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Gotta great bass from ebay

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rick Martin, Oct 13, 2000.

  1. I've been looking for another bass to leave at the girlfriends house. I've been happy with my MIM Jazz but wanted to spice things up with something a little different.
    I just got what looks to be a real nice Hamer Cruise 4 in sunburst from ebay. It cost me $182 plus $25 shipping. It came packed up perfectly and I'm waiting for a truss rod tweak to take effect before I can let my breath out and say I got a good deal. This thing is only slightly used or is a second because of an insignificant blemish in the finish.
    Comparing it to my MIM J, it sure looks to have a more substantial bridge. The neck is nice and narrow and only slightly thicker front to back. It looks to be very playable. Out of the box, the bridge saddles were all the way up and the action way too high. I turned them down and got a lot of fret buzz. There is a bit too much relief in the neck so I found the right metric hex head wrench and gave the truss rod a tweak. I have my fingers crossed hoping the set up process will give me what I want. If it turns out OK, I'm going to be singing the praises of the Hamer as an alternative to the MIM Jazz and pointing to ebay as a place to get a bargain.
  2. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    My Ebay buying experience is at best, mixed. As for bass gear, I think lesser known brands can be a good deal for the buyer, but I don't see good savings on quality stuff. If it's perceived as "vintage," forget it.
  3. Uh oh! I may have spoke too soon. The neck doesn't seem to be responding to the truss rod ajustment and even with the high action, G# on the E string has a terrible buzz. All of the other notes sound OK but that one is a clunker. Why that be? Why would one note sound all tinny and buzzy when the rest sound OK. Looking at the fret, I don't see anything wrong. I take back my endorsement of buying on ebay.
  4. Whoa Rick,

    Think about it. If there is a single fret that buzzes and all of the rest of them don't, does that mean that your neck won't adjust only in that position? Of course not. What you probably have is a high fret and should have the entire set leveled and then do the setup again. This is a common condition and you can bet you'll find it occasionally on lesser expensive instruments. Trust me, you can't see a high fret unless it's WAY out of place. If you want to check for yourself, get a steel ruler without a dinged up edge. Lay the ruler edgewise on the frets with the offending one in the middle. Can you teeter the ruler in both directions? If you can then the fret is high and needs leveling. If it teeters in only one direction, then that end of the neck should be tweaked for straightness. Of course this is a simplified test but it'll give you some indication of what might be needed.

    I've bought 3 basses on ebay and am awaiting arrival of my 4th. I have had no surprises in any of them and 2 have been resold for profits. Naturally, your experience may vary but experience is precisely what it takes to be succesful all of the time.
  5. I took this Hamer Cruise into town and into the little Fender shop. The owner is an authorized Fender tech and there were two other guitar heads hanging around. After admiring the cool sunburst finish and Elroy Jetson pickguard, they all played it a little bit and then sighted down the neck in all kinds of directions. There was a lot of low whistles and tongue clucking as they described to me just how wacked and warped the neck was. At least two different dips, with one being at the fourth fret but really more to the E side. Hopeless was the prognosis. I emailed the seller who seems to be a major online guitar dealer with ebay and he emailed right back with an apology and says if I will pack it up, he will issue a UPS call tag and give me a refund credit to my credit card. So, it looks like I won't get hurt with this, but now I really want a sunburst Cruise.
  6. Oh, yeah. I almost forgot my theory on why only G# buzzes so bad. The neck dips down at the fourth fret. In order to make with a G#, my finger has to push the E string so low into the depression that the string ends up laying on the fifth fret where it rattles and hums. Does that make sense? If anybody is wondering why this isn't a matter for the truss rod, I have another theory. The truss rod can only move the entire neck and effect the amount of bow in the middle. This bass has a wavy neck with more than one bow. It be needing a new neck.
  7. Great bass from ebay.....take two! The Hamer Cruise I talk about in the above posts is safely back with it's seller and I'm expecting to see a credit issued to my Visa card any minute now. If not, I may need some of you guys to go with me on a little social call to the seller. Meanwhile, being a glutton for punishment I bid and won another Hamer Cruise on ebay. Also sunburst and this one is brand new from a music store in Mass. I got it for $227 plus $20 UPS.
    It came today and so far, it's looking good. I'm still working out the set up, but so far a couple of truss rod tweaks had the desired effect and I've got nice low action with no fret buzz. There is still some fine tuning with saddle height and intonation to be done. I've been very happy with my trusty MIM Jazz and bought this Hamer to leave at the girlfriends house. The Hamer seems to compare quite favorably with the MIM J. The Hamer bridge sure looks more substantial. Any idea if the bridge is one of the brand names like Gotoh? Another thing is the Hamer's tone knob does a whole lot more than the MIM's does. Turning the knob from one extreme to the other results in a huge difference in sound. My MIM's tone knob barely registers on the squat meter. I think I got a good deal here. I hope!
  8. Dave S...

    Dave S...

    Oct 13, 2000

    The bridge on the that Cruise is a Schaller knock-off...the genuine Schaller has a string width adjustment. That bass has a GREAT bridge for the bucks! Very beefy...

