Best place to buy an high end instrument?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Kristian, Feb 8, 2014.


  1. Kristian

    Kristian

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Stockholm
    Hi,
    I'm thinking of buying a new bass and I'm prepared to spend around 20-30.000€. Where shall I go? America Europe?
    I live in Sweden but I guess it can be worth the money and the trip to go somewhere where you have more to choose from.
    Thanks
    Kristian
  2. ole Jason

    ole Jason

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I would begin by looking in the UK and Germany.
  3. valentina

    valentina

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Disclosures:
    Owner: Alter Ego Usa String Instruments
    Kristian,

    If you can, I would wait for the Bass Europe Convention in Amsterdam this coming August, 23-29. I'm sure you'll find plenty of basses for your budget.

    In Italy I really love Sergio Scaramelli's basses.
    I heard very good things of Jean Auray's work in France.
    For less than half your budget you can also get the AlterEGO traditional bass no. 3 in Rome.
    No. 1 is in the hands of Gary Karr who loves it ("After weeks of playing my new Alter-Ego acoustic bass I am filled with the kind of love for the instrument I have never before experienced! It is without doubt the easiest bass I have ever played. The response is very quick, the sound of the instrument is very satisfying and I love everything about it except for the neck which I will have Jim Ham address next month.") No. 2 is in Idaho.

    Also, MusikMesse is around the corner, but if you have limited time to travel, I would rather go to Amsterdam.
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Valentina, I'm not finding any pics or very much info on the website. I found a pic of Gary Karr with one of the EUBs, but not a double bass.
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  6. valentina

    valentina

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Disclosures:
    Owner: Alter Ego Usa String Instruments
    I know Eric. The new Italian website will be ready in 10 days and it will include some info. I'm going to meet with Gary if not in Fort Worth, very soon, and I will have then pictures, a video interview and clips. Gary still has that EUB in his US home. He told me that he has practiced with it every day. He likes to set it with very low volume that gives him a nice perception of the bow attack.
  7. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    The largest collections of "high end" basses are probably in New York, London, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. These are also the most expensive instruments, with prices well over 100,000 USD. If that was what you were looking for, then shopping around would be a great idea. In your price range it's not necessary.

    My experience has been that prices for professional quality instruments are much better in the EU. The British pound makes the exchange rate difficult, and Americans are willing to spend a fortune on rare instruments. After taxes and import fees (not to mention the cost of shipping and travel), I think it's unlikely you'd find the best instrument you can get on your budget in the US or England.

    I think waiting for the Amsterdam convention is a good idea. For a few days, a large chunk of the best instruments and makers in Europe will all be in the same place. These conventions tend to have a particularly strong focus on instruments in the 10,000-30,000 range. That said, the last EU bass convention I attended (Berlin 2010) did not have as great a selection as what I've seen at ISB conventions in the States, and featured hardly any high dollar (90k+) basses. Even if you're not looking for a bass at those prices, it's always nice to test drive the best equipment.

    In the EU, I would take a look at basses by Christian Laborie and Horst Grunert. The basses they're making today are as nice as anything else I've seen for those prices, and their set up is impeccable.
  8. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, California
    Disclosures:
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    I know that Japan's currency is going through a significant devaluation cycle right now. There may be some bargains ther as well now.
  9. Bassguyrob

    Bassguyrob

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    What kind of instrument are you looking for? 4 string? 5 string? Purely classical or all purpose? That may narrow down where to look.
  10. Kristian

    Kristian

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Stockholm
    I'm looking a bass that I can play solo repertoire and jazz on. A bass that works well with Gerold Genßlers gut strings. Even sound without to much sub and mid. 4 str or 5 with high c, haven't decided yet... Maybe with "travel neck".
  11. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Laborie Quenoil pattern. Rabbath has two. A friend of mine has one and it's a really nice jazz/solo bass! Also, Jean Auray. Garcia-Fons plays a 5 string and has a removable neck system.
  12. turf3

    turf3

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    New York, London, and...

    Albuquerque, New Mexico????
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Joined:
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    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    This is well over 20 years ago and I'm sure things have changed, but there's a nice article in DOUBLE BASSIST about Glen Moore traveling with a student of his to Germany when she was looking to drop a significant piece of her inheritance on an instrument. She was the one that wrote the article and found a nice little 19th century Italian bass at Tobias Festl's World of Basses...
  15. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    I went there ten years ago when I was in Hamburg and it was a terrific shop then. I found MY bass there, but I had no money!
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Media:
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    Location:
    NYC
    Disclosures:
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.

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