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Gliga basses - any comments?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jeremy Morgan, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. I am considering upgrading my Bulgarian carved bass (purchased from a certain Mr Gollihur 3 years ago).

    One of the names that keeps cropping up is Gliga (Romania).

    I would be looking at one of their top-end models i.e. the Professional (Gama) or Maestro series.

    Does anyone have any views on these instruments?

    The general feeling I get from the searches I have made on these forums are that they are generally good instruments - made well and from good quality wood (Carpathian spruce tops etc.).

    Some posters have mentioned that even though they are well made, they are also fairly heavily built (i.e. overly thick tops - which is an issue that I have with the Bulgarian).

    If anyone owns or has owned/played one of these instruments I would be grateful for any info./opinions.

  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Why not look at older basses?
  3. MarkRubin

    MarkRubin F L T

    Mar 14, 2005
    Austin TX
    Finances probably.
    I've encountered quite a few, well set up Gliga basses that beat the pants off of similarly priced antique basses. The caveat being the set up, which will ultimately can make a new bass sound great and a poor set up make a fine old bass sound like a CCB.

    Or maybe up keep?
    A new bass will generally not have the maintenence issues normally expected with a 100 instrument.

    That's 2 reasons just off the the top of my head.

    In answer to the fellow original question, I personally don't hear any difference in the Gama and Maestro models. The major factor for the higher price appears to be appearances, pretty wood, fancy purlfling, ect.. I'm actually much fonder of their mid grade line, in which I encountered some real fine sounding basses. Play a lot of 'em and but the one you love.
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    In a sense I understand where you're coming from. I was just commenting on what I might consider in his situation -- and having survived (am surviving) a new bass myself. With a new bass you really don't know what you have until a few years and a few thousand hours of playing -- and about a million adjustments on the thing as it settles in. Unless you're on the road a lot, or buy a basket case, upkeep shouldn't be that much different.

    Dunno. Just thinking out loud, I guess.
  5. Thanks for your thoughts.

    I had heard a similar re: the Gama vs. Maestro range. I'm definitely not interested in fancy finishes etc. so maybe the Gama would give the best value for money sound-wise.

    BTW I spoke to a luthier today who said that if the table (& bass bar) on a bass is the correct thickness it should flex if you pull the 'E' string sideways. My Bulgarian hardly moves.

    He reckoned that a lot of basses are made with an overly thick table which stifles the sound. They can really benefit from re-graduating so that they can behave like a drum skin & vibrate more freely.

    Re: old basses
    I understand the appeal of older instruments but (IMO) it really feels like a more dangerous area for a few reasons:
    1) How much of the price is for the sound - how much for the antique value? I want as much of my money to go on sound quality as possible.
    2) Just because a bass is old it doesn't automatically mean it's any good - I'm sure that plenty of crap basses were made which are now given more kudos because of their age.
    3) Older instruments have a maintenance overhead.

    Anyway - I've gone a bit off topic. I really was interested to hear from owners or those with experience of Gliga basses.
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    It depends, but I don't think that 'collector' value kicks in much until you are over the $25K mark -- unless someone is trying to screw you on the deal.
    See my answer to 1). The two things that older basses have going for them is that someone else has probably ironed out the major kinks for you and they are 'played in'.
    They all do. Basses are like sailboats. They ALWAYS need something. If you have an older bass that is healthy, there isn't anything to worry about.

    Why not take some time and see what's available in your price range? I'd bet dollars to donuts that you can find something that you'll like a helluva a lot better...
  7. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    We often tell people to plan on 10% of your basses value in annual maintenance. If you don't spend the 10% in a particular year...bank it, cause eventually you will. ;)
  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    So if someone purchases a Gofriller for $150,000, he/she should plan on $15,000 a year in repairs?:eek:
  9. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I have a Romanian bass- possibly a Gliga- I paid around $3200 for, and I'm very happy with it. But I've heard some Chinese instruments in the same price range that absolutely knock me out. A local player/teacher makes regular trips to China to select and import them, and he's bringing back some real gems.
  10. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Sure, just make the check payable to... ;)

    $150K is a bit of an extreme example, don't you think? Plus, you know the look on customers faces when you give them the repair estimate.:bawl:

    I am talking about the average Joe... $5K to $20K range. Look at that Prescottish bass we did. The owner bought it in NYC 18 years ago and had barely put a penny into it all those years...then the dog knocks it over. Between the repairs needed due to the dog and the things that just needed to be addressed due to time/weather/etc., the bill was in the $10K range. Lets say he bought it for $X (unknown to me, but prob not scary)...and lets say the bass is worth approx $15K today...so keeping up with inflation of the basses value and banking that 10% annually...minus strings/setup & minor stuff along the way (nice way to justify some of the G.A.S. purchases over the years..."hey, it's in my annual bass budget")...he would have had the money on hand to do everything it needed without causing him the financial stress of depleting his primary checking or savings account.

    So, I'm not saying you will spend or have to spend 10% annually...but it's a realistic expectation to average that over the years. If everyone set up some little "bass stuff savings account", they would prob be happy in the long run. Gary likes 5% as the number...I like 10%. Pick your %...whatever you are comfortable with. Either way...I just think it's a good idea.