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Do you prefer buying basses at a store or direct from the manufacturer? And why?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LowEndGroover, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. LowEndGroover

    LowEndGroover Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Long Island
    Reason why I'm starting this thread is to see what our communities thoughts are. We can touch, feel and hear an instrument at a store or we can HOPE that the manufacture/luthier listens and incorporates our vision to make it into a reality.

    I've been blessed to have instruments that I love on both sides. But, I still am a firm believer to play it at a store maybe even a couple of times and make sure that it's the right bass for me.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. jwj1701


    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    At a store. Have to feel the neck first, then check out the rest.
  3. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Outside of Carvin, what major brand can you buy "direct from the manufacturer"?
  4. nickbass79


    Nov 11, 2009
    North Carolina
    If it's a major brand? I like a locally owned store.

    If it's a custom bass? Unless it's used and at a store, I like to go direct to the luthier. I like the customer service when talking directly to the builder.
  5. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Man I just like buying basses. Seriously though I say try before you buy and it's not so much where as to what it is you're buying. Of course if you have a relationship with a luthier that is tops in my opinion. Nothing like one on one attention and concern for what you want. For any mass produced bass you have to put your hands on it before you buy it. I don't recall ever buying a bass from an online store.
  6. rashbeep

    rashbeep Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Toronto, ON
    the only bass i've ever bought in store was my first. then again i haven't owned many basses.
  7. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    There are great basses you can buy in a store, and yet is also great to order one where you can choose everything. My main bass today was made by luthier and it's awsome.
  8. Neither. I prefer buying basses used, from other individuals (i.e. bass players).
  9. LowEndGroover

    LowEndGroover Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Long Island
    I never mentioned "Major Brand" in my OP. That said, I've been to bass specialty stores where they have Ken Smith, Alembic, Sadowsky, etc...

    Point of this thread is to see what our community prefers. There are higher end basses that we can do both. Play at store or go direct like the luthiers mentioned above. But there are also luthier's that we would have to go direct. Visa vie: Carl Thompson, Rob Allen, Fodera "Custom", Valenti, Brubaker, etc.

    I'm looking to see which experience people prefer. Hopefully that clarifies it a little more. :)
  10. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I've done it both ways. I've bought 2 EB MM Stingrays on-line but from a reputable actual store-front place. I took the chance because of EB's reputation for very consistent build quality and I already knew how the MMs played and sounded. My Fender Jazz I purchased from a local store so I was able to try it out first.

    If I had to pick a method, I would say that I'd rather play it first.
  11. LowEndGroover

    LowEndGroover Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Long Island
  12. I play one at the store, than shop online for a better price..
  13. theretheyare


    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    Hmmmm...good question. I just traded a great bass bass that at long last I found out did not work for me - and that I had tested extensively at the store. While my current #1 is an Ebay acquisition that at the time was an unknown entity, where I basically went by word-of-mouth.

    So at the end of the day, I do feel I need like 6 months to find out if I really connect to a bass or not.

    If it is vintage, or Fender-ish and a lot of money, then I do want to try first-there are just too many turkeys out there. But other basses (luthiers) I would expect a more even quality level and then I have no problem getting something unseen.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep, me too.

    I've bought from a store too, but never direct. If I fell in love with something I couldn't find off the shelf or buy used I'd do it. I can be pretty patient though, I rather own a used instrument and save some cash too.
  15. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Since there isn't a Dingwall dealer within a hundred miles of my location, I have the privelege of dealing directly with Sheldon and Barry. I love it. If I only played Dingwalls I would be set! I would prefer to try non-Dingwalls before buying, but have had good success buying used through the internet. I don't hardly go to brick and mortar stores anymore...
  16. I have bought direct from Carvin. Otherwise I buy from a local mom and pop. GC and online are my last options. I dread the day when there are no independant music stores owned by individuals.
  17. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The vast vast majority of players don't have the option of trying out specialty basses before buying one. Hell, I live in Boston, an (arguably) major metropolitan area and I don't have any options to try out new gear outside what Guitar Center offers.

    That's the problem. People don't realize that trying before buying is an option for maybe 2 percent of players. Everyone would like to play a bass before they buy it. But that's not an option for most.
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    unfortunately at some of the brick and mortar stores,the prices aren't always that good, because they tend to horde really pricey vintage stuff that nobody who is either a successful pro or a wealthy collector would pay for. Due to this situation i think that a lot of there other stock ends up being the means by which they pay to store these museum pieces. I know people have to make money but manufacturers suggested retail isn't going to fly with all the deals online. I love local businesses, but i can't justify paying 250 to 300 dollars more for something, because i get to try it out. Maybe i've just been lucky with ebay and musician's friend, the only problem i've had was buying a broken jazz pickup which the guy refunded my purchase anyway
  19. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O)))) Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've never bought direct from the manufacturer, and I doubt I ever will unless it's a custom one off bass. If I can't find a bass in a store I can try out, my business goes straight to Sweetwater. They have great customer service, fully detailed pictures of the actual bass you're buying (for most instruments, anyways), and free shipping.
  20. I usually just do almost a year's worth of research before I finally make a decision on something that does exactly what I was looking for.

    Most of that time is spent scouring the internet for reputable dealers willing to sell a unique item I want for less than anyone else will. The rest of that time is spent searching local shops for items very similar in tone and function to what I want to get.

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