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Old 10-07-2016, 04:04 PM   #41
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Holy @#$%!,

Have you actually held one of these. The features are outstanding. My concern would be a green neck wood that may twist with age and climate change. But WOW, for 200 its worth a gamble.
I have one and one of the Random Weirdos moms has one. I haven't tried the Douglas bolt on one myself yet though.

It feels just like my neck thru Agile, and just as @#%^$^$ heavy. One of them came with a mono jack so the battery drained whether plugged in or not. The other one had a slightly high 23rd fret when checked with a fret rocker. Well within the range of any 2000 dollar guitar or bass (take a fret rocker to any guitar store, grab the most expensive guitar there and check for yourself, its almost a guarantee there will be a bit of rocking)

For a 4 string I have an Ibanez SGR, but this is the 5 string I use everyday.
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:35 PM   #42
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I have one and one of the Random Weirdos moms has one. I haven't tried the Douglas bolt on one myself yet though.

It feels just like my neck thru Agile, and just as @#%^$^$ heavy. One of them came with a mono jack so the battery drained whether plugged in or not. The other one had a slightly high 23rd fret when checked with a fret rocker. Well within the range of any 2000 dollar guitar or bass (take a fret rocker to any guitar store, grab the most expensive guitar there and check for yourself, its almost a guarantee there will be a bit of rocking)

For a 4 string I have an Ibanez SGR, but this is the 5 string I use everyday.


Thats awesome to hear. I really wanted to play some Rondo stuff when I was in the States a few months back but didnt make it. Enjoy my friend.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:18 PM   #43
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I'd go with a full scale bass. Here's a pretty comprehensive writeup:
http://www.bassplayer.com/gear/1164/...e-basses/58704

The longer length as compared to a guitar does have a few challenges, but it's also great training for guitar as it will feel like an easily manipulated toy when you go back to guitar. I'm of the opinion that longer strings at higher tension just sounds better, too.
^ This ^

As a long time guitarist (45 years) recently converted to Bass for a gigging band, I found that the extra finger stretch on a long scale bass has improved my guitar technique immensely, a pleasant and welcome side effect
Previous to joining this band as a Bassist, I only played bass in my home studio with fairly basic root notes and such, but now having to bridge the 'groove' of the rhythm section with the melodic section, not only have my bass skills improved but so has my guitar skills as well.

Go with a long-scale Bass ... you won't regret it.

As an aside, my Bass is a 1988 G&L Lynx, not cheap but not terribly expensive either ... it was about $600 used some 10 years ago.

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Old 10-08-2016, 01:06 AM   #44
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Dang! Just checked the price of new tribute basses in the UK and they are a lot more than the guitars and as you say a lot more than your budget - almost none listed used on ebay either.
No way you will find one in your price range, but when I bought my Tokai SDpringy Sound strat new in 1980 I tried a couple of their hard puncher precision copies and was amazed aby how good THEY were, too.

P.S. Just for grins, how many of you giving advice here have the bass guitar as youre first instrument?
Makes a huge difference to your perspective.
I am a guitar playing bass player, so I tend not to offer too much in the way of opinions on guitars, although I certainly do have my favourites. And of course it always comes back to the single most important piece of advice: TRY before you buy.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:31 AM   #45
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P.S. Just for grins, how many of you giving advice here have the bass guitar as youre first instrument?
Its about 50/50 for me, i started out on guitar about 1978, then moved on to bass in the mid 80's, played mostly bass for the next ten years or so, since then its been a mix of both.
One of the bands i've been in since around 2000 i play three sets on bass one set on guitar, and play guitar in a couple of other bands as well.

I guess i do play more guitar then bass when i think about it, as i really only
play bass live or when recording, but i do LOVE it, its a groove thing .

Cheers
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:12 AM   #46
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P.S. Just for grins, how many of you giving advice here have the bass guitar as youre first instrument?
Makes a huge difference to your perspective.
Well I'm giving no advice though I have played bass as my main instrument for the last 40 years or so. I also play (badly) various guitars and keyboards, most other things with strings and frets (sitar etc) and the odd wind instrument. But I'm not a gear freak so my old Aria SBII works perfectly well for all the styles I play.

My hands don't work too well these days so I can't see much point searching for the perfect instrument when I have such an imperfect player to deal with .

