Are all $1000+ basses great??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmusic808, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. Hey all..

    I am contemplating buying a new bass and realizing there are SO many choices out there, its mind boggling. But after 8+ years, I deserve a new bass, right?!

    Anyways, I have noticed that most mid-high end basses sell for a retail of around $1000 and up. Is it safe to say that all basses over 1000 are really good?

    Has anyone come across an expensive bass that was REALLY not worth it??
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    1000 $ is more a medium market than a high end model.

    Real high end (Fodera, Roscoe, Sadowsky, Alembic, any kit or luthier model ...) are more in the 2000 and above zone.

    Still, a 1000 $ bass should serve you well, be reliable, sound great and have a fine construction.
    Then, it's a metter of choice.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Sure. They're called "overpriced"......but that's my opinion. Someone is buying them, so I guess in their opinions, those are a fair deal.

    I've played $700 basses I like better than some costing twice as much or more.

    There are some names that jack up the price beyond "worth it" to me. With some imports, it's due to the fact that currency exchange rates/tariffs/trade barriers add so much to the price.

    So, the moral of the story is not to let price be my guide.
  4. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    One thing to always consider... a higher price doesn't always mean better quality.

    That being said... :D

    As the JazzAd said, $1000+ is more of a middle range considering all the really high end stuff; which I would consider the $2500+ retail price range. The best thing to do is just play a bunch of basses in the price range that you are looking at. In fact, if possible play them all. What feels good to you as a player, and what sounds good to you is ultimately what you want to buy.

    Personally, I've played a lot of really expensive basses ($3000+) that I really didn't like. Be it the tone of the instrument or the way the neck felt, I just didn't like it. You'll find that many people, if not all, will share this same opinion.

    I've played Mexican built Fender Jazz basses that I'd buy over a really expensive bass because they just happen to play really well and sound good. Granted, they are few and far between... it's possible to get a really inexpensive bass that sounds and plays great.

    Try stuff out, don't make a decision until you've had a chance to check out the field man. Ultimately, you'll be much happier with what you buy in the end. This is the voice of experience talking... I've burned myself a few times in the past. :)
  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Another thing to consider is that in the $1000-$1500 range, by far the best deals (to me) are the used basses that were $2000+ when new. You can generally find Roscoe, Lakland, Modulus, Zon, Alembic, etc. in that price range if you're willing to look at used intruments.

    There's a lot of great stuff out there, but not every bass is going to suit everyone, and there's no substitute for getting your hands on as much different gear as you can to find out what you like. You really can't go by price to decide that.

  6. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    i would say the majority or professional musicians play basses in the grand to grand and half range. Musicmans and american fenders are two that come to mind. Im not saying you dont see the sadowsky or alembic, but not very often. Id say anything in the range your talking about would be plenty fine for any application i can think or whether it be recording or playing live. The alembics and sadowskys and such are pretty much just bells and whistles. Yea they sound amazing, but sound is a personal preference anyway. Just go with what sounds good and feels good to u, screw LEDs and custom tops and such.
  7. I agree with MikeZimmerman. I picked up a used neck-through Warwick Thumg 5 for $1280 (!), which blows any new bass for that price out of the water. This is a bass that goes for upwards of $2500 or more now. Granted, that was a great deal, but stuff like that can be had, and even without getting that good of a deal, you can get a good $2000+ bass for that price range.

  8. Thanks for all of your comments! You have given me some new things to think about like trying out as many basses as possible and the possibility of finding a good used one.

    I have noticed at some guitar stores that the basses they have on sale aren't always optimized. The action may be really high, or the neck has a slight bow. So, it might be hard to get a good idea of how it plays since it needs adjusting. Any comments on this?

    Also, are there any specific models out there that get a general consensus of being over priced? (I know that is a subjective question)
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    That's true IME, too, at the lousier stores, (the good ones give them a reasonable set-up before the hit the sales floor).

    If I give the salesperson good reason to believe that I'm genuinely interested in the instrument, they'll tweak the action or ask me to wait while they have a tech do it......usually. But they have to smell a possible sale in the air.

    (At the risk of getting flamed), I often see too much money, IMO, being asked for the letters "f,e,n,d,e,r" and "p, r, & s" on many models.
  10. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada

    I agree hugely here, but as you alluded to with the "many models" comment is that both (more specifically Fender) offer some models at a fair price...
  11. The price of a bass definitely does not guarantee its quality. I’ve played $1500 basses that sound horrible and $700 ones that sound great. IMO, it’s between $1000 and $2000 where I think someone has the most chance of getting hosed. I would definitely stay with the tried and true trusted brands within that price range.

    Play a bunch and see what you like. You have some good choices in that range, especially used. Zon, Modulus, Warwick (if you like 'em) seem to be among the most consistent where Fenders and Music Mans are inconsistent - some are great, some are, well, not great.