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First Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by FreeSpirit, May 3, 2005.

  1. Okay, I've been loking around shops for a few weeks now for my first double bass. I came across this at music123.com:


    I was wondering if soemone more expirienced could look at the site and tell me if this is what someone starting out would want. I just began taking lessosn and i will be playing mostly jazz stuff.

    Kyle Rindinella
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    My first suggestion would be to head over to the newbie links and read, read, read. Second, consult with your teacher. IMHO too many beginners end up trying to learn on inferior instruments with inferior setups that end up fighting the student. To begin with, you don't need to spend a fortune but you DO need to have an instrument that is properly set up (e.g., properly planed fingerboard, properly carved and fitted bridge, properly fitted soundpost). My advice is to buy from an established supplier/luthier who can provide that. I took a look at the link and questioned not only the value of the instrument but who would set it up. By the time you took it to a luthier for proper setup, I believe you would have done better buying from someone who would stand by the instrument and its setup.

    Just my two cents worth. I trust others will chime in!

  3. mpoppitt


    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    This is almost certainly an inferior Chinese bass. Take it from my experience with one of these, it is not worth it. The quality is bad, it will require a pricey setup just to play decently, and it will likely start falling apart later down the road. Do a search for cheap chinese basses here, and you will see. Save up, and get a better bass, and be glad you never had the headache of dealing with a CCB(crappy chinese bass).
  4. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I would stay away-there are tons of cheap china bass horror stories. It's best to play THE bass you buy, but if you can't, stick to some reputable makers like Shen, Englehardt, Christopher, or Strunal.
  5. Don't hurt yourself. This may not be the way to a good start. Get an instrument that will at least be pleasurable to play. A good set of less expensive strings costs about $125 and you can bet this won't have even those on it. There are severe playablility and durability problems with this category of instruments. :eyebrow:
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Don't buy an instrument from someplace you can't play it first. Don't buy an instrument from someone other than an experienced luthier that you've spent some time with. Don't buy a cheap piece of junk that can at best be rendered playable. Spend more money up front and get an instrument you will get pleasure from playing for many years. There are many reputable luthiers who can put a killer setup on a reasonably priced intrument that will leave you much, much happier.
  7. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    DO NOT BUY THAT BASS! I've looked at one, but never played it. They come from Beijing, and the one I looked at came with a 1/2 size bow and 1/2 bridge. They use ultra cheap red colored wood and the fingerboard is awful. You won't be happy with the purchase. If you're looking for something inexpensive consult the newbie links.
  8. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music

    I think one should take this more as a suggestion then an absolute truth. Sure if possible always go and try a bass you're interested in, but when not possible or if you find something on line that interests you just make sure its a reputable dealer or luthier who is selling the instrument. Don't ignore a great deal just because its being sold by someone you don't know very well - that doesn't seem to make much sense. And don't ignore something that's interesting just because its being sold on line. All the best known dealers also sell on line - should they be ignored? No of course not.

    There are more then a few on this forum who have excellent reputations and sell on line all the time and I'm sure there's no one on this forum that has a single negative thing to say about any of them and that's because these people all have great reputations that they've spent years developing. I often read posts by the happiest people who have bought basses from Bob Gollihur or Upton Bass in Ct and they are still thrilled weeks and months after their purchases. Given that, how can anyone make a blanket statement that one should never buy on line sight unseen when you constantly read posts here by satisfied buyers that have done exactly that? Yes, I'd also say its always a better idea to play the bass first before you buy it, but if you can't, just make sure whoever you're buying from has a good rep. And use your common sense.

    Just my two cents
  9. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Watch out now, my bass comes from beijing. My bass can beat up your bass!

    No really, buyers need to look at what SHOP your bass comes from. There are good chinese makes, but anything from Music123 or Musician's Friend, etc. etc. are going to be crap.

    Kyle, read the one newbie link on Craptastic Chinese Basses. If you can't afford one from a reputable maker, just save your cash til you can.
  10. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    Sorry Hdiddy, I didn't mean anything by the Beijing comment, I more or less just wanted to let everyone know where the bass was being made. My bass is from Shanghai so I'm not against Chinese made basses.
  11. Since I bought my bass from Mr Greene, I'd have to agree to a point. A reputiable dealer that has a track record and instruments with a track record may be OK. I'd stay away from the big 'Walmart' music stores, (Musicans Friend, Music 123, etc.) The want to sell you, and have nothing more to do with you. They are looking for basses they can sell a lot of at a significant mark up (read cheep).

    I did do my research first. I asked my teacher, currently a string repair man in a local shop that has sold Wilfers (Hofners), Eberle and Romas, and a former school orchestra director, what his experiance with the Eberles were. He had seen many, both basses and cellos, and said he had never seen one with structural problems, even in a school music program (a feat in itself). He had not seen many carved Eberle basses, mostly plys. His only complaint was as a repairman. The mule (sp) joint between the top and sides made it very hard to take the top off if nessesary. This joint type is traditional with Russian and East German instruments. For me, I'm not planning on having the top removed any time soon.
  12. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    Which is why I ended my post with "use your common sense" since if possible you should always do your homework. Coming to this forum is doing your homework. Doing a search on here for whatever item you happen to be interested in should in most cases result in something useful and quite possibly even one or more first hand experiences coming up.

    By the way EJ your repair guy sounds like he's working in a shop that was a former customer of my dad since they're selling or sold all my father's lines . . . Roma, Wilfer, Eberle, Hofner. What shop is this?

    Finally from reading your post it sounds that you aren't disappointed with your decision to buy the way you did and that was my point all along. I agree that its risky but if you do the research that's certainly available these days, its a lot less risky and there are some great opportunities out there that needn't be ignored. There's no reason to suggest to everyone that they simply forget the entire idea of buying on line or from anyone they don't know very well. I say given the reputations of those on this forum one should have no anxiety whatsoever about buying from any of those I previously mentioned and then there are the many reputable dealers around the country who just cannot be dismissed because they're selling on line.
  13. He works for Williamson's in Plano Tx.
  14. While this is true, you don't see basses from the reputable online dealers at too-good-to-be-true prices. I did my research on Bob Gollihur's instruments just like I would on anything else that I would buy like that. I found someone who had one, visited and saw it, played it, talked to the same fellow 2 yrs. later. I also talked to a reputable luthier who dressed the fingerboard and set up the bridge. No two instruments are exactly the same, but I wanted something uncommon and special order was the way to get it hassle free. It is true that you can get some good deals sight unseen, but it is a real advantage to play an instrument ahead of time. In any case you shouldn't jump into that deal without trying to find someone who reviewed that product favorably. There was only 1 review which was favorable but hard to pin down details on.

    Another point to consider is that a reasonably well made instrument from China is still going to cost what a well made instrument costs. If a nice Beijing instrument like Christopher is a few thousand, you know what you are getting for $600. It can't be much. If you really want a bottom dollar laminate that plays OK and is nearly bullet proof, get an inexpensive Czech laminate made in Luby. My first bass was a Lydl made there. Strunal is made in the same town. They offer a totally bare bones model that is about like my Lydl. These basses can take the weather, a beating, are fairly loud, and are excellent starter basses in the all plywood category. One thing about the budget European instruments is that the construction is pretty solid and the chrome hardware operates very smoothly. It won't ever sound like a carved top model but it will prepare you for one and can be set up to play well. My Lydl is over 15 years old and should last indefinitely if cared form & kept in repair.

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