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Flippie
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« on: June 30, 2015, 03:25:15 pm »

I'm looking to buy a bass and an amp to start playing.
Anything below R10k for the two together.
Any suggestions will help. That includes anything else you think might be of help to me.
Thanks  Smiley
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Norio
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2015, 03:31:11 pm »

If I were to start right now, I'd get a decent second hand bass guitar (ask bass-playing friends' opinions on gear you find) and I'd skip the amp and get Rocksmith 2014.

You'll have fun learning, it'll cost you very little and you can decide later on if you wanna gig or if you're happy just jamming.

Probably the fastest & cheapest way to get playing bass IMO. This is coming from a fellow newbie bassist. (I've been playing guitar for years though.)
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2015, 08:31:47 pm »

I'd also like to hear some suggestions. I have a bass already, and had a bass amp for a while. Playing through studio monitors (with guitar rig and other equivalents) is all I'm doing at the moment, but playing through the amp gave a much more powerful (and defined?) low end, which made playing a lot more fun. Would adding a sub be as good as a dedicated (yet beginner level) bass amp?
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Meron Rigas
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2015, 10:40:03 pm »

I'm looking to buy a bass and an amp to start playing.
Anything below R10k for the two together.

1st thing, read this : http://www.guitarforum.co.za/guitar-gear/buying-your-first-gear-the-smart-way-the-singemonkey-approach/

It's guitar orientated, but the premise is, buy quality secondhand gear and you'll save a bundle. Norio made a excellent point, do you just want to jam a bit, or plan on gigging? If gigging there'll be a big difference in your setup (amp/processing).

I think finding a bass guitar is a bit trickier than a guitar - there's less choice (try finding a shorter scale bass guitar locally...) and less advice available. And if you are just starting out, going into a music store can be a bit intimidating - tough to judge if you'll like something if there's little experience to reference to.

There is soooooo much to read that one can get lost in the details. I'm a fan of http://www.studybass.com/ as the place to start reading about the basics of technique, gear, practice, etc...

Being a part-time bass player hacker - My personal preference is a entry level Ibanez Soundgear Gio - cheap and easy to play - but I like all the Soundgear stuff. I'd go for one with active eq, but that's just me. The Cort Arona 4 looks like bargain at around R4.5k for the spec, I havn't played one yet though. Otherwise the Fender Squire basses are a major step above the squire electric guitars - the P-Bass has a fatter neck, the Jazz a thinner neck (the differences aside from the differing pickups).

Amp wise, I'm a luddite. (I couldn't care). I used to run a little Zoom B2 fx pedal for amp modelling and a few fx, though now I just plug into whatever is available and tweak the tone with the active eq on the bass.
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Meron Rigas
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2015, 10:56:06 pm »

I'd also like to hear some suggestions. I have a bass already, and had a bass amp for a while. Playing through studio monitors (with guitar rig and other equivalents) is all I'm doing at the moment, but playing through the amp gave a much more powerful (and defined?) low end, which made playing a lot more fun. Would adding a sub be as good as a dedicated (yet beginner level) bass amp?
Have you tried the ignite amps SHB-1 plug-in with some quality impulses? Guitar Rig is fine, but the ignite amps stuff is damn good. The impulses (cabinet emulations) that people are putting out there are that much better than what ships with guitar rig. I'm getting some usable tones outta my home surround system (5.1) - at times it's a absolute hoot. And when I plug into a PA, it gets real Cheesy

I'm all for Guitar Rig (and equivalents) for guitar, but on bass...I'm not convinced yet. The issue is the percussive nature of bass and the RTL (round trip latency) of an interface. Even at a fairly decent 6ms on my setup, I notice the loss of attack when I'm pounding away. Although you could get around this by monitoring the input signal and not the processed signal - kinda defeats the purpose of going into a interface?

YMMV - I like to try and slap 'n pop, thus I notice the latency.

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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2015, 05:21:23 am »

Harte have some decent amps for not a lot of money. I prefer the cardboard cones to the Aluminium and hybrid ones, but that's just me. Generally, anything smaller than 50watts is useless, even for practice. I also find a twelve inch speaker is good to have, especially for a five string of drop D tuning. Bass amps are mostly played in he clean range, so you don't get to squeeze every last distorted Watt out of them like gutter amps. A good rule of thumb is that you need twice the wattage of your guitarist to keep up.

As far as instrument, Cort, Ibanez, Squier all make good affordable basses. I played a Cort Curbow for years and loved it- lightweight,24 frets, good pickup and preamp. As long as the neck is straight ( no humps or twists) and intimates, the rest can be fixed with a setup or some soldering. I've also found that changing strings can turn an average instrument into an awesome one- finding what works with a specific bass takes a bit of experimenting sometimes, and unfortunately costs a bit more than on a guitar (the last set of Elixir 5s I bought cost R600)
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2015, 10:12:36 am »

For 10K you can get a Squier Vintage Modified and Ashdown MAG 300 combo and you should have some spare change for cables, tuners, strings, bag etc. Heck, you might even pick up a Mex Fender and Amp for that price.

