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Basses so good, they are never bad

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rojo412, Apr 21, 2002.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Is there a company out that makes basses so well that no matter what, if you bought one used (or even new, sight unseen), it would be okay?

    I'd have to say Modulus is that company because in my experience, they are all perfect with the exception of maybe being in need of a setup or a new set of strings.

    Sadowsky (the 2 I've seen) are great, too, but I'm no authority.
    Fender, new or used, tend to USUALLY be in serious need of work.
    Warwicks are usually bad brand new, but they come from Germany and a neck adjustment takes care of it.

    What companies are so friggin awesome that you'll never see a bad piece (or at least the chance of seeing one is slim)?
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Lakland, perhaps.
  3. Proaxes.

    See my earlier thread...BWAHAHAHAHA!
  4. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I think there are many luthiers where you could have confidence when buying new: Sadowsky, Zon, Elrick, Lakland, Pedula, MTD, Fodera, Dingwall, etc. And there are many others. These folks have demonstrated consistently high quality standards over time. I have less confidence in some of the newer luthiers just because their consistency is unproven.

    Buying used is a different situation. I would want to have the option to inspect and return any bass I was considering to buy used.

  5. mcdonap


    Sep 25, 2001
    James Tyler basses - if you can find one.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Wouldn't it be easier to have someone you know check the bass with/for you?

    Any used bass can be a potential dog. It all depends who owned the bass previously and what they did to it.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Exactly. As long as "people" are in the equation there's no guarantee. An owner could even screw up a Zon or a Modulus.

    Given that, I've yet to see a used Zon, MTD, Lakland, Elrick, Sadowsky, Fodera, Modulus, Spector, etc. in bad shape (not counting cosmetics).
  8. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i've never played a warwick that "needed work" , but those were only in stores.

    but even the warwick rockbass i played was set up great.
  9. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    ... and RS, your Sadowsky is awesome.

    Let's say user error is not a big factor. Let's not even put electronics into play, setup into play. These things can be fixed easily (if one knows how... and I do).

    What companies are making necks that never warp under average condition? What companies have it so tight that if the situation arrose where you could get a sweet deal on something, you would have full confidence in buying it? The body woods are always good, you'll never get a dog.

    Like for example, if a widowed wife had a bass (or even guitar) playing husband and needed to sell off his stuff after he died and you caught wind of it. She may know absolutely nothing about gear, but if you ask what's wrong with it, she could at least tell you if it's snapped in half, all shredded up, dented, etc. The obvious stuff. If nothing appear wrong on the instrument, what companies can you trust?
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The same ones I mentioned. The builders build basses that hold up extremely well. From the aspect of longevity I have a 24 year old Tobias bass (original owner). I see no reason why my 1995 MTD 635 wouldn't last at least that long.
  12. I disagree..

    I don't know if this is true with every GC but one around here has some nasty setup warwicks.. well almost all the basses they have are like that though
  13. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    music men are pretty consistent.... however there was this 1 with an s curved neck... but that was a used one. one of the prettiest basses i've ever seen in person was an anniversary stingray4 niiiice
  14. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    As you know, even with the best woods, warpage can always occur. Sadowsky picks his woods out very carefully, but the necks are not even graphite reinforced (if that helps is a separate thread),

    If Jason Newstead dragged it across the world thru different climates, sweated all over it (he is a sweaty guy, not Patrick Ewing sweaty, but bad), his Sadowsky could be trashed.

    But if I found one for half price used I'd take the risk.
  15. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Granted, the true Tobias basses (crafted by the Man, Michael Tobias) probably kick serious butt 99% of the time. But GIBSON Tobias Basses... that's another story.

    I had a guy bring in a Tobias Growler that he rarely played and was complaining that the frets were buzzing. I looked down the neck and it was so warped, so out of true that it was unplayable. After wrestling with the truss rods and the bridge, I got it to play, but the neck was twisted beyond repair. I wouldn't have payed more than $100 for the bass and just use it as parts.

    Also, Warwicks at GCs... They always need a neck adjustment. Believe me, unless they have a psycho like me keeping them true, most need it.

    Finally, I know a guy who has one of Jason Newsted's old Sadowskys... and it does still play like a dream. When he first got it and showed it to me, the neck was almost unfinished from play. He had Ken Lesko refin it and it's awesome. He wants to sell it for $1800, even though he got it for $800.
  16. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'll buy it.
  17. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    No way Nino, it's mine. Give me the hook up, Adam.
  18. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    It's got barts in it. Blk w/ clear PG, maple fb, 5 string.
    A bit beaten.
  19. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Barts, 5 string?... Give it Nino.
    As much as I love the Sadowskys, I'd doubt the B would be better than the one on my Modulus. Sadowsky uses a 34" scale on the fives, right?

    What strings are you using on your Modulus? What gauge B do you use? I have the Zon nickels on mine. They sounded really good, but died quickly.
  20. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I would have to say that James Tyler basses
    are about a serious as I've seen. Just about everyone is slighty different, but everyone seems great. It helps to have input from some of the best bassists around.

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