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Jim Laabs Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Johnny L, May 18, 2004.

  1. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I don't know too much about this store, the basses they sell, etc., but I had the opportunity to play one yesterday. Another guy here bought one a little while back and has been learning to play on it.

    I have to say that for the money, it's an outstanding bass. Maybe this guy got lucky or something, but I was blown away by how good it sounded and how good it looked.

    Anyone else play these basses with pride?
  2. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    First let me start off by saying I know nothing about the basses. I do know about their business practices at Jim Laabs. I tried to get a shipping quote on a bass and before we could consumate the deal the bass sold. No matter, they had more. I tried to get in contact and no answer. I tried several times with no answer. Then I found out the guy raised the price $200 but would not tell me or respond to my emails. I just think that was chicken$#!t. I did not care so much that they raised the price but I did care the guy would not respond to my emails. That would give me the clue service after the sale was not going to happen. It just seemed like something shady was going on for the guy just not to be upfront. I bought my bass from someone else and spent more but I know that when I call, Gary Upton he will speak with me, when I email, he responds.

  3. pathdoc2


    Oct 16, 2002
    Allen, TX
    I have a Jim Laab Hamburg model bass. I like the bass alot and feel I got a great deal. I purchased if off ebay 2 years ago. It needed a setup and new strings. After 2 years of playing I can tell you this bass was a great bargain. It sounds and plays great. One bad point. It was hard to get a hold of anyone after the sale. Also they forgot to mention that it would take about 3 weeks just to ship the instrument. When it arrive it had a dime sized spot on the top where something had penetrated the shipping box. The defect was very small and I didn't bother with an exchange. Despite this I still feel like I got alot of bass for the money. I paid about $900 for the bass and $150 or so for a good setup.
  4. Gufenov


    Jun 8, 2003
    Jim Laabs has a pretty bad feedback record on ebay, with a lot of complaints about poor (or no) communication. Even some of the "positive" feedback comments mention this problem. I can't comment on the quality of their basses, other than I've read (but can't verify) that they're made in South Korea, by the same folks that make the cheaper line that Lemur sells. Nonetheless, their poor record of service would kill the deal for me.
  5. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Hmmm...that's not good. If Lemur is also offering these basses, however, then I'd check out their inventory.
  6. andywah


    May 16, 2004
    If you can wait a few days (or weeks as it may be) until I receive my bass from Jim Laabs, I’ll tell you all about it. I’ve purchased a new Hamburg model which should be shipping today (5-18-4), we’ll see. Their service is less than desirable, but if the bass is as good as I’ve read from others, it’s of little consequence to me. I did however, get a deal on the hard case, -$100 off.
  7. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    It may do you some good to see if Lemur will price match Jim Laabs price if in fact it is the same bass.

  8. Just wanted to resurrect an old thread because I play a Jim Laabs Hamburg I purchased roughly 13 years ago. My luthier and I used it as a test bed for converting a 1/2 sized 4 stringer into a viable 5 stringer. I still use it to this day. It aged well and is a real orchestral cannon, as far as smaller per service orchestra gigs go. The fingerboard on it needed a little planing, and the bridge and strings were changed out, as were the tailpiece--A Pecanic, a nut--5 string conversion--the original was actually okay, and the Tuners--German Plates. It is still one of the finest fingerboards I've ever played on. A huge slab of top quality ebony that has at least two or three more planings left in it if necessary. One of the best buys I've ever made, but only because I have a great luthier who is also a good friend. It was a great basic canvas to work from, but it does need a little help coming out of the box.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  9. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Thanks for sharing your long-term experience. So, you've had a good experience after changing the bridge, tailpiece, and nut and after re-planing the fingerboard. You were quite candid about the bass being a good buy "but only because [you] have a great luthier who is also a good friend." It was a "basic canvas" that needed work. For the sake of those less familiar with bass-buying, I suspect you'd agree that this is not the way to go about it unless very special circumstances apply. Add the less-than-stellar reputation of the seller (look at the threads here at TB and at the results of internet searches re customer satisfaction) and the usual admonishment against buying a DB from a mass retailer (see here) is quite well validated. Newbies-- this is not the way to go. :)
  10. You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.-- J. Morley