Steve
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:30 AM   #47
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My hands don't work too well these days so I can't see much point searching for the perfect instrument when I have such an imperfect player to deal with .

Steve
I'm in the same boat, but experience counts... we find ways of sneakily faking it, bad hands and all, don't we?
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:25 AM   #48
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I'm in the same boat, but experience counts... we find ways of sneakily faking it, bad hands and all, don't we?
Indeed, but the catch tends to be that you have good days and really bad days. Can't do much group work when you're that unreliable. Which makes a home studio the last refuge...long live Reaper and MIDI!

Steve
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:53 PM   #49
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I guess I am luckier than you then, buddy.
At 72 I am still gigging on bass and guitar pretty regularly, although carrying the gear gets harder. I have down-scaled and slimmed gear to the point that I can still cope with the aid of hand truck but who knows how much longer?

Feel for ya but, like you say, happily there IS studio recording as and when!
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:37 PM   #50
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If I was going to pay more than 300 for a bass, that's exactly where I'd be spending the money: weight! The old owner of my school is in his 70's and gigging with a really light, chambered five string. I wish I remembered the brand name. It wasn't that crazy much money either. He has really light speaker cabs and really really light amplifiers as well, but they all sound good and way more than enough power
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:44 PM   #51
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These are nice for $299, Precision and Jazz Bass pickups. I've had one of these for 5 years and its excellent (well for a guitar player) . See here:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PBassPJCAR.

Enjoy.


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Old 10-08-2016, 07:36 PM   #52
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A very good cheap bass is the Yamaha RBX 270 J, they are a p/J config and very flexible range of sounds available..
You can pick these up 2nd hand for under 200 bucks any day (in Australia that is )
i'm not sure on the street price in other countries but they aren't expensive.
Thanks for the recommendation. I've been wondering about some of the other brands that I've noticed people aren't talking about. Specifically, on the cheap end, there are a lot of Dean and Ibanez bases that are priced for beginners.
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For a 4 string I have an Ibanez SGR, but this is the 5 string I use everyday.
Here's a plug for Ibanez. I wonder if their low-end basses are any good. But, so far I've got my eye on that Hadean you recommended. The features to price ratio is just hard to pass up.
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Go with a long-scale Bass ... you won't regret it.
Thanks, for the tip and perspective.
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These are nice for $299, Precision and Jazz Bass pickups. I've had one of these for 5 years and its excellent (well for a guitar player) . See here:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PBassPJCAR.
Thanks for the recommendation and the link.

I appreciate everyone's feedback and sharing your experiences. I'm going to try to spend some time in Guitar Center soon to see if I can get an idea of what I'm after. But, they won't have any Rondo basses to see. So, I'm considering just going ahead and ordering the Hadean Vickers TR RD (can't get on with the green, maybe if I lived in Wisconsin) based on the recommendation in this thread. There's also this one to consider.
http://www.rondomusic.com/EB6105TR.html
$50 less and a little more typical look, passive humbuckers. But, I don't know that the savings is worth it. It's a pound lighter, has less tone control options, and a cheaper bridge are the things that I notice right away.

I think I'd rather spend $200 on something new like the Rondo offerings than take my chances spending $200 on a used instrument.

What can I expect to spend to have the bass setup? Is it necessary to take it to a luthier or should I be able to take it out of the shipping box and play?

I know these things are done, but remember I'm a keyboardist. I got my old hand-me-down Fender Strat out a while back which had been in the attic for years. The thing just doesn't really sound right or good. But, I don't have any need or desire to play it, so I haven't bothered taking it in to have it looked at. The thing has really been poorly taken care of. I don't know if it's a knock-off or what. It has the Fender logo on the headstock, but no other markings whatsoever. I think I'd be better off buying a new guitar than having that thing worked on. I got it as a pre-teen. I know how to better take care of my stuff now than I did back then.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:48 PM   #53
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I got the go-ahead from my wife, so I'm taking my chances on the Rondo Hadean Vickers TR RD. It's on sale today for $185.00 US and the shipping was about $17. I think a few days ago it was the green model on sale and not the red one. But, the green version is now $200. I don't know how often they have sales, but I basically got the shipping for free compared to if I bought it a few days ago. The order has been placed!
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:15 PM   #54
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Thanks for the recommendation. I've been wondering about some of the other brands that I've noticed people aren't talking about. Specifically, on the cheap end, there are a lot of Dean and Ibanez bases that are priced for beginners.

