Biggest or Scariest Sight Unseen Bass Purchase

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassandgolf, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Bassandgolf


    Jul 25, 2011
    This is a thread I wanted to start to share intense stories or examples of "sight unseen" bass purchase or more simply put, basses purchased without playing first.

    For example: I once purchased a MTD 535 brand new off the shelf without ever playing an MTD before....gotta say a very expensive gamble but after discussing with the retailer he said this is a common example of bass player risk taking. Made me want to put the thread out there and see if this is so...
  2. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man-

    A CCU I bought on ebay years ago that if you looked at it the wrong way it would fall apart.
  3. 1SHOT1HIT

    1SHOT1HIT Guest

    Feb 17, 2012
    Does it have to be a bad story?
    I mean I bought the Shell Pink Jazz off of one blurry text message picture.
    Completely taking a chance on it and then had to drive 3 hours to go pick it up that night.

    However it turned out great and I couldn't be happier.
  4. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I've bought 35 basses on-line, but never 'sight unseen'. Even the cheap ones had lots of pics, and the expensive ones I made sure I communicated well with the seller. Happy with every purchase.
  5. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I ordered this:


    Based only on this:
    6902731190_a90f06ca81_m.jpg :bag:

    Well, that's not really true. I had played Veillette basses before and did some research so I had a good idea of what Martin Keith was capable of doing.

    Easily, my smartest purchase ever.
  6. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    I ordered a Spector sight unseen. When it didn't show up, Stuart Spector called me to fix it.

    After that experience, I know I would order another Spector sight unseen (at least as long as the company is run by Stuart Spector)! Not so sure about any other manufacturer, though. Mostly if it is expensive enough that I might need my money back if it is crap, I get it in person.
  7. kb9wyz


    Sep 8, 2008
    When I ordered my SB4000, I was kind of terrified. I know Carvin had a good rep and that I could return it if I needed to, but months of waiting for a bass I didn't know that I would like was kind of painful.
  8. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Ordered my Spector Zebop sight unseen (and without having played a Spector before).
    I'll never regret it :)

    Despite that, I wouldn't recommend buying a bass without having seen it, and most importantly without having played it.
  9. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I bought my 5string fretless Brice from rondomusic bases solely on whats listed on their site.

    Its certainly my favorite bass.
  10. The first bass I bought was my LTD explorer. Im a huge Metallica fan and the thought of playing the same body James was too much. So I bought it off of Musicians Friend about three years ago, and Ive loved it ever since.

    I next plan on getting a Jaguar, and since there aren't many around here I may have to do this again! *crosses fingers*
  11. Sterrrling

    Sterrrling Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I once bought a 5 string Spector Performer (or whatever the low end model is called) off the bay back in 2009 and it was the most unbalanced neck heavy bass I ever owned. So, within weeks off owning it I flipped it put it toward a Fender Jazz Roadworn series...and I couldn't be happier!!
  12. Actually, I bought a Ric 4003 sight unseen about 4 years ago. I trusted the seller and wasn't disappointed.

    I try NOT to make that a habit, though.....:D
  13. 1SHOT1HIT

    1SHOT1HIT Guest

    Feb 17, 2012
    That heel angle is totally wrong based on the sketch on the brown paper.
    I think you should wash your hands of this blatant falsely advertised build. Send it to me and while it may not get your money refunded at least you'll know that it's being enjoyed. And hey that's what music is supposed to be about.
    There's absolutely no sense in you hanging onto it since I know that you could NEVER be comfortable knowing that you had been a victim of such tragic misrepresentation.
    Don't let yourself be scarred for life, send this to me immediately.
  14. KwinS


    Oct 30, 2006
    Dallas/Ft. Worth
    Without a doubt, mine has to be my Fender Steve Bailey 6 string unlined fretless. $2,500, give or take $100.

    The first one that arrived had massive neck problems, so it went back. The second (and current one), had a horrible hissing sound. Rather than send it back, I decided to get some custom Nordstrands. The tone improved tremendously, but there was tremendous extra humming that sometimes acted like a grounding problem, and at other times like it was something else, altogether. I decided to pull out the preamp, and make it a passive bass. Still extra noise. The final stroke was to put the Seymour Duncan SB Fretless Fundamentals 2 band in.

    All in all, the bass has ended up costing me over $3000, but it's ok to me. This is my #1 bass, and will be for a really, really long time...I have a lot of other nice basses to choose from, too.
    Having all the issues with the electronics actually benefitted my playing, because it kept me from playing it out before my intonation was spot on.
  15. 2002 - a 1989 re-finished fretless MIJ jazz...turned out it WASN'T actually fretless, but its a damn nice bass. Quite a thin sound, and all my bandmates prefer my others but its a 60's reissue so I guess thats to be expected really - I like the sound, but I've gotta do some serious EQing to get it anywhere near my others (it's JUST RIGHT for Hendrix or growly bridge-pickup stuff though!)

    I've got 8 basses altogether - but only 3 of them came from the shop or somewhere I could TRY them first...
  16. slaps76


    Jul 10, 2008
    Peabody, MA
    Bought my Corvette $$ used from GC online...called first, they completely lied about the physical condition - back is buckle rashed to hell...but it was a good price, and once I played it I couldn't send it back.
  17. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Palm Coast, FL
    I ordered a Ken Lawrence Brase 5 that was really different than the only other one I had seen/played. It was a pretty big chunk o' change - does that count?

    BTW- I could not be happier with the bass even with about 11 years of use.

    Dan K.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I bought a Carvin about 3-4 weeks ago that won't be here for another 5-7 weeks, don't know if I'll like it but I hope I do, heard great things about their basses.

    I also went nuts on build options, so it wasn't cheap. Plus I live in Canada so it will be expensive just to get this bass to my door. I can always ship it back if I don't like it so I am not that worried, but something tells me I pay return shipping.
  19. hrbassji

    hrbassji Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2012
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I bought an L1000 off eBay. The guy said the neck was bad but still playable, so I took that as meaning that I could fix it. I got it for half what they usually go for.

    When I got the bass, turned the truss rod a quarter turn, all problems went away. Love the thing now.
  20. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I bought a cheapie 6 string on eBay that only had a few grainy pictures but the seller had decent reviews and I wasn't expecting much for the price. They ended up sending me one that had the frets very poorly filed down (only partially in some spots) and didn't have stock to replace it when I asked for an exchange. I returned for a refund including shipping in both directions and bought a road case for my SVT. Much better investment.

    I also bought my grabber on eBay which arrived with some undisclosed issues that had to be repaired. In the end I don't regret that one as its a great bass now and upon closer inspection of the pictures the issues could be seen if you looked closely. Lesson learned - no more beating from my phone ;)