I stopped at a music shop earlier this week as they had the ESP LTD Surveyor 87 in rainbow crackle in stock. I’d seen it online and thought it looked awesome.
Well I definitely thought it looked awesome in person, but using the basic skills I have, I played it but didn’t immediately love it. I’m not sure exactly what it was. Think it was possibly the neck width near the nut. I usually play guitar, but I have a Squire Affinity Jazz which I find quite comfortable.
It could just be that it was very unfamiliar. I’ve been playing bass instead of guitar this week and when I picked up my Strat, it felt really weird.
The colour really did look nice, but looks might get me to pick it up every day, but not sure about the neck. The output also seemed somewhat low. The rainbow crackle is also about $400 Aussie more than the white version which seems crazy.
I tried a few others and still early days in my search for another bass. The others were a Warwick Rockbass Corvette Classic, a Spector Pulse 4 and a Ray4 HH. They all had thinner necks and the first two had tiny bodies compared to the LTD.
I’m going to check out the Yamaha TRBX604 and BB734 at some stage. Also planning on trying the Ibanez SR500 and SR600.
Part way through module 2 on B2B so may even have some extra stuff to play
I admit, I had to kinda grow into my Washburn I had…as I was eyeing/hoping to get a Fender. The Washburn is a precision though, and I loved that sound they had, I can’t quite describe it…it just vibed with me. I was lucky abit down the road, and obtained a Fender, it’s a Jazz, but I actually sat down and played it, and ‘that’ was love at first sight; the color, the ‘growl’, the way it sounded…mmm. So I kinda got both worlds in a way, lol…I love them both, even though I still gotta get used to the weight of the Jazz…also something…you might want to consider! XD. I wouldn’t trade either for the world…even though I have one strap currently and switch…but still! =3
Agree here, however, I have had the opposite happen where I grow away from a bass after love at first sight/play. When we are new players, we don’t know all the things we don’t know and our preferences can and do evolve.
I also have temporary periods of not liking a bass but then find it to be awesome again for other applications.
I would also caution against the idea of buying a “forever bass.” That’s… not usually how it works, and places undue stress on you for decision making. It’s natural to try a few instruments over time and end up with favorites. Frankly speaking, at a few months in to the course, you simply don’t know enough about what you will actually like long-term to make that kind of choice yet. Let yourself grow over time, and be comfy with the idea that you will buy and sell a few basses over time.
I also strongly recommend shopping used and not new. Much less expensive over time that way; in fact if you make good choices it’s possible to turn a profit.
The neck on the Surveyor is the standard ESP Thin U so it’s pretty fast, but it is wider like a P bass at the nut at 42mm. The pickups are vintage so I’m not surprised the output isn’t high.
Can a bass grow on you? I don’t think so. Not in the sense you mean. The things that annoy you about it will tend to get more annoying over time.
Which is different than something being out of your comfort zone that needs adjustment. My 5 string bass makes me grow as a player and is a challenge getting used to the extra string and I have to change a fair amount to get used to it.
But there’s nothing I dislike about it.
And $400 AUD is a lot to pay for something you’re not sure of. And the proce sounds jacked. They are only $100 USD more than the regular Surveyor 87 here. But I have seen high prices on it.
I agree with used. You can get good quality used, and more bang for your buck. I wish I figured that our earlier. I am on my last new basses, a Surveyor 87 Rainbow Crackle being ont of them ironically
A thought I forgot to mention is if you’re coming from a guitar background, you might want to try a short scale bass. Same boomy sound, 30 inch neck. A Hofner Beatle Bass or a Fender Mustang or any number of models might be the ticket
This happened to me a little bit with my Elite Strat, but I think it was because by the time I was ready to buy it, the one I had tried in the shop was gone and they ordered me a new one. It sometimes annoys me that I paid a lot for a guitar that can be quite fret buzzy at times, but then other times I hear those sweet, sweet tones and I love it. The neck is a dream as well which kinda helps. I took it back to the shop and they changed the strings and said they adjusted it, but when I got it home, it was still seemed as buzzy as before. I didn’t go back a 2nd time, instead learnt how to adjust neck relief myself and improved it, but didn’t eliminate it. From watching many demos etc, seems a lot of Fenders can be buzzy by nature.
I can relate to that. I told my wife my Strat purchase was my ultimate guitar. Turns out it’s not, I like it, but I like my ESP LTD and Ibanez RG better. I also bought an Epiphone SG sight unseen during lockdown last year. I like the sound and colour, but something about the body shape and neck dive means I don’t play it much (likely to become a guitar I once owned).
I’d thought about this, but worried about getting a lemon and given I’m still learning, not sure I could pick one. Any tips for checking out a second hand one, guessing main point. would be to check it plays ok on all settings?
I like the thin U on my LTD guitar, so maybe it was the wider nut that threw me off. Didn’t really look at the action, but maybe that was high.
The pricing hear can fluctuate massively. The $400 difference was at a few retailers, but it’s less than that at others. Even the so called recommended retail price which is supposed to be what the distrubutor would charge is massively different at different retailers. Eg, the black one has RRP of $1,649 at one shop and $1,999 at another. I’ve seen similar with the Yamaha TRBX range as well. When they are all sub $1,000, not sure how they can have upto $200 difference for the same thing.
IME you are more likely to get a lemon with a new instrument. Used instruments are usually tested and refurbished when a shop gets them; they want to pay what the instrument is worth when they take them in so they play them.
New instruments, not so. Electronics if they fail, tend to do so early. So used are quite reliable. And I’m not sure what you have in your area, we have shops like Guitar Center which rate the used equipment they sell. If I buy something in great condition I know it’s like brand new. If you were to come over, I think you would be hard pressed to say which of my basses was new or used.
Any bass you try you want to check and see if everything works - even a brand new bass. Roll off the pickups so you can hear each one, turn down all the knobs and listen to each one individually, turning each one up and listening before turning it down and going to the next one. It’s evident when something isn’t right. I had one brand new bass where the treble pot did not do anything, and another where when I turned the mid pot down partway, I lost the whole signal. There is a bass hanging in my local shop where I turn all the knobs, and the sound never changes.
Just hit a note, turn the knob, and see what the difference is. Rinse and repeat