48th Street Custom

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    I just tried a really nice playing and sounding jazz bass. IT was made years ago, with passive Bartolini pickups, it's a '60s style jazz bass.

    Under the brand name 48th Street Custom.

    Do you know more about this brand?
    Have you ever seen or tried similar instruments?

    Thanks and regards
  2. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    48th street Guitars was this cool little shop on 48th st. in NY City, back before it became "SamAsh-Alley" when there was a whole bunch of different shops there. It was actually the first shop you'd see if you headed to 48th St. from Times Square. They were a little od in that they dealt in new stuff like Rickenbacker, Heritage, Gibson and ESP (more on this latter) and some great vintage stuff (best selection of vintage Rickenabckers I've ever seen), but also produced custom instruments. I remeber the last time I was there, there was a guy going through a mess of thier brand basses, making note of which neck, body and pickups he liked (Jazz Basses odly enough).

    Cool little tid-bit, ESP guitars' US branch and custom shop was right upstaris, and I think they shared shop space too. Both are gone now, ESP moved to California and 48th St. guitars went under.

    ~Paul :)
  3. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    thanks a lot. really interesting.
  4. diptixon


    Oct 29, 2004
    Yes, I was working in NYC in the mid-late 80's when the the shop was still there... they made beautiful Fender-style custom jobs.. good stuff. Used take the Subway down there at lunch just to drool...
  5. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    I worked at 4 times square over the summer and I would head over there during lunch too...but it's sam ash alley, nothing really special anymore. Rudy's is ok.
  6. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool: Cool store.
    Last time I was there was early 80's.
    Bought one of there custom Jazz basses.
    The first jazz I ever bought.
    LPB PJ pickups, killer bass wish I still had It.
    Paid like $800.00 for it , a lot of money at that time.
    Good stuff.
  7. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, I miss the old 48th St. :(

    The worst part is Manny's, mostly because I remember when it was still really Manny's and not Sam Ash+ (Manny's is now owned by Sam Ash). It used to be such a loose place, now the employies wear monogramed uniform shirts and havn't a clue. Last time I was there one of them knocked over one of the signed guitars on display in a glass case, spider-webbing the glass; what a twit. Even worse, the basses are now upstairs, far away from any of the clerks. Of course all the good basses are chained to the wall. It's such a cold feeling store now :( Rudy's is, well kinda rude. Nice stuff, but if you don't look like a spender they ignore you.

    ~Paul :)

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I believe it closed about 3 years ago.
  9. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    I grew up in southern Connecticut, and no trip to NYC in the '80's was complete without a drool-inducing visit to 48th Street. I loved going to 48th Street Custom. One of the best fretless basses I've ever played was a 48th St. sunburst Jazz copy with an unlined ebony board-SWEET! They also used to have specials on parts (including painted bodies) so you could "roll your own."

    I also have fond memories of other stores there, including We Buy Guitars. Last time I went to 48th St. (a couple summers ago) it definitely seemed less interesting/more corporate. Bummer.
  10. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I used to have one of those! Mine was a sunburst, maple board, with pearl blocks. This was about 8 years ago.
  11. I had a maple board J bass with Sadowsky pups and preamp. Very nice and led me to my first 100% Sadowsky J bass.

    I lament the loss of the good old 48th Street drool factory. I would stand outside the windows at 11pm freezing in winter dreaming....dreaming..... :crying:
  12. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    48th st Custom was an outgrowth of We Buy Guitars.
    Originally a pawnshop on 48th st and 8th ave ( right next to a firehouse) It moved to the strip in the early 70's, then expanded to a larger location across the street. The original location became a custom work shop and a dealer for ESP. I bought and sold lots of my equipment there including my '74 jbass ( bought in 75). Good people to deal with but a bitch to negotiate price with. I miss them and the original vibe of 48th st. Who remembers Terminal Music? Jimmys? Frank Wolf?
  13. Alex Guitars/Music?
  14. csala

    csala Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2005
    Santa Monica, Ca

    I picked up a beautiful 60's jazz bass with the 48th st custom brand recently. Burst, rosewood, tortoise, med-light weight, passive single coil, thumb rest, the entire retro package. I was looking hard at the Sadowsky metro basses until I stumbled upon this one. There was no comparison-this bass smokes all the metros I tried.

    I cannot find any info online about this bass. I remember they were pretty expensive and for a time they were using sadowsky electronics. I was told the bass is about 6 years old and bought not long before the store closed. With that in mind, can anyone give me info regarding this bass? Price/parts used/ etc? I used to go to the store all the time in the mid-90's (when they expanded and moved across from Rudy's), but never did more than drool over their basses because they were beyond my budget at the time.
    Regarding the pic, the tuners have been changed to hipshot ultra lights, but the bass did come with the original cloverleaf tuners.



    Attached Files:

  15. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Hey, Csala
    I have the same hammock.
    IIRC, ESP parts were used for the Fenderish 48th ST basses.Who remembers when ESP was just a parts company?If your bass is only 6 years old, they might be parts from anywhere.
  16. Joelc73


    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    48th street was great. I remember all the great vintage pieces they had as well as there own brand. It was a small shop that was packed with guitars and great vibe.
  17. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I went there in 79-80 when I was going to military school. Completely awe-inspiring, and this was before I was into bass. I was a trumpet/keyboard guy back then.
  18. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Dude. That sucks. I moved out of NYC in '04 and didn't realize they had closed. Manny's was in the process of being assimilated while I was living there.

    Get over to 30th st guitars. I bought my Eden 210 there, and always dug the bass loft.
  19. Franklin229


    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeast USA
    We Buy Guitars was the coolest place! Used to go there all the time. 48st sucks now-like going to the mid-America guitar strip mall.
  20. jazzbo58

    jazzbo58 Bassist for My Man Godbey

    Apr 21, 2001
    New Orleans, LA USA
    I was visting New York in the summer of '89. I walked in the place and they had the most beautiful Jazz Basses. When the fellow found out I was from New Orleans he offered to give me a tour of their shop. Great people, too bad I can't remember any names. Talk about a blast from the past!