Any of those are good basses.
I like my Ibanez but there’s a good few Yamaha fans here too.
If you can find a store where they stock most of the models mentioned plus any that might catch your eye where you can get your hands on them it’s really worth doing.
Try before you buy as it were
All of those will be fantastic. They are also all solid mid-level, modern sounding basses.
For your first bass, which you will almost assuredly upgrade from in the future anyway, I would probably suggest a less expensive but still easy to play one. The reason is that until you try lots of basses you won’t know for sure exactly which type you personally like best, and so starting with an expensive first instrument is often a bit of a waste. It’s tempting to try and buy a “forever bass” for your first instrument but this is generally not the best plan as you won’t know enough to know what you like yet.
But all of those are good choices. I have a TRBX604 and love it, really like the TRBX line. Can’t speak highly enough about it for the style of bass it is.
Howard is wise and I respect his opinion a lot (but don’t tell him that). I agree with what he says here, but I would add you want to start with an instrument that gives you a pleasant experience and that you will want to play. A TRBX 304 or Ibanez SR300 let’s say. Or the differnece in cost might not be a factor to you.
Definitely play it first if yuo can swing it. I happen to be extremely rural and it’s an 8 hour round trip to hit the bass store from here. So I tend to research the bejeezes out of stuff. And order online where there is a grace period to return. But that’s my situation.
If I was in NYC I would be making myself a pest at the shops.
I just got my new Schecter today. When researching it, the only 4 brands I looked at.
I didn’t look at Ibanez only because I own an SR805, and have an Sr600E on order, it’s a new model not out yet. But I am comfortable with the neck profile. That’s something to pay attention to when you try them out, which feels comfortable to your fretting hand.
I also owned a Schecter CV-4, which I just sold for what I paid for it. So buying a Schecter C4 GT wasn’t a stretch.
Sounds crazy but I’ve been to two of my cities largest music stores and their bass inventory felt kind of lacking in my opinion.
They either had tons of really high end basses and a few lower end ones but not a lot of in between and almost none of the models I listed here. Apparently a lot of the models I’m interested in are on back order, around here at least.
Though I did get to play around with an Ibanez SR but not the newer model.
I’m mostly relying on feedback, lots of reviews, YouTube vids, and this forum, etc.
I guess it’s a good thing returns are a thing.
I’ll let you know what I end up with. Thanks again!
Let us know what you end up with. We all love to talk bass here so all questions are good ones.
I don’t know what the reasons are, but bass inventory seems depleted across the board. I found a Schecter Stiletto Extreme and Yamaha TRBx504 in stock, and an ESP AP204 which is a PJ bass in stock at one of the large retailers
Return policy is key here. My last bass purchase was between the Yamaha 604 and the Ibanez 650e. No matter how much you read about it or how many people tell you what they like, there is no substitute for holding it in your hands. If you have I had a little money laying around I would have ordered both and returned the one I liked less, but I didn’t. I was leaning towards the 604 so I ordered that one. I was really in love with the looks and sound of it, but not the feel. I was never able to figure out exactly why, but it just didn’t do it for me. Doesn’t mean you might not love it, lots of people do. I returned it with Sweetwater and got the 650e in Antique Brown Stained and I love it. For you it is a bit tougher since you are still between several choices right now, but research Return policies as much as the bass and you can’t go wrong… just a matter of how many you need to try before you find yours.
I think the lockdowns got people buying instruments and supply hasn’t been restored for whatever reason… when I was searching for mine I saw the inventory shrinking as I overthought everything… at the end I kept it simple and low budget, and I love it… all four of those are really good quality, if you can hold them and pluck some notes do that and pick the most comfortable… I wouldn’t buy one you feel the most comfortable
I have an ESP LTD B-4E.
I can absolutely recommend this bass. I love it, it plays, feels and sounds AMAZING.
Mine is one step up from that one, and it has the Neck Thru instead of bolt on, but they both feel great.
I actually have 3 ESP LTD’s right now, two of them are B’s. I am selling my ESP LTD B-155DX (a 5 string), only because I don’t play it much, if at all, because it is a 5 string. I bought it because it was a 5 string, AND because I already had and LOVED my LTD B-4E.
I will never get rid of my B-4E.
The other ESP LTD I have is the FRX-TA204. It is the Tom Arrays (Slayer) Signature model, based on the LTD F line, which I love also. My dream would be to have a LTD F-4E, matching my B-4E, but with the F body shape. Same wood grain finish and neck thru, just different profile on the body.
Here is mine.
Again, I can’t say enough good things about. this bass.
(I also really love Schecters. I owned one and loved it also, but it too was a 5 string, and I decided to just stick with 4 strings, and thats why I sold it)
I have owned Ibanez SR400QM and SR300, and GSR 300. I liked them all, but in the end, I did not love them, and i have other basses that I love, so I sold them.
