I just experienced a harrowing deal with Bass Central, so I will share.
I was chasing a Dingwall Super PZ 5. Looked on their website. I even noted the little tiny writing that said that they leave bass basses up so people can see past inventory. Fortunately for the buyer, they mark those items as SOLD, right?
Saw that they had Dingwalls stacked up like cordwood. Tried to do the right thing which was to sell some basses prior to beating the tar out of our disposible income, food budget, bill money, and oh yeah, might need to grab that upcoming insurance payment too.
Well, two of my favorite basses sold including my only fiver which is used regularly and without fail.
I called and told them what I wanted. Every single one had been sold. Uh oh ! They said they would check upcoming orders and see what was in the pipeline.
Meanwhile I looked around. The Dingwall guys jump to my aid and help me start turning over rocks. The only one I can find is at Bass Direct in England and shipping is going to add an insane amount of money. Now I am sweating bullets.
Dave at BC calls back as he promised and tells me that nothing is in the pipeline for them and oh by the way, it's a 6-7 month wait right now.
I hang up the phone and launch off on a 10 minite Tourettes episode, drawing upon my four years in the Marine Corps to repeat every single swear word that I have heard. Some of them TWICE, as I liked the way they rolled of my tongue.
I keep digging and it looked grim.
I called David back as I had come to the conclusion that I was screwed and must order and wait. I'll grab a lakie or Sadowsky to play temporarily until it comes in.
While chatting with David, he suggests we poke through the inventory to what he has available and starts with the Dings. He is reading specs to me, when he mentions a Super J. No maple fretboard but Morado. Hmmmm, that will work !
He had the bass to me in 48 hours. The bass absolutely crushes everything that I have played.
I like that they leave different models of the good stuff up as a library. Still, they need to leave them up and mark them sold so idiots like me don't sell off the farm, thinking that they have a ton of them.
The bottom line is that I never felt that this was a bait and switch. David killed himself to find a way to help me. Spent over an hour on the phone with me and never rushed me.
I feel so strongly about their level of care that I am seriously considering ordering a Super P through them to add to the Super J.
Finally, an old story. 10 or so years ago, I was in their store. Went in to buy a Warwick. I came upon a row of Foderas which was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Now way that I could afford one, so I asked if I could plug in a Warwick. Took off my belt and wedding ring and checked to make sure that no Levi buttons or snaps could touch the bass.
I noodled a bit and fell in love. Went back to the counter and cut a deal for the Warwick. Mentioned the Foderas and told him they looked like works of art. The sales guy asked if I ever played one. I told him that I hadnt and had no business even looking at them as they were well beyond me means.
Salesman immediately came around the counter and told me that I needed to hold and play one as it's part of the learning curve for finding the best bass for ME. Sat me down right in the middle of the store on a stool as far away from EVERYTHING as possible. I was so scared that I ran out to the truck and grabbed a clean towel to set in my lap. I didnt even want the bass touching my Levis for fear of potential swirl.
On this glorious day, I learned the most important bass lesson EVER ! When Victor Wooten plays a Fodera, it sounds like Victor Wooten. Angels sing. God himself starts wagging his butt and doing the Bump with Saint Peter! When Zoomie plays a Fodera, it sounds like .........well ............ crappy Zoomie.
I have never forgotten that salesman's kindness for giving me that oh so rare opportunity.
These people love the bass and pay hommage to it. They are not merely bass hawkers and sales hos.
Dingwall, Fender, Grove, Ric, Reiner Amplification (6SL7 Goodness), Genz, & (BNA Audio) Greenboy Dually & F115.