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Decent Left hand Basses Around $1000.00

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thump3r, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Thump3r


    Mar 17, 2006

    How are you all going?

    Hopefully people can help me out. I'm a left hand player looking for a new bass. My budget is $800-$1000.

    I kind of want a standard looking bass, like a Jazz or a Precision, but what I was looking for was a bass that is passive/active, I want to cover a range of sounds if I can.
    I have looked all through this site for information, there seems to be a lot of different opinions on certain basses, so I was hoping to get some light shed on what you guys think.

    I really like the look of the Geddy Lee bass, and it sounds like it has a really good neck, but obviously it isn't made in a left hand format, so I say that more in reference to the sort of thing I am looking for.

    I saw the KSD 70's Jazz, that looks like it could be tasty in either a four or five string, I was really interested in finding out more about the neck profile, fret board radius and how the electronics sound.

    I also saw the Fender Jazz Deluxe, which seems to be a bit controversial here. I'd be interested in more information on that subject.

    I also dug some information in regards to a guy called Valenti that seems to be building some very good fender clones, but I think he might be a bit out of my price range.

    I'm looking for a variety of rock tones, and the occasional slap sound, although I am not a very good at slap. I do use pick and finger style.

    If anybody can give me more information about the above or let me know of any that I have missed, and also if there is a good dealer that you know of,

  2. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    First, check these online retailers:

    www.music123.com, and

    They have some left-handed models in-stock and they offer a return policy, so you can buy risk-free.

    For what you are looking, for the American Jazz Deluxe is an excellent option. It sounds and plays fantastic - my only gripe is that the body shape is just not comfortable to me (smaller than a standar Jazz), that is why I don't have one anymore. The price is bit over your stated budget. But if you find the body shape comfortable, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better in that price range.

    Also check,


    for Schecter basses. They have several models that fits what you are looking for. My only gripe with Schecters is that they tend to be neck-heavy, but they are also one of the best bang-for-the-bucks out there.

    The KSDs seem like an OK option, but I have seen several review where they say that the overall fit and finish is not that good, and the 5-string seems to be heavy and with a chunky neck profile.

    I recently tried the new Yamaha BB series, which is available left-handed, and didn't like them at all, although I have and have had great Yamaha basses.

    eBay usually has some offerings, but if you are not an experience buyer and know what you want, I would stay away.

    Oh, there is also www.Adirondackguitars.com - they are lefty friendly.

    And, if you really like the Fender Geddy Lee, you could order a very similar one from Ishibashi, an online store in Japan www.ishibashi.co.jp/webshop/guitar/fender-j/kanda/jb75105usl.htm and these models have it all: blocks, binding, USA Vintage pickups, ash bodies. . .

    These end up being around $900 delivered to your door from Japan, and the store is very reputable. Visit www.fenderforum.com and search "ishibashi" to read all the praising stories. You could install, say, a Retro or Aguilar preamp in one of these Japanese Fender, and you'll have a bass for days.

    Lastly, yes, Nino Valenti has a great reputation and will build a Fender-style bass to your specs, but the prices are higher.(But worth it, though, and you could have your dream bass right from the start!)

    I have been through most of these (stores and instruments) and I personally play a Sadowsky 5-24, a Ken Smith BSR-M (and soon an F Bass!). But only because I have been lucky enough to make enough money playing, and after many years I'm able to afford them - but you can't go wrong with either the American Fender Jazz or the Japanese Jazz.
  3. whodom


    Mar 3, 2006
    Salters, SC
    Have you considered G&L's? You might have to go used for your price limit, but I don't think the "street price" for most of their models is much above $1k. They have no upcharge for lefty, which was a big factor that influenced me to buy one.

    An L-2000 would seem to be just what you're looking for: traditional body shape, active/passive, covers most playing styles, slim neck available.
  4. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    Check out southpawguitars.com

    I have bought two basses through them - G&L L2500 fretless and later a used Alembic Orion. I would recommend them highly. (No, I don't even live in Texas!) ;)

    Also, no one has mentioned Carvin yet. I have an LB75 which is very well made.
  5. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Plus 1 on G&Ls. Another excellent choice. Just beware that the L-2000s have 1 3/4" wide-at-the-nut necks (which is wider than normal), but they can be ordered with 1 1/2" width, just like a Jazz.

