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Anybody that is NOT happy with their purchase?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by MtnGoat, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. MtnGoat


    May 7, 2000
    I read so many threads about people who are just thrilled about the bass they just purchased, from inexpensive to very pricy, but none about disappointed customers (except for the cheap crap basses). I'm not sure if no one is willing to admit (even to himself) that he just dropped several thousand dollars on a bass and ultimately decided it was the wrong choice, or if everybody has just made great choices. So here it is--I want to hear about bass purchases that, after some time went by, the buyer decided that he would have been better off with another choice. Anybody out there? I'm in the market for a new bass and want to do it right the first (and only) time I buy.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I've been to shops and tried basses that I really didn't like - and have usually documented it on TB pretty thoroughly !! ;)

    But I just wouldn't buy any bass unless I was sure I liked it and can't imagine doing such a thing.

    In the past I have tried literally hundreds of different types of BGs and have thought on many occasions that if I had paid several thousand for 'xxxxxxx' well-known,high-end, bass that I would indeed have been very disappointed and fed-up - but that's exactly why I tried before I laid out any cash!! :)
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Just keep trying basses until you find one that really talks to you. And, then, don't buy it that day. Go back later and try it again and see if you're still liking it. THEN buy it.

    I think if you go with your gut you'll probably end up happy. If you go with your emotions, you'll get caught up in a pretty face and the smell of sawdust. If you go with your brain you might end up with the cheapest bass that you can stand -- which will be a short love affair and then years of rationalization for being a cheap bastard.
  4. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    For me, saving the bread to get even the poorest quality doublebass felt like a blessing.

    Sure it only opened a whole new can of worms but at least I had one to beat on.

    PS you can rent basses too if you're not sure but want to spend several months trying it out
  5. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I recently bought a bass. I tried every bass I could. Then I asked if I could take the bass to use at a gig before I bought it. Fortunately I had a piano duo and trio (w/drummer) that weekend. I got feedback from the guys I was playing with. I got feedback from my wife, the other teachers at the music school I work at. In short do everything you can to road test it.

    Then comes the feeling. Does the bass speak to you?
  6. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    You'd have to rush in pretty quick to get disappointed.. sometimes you discover things about your partner (the bass) that you didn't notice at the outset. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad.

    Seriously, i think the reason people don't usually feel terribly disappointed is because they spend an enormous amount of time and energy looking around.

    I spent about a year shopping basses and talked to anyone who I thought might have useful information... it meant taking two trips to Shanks in Pennsylvania, spending a couple days in NY, having basses shipped to Indiana, and driving to Cincinnati no less than 6 times. In addition, I tried every instrument that came through the bass studio at IU.

    In the finale, Mike Shank was able to get a large performance hall and we took a bunch of instruments there and compared them. I ended up with an Arvi because it was the best sounding and had the most going for it in terms of playability, response, volume, quality, etc...

    The bass i had before that was a kolstein (on sale now at shanks! ) that I used for nearly a decade. It was a solid bass and I did very well with that for most everything, and again.. trying lots of instruments was why it served me so wwell for so long.
  7. I went through a brief period of buyers remorse with my 52 Kay MB-1. I kind of rushed into the purchase, but it was on the reccomendation of my teacher and there was a short window of opportunity. My main source of regret was the fact that I didn't really want a "blonde".

    I've grown to love it now. It's in great shape, plays and sounds good and I got it for a grand. I figure I can easily get my money back out of it if neccessary. I still hope to get a carved/hybrid bass someday (4-5 k range), but now I hope I can keep the kay as well.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    MINIGROAT - I'm not sure how somebody would end up spending several thousand dollars to begin with on an instrument that it was the wrong choice. How often do people buy houses and say "Oh, this isn't what I thought it would be at all?"
    Everybody buys as close to the sound that they can afford, so sure you might not think that the Strunal you just paid close to $2K for is EXACTLY the bass you want, but you know it's the closest you can afford to the sound you hear.

    I really don't think this is a phenomenon that is not talked about, I think it's non-existent.
  9. I agree Ed. Even though I had some regrets about the fact that it was blonde, I've always liked the sound.

    I had a grand to spend, and even though I didn't try a dozen basses before I bought the Kay I knew it was about as good as you can get for that price. I knew within 10 minutes that I liked the way it played.

    You buy it for the sound and not the color anyway.
  10. The first bass I bought was a mess; I bought it from someone I trusted, and I admit that it sounded better than the fiberglass bass I'd been playing in high school. Plus it was made in Brazil, which sounded really cool to me.

    I took it to a luthier who just looked at it and shook his head.

    I paid $2200 for it, which was a lot of money for an 18 year old. Mercifully, the bass was all but destroyed in a car accident, and I used the insurance to buy an electric bass rig that made me pretty steady money over the years.

