'Cheap' basses

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'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:58 pm

Hi all, just thought I'd get your opinions on this...

I've come to a point where I need to get a new bass - my first one that I've used to learn on is a no-name (well it'll always be a mystery since it was dirt cheap and already repainted, including the headstock, when I bought it) P-bass copy that I haggled for about 30 quid off a guy near where I live. It plays fairly well but sounds pretty bad. Rather than swap out the pickups I'd rather have something else, and I really like to customise things... so my idea is to get a fairly cheap jazz bass copy and swap out the hardware, pickups, have a custom scratchplate made etc... and have something fairly unique that I can be proud of for years to come Razz

Now ideally I'd be able to get a cheap bass with a good reputation (I hear the SX basses are good value in the States) except we can't seem to get SX basses over here. There are TONS of cheapo ones floating about in different places that have mixed opinions but I don't quite know what to go for... I recently found these Harrier basses on eBay for cheap which seem pretty good and judging by the feedback (and one talkbass thread that said they were good) they seem worth the 90 quid Very Happy

I hear 'Jim Deacon' are SX basses rebranded for the UK but these only seem to be available in the P-bass variety unfortunately Sad

Anybody got any ideas? Of course I'd love to get a Westone but I'm fairly certain that's NOT going to happen now Razz

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by caucajun on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:51 pm

i hit every pawnshop on the way home from work, every day..........i know, that sooner or later, there;s gonna be a bargain on the rack.........and it might be an SX, or Peavey, or even a westone........it might even be a fender!......just keep lookin' and tryin' 'em out.

good luck,

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by norfolkngood on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:08 pm

I wouldn't rule out a Westone bass on grounds of cost; keep an eye on ebay for a Spectrum bass or even a Thunder if the price is right. Look after it and keep any parts that you swap out (so you can put it back to how Uncle Mat made it should you sell later).

They were well made and will hold their value better IMO than the cheaper stuff available on the 'bay.... keep the faith cheers cheers

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:15 pm

caucajun wrote:i hit every pawnshop on the way home from work, every
day..........i know, that sooner or later, there;s gonna be a bargain
on the rack.........and it might be an SX, or Peavey, or even a
westone........it might even be a fender!......just keep lookin' and
tryin' 'em out.

good luck,

Oh if only there were some pawn shops over here other than Cash Generator and Cash Converters - both ripoffs pretty much... but neither have any idea what they're selling when it comes to instruments which might be a good thing. They had an Epiphone Les Paul fitted with EMGs for about 300 last year that my mate nearly cried over because he couldn't afford it Razz

norfolkngood wrote:I wouldn't rule out a Westone bass on grounds of cost; keep an eye on ebay for a Spectrum bass or even a Thunder if the price is right. Look after it and keep any parts that you swap out (so you can put it back to how Uncle Mat made it should you sell later).

They were well made and will hold their value better IMO than the cheaper stuff available on the 'bay.... keep the faith cheers cheers

I'd snap up a Westone if I could. I can't believe I had the opportunity to get an ST bass in fantastic condition for 95 that I missed out on Sad

My problem is my dad has kicked up a fuss in the past about me buying guitars (I have 2 basses, 2 guitars and a dead Strat copy) so I need to be very choosy and can only really replace the ones I have rather than add to the collection since I don't have much space either Razz

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:21 pm

Oh and to expand on the original topic, like I say I'm the creative type who loves to customise/make my own things (I was so annoyed that I couldn't find some shoes I wanted recently I decided to make my own Razz) and what I'm curious about is if I took a cheapo sub 100 bass, swapped the tuners, bridge, pickups, wiring etc for much higher quality third party parts, would I still have a crap bass or something much better? Very Happy

My only concern is the neck and the fretwork... Plus a lot of jazz copies don't seem to have slim jazz-style necks, it seems

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:31 pm

To the guy who posted the gumtree link, was it a Vantage bass in Leeds?

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by bowenjaybee on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:33 pm

untune wrote:To the guy who posted the gumtree link, was it a Vantage bass in Leeds?

yes but then i realised you are after a jazz type bass, heres the link anyway

http://leeds.gumtree.com/leeds/94/54565894.html

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:41 pm

Hehehe no I would love a Japanese 80's bass and the funny thing is I already emailed the guy who owns this earlier this week and was almost going to go and view it (I check gumtree a LOT Razz) but the problem is he's in Leeds which is a trek. I have a friend in Leeds I could have stayed with but the guy selling this one lives on the outskirts and I don't drive, plus I've not been able to go this week because I had to go to a funeral today. It sounds like it's cosmetically sound apart from the pickup covers are cracking with age. Just a big shame that it's a distance away Sad

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by bowenjaybee on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:53 pm

well my only advice is to take a sub 100 bass, change the pickups, bridge, tuners, electrics, neck and body..........then you are sure to have a good bass!!!!!!

