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Best luthier P-bass under 2000$

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mrkode, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. mrkode


    Dec 19, 2007
    Hi there everyone,

    The first bass I ever owned was a P-style bass. Don't even ask me for the brand as it's kind of a no-name bass bought at a very small music store in a small town 20 years ago. The bass has been beat up really bad with lot's of modifications and looks like it's been to hell and back. But I plugged it in my aggie rig last night at home just for the fun of it and man does it sound good. Full, compact and thick. Unfortunately, this bass is not playable live as the electronics would have to be either cleaned thoroughly or changed completely and the neck changed as I removed the frets a while ago but didn't fill up the gaps so it's warped.

    Now, I've been looking for a very good P-bass for a while now, one that could capture the same sound. I've looked at Sadowsky and Lakland but being a lefty, I'd have no access to their Metro and Skyline models and I don't want to be paying 450000$ for an instrument.

    I don't want to go the proper Fender route either as their build quality is poor and such is their sound.

    I couldn't score a vintage one either since there were practically no left handed ones built in the 60's.

    So, is there another option? An awesome P-bass type bass by a luthier maybe not as reknown but with the same build quality as Sadowsky and Lakland? Under 2000$ Offering left handed models?

  2. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Give Nino a call? Search Nino Valenti. He should be able to make you something.
  3. poisonoakie


    Nov 26, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
  4. mrkode


    Dec 19, 2007
    Thanks for the tip.

    Went to his website and I have to admit his work looks really good. Plus the fact that he works at Sadowsky and can implement some of the electronics is very appealing.

    Sent him an email, looking forward to hear what he has to say.
  5. Just a small correction, Nino worked for Sadowsky. He had to move on to devote time to his own instruments, which I think is really great. He's a nice guy and makes some killer stuff.
  6. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    I love the look of some of the Valenti's I've seen except for the headstock, it puts me off.

  7. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Yep, I'd go with either a used US Lakland Glaub, one of the Fullerton-era Fender reissues, Lull or Valenti. All should be in the $1500-$2000 range.
  8. mrkode


    Dec 19, 2007
    That raises a question though.

    What would differentiate a 4500$ Sadowsky and a 2000$ Valenti if the build quality, components and sound are the same?

  9. Does Sadowsky count? :D :hyper:
  10. MODNY

    MODNY Guest

    Nov 9, 2004
    sadowsky, lull or warmoth. valenti is nice, he does awesome work but i can't stand that headstock. looks like an anteater
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    "I don't want to go the proper Fender route either as their build quality is poor and such is their sound."

    I would strongly disagree with the second half of this statement. I think Fender has pretty much "nailed" the P bass sound! That being said, I agree 100% with your decision to get something more boutique-y, and I will be following this thread. The high-end P's don't seem to get as much discussion as the high-end J's around here. Good luck!
  12. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
  13. Stambaugh? :D
  14. Stambaugh, or
  15. SC bassboy2

    SC bassboy2 Banned

    Mar 5, 2008
    Warmoth, Seymour Duncan pups.
  16. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    Thats a matter of opinion.

    I have a MIM Precision and after playing it, I dont want anything else. Not even an American one.
  17. Alowishus


    Feb 28, 2005
    tender is the night.
  18. justabass


    Nov 7, 2006
    Nashville TN/Old Hickory TN
    Endorsing-Trace Elliot,Peavey Basses,PedalTrain,Starkey inears
    Curtis Novak the pickup builder has been building a select few P basses and telecasters. I've never ever played a P bass that was as light with the tone he's getting. The latest one maybe weighs 6 pounds. I really think it may be lighter. I'll take some pics this weekend if I have time. I will be getting him to build me one soon. He's also using old school swamp ash, the real light ash that Fender used in the 50's and nitro finishes. You'll have to email him off his website for more info but his prices seem to stay around the $1000-$1200 mark.
  19. mrkode


    Dec 19, 2007
    It's a matter of opinion and experience. Of course, everything here is IMO IME.

    I owned an american deluxe jazz bass and it sounded hollow and thin. Then I bought a 85 MIJ jazz bass and it was much better. Still, not what can be heard from real good vintage ones.
  20. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Two things worth thinking about as regards Fender: One, the Fullerton-era reissues (1982-84 or so) I suggested are known for generally having very good build quality (my '83 '57 reissue is great). Two, you can always swap out the pickup if you want.

    Also, are you looking for a traditional, passive P bass or a P with a preamp and a somewhat more modern tone? You talked about the Sadowsky electronics being appealing.

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