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Am I a fool for buying this six string bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by midnight, Oct 2, 2001.


  1. I have thick skin, you can be honest. :)

    Just got the latest Musicians Friend catalog and there on the front cover was a reconditioned Alvarez AEB6 bass. So I hopped on the net and found the following info:

    " The new Alvarez AEB Series of basses are available in 4, 5, and 6 string versions, featuring quilted maple tops and dual enhanced fidelity humbucking pickups.
    With graphite reinforced necks and heavy duty hardware, the AEB4 ($539.00), AEB5 ($639.00), and AEB6 ($899.00) are available in Black Cherry, Amber Burst, and Purple Burst."

    So, when I saw retail vs. Mucians Friend price of $249 (plus free shipping), I was sceptical. But, if you snooze them you loose them, so I called up and have one on the way (in purple burst, the only color available I believe). Am I an idiot for buying a bass I've basically never heard of? My only comfort is that if I get 100% confirmation that these basses suck, and I play it and hate it, I can return with no questions asked.

    Thanks for helping me out. And if, by some miracle, I got a good deal I'm happy to have passed the news along that this special is going on!

    Richard
     
  2. MJB

    MJB

    Mar 17, 2000
    Alvarez is a pretty good name in guitars, don't know anything about their basses. But like you say, you can always send it back, so no, you're not a fool.
     
  3. hey tell me how it is...i want to get this in 5 string but im skeptic...since the pilot pro ran out tho ive been tryin to look for one that a 13 year old can afford =)
     
  4. bobaweeka

    bobaweeka

    Jan 2, 2001
    Yes
    I've played the five before. I didn't like how it sounded, but it sure was purdy. I suppose if you replace the pups you could have yourself a formidable bass. For that price, why not? The one I tried they were selling for $360.
     
  5. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    nah, u ain't no fool
     
  6. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    As long as you can send it back if you don't like it, you're not a fool.
     
  7. Sounds like you may be getting a great deal - just check the neck thoroughly when you get it. I've found it's difficult to get a good stable neck without dead spots and a good articulate "B" string on most of the less expensive 6 string models.

    Good luck - hope you got a winner!!

    Jeff
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The thing I hate about companies like this and particularly this one, (which makes me determined that I would never buy anything from them!) is that they quote high prices at the outset and then make you thinkyou have a massive bargain by quoting their price as something much lower. Whereas it's clear (and this thread proves it) that nobody is paying that higher price! :mad:

    So they say $639 for a 5 string, but bobaweeka say that he was looking at $360. To me this is completely dishonest and the $639 is a just there to make gullible people think they have got a huge bargain when it's clearly not a true price. So kids can say to their parents - it's a huge bargain look at the saving!! This is just immoral to me.

    This sort of thing is actually illegal in the UK and I would report it to the Trading Standards Authority -if it was a company based in the UK.
     
  9. I was gonna post a new thread but it looks like I don't need to

    I was gonna say there are a few people selling Glaveston 6 stringers on Ebay, and I was wondering if this was a good way to introduce myself to the instrument, much like I did a while back when I bought an old Yamaha for much the same price.

    Is that a good idea while I save up for something a little more flash, cause I don't really wanna spend as much on a six as I did on my four, because it left me without alot of cash (whoops)

    But dirt cheaps stuff always makes you sceptical huh
     
  10. I hate to be a wet blanket, but the Alvarez comes from the same factory as Ibanez, Cort, Spector, Tobias, etc. This is not a bad thing, but that fancy maple top you're getting is actually a photograph. It's true. Yamaha, Dean, Washburn, Fernandez and many others do the same thing. It's a photographic film of a fancy wood that's laid on and then sprayed over with clear gloss. That's simplified of course, but that's the basic process. There's nothing wrong with it, it can be hard to tell the difference, just dont expect that you're getting the real thing is all. Also, many Korean sixers have very narrow string spacing at the bridge. This may or may not suit you.
     
  11. Bruce: I understand your frustration at the missleading retail prices. However, this is common practice in the states. If you look at just about any music catalog you will see dramatic differences between retail and what they're asking for instruments, strings, etc. This especially applies to the big ticket items. (i.e. Hot Rodded American P-Bass lists at $1,429 but is advertised for $1000 & a Gibson '57 Les Paul Custom retails for almost $5,000 but is advertised for $2659). You can't base your opinion of an instrument on the retail price.

    Marty: I've heard of this method of quilting and assumed that's what I was getting. I'm fairly certain my Schecter has the same quilting, but it looks great so I'm not concerned about how 'fake' it is. :)

    Maurice: $200 for a 6 string bass on ebay looks like a good deal to me. It would be nice if you could get a satisfaction guarantee, to protect yourself from being stuck with a sucky instrument. If you're dieing for a 6 string and don't have the cash for a nice one, this might work.
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I wasn't - I was basing my opinion of the company on this and I would never buy anything from Musicians Friend fullstop.

    There is a huge difference between $899 and $249 and it is obvious this is just meant to ensnare those who are naive in this area. The fact that you mentioned these figures in your post is sort of proving my point - this is what people use to somehow "justify" their purchase, which is of course what MF want! :rolleyes:
     
  13. KPJ

    KPJ

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    Bruce, it's not just MF, it's every catalog and every music store! It's also the same with automobiles and lots of other consumer products in the States. There is the Manufacturer's Suggeted Retail Price (MSRP) which is what the manufacturer sets, but not what anyone pays.
     
  14. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Yeah, MSRP isn't 'fooling' anyone, believe me. No one pays MSRP on anything here, regardless of what the product may be. The only rare instances where MSRP might be the actual street price is when a product is brand new, in high demand, and available only in short supply.

    The reason all the manufacturers do it may be an underlying remnant of oligopoly theory. That is to say, they continue to quote ridiculously inflated MSRP's to sustain desired price levels within the industry as a whole. If manufacturers are going to put certain basses in the market to compete with certain basses of their competitors, surely they cannot quote a substantially lower MSRP lest they deflate the perceived value of their basses.

    No one I know in any business even gives retail prices any consideration, it's merely pie in the sky. In the end, the consumer decides what is worth more at equivalent price levels by testing the instrument out for themselves. Retail prices have largely been inconsequential in the past, and I expect this will continue in the future.
     
  15. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I jumped over to MF to check this out, and it said there was a 25 1/2" scale length. :confused: That's a scale length for most guitars, but not basses. Short scale for a bass is usually around 30". Is this maybe a misprint?
     
  16. Superduck,

    Yeah I noticed the scale length. It appears to be 21 or 22 frets, though, which is the same as my 4 string Yamaha which has a 34" neck. I will let you know what I find out.

    Bruce, I hear what you're saying. I didn't mean to come across like I was getting the deal of a lifetime or anything. The simple fact is that this bass appears to be on sale at just about every online music store that carries them (so I found out) and they are going for considerably cheaper at MF due to the fact that they are factory reconditioned (which also makes me nervous). The MSRP is irrelevant to me, as there is a basic understanding of what price range the different catagory of basses go for. I realized that this might be a good deal and went for it.

    Richard
     
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    They are basically the same bass, with a few cosmetic differences. Made in the same factory.