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Is this a suitable starter bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Fishbrain, Apr 10, 2010.


  1. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    Hi there I've been playing electric bass for 10 years and want to move into upright bass as well.

    I've decided to go acoustic over electric (which I was toying with for a while...) and I don't have a very big budget. Probably less than £500.

    As far as I'm aware there aren't any shops stocking upright basses by me so don't really have a chance to try out any basses but I have found this bass/case/bow deal on the internet and was wondering if anybody could tell me if it's worth getting this one or hanging on for something else?

    http://www.gear4music.com/Woodwind-Brass-Strings/3-4-Jazz-Size-Double-Bass-and-Case/1O1

    Thanks!
     
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Welcome to the dark side. It's worth reading the newbie links, as they contain a lot of useful information. There have also been a few recent threads on the subject of super-inexpensive basses. Naturally, these threads can get a bit acrimonious, because some are saying that these basses aren't worth buying, while others have bought them and are happy. It may be that both "sides" are right, but it makes for a delicate discussion at best.

    Anyhow, there's a lot of information there, all worth reading. Best of luck!
     
  3. Harry Grossman

    Harry Grossman

    Apr 9, 2010
    VA
    well first....r u sure u dont need a full size? and yes, it does look good other than that. best of luck!
     
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Please read the noobie links - this type of question has been answered way too many times.

    The short answer to your question is no, it isn't possible to get a decent double bass for 500 pounds retail. In the states, you'd be lucky to find something for $1k used that has any kind of quality.
     
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Among the oddities of DB's is the fact that there is no precise standard size & shape, and bass sizes vary. The designators 4/4, 3/4, etc., are somewhat approximate, yet the 3/4 size bass represents the typical "full size" that most adults play.

    I suspect that lower priced basses are sized to conform with standards published by school organizations such as MENC:

    http://woodsoundstudio.com/images/setup-charts/cello&bass-sizes.pdf

    But bassists tend to revile at anybody trying to cram our beloved and odd-sized instruments into such a Procrustean bed.

    Just like the Eskimos have 20 words for snow, bassists have a whole terminology for the bigness of basses. :D
     
  6. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    thanks for the replies,

    I'm not sure I even need an upright at all but for some reason the 3/4 appeals to me ore from what I've heard and read (even though I am 6ft 4!)

    And I have read through the noob links as well, thats what finally swayed me away from an EUB!

    If anyone does know of a shop in or around Liverpool, England where I could try a few out that would be great too!
     
  7. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings

    After reading your profile I see no evidence that you have the experience to comment. If you own a DB please accept my apology.
     
  8. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Good advice.
     
  9. wdnewman

    wdnewman

    Apr 13, 2009
    Answers:

    1. No, you cannot get a decent bass for 500 NORMALLY. The exception is the odd old bass in an estate sale or owned by someone who doesn't know what it is and doesn't care. This involves huge amounts of knowledge about basses on YOUR part and the lack thereof on THEIR part.
    2. The odds of getting anything off the internet (especially packaged deals from "dealers") that is worth having at this price range is absolute zero. Suitable beginner basses start in the1000 range (see the Shen SB80) and go up. That does not include setup, which is a major, major concern when buying a bass. Basses do not come from factories or large chain/internet stores set up, no matter what they claim. You will have to go to a reputable luthier to get that done.
    3. If you are not positive that you want to get into this fully, I would suggest rental, or rent-to-buy deals some music concerns provide. Make sure that it comes set up.
    4. Note: 3/4 size is the size most all bass players use. DO NOT begin playing on a 4/4 bass. Do not listen to anyone who does not know that 3/4 is the normal bass size.
    5. Go and re-read the Newbie stickies all over again. Read everything.
    Any question you will ever have about beginning bass is in there.
    Good Luck on your search.
     
  10. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    This is how these threads become acrimonious. You've got a 13 year old kid with an Ibanez EBG giving you COMPLETELY WRONG advice about an orchestral instrument.

    3/4 is full sized.

    Without looking at exchange rates today, 500 pounds is not $500. I think it's closer to $1,000.

    As for this bass being a good starter, it's tough to tell. It might be, there's no real indication who made it or what it is. Can you call the shop and ask them some questions about it?

    It is almost certainly Chinese, which is not a deal killer, there are some decent Chinese made instruments, but there are also some really bad ones. The worst ones are strung with some really awful strings that don't exist elsewhere in the world. It concerns me a bit that the shop is also selling "Double Bass Strings by xxx", which is non brand that I (a institutionalized string junky) have never hear of. That could be a sign of the origin of their basses..or not. I would call them and ask questions if you can and then let us know what you've learned about it.

    Snobbishness aside, I understand the need for people to pick up an inexpensive starter bass and I remember thinking that $1,000 is not exactly inexpensive. Just be aware that sometimes a really inexpensive acoustic instrument just isn't functional, could cost you more in setup and repair and won't hold resell value. But, some of them do.
     
  11. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    It's $768. And from what I've seen, basses in the UK are priced as if dollars and pounds are equal (ie, pounds are to Brits as dollars are to Americans). Check out the "budget" instruments here to see what I mean.

    http://www.contrabass.co.uk/budgetbasses.htm
     
  12. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Check this out. Nothing in Liverpool, but you should call some of these shops to get info. Maybe someone will steer you in the right direction.

    http://www.gollihurmusic.com/luthiers.cfm
     
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Without knowing exactly where everything is, the link the Eric provided looks like it's to a pretty good shop with a range of instruments. Can you check it out?

    We've got a pretty strong UK contingent here, maybe someone locally can help?
     
  14. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Brandon, is that you?
     
  15. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    This gets asked so often.

    Go through the forum and look for CCB threads.

    I seriously doubt that the upright you are looking at will hold any value at all. There is a reason that uprights cost so much.
     
  16. Spot on.
     
  17. Bass

    Bass

    Nov 10, 2003
    Canada
    :):):)
     
  18. duckyincarnate

    duckyincarnate

    Oct 18, 2005
    London, UK
    There is a UK double bass forum here. If you do a search for Gear4music, you will find some useful information. One of the more experienced members recently took a punt on the high end G4M bass (as a cheapo second bass), and documents the work he has had his luthier put in to make it playable.
     
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I have nothing to add other than I want to commend the membership for making this version of the standard internet bass thread much more pleasant and welcoming than the last one.This is the way they're supposed to go. Carry on! :)
     
  20. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Yep, I wanted to see how this would go. I intentionally didn't post and I also thought wdnewman's answer was right on target. As I see it, the advice is the same in this thread as one usually finds in other similar ones. What differs is the lack of unappreciative remarks and the posting by individuals whose purpose is to stir up controversy. Fishbrain, I hope you feel both welcome and helped.
     

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