Buy new or repair?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by WSBass, Feb 12, 2012.


  1. WSBass

    WSBass

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Hey TB,

    I've read TB for years but this is my first post. Here's the deal: I play DB in a rock n roll band. I'm playing on a King Slap King that I bought new out of high school 7 years ago for $1500. I had the neck repaired once after a bad crash but it proved to be a durable instrument until I noticed a small crack near the endpin. It's now a big crack and besides my tone being shot, I'm nervous about something catastrophic happening. My band plays semi-frequently and we do a lot of traveling so damage is bound to continue ad worsen. So the question is do I buy a new bass or have this one repaired?

    Buying new: budget is around $1k give or take a few hundred. This means I can get another laminate that will put me in the same position in a few years but I'll have time to save up big bucks for a real monster. I'd buy another King if they were still around. Anything in my price range comparable to King? It would be nice to have another bass whether broken and cheap or not. Plus it's always nice to bring home a new instrument.

    Repairing: there are only two known luthiers in my area. The guy that fixed my neck does great work for next to nothing but has several contracts with high school orchestras. He works alone out of his home and is a nice guy but he's hard to contact. Due to his contractual obligations, he'll end up having my bass for months. The other luthier I've never worked with but I hear from other string players that they are a bit pricey and end up charging for extra unwanted services but do absolutely superb work.

    I haven't talked to any luthiers to find pricing and availability because I wanted to get some input before starting that venture again. Maybe i've just beaten my bass to the ground and its time to buy new. I'm leaning towards repair but I really like new stuff. Basically I'm stuck between a rock and a broken bass... Any advice?
  2. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    the short answer is King became Blast Cult. It is considered an improvement by everyone. Start saving if you want a new bass, theirs are designed for road wear and tear even more than the kings where.

    Fixing a laminate can be a pain. Why dont you see if the guy who fixed your neck will let you do a weekend thing with him, under his supervision so that you can fix your own bass and he can keep working on other stuff. Sometimes just pointing and talking another set of hands through something is enough, sometimes it isnt.
  3. eerbrev

    eerbrev

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    Sudbury,ON, Canada/ Akron, OH
    My opinion is to get an estimate on repair from the other luthier folks (the ones you've never worked with), and if it won't cost you a total arm and leg, then go for it. another option is going to your previous luthier and using a spare/renter for a few months, though a renter would cost you.

    the advantage to repairing the bass you have is that it's a known quantity, and there are no surprises. If you do end up looking for new, there's a bunch of threads on here regarding lower cost brands, with a few getting good reviews. most people quote about 1500 US for a reasonable instrument, though cheaper can be had if you want to put in some sweat equity to get them up to snuff.

    hope this helps, and best of luck.

    eerbrev
  4. WSBass

    WSBass

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Thanks guys. I'll make a point to call the luthiers. And thanks for telling me about blastcult. I e-mailed them to see what their prices look like. I'm expecting to be out of my league though.
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  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    What's the crack look like? Some pics might be helpful.
  7. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City area
    Disclosures:
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    You may have a split seam where either the top of back meet the ribs (sides). Regardless, take it to your luthier for repair. However, another option is to go ahead and waste your money on that new Crapatino bass. :rolleyes:
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    My thought is that there aren't a lot of complicated bits on that end of the bass. It could be either a separated seam or a cracked tail block. One of those is a pleasant, routine repair. The other requires more invasive surgery.

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