When we formed the band, I decided not to spend too much on equipment as there was no guarantee we’d last five minutes, so I ended up with a small amp and cheap bass guitar, both branded “Harley Benton” – from the German firm Thomann, but of course made in China. Perhaps I should mention the bass especially, as it was very cheap, but unlike many cheapies had a solid wood construction, no MDF or plywood here! From the time I first tuned it in I hardly had to touch the tuning. The action was a little high, but adjustable and I’ve read plenty of stuff on the net about people successfully getting it pretty low and fast. The real bummer is the electronics. Some notes just go missing in the midrange which meant I was stuck at the bottom end most of the time. I’d read about this, as well – people had used this bass as a base, to build a custom job, and I was tempted to do the same.
Our drummer knows someone who had another bass for sale, Fender, heavily customised, electric blue, active pickups, low fast action, a snip at £180, and what’s more I could have it on approval. Well that’s the bass I used on Sunday, and it played lovely. £180 handed over and I’m a happy bunny. Slight scare at first because it was way out of tune when I first got it, but that was soon sorted. Now I have a good one to use, I might start customising the other. Who knows where it will end?