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  • Bass under $300. Laugh if you must

    I am mainly 6 string git player. Had a bass once, inexpensive Yamaha I gave away. Thinking of getting a new bass, as bass playing is loads of fun. Friends and I jam down on beach, often enough guitars but no bass, so why not? Okay, so been looking at what available here in Thailand, and best choice so far seems to be this Cort. I do want a light one, as I have to hump this down along with battery amp (have sub car speaker I can put in old Vox DA-5, maybe use my Pandora which has specific bass modeling & effects), maybe Yamaha THR 10 which has bass channel. Lots of friends just straight acoustic, so volume not required.
    So... anyone have opinion on these? Around same price here also Schecter SGR Stiletto or Spector performer. Not into metal, mostly old rock, blues and country. Yeah, bottom feeder stuff, but still would appreciate any input. Not much of a used bass market here, so not really a viable option. Just something sounds decent, plays well, and not too much weight.
    I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
    Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

  • #2
    If all your buddies are using acoustic guitars why not simply buy an acoustic electric bass?
    Plugging it in is optional. My bass player has an inexpensive Ibanez acoustic bass and its fun as heck for jamming around. Sounds very decent plugged in too.

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    • #3
      If it's anything like the last Cort bass I reviewed, you'll probably like the Artisan C4 Plus quite a bit... but here's a couple of things to be aware of that I ran into that will probably apply to the Artisan too...

      They gobble batteries. The onboard preamp in the Cort GB74JJ is good for about seven hours of play time... so make sure you always disconnect your cable whenever you're not actually playing your bass. And keep plenty of spare 9V batteries around.

      But wait you say! Isn't this bass capable of playing without a battery? Isn't that what the passive/active switch is for? And the answer is yes, of course - you're correct. And that's a great feature and one that could really save you at a gig if the battery unexpectedly dies and you don't have a spare, or time to install one. But because the EQ is active, it dies with the battery - no battery, no EQ - so you basically just have the pickup selection and volume / balance as your only means of getting different sounds whenever you're running the bass in passive mode.

      Outside of that, the GB74JJ was a rather nice bass and a worthy contender in its price range. I wouldn't be surprised if the one you are considering is also a good value in its price range. The guys in the video sure seemed to like it, and it seemed to sound pretty good to me in their demos too. A lot of the features are pretty nice - especially in that price range - the Bartolini pickups, Markbass preamp, etc. I'm also a fan of slim, thin necks on basses (my main bass squeeze is an '89 Ibanez Soundgear SR1100, which has a similar type of neck). Short of going to a 30" shortscale bass (like a Fender Mustang Bass PJ, which I also liked a lot), I think that basses with slimmer necks are often your best bet when you're first moving between guitar and bass since it's going to feel a bit less foreign than a really big, wide, beefy bass neck.

      WRGKMC's suggestion about considering an acoustic bass guitar with an onboard pickup is also worthy of consideration too - it might meet your jamming needs without requiring amplification in some situations. I reviewed a very affordable Fender CB-60SCE not too long ago, and it was decently loud acoustically, especially considering its relatively compact body size, but if you are jamming with several loud acoustic guitarists, a small amp would help you keep up in terms of volume. I liked it a lot - except for the placement of the electronic tuner, which is built into the Fishman preamp - I really couldn't see it and reach the tuning machines at the same time very easily... It's always something, isn't it?


      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • Emory
        Emory commented
        Editing a comment
        That Fender looks nice, and I see end of August will have "natural finish", which I'd prefer, plus not all those fingerprints. I don't see over all length: would it fit in a Concert size gig bag? I'm charging up batteries all the time (battery amps for beach) so 1 more 9 volt no big deal. Like 32" scale length too. I also have a Fly 3 with extension speaker, and $64 question is: can guitar fly handle bass same as bass model? The extension speaker is same for bass or reg guitar except grill color. Lots of good info & you write some of the best reviews around. Thanks for taking the time.

      • Phil O'Keefe
        Phil O'Keefe commented
        Editing a comment
        I didn't measure the overall length while I had it here, and Fender doesn't list its overall length on their website either - I'm sorry.

        Maybe I should start including that in reviews in the future? What do you folks think?

    • #4
      I see nothing to laugh at. I'm not familiar with the Cort, so I can't say anything about it, but I have an Ibanez GSR200 that I bought for $100, and it works just fine. It's not as nice as my Rickenbackers, but they go for around 15 times the price.

