Purchase Advice

Okay everybody, it’s intervention time. @brandoncmurphy Has contracted GAS!

It will be okay. You’re among friends now. GAS affects all of us and you’re not alone.

Hi. My name is Eric and I have… Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
[Group] Hi Eric.
Thanks… thanks. I uh… obsess over gear. Not just some gear. All of the gear. And uh (chokes up) I want two copies of everything. So, I can take one apart.
[Group] Oh, that’s hard. Yeah, rough place to find yourself. Stay strong, brother.

I joke but there is a lot of truth in that joking.

Deal 1 - Beautiful but for that amount of money I would have to be positive it’s what I wanted.

Deal 2 - This actually looks like a pretty good deal. The Boss DS-1 is a guitar distortion pedal but you could resell it for $30. The Boss CEB-3 would be fun but you could sell it for $70. So that leaves you with a $50 for a bass you can experiment on and not feel bad if you completely destroy it.

Deal 3 - I’m pretty sure the Washburn is an XB100. They sell used for $125. The Vox amp sells for $50+ and I can’t tell what the Ibanez is. This seems like the worst deal to me. There is a huge amount of cheap gear on the used market and spending $315 for this seems unnecessary when you could probably buy it piecemeal.

If you have a guitar store near you, I highly recommend going there and playing everything you can get your hands on. If playing in a guitar store makes you nervous, check out this thread. WHAT TO “PLAY” IN A GUITAR STORE?

Everything sounds good till you have a chance to play it yourself.


Yeah that’s true. I would also see if they would come down in price a little bit - never hurts to ask.

There’s a lot (a lot) of amazing basses in that price range though. So be sure that’s the one you want.

That said if it is truly what you want and it turns out to be as clean as it looks, out of the options you presented it’s the one I personally would go for. YMMV.


I honestly think it might be. It checks all the boxes…



That’s dark, man!!


So as it turns out, I don’t think they actually make the ESP LTD F4E in this finish any longer. The models they currently make do not have the Ebony top on the body, but are instead the single mahogany through the entire body. So you don’t get that really cool two tone effect.

Unfortunately , the seller is not responding to any messages, so I am not sure what I should think. Originally I asked him if he could be a little flexible on price, which I can tell he saw, but got no response. Then I sent him another last night just asking if it was still for sale and letting him know I was really interested and he has not even viewed the message. So this might be slipping through my fingers!! Wish me luck!


I keep meaning to make a topic about the used market for musical gear but for now just trust me: this is not your last amazing guitar buying opportunity, there will be more :slight_smile:


That’s what my wife said as well. Patience is not a strong point for me; especially when I make a decision that I want to do something.

I am weird in that I will procrastinate until the last minute if I can, but once I make a decision that things need to happen, I want it done yesterday. And unfortunately, I have convinced myself that the ESP LTD F4E-NS (that’s the model with the ebony top on the body) is my holy grail of basses.

Unless anyone knows of something else I might like!

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Well, you could try and hold off for a little while longer (risking, of course, that the ESP is gone by then), and see what kind of Black Friday deals are going to pop up!


Oh ESP makes a wide range of amazing things :slight_smile:


I’m partial to Yamaha myself. I own this one, and I note Sweetwater has a floor demo for $539 :slight_smile:


Used would be less. I got mine for about $350. The 504 is equally good and costs a bit less as well.

There’s a lot of great basses in the $500 range, especially used.

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on the passive and old-school side, you have all the current Squier range : what you get for the price is amazing. but I agree with @howard : Yamaha and ESP/LTD make great instruments too, no doubt about it.

it would be interesting for you to test various basses from different brands, as they tend to have a certain type of neck. for example a ESP/LTD will have a very thin and fast neck, a Fender/Squier will have a deeper and rounder neck … there’s no rule here, it depends, we all have our very personnal preferences.


When I bought my first one, I picked up a few Squiers and held them and plucked a few strings (I had even less of an idea on how to “play” than now) and I didn’t care for the neck much. I liked the Ibanez neck on my 370E better, but I couldn’t really say why. Where do Ibanez instruments fall inline on that spectrum? (Squire being deep and round and ESP being thin)

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yes it’s very personnal. I personnally don’t like Ibanez necks at all. they tends to be thin and fast.

(not to say every Ibanez neck will have the same shape, it’s just a tendency regarding a particular brand)

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Yep exactly. I’m the opposite, I like thin fast necks like Ibanez, Yamaha and ESP tend to have.


that’s perfectly fine :slight_smile: I like heavy round necks (think PB). note that my ol’Yam SBV neck is pretty narrow but very round and not that thin. somewhat JB-like.

again it’s very personnal, we don’t have the same hands, we don’t play the same way. no rule.


That pretty much sums it up, @brandoncmurphy . . . :+1:

It’s pretty difficult to decide which bass to buy based solely on reviews. One person’s idea of a “slim” neck may not agree with someone else’s, etc. You really have to try it out in person. If you can’t try the actual bass you want, at least try to play one as closely as possible to the model you are considering.

The problem is further complicated in that it’s tough to make a final decision based upon playing any guitar for just a few minutes, either.

Good luck in your search, and happy playing!

Cheers, Joe :slight_smile:


Update!!! A deal has been reached!! $450 USD for the ESP LTD F4E-NS. It has been tough finding a “real” price for a new one, because this finish is no longer produced. I saw a few used on various sites and one guy was asking $600 for one with chips in the finish and seemed to think I was crazy for offering less. I saw several in the UK and Canadia for around $650-$700 USD after conversion, but then shipping would be crazy as well I assume. But I think $450 is a good price. He listed it as in “immaculate condition” so I’m expecting lightly used. I would have been happier paying less cash and working out a trade of some sort, but I can always try and sell stuff later.

I am currently trying to coordinate pickup. The guy does not respond quickly so it is difficult, but hopefully I will be able to meet him tomorrow (it’s a 2 hour drive that I just happen to be making tomorrow anyway) so maybe pics in about 24 hours! Fingers crossed!!


Also, I took advice given and went to my local shop today. I literally picked up and played with every single bass they had in the store except the two that were in the $1200+ range. I really didn’t like the Squire necks, but the fretboard was nice on them. The fret wires seemed lower or something on most of them (but not all). I did notice a lot more fret noise with them though…

The Ibanez necks typically seemed much nicer to me, even on the cheaper models. But again, not on all. There were two very different Epiphone models as well. The Thunderbird model was…odd. I didn’t care for the body shape and it just felt weird in my hands. The more traditional Epiphone shape was much better. The neck almost seemed like a middle ground. It was a bit thicker feeling than the Ibanez, but not as thick as the Squires. There was only one pick up very close to the neck though…it was weird. Nothing I hated, bit I still liked the Ibanez the best I think.

I asked the counter guy if there was anyplace I might get to try out an ESP and he was less than helpful. He isn’t the normal guy I talk to and now I know why. So based on feedback from you guys and the very few I have been able to get my hands on, I think I am more a fan of thin neck styles…but the body shape and pickup placement matters to me too I think. I’m glad I have you all as a resource…I never would have imagined those things would matter so much or be so different.


Yep. Pretty amazing how much every bit of it matters when you get your hands on it. I look forward to hearing more about it when you get the ESP.

Be sure and share pictures over here…


I love this.
Well done, and bravo for the field research.


It happened! I got the ESP!!!

I posted a few pics in the Show us your bass thread. It came with a free hardcase too, so that was a welcome surprise. The ones I was looking at online were over $180.