Here's a plug for Ibanez. I wonder if their low-end basses are any good. But, so far I've got my eye on that Hadean you recommended. The features to price ratio is just hard to pass up.
The super low end Dean I mentioned earlier doesn't have as cool of electronics as this Ibanez, but the price difference is the same as sticking aftermarket pickups in the Dean. The trouble is, for me at least, I don't see any low end 24 fret Dean basses anymore. This particular Ibanez has the crappy Fender style block heel, so its hard to get to the upper frets, the last Hadean four string that I saw had the good all access neck joint

The crazy thing about the Dean Vendetta series was that, even though it was 100 dollars, there was nothing begginer about it, one of our best super shredders still plays hers if she's using 6 string. The bass version was equally awesome, here's one of our kid bands playing one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erzo8A7k3-Y
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:19 PM   #55
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I got the go-ahead from my wife, so I'm taking my chances on the Rondo Hadean Vickers TR RD. It's on sale today for $185.00 US and the shipping was about $17. I think a few days ago it was the green model on sale and not the red one. But, the green version is now $200. I don't know how often they have sales, but I basically got the shipping for free compared to if I bought it a few days ago. The order has been placed!
I'm TERRIBLE, the site has a policy of putting blems on for peanuts, anytime I see one, I buy it. My green Interceptor Pro 728 was a blem because they "messed up" and made the headstock the same quilted maple as the body and it was supposed to just be plain black...oh the horror....don't tell Rondo I would have paid extra for that option, but I got it for 150 dollars off

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWYg2vVdsXk
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:10 AM   #56
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Your location says Arizona but you mention Hawaii in the video. I used to party at a state park over by Kaneohe and I lived in Aiea Heights for a few years.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:15 AM   #57
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Your location says Arizona but you mention Hawaii in the video. I used to party at a state park over by Kaneohe and I lived in Aiea Heights for a few years.
My brain is still in Arizona, I'm living in Kailua now
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:51 PM   #58
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Thanks, Richie.

This Squire Jaguar Short Scale seems like a good deal.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Squier/V...Short-Scale.gc

It's only $200 which is as good as most of the offerings on Reverb.com right now (after shipping). I'll look around Craigslist locally too.

What do you think about short-scale? Is that a good transition for a guitarist or keyboardist (like me)?

I can play a little guitar and have dabbled in bass with my last band.
Personally, I'm totally hooked on short scale basses! Nothing wrong with them at all if they're intonated right. They're different, but not worse (all else being equal). With good pickups they can be amazing.
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:54 PM   #59
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I'm TERRIBLE, the site has a policy of putting blems on for peanuts, anytime I see one, I buy it. My green Interceptor Pro 728 was a blem because they "messed up" and made the headstock the same quilted maple as the body and it was supposed to just be plain black...oh the horror....don't tell Rondo I would have paid extra for that option, but I got it for 150 dollars off

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWYg2vVdsXk
I'm embarrased to say how many impulse purchase factory 2nds/blemish models from Rondo that UPS has delivered. I blame UPS!
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:45 PM   #60
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Well, even the full/sale price seems worth it to me. The Hadean Vickers appears by all counts to be better than anything I can find used at the same price near me at the moment. So... fingers crossed, and anxiously awaiting delivery.

I'm not sure if anyone noticed my questions about setup. Will I need to take the new bass to a Luthier to have setup?

