I’ve been on a bit of a bass guitar kick lately. Rather than spend $$$ on a single more expensive bass, I’ve purchased 3 less expensive used basses in the last 6 months. In order of purchase:
Dean “Playmate” acoustic bass. Who names these things? I’ll probably have to put a sticker over the headstock before I play this in church. However, a local guy on Craigslist sold this to me for a great price, and I like its sound. Reviews of the bass from around the web say that it sounds reasonably decent considering its $150 list price; my experience is that it actually sounds better than some acoustic basses at more than twice the price. Unfortunately, the passive piezo pickup (say that 3 times really fast) gives an uneven and wimpy response. I do like having an bass that doesn’t have to be plugged in.
Squire (by Fender) 5-string. Another Craigslist deal. It doesn’t have the traditional Fender headstock or body shape, but it plays rather nicely and sounds fine. “Everyone” seems to think that a 5-string is really great, so I decided to give it a try. After a bit of practice, I’m not so sure a 5 fits into my long-range plan, but time will tell. I’m really a fairly basic player, so having the extra ‘range’ turns out not to be so big a deal.
Yamaha RBX360 4-string. This one came from Ebay, but the seller was local. We were able to meet and avoid shipping costs, which was rather generous on his part. I really like the small, light body on this bass, even though the lighter wood seems to gather dings rather easily. No more ‘headstock dive’, either.
None of these basses are expensive or prestigious, but they’re still capable. Maybe I’ll sell the 4 and 5 to upgrade, who knows? In the meantime, these are a lot of fun.