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Interesting trend.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Woodchuck, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I'm noticing that more and more, players are opting to have custom basses made, as opposed to buying an established brand or going the high end route. I think it's great the so many people are giving the small indie lutheir a chance to get his products "out there", and spreading the praise once their instrument is delivered to them with satifactory results. I still love Warwicks, Lulls, MTD's, etc., but I also absolutely love Eshenbuaghs as well. I also know that DP has a lot of fans here. Sometimes it becomes a matter of economics, but when you finally get your custom job, it usually ends up being a helluva lot better than you could've imagined. Plus, it gives you a chance to test the feasibilty of that "mega bass" idea that you've been dreaming about! Personally, I think that being able to build a bass by hand is an awesome talent, and I respect what these guys do. Hell, I wish I could do it!
  2. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Anyone know of any indie luthiers around Seattle?
  3. David King is in Portland--a good 6 hours, but not too bad.

    I'm only 3 hours from Amherst and I never touched my FBB until Matt Schmill shipped it to me. I was still very pleased with the results.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Germany is custom bass country, so this trend has been there since the early 80s, e.g. when Schack did their version of a bass in the Alembic range.
    Fenders were always expensive (back then even more), so a lot of people started getting into bass building.
  5. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Even though I can afford anything I want, I choose to buy "off the rack."
  6. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    The main reason I refuse to buy custom is because there is no "try before you buy."
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Depending on who you deal with, there is.
    Most German companies who only sell direct will send a bass to you for testing, or they have showrooms.
    Reiner Dobbratz of Le Fay even has a showtruck, the T-Rex, that tours Germany 2 or 3 times a year.
  8. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Good Thread!

    The only reason that I would buy off the rack now is to buy that "certain" sound of a bass. Meaning that only one bass sounds like a P or a J or a Stringray. Or has a graphite neck. After my next Modulus, all of my basses will be made custom. I really can't think of a reason for them not to be.
  9. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    i think its nice to go custom because of one reason... customer service. you talk to the guy that built your bass, and if anythings wrong, he will fix it. i cant wait to go that route.


    you can try before you buy with conklins.... sort of, with the GT series. thas what i did, only cos i cant afford a custom job. i cant wait to get a conklin custom shop fretless 7 though, to match my gt-7 fretted.... ahhhhhh
  10. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I still consider MTDs and Lulls as custom instruments.
  11. Perhaps one major factor might be the internet. On one hand, players can find out and explore the websites of the smaller manufacturers, instead of being bombarded with the same-old at major chains stores (Too many bread-n-butter Fenders out there, not enough variety).

    Second, the internet is helping players connect. Perhaps the same number of players have been going for custom basses but now we have internet communities so we can meet and discuss.

    Hell, I knew jack about basses before I got DSL a few months ago. (err, truss rod?...Oh! There's a brand called Warwick? Are they any good?...so on, so on...)
  12. Is Carl Thompson still considered to be a small builder?

    I am hoping to have a CT made in the next couple of years.
  13. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    man, i was watching my recording of "night of the living megadeth" from mtv that i recorded like 8 years ago...you know, when they released youthanasia...anyway, i was thinking about how cool it would be to have a custom 6 string flying v like dave mustaine's jackson king v...i wonder who would commision something like that.. ;) neat idea, huh? hee hee
  14. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    neptoon... give bill conklin a call... hed do it
  15. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    yeah, i'm sure he would ;) ...man, that would be _so_ cool. dana strum from slaughter is about the only guy i really know to have used a v bass. oh man...:D drool
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Has Mike Lull lost his "indie cred"? :confused:
  17. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I think the internet is a major factor. Since I've been trafficking this and other newsgroups and forums, I've learned a lot about many of the smaller companies and independent luthiers. I've learned at least as much about what makes a quality instrument.

    Three years ago if somebody had told me "I just saw a great deal on a Hanewinckel" it would have meant zippo to me. Two years ago, I'd have thought, "Sounds like a good deal, but I'm not gonna spend that much money (it was a great deal, but still in 4 digits) on something I can't play first."

    But last year when this deal sprang up, I was able to quickly go through Hanewinckel's site, assess that he knew what he was doing and what he was talking about, and get feedback from a couple folks who had played or owned them. First time I'd ever bought a bass without playing it or some representative product from the same company. I'm more than pleased with my Hanewinckel. I've already had Alembic make me a custom. If Geshel keeps flashing his pictures up I might have to give Pete H. a call one of these days.


    James L. Martin
  18. Lull's moved to New York, IIRC.
  19. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Not according to the website :) (www.mikelull.com). That would be too bad if he did move.

    There's also Brian Nelson, aka Fidelis Morphin. He's a friend of some friends of mine, and I've heard he's really good stuff when it comes to guitar repairs and setup. The guitars that he's made for Tony Geballe and Mike Rutherford look awesome. I remember hearing that he "could do" basses too, but I've never seen any examples of such.


    There's also a www.fidelismorphin.com webpage, but it hasn't been updated for two years. . . :) (he's a busy guy from what I hear).

    Hmm. . .Dave Bunker is in Lynwood I think. Of course Warmoth is in Puyallup, if they count :).

    BTW Portland is only 3 hours from Seattle. :D

    I definitely think the Internet has had a lot to do with this. James I think you hit the nail on the head.
  20. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    which reminds me...hey geshel, when you get that new winkie, i'm gonna have to take the ferry over and check it out.. ;)

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