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High end fretless 6'er, low end price

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kheos, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. Kheos


    Aug 12, 2002
    I dream about a fretless 6'er, I love the look of those high end basses like conklin, but I want something I can afford. And then I'm talking about something between 1500 and 2000 €'s. anyone got any idea's about luthier or brands I should check?
  2. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    I would recommend getting something second hand (used). For example that Morch fretless on eBay : item # 3779989872 (not affiliated)

    If you want something custom made to your own specs, perhaps Bass Culture would fit your budget? http://www.bassculture.de

    Probably there are a bunch of other good but decently priced luthiers scattered about Europe (especially Gremany) that I don't know of.
  3. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    If you're patient enough, you'll find a lot of used instruments that will fall into your price range. Try the wanted/for sale sections of the classifieds on here and bassgear. Also, keep an eye on the bay and all the bigger online bass-heavy stores.

    If you wait it out and can negotiate well, you might have enough dough left over for some other stuff too! :cool:
  4. Kheos


    Aug 12, 2002
    that's some good advice guys, thanks!

    I'm not really into used stuff(don't know anyone who's happy with it, or had any good experience with it :s)
  5. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004

    You're kidding right?
    I don't buy new anymore.
  6. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
  7. Kheos


    Aug 12, 2002
    No, I'm not kidding at all. A friend of mine bought second had aria pro guitar and it was the worst guitar ever. the jack was loose as hell, the bridge was unstable, the pickups went sorta on and off, the action was terrible and the strings rattled(obviously he didn't know much about guitars back then)he also bought a marshall amp whicho sounds great one week, and then just sucks the other week. the buttons are corrosed internally and crackle all the way to kansas.

    the next year he bought a ibanez r something guitar. It was better, but still... kinda sucks.

    bottom line, I know no one who's happy with second hand gear.

    So OK, I might be alien, but that's just who I am.
    What would be a good price to buy a fretless six'er? I'm talking bout the real stuff, barts, ebony fretboard, nice wooden body... nothing fancy, nothing too expensive, just the bare necessity
  8. Doesn't sound like anything a little TLC couldn't overcome. Besides, if you know what you're looking at, you'd never come across those sort of probs in the first place.

    You can get some real STEALS used. Be prepared to pay if you want quality in new gear.

    If you want the "real stuff" (by your definition) in a decently priced new sixer that's not too expensive, then buy a conklin or a carvin. From what I've seen conklins are quite reasonably priced.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Could've been worse I guess.. he could've not known anything about jewelry and spent money on diamonds.
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    between 1500 and 2000 €'s isn't exactly what I'd call a "low end price". I got my Brice fretless sixer for under $170. :hyper:
  12. Since you're in Europe, you might talk to Jon Shuker:


    I have two of his solidbodies (fretted and fretless 6s) and like them (see my avatar). You can see mine on the Bolt-on Custom page and in the Gallery--they're the ones with the amboyna burl tops. Great guy, great basses, great prices.

    I'm certain there are other choices too; I just mention Jon because I've worked with him personally. If you talk to him, tell him I said hi.
  13. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    No one at all? How many people do you know? I've been very happy with all my used Warwicks, my Genz Benz GBE600, several effects, lots of cabs, etc. And I've made a lot of people happy in selling them some of my things, which were kept in great condition. I've sold a lot of stuff on eBay and recently a few things on Talkbass, and with the exception of one problem with UPS damaging a package, I've never had an unsatisfied buyer.

    Sure, there is junk out there! But it's quite easily avoided. The fact that you've had such bad experience is unfortunate, but it's in no way representative of the experiences that a majority of others have had.

    Did your friend buy the Aria online, or locally? If he bought it locally and didn't inspect it and notice any of these things, then it's his own fault, and he forfeits the right to complain about it. If he bought it online, then he got duped, and if he bought it somewhere like eBay, there are procedures he could have taken to get his money back.

