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jbybj
Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 72
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post

There is no shortage of photos, examples, and discussion of Alembic and other high quality basses on this forum. I'm one who is always on the lookout for a great deal, who really enjoys finding an instrument that performs far beyond it's price range. So I would like to query this group, a group that probably has higher expectations than the average musician's forum; what basses, or guitars, have you owned, or currently own, that you would consider far better than the price would indicate. For me it would be my Wishbasses. I have upgraded both with EMG active pups, and they are stellar, both in tone and playability. I recently acquired two Hohner B Bass V five strings. An older one with trashed frets that I had de-fretted, and a new one with a pretty quilted maple top. They both have active EQ, and one piece maple neck-thru construction. The active Eq seems to generate lots of harmonics, with a square wave feel to them. Adds definition to the low B. Those 4 basses in total, represent about $1200. Anyway, what should a bargain hunter like me be on the lookout for?
2400wattman
Advanced Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 352
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 4:13 pm:   Edit Post

If you like B.C. Rich their newer N.J. series(which is made in China) Mockingbird basses are quite impressive in build quality. I believe for $599.00 you get a neck through body, quilted maple veneer and a see through red or black finish, with the maple neck having a clear gloss finish from end to end. One thing, guts would need to be replaced. It does sound good but I could'nt tell a discernable differance when turning the tone/e.q.? knobs.
blazer
Intermediate Member
Username: blazer

Post Number: 151
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 5:27 pm:   Edit Post

Eventhough I own two handmade high end basses (Working at a luthier's workshop has it's marits.) And I own a high end Gibson Guitar, my love lies with the odd and the cheap. I own three squiers, I own a 1984 Ibanez Roadstar and a cheap POS "Stagg" Fender Jazz bass knock off. Because I love the cheap vibe and the fact that I can modify them wihout feeling guilty about screwing a good instrument up.

One cool cheap bass you could look out for is this one.
http://www.squierguitars.com/products/prod_images/basses/0326902500_xl.jpg
This is a Bass which I never thought would be reissued but it's such a cool bass that I'm already sharking for one.
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 542
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 5:41 pm:   Edit Post

Dean B2 (squared) 5 str w piezo. Not super cheap but great sound and fairly sophisticated guts. ebay $540 or so for new 4's. I'm selling an amber 5 for $500.
Fender Korean Esquires. I replaced the Scorpion and Celtic models with emg 81's and sperzels. I also have a red gt with a Duncan Invader & sperzels. They play beautifully and have great sustain. Also very light. ebay in the $300's. I'm selling the gt for $275.
Hamer Korean flamed archtop double cutaways. Necks are a bit base ball bat but great fit and finish, good sustain and I put in emg 89 and 81 and sperzels. $275 Purplely burst w body binding.
I must render unto the Wickershams what is due the Wickershams. (currently new bass and refinish!)
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2369
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 6:46 pm:   Edit Post

As I've previously touted in other corners of this forum, I nominate the Daion Power Mark XX as the finest production line guitar ever built. Alembic-style construction with great attention to detail. 9 piece rosewood/maple neck, hippie sandwich (one I have has rosewood core and natural ash top/bottom, the other has maple core and stained ash top/bottom. I brought the rosewood one to Alembic and Susan said they would have to charge me $3000 for the woodwork alone). They show up on ebay 2 or 3 times a year and go for about $850-900. Olie has the bass version which he has spoken of before in admirable terms.

Bill, tgo
olieoliver
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1329
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 7:25 pm:   Edit Post

Amen Bill. For the money you can't beat them.
olieoliver
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1330
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 7:35 pm:   Edit Post

I would like to retract my prior statement.

What I should have said is, "for three times the money you can't beat them". !

I have owned and currently do own several high end (I hate that term but it gets the point across) basses and guitars, the Daion Power MK XX's are in my top 3 or 4 favorites.

Alembic being undeniably my favorite and the best. IMHO

Bill we have got to JAM some time man. I can see hours maybe even days of fun.