    I tell anyone I know who's interested in buying a bass to spend some time at TalkBass. A student of mine did, and she ended up with a really nice Shen.
  11. This is the key to making a good choice. When you take weeks, months, or even years looking and play dozens of basses, you will find what you are listening for and have no regrets.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say that people regreting a purchase are nonexistent but if I would say it is a small group limited to those who make hasty decisions.
  12. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    you are absolutely right--it's rare to see someone admit something they bought is not what they expected. Happens more in the electric bass world, where stuff is less expensive. I think as everyone says it's rarer here because the costs are so much higher--how many people can lightly plunk down thousands of dollars--and because people do less impulse buying. I'd been looking at basses for years.

    I bought a shen bass, a 7/8 for $5000---I still sweat the money, and I still love the bass, though it's only been a month. I miss the 3/4 size a lot, but I assume part of what I loved about the shen the second I played it is the sound that comes from the bigger size. Will I regret it in six months? Maybe, it's happened before.
  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Don't forget too that there's also the factor of making lemons out of lemonade possible for some basses. I bought my bass pretty impulsively, but I also based it on alot of opinions here about Christophers. The bass felt good in my hands and it was probably the 5th or 6th DB I've ever touched. But I also knew that changing strings/tailpiece/setup/etc. etc. would also change a basses characteristics.

    I bought my bass because it FELT good to me, I wasn't so concerned about the sound knowing that I had no skillz yet, nor do I think my ear was good enough to discern a good instrument from a bad one. At the time, I was in the mood for anything that sounded decent - just so long as it didn't sound "BAD". Come to think of it, I really had no idea of what sound I was after - I just liked how the instrument physically felt. Yeah I know, I'm weird. :D It helped that when I first brought my bass to my teach, he was impressed with it and what I paid for it.

    Now, I have some skilz and some ears. I know what sounds I like but I don't have a "sound" per se that I'm looking for. I'm looking to surprise myself with what I come up with.
  14. MtnGoat


    May 7, 2000
    I'm glad to hear there are few disappointments out there. It seems to me that buying a $5K bass has much more thought in it that buying a $300K house--people all the time buy houses in all price ranges, move in, and then find out that the build quality is crap, that the neighborhood sucks, that something major is not what they thought, and that they hate it. They only can see on the surface what it looks like and can't really discover the problems until living there for a while.
  15. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yes MntGoat I think you should be commended for your level head and foresight.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You are trying to "equate" two audiences or 'populations' (in statistical terms) which are not necessarily similar in any way.

    So - everybody needs a house and there are a lot of stupid people out there and a lot of people who put very little thought into major decisions...:meh:

    But the type of person who is going to take the decision to play Double Bass is already thinking ahead and is probably not typical of your average house-buyer!!

    So, to choose Double Bass as an instrument must, for most people be a conscious decision that requires a lot of forward planning in terms of what you want out of it.....so there are a lot of other options out there that you could choose - just in musical instrument terms - to make your life easier for yourself!! ;)

    I would suggest that the thought required in this decision is not typical of the general population and hence house buyers!! ;)
  17. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    ...which is why I am planning to live inside my bass this winter. It is built well, has temperature and humidity control, and sounds great. :p
  18. But what happens when you want to add on a conservatory? :D
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Haven't you ever heard of "extensions" for Double Basses!!??

  20. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I bought this Bass on-line, http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Mystery2/Mystery2.htm . I had known the seller thru a previous Bass sale discussion so we did have conversation. In fact, his wife drove it down to me from Canada during a trip she was making. I paid COD for the Bass so at least I got to see it first. From the outside, everything looked fine. The inside had me thinking as I could see some sawdust lying on top and around the lower back crossbar. The Back was off the ribs in a few spots as might be normal for a flat back in the winter. Despite the visual condition, the Bass sounded good. I paid for it and within a few weeks brought it to Arnolds for repair evaulation. Choices ranged from 'fix what you can see and set it up' or 'take it apart and do the works'. The ole 'can o worms' syndrome. :bawl:

    Although I was not pleased what I discovered, I was pleased with the outcome from Arnold. We had agreed that a 5-string conversion would be a good choice as 1) I needed/wanted one to use in Orchestra and 2) this Bass had a huge bottom sound and very playable dimentions. Completion is here; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Mystery2/Hungarian.htm

    Bottom line; If I had known in advance what the inner construction was like, I would have 'walked the other way'.
    I have made deals b4 on Basses overseas with only pics and did fine with my choices. Both the Martini and Dodd Bass deals were made thru email. The Dodd though I had other options but I liked it and bought it anyway. No matter what experience one has, you never know what's inside the next Bass.