Newbie looking for a bass around Los Angeles

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Fat Steve, Feb 5, 2013.


  1. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    Hello All,

    I'm looking for a decent DB around the LA area. I'm completely new to the DB, in fact have never even played one. Been a guitar player for 25 years, and a electric/acoustic bass player for the last two years. I don't know anyone locally that plays a DB, nor any teachers. So, I'm kind of going out on a limb looking for my first DB. I'm looking to play bluegrass with a funk twist, and need something that will allow me to accomplish this. Are any of you fine folks from the LA/Ventura area? Any recommendations on local shops that carry DB's? Any help would be appreciated.

    Budget: $1,500.

    BTW, I read through a bunch of the Newbie stickies, and none quite addressed what I was trying to find, so I hope I'm not posting in the wrong place.
  2. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    Any suggestions on music shops? I see that you're in OC. Do you know of any a little further north?
  3. lustersilk

    lustersilk

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Location:
    Orange County California
    World of Strings in Long Beach has a great selection of DB's and some very knowledgeable players and craftspeople. That would be a great start.
  4. lustersilk

    lustersilk

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Location:
    Orange County California
    When I first replied I didn't realize you were talking about DB. Yeah, like I mentioned, World of Strings is great, and pretty close to you. Pop over to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles for lunch and you've got a pretty awesome day right there :)
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  6. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
  7. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    I found a local shop in Pasadena that is offering one of these http://store.gotofmi.com/mimbstbawieb.html for $1,249 with a bag and a professional set up. The price is right, and it's a brand new bass. Any thoughts on this particular brand and model?
  8. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! :eek:

    I almost posted this earlier but stopped myself. But since you mentioned it -- don't go to FMI. Bad juju. Find a REPUTABLE bass lutheir who carries Shen basses and check out their SB-80 model. Nice plywood bass, in your price range.
  9. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    What's the danger? Bad bass? Bad shop? What about the CL link I posted above?
  10. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    Well crap. It looks like FMI is the closest chop around. Do you know of any other shops or luthiers around here that would carry said bass? I'm in Simi Valley.
  11. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    From the dealer list of Shen's importer, cscproducts.com:

    DAUGHERTY VIOLIN SHOP Eureka, CA 707-445-1957

    HAMMOND ASHLEY San Diego, CA 858-623-0036

    FANTASTIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Pasadena, CA 626 794-7554

    LOS ANGELES BASS WORKS Los Angeles, CA 213 380 3480

    METZLER VIOLINS Glendale, CA 818-246-1306

    NICK RAIL MUSIC Santa Barbara, CA 805-569-5353

    OZZIE'S MUSIC, INC. Poway, CA 619-748-4721

    STEVE SWAN GUITARS Millbrae, CA 650 515 1014

    JIM WIMMER Santa Barbara, CA 805-569-5964

    WORLD OF STRINGS Long Beach, CA 562 599-3913
  12. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    I called around to the places within driving distance, and Los Angeles Bass Works has an Eastman Model 80 for around $1,800 out the door with a bag and strings and a professional set up. I asked about the difference between the Shen and the Eastman and the gal on the phone mentioned something about the Eastman being a little better, something about a difference in the layer of plywood ply. Does this sound right?
  13. Rocky

    Rocky

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2000
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The person who answered the phone was more than likely Lisa Gass (not sure if i"m spelling her last name correctly), but shes a fine luthier, and person. She's the go to person in L.A. for allot of the top players plus she plays in a symphony herself.
  14. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I try and stay out of this, but...

    I've know Tom at FMI for over a decade; I've bought a few basses from him (for schools etc) and he's done basic setup work on others; he's shipped basses for me and allowed me to have basses shipped to his store (which is cheaper than home delivery). No, it's not World of Strings, or Lisa Gass, but his Shen basses are dependable, and he does seem to cater to the slap/rockabilly market:

    http://secure.campaigner.com/Campaigner/Public/t.show?5371g--2k7sx-k8wufz8&_v=2

    Other people may have had other issues. I haven't.
    Louis
  15. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    The craigslist bass may be decent, but only consider it if you can take it to Lisa Gass or other bass shop for inspection first.
  16. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Disclosures:
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    +1 What he said. I hate it when people bring me a bass they 'scored' on C/L and I have to tell them it needs work in the amount of two or three times what they paid for it... :(
  17. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    At this point, I'm probably going to go see Lisa on Saturday for the Eastman 80. Although I've never even touched a DB, I have a feeling I'll be happier in the end by getting a decent, well set up instrument, though at a slight premium.
  18. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Great move, and the premium you site is all about quality from the get go and peace of mind.
  19. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Disclosures:
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Good plan. If you know the instrument is right, you'll be able to concentrate on gaining technique!

    Don't forget the pix! ;)
  20. sludgelord3000

    sludgelord3000

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    L.A. Bass Works is a good choice. Lisa is generally regarded as the best bass luthier around and has a great reputation.

    Another shop that's fun to poke around is Stein On Vine. For the history alone. Don't think Gary carries many low end options though.

    World of Strings (LBC) and Lemur Music (Capistrano) are good shops if you're up for some driving.

    Try out a few different options. Even if you don't play... pluck the open strings (or have someone at the shop test drive it for you). An URB is pretty big investment compared to other instruments, so you want to kick some tires.
  21. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    You forgot Stein.

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