Slowly gearing up

I have a borrowed bass from a local church. It’s a Schecter Diamond series. No one has used it in years but they don’t want to sell it. It needs new strings and a setup but I don’t want to put money towards it since it’ll never be mine and apart from me won’t be used.

Still, I can practice and learn with it. And buy other things.

First purchase: a tuner.
Second purchase: a strap.
Third purchase: a tuner to replace the tuner I broke when I knocked the guitar neck with my tuner attached against a wall.
Fourth purchase: A 15w Donner amp that came in today. Not the best but it more than meets my needs.

Anyone else end up with a lot of non-instrument gear before owning your bass?

The bass is next. I’ve got my eye on an Ibanez SR500E. Pricey but I love the sound and feel of it. I’ll probably get it in 2 or 3 weeks.


Nope, basses came first. Gear followed close behind.


You’re also going to want to consider strap locks, a sturdy music stand, nail clippers, nail file, spare tuner and bass (if applicable) batteries, and a gig bag. Lots of other small incidentals you may come across.

As far as the setup, it’s easy enough to do yourself and there are lots of videos on YouTube and advice right here in the forum. Do it when you replace the strings which you should replace after 2+ years. :slightly_smiling_face:

If new to bass get the B2B course. There is none better and the price is very reasonable.

Just my $.02. YMMV


Sounds like a pretty nice bass to be able to borrow to learn on.

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Hey Scott, welcome to the fold. I got the bass first, then ordered a head phone amp that would blue tooth to my phone and a nice set of head phones. loaded up a bunch of MP3’s on my phone and played like that for about 1 year until I decided I could learn it and I was doing good enough to please myself.

I then started acquiring other gear to go along with it. Be sure you go to a music shop and play around on several basses, figure out what brand you like based on how they feel and play. Take your headphones and amp in with you so you can play without anyone hearing you, you’ll be more comfortable that way. Play the inexpensive ones and play the high dollar ones, try several. I settled on the Yamaha because I like the way their necks feel and I wouldn’t have know that had I not gone in and played a Fender Jazz, the Schecter Diamond, the Ibanez Sound gear, Squier, Jackson, etc. You’ll also save a ton of money if your patient and watch Craigslist and places like that for used gear, especially amps, etc.

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Great advice from everyone, thanks.

I’m going through the B2B as we speak, on the 30 day path.


You can always buy strings, change them (save the old), and if/when they recall the bass, put the old strings back on and keep yours for the replacement bass. And a bass you don’t own is great to practice doing your own setup!

Good luck and enjoy!


If the bass needed a new strings that a beginner could recognize, don’t sabotage yourself or your playing experience by cheating out on a $15 set of strings. Playing with dull string robs you with the experience of crisp clear tone and not to mention the additional learning curve of muting. Dull old strings are quite forgiving like wearing an earplugs you’ll be in a rude awakening playing with a fresh new set of strings.

More importantly, return the act of kindness you are not renting the bass you are getting the use of it for free, the least you can do is the basic maintenance on the instrument. If I were you I’d strip down the bass and clean the fingerboard, polish the frets, “deoxit” the knobs, and change the strings. I’d see it as buying a lesson on string change and bass maintenance for $15. It’s the cheapest lesson in the world and you get to practice without fear of damaging your instrument. There’s no downside to this.


This is great advice @thewritescott ! I was nervous to do it myself as a total beginner - so I delayed for over a year. When I finally did the setup it was way easier than I expected and made a noticeable difference in playability. I used the John Carruthers videos on YouTube as a guide.


Nice bass. I like Schecter.

Nice bass, I had one for a long time. I like Ibanez.

I’ve gotten into and out of playing bass three different times since the 90s. In each case it was bass, then tuner/strap, then amp.


You’ve all convinced me.

I had a bass player friend of mine look at the bass he disagreed that the setup was off and I trust his experience over mine. He did agree that the strings were in bad shape.

I just finished restringing the loner. Easier to do than I thought it would be. And it feels/plays a lot better now. Maybe brighter than I want (which is surprising because I like bright) but A) I’m still figuring out my preferred mix of knobs and amp settings and B) they are new strings. And strings that are supposed to have a brighter tone at that.

I went with D’Addario Nickle Wound Medium Gauge.


“I’ve got my eye on an Ibanez SR500E. Pricey but I love the sound and feel of it. I’ll probably get it in 2 or 3 weeks.”

Take a look at the SR300E - Same feature set, lots of sound range and half the price. I’m looking at one as a backup to my Fender J-Bass to travel with as I’d rather pack a $300 bass in the belly of a plane versus $1,200…

One other thing you might consider - I received a Joyo JW-03 wireless 2.4GHz transmitter/receiver for Christmas - love it! Range is great, sound is great and no cord to trip on while you’re practicing of gigging! Plus it has these cool LED’s that look like an alien staring at your audience… :slight_smile:

TUNER: Try the FREE Pano Tuner app on your phone before you buy a physical tuner. I have tried several (including the Fender that came with my guitar) and I like the Pano - very fast response time and accurate.

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From my experience, the pickups and preamp were heads and tails above my SR300 on my SR500E. Also the SR500E had a preamp bypass so you could play passive that the SR300 did not have. Granted, that might be because my SR300 was not an SR300E, but an original SR300.

Doing some quick research on the Ibanez website, the SR500E has an Accu-Cast B500 bridge, Bartolini BH2 pickups and the passive bypass, whereas the SR300E has an Accu-Cast B120 bridge, Ibanez “PowerSpan” pickups, and does not have the passive bypass. It looks like the main difference on the bridges is that the B500 allows for string spacing adjustments, whereas the B120 does not.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slamming the SR300E, it’s a great bass. I played my SR300 for years without issue. But… it doesn’t have the same feature set as the SR500E.

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Thanks for elaborating from experience. Definitely reiterates you get what you pay for!

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Again, though, I am in no way saying that the SR300E is a slouch, or a bad bass. it’s a great instrument, and my SR300 served me well for many years.

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Good to hear as I personally am considering one myself.

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I’m a noob bass player, but I’ve played electric guitars for ages.

I have an sr300e. At the price point it’s good. It’s completely different from, I would say quite a step up from the 300(no e) as far as pickups and controls.

Mine arrived with a shorted output jack and dead battery. Plugged in, no sound. Popped the cover off, problem was obvious, took care of the short, new battery, all good. That doesn’t speak well for QC, but in my case everything else was perfect. Everything wood is good, bridge and tuners are really nice imo. The nut is perfect on mine. The neck and fretwork well exceeded expectations at the price.

The active tone controls are excellent. The humbucker and single coil modes are useful, the “power tap “ mode is useless, the bridge pickup is too close to the bridge, useful for blending but not by itself. It’s scary quiet. No noise from the preamp, no hum under any circumstances, even in single coil mode.