Simply Marvelous,
Olie
flaxattack
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1485
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 8:19 pm:   Edit Post

westone 5 string- 200$ goes where my alembic doesnt
gibson 67 eb2d mint red-$1200 never leaves the house
eko fiddle body bass 68-300$
alembic classico- $6500- hey thats a bargain- esp after mica tells you its one of the best they ever made
ns design 5 string-$1500
i would grab a daion but i cant play 4 string electics
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2370
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 12:16 am:   Edit Post

Flax: What about the titty bass? hehehehe

Olie: I'd love to. Anytime you're out this way or if Willie repeats his benefit golf "tournament" with NORML like he did in 2005, I'll head out to Austin again. (You should see Willie play. He has a baseball swing and plays the course like a pool table - bouncing the ball off of rocky hills. It's a trip - of course he owns the course!) If I get that close, I'll find a way to pull it off.

Bill, tgo
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 401
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 12:44 am:   Edit Post

http://traditionguitars.com/basses.html

My brother-in-law picked up a used MTB500 on eBay for about $300. Great action and a very comfortable neck. I've only played that one he has, but it played very very nicely.

If I can find one for a similar price, I will definetly pull the trigger and then swap out the pickups for some Barts.
the_mule
Senior Member
Username: the_mule

Post Number: 654
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 1:05 am:   Edit Post

Yamaha BB-series. I've got three 80's examples that undoubtedly were my best price/quality buys ever, but the new reissues (especially the passive ones) also beat all the competition when it comes to 'bang for buck'.

Wilfred
keavin
Senior Member
Username: keavin

Post Number: 1179
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 3:54 am:   Edit Post

the Bass on the right is a very funky fender-jazz Bass sounding De-armond 5 string with a 3 band EQ I found new for $250,00 a few yrs ago!
bigbadbill
Advanced Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 326
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 5:08 am:   Edit Post

My old Westone Quantum was cool, but I think there is tons of decent stuff around these days. I played a Tanglewood (now Cort) Curbow a few years back that was great; also a cheap Aria which a friend bought on my recommendation. I like Ibanez basses (not very cheap, but certainly way less than Alembic), and I have to say that I'm quite a big Epiphone fan. Also my old Hohner Jack was quite good, as was my old Vester VB11.
bigbadbill
Advanced Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 327
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 5:11 am:   Edit Post

Danno, I'm interested in your opinion on the B2 5 string as I've never played one but find them intriguing.
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 543
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 8:57 am:   Edit Post

Long scale, neck thru, good construction and craftsmanship, great sound, full tone control including blend of piezo or piezo alone, easy to adjust. Overall a very good bass that can get those acoustic-like percussive attack tones. The peghead is a bit funky and not friendly to most gigbags. I got it used at GC on a whim. At the time they were going for $900 new. For the money they are very versitile and I hear Dean has discontinued them.
57basstra
Senior Member
Username: 57basstra

Post Number: 623
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 9:38 am:   Edit Post

Many very good to great guitars and basses came ou t of the legendary Matsumoku factory in Japan. Some of the Matsumoku brands have already been mentioned in this thread. Brilliant bang for the buck and I believe very good investments as someday they will be more highly valued for their collectibility. They have always been recognized for their playability.
davr35
Member
Username: davr35

Post Number: 61
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 9:14 pm:   Edit Post

I have an old Mexi Jazz I paid $180 for, hot rodded it out with a new neck, pickups, and a badass bridge about $600 total. I just love it
bigbadbill
Advanced Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 328
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 4:39 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Danno. I may get the opportunity to play one in the next few weeks. Although here in the UK it's rather more expensive; 899 new (double that in dollars!)
jack
Intermediate Member
Username: jack

Post Number: 150
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 8:08 am:   Edit Post

I have a crummy Aria that I throw in the gig bag and cart around the city for rehearsals and just jamming sometimes. Paid 150, and it actually gets a couple cool sounds, especially playing just the neck pickup. Plus it's light, and I wouldn't cry if it got stolen or broken. It's already paid for itself in spades.

