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Anyone using a Laabs bass? and some general questions

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ole Jason, Sep 20, 2008.


  1. I've searched around but looks like all of the threads about the Jim Laabs basses are from a few years ago.

    I was looking at the Munich bass. On the surface it looks really nice and appears to use nice wood. But how does it play?

    I've been without a bass for a couple of years due to apartment living and a lack of finances. I want to take my time finding something that sounds and plays the way I want.

    I cut my teeth in college playing on a 5/8 Juzek which I always loved (and have considered trying to buy). Although it had a normal string length I always liked the smaller neck and the tight focused projection of the smaller body. I'm a little out of the loop as far as what's out there in the lower end of basses. I'm not opposed to getting a ply bass. Right now I'm looking at spending maybe $2500 but if going up to 5k or so means getting the right bass for me I'll make it happen.
     
  2. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think these are Korean basses (and I've had some experience with them). They (the Korean basses) are pretty good value for the money, (see Volker Nahrmann's website) but I think the set up and quality control/consistency issues at Laabs etc can mean you get something less than ideal sometimes.

    Louis
     
  3. That's about what I figured. I wouldn't mind putting the money into a good setup but if the playability isn't there it wouldn't be worth it.
     
  4. Gufenov

    Gufenov

    Jun 8, 2003
    I looked at their Hamburg and Munich models when I lived nearby. I liked them both, but was worried about their terrible customer service reputation. Go to ebay and check feedback for Jim Laabs. Then decide.
     
  5. Brandon Tuomiko

    Brandon Tuomiko Banned

    Oct 28, 2008
    Omaha Nebraska
    Yea Im looking at the Munich. If you notice the ones on ebay, the price is always different with each price. Which is a good thing, that means that each bass is different, and they will let you know instead of having a set price of $1800, for a bass worth 1400 or so. They say the market value is $3000. But theyre price is great for a carved bass. For that price you can normally only get a lamy
     
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    What does that tell you? :rollno: Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware).
     
  7. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Omaha,

    Aren't you the kid with the six page thread about your Kay bass? Trust me (because I worked with the factory that makes these Korean basses) - take the money you were going to spend on the Laabs bass, drive to Kansas City to KC Strings, or Iowa to Heatland Basses or somebody like that and have them FIX YOUR KAY - or buy one of their student basses from them or a Thompson bass from the string Emporium. Otherwise, you're just flushing $$ away.

    Okay?

    Also, learn to to type with punctuation, capital letters and spell check - please!

    Louis
     
  8. Gufenov

    Gufenov

    Jun 8, 2003
    But, a little over a month ago, you said:
    Several posters have inquired about Jim Laabs basses over the years. Why don't you enlighten us on your specific reasons you don't like them?
     
  9. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    The difference is that someone like Volker will make sure that the tops (on the basses he sells) aren't too thin, and that the neck blocks are properly set and that the fingerboard, tailpiece, endpin etc are of a decent quality; He will get the pick of the litter from a container full of basses from the distributor and will set them up carefully. Lemur, if they are still dealing with the Koreans, would do the same.

    So given that as a caveat, these basses CAN be good value for money, play well and last a reasonably long time. My hunch is that internet dealers (and I have not dealt with Laabs so I am making no specific comment on them) get these basses by the truckload, set them up, maybe, and ship them out - and then you are on your own.

    The biggest issue I had with the Korean company I dealt with (Linear and its parent) - apart from their total lack of honesty in business - was the inconsistency and lack of quality control in the product - especially in quality of finish, thickness of tops, setting of neck and quality of tuner, tailpieces etc;

    You would get two "identical" basses from them and one would be a really solid, good sounding instrument and the next would be a POS - and the factory didn't seem to care which they sent.

    So that's the secret to the mystery, and it's sad really, because there was an opportunity for a good quality, reasonably priced instrument to fill a need in the market. A Korean bass, well set up from a reputable dealer is probably a steal; buying one in a box from Ebay is simply asking for trouble.

    I hope that helps.

    Louis
     
  10. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    The lack of any consistent quality control in factory basses is not unique to the Korean suppliers.
     
  11. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Never said it was. But they are the ones I have experience with and feel I can comment on.

    Thanks

    Louis
     
  12. I see quite a few of these that come from the shop you mention... I'm not sure on your Police work.. a quote from a favorite movie of mine :rolleyes:
     
  13. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm not sure I understand. My assumption (having dealt with Volker) is that he inspects/sets up the Korean basses he gets and that they result in a reputable product. I've dealt with him and think he's an excellent dealer and luthier. But I'm not speaking for him or for the basses he sells (nor am I speaking against Laabs or the basses they sell).

    My experience with Linear (2005-2007) was really first hand and really ugly. So my police work comes from a victim's point of view - literally.
    Personally, I would not ever deal with a Korean instrument maker again in my life, and I think it best to leave it at that. Perhaps the company now selling these basses has fixed its problems. I can't say. I'm only speaking from my experience.

    Okay?

    Louis
     
  14. My experience comes from the Victim's coming to me crying after buying these things... Rule of Thumb : Never Assume !! :meh:
     
  15. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    ..and I never said you said that. :) Just pointing out that it's a common occurrence with "factory" basses.
     
  16. WayneDupuis

    WayneDupuis

    Mar 9, 2014
    Victoria BC
    I own a Munich 2 years now. It's terrific, plays well, sounds fat with Velvets on it, and amplifies well with ancient pickups.
    Nice to look at and stays together well with lots of travel on it. Good bass if you get a good one.
     

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