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Where in NYC should I go to buy a first bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Overkill Red, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red

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    Hey all,

    First post here! I've got a question for anyone who's been bass-hunting in NYC: if I were to go to one of the shops to buy my first bass, which would be the best? I've read up on all the shops in the area but I'm not sure which would be the most newbie-friendly. I've been playing for two or so months on my school's cheap Ibanez and I'm looking to get something better.

    So far it seems like Rudy's at 48th is the place to go, since it has the least negatives in comparison to the positives (that I could dig up online).

    Anyone wanna lend me a hand? Thanks!
    P.S. sorry if I'm posting in the wrong forum!
  2. Leo Smith

    Leo Smith Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    USAF Band of Flight, Dayton, Ohio
    Sam Ash on 34th. And you'll get to talk to Larry Hartke, too.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Best place to go in NY for a bass is www.musiciansfriend.com :) . I put a smiley there, but I'm 100% serious. Best prices, and the same stuff you get anywhere else except it hasn't been sitting in a showroom getting played by hundreds of people. And returns/exchanges aren't as much of a hassle.

    If you feel you have to get a hands on thing happening then I say go overseas to New Jersey Guitar and Bass. Best selection of basses I've seen anywhere near NY, and best the best customer experience. Rudy's used to be awesome, but I wasn't in love with the place last time I visited, and haven't been hearing a whole lot of great stuff about them.
  4. DeadZeriousBass

    DeadZeriousBass

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    I would visit all he shops and play all the basses in your price range and purchase the one you like the best for overall feel tone and looks
  5. seang15

    seang15 Supporting Member

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    Fodera, Brooklyn.
  6. K2000

    K2000 Supporting Member

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    I agree. Go to the big mega stores like Guitar Center and Sam Ash, and the smaller shops too, like 30th Street Guitars, Ludlow Guitars, Rivington Guitars, Main Drag Music (brooklyn) etc etc.

    Play a lot of instruments, and see what's out there, and what you like. It's also a good excuse to check out the various stores and see what they have to offer in general.
  7. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Guitar Center or Sam Ash. As mentioned above, New Jersey Guitar Bass is a really good store too. The owner will set you up with exactly what you need/want. he's the nicest guy in the world!

    Unless you're looking to spend a pretty decent amount of money I would skip Rudy's. I'm not sure they have anything under $1000 in the store.
  8. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I would skip Rudy's given where you're at. It's much more of a high end instrument shop, and you're not likely to find anything budget conscious. I've worked around the corner from Rudy's for over 5 years, and I've never bought an instrument from them.

    Sam Ash or Guitar Center are probably safer bets for you. At least considering that you're graduating up from the Ibanez at your school. I'll also add a vote for NJ Guitar & Bass Center. If you're in the northern suburbs, I'd also recommend Alto Music.

    Anyhow, do you have a budget in mind for this purchase?
  9. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red

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    So I knew these forums were pretty active and all, but I didn't expect this many replies! AWESOME JOB, GUYS!

    I just looked at the Rudy's catalog again and I found less than 5(?) basses under $1000. Good call there guys, I totally forgot to check...

    Sam Ash is pretty near where I live, so that'll definitely be my first stop. I'm considering visiting all the smaller shops (30th street, etc.) but I'd feel kinda bad about plucking away at really expensive basses without buying anything. Will see how I feel about that when I wake up tomorrow.

    Well, I'm thinking of spending anywhere up to $800 if it's a bass I think I could use for a LONG time (at least 6 years), would be willing to stretch that using Christmas money if I find something really special (doubt that'll happen very easily, looking at my skill level).
    (EDIT: I forgot, this budget won't exactly include all the accessories needed. For an amp, since I'm still in a high school dorm, I was thinking of just getting a Vox BassPlug or something for now)

    I'm open to buying used gear as well, was considering buying something on eBay but: 1. Would be too risky for me, a beginner and 2. Vintage basses would probably be a lot of hassle with repairs and all. Anyone disagree with me on this?

    Now I'm just hoping that I find good salesmen (seems I will at most of the places) and that special bass! Thanks again guys!
  10. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

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    find a used EBMM stingray or sterling on TB forums in 800-1000 price range and you will be happy for 6 years no prob
  11. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red

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    If I find one and discover that I like playing them tomorrow then it's definitely an option!
  12. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

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    I'm in a similarly noise-restricted situation. I grabbed a C Tech Pocket Rock-It headphone bass amp and it still serves me well.

    Happy Hunting! Let us know what you pick, and remember…no pics, no bass!
  13. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red

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    So I finally got around to looking for basses today and I'd firstly like to thank you guys for your help!

    My first stop of the day was Sam Ash. It started off pretty well I think; walked into the bass section and was greeted by Larry Hartke himself (who is an AWESOME guy)! He started me off with a Fender J, then a Fender P then told me to try whatever I liked. After about 40 minutes of playing I found that a MIM Fender Jazz suited me the most. Following this revelation I began looking up at all the American Specials and American Standards, though I told myself that it was too dangerous for my wallet.

    Finding in the end that I wasn't completely in love with the MIM Jazz, I was about to leave when I spotted it. Until this point I didn't think that I could have a favorite bass color other than Candy Apple Red. "Well, why not try something more expensive? I don't HAVE to buy it...", I told myself and grabbed it off the wall.

    About 6 minutes later I was sold. I got Larry to give the bass a quick look over, it was all set, I paid and I was off. Thinking back, I should have gone to some other shops and tried other basses, but eh.

    [​IMG]

    Charcoal Grey 2012 Fender American Standard Jazz Bass :hyper:
  14. rootsnfifths

    rootsnfifths Supporting Member

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    Congrats. A fine choice if you ask me. You won't be sorry. These latest model Fender has been making have been, IMO, really nice. Cool color too.

    What confuses me is what is Larry Hartke doing selling basses at Sam Ash?? Have I missed something here?
  15. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

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    +1 on both points
  16. totem

    totem Supporting Member

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    Yeah, beautiful bass .. a fine choice!
  17. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red

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    He told me that he does it so he can chill with the people and "own a lot of basses", haha. Seems like he really likes being there. Most of the amps I tried the basses with were Hartke amps, so I guess he's there to help with those as well?
  18. rootsnfifths

    rootsnfifths Supporting Member

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    Ok gotcha.
    I lived NJ/NY area my whole life before moving to Vegas. I worked with Larry for some years. Have not really been back or spoke with him since. Always loved that Sam Ash in NYC. Loved 48 St. NYC when it was the place to check out gear in the city.

    Again you will have no regret with your bass choice IMO. You now have one of the best Fender makes and a standard in bass sound. IMO, of course!

    RnF
  19. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red

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    Dang, must be cool working someone like Larry for that long!
    Thanks again guys!
  20. peledog

    peledog Supporting Member

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    Hartke's bass lounge.

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