    I'm curious as to whether the Ibanez guitar your friend bought really sucked, or if it was just not what he wanted it to be. I don't know what level Ibanez this was, but if you buy a cheap guitar used, don't expect it to play like a $2000 guitar. If it plays like a cheap guitar, then you got what you paid for, and you don't really have a leg to stand on when you complain about it. If it was a high end Ibanez, then it's more understandable to be upset. However, was it faulty or did it just not have the sound your friend was looking for? I've played $2000 Custom Shop Fender basses before that I didn't think were all that great, but it's not because they "suck" it's because they're just not what I personally look for in a bass.

    Keep these things in mind before you bash used gear entirely. After all, you'll be changing your tune about it when you inevitably decide down the road to sell one of your basses or an amp or something.
  14. mkromer


    Oct 16, 2004

    by all means go and check out http://www.humanbase.de/

    I recently received a fretted "The Base" 6string and it's an amazing bass. Sound and workmanship are top notch. I also had the pleasure to check out several Human Base fretless basses and the C string on these really sings. I can highly recommend his basses and the prices are very reasonable for a high end custom instrument.

    Human Base is a 1 person business and the luthier, Siggi Jäger is a super nice person, very calm and laid back. He will be glad to accomodate all your personal needs and ideas. My fretted 6 was custom made for me with 19mm string spacing and a 35" scale length without any extra charges and the guy even threw in a nice strap.



    Disclaimer: I don't own any Human Base stock nor so I have any other financial interest in the company. I'm just a happy bass player

  15. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    In that price range, there are a few custom builders that do very nice work. My 6 fretted and my yet to be completed 6 fretless are both in that price range. My luthier is Karl Hoyt. You can contact him, but I don't know if he is taking any new customers. Even if he isn't taking any new commissions, there are other luthiers that are building basses in that price range.

    The thing I like about custom instruments is that you get something that is unique and tailored to your desires.
  16. I'll echo my comments I just posted in the another post about inexpensive 6 string basses.

    I play a Brice fretless 6 ($199 new), a Brice fretted 6 ($279 new), and a Samick fretted neck through ($210 used). I picked up a Yamaha 5 string used for $99 at a local music shop due to a bad body repair, but it's great for taking out in 10 degree weather when you're called to do a football game tailgate party.

    One of these days I'll get a custom-made new Overwater 6 string, but I can't afford the $3000-$4000 price tag now (nor probably ever). For the time being, I'll go for used or cheap new when playing in smoke filled bars, but anything over $400 isn't worth taking out. Had a top of the line Ibanez - bought it new. Got wacked on a light taking a small chip out of the head. This axe that listed for $1300 that you could pickup for $700 four years ago is now worth $200. Besides if you pick up a used that you can't stand, put it up on Ebay with a no-return policy, and say why you don't like it. No reason you shouldn't get 90% of what you paid for it back (if you didn't overpay).

  17. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I don't disagree. If you are purchasing something that you feel that you may want to sell later, then used is the way to go.

    However, by the time I ordered my custom, I knew what I wanted in a bass. I found a luthier that does a great job for less than $2000. I told him what I like and he turned my rough idea into a beautiful instrument in every way. Yes, if I ever decided to sell my instrument, I would never get near what I paid for it, but I don't see that as a problem as I will not be selling this instrument. It was made for me and it will be played by me until I am unable to play any more.

    To the original poster, do what feels right to you. There are many production 6-string basses out there, but if they don't offer what you are looking for, then consider a custom built instrument.
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I don't understand not liking used gear.

    As long as you inspect it carefully, you can't go wrong.

    I own two very nice custom bassses that I bought used. If I had to buy them new, I would only have one. And the new price is so much higher on either of them, that I might have passed on both of them.

    If you are careful, there are some great bargains out there on the used market.
  19. Kheos


    Aug 12, 2002
    mm,yeah, maybe you guys are right
    but still...
    what would an average active fretless 6'er with ebony fretboard cost me?
    2nd hand, or new, custom or mass
  20. Well, there really is no average. That's an impossible question. For new, talk to the makers; for used, check out eBay and similar resources. Or look at the Bass Gear for Sale forum *that's right on this site*.

    Many bass luthiers list prices on their sites, or will give approximate prices if you e-mail them. You just have to look or ask.