Great luthiers with bargain prices?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Haans, Aug 10, 2017.


  1. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    Where would you recommend someone order a custom bass? We're looking for the up-and-coming luthiers, great builders with a keen sense of quality, yet their prices are still not ridiculous. Open to suggestions, know what they're doing. And pleasant to deal with, if possible. Not necessarily cheap, but quality should exceed what you expect at that price.

    Let's talk two scenarios:

    1) You want a well built fairly standard bass with some customisation. Say a Jazz with some extra features, in you favorite color, with a checkered pickguard. No, make that tort.

    2) Going all custom. 3-string neck, etched body ornaments, and this body was designed by your three year old, so it's not really fowl nor fish. Looks slightly reminiscent of a Gibson Explorer that's been cut up and glued together all wrong - if you squint your eyes and tilt you head. Hand made pickups, built in tape echo and espresso maker. Tort pickguard, but painted blackest black. And a carrot.

    I read about Crackercaster today, and that just blew my mind ever so slightly. They charge $813 (unless prices are up) for a completely hand built P of high quality (say their customers). That sounds like a bargain.

    (I found a similar thread, but it was from 2003. Darrin Huff was mentioned - he no longer makes the list, I suppose.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  2. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Great luthiers + Bargain prices = Oxymoron?
     
    JIO, Andre678, Richie Se7en and 17 others like this.
  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Wishbass.:whistle:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    Mugre, TolerancEJ, bolophonic and 2 others like this.
  4. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    $800 was simply an example. I'd like to hear about luthiers who do outstanding work, but might not be stars yet.
     
  5. Blasius in Hungary are pretty special.

    Blasius guitars |

    Also there's a young guy in Germany,took over his dad's workshop. When I remember his name I'll get you a link.
     
    Haans likes this.
  6. Take a look at Moollon! Luthier Young Joon Park is doing amazing, under the radar work at great prices. Can get an amazing custom instrument for around 2k-2500. For such a high quality instrument, I'd consider it a bargain! Won't quite run you those Sadowsky, Mayones, Ken Smith, etc... prices, and IMO a much better instrument!

    I own one of his J Classic V's and it's without a doubt one of the best sounding & playing basses I've ever played. Looking forward to picking up a Moollon P Classic soon!


    Moollon Musical Instrument
     
    Haans likes this.
  7. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Right now I think Maruszczyk takes the show for value to features to quality to variety to taking custom orders. Really really good stuff for the money.
     
  8. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    You DID say:
    "Going all custom. 3-string neck, etched body ornaments, and this body was designed by your three year old, so it's not really fowl nor fish. Looks slightly reminiscent of a Gibson Explorer that's been cut up and glued together all wrong - if you squint your eyes and tilt you head. Hand made pickups, built in tape echo and espresso maker. Tort pickguard, but painted blackest black. And a carrot."

    Here ya go!
    Krappyguitars
    The Krappy Bassists Klub
    Do a search on the word "Krappy"
    Plenty of threads.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
    ColdEye and Professor X like this.
  9. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    From what I've seen of Cliff Bordwell's work, $1,800 looks like a bargain as his starting price.
     
    steelbed45 likes this.
  10. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    I would strongly recommend my friend who runs Gamma Custom Basses. Most of his prices are between $800 and $1200. He'll do basic P or J style basses, or variants, all kinds of coll finishes, and top notch customer service. I own two and they are regulars for gigging. Joey Milstein is also a real standup dude.
     
    MCF, Haans and LiquidMidnight like this.
  11. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    Yeah, I have to agree. A custom-built doesn't have to approach the 5-figure mark, but:
    Take into account the cost of components, the cost of the wood-body, neck, fret board
    Finish, assembly, etc.

    If you shave the price, you have to take a hit in quality somewhere, unless the builder chooses to work for little or nothing.
    I would say that anything under 3K, maybe approaching 2 Grand, would be a very reasonable price for a bass built to your specs.
    I have seen more or less "stock" P and J basses for under $1000, they had some options as to finish, I believe. I'm sorry but I can't recall the name of the one builder in particular I am referring to.
    They seem like nice instruments, and the buyers reported happily, so...
    Maybe someone will chime in with the name. Sorry!
     
  12. jharms80439

    jharms80439

    Nov 23, 2004
    Evergreen, CO
    Certain Bass.

    Word is they are terrific basses at bargain prices.

    John
     
    Haans and 57pbass like this.
  13. Ok, let me think, luthier with bargain prices...

    ...is the Mothman guy still in business?
     
    TolerancEJ and LiquidMidnight like this.
  14. scuzzy

    scuzzy

    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Pricing – Prometeus Guitars

    Most bargain custom I have seen recently (since pushic left the game). Never played one though, but can't say I'm not tempted...
     
    gebass6, TolerancEJ and Haans like this.
  15. @Haans

    Still can't remember the young German lad but I can't believe I forgot to mention Rick and Moonshine Custom Guitars.
    He's a fellow TB'er and a great guy.

    Moonshine Guitar | HOME
     
    JACink and Haans like this.
  16. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
  17. RickyT

    RickyT

    May 29, 2015
    Dee Why
    Great luthiers
    Bargain prices

    Pick one.
    If you expect someone to put in 100+ hours into hand making a bass you can't expect a bargain price.

    RJ's Custom Shop in Sydney Australia
    The Bass Shop

    Tom Konig from Canberra, Australia
    www.konigbassworx.com.au
     
    Crater and gebass6 like this.
  18. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    Great suggestions, people. I'll check them out!

    Wonder why some people don't read before posting, but I'll repeat myself: I'm talking about luthiers who do outstanding work for the money, not for pocket change. Sadowsky and others are great, but not at all budget friendly prices. Crackercaster looks like unbelievable stuff for the money (Crackercaster use local wood, and as far as I know it's free. That shaves a chunk off the price.).
     
  19. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    tumblr_okmnewwQRe1qmob6ro1_500.gif
     
  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.

     
    Aug 2, 2021

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