@pipelineaudio
Watched your video on the guitar shielding. Pretty cool idea. Although, I'm not sure that shielding the pickup wells serves much purpose. I'm an electrician and I work for an electrical engineering company. The way I understand it shielding is most effective when it fully engulfs the conductor. And, noise is the reason humbuckers were invented. I think your paranoia is a little over the top. But, shielding the component housing seems like a really good idea to me. How noticeable is the improvement I wonder? Also, couldn't you have just taken the exterior nut off the TR jack rather than de-soldering it?
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:48 PM   #61
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I cant tell if shielding the pickup cavities makes any difference, I just figured I'd do it as long as I was in there. For the control cavity, it makes a huge difference, I can play the guitar really close to the computer now
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:09 PM   #62
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I'm not sure if anyone noticed my questions about setup. Will I need to take the new bass to a Luthier to have setup?
My experience is that a trip to the tech isn't necessary but as with any guitar that ships you'll need to make minor adjustments, possibly all around. With a bass it's much easier than guitar, or at least the margins of playability are wider. Adjusting bridge saddle heights and intonation (the saddles distance toward the fingerboard) are easy to do. You may not need to do them and actually the bridge may not be adjustable. Those are both things you can learn to do easily. The only other adjustment it may need is in the neck's truss rod. A guitar tech will do this with a set up but its definitely something you can not worry about at first and then read up on how to tweak it. Having a luthier give it a going over should make it play and feel as well as it can, but whether it's worth the cost or will make much difference from how you received it is hard to say.

BUT.... : )

One of my few gripes about the Rondo instruments is that some of the low end models have pickups that are really terrible. In two that I have (lap steel and Les Paul style with P90 pickups) they were so bad as to be unusable, even in rehearsal, having no tone and as much noise (not interference just noise) as signal. So swapping the pickup for a better one might make a huge difference and might be hands down necessary. If that ends up being the case, while upgrading a pickup is no big deal tp do yourself, you might find that it's worth it to have a guitar tech put a better pickup in and do a light setup while they have it on the bench.

You're in for a great time! Congrats on your new bass!
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:13 PM   #63
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The pickups on that are fine though, its the one on here. https://www.dropbox.com/s/wg6qs9kuyk...e%203.mp3?dl=0

You can make piano sounds or dull sounds or slappy sounds pretty easily
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:27 PM   #64
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I agree that Squiers are pretty good, can't fault them for the money.

I have a Squier Jazz and a VM Jaguar.

Unless you're a metal guy, then people seem to rate the Ibanez.

Both are great.

The number one thing is get it set up nicely, or even better, learn how.

I added copper shielding to both mine. Never changed the pickups, but never had any complaints, even though they're cheap.

I like flat wounds for recording is they don't grind and scrape.

But of course, that's all for you to discover.

I kind of disagree about the longer stretches on bass being good for you.

I think you just wreak your hands if you try to do 5 fret stretches like on guitar..
It's OK to move your hand up and down. It's more natural like that.

Anyway, enjoy your bassing.. it's where all the fun is!

PD 😃
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:19 AM   #65
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You will definitely want to get a good setup.

It's not hard to do yourself, but for the first time go to a luthier and ask to watch him do it.

The do them yourself with youtube to guide you.

You need to decide what action you prefer, low, high or medium.
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:01 AM   #66
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Default recommended bass

Warren Huart (producelikeapro.com) swears by the Peavey T-40 as an all around good, inexpensive bass.
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:06 AM   #67
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They are really a hit-or-miss thing (in my experience). I have played some Squires that rivaled or did better than the more expensive "real" Fenders. But I had to try many to find the one!
I again highly suggest G&L. I like to say that G&L and more Fender than Fender....Leo was able to do things he was never allowed to do when he owned Fender. Plus he had many more years of experience and innovation by then. Amazing values.

RustyAxe has it right. The Squier Classic Vibe and Vintage modifieds are really quite good.

Regular Squiers seem to be much more variable in terms of quality.
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:13 AM   #68
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I like flat wounds for recording is they don't grind and scrape.
They also last forever compared to round wounds.

It can be hard to get some bass players to change strings before recording because alot of them dont like the clangy sound of new round wounds. "Dude it took me 5 years to get these strings where I like "em" :-(

I dont subsctribe to the dead string theory. If you want a solid fundamental without all the grit then use NEW flat wounds. They record SOOOO much better than dead round wounds IMO.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:58 AM   #69
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The Harley Benton range from thomann.de is worth a look. Essentially, you'll be getting a Chinese guitar, but with the crapshoot element removed, as Thomann work with the manufacturers on specification and then quality check each instrument. I don't have a bass from them, but I have a mandolin, 12 string acoustic and a regular acoustic. The acoustic in particular is amazing - it's a Martin copy that plays as well as it looks.

