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Basses available in the UK?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JmD, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. JmD


    Sep 13, 2005
    What can we easily get hold of here?

    Any good bass shop's online in the UK?
  2. Well, some that spring to mind are:-



    and I've even bought from Germany:-


    As to what's available...well most things....you may pay a premium, but it's easy enough to get most things - I've imported form the US before, and my experience is it's a dawdle.....however YMMV!
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Just about anything if you're prepared to go to shops in London - I can't think of any type of bass that I haven't seen at one time or another?

    I'll sell you a nice pre-Gibson Tobias Classic!! ;)
  4. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    In my experience its just as easy to get instruments from the states as buying online in the UK.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Buit you are then liable for VAT at 17.5% and Customs duty, handling charges etc...:meh:
  6. Peter Weil

    Peter Weil Seeker of The New Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Allow me to chime in.

    I have bought/imported 4 basses from the USA to the UK, as well as my bass cab and preamp.

    It is important to do your research on prices. You may be responsible for the import duty, 17.5% VAT, and shipping, but nonetheless it can still work out significantly cheaper if you buy from the USA.

    For example, my most recent purchase was a maple/ash Lakland Darryl Jones 4. Here in the UK, best price was from Thomann, which offered a price of of about £900 UKP. Typical prices elsewhere (e.g. Bass Gallery in Camden) were closer to £1100-£1200!

    I found one (one month old from new) for $930 USD (including shipping but not taxes, import duty, etc). That's £530 or so.

    I had it shipped via USPS. Somehow, this time, I haven't been charged either VAT or import tax (this has happened to me before; other times when shipping with Fedex it has been collected at the front door).

    That is a steal. Even if we add in VAT and import duty - which would add roughly 25% to the price - it was a steal. I was immensely pleased. It's a fantastic bass as well :)

    So. If you do your research carefully and budget for the extra costs, which are usually charged, then you can work out how to buy a bargain.

    Good luck.


    NB: in the UK, I've bought online from www.gak.co.uk and found it painless.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I don't need to go online for them, I can walk there in a few minutes!! :p
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I remember back in the 1980's, Uk makers like Wal, Jaydee, and Status were pretty hot over here. How much do those guys still sell back in the UK. I also visted the old Bass Centre in London back in 1991, and I thought they had a selection very favorable to what I had seen the USA in Detroit and Atlanta, although nobody IMO compares to Nashville when it coes to great selection at pretty low prices.

    If you guys ever want to get hooked up with great gear, see if you can get a cheap ticket and go to Rock Block Guitars or Corner Music in Nashville, Tennessee.
  9. i brought my warwick corvette from bass central and even after shipping and tax it was around £200 cheaper than buying from the UK and the guys there are great and very helpful!!!
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That's right - I can remember going into the Bass Centre when it was in Wapping and trying very bass in the Status range and they've always had a very good range of all types of basses. :)

    IMO being able to try every type of bass and walk out of the shop, with the bass I know is best for me,safe in the knowledge that it is set up well and has no hidden problems, is worth far more than saving a a few quid by ordering online...:meh:
  11. I absolutely agree Bruce. I have known players buying basses which they haven't had in their hands and then regretting the purchase.

    Also, and this is debateable, are the music strores in this country only good for strings and having a look round. I wonder what would happen if we all went overseas for our goods? Oh wait a minute I do know - remember the Rover car company! Come on folks everybody has to make a living. If the store you go to doesn't give good service tell them. Complain and things may well get better!
  12. Heh.. it's the Bruce Lindfield mantra.

    You know... where everyone lives around the corner from a friendly little bass shop, which a friendly man what sells everything in their wildest dreams at perfectly reasonable prices.


    Lots of people are buying from overseas Bruce. LOTS.

    That tells me one of two things:

    1) There's something seriously wrong with the UK Bass retail situation

    2) They're all idots

    C'mos Bruce.. pin your colours to the mast. Which is it?
  13. That's what more and more people are doing by buying from elsewhere..
  14. Why don't you tell the store that you are going to buy overseas? How do they know they have lost a sale? If we all told retailers about their poor service then it may get better.

    I also think that it is naive to assume that buying from the USA is going to be all plain sailing. What if that neck just doesn't feel right? What if you don't like the sound?
  15. What age are you?
  16. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Does that make it wrong?

    Most people live a travel-able distance from London. Unless you’re living way up in Scotland, you can be in London for a 25 quid return ticket on the train. I take regular day trips to the Gallery and the Bass Centre and I live in Manchester – A place with 3 great guitar stores. The Gallery and the Centre are seriously the only places that are worth looking at high-end basses and amplification in England. I feel like I do live just around the corner from two friendly little bass shops, with a friendly man – it only takes me 2 and ½ hours to get there – that’s not a big deal for me. Sometimes I make the trip just to buy strings.


    Where does he say that they’re not?! He just says he doesn’t understand it.

    You’re being entirely reductive – the two situations you outline are so narrow in scope they can only make the protagonist look stupid. You’re using a straw-man argument and everyone sees right through that. It’s obvious that you think that there’s something “seriously wrong with the UK Bass retail situation” so tell us – what do you think that is, and what do you propose do to change that? Or will you just continue to be an antagonistic naysayer on a messageboard?
  17. I happen to agree with Bruce on this one.

    Even if I was just buying a Squire or a MIM Jazz I would still get it over here because I can try every single one of them that I can find to see which is the best of the bunch.

    If I was getting a more expensive bass say over £1000 I would definately want to try before I bought it. I think it is too risky not to try it out first.

    Once I did get a Ken Smith direct from Ken himself but that was a very calculated risk where I knew the build quality, materials, service etc would be first class. The only problem I could see would be if I did not 'click' with it. I did this because at the time there were no importers of Smiths into the country.

    Although it was a pain free experience, I do not think I would import direct again. I personally would want to try before I buy every time now.

    My 2c

  18. You think they're going to lower their prices just because we ask nicely? ha ha ha

    Good for you. I don't.

    You can tell straight away wether a bass is 'the one'? Wow.

    Sometimes it takes a couple of months before I realise I don't like a bass. When that happens, it doesn't matter where I bought it from.

    Over 30. Why?
  19. Bearing in mind I'm not really into to boutique (or even new) stuff, I stand by everything I say. I'm just tired of walking into shops and seeing the same old stockfor ridiculous prices.

    If it's not something that affects you, that's fine by me. Really. Don't worry about it.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 30, 2020

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