy T-Bird basses. And for amps, dont get one under 60 watts otherwise you'll blow the speaker out and you'll be SOOL.
#21
Quote by ESP73
I agree that for a starter bass, go with the Ibanez Soundgear series bass guitars. They're cheap and they're built decently. But dont buy T-Bird basses. And for amps, dont get one under 60 watts otherwise you'll blow the speaker out and you'll be SOOL.


wtf to that last comment, that is not true in any regards, unless its a 60 watt guitar amp, i've had a few 45 watt practice amps, and they have never ever blown on me in the last three years

to the TS
also like people have said the Ibanez GSR 200 is awesome for a beginner bass, and its only $200, which leaves you with a bunch of money for a better amp, you can get an Ampeg or GK or something, and for some of the other stuff you want, many maps have a headphone slot, and you can just go to radioshack or something and get an adapter so you can use whatever headphones you might have on them, and the metronome, you could download a nice one online, or a pretty good one could be had for about 20 bucks

oh and out of the two basses you chose, i would go with the ibanez, although I think the one i mentioned is a better bargain, the ibanez is much better than a rogue, rogues are terrible, but not as bad as that thunderbird
Last edited by Zar938 at Nov 7, 2007,
#22
The goth bird is a beast of a bass.

The pickups are VERY high output, almost like there is an active preamp in there or something. The playability isn't the best, but the tone makes up for it. The bassist in a band that I am in has one, and IMO it has a great tone and fits our music perfectly (Prog metal/Metalcore)

Obviously it doesn't compare to boutique stuff or other very high end stuff, especially not for slap or jazz fusion or anything weird like that. But for Rock/Metal/Punk its great.


Other than that though, look into MIM Fenders or Squier Vintage Modified basses, Ibanez are good, but I think the necks are a little on the thin side, It doesn't feel too great to "grip".
#23
Quote by thedonutman
The goth bird is a beast of a bass.

The pickups are VERY high output, almost like there is an active preamp in there or something. The playability isn't the best, but the tone makes up for it. The bassist in a band that I am in has one, and IMO it has a great tone and fits our music perfectly (Prog metal/Metalcore)

Obviously it doesn't compare to boutique stuff or other very high end stuff, especially not for slap or jazz fusion or anything weird like that. But for Rock/Metal/Punk its great.





tbird and great tone are two words that should never be mentioned in the same sentence, unless the sentence is "the Tbird DOES NOT have a great tone, let alone A tone that sounds any different than mud"

i'm sorry but if you think the tbird has a great tone, then you obviously haven't heard many other basses, there are basses half the price of it that have better tone
#24
Quote by Zar938


tbird and great tone are two words that should never be mentioned in the same sentence, unless the sentence is "the Tbird DOES NOT have a great tone, let alone A tone that sounds any different than mud"

i'm sorry but if you think the tbird has a great tone, then you obviously haven't heard many other basses, there are basses half the price of it that have better tone


Well, tone is subjective. And for the record I have played many other basses. Agreed, Gibsons are overpriced for the quality, and there are far better alternatives. But for the price of the Epiphone (especially in the US), its a great bass.


Zar938, I'm not going to argue with you as your entitled to your opinion, but have you ever played a thunderbird? Gibson or Epiphone?

TS: Its your money, play the basses and decide.

Oh yeah, watch this video too
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iuJLFMQMUlQ

That Gibson is Neck-thru, so if anything it'll sound more "Muddy"/ Bassy than the Epiphone (which is Bolt-on)
#25
Quote by thedonutman
Oh yeah, watch this video too
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iuJLFMQMUlQ

That Gibson is Neck-thru, so if anything it'll sound more "Muddy"/ Bassy than the Epiphone (which is Bolt-on)


Quality difference is the key. Gibsons are great, but overpriced. Epiphones are overprices and rubbish. I have played one.

And if you check that guy's EQ, look at how much the bass is rolled off. ANd 2x10 amp which generally speking don't handle lows very well.

Plus the amp is incredible, any bass through it should sound damn good.
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#26
Quote by thedonutman
Well, tone is subjective. And for the record I have played many other basses. Agreed, Gibsons are overpriced for the quality, and there are far better alternatives. But for the price of the Epiphone (especially in the US), its a great bass.


Zar938, I'm not going to argue with you as your entitled to your opinion, but have you ever played a thunderbird? Gibson or Epiphone?

TS: Its your money, play the basses and decide.

Oh yeah, watch this video too
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iuJLFMQMUlQ

That Gibson is Neck-thru, so if anything it'll sound more "Muddy"/ Bassy than the Epiphone (which is Bolt-on)

Oh come on, now. You could easily get a dozen better sounding and playing basses for the price of an Epiphone Thunderbird. Squier VM, anyone?

As far as the muddiness of the tone of a Gibson being muddier than the tone of an Epiphone, are you really asking that? You think they use anywhere near the same quality pickups on a $300 bass as they do on a $2000 bass? And the quality of wood for that matter? My issue with the T-Bird's tone isn't the mud, it's the bland. That tone in that video was very non-distinct to me.
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..
#27
Play a Tbird with a strap while you're standing up and you'll see why I regret buying it as my first bass. Aside from the neckdive though I really like it and mine seems well built. No problems aside from the neckdive yet. (3-4 months now.)
#28
I was only talking about the tone, which I personally like. And I know I'm not the only one. There are plenty of good sounding thunderbird players out there.

I give up on this argument, because I don't see any point in it

(For the record: My thunderbird sounds nothing like a Gibson or and Epiphone, the only similarity is the shape. The hardware, pickups and woods are all different. So I'm not being biased.)
Last edited by thedonutman at Nov 7, 2007,
#30
Buy a metronome from a music shop. I pinched the one from the piano downstairs and, well, its the handiest aid for playing guitar I've found.
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#31
go with that ibanez sr 500and the ashdown 180 watt that IndianRockStar suggested. But that's only if you can save up the extra cash. other wise get the ashdown amp and the ibanez gsr200. It really is a pretty damn good bass for the price. They probably could've gotten away with $350 for the price IMO maybe even more. And that amp will last you a long long time.
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#32
My only advice is that if you're playing in a band, a big amp is the most important thing. You can skimp on the bass and use the EQ to manipulate the tone to something bearable, but you can't take a good bass, play it through a 20 watt amp, and expect to be heard over the drums and guitar. I'd go $400 on the amp, $150 on the bass (try to find used, I found a Fender P-Bass for $150) and $50 for the other necessities.