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Inexpensive Basses in U.K?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by junglejim, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    Having a look around...
    Best DB for around £1200 in UK?
    stentor - arcadia seems the best i can find?!
  2. Recently bought a Stentor Elysia Bass. Great value for the money, though I needed to put a good set of strings on and have the bridge set up properly.
  3. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    yes i was looking at the Stenor range...
    the Elysia or the Arcadia are top of my list so far!!

    I just have this dislike of shiny new DB's!
    rather find a nice old second hand one...
    but doesnt every one!!!!!
    Its not gonna happen!!!!
    so for the money Stentors....seem very good.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Where did you get this? Also are there any websites that host pictures or give more details?

    I was talking to a guy a few weeks ago who was playing Double Bass at a local Jazz jam I go to and he had bought an Andreas Zeller bass but didn't really like it.

    Last week he came along with a different DB ,which sounded much better - he told me how he had just seen an ad in the local paper !! :eek:

    So - this family wanted to sell, as the player had died. This bass was really nice and had a Fishman mic/pickup system included - and the guy I was talking to, got the whole lot for £600!!

    So I can testify that he sounded a whole lot better with this bass,more tone and volume - but had paid less!! Now he's trying to sell the Andreas Zeller bass!! ;)

    I never seem to get his kind of luck!! :bawl:
  5. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    Hi Bruce,
    great another UK bassist!!!!
    I see you play an NS EUB.. you like it?
    how much did it cost you?
    I have a Bassix "Jazza" EUB ...i had made just befor Xmas, cant decide if i like it or not!?
    cant seem to get the sound i have in my head!

    think i should have gone for a DB instead of a EUB!

    maybe if i sell soon wont loose too much dosh!
    then hunt for that nice DB.

    cheapest place i have seen Stentors
    £1189 for Elysia
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks for that - I haven't seen that site before and it does seem to be a good UK source for DBs - I think I'm going to try to find out more about Stentors!! ;)

    The trouble I find, is that all these basses are around - but there are no shops where you can try them out!! :(

    So - how do you know which one to buy and which will suit you? :confused:
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Hmmm...I just looked at Stentor's website after doing a google search and they are made in Chinese factories - so, I have heard bad things on this website about Chinese basses - although I have no personal experience.:meh:

    This is the problem I find in the UK - all these basses look nice in the ads and the specs sound good - but there is nowhere to try them and so how can you be sure that you don't pay out a lot of money on a bass that is not what you want?

    So - with the NS basses, I was able to try several examples of different configurations for as many times and as long as I liked - so I was able to decide that I did really like the way my bass played and sounded.

    But this just doesn't seem possible with "real" DBs... :meh:
  8. I was visiting Turner Violins in Nottingham(I believe they have a shop in Birmingham now too) and they have some Gewa basses, which don't sound bad at all, and are within your price range. I thought the hybrid was good value, at least you can try them for comparison.
  9. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    If you find any good info on Stentors Bruce...please keep posting!...

    according to local music shop...Stentors are one of the few chinese basses that are OK? (they say!)
    I think i read that Zellers are made buy Stentor now??!!

    May give Turner violins a visit...

    right...I think its time to put my EUB on Ebay and see what happens...this will be fun!!!!!!

  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's a long way for me to drive - but it may be worth it to actually try some DBS!! ;)

    But looking at Turner Violins' website highlights my problems with buying DBs. So - they have a catalogue of DBs that includes one or two cheap instruments and then we are up to £18,000 , £35,000!!! :eek:

    So I could drive there - 3-4 hours each way - but it looks like the instruments are either too cheap and basically crap or way off my price scale! :(

    It would just be too depressing to go all that way and then only be disappointed as what I liked was going to be forever beyond my reach, price-wise!!
  11. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    Yes i agree long drive!
    .... seems to be a massive gap between cheap basses around £1000 and the start of the "good list" at around £7000++++++

    I also can never see myself spending that much on a bass... (my main instrument being BG)

  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I searched TB for Stentor info and there were a few threads about - but mostly people didn't know much about them - there was one positive review :

    12-15-2003 10:58 AM


    Registered: Apr 2003

    I'm going to answer my own question, in case anyone is in a similar situation to the one I was in. I wanted a decent bass, solid top, for under £1000. I'm based in the north-west of England, where theres no specialist bass shop. I played several second hand romanian basses for about £700/£800, and thought they sounded pretty dead, not much volume or resonance.
    Although this site had turned me against chinese instruments, as had my previous bass (Antoni, plywood, chinese, £450 and sounds like it), I played the stentor partly for comparison, partly because they used to import the Golden Strad basses which had been highly reccomended to me but which noone seems to import anymore.
    It sounds gorgeous, I've had it for a few weeks now, put Spirocores on it, its really loud, lovely to play, fully carved, cost £900 and blows everything else I tried out the water.
    I'm a novice, but my teacher (Steve Berry, bassist in Loose Tubes for anyone who knows their UK jazz) says hes never seen such a good new bass for the money. You get a decent bow and bag for the cash too.
    The basses available in the UK and USA seem to be very different, so this might not apply to many reading this, but anyone looking for a bass in the UK for under a grand, I really reccomend you at least play a Stentor Conservetoire before you buy anything else.
  13. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    OOOOoooo that sounds good...
    Im getting excited!!!!:D

    got to sell my EUB now...just put it on ebay!!
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well...I'm not trying to denigrate the poster there in any way - but he has only played a £450 plywood chinese bass before - so it may sound good by comparison with that,but....?:meh:
  15. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    im easily excited!!!:p

    my approach these days is...
    [ buy / try / sell ]
    (the third being optional)

    the grass is always going to be greener...
    slightly off-yellow will do me!

  16. I suggested Turners in Nottingham because at least you can actually play the basses you are interested in.
    You are not too far from London either, both are accesible by train. Think of it as an adventure, a day out. Then,if you find something close to home,maybe even second hand, you will be better able to tell if its a "dog" or a "gem" because you have at least got something to compare it to.?
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Where can you try DBs in London - I went to Footes in Golden Square and they had one DB and it sounded like crap!!

    I would love to know of other shops where you can do this!!
  18. I've heard great things said by poeple who should know about Chinese and Korean basses but I don't remember the details - call Fookes or David Vernon violins who were waxing lyrical a year or so back.

    BTW it's Zeller who make the basses for Stentor as oposed to be the other way around but it's not important to anyone.

    I almost choked on my lunch to read a post from Bruce praising a cheap double bass without a eulogy of his beloved EUB:confused: . However, although it was only a report from someone else but if it tells the truth Steve Berry has to give it a lot of credibility you don't think Bruce? The guy is a well experienced pro who contributes to the emeinent double-bassist http://www.thestrad.com/backiss_db.html magazine. If it wasn't for being based in the NW he might be better known nationally. As Steve regualrly does summer schools I'm suprised you haven't crossed paths at some time.

    Anyway, I'd get excited Jim, but I wouldn't put anything on e-bay first. Why not contact him - here's his home page http://www.room4music.com/http://www.room4music.com/ with of course a contact e-amil address etc and invite him to sign up to TB whilst you're at it?

    BTW I ain got the hang of putting URLs in yet as you can see!!:bawl:
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've heard of Loose Tubes and I've heard of Steve Berry from a pianist/friend who I play in a band with.....hmmm don't know if I should say this - but she was very unhappy with him at the Summerschool in the South of France - if you want details I think you'll have to PM me !! :meh:
  20. junglejim


    Nov 17, 2003
    Norfolk, UK