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buying an upright

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by funkzone, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. funkzone


    Aug 10, 2001
    Wilmington, NC
    I have wanted to buy an upright for the past 4 or 5 years & have never been able to afford one. There is a guy in town selling one for $500 that I am thinking about buying. It sounds decent, the only thing I worry about is it falling apart. I know it was made in China. It has already been repaired once because the neck popped off. The repairman put a screw through the neck to reattach it to the body. This makes me think that it's not worth buying, but is there a chance that it could be a blessing because that means it would not be as likely to pop off in the future?? How often do uprights break apart at the seams?? Should I be weary of this, as well?? If anyone has any answers for me, I'd appreciate it.

  2. Buying a bass with bolts through the neck (Frankenbass??) sounds like buying a car with sawdust in the gearbox. It might run smooth for a few miles but hard times are a'comin. Save the money and put it toward something better. There are numerous threads in the newbie section that discuss different and relatively affordable brands.
  3. funkzone


    Aug 10, 2001
    Wilmington, NC
    yeah, the guy who is selling it bought it off ebay, he said that he had two other ones before it that had the necks broken off before he got them.... ebay just seems to sketchy for me, although there was one on there from Louisville, KY that had an ebony neck & came with a year warranty.... is ebony much better as far as durability (it seems like it would be).... how honorable can ebay companies be about holding to their warranties, anybody know??
  4. funkzone


    Aug 10, 2001
    Wilmington, NC
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    That's what we call a "BSO" (Bass Shaped Object) around these parts. Don't buy it. If you look in the "Newbie Links" thread at the top of this forum, you'll find several discussions about why these particular BSO's are to be avoided. One of my students had one, and it was the worst bass I've ever played, bar none. Can you get more specific info on the seller? I don't know of anybody around here that sells them.
  6. funkzone;

    I played one of those in Portland OR a few weeks ago while looking for an upright to buy. It had a splice in the heel of the neck put there during the building of the instrument. It had been set up buy a luthier and had new strings, fretboard work, and bridge work to make it playable. It was ok. But the long term stability of it is in question. I think the general opinion around here is pretty accurate, that they are not very sturdy or well built.

    Buy the way, I contacted every music store the Saga Musical Instrument Company (the importer) gave me between Seattle and Portland as distributors and found 1 guy in Portland that actually had one.

    I searched the internet for sale adds and finally found one for sale in San Francisco that worked out. I bought a basically unused 6 year old Engelhardt EM1 for $600 including a heavy duty TKL case, pickup and preamp.

    I bought new strings and had a pro setup done. For less than a grand I have a very nice bass.

    Look around, good deals on a bass are still out there. Otherwise visit Bob Gollihur's site and buy a new one from him. Then take it to a local upright bass luthier and get it set up and you should be happy. Have some patience, ask everyone about used basses, one will turn up.


  7. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN

    Good advice. Funkzone, fill out your profile or at least your location, and someone on this board might be able to direct you to a nearby luthier.

    At the risk of being redundant, redundant and repeating the same thing over and over again,....WHY WOULD ANYBODY BUY A BASS OVER THE INTERNET (AKA E-BAY)? I know, somebody is going to relate how they got the greatest deal ever and yada yada yada. Your chances are infinitesimally slim. Let me be even more clear, IT IS JUST PLAIN STUPID. Especially when you have the services of (ALL HAIL) Bob Gollihur, or better yet someone on this board can direct you to a credible place to buy a bass.

    (Deep breath) There, I am better now!
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I feel exactly the same Tim and it is inexplicable to me - but I think eBay has pushed up the expectation of getting a "a great deal", while at the same time pushing up the overall prices!! :rolleyes:

    So, junk basses that would have sat in pawn shops or junk shops with people who didn't know their value, now appear on eBay and get bidded up way beyond what you would have paid a few years ago!!
  9. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Thanks for the clarification Jason. Just so you know, my wife made me drink decaf this morning.

    There, I feel better too.