8 & 12 string basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jonas., Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    first off, i'm new here so hello...

    secondly, i'm looking into some 8 & 12 string basses. Which models are considered the "best" and there any good basses for a fairly low price (<£500)

    EDIT: just to give you an idea of the types of basses i was intrested in; i saw mark beems basses and i love the look of them. The problem is i can imagine they are worth about £2000, but there must be a cheaper alternative, right? :meh:

  2. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Damn, and here I was all ready to recommend Dean's line of doubled-string basses before I wisely clicked on the link and saw you meant single-string basses, more commenly referred to as "Extended Range Basses" or "ERBs". It might be better to mention that specifically in the future to eliminate any possible confusion, especially when 8/12-strings are the dominant doubled basses.

    As for single-stringed, I don't know of any production models off the top of my head, and certainly not at your price range. The problems is that it might be possible to pick one up used at the top of that range, but because of the niche market for extended-range basses you don't see many on the market, and when you do they can do fairly high.

    In Mark's case, it looks like the left is a full-on Conklin custom, while the right is a "New Century" model, which is still easily double your price range (I'm blanking on the middle bass at the moment.) I think the general consensus would be to try out a Conklin "Groove Tools" series seven-string (either the standard or the Bill Dickens signature model) and if you're comfortable on that, have a custom bass made to your specs. Again, it's such a small niche market (it may seem otherwise here, but in terms of overall mass-market bass sales it's safe to say they're a drop in the bucket) that having your own custom built is the best way to get exactly what you desire, even if it takes a few years of saving for it.

    Welcome to TalkBass!
  3. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    thanks !

    i was going to ask what all this doubled and singled string bass lingo was about, so now i don't :)

    yes, i would like a single stringed ERB
  4. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Hey Jonas.. scarred2112 pretty much hit it right on. Your best bet if you're interested in Extended Range Basses (ERBs) would be the Conklin Groove Tools line. However, these basses are not in production anymore but can still be regularly found used. Ebay normally has one or two up for auction at any given time. The only other "production" ERBs that come to mind are the Galveston basses. However, I've heard that these instruments are of questionable and inconsistent quality (never played one personally).

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about my basses or ERBs in general. There are several other more knowledgable ERB'ers here on the boards who would be more than happy to share their experience, opinions and insights.

    Check out these sites:




    Oh, just to clarify, the bass on the right is also a full-on Conklin custom. The middle one is my new one built by Chris Stambaugh.
  5. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Welcome to TB, Jonas

    Mark has an admirable collection of 8's and is one of the best resources here at TB for information regarding these instruments. I would highly recommend visiting the links Mark provided, lots of very valuable information there.

    Pretty much anything past a 7 string is a custom ordered bass, I believe that Galveston is the only commercial production builder of an 8 string. 8+ string basses, new or used, are rare, to say the least ..... unless I'm mistaken there are a very small number of 9's and only a handful of 10+ string basses, and, as far as I know, only a couple of 11's and maybe only one 12 string (Gary Goodman) ... these counts could be wrong, but you get the picture, not a lot of these babies around ...........

    Good luck, and again, welcome :D
  6. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    thank you for all your replies; i've done some research and it looks like every ERB i can find is pretty much out of my pricerange, as i suspected. i'll just have to keep saving up ;)

    thanks to everyone who replied with your knowledge, wisdom and of course, the warm welcome. This is a very friendly community :)