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best used DB under $1000????

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by BassGreaser, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm looking at buying a used DB for under $1000, whats the best sounding, playing, and built plywood DB for under $1000. I'll be playing rockabilly, and blue grass with it
  2. rtharris

    rtharris Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    Los Angeles
    When purchasing an upright (this goes for new uprights as well) a bassist must figure in the luthiers cost for setting the instrument up, in addition to the original purchase price. My costs for bridge, endpin replacement and whatever else my luthier does was approximatley $200.00, at which I considered it a bargain, because it was well done. Seriously, a good luthier will make any upright a lot more pleasureable to play.
    Secondly, you are going to end up with a laminated bass. I have both a laminate (Englehardt EM-1) and an 1800's carved top for orchestral. You said Bluegrass. I have used the Engelhardt for that purpose and it is kind of the standard for that field. They can be had on E-Bay for around $1000.00. They are durable and project like all get out. I recommend them for Bluegrass. If you can find a Kay that isn't beat to allgetout, all the better. But the Englehardt, is, I beleive, a better value for the money
  3. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    thanks for the info rtharris! I was looking at that bass....
  4. I'm an Englehardt man-ES9 Swingmaster. If you get one, plan on a professional set-up. I bought mine from Bob (All Hail) Gollihur last year. Bob is a good guy to deal with but it will need to be setup for the best sound. IMHO mine sounds as good or better than some 50 year old Kays I have played. Upton Bass has them from about the same price AND will set it up for an additional charge.

    In the set-up, mine required a fingerboard planing, new strings, nut work, and a new soundpost. I also had an adjustable bridge installed one it. All in all, I have a little over $2K in it. By all accounts the M-1 can sound as good--for $4-500 less. It lacks the ebony fingerboard, tailpiece, etc, and has that horrendous orange finish. Its resale value is also less than the the higher end models.

    For the money, I think the E'hardts are hard to beat.

  5. If he's going to be doing very much Rockabilly slapping on it, that ebony board on the ES-1/ES9 will be well worth the extra $$$ in durability.

    As to the finish, I heard recently that Engelhardt is on the verge of releasing a whole new line of finishes that are supposed to look a lot nicer. I don't know if that will involve raising the prices also...

    The only two EC-1 basses that I've played had the cheesiest finishes I've seen on instruments since Montgomery Wards quit carrying $15 Airline acoustic guitars...

    The EM-1's were better, and I've only seen a picture of an ES-1, which didn't look all THAT bad, nor did it do much for me, either, though.
  6. julioone

    julioone Guest

    Jun 20, 2001
    Suring, WI, USA
    There is what is described as a 1953 M-1B Kay on E-Bay right now. it has a buy it now price of $975.00. It is in San Juan Capistrano. I don't know where you are located, but if you could avoid shipping charges, I would arrange a meeting with the seller and snap it up if there are no major problems. At that price plus a pro set up, you would still have a nice bass for a resaonable price. Even if you couldn't afford a set up right now, it still appears to be a deal and you could get the set up later. Think of set up cost as being comparable to shipping charges if you can pick it up. I don't know how to add a link to E-Bay but the item number is #2511111232. The bass has been refinished to a dark color, but who cares if it is what you are looking for.
  7. The link is http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2511111232&category=16222

    Used basses typically don't need a set-up done on them, unless you just have grossly different requirements from the prior owner(s) who already had it set up, or there's some special situation, like someone's widow has had it stored up in the attic for the last 15 years, or something.

    This one seems to have had a set-up done on it sometime in the fairly recent past, and is already wearing Eurosonic strings, which are among those that are good for playing slap-bass, both Bluegrass & Rockabilly.

    It's had the neck broken at the heel, something that seems almost standard for old Kays & Engelhardts.

    I might add that I've already seen people on www.rockabillybass.com talking about this very bass.

    If BassGreaser wants it, "Right Now" would be a good time for him to either Buy It Now, or email the seller to see about driving to San Juan Capistrano, with $975 cash in his pocket to look it over.

    The seller can end the auction any time he wants to, so long as there are no bids on it.

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