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Buying a DB in Montreal or in Canada??

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by low-down&dirty, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. low-down&dirty


    Feb 19, 2010
    Hi to all,

    I'm taking the plunge into learning the DB. I have a teacher in mind that hopefully will be able to help me with some of these questions but I find it is always good to get a few opinions.

    Where do Canadians get their DB's from? Any good Canadian stores? Good shops in Montreal...I imagine so as MTL is a big bass town.

    Also does anyone have experience shopping across the border or ordering? I'm wondering about bringing a bass back by car?

    Also I prefer buying used...is shipping a DB a bad idea?

    Any info is greatly appreciated.
  2. Your profile is empty, where are you located in Canada?
    In Montreal, Jules St-Michel is probably a good place to find used instruments.
  3. bassbuddie


    Jan 8, 2003
    Steve'S music has some King's doublebass, Jules St-Michel has a lot but I would look at Toronto before if I were you. Call Gilles Blouin at Violon etc, sometimes he has bass to sell, I trust him more than others... maybe you should bring him the bass you want to buy before.
  4. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    I live in Canada. My first DB was ordered from Upton in the fall of '06. There was no problem importing the bass. It was packed in a secure crate for shipping.

    I imported a second bass (for a spare) more recently, and know 2 other people who ordered basses online. Without problems.
  5. Violin Etc on St Urbain street just south of Sherbrooke should have a few double basses. Just a block away is Jules St. Michel, they have quite a few double basses downstairs and upstairs.

    Some basses come up for sale in Montreal's craigslist as well as kijiji. There's some there now...

    Try putting up ads in the 4 Universities, as someone may be selling.

    If you want to check out something in Ottawa you can go here..

    Do you have a price point in mind?
  6. pat1151


    Jun 22, 2004
    Montreal, Quebec
    I am selling a bass in Montreal, please PM me if interested!
  7. low-down&dirty


    Feb 19, 2010
    Thanks for getting back to me.

    I'm not sure about a price point....I get the feeling I can find something decent under 3,000$ especially if I buy used. I'd like to get a bass that will be good enough that I will want to eventually play it around town....but that is also sturdy & won't require too much maintenance. I would go over my budget to get a quality bass that has exceptional value.
  8. bassbuddie


    Jan 8, 2003
    If I were you, I would go to Toronto, Boston or even New York is not so far away. Try a bunch. Je parles par expérience, 3000-4000$ c'est quand même une bonne somme, tu ne regretterais surement pas d'essayer les basse chez Upton Bass, ils ont maintenant un magasin à Boston. I do not think that you will find a bass of the same quality as Upton bass or Shen in Montreal. Jules St-Michel offers Strunal Hybrid at the price you can afford, they are OK, but they are 7/8 and has a Eb neck. If your are tempted by Strunal, bring it to Gilles Blouin for evaluation before buying it ,he is on the corner of st-urbain very near Jules St-Michel. If they they do no want you to bring it...

    If you want to talk about it, PM me, we can speak on the phone.

  9. low-down&dirty


    Feb 19, 2010
    Thanks again....good excuse for a trip to the states....I'm worried about crossing the border with big bass in my back seat!
  10. bassbuddie


    Jan 8, 2003
    Call Upton Bass, i am sure that there used to the Custum procedure.
  11. Nagrom


    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    When you cross the border with your bass, you have to declare it and clear it through customs. There won't be any customs or duty, but you will have to pay GST/PST on the spot. You will need an invoice with a clear description of the item, and the country of origin must be on the invoice. Other than that, pretty much a piece of cake.
  12. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I bought one the Chinese basses that Mario Lamarre sells, and it's an awesome instrument for the price. They're fully carved, and $6000 IIRC.
  13. I would suggest checking out all the Montreal basses first, one by one, before traveling to the next city. Check local, before checking out distance buys. Then, if you still want to look around, check out Ottawa and then Toronto. Then if you still want to search, go to the USA. Border issues can be a hassle, and you'll lose about 1% -2% via commission on any currency exchange you'll need to make to buy USD. The actual rate is quite good now compared to 1 year ago. Make friends and try out people's basses that are not for sale. It will all help inform you on your tastes.

    There's a Shen listed on Toronto's craigslist. Good be a good deal.

    You'll save a lot of money buying a recently made bass that's been "previously enjoyed" (discount price), than buying a brand new one from a store. (retail price + taxes)
  14. bassbuddie


    Jan 8, 2003
    I heard about Mario Lamarres Chinese Basses, you should call him, he his the best in town and you can trust him.
  15. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    If you contact the bassists in the MSO or the Metropolitan orchestra, they should be able to give you some leads on private sales basses.
  16. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    I would certainly try and call the music staff at schools to get you pointed in the right direction, either the universities (as was suggested before), or good high shools also (Joseph Francois Perrault). Good luck.
  17. bassmanrob_ott


    Mar 23, 2010
    I bought a Thompson Plywood bass from String Emporium in Arizona. Steve Koscica was great to deal with. What does that have to do with Montreal? Well, I live in Ottawa and Steve shipped the bass to PET airport for me to pick up.

    The bass is great and within your budget, even with shipping and other costs. It was really well packed and arrived in perfect condition.
  18. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    This is what I'd do. I've heard very positive things about his instruments. He orders them from a luthier in China (who makes them himself), and when they arrive at his shop, he does the set up himself. If you know who Mario is, you'd know that he does a good job.
  19. I am also in Canada and also bought my first double bass from Upton two years ago. It was super easy and they pack their instruments very carefully. They also sell used instruments, so if that's the market you're into there's no worry about having it shipped safely.

    Check out the link in my sig for more Upton info...

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