ENVY!! Why is everything in Europe so difficult?? (rant!)
This is regarding amps/cabs, so please bear with me!
There are lots of things that I do not like about the U.S (please do not take offence, there are also lots I don't like about Europe), but one of the things that I really envy is the selection of... well everything. Usually, if it exists, there is someone selling it used, and for much less than the new price.
Here in Europe, with very few exceptions, people want stupid prices for used gear (a lot of the time more than new) and there is not a lot to choose from.
I am looking to purchase a new (well actually my first real) cab. I don't really need this cab, but... well lets just say gas!
After many months/years reading this forum, I am convinced that a Fearful cab would be perfect, however, the only authorized dealer in Europe (UK) will not ship to my location in Spain. Also, the components that are available to me limit me to a 12/6, that I would need to build myself.
I have no problem with the building of the cab, but I only get to spend 1 or 2 weeks at home every 2 months, so I do not have the time to spend building it.
I looked over the plans with a couple of local carpinters, who estimated around 300-400 euros to build the cab (that is if I can trust them to respect the dimensions), plus around 350 euros for the 2 drivers, plus the crossover etc. brings me to approximately 800 euros ($1100) for a 12/6. I obviously do not want to spend this ammount on a cab that I haven't tried.
So, this brings me to off the shelf cabs. Within 800km of my home, I do not know of one single store that carries more than 4 bass cabs (most stock 1 or 2), and these are usually the same. The only option I have is travelling to somewhere like Thomann (near Frankfurt), but this would cost me around 400 euros in travel costs, making my choice a lot more expensive.
The used option: Right now on our version of CL, within 500km, there is a GK MB115 for 600 euros (489 new), a Trace Elliot 4x10 for 900 euros (719 new), a Markbass 210 for 750 euros (699 new) and an Ampeg 610 (in bad shape) for 950 euros (1329 new). End of story.
So I am left with purchasing online. This means I have to purchase a cab based only on what you guys recommend (which I am eternally grateful for, and have purchased 5 basses this way), plus a few youtube videos.
So...I will tell you what I have, and what I am looking to achieve, and please feel free to give me you recommendations...
Basses: Passive J, Passive Fretless J, Passive P, Passive P/J, Active P/J, Active 5 string.
Effects: Zoom B2 & B3
Amps: GK MB112, QSC 300w per channel or 1200w bridged.
Music: Currently I only play HipHop live, however, I also rehearse with a blues band, a local punk band, and some flamenco/fusion type band, so I would like to be able to play these live also.
I am VERY sorry for the length of this post, but I am SOOO FRUSTRATED!!! ;)
Not sure but I know a guy in Poland bought an Ibanez SR400QM used off me for 500 dollars and payed close to 400 to have it shipped.
A friend of mine in England bought the same Mac Pro I have and he payed almost double what I paid here in the states!
Don't envy European Musicians.
I would check out the Euro portion of talkbass or the used section of basschat uk
or If you want an alternative to fearful check out bareface
No sympathy, you guys have low crime and cheaper Wals.
We face similar issues in Australia. I think we have it a little better than you guys, but I definitely know what you're getting at.
It won't really help you on price or being able to try things, but I've been much happier since learning about reshippers. You still have to pay a lot for the shipping, especially for a cab, but using a reshipper opens you up to everything that would normally only ship within CONUS (which is like... everything... including Talkbass' classifieds!).
I use Shipito, but there are a bunch out there. Give them a look, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Don't worry, we'll be on the same page as you soon enough. We can only demolish prosperity so fast...
You always have Thomann and their "no questions asked" 30 day return policy.
Yeah, you don't have to drive to Thomann...that's just crazy talk :) have them send stuff to you and ship it back if you don't like it.
I've bought loads of stuff from them without trying or seeing the stuff first.
You think you have it bad? What about us all in the US that are surrounded by every choice of amps, basses and pedals and not having the cash to buy them. Good luck, by the way I was stationed in Spain in the late 70's and you have a beautiful country even though your choices for gear are limited. Sangria anyone? Viva Espana.
Yeah, Thomann and a few others I know of have that 30-day return policy. Thomann also offers a 3-year warranty, no extra cost.
No need for a fEARful when you have Barefaced in the UK.
I generally am pretty much OK with the pricing here vs the US, with the exception of Markbass. That stuff (made here in the Euro-zone!) costs almost twice as much here as it does over there. Obviously, shipping and export/import costs etc. are all of a sudden making things cheaper...
I do buy most of my stuff from Thomann (in fact I think they even recognize my number when I call :D)
However, it may be different in the UK, but in Spain, you pay the return shipment costs, which on something like a 410 is rather hefty.
That said, I have just spent the last 18 months in Germany (work), and I did get to try a few basses that I returned with no issues (and free return shipping). Unfortunately, cab gas has arrived just as I am leaving!!!!
Being born and bred in the U.S., I didn't realize just how easy we had it in terms of availability of products (not only music, ANYTHING, really) until I moved to Greece in 2009.
Bad economy aside, all things here are MUCH more expensive, and that's IF you can find it.
JACink, it seems to me you're in a rather rural area? Or maybe a "no-music-industry-store" area.
I'm in Germany and I don't have any of the problems you describe in your post.
As others have already mentioned, you can super easily order anything from Thomann and send it back if you don't like it. Their customer service is top-notch!!
However, I do agree on the price thing to a certain degree. US-made stuff is usually quite expensive over here, or at least considerably more expensive than in the US (amps & basses). I've been looking into the empress and Diamond compressor pedals and they are ... not cheap.:hmm:
Second hand is a different thing, I have yet to see someone asking for a higher price than the original price.
Example: Aguilar Tone Hammer pedal new is 249€ here, used - depending on condition and how old - between 150 and 190€, which is ok.
In Spain, people just have crazy asking prices for used stuff. For example, this afternoon I came accross someone selling a Squier VM '77 Jazz for 400 euros, as it was in great shape and only 2 years old, he even stated it as collectors item condition!!
I have tried ebay here in Germany, and found some deals, but it was difficult conversing when I don't speak German (my own fault I know!), and then I always have the issue of shipping it home to Spain.
Jesus, :eek: Ostfriesland is probably the worst area to be if you're looking for a music store.
Man, I really feel sorry for you. I wouldn't wanna be in that area.
However, Ralf Boerjes, fantastic bass builder, isn't too far away from there. You could have paid him a visit, he speaks English.
Well, maybe next time.
I've sold my Hevos cabs to a guy in Poland and shipping was 80 or 85 € for a 2x10 and a 1x15. I realize Spain would be a bit more expensive.
I've heard about the problems you describe from other Spaniards, I'm not sure if it's a Spanish thing.
I played in Marbella once and needed a new set of strings, man ... I drove around for hours to find a music store and, when I found one (very small), they only had some no-name stuff, which, unfortunately, didn't sound that good.
Funny, I get US people complaining about how well I do for really nice gear here. Think a bunch is we get way more variety, lots of smaller players came and went and the stuff is still floating about, but the bigger name stuff from the US is a bit rarer, so if you want a really nice amp, lots of choice, if you want a vintage SVT, much less.
I was in Madrid recently and I noticed that there were no MI shops and almost no record/video/electronics stores at all. Me and my colleague walked for hours after work there but found most of the shops were selling food, clothes, interior brik-a-brak, wine etc. Quite different from Copenhagen or Stockholm.
I am with you bro. And life is easier in the Uk than in Spain but still I seriously envy the US.
Barefaced is a good idea as you can return things after a month if you don't like them.
I actually have some cabs I would love to sell but shipping is such a pain on the ass.
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