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Best place in UK to buy basses and accessories?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by PanteraFan, Apr 10, 2001.

  1. I'm from the UK, and I'm pissed at the lack of good basses available to me. The most extravagant thing I've ever seen was a Warwick, notheing else. No Spectors, Zons, Musicman, nothing. Only cheap basses(SDGR, Squier) and very high priced basses(mainly MIA Fenders). I was thinking whether anyone from the UK had any good music shops that are close to me(Manchester). The best selection I have seen so far is Curly's Music in Liverpool when I went on a trip there, but unfortunately I didn't have chance to play any basses :(
  2. ashers27


    Aug 24, 2000
    have you tried academy of sound on oxford road, or sound control near the g-mex(i think).
  3. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Bass Centre in Manchester is good. Lots of stuff on show including a £2,000 Takamine ABG, electric upright, MusicMan 5 string (fretless) various Warwicks. The guy I met there was very pleasant and sorted out the fret buzz on my warwick in a couple of mins (for Free !)

    Couple of Ashdown Amps, Trace Elliots etc - its down by the Granada TV tour. Check out http://www.basscentre.com/ for how to get there.

    I wanted to try out a Musicman five fretted but I was only in the UK for a couple of days - he said he'd get one on approval to me where I was staying in Wales the next day..

    One of my mates reckons Overwater (http://www.overwater.co.uk/) is worth a visit in person - he's getting his next amp from there - they're up in Carlisle.
  4. I tried the academy of sound, but I wasn't impressed with the ratio of basses to guitars. Considering they had over 500 guitars and under 50 basses, I don't like the shop as a whole. I'm looking for a shop that sells fairly exotic makes, like Spector or G&L. Bass Centre sounds good, and can you give me the exact address of Sound Control Ashers?
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well if you want "high-end" basses, you really have to come to London. The Bass Centre in Wapping always has a very large selection of the sort of stuff you see advertised in Bass Player and other magazines. Their website doesn't give a good idea as their stock turns over so rapidly - but I have seen and tried Ken Smith, Fodera, US Spectors, Tobias, Wal, Zon, Tune, Status, Alembic, Lakland, Sadowsky, Vigier, Dingwall, G&L and many other types of bass.

    The Gallery in Camden is smaller, but always has a great slection of "high-end" only basses - each one is a work of art! You can also try the shops in Denmark Street - 2 or 3 have bass-specific departments and there are a few "vintage" shops. These places do occasionally have some good basses.
  6. London is a definite no-no Bruce. Considering that I have to allocate 12hrs travelling time (6hrs on train each way), there would be no way for me to arrange a day trip, especially since there are at least 5 shops you mentioned that I have to find. I'm only 16, and I doubt my parents will fund me for an overnight stay in the capital just so I can browse a few stores. I would look at places like Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle though, so and good stores in those areas? What's the Bass Centre in Birmingham like?
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well it's not 6 hours each way on the train - I have been to Manchester on business and it's just under 3 hours from London - 2 hrs 50mins is typical. I have got there and back including a 2 hour meeting within a day.

    Looking at the RailTrack internet timetable - the 07.30 from Manchester Picadilly is a fast train and arrives in London at 10.05. You could then definitely get to the Bass Centre by about 11.00 - spend 3 hours trying basses and get to the West End by 15.00 or 16.00 - look around (be a tourist) or try some more bass shops. Euston is a short tube ride from there and you could get a train at about 18.00 to get back to Manchester by 9.00 pm in the evening - I'm sure most parents wouldn't object to this!

    I suppose the question is how much you want to do it - if you aren't likely to be able to afford to buy one of these basses - which is how it sounds from what you say, then I suppose it's not worth it. If you are looking at paying about £2,000 for a bass, as I do, then trips on the train or long car journeys are worth the effort to ensure that you get the best bass for the money .
  8. Well, when it takes 1 1/2 hrs to get to Liverpool, and 5 hrs to get to Bournemouth, I'll stick with my estimate. Additionally, day return tickets are like £25+, and <b>I just want to browse</b>.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, Bournemouth is quite a bit further away from Machester than London is and as I say I have actually travelled on the trains between Manchester and London and it is typically 2h 20 min to 2h 50m try :


    A decent set of bass strings will cost you £25+ inthe UK, so it's all a question of priorities...
  10. I don't buy Ernie Ball strings. I buy Rotosound Nickels for £11.99 in Liverpool.

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