Aria Pro (Front).jpg
terryc
Intermediate Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 142
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 8:20 am:   Edit Post

I have a 1983 Squier which I customised with Alembic P/J pu's with 2 x Vol, bass & treble controls, Badass II bridge and gold plated screws, string retainer button.
I paid 100 over ten years ago and it sounds the biz when I fitted the Alembic pu's, the neck has flame on the upper side, the action is superb and my son has inherited it since I own a MK signature.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1181
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

Me and the mule are on the same wavelength: The 80's Yamaha BBs are really well built axes, and like all 'vintage' Japanes guitars are WAY underpriced (YES!!) for what you get. I slowly collected all three versions of the BB5000 for a grand total of less than 2 grand, for three neckthru, limited production axes. MIJ, neckthru, great tone.

In the four string BBs, try and find a good 3000 or 3000A: the earlier 1200 and 2000 are fine, but the necks are much fatter than a 3000. The current BB 4- and 6-series reissues are absolute steals, there are NO better basses for under 500 bucks.

Past that, I would never break my 'standard-pickup-size' rule. Most times on cheaper axes, the wood is way better than the electronics. So I always shoot for something where I can drop in EMGs or Barts or Activators or whatever you like. Not worth it to me to do major rout surgery: I stick with axes that use regular P or J or MM, etc., routs. The BBass is a perfect example: All maple, well built for the price, and you could replace the factory pickups with Jazz Bass pickups from anyone you like, if you want to.

LOTS of Ibanez SoundGears out there, and since there are so many different ones, the really good ones are cheaper than you might expect in the used market, and take stock pickup sizes. Squires are great hot-rod subjects. The all-Koa Peavey DynaBass is a set of EMG P/J-BTS Circuit away from being a fabulous neckthru four-string. Lots of guys bought the Toby Pros and replaced the pickups with an original Bart setup from their expensive brothers.

I love stealing an overlooked piece and customizing it. Back in the 80s I bought one of the original Squier reissue P Basses ($179 ! ! ), installed a PJ EMG setup, replaced the chrome hardware with all-Fender gold parts, sold it to a guy for $1500. He STILL plays it and won't sell it back to me. You rarely get that kind of return, but still lots of fun.

J o e y
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 799
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 8:54 am:   Edit Post

Bigbadbill mentioned Cort Curbow basses. Anyone tried one of them? I really like the way they look and they are all nice and petite. Junk? Worth trying?
jack
Intermediate Member
Username: jack

Post Number: 151
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post

How about Schecters? There's one here in NYC, "Diamond Series 5 Str." for $500. Could be a cheap neck through option.

zach
Junior
Username: zach

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 12:59 pm:   Edit Post

well i've got about 400 saved up (roughly $800 with the exchange rate as it is now), and i'm wondering whether to save up the extra for an alembic or go for one of the ones mentioned here. Any opinions would be....can't think of the right words....appreciated (that's the one!!! sorry, exams fry my brain).
zach
Junior
Username: zach

Post Number: 15
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 1:04 pm:   Edit Post

actually, ignore that, I think i'm just going to save up for the next half year or so until i can afford an alembic, no point spending a few hundred and still not being completely satisfied, therefore having to spend several hundred more.
2400wattman
Advanced Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 355
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 3:39 pm:   Edit Post

Do that and get close to what you want instead of something you would have to sell at a fraction of what you paid, to get close to what you want.
jhamill
New
Username: jhamill

Post Number: 7
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post

Hello Jack,

I would definitely consider the Schecter.
I recently purchased an Elite-4 with a Mahagony neck-thru body, flame maple top, EMG's & a rosewood fretboard. I paid $500.00 cash and I can say that it's well worth the price. Very stable neck, powerful p/u's and you can get a nice variety of sounds out of it. I would dare to say it's one of the best buys out there. By all means check it out, I think you'll be pleased.
I own an Alembic Brown Bass and I'm a former Elan owner, so I know about "comfortable" basses and the Schecter is quite comfortable to play.

John

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