I particularly like this https://www.thomann.de/ie/harley_benton_hbz2004.htm
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:47 AM   #70
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Get a lawsuit era bass from the Matsumoku factory. Vintage, high quality, low price.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:51 AM   #71
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I would agree with everyone who's mentioned Fender P or Jazz. the P bass has been used for everything from Motown to Maiden! Jazz has been used by Geddy Lee and Jaco, showoffs lol, There's tones of used Mexican P basses out there for around 300 bucks! If you have average hands like you mentioned, go right to the full scale they sound way better and more solid
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Old 08-01-2017, 01:52 PM   #72
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Go to a good shop, and play a couple and don't look at the price. Pick a few that catch your eye. Try to avoid the gearhead mindset. Just listen feel and play it. Ignore anyone else who says you should buy x, y or z because someone famous plays it. Ignore it all. Also, take a look at the used product section. Some basses are really well aged and have a personality.

That's what I do. Sometimes I find something that sounds really good, and discover that it's not that expensive. At other times the price is insane. It all depends.

For example, my last purchase was a cheap Harley Benton PB-Shorty BK Standard bass. It's the cheapest I found, and it sounds ok/alright after a couple of modifications. It's also a shorty, so I can actually play bass in my studio without knocking things over all the time. Which makes it practical.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:41 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by tom harrison View Post
Warren Huart (producelikeapro.com) swears by the Peavey T-40 as an all around good, inexpensive bass.
Thanks, for the recommendation. Although, I don't think that a vintage, out-of-production $500 instrument is a great option for beginners. There were only 2 on eBay at all, when I looked, and both asking over $500.

I think beginners probably need something a little more readily available and less expensive, IMO.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:46 AM   #74
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They also last forever compared to round wounds.

It can be hard to get some bass players to change strings before recording because alot of them dont like the clangy sound of new round wounds. "Dude it took me 5 years to get these strings where I like "em" :-(

I dont subsctribe to the dead string theory. If you want a solid fundamental without all the grit then use NEW flat wounds. They record SOOOO much better than dead round wounds IMO.
I ended up getting the Hadean Vickers TR RD. The first thing I did was swap the strings out with some flat woulds during the setup. Mainly for the feel. I love the way they sound.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:51 AM   #75
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Go to a good shop, and play a couple and don't look at the price. Pick a few that catch your eye. Try to avoid the gearhead mindset. Just listen feel and play it. Ignore anyone else who says you should buy x, y or z because someone famous plays it. Ignore it all. Also, take a look at the used product section. Some basses are really well aged and have a personality.

That's what I do. Sometimes I find something that sounds really good, and discover that it's not that expensive. At other times the price is insane. It all depends.

For example, my last purchase was a cheap Harley Benton PB-Shorty BK Standard bass. It's the cheapest I found, and it sounds ok/alright after a couple of modifications. It's also a shorty, so I can actually play bass in my studio without knocking things over all the time. Which makes it practical.
This is probably excellent advice for someone with even a little experience. But, a total beginner has no frame of reference. They don't have enough experience to know the difference. And, inexpensive is often requisite for a beginner, and could be such limiting factor to preclude even sensibly priced used pieces. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:53 AM   #76
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The Harley Benton range from thomann.de is worth a look. Essentially, you'll be getting a Chinese guitar, but with the crapshoot element removed, as Thomann work with the manufacturers on specification and then quality check each instrument. I don't have a bass from them, but I have a mandolin, 12 string acoustic and a regular acoustic. The acoustic in particular is amazing - it's a Martin copy that plays as well as it looks.

I particularly like this https://www.thomann.de/ie/harley_benton_hbz2004.htm
I've never ordered from Thomann. Being in the USA, usually the shipping makes them noncompetitive. But, that looks like an excellent recommendation.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:26 AM   #77
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Default Hadean Vickers TR RD Review

I've been playing this bass for almost 10 months now. I did my own setup on it as soon as I got it and replaced the strings with a set of DR Flatwounds. I gotta say, I'm extremely happy with this purchase. It looks and sounds great. And, I can get a lot of different tones from it.

The BAD:
There was a ground wire poorly positioned that was intermittently shorting out the fret pickup. They had put heat shrink on the braided cable shield that was used for ground, but just where it came out of the jacket was enough exposed to short the pickup out. I just tucked the cable in another spot which fixed the problem for a while, but the other night it seemed to start having a problem again, so I think I need a more permanent fix.

