Do basses hold their value?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by margiemai, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. margiemai


    Dec 23, 2004
    How much should I realistically expect to pay for a 3/4 double bass which cost £1200 ($2280 @ exchange rate of 1.9) new between 1965 & 1975. There are no markings other than that it was made in Czechoslovakia.

    Do basses hold their value well?

    Photos are attached. Your opinion would be appreciated.


    Attached Files:

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Yes, basses hold their value, in fact they APPRECIATE. I bought my first one used for $300 in 1981 and today I see similar used ones going for over $2000.

    If that bass is carved here in the USA it would go for $4-5000 if in good playing condition. If it's plywood, $1500-2000.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Basses are typically valued based on their design, materials, workmanship, condition and tone quality without regard to age.

    As mentioned, if a bass has been properly cared for, it is likely to appreciate over time as some think a "played in" bass tends to sound better than a new one.

    There are, of course, certain labels that demand high prices because they are hot at any given time.

    very old Orchestra basses can be VERY expensive if they can be associated with a particular builder. Tens of thousands of USD.
  4. Abjimajik


    Sep 26, 2004
    Luton, England
    This is really similar to my bass which is ply. I got it of a very short old man, whose eyes looked in different directions for £400!
    I was really lucky because I love the sound of my bass, and it is worth a lot more.
    See if you like the sound. Spend around £1000 if you like it. I think to get a nicer sound than i have now it would cost me a lot more. Some of the student basses at work sound really bad and they're £800 without tax.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Good sounding, well constructed basses appreciate in value. Craptastic bass shaped objects respond to the whims of the market.
    This is twenty-five years of bad luck..... :eek:
    But seriously Margie, Make sure there has been some good set-up work done. This can cost you an additional amount of Money that could hurt alot. Have your teacher or an experienced player check it out for you. Once you do all that, as everybody says, the value will only go up with the quality of the sound....even in a laminate like this one.
    Keep us posted!
  7. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I'm a short old man that tends to look askance...

    Did i spell "askance" properly ? I think not... oh well, must be my age.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Yes, you did.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You got ripped off, there's cats in my neighborhood whose eyes will look in different directions for $20.
  10. :D
  11. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Most quality, handmade items keep their value, after some initial depreciation, and basses are probably no exception. And with luck, a well made bass will probably appreciate faster than inflation.
  12. cabin dweller

    cabin dweller Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Ridgeland, WI
    Depends if you treat your bass playin' like a 401k. Me-myself tend to play or buy whats in the price range at the time of need. You don't need the best to make music with your freinds
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Nor do you have to buy an expensive bass for it to hold its value.

    If you pay $2k for Kay, you'll get it back come time to sell. In fact, any reputable maker factory bass should draw most all the original sell price come time to upgrade if you buy it right to start with.
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Common type Commercially made Basses like Plywoods and the Juzek type (other similar ones as well) will increase with inflation. These may be good Basses BUT very Few are "Great' Basses !!

    Better Handmade Basses from Italy, England, Germany, France, etc. from 50 -300+ yrs old will increase by availabilty and demand.

    A new $1,000. Juzek Master Art (WBW) from the late 60s or early 70s may bring up to 10K at best.. Few go over that regardless of what the appraised value is. I see more in the 4-6K range for Juzeks (Wilfers ofcourse) as old as 60 years or so going for the same price. Shop type Basses can only be so good unless re-worked and that's IF there is enough wood in spots to begin with. Many of these Basses were made for the School Systems and are beat up badly. This hurts the value.

    Handmade Greman Basses 100 years old or so have a tough time going over 10k. Some of the best do but very few. So.. 10x or 20x inflation of $ of a Bass is closer to inflation than increase of value in that amount of time.

    If a candy bar was $.05 in the '60s and its $.75 now on average in the store, thats 15x. So some Basses don't move up as much as you think.

    A Good Italian Bass in the '60s was 1-3k... 5-10 was a D'Salo! The 10K was more like a figure of speech back then. Those same Italian Basses from the '60s are now 60k-140k.. You do the math!!... BTW, good bows.. the same.. at least!!
  15. I've been trying to convince my wife that our retirement fund should be in basses instead of mutual funds, given what the stock market has done the last few years. :meh:

    She ain't buying it.....
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Bottom line tho', buy a bass that you want to play, don't buy an investment.
  17. How about both?
    It's sure alot more pleasant to spend that special time in the bathroom looking at a beautiful bass than looking at a Janus Fund premium..... :hyper:
  18. margiemai


    Dec 23, 2004
    I currently play a 'Palatino' and from my research I had gained the impression that these are cheap Chinese plywood basses which are badly made and sound aweful. I have very limited experience with basses so thought that if it was so bad then I really should consider upgading it for one of better quality which is why I was interested and asking about this one.

    However, earlier this week I found out about a professional bass player who lives locally and through a mutual friend was able to contact him and ask him to come and look at my bass and give his opinion on it. He did so yesterday. After playing mine he said that it has a decent sound, was quite a good bass, was well set up and for the type of playing I do was more than adequate. He was also able to tell me that it had a pine front and brass fittings. I therefore now do not feel that I need to change my bass.

    Thanks for all your comments though, I am always interested to learn more about basses and find this forum very interesting and informative. So goodbye until I have another question!
  19. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I am not trying to sound rude here, I am just trying to follow what is going were going to sell your bass, but now that your friend said it is a good bass, you are going to keep it?
  20. 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.

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