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Buying a bass with crappy setup

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by eh_train, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. eh_train

    eh_train Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    Hi all

    This is my first post to Talkbass, so go easy on me... My question is about how to decide whether to buy an old bass that isn't set-up properly. The bass I'm considering seems to be a nice carved French bass. It's a great looking instrument, with nicely flamed wood, which - probably - will be a nice change from the (very plain) bass I currently own. HERE'S THE PROBLEM: With the way it's set up now, it doesn't sound too impressive. It's not too loud, and has a kind of weak tone (not deep??) From playing it, I know that the E string buzzes, so it probably needs to have the fingerboard dressed or the nut adjusted. New strings and a new bridge might help as well. The owner isn't a player, so has no helpful advice re. what strings are on it, etc... Any advice?? What would Mingus do??

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    Paul O'Connell
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    See if you can get the thing to a luthier. How much is the seller asking? If it's really, really cheap and you don't see any huge problems (bad cracks, etc), grab it and run. Otherwise, take the first sentence and go. A luthier can tell you what the deal is.
  3. Ditto Ray...

    Please fill out your Profile. That info helps us help you. You say Canada, but where? Near a city or town that may have a luthier or are you stuck on your own?
    If the latter is true, read the Newbie Links under Basses to try to get a general idea about the good and bad things to look for while shopping for a bass. If you're depending on us to provide some of the info,get a picture of the bass to us. A price, etc....and you don't wanna know what Mingus would do!
    By the way, welcome to the world of the DB!
  4. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Greetings and welcome to posting on TB/DB. Here on the dark side, we don't bite (except when we do).

    Per usual, Brother Parker has hit the nail on the head. All I can add is this: Buying a used bass is very much like buying a used car (and usually in the same price-range, too). Any reasonable seller will allow you to spin the vehicle, or the instrument, past your mechanic. They may not budge on the price afterward, but at least you know what you're getting.

    Good luck, and c'mon back.

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