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Anyone ever order from Subway Guitars (Fatdawg)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Aug 25, 2004.


  1. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    http://www.fatdawg.com/bass.html

    I've looked at Subway Guitars link online off and on for both bass and guitars for over a year. Now I need a backup for my G&L and rather than go with a Korean G&L or Mexican Fender, I thought I'd give Subway a whirl. Only thing is that I've never tried any of their stuff nor do I know of anyone that has.

    Basically they get parts from all over and put together pretty much whatever you want at a reasonable price. Has anyone tried their stuff out?

    r
     
  2. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I stop by occasionally (live about 20 minutes away). Make sure about the return policy. The variation of quality in the basses is enormous. And there's no correlation between the quality of parts that go into each bass, and the quality of the overall instrument: I've played a good number of their Warmoth/Bart/Alembic frankenstein basses, and never found one that spoke to me. Actually, most were downright horrible.

    If you get one, (i) don't count on it being fully-functional (inevitably something squirrely w/the electronics), and (ii) it'll need a setup, at minimum. So...not to scare you off, but just count on spending addl $$ to bring it up to the quality of a used bass you could probably get from a relatively trusted source like most TB'ers.

    Finally...as you can tell, I'm not nuts about the Subway basses I've seen. That said, I do like some of the unusual weirdo ones (Eko's, weird/defunct overseas manufacturers) they have on occasion, but mainly from a novelty standpoint.
     
  3. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Wow! Thank you so much. You might have saved me from certain disappointment. It’s interesting you mention the Warmoth/Bart/Alembic frankenstiens because it was precisely that which I was looking for if they were in stock. I would have paid even more for the alleged higher quality parts.

    I've ordered all kinds of things online but this is a really tricky area because I can see how the variety in quality and consistency can be enormous. I figure this guy could be getting seconds from Mighty Mite, All Parts, as well as some Warmoth and Moses; but whose to say how good any of it is? Each J bass (which is what I'd go for) could be totally different from the next.

    Okay, I think a G&L Tribute is the way to go for me.

    Thanks brother!
     
  4. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Gotta agree with Greg 100%

    Kindof a fun place to visit, but I'd be sketched out ordering something from them.

    Marshall
     
  5. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
  6. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    If you're pretty serious, I can try to check it out for you, or maybe somebody else could.

    Marshall
     
  7. bad dog

    bad dog

    May 7, 2002
    Jim Thorpe, Pa.
    Back at the beginning of Feb. I placed an order for a funky teardrop shaped Vox knock-off that they make because of a request from a producer for something "cheap and unusual" in addition to my normal arsenal of sounds for an album I was playing on. I had found Subway via the web thinking it be a cool place to order something funky for not alot of dosh and I placed my order about 6 weeks before the session, thinking that be plenty of time to get it, set it up and get to know it.

    So I waited for the bass to show ...... and waited ..... and waited. Finally the week before the session I called to see what was up (my credit card was charged the day I placed the order). He started doing a tap dance and finally admitted the bass never shipped. So I cancelled the order and told him no sweat ...... but then he says he could send me a check, but I'd have to wait 2 weeks. At that point I got pissed and told him since he charged my card six weeks prior, and that he should reverse the charge immediately. He relented. End of story. All I know is that I'll never do business with them again.

    Maybe your experience will be cool, but mine wasn't.
     
  8. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I talked to Fat Dawg a few times years ago when his shop was first featured in an issue of Bass Player or Guitar Player....can't remember. I thought the idea of that "type" of shop was great, but never ordered anything from them. Ten years ago, a budget, hodge-podge, fat dawg creation would have been interesting and might have been a good deal for the price. However, the quality of gear that you can get from overseas factories these days is amazing, and this wasnt' necessarily the case 8-1o years ago. If you're looking for something fun, unique, and original, I'd say go for it. They're relative inexpensive and some of the NOS things they do are pretty interesting. Having the disposable income for goofy projects like that also helps. However, if you're looking for a serious, gigworthy instrument, you might want to think twice. Just something to consider....
     
  9. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Good point! The stuff I'm drawn to on Fatdawg's site is in the $500 to 650 range. For that money I could get an import that is far more consistent and reliable. As you mentioned, this wasn't really so in the past. These days, the stuff coming out of Korea is just amazing bang for the buck. The Chinese are starting to kick butt too at unbelievable prices. I'd like to support a small domestic builder but given the stories on this thread (not to mention Fatdawg's piece of **** attitude) I reckon my backup bass will either be an import or a weather beaten used domestic.

    r
     
  10. Fat Dawg = BE CAREFUL!!


    JPJ, I think Nino Brown is doing exactly what you're describing. He's building basses. They look very well put together.
     
  11. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah but Subway guitars are cheap. Nino, on the other hand, is the REAL deal and likely way beyond my budget. When I started this thread I think I mentioned I was just looking for a backup for my G&L ASAT bass. Given the money and the many options I thought Subway might be worth looking into (THAT IS UNTIL I READ ALL THESE NEGATIVE RESPONCES--YIKES!!!). Maybe when I get some REAL happening gigs I'd look into Nino for my main axe, not a backup for when I break a string on stage. Ahhh...but one day...