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Best Bass For Around $500

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Kruddler, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Kruddler

    Kruddler Active Member

    I write electronica but feel some recorded bass would help to make my songs sound more organic. So I'm looking for a versatile bass for around $500. I don't need anything with too much high end for slapping or anything like that. I just need a bass with nice smooth sound for downtempo stuff. If you want an example of the kind of sound I am talking about, have a listen to "La Femme d'argent" by Air. It doesn't have to sound exactly like that bass, but you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about if you listen to the song.

    So firstly, is there a label for the kind of bass I'm looking for? Jazz bass? Idunno.

    Any specific brand/models you recommend?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Not to steer you away from organic but, since you mentioned Electronica have you checked out Trilian
    Spectrasonics - Products - Trilian - Total Bass Module

    Watch the videos
    Spectrasonics - Products - Trilian - Videos

    ooooh nice
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    The bass has something to do with it (I think he's playing a Hofner club) but I think a lot of the sound comes from the fact that he's playing flat wound strings with a pick. If you are really sold on the hollow body sound of a club you might find a used Jack Cassidy Epiphone in that price range. Or if you want to go short scale there are tons of violin bass knockoffs. But my recommendation would be a Fender made in Mexico P or J bass strung with flats. You can probably go for a pickup upgrade within your budget as well. Not exactly the same tone, but close and more versatile. Flats record very well.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Evil! Evil! Get thee behind me! (kidding)
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Mexicali Fenderali Jazz Bass with a set of Tomastik flats. First, the fundamental will always be first in the soundscape....Second, the Tomastiks will never wear OUT just IN....Third, Jazz Basses look a lot cooler than anything else plus the dual pickup controls give you a host of different settings. Fourth, if the stock pick-ups are not cutting it, a simple Bartolini preamp will do the ticket. SO...Bass (used), strings, Bartolini preamp(for inside the bass and not the fanciest one, the basic one), right at 500 give or take a 20.
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I agree about the TI flats (my favorite strings) but it's not clear the strings won't cost more than the bass. Bought a set recently? I have not tried the Bartolini. I have a John East J-Retro in both the J-basses (fretful and fretless) very nice preamp. But in the end I'm a passive p-bass guy.

    Just wanted to say that the bassline on "La Femme d'argent" is excellent, and I loved this video with all of the vintage instruments. (Is that a Hofner club? I've never seen one in blonde. Maybe someone just stripped one.)
  7. Kruddler

    Kruddler Active Member

    Guys, I can't thank you enough for the tips.

    I think the point that has come across was that the strings play a big part in the sound and that I might be better off on focusing on the strings rather than the bass itself.

    I will look in to the Mexican Fender but we don't get much Mexican gear on this side of the planet (Australia). I haven't heard of J-Bass before.

    Might save up for a Hofner club one day.
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Sorry. J-bass is short for Jazz bass, P-bass for Precision bass, the two most popular Fender models. The "Standard Series" is made in the (very nice, modern) Fender plant in Ensenada, Mexico.
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    LOL! Yes, they are high dollar for sure. They last forever so actually its like the value scaling for buying a Rolls Royce. The most expensive is usually the cheapest over a large time frame.

    Funny analogy Bob. I have an Older Kort 5 string that I bought really cheap simply because one of my friends who runs a high-end guitar shop didnt want it on his wall. So he sold it to me for 90 bucks. I bought a set of Tomastiks for it...I think they were $65 at the time. They've been on there now for at least 10 years and sound spectacular. Its my go-to recording bass for country or anything you need an old style thump and a low B for. Surprisingly great bass for that. And you cant beat the price.

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