Gift Suggestions For Bassists

So my bass and amp turn up Tuesday and, while it’s supposed to be a birthday present, wifey has agreed to let me have it early on the condition that I buy some things to open on the day. So I’m after recommendations for stocking fillers for bass players.

I’ve already ordered a gig bag and have a stand, a strap and a tuner pedal (although I never really got on with it). I’ve come up with the following ideas so far:

Cleaning products
Tools
Clip-On Tuner
Cables
Strings
Audio Interface

So, if anyone has any specific suggestions within those categories, or suggestions for categories I’ve missed, I’d really appreciate it.

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Audio Interface - I like the Zoom U-24.

Also, you might want to check but if it is a new bass it may come with a gig bag, though nicer ones you order yourself will likely be better.

Tools: allen wrench set (metric or SAE depending on the bass), microfiber cloth, diagonal wire cutters, feeler gauges (optional, I don’t use them).

Strings: if it’s a new bass the strings will last you through the course; used I would buy a set of strings. I like nice bright D’Addario rounds.

Do you have a good set of headphones? That’s an excellent investment.

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Going a bit outside of your categories:

Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass (a coffee table book about his bass collection, and thus a lot of history on the major bass models since the “invention” of the electric bass…

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Headphones! That’s a really good idea. I’ve got a couple of pairs: beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphones - 250 Ohm, and Sennheiser HD 595s. The beyerdynamics will be the better choice for practicing; they have a more “studio” response and are closed backed.

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Books! That’s another great idea.

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Those are both excellent 'phones. I use DT990 Pro’s myself (I like open backed).

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Me too. At least for listening to music and other everyday uses. The Sennheisers are open backed and that’s what I use them for. The beyerdynamics were bought for music production (LOL) and will be appreciated by my wife when I’m practicing in the lounge.

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Just a small suggestion, and perhaps you’ve already got it covered, but you might want to consider storage ideas, @Timberfist

As you progress and accumulate more items, it might be handy to have a dedicated toolbox or a small case to store and transport cables, supplies, strings, tools, etc.

At least that’s been my experience . . . :slight_smile:

Cheers, Joe

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Most established bassists seem to say a compression pedal is a must. I’m not 100% on that myself, but I’m looking into it. Seems to mainly be a way of keeping the same volume across all your notes. Which I can see be a good thing for a consistent thump… for most songs/styles.

Also, depending on what strap you have, you might want to upgrade that. Basses are heavy! You usually want a 3" or wider padded strap.

You might also want something for distortion, but I think you said you are getting a Rumble 40 and the distortion on that is fine.

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My compressor is nearly always on, yeah. Generally I would say it’s the third most important pedal to have on a board for a bassist, after a tuner and preamp/EQ, and for some it’s probably more important than the preamp.

Here’s an excellent resource for that.

http://www.ovnilab.com/

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My assumption, which could be wildly wrong, is that if you have an active bass a pre-amp pedal is less important than a compressor and if you have a passive bass, vice versa. But as you say, both are useful.

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I’d say it’s more about styles than that. Active EQ vs passive on the bass indeed gives you way more tonal options on the bass, but you aren’t going to (say) overdrive your bass, while bass preamp/EQ boxes frequently have some overdrive/dirt. Meanwhile, some styles really benefit from a compressor, while for the rest of us it just makes us sound better. And finally, if you start getting a lot of pedals, the preamp will be later in your signal chain and will affect everything before it; meanwhile, the EQ on an active bass is right at the start and only affects the tone of the bass itself.

It’s complicated :slight_smile:

But also, before we terrify anyone, none of this is necessary, especially starting out, until you want it to be. Lots of gigging bassists roll with few or no pedals at all. In fact, out of the handful of bass players I know in real life, I am the only one with a lot of effects.

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Has nobody suggested the obvious? No? Ok, I’ll say it then…

…how about another bass? :thinking:

Might as well get her used to the idea early - it’ll save broaching the subject later on when the basses start to multiply.

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about hearphones I use Superlux HD 668B. don’t know if this thing still exists. it was pretty cheap at the time. it sounds amazing in a studio way (very very cold and acurate monitors) and is really not ridiculous in parallel of my beloved KRK VXT8 (which cost way more than my two basses).

otherwise I find that a DAI could be the best idea. everyone needs a decent DAI anyway.

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