    They're just a tad on the heavy side, but they have a very good tone with the stock pups, and yes, the tone knob is quite usable! The necks are quite thin at the nut, and not TOO wide near the body. The pickups are also spaced a little closer together than a Jazz.

    Glad you found another one you like! Hope it's worth the wait!

    Best Wishes
  9. DarkElixir


    Oct 30, 2000

    That's why I'm always skeptical about buying bass gear online, espcecially the guitar itself. You should always try to go the the store and play with the instrument before you buy. However, you got ur money back, so congrats on that part.
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I have purchased and sold quite a few instruments on eBay. The main thing you should pay attention to when bidding is:

    -The item description

    -The seller's feedback

    -Whether there is an advantage, economic or otherwise, to purchase the gear this way

    That being said, I shoud mention that the basses usually cost over $500, except my Tokai Jazzes, which were under $300. In both occasions, guideline #3 was very relevant. Whatever it is you buy, be sure you can resell the item and get your money back if the seller does not include refunds as part of his/her policy.

    As always, the more you spend, the better the gear. Modulus bass (for example) can be had for about $1000 if one bids right.

    Will C.:cool:
  11. Why mess with ebay unless it's for a great price or a hard to find item? This Hamer bass is brand new with factory warranty and a 48 hour return policy to the seller. I believe I know if I like a bass in the first 48 minutes, so this return policy is good enough for me. It cost me $247 including shipping. The Hamer Cruise is shown on MF's web site for $419, so in this case the price was right. I watch in amazement as MIM Fenders routinely go for $225 to $255 plus $25 shipping on ebay. What the heck is that all about??? The darn things are $299 brand new with free shipping from several on line dealers offering a 45 day return policy.
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    My point.

    Will C.:cool:
  13. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    I bought a bass on eBay and I had a great experience. Got it for a couple hundred off the normal price and it is in great condition with a hardshell case. I definetly agree with Big Wheel about those guidelines. You have to be really careful about who you buy it from. Just my 2 cents.
  14. Jazzbassman23


    Apr 20, 2000
    Rick, What happened with the refund? Did you get your card credited? If so, maybe you could post the name of the dealer as a good guy to deal with. I think we're all on the lookout for reputable online dealers. Congrats on your new acquisition, and I hear ya on the MIM Jazzes.
  15. The dealer goes by the ebay name of Bigjm and he and his wife buy and sell used guitars through ebay. They have a very large number of positive feedback responses. They issued a UPS call tag for the warped Hamer and as soon as they got it back they issued a credit to my Visa card. Exceptional customer service.
  16. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    They are honest folks. I have bought 2 basses off of ebay and both were OK.

    I'm always suspicious of people who have little or no or any negative feedback. They may just be trying to dump some junk. I did get burnt on a few non-musical items on ebay, it happens.
  17. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    Sorry to hear about your initial bad experience with the Hamer bass. I know there are a couple of dealers that somehow get ahold of "B" stock of import instruments and push them on eba as being in excellent condition. At leaset one, "guitarweb" states when he knows there is a problem. I won and auction that he had for a "used" Hamer Cruise that was listed as having a twisted neck, and did it ever! The low side ("B" string) was warped a lot more then the high ("G" sting) side. Furthermore, the fingerboard had a couple of dips and several of the frets were not seated good. It took a couple of turns under the heat press with some creative clamping (extra shim under the B-E side) and then a lot of fret dresing to make it playable. Finally, after a lot of time spent working on it, it plays and sounds (a tiny bit of buzzing still exits on a couple of notes when played at soft volumes) really good.

    I should add that the neck wasn't the only problem that this bass had, the bridge pickup route was about 3/16" too far towards the treble side. This didn't really seem to hurt the magnetic pickup, but looked funny, so while I had the neck off to do the fret work, I exteneded the route a little so the pickup sits properly. I have a slight opening at the treble side now, but to me it looks much better then it did before.

    Furthermore, the pickup routs were too deep for normal Fender style pickup screws, so I had to add a 3/16" tall dowl section under each screw so I could get the pickups high enough (even with extremely low action!) to be in proper position under the strings.

    I guess I am lucky as I have the tools and knowledge to do these types of things, but a bass like this, the way it was when I got it, would be useless to many. And, if one was to pay to have the work done on it, it would end up costing as much or more then if the bass where to be bought new. To me, this bass was worth what I paid for it, as with some effort in my free time, I was able to pursue a "hobby" of working on instruments and get this playing properly...and it has some of the best sounding passive pickups I have heard on a Korean made instrument. But to others, beware instruments stamped "2" or "2nd" or "used"...they are like this for a reason...the manufactured could not honestly sell it as being correct. Furthermore, some of these instsruments may only have a finish flaw, these are properly OK to most...it is when you (or the seller) can't find the flaw that you have to worry, as it is there somewhere...and it is obvious enough that the manufacturer insists on marking it as such!

    Sorry for rambling so long...


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