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At what price point?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by phillm47, Sep 7, 2001.

  1. After not playing upright bass for twenty years, I have returned - taking lessons and playing a cheezy rental instrument. My question is, at what price point (or instrument quality, type) does one have to invest in so the value of ones instrument appreciates, or stays flat, as oppossed to depreciating?This is with the assumption that said instrument is properly cared for and serviced.

    As a family man and father of four, a bass in the $6K, $8K & up range isn't going to happen for me. On the other hand, investing in a $1K instrument is easier to do, will it appreciate in value? (Idon't think so, but?) I want a decent instrument to grow with. The odds of being able to upgrade the intrument while my kids are in school (ages 3,8,12,14) are extremely low. BUT, if I can show wife that the instrument will aprreciate in value, it becomes more do-able AND more likley to spend a little more money intially. After playing in bar bands for years and playing equipment roulette she's a tough sale. So, how low should I look for one whose value should remain flat or appreciate?
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Price will have nothing to do with appreciation of value. The fact is, Kay used to be the joke of the bass world. They were the bottom of the line, especially in the '50's. Those same basses have soared in value over time, and are played by top players today, including Eddie Gomez, Michael Moore, Harvie Swarts, and on and on. King and American Standard basses were also low end, and are prized possessions today, moreso than Kay.

    Low priced or not, the fact is they were well made. The problem is, it takes time for fundamental flaws to show up, so when you look at brand new plywoods, you don't know which will self-destruct.

    I have two old plywoods, and no experience with what's being produced today. I can say that two name luthiers have commented positively on two Chinese basses: Shen and Christopher were the labels.

    Well made basses will appreciate. Kays, Kings, will continue to do so, but that will be factored into the price you pay now. The new brands will be cheaper to buy, but their future is unknown.
  3. Thanks for your insite, Don I can appreciate that price does not have a direct bearing. Any suggestions, other than having ones instuctors input, on how to discern between choices within ones price range? Would one be better off investing in a known name, used instrument (i.e. will continue to appreciate)? Any suggestions and/or links to material is appreciated.
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    There are many fine players and schools in Indiana, so I would expect some good luthiers, too. You do the preliminary searching of luthiers, and if you find something affordable, your teacher should be able to help.
  5. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    You're not far from Cincinnati, OH, so I would recommend a trip to the Cincinnati Bass Cellar at some point in time. Andy Stetson can set you up with 8 or 10 basses in your price range, and let you go to town for a couple of hours. Before you do that, go to their website: http://www.cinternet.net/~astetson. You can access Andy's inventory and price list.

    Most important, take your time!

    Good luck.
  6. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
  7. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Thanks for the correction Don.
  8. I must agree Take your time, I got burned buying a new plywood chinese 7/8 size bass on ebay. I was beutiful to behold but self destructed in no-time.

    I am in a similar situation as you, I wound up finding a luthier that I can trust and he rebuilt a Plywood Juzek of nondescript year for $2200. It's a sweet ride. And I belive it will go up in value.

    Buy something that will last in the $1500-$2000 range and you can't go wrong. On the other hand I was renting an okay (crappy) Palatino for only $50 per month, while I was saving up the money for this one.

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