      I also have an acoustic-electric bass guitar, an Ovation. In my experience, it's loud enough to accompany one acoustic guitar, maybe two, but that's about it unless it's plugged in. Still, that's enough in a lot of situations, and the guitarists I've jammed with always smile.
      "The Web puts all of the world's knowledge at our fingertips; unfortunately it's mixed with all of the world's bull****************."
      -- Bob Parks

      "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
      -- Oscar Wilde

      "No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true."
      -- Oscar Wilde

      "It is a trap of history to believe that eyewitnesses remember accurately what they have lived through."
      -- Theodore White

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      • #5
        Ibanez pretty much owns the low end bass market. As isaac42 says, they're pretty good for the price. Never played a Cort bass but I've played a number of guitars that were made by Cort under various brands. They were all decent instruments and I see no reason why Cort wouldn't build a good product under their own name. Bear in mind that an A/E bass will be considerably larger than a regular electric bass and you'll still need an amp. That may matter to you or it may not.
        Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
        Member of the IBANEZ ACOUSTIC ASSASSINS
        Proud Member of The Alvarez Alliance
        Member of the Schecter Society
        Person-2-Person on the Web

        Comment


        • Emory
          Emory commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. Weight is more a consideration for me than size, as I don't have any sort of wheels... about 15 min walk to wear I often play & I'm a geezer/wheezer.

      • #6
        Now you guys got me going on an acoustic bass. Thanks, I think (haha). The Fender Phil mentioned not available here, BUT this Warwick looks quite nice with more comprehensive preamp. And I do like Bubinga wood, and "different" ideas, like soundhole placement... This is available here for about $340...
         
        I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
        Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

        Comment


        • #7
          Went to guitar shop and got one: the Cort C5 plus (they were out of 4 strings, maybe sign from above?) Tried the Warwick acoustic bass there too, but decided a solid probably more durable if I have to take public transport, slip and fall down, etc. Good weight: had to walk around a mile to get bus & walk home. With a nice fake leather gig bag ran me about $330 (bag had tiny rip so gave discount, total about $10 more than 4 string with no rip). Should be lots of fun, and that's what I got it for. Oh, tried my std Fly 3 and no problem. When I get back to beach condo I'll try it with extension speaker, along with DA-5 Vox amp with 6.5" car woofer, and if I can find 5" speaker to put in my Micro Cube, that might work too.
          Thanks for the input guys. As the girls here in Thailand say "I love you too much!"
          I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
          Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

          Comment


          • #8
            I used to know a woman from Thailand...
            "The Web puts all of the world's knowledge at our fingertips; unfortunately it's mixed with all of the world's bull****************."
            -- Bob Parks

            "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
            -- Oscar Wilde

            "No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true."
            -- Oscar Wilde

            "It is a trap of history to believe that eyewitnesses remember accurately what they have lived through."
            -- Theodore White

            Comment


            • #9
              Congratulations and Happy New Bass Day. Pics when you can, please.
              Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
              Member of the IBANEZ ACOUSTIC ASSASSINS
              Proud Member of The Alvarez Alliance
              Member of the Schecter Society
              Person-2-Person on the Web

              Comment


              • #10
                First of all Cort is part of one of the biggest musical instrument contract manufacturers on the planet. They’re Korean-based and have made guitars, bases, mandolins, ukuleles, etc. for all of the well known name-brand companies like Fender, Gibson/Epiphone, Ibanez, etc at one point or another. My point...they know what they’re doing and for the money, Cort is hard to beat. Secondly...there’s an old chestnut. “If it sounds good, it is good”. You scored an excellent instrument. Have fun, make good music. Good Music = Joy.

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                • #11
                  One reason I got Cort is I have a Sunset 1, their take on Gretsch Spectrasonic, which is totally brilliant guitar: TV Jones pups, tonepro roller bridge, bigsby, graphtech nut, semi hollow. Figured if could do that gem, why not bass? Loads of fun with Cort bass, use my Pandora with 30 or so bass settings and headphones. In process of recalibrating my brain for that low B and bass in general. Do get a bit off on D and G string up the neck... been playing along with some old Stones and Beatles... and thinking about picking up some short scale inexpensive bass when I go to US in August... maybe a cheap Ibanez Mikro, or Gretsch Jet 2 or Hofner Ignition. I've got all the 6 stringers I'd want (save a Ric 360, but too spendy). GAS will come out, be it a fart or a burp.
                  I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
                  Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    My new/used bass is also a Cort. One piece mahogany body and plays great now that I've set it up.

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