    Minus 1 on Carvins (I have tried 3 of them and always felt underwhelmed, regardless of cost.)

    Not wanting to flame the threat, but Southpaws is the last place I would buy from. They have done me, and many others that I know, wrong. . . always overpriced, and their customer service is amongst the worst I have experienced.

    ezstep, not trying to pick on you or contradict you, these just happen to be MY experiences.
  6. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx

    Lefty here, this is exactly why I bought a G&L L2000 with a jazz sized neck, just over $1100 new.
  7. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana


    There are so few of us lefty bassists where I live that I have heard no complaints about Southpaws. Shoot me a PM with details!!!

  8. whodom


    Mar 3, 2006
    Salters, SC
    I can't say a lot about Southpaw one way or the other. I bought an acoustic mail order from them about 15 years ago they did OK.

    About 10 years ago, I had an opportunity to visit their store (in Houston, TX) and THAT was pretty cool. Imagine, just for once in your life, walking into a guitar store and seeing the walls COVERED in left-handed models (with just a couple of "token" righties stashed over in the corner!). I didn't buy anything that day, but it was a cool experience.

    Based on what I see at their website, they do seem to charge premium prices for lefty instruments. If you can find what you want elsewhere, you'll probably get a better price.
  9. Lefty here. I do a lot of window shopping.:)

    www.basscentral.com has a nice stock of leftys. You should call them, as their site isn't always up to date.

    Check out Ebay, too. Your search string should be "left* bass" (omit the quotes).

    What you've described to a T, to me at least, is the G&L L-2000. I have one and it's my main bass. I love it. They come up on Ebay fairly often. Used price should be $700-900.
  10. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA
    It's a bitch being a lefty bassist and trying to find just the right instrument. Having said that, I love my Fender American Jazz Deluxe that I bought from ZZounds. My next bass which I am working out the details for even as I write is a Musicman Bongo Fretless. I can't decide if I want a four or five string and of course I can't pick a color either. A G & L 2000 or 2500 would be an easier choice if someone on the net showed them. Want a bongo, hit BassCentral, BassNW or Vintage Bass Trading Company, send the money and the deal is done. SouthPaw Guitars had one white G&L 2500 fretless, the picture on their site showed a white fretted, but that disappeared months ago. I have spent a lot of time watching ebay for a decent lefty and just about have given up. But then, I have been using the search string of "bass left" and maybe that hasn't been picking them all up.

  11. Thump3r


    Mar 17, 2006
    It is not easy to find a good left hand bass.

    It's a pity about the neck on the KSD, I was really into the look of the 5 strings.

    There seems to be a lot support for the G&L product, I'd never really considered them, as I'd been told they can be varying quality in the electronics.

    The Japanese fenders look decent, how do they stack up in playability? The price of one of those and decent preamp would end up very similar to the U.S. version or from what I can gather the Valenti, so they would have to play pretty good, because they aren't going to have as good a resale.

    Is there any other old school fender clones, that sound great that I've missed?

  12. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA

    If you want traditional styling go for MIA Fender Jazz Deluxe. IMHO the consensus at TalkBass is that the current active version is beloved not controversial. Get the three tone burst and you will have a great looking and sounding bass.

    If you don't care about traditional styling go for a MusicMan Bongo. Look past skin deep and see what the guys are really saying about this bass.

    There aren't many choices in the 1K range. If you want to spend 2-3x more than that there are choices aplenty. If Sadowsky, Lakland or KSD would produce their budget lines in lefty there would be some options. Otherwise, Fender, MusicMan, G & L are the options. Carvin and Warwick both make left handers with no upcharge.

    It gets worse if you want a fretless.<g>

  13. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I picked up a lefty G&L L2K for $750 on evil bay. It will do what you need and more. It is rock solid and cuts thru like a hot knife thru butter. Put it in active w two pickup mode and series and watch out! :bag:

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