I have never tried a TRBX, I only had a RBX-170, but most budget friendly of the Yamaha’s. I liked the feel of it, but I could not get with the playability of it. the Split P pup has a housing on it that peaks in the middls and slants down both directions, like a roof top. It got in the way of my finger plucking , and I could not get past it. I also thought it sounded a bit thin, but again, it is the cheapest one they make, and I didn’t expect too much from it. Had I been able to pluck it comfortably, maybe I would have kept it, maybe not.
Most everybody that gets a TRBX is extremely happy with it, I just don’t have experience, so I can’t judge either way.
My order for the basses you are looking at would be
That is my very subjective list, so take it how you will, but that is how I rank them after having owned and played them all (except better quality Yamaha’s)
I would also top that list with my favorite bass, that is not on your list, the Sterling by Music Man Stingray Ray4. It cost less then the ones you are looking at, but it is an amazing bass IMO
I don’t care for the stock pick up, but you can get a Ray4, and a new pick up for less then some of the basses you are looking at. Of course, many people would rather just get a bass, and play it right out of the box. I am not saying you can’t do that with a Ray4, you very well can, but for a little investment, you can make it more then 10 times better.
Anyway, back to the LTD
Here is my
ESP LTD B-4E. I don’t have alot of pictures without digging to much, but here are some.
If you want more, LMK and I will dig.
Here was my bass family about last April or March.
3 Ibanez (GSR 200, SR300 and GSRM20 Mikro that I still have for my daughters really)
1 Schecter, the 5 string on the far right
and my ESP LTD in the center.
Beleive it or not, out of all my basses, I play my Ray4, the cheap $300 bass with an Aguilar pick up that cost $120, and it is my number 1 go to bass out of all my Stingrays and my LTD. The Stingray SLO Special is my number 2, and the LTD is my number 3. All the others are played sporadically.
I beleive out of the 4 basses that you listed, they all have narrow necks, like a Jazz Bass (fender J bass) neck. These are often comfortable for beginners, where thicker fatter necks CAN be more intimidating, especially for people with smaller hands that think bass is tough to play due to reaching the frets with your fingers stretched apart. These necks don’t change that spacing between the frets, but are smaller in your hands, and feel a little more manageable.
many with larger hands, or more experienced players prefer the wider necks.
I used to think I would only like narrow and thin necks like the Ibanez, and I really did at first, but as I grew as a player, I grew to appreciated a little more meat in the neck. Thickness, not so much width. The Ray 4 feels perfect to me. It is narrow like the Jazz, and the Ibanez, but it is a little thicker, so it feels better in my hands.
The Ray34 has more of a P bass neck, wider and thicker. If this suits you, you might like to reconsider some of the basses you have listed, because they are on the narrow side.
This is nothing to be alarmed about, but something to be aware of and to consider. You might have big hands and feel way more comfortable with a Ray34 or a P bass, or a model that has a wider neck then the SR line or TRBX line.
My LTD feels JUST right also. I think it is narrow like the SR and TRBX, but I think it has just a little more thickness, and feels great. But if you find you like bigger necks, then even that might be small to you.
Stingray’s, SBMM and EBMM are all over the place in terms of neck, so if you were to consider one of them, you need to know what neck you like before you commit to a model.
I would definitely recommend Howard’s advice on getting something reasonable to start with first, because (and everyone on this forum will agree with this, I’m sure), once you have one, it’s practically impossible to not want another for various reasons.
I made a mistake doing the exact same thing.
But one thing that is certain, is that when you start picking up basses and playing them, some of them will start to stand out. Whether it’s the shape, the feel, the neck, the sound, something will stand out. And it’s this you want to look for.
You want a bass in your house where every time you look at it you immediately want to pick it up and play it. And you can only get that by playing them.
I know you really want one straight away and it’s a ballache with the fact lots are on back order that are in your list, because you want one NOW, but honestly, if you can get hold of them in your hands, you’d be surprised what you’d go for.
Saying that, I nearly bought an ultra Jazz on finance the other day. But that was all @Jazzbass19’s fault, and I’ve resisted the lull. (for now)
@Pablo After you get a chance to try some of these out, if you like the Schecter, I have a one year old Schecter Stilletto Extreme 4 with a hardshell case for sale in the Black Cherry. As @Wombat-metal suggests, it is beautiful. Only reason I am selling is my Fenders get all the love and as such I don’t play the Schecter hardly at all. Direct Message me if interested and we can discuss so I don’t turn your thread into a “yard sale.” Here are two pics in the interim.
I had a stiletto studio-4 neck through. That bass was awesome. But after my injury sold it. Thinking back should have never sold that one. My son still uses his Ibanez but his might be 700 those necks are thin and fast. They all sound like good basses. If there a music shop that carries these I would go in and try them before buying them, see which one you like best. Good luck finding your baby.