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:56 pm

bowenjaybee wrote:well my only advice is to take a sub 100 bass, change the pickups, bridge, tuners, electrics, neck and body..........then you are sure to have a good bass!!!!!!

Let's not forget the strings Razz

I just found this and wonder if they're worth a bit of modding, can get them for bob on 100. Theres a music shop near me that stocks these apparently, could go in and try one but it's one of those dingy little ones where, regardless of where you stand, you're bound to fall over an amp or something.

Guvnor GB100

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by bowenjaybee on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:04 pm

to be honest if you are into upgrading you'd be better off with a Squier, you can't go wrong because Fender type basses are like building lego it all just slots together

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:08 pm

That's a very fair point, I've got my eye on a couple on ebay, though I'm told they're not great. Makes me wonder if there's REALLY any difference between Squier and other cheap made basses other than that 'by Fender' on the headstock Very Happy

My mate just bought a Squier Telecaster (guitar) and I must say it's one of the nicest things I've felt, and after playing it for five minutes I declared I'd sell both my guitars for one of those Razz

I recently found a Peavey milestone bass (the original with a jazz body before the lawsuits started) but it's been painted with metallic car paint in a Citroen garage over the original finish, which has been chipped and scraped away... don't know what to do about that one yet Razz

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by Warrn on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:28 pm

I have a Peavey Milestone P-bass and I love it to death. And Squiers are generally okay, but the Classic Vibe ones are great.

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:40 pm

Hello Untune,

I'm not a bass player but I have just bought a bass off eBay for the grand total of 102 plus 5.99 postage! Bargain or what? Anyway, this beastie ought to be getting delivered tomorrow so I shall have more to report once it arrives. What I can tell you though is that it is a 'Vintage' bass which normally retails for around 325 and if you look up 'Gear for Music' on eBay, you can get some really good, although somewhat slightly damaged, bargains!

Hope this helps!

Polly

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:46 pm

Hi Polly!

Cheers for the reply Smile

That sounds a bargain indeed! I have a Vintage SG copy guitar which I got from a guy near me via Gumtree for a tidy 90 Smile Lovely guitar!

I've had a look at Vintage basses and they do look good but beware as I've heard from various reviews that the bodies are actually plywood despite the fairly decent Wilkinson hardware - aside from a certain model which has a solid bubinga body. Let me know what it's like though as they look really tidy Very Happy

Lee

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:02 pm

By the way, if anyone has a decent jazz bass copy (black!) going cheap then drop me a message Very Happy

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:24 pm

untune wrote:Hi Polly!

Cheers for the reply Smile

That sounds a bargain indeed! I have a Vintage SG copy guitar which I got from a guy near me via Gumtree for a tidy 90 Smile Lovely guitar!

I've had a look at Vintage basses and they do look good but beware as I've heard from various reviews that the bodies are actually plywood despite the fairly decent Wilkinson hardware - aside from a certain model which has a solid bubinga body. Let me know what it's like though as they look really tidy Very Happy

Lee

Hello again Lee,

Guess what? I've got the model that has a solid Bubinga body!!!
She is absolutely beautiful! I'll try and take some photos in the next couple of days and let you and the other chaps have your weekly 'drool' fix!


Polly

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by untune on Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:24 pm

Pollyanna wrote:
untune wrote:Hi Polly!

Cheers for the reply Smile

That sounds a bargain indeed! I have a Vintage SG copy guitar which I got from a guy near me via Gumtree for a tidy 90 Smile Lovely guitar!

I've had a look at Vintage basses and they do look good but beware as I've heard from various reviews that the bodies are actually plywood despite the fairly decent Wilkinson hardware - aside from a certain model which has a solid bubinga body. Let me know what it's like though as they look really tidy Very Happy

Lee

Hello again Lee,

Guess what? I've got the model that has a solid Bubinga body!!!
She is absolutely beautiful! I'll try and take some photos in the next couple of days and let you and the other chaps have your weekly 'drool' fix!


Polly

Awesome! It's supposed to be a cracking bass for the money, so I've read anyways! I saw one on the cash converters/generator website (can't remember which) last year and nearly went for it, 150 quid... might of missed out there Razz

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Re: 'Cheap' basses

Post by Barry on Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:31 pm

Pollyanna wrote:..Guess what? I've got the model that has a solid Bubinga body!!!...
I'd like to see that one too Polly m'luv.
I don't think I've heard of a solid Bubinga "anything".
The closest I come is my Parker Hornet which is solid mahogany with a Bubinga cap:


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