| Originally posted by fourstringrebel |
im really not allowed to put my area up there.
You can visit the Newbie link just by clicking on this link: BASS FORUM LINKS (Newbie Links): PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING NEW TOPICS
. Give it a try, and click on some of the other links you find there there.
The first thing to do, though, is determine what kind of music you plan to play. That will influence the type of bass you want to look for, types being; fully-carved, hybrid (carved top on plywood back & sides), or fully-laminated(plywood).
Just right off the bat, chances are good that a fully-laminated (plywood) bass is what you're going to do best with as a first (and maybe last) bass, unless you have Orchestral Ambitions.
If you plan to play orchestrally, or otherwise mostly with a bow, you're eventually going to want a carved bass, and if you can afford it, you might as well start out with one.
You can read what some people have had to say about Ply vs Carved by clicking on this newbie link: Hybrid or Fully Carved Bass?
As for buying one, you can mail-order one, or you can find a local violin shop that may have a good deal on a used one.
If you're planning to take lessons, find a teacher first, and he can help you find a bass.
With six million people in the metroplex, you should have no shortage of violin repair/sales shops around there, if you just go through the yellow pages under "violin repair", or "violins". Call them up and ask if they repair double basses. If they say "yes", ask if they have any there in your price range that you can look at. Many will let you buy a bass with an "approval period", so you can take it to a more experienced friend, or another luthier, and get an opinion on it, then get all of your money back, if you want to. Keep that in mind.
You MIGHT even get lucky and find a YP listing for "double bass". You can visit http://yp.yahoo.com/
too. That gives you maps, but doesn't give you ads to check for references to "bass".
Good deals are often found at pawn shops, and in the newspaper, but you should stay far away from those two sources. You don't have the experience to spot a disaster, and neither does a pawnshop operator.
In the newspaper, you face the same problem, only the seller doesn't have a business reputation to worry about, so you can add a possible Sleaze Factor to your chances of paying good money for junk.
A luthier in a string shop will (and will be ABLE to) tell you whether something he's selling is a dog or a bargain. Of course every bass there will be a bargain of some sort, either expensive but worth it or great for the cheap price, blah blah blah. He IS in the business of selling things, after all...
Still, if it's a dog, it will be priced accordingly, and he'll be able to tell you why. You might want it anyway, but he has a reputation to guard, and expertise to know what he's selling, for better or worse.
Luthiers... there are some very good violin luthiers who can't find their way around a double bass. Sometimes they know and admit it, and sometimes they don't even realize, and some violin luthiers are very good with any string instrument of any size or type.
Try to find out how much actual double-bass experience one has, before getting your bass worked-on, or before taking purchasing-advice.
and ask if anyone can reccommend a bass luthier in the Dallas area. I know there are two or three players there who live in & around Dallas. There are probably some Dallas players here on TB, too.
You can get an Engelhardt EM-1 delivered well under $1200 from Bob Gollihur, at www.urbbob.com,
and the S-1 model has an ebony fingerboard (instead of rosewood) and nicer finish, for a little more. I believe he offers a 7-day approval period on basses, though you'll be out round-trip shipping amount if you want to send it back, to the tune of about $300-$400.
You can get a Strunal for about the same price, actually a little less, from www.cutting-edgemusic.com.
Figure $200 for setup on any of these basses, which should include about $100 worth of new strings.
New Engelhardts are said to come "playable" right out of the crate, but can be improved by setup.
Cutting-edge music says they shop-adjust their Strunals, but shop-adjusting isn't the same thing as an actual setup. They probably also arrive "playable but improvable".
You can get various Cheap Chinese Basses on Ebay delivered for $500. (Cremona/Palatino/Brownstone, etc.) Do Not.
(see the newbie links)
You can get used Kay & Engelhardt basses on Ebay, but you can usually find similar deals on them locally, and you get to see/hear/inspect a used bass if it's local. It will generally take $150 to $250 to ship a bass.
I haven't heard much bad about the Vienna basses from Jim Laabs http://www.jimlaabs.com/stringinstru.../frankfurt.htm