Bellafina Bass...Good for the money??

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by blah148, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. blah148

    blah148 Guest

    Jan 13, 2009
    Calgary, AB, Canada
  2. Ghost_Note

    Ghost_Note Guest

    Dec 27, 2008
    Southern California
    Sorry, I haven't played one, but I did give one a bit of thought when I first decided I wanted an upright. Then I started my research, moved up into price, gulped, continued my research, again gulped, went up again...there are some great sticky links here on buying a bass and a great deal of sage advice.

    I wish you well in the search. Enjoy!
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    Please do yourself a favor and stay away from that bass. Look, the lowest cost for which you can get a decent instrument set up properly is about $1500, give or take. There's no magic. You'll spend it one way or another. Buy a bass from a bass shop. Online mass merchants and guitar shops aren't the places to go.
    salcott, lurk and PauFerro like this.
  4. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43 Guest

    Nov 25, 2007
    I would like to chime in here so the others don't scare you away from playing the double bass completely. It would have happened to me the first time I came to Talkbass seeking info on the double bass if I weren't so damn pig-headed. Guys here can be a little intense.

    I agree with DRUB about the best way to buy a bass. Going and playing a few basses until you find one that you like is the best bet. BUT, if you don't have a music store that carries any basses in your area, you won't be the first guy in history to order a double bass sight unseen.

    If you are really on a budget, and are looking for an entry level plywood bass, and have to get one from MF, I would suggest choosing one of the Engelhardt or Strunal basses instead. The cheap chinese imports are usually not very good quality, and can be a roll of the dice.

    You will need to set aside some cash to have the bass "set up" by a bass luthier though. The basses sold by MF come direct from the manufacturers and need to have the string heights lowered, some better strings put on, and some other setup work done. Try and find a luthier in your area that knows double bass and get a setup quote.

    A better way to get your first double bass might be to start looking for a used one, this is how I got mine and I am very happy.
    PauFerro likes this.
  5. tomshepp

    tomshepp Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    Don't forget, the search can be fun and many ways.
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, I hope you didn't find my post "intense." I agree with Gear, except for the choice of vendor or type of vendor. If you must buy a bass sight-unseen, sound-unheard, feel-unfelt, then there are real bass shops/dealers with fine reputations who can supply a decent, properly set up instrument. I'll say it again-- you would be wise to stay away from on-line mass-merchants and guitar shops when buying a double bass. My original warning was more about that than buying on-line per se, although yes, it is wise to play the bass you will buy.
    PauFerro likes this.
  7. Give this guy's inventory a look.

    I got a great deal on a carved-top Roma instrument ($1200). After another $200 for set-up (fingerboard and bridge work), it plays like a dream.

    I use it mainly for orchestral playing (in a community orchestra) and also some pop and rock stuff (I slapped a K&K bass max pick-up on her, as well).
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Actually, give a number of vendors a look:

    Gollihur, Upton, Lemur, Shen dealers, etc. Where do you live blah148?
    dhergert likes this.
  9. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43 Guest

    Nov 25, 2007

    Yes, definitely check out bassesonline. They have Eberles (Musima) going for $850 right now and those are good solid German plywoods.

    That wasn't a shot at you, Drub. Should have made that clear.

    Anyway, good luck and try and get a better quality bass for your first one, that way you will be more likely to have fun and stick with it.
  10. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    There's always the dichotomy, when starting a new adventure that requires new (and not inexpensive) equipment, of whether to plunk down lots of money for something that is far above your novice skills, or to start with something cheap that you will not likely keep.

    When I was a teenager (not long ago, I'm still green) I adored archtop guitars (& still do...). I had a 1956 Martin flat top that I took for granted, and wanted a second guitar for an electric sound. But I couldn't afford the price tag of real archtops, so got a cheap laminate archtop that was in my price range, and was shiny and pretty (to my novice eyes). There were a million better things I could have done with the money. The pseudo-archtop is long gone, and my Martin is still there (and will never be taken for granted again).

    My philosophy with musical instruments (beyond harmonicas, tin whistles, etc) is largely based on that experience: Think long term. Don't buy "for now" instruments. Someone recently posted (paraphrasing) that when buying a bass, buy one that you would keep, even when you're ready to upgrade years down the road.

