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Buying bass in Europe

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Danko, Jan 10, 2006.


  1. Hello all,

    For those of you who don't want to read the emntire (longish) post: I'm in market for a bass that will sound decent and won't fall apart. 3/4, and I'll use it mostly for pizz. Don't care if it's all laminated or solid. I play mostly swing, jazz and country tunes. Willing to travel to eastern or western Europe to get one. I live in Zagreb, Croatia.

    I currently have an old, beat-up bass. It must be over 40 years old, made somewhere in Europe. It's a hybrid and the neck is pretty flimsy, broken, fixed and cut obviously few times. Endpin is not straight. Bridge is a very low one. Action is too high. Most luthiers over here advised me to not invest in that bass any more, and get a better one. I too agree since I already invested more than third of it's value in attempts to lover the action by adding wood to the neck, changing the neck angle, new bridge, better fingerboard etc. Plus, every time I take it out on a gig I fear it could fall apart any second.

    So, right now I'm in a market for new bass that will have a bridge of decent size and nice low action, and that will be solid in construction without neck twisting on me. I'm willing to pay around 1000-1500 USD for a new bass, but what should I look for? Called a Strunal dealer for Croatia today and they said they could get me the cheapest Strunal laminated bass for around 1400$ new. Should I take that offer, or look elsewhere?

    A bass I'm looking for doesn't have to be a new one. Mine is appraised around 600$.

    I've heard I could get a really good cheap bass in Czech republic or Bulgaria, but I don't know exactly where to look.

    Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!!

    Danko
     
  2. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I'm suprised to hear that the cheapest Strunal bass is $1400 with you being so close to where they are made.

    Here in the states you can get a Strunal 50/1 for under $1000.

    I would keep checking this site, you may be able to get something decent and have it shipped over for less.
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    If you ship from the US to Europe, you would have to factor in V.A.T. (17.5% in Britain - higher in some European countries) and customs duty as well as shipping - adding on about a third again.
     
  4. I know all that. It's about 32% in Croatia. That's why I can't afford a bass that's originally worth more than 1200$. My total budget is around 1600$.

    Okie, about the Strunal. Which model do you guys think would be ok for me? Other companies/luthiers?

    Danko
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    If you bought a bass within Europe, then VAT is already covered - you could have a look at the thread :

    "Inexpensive Basses in the UK"

    Which has a long discussion of the options in Britain - I settled on a Stentor and they have got good notices from all who have tried them...

    I don't know whether they ship to Croatia though...:meh:
     
  6. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    asia/australia
    My music institute just bought a 4/4 Strunal with solid top at equivalent to US$ 700 only, big sound , though
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Things are generally more expensive in Europe though - due to currency differences etc.

    My cousin who lives in Australia, visted us recently in the UK and found that just about everything was at least twice the price she would pay in Australia!!!
     

  8. UK is totally different story than the rest of Europe. My ex. and my son live there, so I know. I like to say they are not EU at all since they are so different.

    I also checked the discussion about basses available in the UK which is not helping for all the mentioned reasons.

    Danko
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - that may be true in some respects - but it is not true in the sense which is important here!

    So Britain is part of the European Union and VAT is covered.

    So when I bought strings from Austria and a tuner from Germany etc. - I paid nothing except the price in Euros given on the websites concerned - nothing was added on!

    However - everything I have bought from the US has had customs charges added...:meh:

    I am a European and proud of it - no matter what anybody else says!! :p
     
  10. Where is your music institute?

    I guess if I can get their hybrid for 700$ in Czech republic, then it may be worth going there to pick it up myself. Let's see:

    Bass: 700$
    Hotel 1 night: 100$
    Gasoline and roads: 200$
    Customs: 10%=70$
    VAT: 22%=160$

    Hmmm I'd be saving 100-200$. Maybe. :)

    Danko
     
  11. Lol! That's nice. Croatia is not EU still. So, all this doesn't apply to my situation.

    :) Glad you enjoy it.

    Danko
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Eh - this is getting very confusing - so J.S. Bazuki say location : Asia/Australia - where does Czech Republic come from? :confused:
     
  13. LOL! Exactly.

    That bass should be worth 300$ then in Czech Republic if it's 700$ shipped to Australia.

    Now, that all is good to know BECAUSE now I have reason enough to contact Strunal directly in Czech republic and inquire about prices if I were going to pick the bass up myself. :)

    Thanks guys.

    Danko
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Aaahh - I can see they have a factory in the Czech Republic - but looking at their website it only lists violins - no basses!!

    I must say I'm intrigued, as I scoured European (including British) bass dealers and websites and I never saw one Strunal Double Bass for sale in Europe - although there seem to be loads of them in America and they come up quite frequently on US websites....

    I wonder if the basses are actually made in China, but they are trading on the heritage of Czech manufacture....or if the DBs made in the Czech Republic, are ony for export? :meh:
     
  15. Oh, wait, I thought you were referring to this thread:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=220841

    I went to search for "Inexpensive Basses in the UK", but weren't able to find post with that name.

    Could you please post a link to that thread you meand?

    Thanks!

    Danko
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    PS - looking at the Strunal Czech website ;

    www.strunal.com/

    They list a dealer in Croatia :

    ETIDA D.O,O.
    EXPORT - IMPORT DVORNICICEVA 1
    41000
    ZAGREB
    CROATIA
    T: 00385-16520718
    F: 00385-16550381
    Email: etida@zg.tel.hr


    So - forget your hotel bills etc......;)
     
  17. All their staff has Czech names. So I guess there is Strunal in Czech republic afterall. Since they have dealers all over the world, I guess they have one in the Czech republic too.

    http://www.strunal.cz/new/index.php?cat=contacts

    After I call them, I'll let you know if I sniff a fraud. :)

    Danko
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I just bumped it to the top!!
     
  19. Yep, and they are the ones who gave me the price quote for a cheap plywood bass. Around 1400$ they said. I need to special order, no trial.

    If that bass is much cheaper in the factory store, I'd be better off going there and trying the bass. Worse case scenario would be my wife and me spending a pleasant weekend in Prague, no bass bought. :)

    Danko
     

  20. Cool thanks!!

    Danko