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For about a year now I’ve wanted to learn to play bass. I’m finally at a point where I’ve got the extra cash to buy one with and in today’s newspaper there are three for sale. I know very little about guitars so I’m hoping that you can help me decide which one (if any) I should buy. Here are the ads:

Peavey T20, 4-string, hard case, stand, strap and picks $200

Fender Precisionbass w/Peavey amp (20 watt RMS), gig bag and 12’ wire $300

Tobias Bass w/active pickups, Transparent Red, 2 months old $300

That’s really all I know about them, is there anything I should look or listen for when I go to look at them?

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Guest *Doink*

Get the Peavey.

If you don't know how to play, I'd get the cheapest.

Then if you find you like it and want to carry on, look around for something better.

I've played peaveys before, and while they're on the cheap end, they're solid guitars and excellent for beginners.

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Hmm..the Peavey is probably a nicer guitar, but I wouldn't go for it in this case.

With the Fender, you get a reliable brand of guitar used by a lot of guitarists, which is just a good as the Peavey, and more importantly you get an amp for only $100 more (probably less than the price of an amp if you bought it seperately).

The Tobias is a no-no. they suck for what they charge for them.

Edited by TheReilDeal
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I'd go for the Fender combo as you're getting everything in it really, a decent bass for a beginner, a nice little 20 watt amp and a guitar lead. Fenders are really good for beginners so I'd go for that. I ain't played a Fender for about 4 years but it'll do the job for you.

The Tobias is a piece of crap, and it's an active bass, you don't want the hassle of that with the batteries and stuff. Mine is an active bass but I built this myself for my own specifications (it's a 3 string bass :P). To learn on you just need passive pick ups for now.

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Guest Locutus of Borg

I've got a Fender P-bass (although I have the very top-of-the-line version). It's very good all-around bass for jazz, slap, rock, etc. It's got a great feel, and has active pickups which are nice (but if you don't want to hassle with batteries, you can run the passive pickups). And judging from the three listed, it seems to be the one that gives you the most bang for your buck.

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Yamaha Basses > All of them.

Tobias basses aren't bad, not at all. A friend of mine has one, and it's an amazing bass.

However, you get practically a starter pack with the fender one, so go with that. Once you get experience, you may probably want to switch a Jazz Fender Bass (Great basses).

However, if you find a Ibanez or a Yamaha bass at a good price, don't doubt in getting it. They are one of the best basses for beginners. Specially Yamahas.


If the fender bass they are selling you is actually Squire (If you didn't know, Squire is like the cheapest and crappiest brand of basses of fender), try to get away from it. Squire are the WORST brand of basses I have ever played. It's hard to slap, practically NO harmonics, they are just so not worth it.

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I'm not a massive fan of Jackson basses, the guitars are good, but they're okish bass makers.

I prefer Lakland or Warwick basses myself. I've got a Lakland 55-94 which I adore for my 5 string stuff, but most of the time I stick to my 3 string custom, as its a little bit odd looking, but sounds brilliant with its EMG pick-ups.

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