chinese basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by alstar, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. alstar


    Feb 10, 2002
    are they good, bad? how much do they generally run for? i recently traded my 1/2 size (not sure of the maker, but i paid around $1200) and an old run down flat back for a 3/4 chinese base with good strings. the bass sounds good, im just wondering if i got ripped off.
  2. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    There are good basses, bad basses, and everything in between. This applies to the Chinese production. The only thing you can tell about it is that labor is cheaper, literaly and, often, figuratively. They don't have a tradition of European lutherie, but they can learn, like everybody else.

    If your new bass sounds good then you should be happy. Or maybe you should learn what good sound is, so you won't get ripped off.
  3. Some Chinese basses are German engineered. :D

    Today CAD machines do all the work.
    Put a tree in one side and out the other side comes a precision made bass. The amazing thing is that they really do have a clean fit and finish and can be set up quite well. The quality of the woods & hardware are the main issues.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Oh yes!, I see around here a lot of German Musima brand student basses. The recent Musima production is of better quality (due to Chinese competition?), but most Musimas are crappy. So, again, it's not enough to say that a thing is German, Chinese, or made in the USA, to judge its quality.
  5. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    I just purchased a Christopher bass (model 401)that is most exelent, all solid carved and sound is great. I think it might be the best bass that I have ever played. I have seen some bass' made in China that were poor but then you can find good and bad from any where. I think if you buy a Christopher in the model 400 and above you are gettng real good value for you money.

    You only got ripped off if you don't like your new bass. How it plays and how it sounds is what counts. Who cares where it came from if it sounds good.

  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Shen and HIMA are two other Chinese brands that compare favorably with double basses at or above their price ($2000-4000).
  7. FengZhou


    Feb 24, 2002
    China PR
    I come from Shanghai,China. I know something about the Chinese basses. There are several cities in China that make basses and export them. I bought a bass from Suzhou, a city near Shanghai. There are 3 bass manufacturer. one is under my teacher's guide. He is a member of ISB. My first 1/2 bass is 3500RMB, equal to $420. I think it is the most cheaper bass in the world. It sounded well at first. But it becomes worse and worse by time. Most Chinese basses are made in good wood because China has to disforest to develop the economy. Maybe the forest will be empty after 10 years. And there is no cheap Chinese basses any more. However, Chinese basses only adapt to exercise.
  8. I'm the bassist in the QE2 Orchestra. We will be in Shanghai on March 17th, 2008. I want to pick up a double bass while there. Anyone know of any reputable dealers that I can visit or an email of someone there where I can browse a decent selection? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  9. can you help me find a bass dealer in shanghai?
  10. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I'd go to this page and send Mike Carr an email. He's been in China for quite some time and I bet he would know where to send you.
  11. The more reputable Chinese basses like Christopher and Shen are great values for the money, but note that they need to get a good setup. I bought my Christopher Hybrid with a full setup from David Gage and it sounds great and plays fairly easily.
  12. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I've bought two different basses from Shen, a Willow 3/4 and an SB -150 Hybrid and was very happy with the quality and sound of both. Sam Shen has a shop in Shanghai, on Jenling Road, it's an area that has about three solid blocks of music stores. Most of the cabbies know where it is, it's not far from the Westin Hotel, next to the Bund Center. The basses are playable right from the shop with their basic set-up but if you want a lower string height for jazz you might concider having your luthier work the fingerboard and lower the nut and bridge a bit. My basses played and sounded a great deal better after getting this work done back in the States, but I used them both with satifactory results for several months as they came from Sam's shop while I was living in the area.
  13. mattfong


    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    My Eastman was made in China, and it's a fantastic bass.
  14. There are good basses and bad basses made in every part of the world. Don't pay any attention to where an instrument is from, unles you're buying it as an investment; just find the best sounding and playing one you can that fits your budget.
  15. smbear


    Jul 10, 2007
    San Mateo, CA
    Of the 4 uprights I have owned, 3 have been manufactured in China. 1 was terrible, 1 was good and 1 -- my main bass -- is fantastic (it's a Christopher). You just have to play them and let your fingers and your ears be your guide. If you're not sure, you can get a luthier or a teacher to help.
  16. A local store sells a Fernando 4/4 China made. It sells really cheap, around $300++ converted from local currency. It has yet to be setup, so that will definitely incur additional costs. I'm wondering if there is actually a Fernando line of double basses. Plus, how much setup will incur, since the bridge is not yet in place, etc.

    I'm considering it as an entry level bass, I'm about to get double bass lessons.

    Edit: I double checked this afternoon and it was a Fernando bass. I don't see any sticker or anything to go with the brand. I'm guessing the GC just labeled it as such so it can add to the price.
  17. charlespf


    Oct 21, 2007
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My bass is Chinese (fully carved)-- my luthier imported it and finished it, and did the hardware stuff. Anyway, I love it, big, dark, rich sound (and I play on Corellis). I went to NYC when I was bass shopping, and I felt both my bass, and a Shen Willow I played at Gage's shop played, and sounded as good, or better, than all of the other basses in the price range I was shopping (5-10k). Like what's been said, there's good and bad everywhere, but both of the Chinese basses I've had experience with could match or top European instruments that cost lots more.
  18. So.... what seemed to go unread in the OP is that bass has already been bought. He's not asking which one to buy, but is the one he bought a crapper?

    Can't answer that question for you except to say that if yours is one of the brands mentioned in a positive light, your chances are good. If it's a Palatino or a Cremona or one of the other ones with German or Italian copycat names, your chances are not as good. But you can get lucky with a bad name, and you can get unlucky with a good name.... ultimately only you (or a qualified luthier or teacher or fellow player) can decide by looking at, hearing and playing your bass in particular.
  19. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    It will be interesting to see what happens with Chinese basses - on both ends of the spectrum - if the dollar continues to drop agains the yuan - 7% last year and probably at least that much this year. Does a fifteen or 20% increase in a cheap chinese bass (i.e. $5-600) make it less "desirable/affordable" (sorry, can't think of a better word at the moment); what does the same do to $5-10K basses vis-a-vis European/US or used basses?

    As of yet it seems that Chinese makers are absorbing the exchange rate costs, but for how long? The spike in euro-priced bows and basses has got to spread eventually (I would think) to Asian imports as the standard of living rises there.

    Who would have thought of the DB as a model for economic case studies! :)