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Cheap, quality plywood basses found in NYC....

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by HateyMcAmp, Jan 3, 2012.


  1. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp

    Apr 13, 2006
    Colorado
    I was in Ideal music here in NYC to by some rosin, so I figured I'd look in their bass room to see if anything had changed. In addition to the stuff they usually have in there, they had four plywood, ebony fingerboard Romanian basses with Helicore strings and basic setups for $750 bucks. I played two of them and they are certainly playable, although a better setup would probably help. I didn't love them compared to my well setup German ply, but they sounded a little unremarkable but useable. Arco is arco on a low-end student ply. If you need a bass that won't explode or hurt you for way under a grand, here you go.

    I got a bass there once, but I'm not affiliated otherwise.
     
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    "Cheap," "quality," and "plywood" all in one phrase! Hmm... :) Can you say more about the build quality? At $750, is the build really good enough to be fairly confident that they wont explode or implode? Your assessment of their sound and playability was that they were unremarkable. I'm trying to understand why you'd recommend them as a wise purchase. I do understand that your goal was to be helpful by letting folks know that they were there. I just wonder if it's a good idea to drop $750 on them plus the $$$ for a setup. Maybe it is. Can you offer any more detail? Thanks.
     
  3. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    If they are the kind of student Romanian basses that I used to deal with, they are very solidly built, if unremarkable in voice. Far better than a Cremona or a Palatino piece o' schtuff. It would be good to know the brand or distributor.
     
  4. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Already been covered here.

    Short story is Steve was liquidating basses that his dad bought for decades. It was a fire sale on roma, eberle, and wilfers.
     
  5. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp

    Apr 13, 2006
    Colorado
    Doc/Steve,

    These are the Roma plys that were being sold a couple years back on the BassesOnline.com website. Ideal music are the Yankels, who have been in NYC for a long time, imported tons of sturdy stuff from Europe, and are straight shooters. The owners son used to be on this site with the handle "greene".

    some threads of interest on these guys-

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f1/roma-basses-they-worth-money-248977/

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f1/took-ride-nyc-today-152824/

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f17/roma-ply-owners-string-survey-250766/

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f1/roma-double-bass-503680/

    As for the setups, they have a luither on site who does what he can with them and gives them a basic Orch. setup. A couple had a few slightly buzzy spots that I would think a better plaining job would help.

    And why would I recommend them if they were kinda generic sounding? Even $750 is a lot for some people and its better to get something you can get rolling on with real strings that you won't have to replace if money's really tight. In a few months, you can drop another 200 on the fingerboard work and getting bridge adjusters. This is what I did, and it was how I was able to afford lessons and get good setup work done right the first time. I mean, if you have lots of money, buy an Upton or NS and call it a day.
     
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Thanks. Hey, I do understand that there are many people who don't have the money for the classier stuff. In fact, it was just those folks about whom I was concerned. As you know, sometimes the cheapo stuff isn't a good deal at all. Thanks for providing the additional info. That's what I was after.

    For the record, I wasn't asking why you'd recommend them if they sounded unremarkable. I was asking about that coupled with their price and unknown quality which, you've now been kind enough to clarify.

    I am also aware of Ideal's history in NYC and in these threads. That history didn't tell me about the basses you were referencing. Now you did. By the way, not all was rosy with some of the basses they sold but I understand that they generally have a good rep. Based on the rest of the story, they do seem like a good way for a newbie to get into the DB.
     
  7. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp

    Apr 13, 2006
    Colorado
    Matt-

    When I got my bass there a couple of years back, they said they had been sold out of the Romas for years. When I went in today, they had 4 new old stock ones they had recently discovered in their warehouse.
     
  8. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp

    Apr 13, 2006
    Colorado
    What was wrong with some of the basses sold? Did they implode or anything like that? Mine had a junky endpin, which was a pretty easy fix.
     
  9. TheBasicBassist

    TheBasicBassist

    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    I'll have to check this out, thanks for the tip, sir. I could certainly use a student-level DB.
     
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    PM sent.
     
  11. TheBasicBassist

    TheBasicBassist

    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    I just wanted to pop back in and say thank you so much for this post. A went with a friend, a student of John Patitucci's, to take a look at a few of these instruments and we picked one out (the one with the gold tuners) that really spoke to the both of us. This is my first venture into DB land, after **trying** to play a friends for the past few months, and playing electric professional for a time. I'm really looking forward to this. Thanks, again! I'll definitely be getting a teacher in the close future, as well, so don't worry about that guys!
     

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