So after getting the itch again over the last 3-4 years, I've decided to take up bass again. I played for a few years (At a bedroom/wholly unsophisticated level) but let it go as writing/theatre stuff began to take over. But inevitably the urge started coming back and have finally decided to take the plunge and jump back in. My brother (Who's a guitarist) and I are saving at the moment to hopefully buy a bass sometime in the next month or two, and are currently weighing up candidates based on what stores in Melbourne seem to regularly have in stock.
I'm curious to know of any Chewer recommendations for cheapish/entry level basses. I used to have a Squier Jazz, which was a good axe but I'm kind of hankering for something different aesthetically from your average P-bass/jazz configuration. Basically I'm looking for the best quality possible up to about US$300-350, which is obvious, but at least something with good playability and a decent tone and I can always upgrade the hardware at a later point.
Funny that this thread has taken a bit of a Jag-love turn, because my current frontrunner is the Squier Jaguar vintage Special SS. It's a shortscale bass (Which to be honest is not a problem as I always tended to practice at the computer or watching TV, which makes a shorter neck much more manageable) but it has a jazz-and-P-bass pup configuration which should make for a nice range of tones and has been getting rave reviews for its sound and feel. While online videos are never the most reliable method of research as you don't know what people are playing through or their settings, this guitar has consistently sounded the best. It also happens to look very nice indeed:
Another advantage of this bass is that the Bass Centre in Melbourne are offering it with a beginners package including practice amp, cords, strap and tuner for A$500, which is a great deal and covers most things I'll need. Well, I might get a new strap - long gone are the days where I'd strap a bass so low it was impossible to play if your surname isn't Ramone, but at the same time I can't abide the 'nipple height' thing either.
The next candidate is the Epiphone Les Paul Special Bass PB, which is going for around A$450-500. I've always wanted a LP-shaped bass, and this one's gotten pretty solid reviews and I dig the all-matte black thing it has going:
The third big one for me is the Epiphone Thunderbird. This one's a bit more expensive, averaging around A$600-$700 but has gotten excellent reviews. The only real flaw that's come up is its top-heaviness, which I expected as it's always been an issue with Thunderbirds:
Ultimately, we don't want to decide on anything until we've had a chance to sit down and at least try whatever bass we end up getting, but I'm suspecting that in terms of quality and value for money, the Jag is looking like the best atm. A practice amp would be ideal from the off, while although the Epis both look like great guitars and we may go for one of them instead, it would be nice not to have to save up for an amp separately. In the meantime I'm learning basslines on my brother's acoustic guitar to get my fingers re-trained. It's kind of amazing how much they remember. Can't wait!