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Buying Upright Bass, San Francisco Bay Area

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Bassboy18, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Hey what's up guys--
    I study jazz seriously at Oberlin Conservatory and need to buy a bass to play on for gigs etc.
    I need to buy a bass, and fast. I want to buy something in the $5,000 range, give or take a few, and want to know where to go and what to buy. I do play classical but my main focus is jazz and I want a jazz setup and a good jazz bass. Any ideas of where to go? I will probably check out Shen Basses and also Alex Friedman in South San Francisco. Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    Bass Regards :)
    robinunit likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    You want the upright bass side of the board, this is bass guitars. :) Mods will move if you ask nice.
    Bassboy18 likes this.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Beat me to it. Head over to the dark (i.e. double bass) side and pose your question.
    Bassboy18 likes this.
  4. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    $5K jazz bass? If I were you, I'd start with email... Swan Guitars in SF, LA Bassworks in LA, Upton Bass in CT, Gage in NYC, Lemur in San Juan Capistrano, Stein on Vine in LA... $5K is a serious investment and worth a $1K in travel to assess the offerings. You COULD include Europe and China in your search if you're really looking for the best bass for the money.
  5. Swan’s site shows a few Romanian flatbacks and an Eastman 305 for roughly half your budget, a pretty old Czech and a Solano for a bit more. Start there.
    Bassboy18 likes this.
  6. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Steve (Swan)'s a great guy to deal with and probably has more instruments around than are on the site. Definitely worth a phone call and visit.
    Bassboy18 likes this.
  7. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    Steve Swan's shop is amazing. Go there for sure, there probably isn't a reason to go anywhere else.

    Acoustic Bass Shop in South San Francisco has a bunch of Christophers.
    Gael McKeon's String Bass Studio in Berkeley has a bunch of nice stuff.
    Bassboy18 likes this.
  8. robinunit


    Aug 9, 2010
    Hi, Are you studying with Peter Dominguez? Check out Cincinnati Bass Cellar if you can maybe see if Peter or other people in your bass studio would want to go with you to check out basses.
  9. Yes I am studying with him! Thank you for the suggestion!
  10. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    When I visited he had around forty (40!) upright basses available (including two original Hawkes basses that I still think about...). Probably a sure thing.
    Bassboy18 likes this.
  11. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    He also has some great French basses (at steal prices!)
    Bassboy18 likes this.
  12. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Steve Swan
    Great bass shop probably 50 bases all standing in a row.
    I have bought two bases from him. He’s great and offers lots of bass insights.
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Gael McKeon may have something for you.
  14. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Gael won't have the selection of Steve Swan but he is the Bay Area's premier bass luthier.

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