    But that still leaves you stuck with the prospect of a $1500+ price tag for an entry-level, quality instrument you might not be sure you're worthy of (or will stick to). In the world of double basses, it's not a big price tag, but it still is a lot of money for some of us. If you have another instrument that you treasure, have put in the work to learn, and have guarded for years, then you're ready. When you've saved the money, invest it in something quality.

    If you don't feel you have enough personal evidence to know whether you will stick to a quality instrument, or if you can't afford a good one, but also can't wait to start playing, you've got lots of different options, all of which are better than buying something shoddy. You can rent a quality one until you're ready to buy. You can buy a bass guitar (fretless?) for a lot less, and learn and practice your theory (with others? to experience the role of the bass in a musical group) until you're ready. You can train your ears by going out and consuming all the music your favorite double-bass players make. Remember, it's about the music....

    (OK, I will STFU now)
    Keith Rawlings, AGCurry and PauFerro like this.
  11. blah148

    blah148 Guest

    Jan 13, 2009
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Thank you guys for all the excellent input; lots of wise words that have definitely changed my thoughts on what to do.
    PauFerro likes this.
  12. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43 Guest

    Nov 25, 2007

    Damn, that was a good post!!

    Nice work. :D
    PauFerro likes this.
  13. MIKMAN


    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Dear friend anyone of us in our beginning tried to find a decent bass from the various online music shops. In my opinion most of us (including me) failed to get the proper instrument because only the specialized DB shops face the novices with the utmost respect and help them for their first choice. For sure, when the aspiring bassist continues his/her marvelous journey in the DB world, he/she come back to the specialized shop in order to upgrade the beloved instrument. The companies mentioned by our friends are well established in the DB world and all of them have achieved their market place after many years of customer service.
    By the way, your profile would help us a lot to give you opinons and choices near your place.
    PauFerro likes this.
  14. Abbastanza17

    Abbastanza17 Guest

    Dec 23, 2016
    I know this post is much later than needed, but to add, i played a bellafina in my highschool orchestra and have continued to play it for the past year developing my skills and tehnique. The school has 5 of them and each one has a different problem. 4 of them rattle, two of them have this sharp metallic trebbly sound that is quite unsettling, and the strings on two of them are set too close to the finger board, and the strings on the one ive been hosting are set too far out to where its quite fatiguing to play. Theyre not quality basses at all. But for an entry level bassist theyre fine because technique can be learned on anything. I mean, if the price didnt tip you off already... But for a trainee, find a place that'll buy it off you when youre ready for a better one and go for a better brand! Upton Bass shop in Mystic RI, USA is a wonderful bass shop for entry level as well as intermediate. They have a standard model that's quite affordable with a plan to trade it back after you become too advanced, and get credit to a better one! When it comes to training, thats a smart way to go. As far as repairs go there, for classical players, theyre not very helpful, but for jazz and bluegrass, they know whats up! Very good place!
  15. lurk

    lurk Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    The inexpensive basses from String Emporium and Gollihur can be bought online, sound good, are healthy, and come with a decent setup. Do not buy a cheap instrument from a non bass dealer. Lousy instruments can be very difficult and frustrating to play, sometimes need extra money towards an acceptable setup, and can actually break and need expensive repair. I once had a student with a cheap Chinese bass bought online that had the FINGERBOARD break.
    salcott and Mark Gollihur like this.
  16. Unclebif


    Nov 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Okay, that was excellent and sound advice.
    I've just purchased a project Bellafina 3/4 some poor soul invested in, and was let down. My $40 offer was accepted and I'm either going to fix it, cannibalize it for spare parts for my C1 (If interchangeable)or morph it into an interesting nightstand. I am aware this type of break should be repaired with a new neck, but I'm not spending $180 and time to do it. (No guarantee on finding one that is a slip in.) It either is resurrected my effort, de-glue, re-glue and clamp skills and or it gets repurposed. From the land of misfit toys; I'm gonna love it one way or another. May it live to play again...I'll give it the college try, wish me luck.
    Bass neck.jpg
    Neck break.jpg Pegbox break.jpg
  17. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Best. Might work, providing the glue holds.
    Unclebif likes this.
  18. Unclebif


    Nov 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I'm more concerned with removing the old glue. I don't know what kind it is, hopefully water soluble. That's the critical task. If I can match the pieces up tight, I can make it work.
  19. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Good luck.
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  20. That looks like white glue. You have a fight on your hands.
    unbrokenchain likes this.