First Bass Guitar Recommendations

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by LeviathanKiller, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    First bass guitar is gonna be a 5-string. I've narrowed it down to this list which is in order of price (highest price at #1). I'm thinking of going with the Ibanez multi-scale which is #2 on the list but wanted to see what everyone else thought of my choices or what advice you guys had to offer (if any). Some of the Ibanez options have adjustable string spacing +/- 1.5mm too but idk if that has much use

    • 5 string
    • New or B-stock (preferably from Musician's Friend or Sweetwater)
    • No maple fretboards
    • EMG pickups, Bartolini BH-2s, Nordstrand pickups, or Yamaha pickups seem to be the 4 pickup options
    • 34" scale or longer for that lowest string to retain good clarity
    • Versatility / tone-shaping ability is key although metal will be the main course

    1. https://www.musiciansfriend.com/bas...rch-hellraiser-extreme-5-electric-bass-guitar
    2. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SRMS805DTW--ibanez-bass-workshop-srms805-deep-twilight
    3. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SR875BRG--ibanez-sr875-blue-reef-gradation
    4. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/F415FMSTBLK--esp-ltd-f-415fm-see-thru-black
    5. https://www.musiciansfriend.com/bas...iletto-studio-5-5-string-electric-bass-guitar
    6. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SR655SBB--ibanez-sr655-5-string-surreal-blue-burst
    7. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SR675SKF--ibanez-sr675-silver-wave-black-flat
    8. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TRBX605FMDRB--yamaha-trbx605fm-dark-red-burst
    9. http://www.rondomusic.com/product9390.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Play some stuff and buy what's comfortable.

    None of those are too hard to track down at the bigger retailers, and even the smaller ones too.
     
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  3. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    nordstrand pickups are great, but I preffer the big singles that comes with the premium line. All the other Ibanez SR have the same pickups and electronics. Same specs, only thing that chnges is the monorail bridbe and extra scale lenght on the multiscale

    and of course wood/finish combos, so pick the one who looks prettier to you

    cant go wrong with Ibanez.... Never tried one of the other options tho


    also all of them have an active EQ so to tone shape should be eassy on all, plus they all have same pickup configuration with humbuckers, minus the SR with PJ
     
  4. dozicusmaximus

    dozicusmaximus SS.org Regular

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    What tuning? If you're going to be lower than A you might like something longer than 34.
    Pick or fingers?
    If guitar is your main instrument and you're going to play with a pick you might enjoy closer string spacing.
    Look into Kalium strings for low tunings and balanced sets.
    I've never tried Nordstrands. One day... Bartolinis are pretty good.
     
  5. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    The selection here is pretty pathetic sadly. Even the Guitar Center doesn't really have anything (even less likely a 5-string). 95% all used gear. Even if they did, they don't take care of any of guitars in their store judging by my last experience there and I wouldn't want to demo a bass there only to get the wrong impression because of their shoddy setup.

    That said, most of these are about the same string spacing 16.mm to 18mm.

    Those Premiums look nice but they're all 34" and I'm going to go ahead and put Longer than 34" scale for the low string as a requirement

    Alrighty, I'll bump the requirement up to at least 35" scale then (multi-scale is looking better and better). I have some guitars in Drop G so probably a safe move to go for 35" or more.

    I will most likely be playing with a guitar pick. As I mentioned above though, these are all like 16.5mm to 18mm in string spacing so not much of a difference really.
    I'm going to end up playing this like a guitar. It's inevitable since I've been playing guitar over a decade and never actually owned and played a bass.

    I will make note of that string recommendation! thanks!


    --------------------------

    So, what's left now? 6 options.
    I removed everything not at least 35" and I added one multi-scale I found on RondoMusic (#10)
    1. https://www.musiciansfriend.com/bas...rch-hellraiser-extreme-5-electric-bass-guitar
    2. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SRMS805DTW--ibanez-bass-workshop-srms805-deep-twilight

    3. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/F415FMSTBLK--esp-ltd-f-415fm-see-thru-black
    4. https://www.musiciansfriend.com/bas...iletto-studio-5-5-string-electric-bass-guitar



    5. http://www.rondomusic.com/product9390.html
    6. http://www.rondomusic.com/product9792.html

     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Unless you plan on gutting the electronics on day one, take the Rondo stuff off the list. While they're certainly close in quality to the Ibanez, Schecter and LTD basses you're looking at, the pickups and preamp are sub-par. Not just "nothing special", but noisy and not that effective.
     
  7. dozicusmaximus

    dozicusmaximus SS.org Regular

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    I'm going to throw a wrench in with a few more options. In case you already haven't looked at these.
    Ibanez BTB most of them are 35" scale
    A lot of Laklands are 35" scale as well (Skyline 55-01). Maybe not the most "metal" looking or anything, but they feel good to me. Worth getting your hands on to see if you like how they play.

    I've only played a few lower end Schecter basses and I didn't like them at all. I haven't really played anything nicer of theirs. But I agree with checking out something in person. Hopefully your local shop will have some 5's in your price range, so you can at least see what each brand is about. Then you can see how much that string spacing difference really is :p
     
  8. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Yeah I was wanting to get something that I didn't have to fiddle with so much. Those 2 are off the list then. Totally understandable since I own the Agile guitar counterparts.


    The BTB models have wider string spacing. I had one or two on my initial list but compared to the Ibanez already on my list.
    I know nothing about the Laklands though. I never even heard of them so that's why I skipped over them. lol I'll take a look again
     
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  9. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    eeemmmmmmmmm thats actually quite a lot of difference in the bass world

    If not thats how big you can get in difference, except for 19mm spacing which usually are for 4 strings and some 5 strings too. Also depends on the nut width too so check that too

    in the numbers wont see like muhc, but its a bit of difference, if you happen to be at a store that stock Ibanez, try a BTB vs a SR and you would see the difference (BTB has bigger string spacing 19mm, 35" and bigger nut width)
     
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  10. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Then that just further cements going for the Ibanez

    Also, I noticed that's the only option that has individual string saddles which is usually supposed to prevent string cross-talk.

    Looks like I'm going to get that. I looked back at the Lakland basses but they were too expensive for the options I wanted.
     
  11. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    thats a selling point they love to make, but you still get cross-talk. I mean the whole instrument vibrates regardless of the bridge. Think about if you hit the boddy of the bass then the strings vibrate. Not sure how much cross-talk there is as Ive been playing ibanez basses with individual sadles since 15 years lol so got no reference point anymore hahah
     
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  12. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    I mean I really like my rondo bass. 5 string with a big music man style humbucker in the bridge. The pickups may indeed be crap but for a guy who is mostly a guitar player and just wanted to learn how to slap and pop on a behringer amp with a seismic cab, it's a great choice.
     
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  13. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    If you can, maybe also try a Warwick with the Rockbasses being quite good value/price I think. I've seen a 4 string Corvette with 35" scale, but not sure if that same model is also available as 5 string bass.
    Ibanez SRs are also cool, especially the multiscale ones. The BTBs I personally don't like how they feel.
     
  14. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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  15. dozicusmaximus

    dozicusmaximus SS.org Regular

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    Cool! I kind of had a feeling this was what was looking like the best option for you with your requirements. Let me/us know what you think when you get it!
     
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