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DB insights

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by hanksmuse, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. hanksmuse


    Jan 9, 2013
    New to this forum and would appreciate some purchase insights.

    I am looking for a DB to purchase. Will be purchasing online with a budget of $2300 maximum (including shipping). Generally not interested in a used instrument at this point. I understand that for what I can afford, I will be getting a relatively entry level instrument. So far I have identified three instruments of interest:
    - an Engelhardt ES1 @ $1700);

    - an Engelhardt ES9, a blonde version of the ES1, @ $2000 (if anyone knows of any sound differences between the two Engelhardts, that would be interesting;

    - a Shen SB150 @ 2250.

    For me a $550 difference between the ES1 and the SB159 is significant. Is there enough of a quality/tone edge to merit the cost difference?

    Thanks for your advice
  2. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Firstly let me address your issue of wanting a new bass. New basses often benefit from being played in and most likely will have been set up professionally. They also might have some better quality strings as new basses are often strung with the cheapest strings. All this amounts to you getting a lot more for your money. We bassist WANT an old bass. Furthermore you shouldn't be thinking of having a bass shipped to you before you try the bass. Where are you located?
  3. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    I'm guessing that's what you meant ...
  4. jmacdbass

    jmacdbass jmacdbass.com, openmusiccollective.org Supporting Member

    If you are ever going to use a bow go with the shen
  5. Good points above.

    With regard to your question, the two Engelhardts should sound pretty much the same. The carved top on the Shen is a big step up over the plywood Engel top. The construction details are also better and more traditional on the Shen.

    What kind of music do you plan to play?
  6. I agree with jmacdbass here. If you are going to bow i'd go with the 150 (in fact that is exactly what I'm doing and my Shen 150 will be in and ready soon. Oh god the waiting!).

    I think what you'll find here in recommendations is the following:

    Try many basses if you can. This may not be possible due to your region.

    If possible, listen to someone play the bass that you want to buy.

    For Rockibily, Psychobily and thumping type play go with an all-ply. For Orchestral type play (bowing and the like) go with a hybrid like the 150.

    I think price wise that's where you stop. Fully carved can start costing a lot very fast.

    Also, if this is your first bass I'd recommend going new and buying from a Luthier or his store. Again, this is what I did because I do not have the skills to look at a used bass and go "yes, this is the one". At least, not yet. I am just a Padawan right now.

    Don't rush into anything. This was hardest for me I have to say. You will find "the One". You may regret snapping up the first one you find.

    This thread you started here is a great start. Ask all these other very knowledgable folk about potential purchases before buying. They can help you avoid the traps of BSO's.

    I'm sure there are other suggestions, but ultimately try many basses and be patient.

    Or buy a Shen 150. Sb150=Awesome x2. :)

  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
  8. Don't buy now. Rent. In a year you'll better know what you want and can begin searching then. There's no need to rush.
  9. hanksmuse


    Jan 9, 2013
    Thanks all.

    I have owned two entry level DB previously (one purchased from the Hammond Ashley shop). I am in the Sacramento area and a,m primarily a jazz fusion player on my other instruments (alto/tenor sax and guitar, as well as electric bass). I am likely to stay within the genre, but I will want to play with both bow and plucked.

    The consencus seems to be (interpreted) to listen to the instrument or barring that to pick a highly regarded brand (Shen for example) and buy used to take advantage of set-up, better strings, etc.

    Thanks again.
  10. I would make a trip to Steve Swan's shop in San Francisco.
  11. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Steve Swan - SF
    Jeff Sahs - Sacramento
    Gaël McKeon - Berkeley

    I would start your search with these three first. Don't get caught up on ply vs carved top. Play the basses and take home the one that speaks to you.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 28, 2021

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