I still get a lot of hand cramping. I don't know if it's just bad technique (probably) or compounded due to the thin neck shape.

There were no instructions. Anywhere. Even on the web. I finally deduced what each knob was, but it took a while to come to grips with the tone controls. From fret to bridge, the knobs are: Volume, pickup mix, treble EQ, bass EQ.

The GOOD:
The price! And, features! The setup out of the box was decent, considering the price. Fit & finish are good, no problems there at all. No noise, none at all.

OTHER:
My band's rhythm guitarist shares bass duties (I play keys when he's on bass & singer plays rhythm or lead guitarist only) and he doesn't like this bass guitar. But, he also can't seem to figure out what he likes in any guitar. He has like 5 guitars, but he can't articulate what he likes or dislikes about each. I, honestly, had to teach him how to make use of the tone controls of his most recent guitar purchase, a second-hand Gretsch Electromatic. So, I don't know how much weight his opinion has.

Ultimately, YES, I would recommend this to a friend. I don't have any plans on upgrading any time soon.

Thanks, recommendations from all! I hope this thread helps other beginners like me find a starter bass, so they can GET STARTED making more music!
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:39 AM   #78
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I remember my left hand wanting to cramp some. I had a hard time stretching my fingers across four frets at the top. Probably, just because I was new at it and not conditioned to playing a bass. This was why I was considering a short-scale. I don't have any trouble reaching my arm out and my hands are kind of average size and average length fingers for a guy of average stature (5'9"). I thought that a short scale might make it easier for a part-time player.
I have both a 5-String OLP Stingray full scale passive, and a short scale 4-String Gretsch Jr. Jet, and I love both of them. The Stingray is harder to play (drums are my first instrument), but sounds better on certain styles that either need the lower B string, or slap-pop stuff.

The Gretsch has an incredibly balanced tone for a short scale bass (not tubby), and is super easy to play. Of the three songs I currently have up at my Soundclick page, two of them use the Gretsch, and only the first one is using the longer scale Stingray.

Edit: I should also mention that mine is the older single pickup 2202 model like in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5APF6YegoSU
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:12 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
It's 20% more reason for the bass player to forget what he is supposed to be doing.
Such as changing strings more often than once a decade.

Starter Basses = Pawn shop purchases. OP stated <$300. Within 15 miles of my house there is roughly 75-100 used basses of all walks of quality in that range. Six of them I know for a fact the original price of these instruments was between $800-1200. Two Fenders, Three Ibanezes, and one neck through Jackson of 80's vintage(Remove the stickers from all over the body and new nut, this one even comes with Anvil brand road case). It pays to shop pawn shops first for starter instruments. Let someone else take a full price hit. The new player may not even stick with playing after first few months.

Last edited by Bjorn218; 08-08-2017 at 11:12 PM. Reason: quantity edit
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:58 PM   #80
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Starter Basses = Pawn shop purchases. OP stated <$300. Within 15 miles of my house there is roughly 75-100 used basses of all walks of quality in that range. Six of them I know for a fact the original price of these instruments was between $800-1200. Two Fenders, Three Ibanezes, and one neck through Jackson of 80's vintage(Remove the stickers from all over the body and new nut, this one even comes with Anvil brand road case). It pays to shop pawn shops first for starter instruments. Let someone else take a full price hit. The new player may not even stick with playing after first few months.
Louisville, KY must just be a weird place in both these regards. Pawn shops here all ask nearly brand new price (sometimes more than new) for anything I've ever looked at in any of them around town. I don't know why. You used to be able to find a gem here and there if you're in-the-know, but the internet and eBay pretty much put a stop to that. Now everyone knows what used things are worth. Except, that hasn't made any pawn shops around here price their wares more competitively.

Recently, I've been watching the used market for a cheap passive 4-string bass. For two reasons. One, the guitarist is using my bass (he plays bass for songs when I'm on keys), and two, I've developed some pain in my wrist due to some occult ganglion cysts that have been exacerbated by my poor technique (wrist bent too far) while playing and reaching for that fifth string which causes me to bend my wrist farther. The available used bass options are slim still. I've been watching for months. And, I watched for months before purchasing the Hadean too.

I may go pawn shopping after all. Thanks for the suggestion!
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