The red bass is my Ibanez 300 DX it’s been my faithful friend for the past 20 years. It was under $400. It’s a great intermediate Bass, but After taking BassBuzz I feel like I need to upgrade. I can get the Yamaha TRBX304 like Josh recommended ($370). I’ve had my eye on a Fender American made Jazz Bass. ($1600) Which every bass player that I’ve had a conversation with highly recommends. I’m attaching pictures for reference and I would appreciate any feedback and rationales.
I would tend to go for the Yamaha over the Fender because I think their QC is a lot better and you get more for your money (or the same quality but you pay less with the Yamaha).
What do you want from your new bass that you current Ibanez doesn’t do so well? That’s what I would ask myself to keep myself in check in case I was getting something that I don’t really need.
One of my goals is the Louis Johnson baseline from Michael Jackson’s “Get on the Floor” I had my eye on the MusicMan Stingray too, but the neck was too big in my hand. I’m having a REALLY hard time finding a local music store where I can actually get my hands on the Yamaha before I buy it.
I had a 305, nice bass but not high end at all. Sold it to upgrade to a BB735.
I don’t think you will feel like the 304 is an upgrade to what you have.
If you can go out these or any other basses in your hands I highly recommend it, even if not these two, to get an idea of what things are important to you.
304 is much more modern sounding. Not like a p or a j either.
Yes, it does seem like the Yamaha is a lateral move from my Ibanez…
The Fender will be worth every penny you spend on it. The Yamaha is a wonderful bass but you’ll not feel the same ‘jump’ in quality with the 304 as you will with the J Bass.
If you can’t play a Yamaha locally, at least try to play the Jazz Bass before you buy. I think you’ll find it hard to put down (and if you hate it, then there’s your answer!) Don’t worry though, once the GAS catches back up after your purchase, you’ll have every opportunity to go buy the 304 anyway.
If you like the Yamaha 304, I’d be inclined to go with at least the 504, it has better functionality. If you like Louis Johnson and want to slap, I’d be more inclined to go with a jazz bass or music man stingray. For a Jazz bass, even the vibe or player series are very good if you don’t want to spend all that money on an American made model. Sire and G&L also make good bases.
I’m definitely going to give the Jazz a test drive. So many of the players that I admire and have talked to in person recommend it!
Thanks for the feedback! I’ve had my “economical” bass since the 1990s, I don’t mind treating myself. Especially as a reward for all the progress I’ve made since BassBuzz.
The 304 is a great bass but would be a lateral move from your Ibanez. I would recommend the TRBX504 or 604. They are fantastic basses you could easily use forever if you wanted.
Another Fender to consider is the Boxer, which is made in Japan. It’s about $1200, has a Jazz neck and is probably better built than the Jazz. The Boxer has a unique tone pot, 1-5 is a normal tone, 6-10 it does some boosts/cuts
There’s a lot of basses in that range though which are superb.
I have both the TRBX304 before I upgraded to the 504. The difference to me was night and day. Better pickups, better electronics and an active/passive switch. Never looked back since or suffer from GAS, from an instrument POV
The 504/604 really are superb basses. I may be biased but I’ve bought and sold several basses since I bought my 604, and it’s still one of my two basses.
The only way I am ever selling it is if I get something like an Ibanez Premium - which are basically the same, just (slightly) nicer.
It’s really difficult to boost a $400 bass against a $1600 Regardless of how good the QA/QC of said companies. Cheaper basses are cheaper for a reason. They have less ‘hands” on them. More expensive basses usually have more hours of people touching and working on them. We are at the age that the cnc machines are so good when the machine finished with the product it requires very little human touches in order to be accepted and move on to paint finish and electronics.
More expensive instruments gets higher more experience tech to work on them making sure that they are out of the box awesome.
Yamaha produces great instruments but only few of their “sought after” models retain good resale value. I own 2 the motion bass II and the bbne2, many of their artists series are great and hold value well.
Fender on the other hand are pretty consistent across the board especially the USA models. They hold their value pretty well especially after 10+ old. MIM also offer good resale. That’s the main reason why I get into Fender basses as they are not exactly offer bells and whistles models like some others. It’s a great tool. Like Rolex, sure it’s great but they are not very flashy but great watch. Somewhat affordable in some circles, cheap even. There are several watch companies out there that offer all kind of complicated movement and some cost more than a house in SoCal. They just don’t hold value like Rolex.
If you ever think about selling then Fender is the way to go. As for the performance I can tell you right now, it’s not 4 time better than Yamaha. I’d get some cool color though like the dark night burst that you posted or the mocha burst they look awesome. It seems like nice color and/or rare color may have the same price now but down the line they sell at higher price than black color.
I’ll say this a $1600 Yamaha will not have the same staying power as the $1600 Fender when you sell it. People can price the Yamaha at $2000 but it would be difficult to find that 5 people who’s looking for that particular one. A dark night American professional can sport a $2000 price tag 10 years from now, at least what you paid for. If COVID-20 happen again your price will double, lol.
If your budget is $1600 there are a bunch of basses to choose from, it all depends on what you want out of it.
If you are buying a bass primarily predicated on the resale value, you should absolutely, under no circumstances be buying new to begin with. Used is the only rational choice there - let someone else take that depreciation hit.
Once a bass is “used”, though, it’s used. They typically don’t depreciate nearly as much over time as compared to that initial hit. Some might even appreciate over time.
But yeah, seriously - if you primarily care about resale, definitely do not even consider a new instrument.
In other words, you can generally sell a used instrument for close to what you paid for it. A new instrument figure on a 50% loss
Yep. And even if that’s just a 30% loss for Fender instead of 50%, it’s still best to let someone else take that loss
I have a 2015 USA Fender Standard Jazz Bass and I’m sure I would agree with all the positive things you’ve heard.
I don’t get this quality control thing I’ve been hearing lately on the forum. I know some people on this forum have had a couple of issues with a Fender product but none of those were USA made Fender basses. So, it’s not a fair comparison. When it comes to the Fender Professional II, even Gregor called it the best production jazz bass on the market and repeatedly complimented it’s quality.
Having said all this, I definitely recommend trying a jazz bass before you buy one. I can’t imagine a better instrument for myself but your preferences may be different.
How many times have we heard this.
It’s really quite simple. Selecting any musical instrument all comes down to personal preference.
As long as your not buying based on price the right Bass for you is the one that when you walk into a music store and see one that makes you go ‘Oh wow, I really gotta have that one’.
It makes no difference if it’s a Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez, or whatever. As long as you are making music and enjoying yourself don’t worry about what other people think of your selection.
I have around 10 various string instruments, going back 50 years, and would never consider selling any of them.
As far as buying used, when I decided to try Bass at the beginning of 2021 I did not really have an option because of Covid. I knew I wanted the Yamaha brand and I purchased a TRBX304 new. That took 8 weeks to arrive. After several weeks I realized I should have gone the next tier up and gotten a TRBX504, which I did. I did try to sell the 304 but with less than 20 hours on the fretboard I was not going to sell it for what people were offering me. I backed off the truss rod tension, loosened the strings, and put it back in it’s original packaging and stored it. It is now my back up Bass.
I got a fairly good price for my 305 but this was only due to covid shortages. Still took a hit but for me that was the price to “rent” the instrument. @howard is correct, but used sell used opportunistically. You can’t lose. @Al1885 is right too that in 5-10 years some basses will appreciate considerably, some might take 20-30, and by then it may all change or I may be dead and it’s my daughter’s problem.