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71 Kiso-Suzuki 3/4 bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by MakiSupaStar, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I have a friend who's grandfather used to play this bass in a jazz and big band set up. Her mom wants 500 for it. Good deal? The bridge appears to be pretty good. I have real cheap student stand up right now with a crooked neck that is driving me nuts. I'm a beginner in the stand up world, but have been playing electric for 23 years.

    What you guys think?





  2. Hi.

    I'd say it's a decent deal.
    Would be a great deal over here.

    But then again I just love any playable (vintage) DB that's under the 1K mark ;).

    Others will disagree...

  3. artfahie

    artfahie Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Bar Mills, Maine
    That's the ugliest avatar I've ever seen... it gives me the creeps. Have the bass checked out by a luthier, it probably needs a set-up anyway... it's a great chance to get an educated appraisal of the thing.
  4. The last Suzuki I saw sell on eBay went for $300, and it took a while.

    Bear in mind those basses were made for children, so they will run small and won't have much acoustic volume.

    I absolutely agree you should have it evaluated before buying. Check gollihurmusic.com for a luthier in your area.
  5. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Ok. So the fact that its a 1971 doesn't make difference? In the electric bass world that's old. :D Yeah I figured a set up for sure. I thought the bridge looks pretty solid though.
  6. El Thumpo

    El Thumpo Four strings, no waiting Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    If it's (physically) sound and you like its (auditory) sound, $500 is a fair price. As a step-up bass, it's better than any BSO you'd get in this price range. In 1971, even the cheap instruments were real instruments.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    This isn't the electric bass world.

    The bridge is not in position, which suggests that it least needs a little set up and I concur that in the process, you could get it evaluated to make sure that you know what else it may need as well. They can give you a better opinion on the value to you as a working instrument.

    $500 for a well set-up playable bass is always a good deal. Whether it's the right instrument for you depends on a lot of other things, including how it compares to the bass you already have.
  8. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Yeah, I noticed that about the bridge. What attracted me to this bass initially is that first it was gigged consistently in the 80's and 90's. I like instruments that have been played, they feel more 'broken in'. Second, the neck is in considerably better shape than the neck on my current stand up. I noticed that about the bridge too. Seems like it got knocked. This bass hasn't been played in like 10 years (since her grandfather died), so a set up is essential, IMO. It's not a HUGE step up, but this bass is a slight step up from the bass I'm currently playing, and I think this playability piece will actually encourage me to play my stand up more. As it stands I don't play my current stand up very much because the neck just wrecks it for me.

    Thanks for your input guys. I wanted to check in before I drove all the way down to San Diego to play/buy it.
  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'll make some assumptions, which may or may not prove to be correct.

    1) It handling a heavy gig schedule and didn't fall apart. That's a good sign, it makes it less of an unknown than something without that history.
    2) Not unusual for a bridge to shift around a little, especially if it's been moved around a few times and not played by someone who notice and fix it. Maybe all it needs is to be scooted back into place. If you know a player who can go with you, it would be a good move.
    3) You'll need/want strings and in the process, assume some set up.

    Assuming all is well, assume another $200-300. You could probably sell your bass, no matter what it is in SoCal for that. So, it's a $500 outlay. Probably a good buy. Won't likely be a stellar bass, but sounds like it might improve your current circumstances.

    But, one unseen problem, could change all that. Get it checked, if you could.
  10. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Thanks Troy. That's what I figured too on set up costs. I'll bring a buddy down with me to check it out. :)

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