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Have Roscoes Saturated the Market?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kavorka, Jul 8, 2004.


  1. Kavorka

    Kavorka

    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    When I bought my Roscoe last year, there were few used basses to choose from and I ended up buying new. Now, about 12 months later, I am seeing used Roscoe's everywhere: Ebay, Bassgear, here, etc. And, they're going for at least a thousand less, sometime much more.

    So, do you think Roscoe basses have exceeded their saturation point or are people moving on to new, more popular basses? :confused:
     
  2. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I don't think so. I think that the used prices are about the same as the were a few years ago. Lately though, there have been a few more used being offerred than normal, but all that is fairly cyclical. There weren't many Roscoes up for sale a few months back. They're great basses, and an exceptional value used.
     
  3. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    What Halftooth said!
     
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The more expensive the bass, the more $$$$ you save buying used. Figure depreciation of at least 25% as soon as you walk out of the door with it. For basses that retail at around $3000, that translates to $750 or more.

    I think there are a few simple reasons you see high end basses being dumped:

    1. Owner is overextended financially
    2. Owner discovered the bass wasn't "the one" for them
    3. Owner is addicted to buying and selling gear

    So when are you selling yours ? :D
     
  5. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    That pretty much sums it up. If they are getting cheaper used, good for the buyers. They are getting great basses for the money. Hopefully Keith Roscoe is profitable.
     
  6. Kavorka

    Kavorka

    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    I laughed at your questions "when am I selling mine" but I actually HAVE considered selling it. I know that tone is mostly in my fingers, but my heart loves to tell me its my equipment's fault that I don't hear the exact tone I want - so I must need new equipment.

    Lately, I've wondered if the boutique bases are worth so much more cash than regular basses. I know they're awesome, but don't always feel their "price of a car" awesome.
     
  7. Many solutions....

    1-People who wants to be original perhaps think "too much people have roscoes now! I need to skip brand..)
    2-Not the bass they need, don't bring the sound in their head..... :bawl:
    3-They love look first, now are used to it..... :meh:

    And many more, but I don't know what else! :confused:

    Vince
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Roscoes tend to have a lower new sale price than a lot of other high-end basses-you can get a nice new 5-string for about $2400. This allows more people to buy them, and thus there's more on the used market (look at the abundance of low-to middle priced instruments in on eBay).

    Also, and this is just guessing, Roscoes are usually pretty "assembly line" construction basses. Meaning that you see very few really custom basses, and most are made with the same neck woods, same coloring on the backs of the couple of body choices, all are bolt-on, etc. so Keith can keep a stock of them, so there are probably more Roscoes being made than most other high-enders.
     
  9. One thing that should be checked out is the amp that a bass is played through. Each manufacturer voices their preamp section a little different than the next. You may have a different practice amp at home and gig with something else. Your sound is dead at home but at the gig you sound fantastic. Before you sell, just check your equipment. I am convinced that I got rid of a Stingray because of a preamp that I was using. I have an amp at home, one at rehearsal, and one for shows. I have a Lakland JO5 w/J-retro, Lakland 55-02, and a G&L2500. They all sound different through the different amps.
     
  10. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Although I'm a big advocate for most of the sound being in you, not your bass, sometimes it is equipment. Also, as I've advanced as a bass player, I've found my sound getting "crappy". In actual fact the sound wasn't crappy, it was just that as I got better I felt the need to move on to a different tone. Seems to happen too often though. :ninja: The guy I'd sell my equipment to would be like, " Dude! why are you selling this stuff!" The different strokes, different folks thing.
     
  11. No.
    Roscoe basses are made by a few guys in a shop in North Carolina. No CNC machines as far as I know, so I don't see what BRT is talking about.
    High-end super-customs are all the rage today among players who, as it has been suggested, would do just as well with a good P-Bass, but the power of advertising and envy seem to have a real grip on bass dudes these days.
    I bought a 3005 from a guy in Cali who needed to pay off the credit card bills for his kids' Christmas gifts, didn't like it after two weeks, and flipped it. That was a stupid move, because it was a good bass. Unless the bass has fatal faults, like a bad neck or dry-rot, why not just play the thing and learn to get the sound you need out of it instead of looking for the next thing?
     
  12. Kavorka

    Kavorka

    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    I can understand that. I've got my Roscoe and still enjoy it. But I've been playing a lot of classic rock and fusion lately, so I bought the Lakland SL Darryl Jones that fellow TB'er Shawn2000 was selling. It arrived the other day and even my wife says it sounds better for the music I'm playing. I have seen my playing style and efficiency change and seem to be leaning away from the 5-string. Though I still think Roscoe makes a heck of a bass and a B-string that can rupture vital organs.
     
  13. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I went to Keith's shop about 7 years ago, and he's definitely a small operation. At that time it was just he and another guy. He may have a few more employees now, but I'm sure it's not an assembly line style bass factory. I should have gone over there and worked a little for him when I was in the area.

    Anyway, I think one problem the Roscoe's may have in the used market is that Keith hasn't changed his body style much over the years. He's got the LG's and the SKB's, and I think it has been that way for the last 10 years. I respect him for sticking to them and developing signature body shapes, but the result is that people begin to perceive he's like Carvin...only custom building to the extent he switches hardware, wood and color. I think the perception is exacerbated by the fact he uses aftermarket hardware (Barts, Aguilar, some Demeter?) from other suppliers and not his own proprietary stuff. Of course, the Bart stuff has always been custom made for him, so it's not a completely correct perception, but I think people still have it.

    I guess I'd contrast his style to Ken Smith's basses, which seem to have a bit more resale luck. Ken has a much easier distinguishable "tier" in his basses -- if you have a BSR Elite, it will always carry a higher resale than if you have a regular BSR-M or whatever. Ken also has a few more body styles such that you can distinguish a vintage one (CR or BT) from a new one (BSR or Fusion)...whereas with Keith's, its hard to make that distinction.

    Going to school in Winston Salem, I think of Keith as my home team builder. I'd like to have one of his basses, and I'm not dissing them at all. I've always really liked their tone and I've always been impressed with the build quality. I also give it up for him for not doing the flavor of the month -- making a vintage (quasi fender) style bass, or coming out with a single cut, etc.
     
  14. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut

    I mean that if you go to the Roscoe site and look at the available inventory as of 7/2/2004, there's over 110 basses available. That's not very common of high-end builders.

    Roscoe has been making basses for a while now. They know what works and have limited the options to customers so that no matter what they order, they'll end up with a good bass. The necks are all bolt-on and made with the same maple/purpleheart/maple combo, making them interchangable and easy to stock. There are only about 3 body wood choices, and they can pick the tops they choose, so they can make many in advace if they so chose. I believe the fingerboard selection is about six or seven woods as well. Roscoe is more of a dealer-style custom builder-they build instruments mostly to put in store rather than sell direct, which is another reason why they're easy to find on the used market. This is opposed to builders such as, say, Ken Bebensee, who offers many, many more options and by going with the customers requests has far less chances of building up an inventory and usually sells direct.

    I'm not saying Roscoe is a mass-producer at all-they make hand-made beautiful instruments. But by limiting the options available to the customer and working mostly by their own specs rather than a customer's request, therefore saving time and money, they can create inventory faster and sell at a lower cost. A few guys can make a lot of basses.