Are any of these Ebay specials worth it?

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by RazorandBlade, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. RazorandBlade


    Feb 4, 2008
    I apologize in advance if you've heard this question but I'm pulling the newbie card.

    II play a regular bass and have been playing for somewhere around 8-9 years (Minus time for broken bones and theft).

    I've always wanted a upright realll bad and Im sort of growing tired of my regular bass and want something new to learn.

    I got some money so I was wondering if these ebay specials are actually worth getting or am i just throwing away 500-600 dollars.

    Im really looking something thatll last me through learning to play bass a different way. I'm going for the whole rockabilly slap feel. Please let me know guys and thanx in advance.

  2. TPugh


    Apr 8, 2006
    I would suggest staying away from the $500-$600 basses on ebay. While I'm sure that there are some that have had some luck with them, I did not (it was a pawn shop find). A bad experience with those basses can turn a new DB player like yourself away from this instrument pretty fast and none of us want that.

    For me, I was fortunately able to quickly recoup most of my money in a local sale and upgrade to an entry level Engelhardt. For a bit more cash, you could investigate a plywood from such makers as Upton or Shen.

    If your budget is limited to the five or six hundy, I'd say hang on to your dough and keep saving while you read the newbie links, learn more about the instrument, and play as many as you can get your hands on. Perhaps you'll come across one that speaks to you when you slap it. If you'll let us know where you are located, perhaps someone can lead you into the direction of a shop you can visit. Or maybe someone near you has one of the before-mentioned higher quality branded plys you can try out.

    Happy hunting!
  3. RazorandBlade


    Feb 4, 2008
    Cool thanx for the info, Im limited to 5-6 currently i mean thatll change with every paycheck hopefully hahaha.

    Im located in philadelphia and I don't know of many shops with uprights so if anyone can point me in the right direction thatd be a good start.

    oh and one more thing. Im 6'1 and a little bigger of a dude should i go with a 3/4 or a full size? I see everywhere that 3/4 seems to be standard size so I just figured it boiled down to personal preference.
  4. mpoppitt


    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    Stick with 3/4. It is the 'standard' size, and will be easier to find strings for, and sell if you decide to upgrade down the road.

    Stay away from the eBay specials too, they will cost you more in the long run.

    Sep 12, 2005
    Hey RazorandBlade,

    Two things to keep in mind - a 3/4 is fine for Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke - both guys around your height.

    The other thing is that any bass, no matter what the price, usually requires a little extra money for your personal set-up. I just bought a lovely Calin Waltur from Ken Smith Basses last year at about $5000 all in, and that still needed a set-up to the way I like it.

    Double Basses are not like Electric Basses in that if you want to tweak the action on an electric it's an easy job for yourself with an Allen Key/screwdriver. Tweaking the action on a Double is not something for the inexperienced. There's just too many potential things to go wrong.

    I have a student who bought a cheapie bass from Thomann. The action was so high that it was killing him to play it, and putting him off playing it. Because he didn't know that he needed to have it set-up properly he almost turned himself off playing Double Bass for good.

    So my advice is to save some more money and check out Ken Smith Basses, Bob Gollihur, Upton, Shen - all who carry something great for newbies.
  6. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Here are some Phila area shops you can try out:

    Ron Procopio - The String Tree - Reading, PA

    Bass Specialties - - He carries a entry level plywood bass that Ken Smith imports - pretty nice for the money. You can also try Ken Smith's website too -

    Shanks - Elizabethtown, PA - Near Hershey PA

    Rob Riccardi Jr. - Deptford, NJ

    Bob Gollihur - South Jersey - Mainly mail order but very reputable -

    Good Luck!
  7. RazorandBlade


    Feb 4, 2008
    awsome info guys thanx for all the replys.
    I figured it would cost more to get it to play how I like it but I need to play first to find out how i want it set up haha.

    Im gonna check out all these places!


    Alright guys check it out.
    I just got off the phone with this guy and he said its a no name stand up that he paid 1250 for at a local music store. The most info he knows is that it is a plywood bass and his son played jazz with it. Hes selling it because his boy got another smaller bass thats easier for him to play(hes 15). The only problem is if I go play this im not sure how it should feel or sound cause ive never played one before.... Anyone feel like giving me tips on what to look for or how it should feel? Or if someone can tell from the pictures or feels like taking a ride with me (I know its sudden hahaha) and trying this one out before I make a purchase.
  8. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    That looks like a "CCB" to me, it doesn't seem like a terriffic bargain. Maybe first visit the shops below, before jumping into an empty swimming pool head first without looking.
  9. RazorandBlade


    Feb 4, 2008
    a "CCB" eh?
    I contacted all the shops and got a quick reply from most of them. I might have something with Robert Ricardi but im not sure yet. they all seem like stand up guys!!! hahaha.
    Ive heard some things about CCB so maybe ill stay away from that bass.
  10. stz


    Nov 9, 2006
    Derby, UK
    I've got a CCB that was I was lucky enough to get for £80. I'll show what it took it get it playable.

    £15 for soundpost setup and original bridge adjustment
    £25 for an open seam
    £36 for a set of nylon strings
    £36 for an adjustable bridge
    £55 for fitting the new bridge

    I then put about 6 hours into dressing the fingerboard and cutting the nut myself. If I'd got my guy to do it I guess I'd be looking at £120+

    So total cost? Guess around £315. I had to buy a softcase as well. Another £120.

    £435? If I'd paid the average price for the instrument instead of £80 I'd be looking at closer to £715.

    Instrument is now playable. Before then it was a real drag. At £435 it is a reasonable instrument that I get lots of mileage out of, at £715 I'd have been better of saving my money for a midrange stentor. I think you'd be better off too but going with whatever counts as 'reasonable midrange starter' in your area.
  11. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Inactive

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    Probably not worth it... but you can't dismiss it until you give it a try.
  12. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Best to deal with a reputable bass shop. Setting up a bass correctly is really important. Set up makes it more playable for you and helps with correct sound production.

    I bought my first bass at a music store that had one bass there in the shop. Really, the guy at the store did not know anything about basses and it really was a crappy bass. There was no other bass to compare it with. It was not set up property and it killed me to play it. I ended up selling it used to next to nothing, whereas if I had bought a decent bass in the first place, I could have sold it used for a good price. Basses do pretty much hold their value, so make that something to consider. I bought my next bass at a reputable bass shop.

    If I were not a persistent person and moved on to ask around and find out why this was so painful and difficult to play, I probably would not be playing DB today.

    Just consider the long range on this and save some money and get a decent bass from a reputable store.

    You also might consider renting a bass for a while to see if this is really for you. If you do this, make sure it is playable to you and set up correctly. You might be able to work out a rent to own deal too, but try out many basses. This is a problem with beginners in that beginners do not know how a bass is supposed to feel and sound to them. This takes some experience.
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