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Cheap German No-Name DB

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by stealerwallic, Sep 8, 2005.


  1. stealerwallic

    stealerwallic

    Jun 24, 2005
    I might have a chance to buy a no name German bass for REALLY cheap today. Are any of the eBay $500-800 double-bass-shaped objects German made? If so, that might be what this is and I'll skip it. My other question is, how can I tell right off the bat whether this is a cheap-o laminate or something worth taking a chance on (aside from playing it, because even though I'm a beginner I have played some cheap, crappy basses and I could tell once I put my hands on it)? But if this one plays well, what are the other telltale signs of a quality, or conversly cheap-o, double bass? What should I be looking for?

    Thanks!
     
  2. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Most of the eBay basses that are sold by dealers are cheap Chinese basses. Typically any basses sold on eBay that are any good are being sold by private owners. Of course there are always exceptions.

    I'm not an expert, but I believe there are a few commonsense things to look for:

    1) If the string action is high, there could either be neck or fingerboard ( warped finger board, neck attachment starting to give, etc.) issues or possibly structural issues of the body top sagging.

    2) Also, if you hear rattles when you play the instrument, there could be body (loose bass bar, soundpost, cracks, loose endpin, etc) issues also.

    I'd say if the action is good, no rattles, and the bass has a sound you like at less than $900 - $1000 you should be ok.

    Good Luck!!
     
  3. stealerwallic

    stealerwallic

    Jun 24, 2005
    You know what - it's even less than $900 (quite a bit less, in fact). So if it plays well at all I think I'll go for it.

    Thanks!
     
  4. stealerwallic

    stealerwallic

    Jun 24, 2005
    Update: It's got some sagging of the soundboard and there is a custom made bridge in place to compensate for the sag and keep all the strings at the same height. And I guess the back is carved and the top is laminate. But still - can I go wrong for ~$600?
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    You can spend $6,000.oo on repairs an some Basses and $600. on others. Have a Qualified Repairman check out the Bass b4 you buy it that has NO relation to the seller. A Bass with a damaged top is trouble unless repaired. Being a DB newbie, you need an experienced Bass person to look at it for you or the $600. you spend may be a mistake.
     
  6. I've never heard of a carved back and a laminated top. I think you might have it backwards...a carved top and a laminated back.?
     
  7. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I agree with Ken.

    You may be better off spending a little more on an instrument that is right instead of $600 on an instrument that may have problems down the road.
     
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    If the Top is sunken or caved in, it won't even make it TO the 'road'. Learning on a broken or even poorly adjusted Bass is like trying to learn to Drive with 2 flat tires, A dirty windshield, no turn signals and no power steering. Oh, and no AC in the Summer or winter....

    In that case, just get a Horse. Believe me, with a bad Bass you will work harder than the Horse will!! :help:
     
  9. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I was looking at ebay today and someone was selling what I believe they referred to as a "German designed" bass. It was clearly a Chinese built instrument with viol corners, so therefore of German design? I suppose verbage like that could lead the uninitiated into thinking that meant that it is of German origin.
     
  10. stealerwallic

    stealerwallic

    Jun 24, 2005
    Thanks for your advice, everyone. It was a no-brainer when I saw it; it was a baby I think and played like crud. I know they're far from the top of the line but I think I've been spoiled by my 7/8 Christopher. It's so big and solid and feels so well-built (though I'm far from an expert).

    Anyhow, thanks again for all the advice.