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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chaputa, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    I was strolling out to my local GC, and I saw a red bass with a funny headstock on the wall. Looked at the tag, and it said Bartolini custom bass. I'm like, batolini doesn't make basses, and upon looking at the headstock, I saw the Brubaker sig on there. (What idiots :) The only thing I'm not trhilled with was the gold hardware, but aside from that, it was sweet! Question is, what's the used market like on one of these? These guys were pulling the old, it has a case, but that's not included in the price...type deals...Seriall is 99043, which makes me believe that it may be a 99(since I've seen the smaller luthies use dates for the serials...), but is $1400 too much for something like this?

    Any thoughts?
  2. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Get ahold of Brad Johnson here at TB. He has one of these and has a good feel for what a good deal is.
  3. membranophone


    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    i think funkycarnivore has a brubaker or three..
  4. Bass Tranquil

    Bass Tranquil

    Nov 16, 2003
    I was thinking of buying one straight from him with some excess... college money... yeah.

    He does make some lower models that are around $2400 new, and his nicer models can go up to $8000 and beyond.

    Sure I'm not experienced with them but I'd buy it for ****s and giggles. They look nice, and from what I've heard they play like nothing better than the 8th circle of angels. *shrugs*

    If anything I'd send you the money to pick it up for me.
  5. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    Well..being GC, they have the 30-day money back deal, so I bought it. Its a NBS-1 5 string. Looking on their site, it must be a custom due to the electronics and the fact that its a 24 fret model. Their site says it retails for $4270. Now this has playing wear, but only on the neck. This confuses me greatly. The body is pristene. No nicks scratches, anything. Absolutely pristine. The back of the neck shows signs of wear, but nowhere else. The case looks practically brand new. And that's what REALLY gets me. They had it on display as a Bartolini. They brought out the case, and it had the Brubaker emblem on it (which is not the easiest thing to read, but there is NO mistaking it for Bartolini). They had it in the system as Bartolini(ITS ON THE RECIEPT!). I don't get it. The way I figure is it was either a spouse of the deceased, a spouse of the wish-they-were-deceased, or it was stolen. They wanted $1400 for it, which meant they gave the person, at most, $1k. And that person didn't tell them what it was... and the thing was well taken care of...

    I dunno...but I don't think this was a bad deal by any means... unless someone can show me better(since I still have 30 days to return it :)

    I'll post some pics tomorrow along w/ the receipt...too weird, but this thing sounds and plays like nothing I've ever played before...
  6. lowfreqguy


    Oct 18, 2000
    Baltimore, MD
    I think you did very well with your purchase. I also have a 99 NBS 5 string and think they're very nice basses. Mine was originally fretted, but Kevin Brubaker ground the frets down level with fingerboard for the previous owner. Brubakers have a huge variability in resale value due to scarcity, lack of high market visibility(except for TalkBassers) and other factors. I think yours is on the low end(good for you) with some used resales going as high as $2000. Good job. AC
  7. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Re-Bay it, if you don't like it... make some chee$e off of GC.
  8. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Sounds like a good deal.

    Pics are always nice.

  9. details on woods? is it ash body? because if it is and if those bartolinis are quad coils, you have yourself a monster!

    pics would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I took the teal K5B on a gig last night, Joe. Talk about silly:D

    $1400 is a good price on that bass. 1999 IIRC was the first year of the NBS models and right around the time Kevin B. really started to nail it as far as building IMO.

    I'm sure they thought it was a Bartolini bass because that's far easier to read on the pickups than "Brubaker" on the headstock. If it had the original case it says Brubaker on it so there's no reason it should be extra.
  11. Brad,

    Silly? yeah man.. tell me about it...
    that was the most mind boggling experience I've had ever since I got turned to Sadowsky's :eek:
  12. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    Here come the shots...

    As I said, the neck has wear...but it doesn't feel like any issues outside of looks. As far as woods go, I'm not sure what the back is(main body wood), but its very light. Obviously a quilt top with a quilt stripe in it. The Electronics are the quad coils, I believe. It has a three position coil tap switch. I've left a call with Brubaker to see if he has any other info on this one...we'll see what he has on it...

    ...but I can say, playability is second to none. The construction is very impressive. The headstock (which I couldn't get a clear picture) has a wedge of quilted maple start from between the neck and fretboard through the end of the headstock. Pretty impressive. I took it to a jam session with my MPG, which I absolutely love, and I hate saying it, but this blew it away tonally with a band. And I'm not saying turning up the mids to cut, but sound like crap, this thing sounded amazing and cut better than I could have imagined.

    ...I think its a keeper...even if its not worth a ton more, its a keeper. I'll see about scanning the reciept(it says Bartolini on it...I love it!)

    ...and GC does that with the case with every instrument, its always extra. I should have said no and walked away without it. The case is molded for this bass...so what would they do with it :)
  13. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    more pics...
  14. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    and more...
  15. Chaputa

    Chaputa Bass-Not just fo eatin anymore Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Between DC & Balimore
    ...and still more...
  16. boy.. boy.. Big congrats..

    It looks like ash to me, but pictures can be deceiving.

    It's a keeper alright!

    About the neck, contact Kevin Brubaker, and ask him about the satin black finish. I love the way it feels and people think its graphite :D
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I stopped by Atomic on Tuesday night on my way to the gig. Preach got his first chance to hear his bass (K5B Xtreme)through the AMP BH-420. Then he heard my Ash bass through that amp with the Nahas cabs at the gig. I'm pretty sure I've never had better live sound. And the guitarist has a killer Brubaker, deeeep dark brown stain with quilted Maple pickguard.

    Silly just about sums it up:D
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Congrats. This is actually what I expected to see;)

    On a trip through PA a few years ago I stopped at one of "Fred's" stores and came across a red Brubaker NBS bass. That bass got me hooked on Brubakers. I'd played a few older ones and they were nice but not my cup of tea. The 99 changed all that.

    I'm pretty sure it was selling for ~$2400 at the time. I went on the hunt for others and found my first one, a purplish blue to greenburst NBS-1 5 string.

    I think the body may be Catalpa, the same as my fretless Bru. Lightweight and very resonant though still tight.

    Nice score. Let me know if you get bored with it;)

    BTW I've yet to have a GC pull that case thing on me... and you're right, the TKL case is molded specifically for a Brubaker and has the Brubaker name on it. They didn't pay extra, why should you?
  19. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    looks like you found a sweet Brubaker. They really do feel awesome and sound incredible. I love my NBS 6, its truly one of a kind. Enjoy.

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