Another old newbie looking for his first upright

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by rditmars, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. rditmars


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    I've been taking bass guitar lessons for a few years now and am looking for my first upright. I appreciate the advice offered here to others and have been successfully steered away from the dreaded "ccb."

    A local shop has a slightly used 4-year old German laminate on consignment for $2K US. No brand name, just made in Germany. The shop owner sold the bass originally and said that the buyers son lost interest and recently decided to sell it. He also said new "German" laminates like this one sell for $4K and up today.

    A plunked on the bass a bit and liked it, so I'm wondering if anyone here has an experiences with basses of this type.

    Thanks in advance for any insight.
  2. I think that he is a bit off on his prices. The only laminates I have seen for 4K and up are Arnold and his basses, which are most likley better than any german you will find, or at least that I have seen. It might be a great bass for the money, but there are a lot of other options out there. Check out the Upton Basses, I have played the Hawkes and it is a lot of bass. The New Standard is a great bass, but its a little more. It all really comes down to what you are willing too spend. The Shen SB-180 is an amazing option in that price range. I got mine for 1995. Take you teacher to see what he thinks.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Hmm. Unless this is some very special laminate, the local shop owner is quite a bit off. Seems like you should steer clear and take the advice of others here. The New Standards have great reputations. They do cost more than others. I've also played the Upton laminates and they are extremely good values.
  4. rditmars


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    $4K is the highest price I've heard for a laminate by far. Shopping shall continue!
  5. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hmm, you're in Colorado. Maybe contact Paul Warburton, see what he thinks about a good place to start looking in that area.
  6. All of the suggestions here are good ones; Shen, Christopher, and Upton laminates all have good reputations, I've never heard of folks getting "bad" ones, and all can be had fully set-up in the $1500-$2000 range, plus shipping.

    If you're stuck, though, you may want to consider an Englehart. They're very good starter basses, also have a reputation for quality, and you should have little trouble selling it (at least than a no-name laminate) if you want to move up.

    Musician's Friend (God forbid!) has their Engleharts on sale right now with free shipping, which alone can run up to $200. They also offer a year's financing at no interest. On the downside, you'd have to find a local luthier and put another $400 or so into new strings and bridge, a neck plane and nut adjustment, and possibly a new endpin as well. But you'll end up with a very serviceable bass. EM-1's are only going for $979.

    Engles at MF
  7. rditmars


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    The music store I'm talking about is very reputable and was recommended by my teacher and another prominant Denver bassist (Mark Diamond). I have not talked to Paul, but this store is a place I think he would recommend as well.

    I talked with the shop owner again today about the "German" laminate prices, and he said he recently recieved a catalogue with such basses priced as high as $8K!

    He has more instruments on order and expects them to start arriving over the next week or two, so I'll be visiting the store again.
  8. I don't know the shop you're dealing with, and I certainly don't want to cast in doubt the reputaton of anyone I haven't dealt with. I'll only say I've NEVER heard of a laminate bass selling at $8K. Some people balk at $4K for the American Standards, and their reputation (as is their maker) is unimpeachable. I'd just say be thorough in your research, and perhaps be prepared to take a hit if you ever choose to sell it.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Something seems very much amiss. I'm sure there is no limit to the price one can ASK for a laminate.
  10. No way. I just can'teven fathom ply prices being 8,000. Thats an entry level carved. If we are talking about a carved german, then it could b e a deal. Ask him if hes positive that its a laminate.
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    List means nothing unless someone is going to sell it for that. Street price or Actual Price is where we can talk. AES has the best and highest quality Laminate Bass I have seen. They are started in Germany and finished here in NY State. The Ribs are not plywood but rather solid wood. Read here; and here;

    If you are looking for a Bass at the 2k price range go Chinese and Shen I believe it the best in it's Class. If you want a more handmade type Ply/laminate Bass set-up by the makers, then Arnolds Basses are the only ones I have tried that play and sound better than many carved Basses in the 5-8k range new and old and his start under 4k now.
  12. suzthom


    Aug 28, 2005
    You know you could buy my bass and get the case, bow and electric pickup for $2000? I think I might even go lower than that with everything included. I have a Lidl 3/4 bass that is in great condition and I got it when I first started playing in high school. I just don't have room for it in my apt and have begun to focus more on my electric. I don't mean to be opportunistic but I am having trouble finding anyone who is even contemplating buying an upright bass! And I want it to end up in a good home :) :)
  13. rditmars


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    so I think I'll pass!

    I didn't mean to stir up such a hornets nest here. I've just had a couple of phone conversations with the shop owner, so some communication gaps may have occurred. I'll try to get back to the shop this weekend for a face-to-face and report back.
  14. buffalobillh


    Jul 20, 2005
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    $8K for a laminated? SHEESH! You could buy a fully carved Hawkes for that. Keep looking. You might find a Kay out there as well. Upton has good basses in your range, as does King, Norton, and many others. Shop plenty.

  15. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    The German laminate I own list price was $3500 but they sold it to me for $1500. List price has little to do with the deal that a dealer will cut you.
  16. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I have an Upton bass and love it. I have recommended it to other who have purchased and are happy as well. I would buy another in a heartbeat if I had to make the choice again.

  17. Is the store you're talking about in Boulder or Denver?
    Mark Diamond is an old friend of mine. Don't pay more than $2000 for a laminated bass. There are exceptions, of course, some basses, like the Epiphone are not only good in terms of playing, but also, are becoming popular in terms of collectors items.
    My best to Mark.And good luck.
  18. rditmars


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    The shop is in Denver. I'm going to try to get down there this weekend to talk face-to-face. I think there have been some communication "challenges" over the phone.

    I get to see Mark play a lot in Boulder. When my employer had its tenth anniversary in January, I got his trio to play for the party. Great time!

    Thanks again for the response.