If you are more into modern tones, have a look at Ibanez Soundgear. (Excellent value for money). If you are more of a classic rock guy you cant go wrong with the Vintage Modified Jazz or Precision.


2nd Hand is King, and the gear mentioned above is very gig-able.






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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 09:56:38 pm »

V8 - Thanks, I tried the SHB-1 VST, and it's really good! I mostly used the TSE-BOD (A Sansamp DI simulator) before, and I now prefer the SHB-1. I agree with you on the Guitar Rig impulses, they really are its weakest point. It's still great for quickly browsing through amps and effects, but once you figure out what you want, there's probably a better, (and often free!) VST available.

I also agree with you on the RTL - I don't notice it in particular (playing guitar), but I feel like I have to concentrate harder when playing through an interface, and I'm sure that has something to do with the RTL. It's possibly part of what I'm missing about playing through a bass amp.

Flippie, Peter, Sakkie - Thanks, I'm going to keep a look out for a second hand +-100 Watt Hartke or Ashdown with a 12" speaker!
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 12:08:31 am »

V8 - Thanks, I tried the SHB-1 VST, and it's really good! I mostly used the TSE-BOD (A Sansamp DI simulator) before, and I now prefer the SHB-1. I agree with you on the Guitar Rig impulses, they really are its weakest point. It's still great for quickly browsing through amps and effects, but once you figure out what you want, there's probably a better, (and often free!) VST available.

I also agree with you on the RTL - I don't notice it in particular (playing guitar), but I feel like I have to concentrate harder when playing through an interface, and I'm sure that has something to do with the RTL. It's possibly part of what I'm missing about playing through a bass amp.

Flippie, Peter, Sakkie - Thanks, I'm going to keep a look out for a second hand +-100 Watt Hartke or Ashdown with a 12" speaker!
You be most welcome - I was laying down some bass ideas for this months challenge on sunday and my go-to was the SHB-1. We can both thank Doc Phil for pointing us towards the ignite amps stuff - everything they do is quality.

Don't get me wrong, GR is still very useful tool. The processing you can setup in there is pretty sick and mapping to midi controllers (soooo easy when hosted in ableton) is also damn useful. Just for bass amp/cabs I found the SHB-1 + impulses kickass  Cheesy

Since I will be playing some bass live in the not too distant future and I can't rely on the interface + laptop, I've been waddling around looking for a solution...And last week I found a Boss GT6B for silly money. The preamp/amp modelling isn't as bad as I feared and the upside is that it's a robust DI, tuner, vol pedal & the overdrives, chorus & delays are all quite decent. Imho, Octaver & Synth models arn't as good as the pedal versions - but usable.

Now I'm looking around for a bi-amped floor monitor to drive it through. More useful than a bass amp as a multipurpose approach : monitor V-drums, interface (guitar) and GT6B.

If you are sold on a bass amp keep a eye on SA Music group - saw a 100W ashdown combo this week and a few hartke head s + cabs.
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 10:55:50 am »

For R10k, don't end up with a Squier, for pity's sake.  Cheesy

2nd hand is the key. If you're starting out playing an instrument for the first time, it'll be a while before you're playing live. If you've played some guitar then you may (like I once did) pick up bass and play your first gig two days later.

But the preference in spending should still be with the instrument. Because you're not just performing with it, you're learning to play on it. The amp is of very secondary importance for learning. Spend 7k or more on the bass - unless you can find something pro quality for less (things like Jacksons are typically very unpopular for their '80s styling while being top quality instruments) - and use whatever you have left for amplification.

An MIM Fender. An MIJ Tokai (this is if you want a Fender Jazz or Precision style bass), or look for a higher end Cort or Ibanez. And remember: Don't be that person who pays 45% of the instrument's value for the dubious privilege of getting to pull the plastic off the pickguard.
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2015, 11:01:10 am »

There's a killer red Mexican 5 string Jazz bass going on gumtree http://www.gumtree.co.za/a-other/somerset-west/reduced-+-fender-jazz-5+string-bass-guitar-for-sale-as-new/1001358062270910008685009, was about R7000. Something like that and an amp could be had for your budget. You can definitely get a 100watt Ashdown amp for less than R3k and the 300Watt model if you're lucky. 100 watt is not a lot for a bass amp.
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2015, 10:36:42 pm »

My 2 cents worth... always start with a Precision or Jazz bass type of bass guitar and stick to 4 strings. That is the norm when it comes to basses and rather progress later to 5 or 6 once you are convinced you are a bassman! Also make sure it has been set up properly for effortless playing.

PS A friend brought a Squier Dimension bass around the other day and I was seriously impressed with the quality, set up out of the box and sound at around R5k.
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