Basswood pricing...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by groove_druid, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Basswood doesn't bother me. A bit soft, but nice tones, and weight and a good alternative to alder. That being said, why in the world are some basswood basses nice and cheap like Classic Vibe and some are super expensive like the Bongo? I don't get it and I personally don't see that huge of a difference to justify the price points(but then I don't see most higher price basses to be worth the extra dough when compared to mid-low price range basses, at least with companies, custom work is well worth it). So, what is the difference?
  2. Alder and Ash are both cheap woods as well, which is one reason why Leo Fender started using them.
  3. Electronics, hardware, finish, and qc tolerances.
  4. One is an overseas outsourced entry level product, and the other is an American made professional level model that is subjected to a whole different set of expenses. Plus you won't find a Squier that ships with the fret work and set up that the Bongo will have.
    Price some wood, There isn't much cost difference until you get in to exotic woods and multiple body pieces, Thats were materials and labor comes in.

    My main Bass is an SB14, An Indonesean made Basswood Sterling copy.
    The differences to me, there is a small spot in slot for the pick up switch that the finish seemed to have missed and the plastic plate for the electronics is rough on the edges.
    Its got a nice piece of maple for the neck, But its not quarter or rift sawn.
    Doesn't have the compensating nut that The American Made Sterling has, meaning my intonation is good, but it could be perfect.
    And the battery compartment is slightly different.

    I Don't feel like I need to spend another $1000 to get a 25% increase in instrument.
    They are priced according to what people are willing to pay for them.
  5. You may find something of value in this series of videos from Warwick. The first couple are a bit slow, but they get interesting. Their facility is outfitted far beyond the scope of any small time custom builder. And that type of equipment and QC cost.

  6. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Killer B and Zane Guitars and Basses sales rep, artist rep and endorsed artist.
    While the type of wood being used on an instrument does factor into the cost, it is not the total cost. There are other things as well. Take both of my mid 90's Ibanez SR 500's. Both are made of basswood and both were around $500.00 new. Then you look at my Bongo's. Also made of basswood but range in price from $1,500.00 - $2,000.00. My Ibanez basses were made in Korea while my Bongo's were made in the United States. More specifically, California, which is one of the most expensive States to run a business and make a profit. The Bongo's also have a lot more hands on work involved in making them. Have a better finish, much better electronics and the craftsmanship work is night and day between the 2 makes. In all honesty, with all that is involved in making my Music Man basses, I'm surprised they are not more money.