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Justifying getting a custom bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lowpro, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Well, playing for about 2 years, I've got two basses. I don't plan to be anything proffesional, although I'd like to be able to jam with the best of them, record with friends who need a bassist.

    That being said, I want to get a custom bass, but the price tag is pretty high. I have the funds to get one, but hard to justify actually getting it. Usually I look at it this way, if I buy it, I know I can pretty much sell it back at the same price (I hope)

    Would anyone here recommend ordering a custom bass, even if you're not making a living playing bass?

    And the reason I want this one is because I'm trying to get a Wal sound pretty much (bastards at Atlanta Bass Gallery got me GASing) and the guys at AC Guitars claim they can beat that sound (they've actually got me convinced too) And Alan Armstrong says he can make the pickups.

    The balls in my court now, would you take a swing?

    Also im 20, live alone, go to college but financially I'm set. The money I would use would just be in my savings account otherwise.
  2. treebranch13


    Oct 31, 2007
    my ? is.... why not?
  3. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I'd do it, customs are nice;)
  4. i reckon more working professionals (doctors lawyers etc) would own more custom basses than pro bass players.
  5. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Well im on the track to being a dentist >.>
  6. if you have the money/ desire for one whats stopping ya
  7. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
  8. Having the money to buy the bass doesn't necessarily mean you can afford it. It's not too uncommon in these parts to hear of someone getting their dream bass and having to sell it when some bills spring up.

    That being said, why do you need a custom bass? What's the difference between your bass and a stock bass?
  9. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    I would say order something nice but not custom first. Do this just to make sure you know what you want in a bass before you go and spend a huge chunk o change on one. Go to all the local music stores and try out different instruments. I would suggest looking at something that is high end but not a one off custom. Try out some lakland, warwick, spector, pedulla etc and find one you like. Then rock it out for a year or so and when you are settled on all the specs that you like/don't like order a custom and you will have less of a chance of being dissapointed by a certain spec like string spacing, scale length, etc.
    My 2 cents :smug:
  10. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    The only false thig I have seen is that if you buy a custom new, you will almost definitely not get near what you put into it back. The very few exceptions include early Fenders, almost any rick you got a few years ago, older Wals and a few other brands. there are a few brands that hold a decent amount of value, say above 60%, but how custom is a sadowsky? Not very!

    As a matter of fact the more expensive your custom is the higher percentge of value you will likely lose, but plan on half or a bit more. The only way to get a custom that you won't lose money on (and i have done this) is to buy used, but then it really can be hard something that is to your specs. Oh I guess the other option for not losing money is to get famous but that doesn't sound like it's in your plans.

    Unless your looking for used bargains, don't ever plan on breaking even on a bass. It is an investment only if you are going to put it to good use (either play it or collect it for satisfaction.) Other than that an expensive custom can be a waste of money.
  11. Rapisme

    Rapisme Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Here's a scenario.. I brought one on my first customs, now i can't even sell it at the price well below what i paid for it.

    When i started to concieve my own innovations that I had built from the ground up, have all the materials picked by me. Had my tech here in NY put it all together. Man I'm in Love,.

    Just remember, if you commit to a custom be in love before you even lay your hands on it.
  12. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    And tslicebass has the best advice. If you truly want a custom builder that will build anything to your specs, play lots of basses and figure out what you like (jazz neck or p neck, 4 or 5, or 6 or more string, string spacing, neck profile, how many frets, what kind of pickups and electronics, detuner anyone? and there are a few more things to consider) If you want somethig asthetically pleasing than you have alot more to think about.
  13. -You don't have to be a pro to enjoy a great bass.

    -You don't have to be accomplished to enjoy a great bass.

    -If you enjoy it, that's what is important. Making music should be FUN.

    Case in point: see my profile by name above (or here http://www.talkbass.com/forum/member.php?u=6480 ) and signature in the tag line below.

    But be financially responsible. NEVER put it on a credit card unless you can pay it off in full right away, etc, etc.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Word. I hate to be a wet blanket, but we all know how the economy is going these days and it'll probably get worse before it gets better. Given that you already have nice basses, you do not need a custom bass.

    If you had said "I can easily afford one", then I'd have said "sure, knock yourself out!"
  15. Go for it bro! I once thought all the hype about custom and botique basses was just having a name on the headstock so I kept to modding cheaper basses. Then I met Tom Bowlus and played his Skjold P bass and BOOM! I fell in love with the higher end stuff almost immediately. Then I went to a GTG and played a beautiful Acacia bass and realized why those basses were $3,000+. If you've got the money and you like nice stuff there's nothing that should stop you. That's the only thing stopping me.
  16. Flintc


    Aug 15, 2006
    Visit one of the boutique bass stores somewhere around the country. Try out everything in the store. Wait two weeks, repeat the process. You will not only get a good feel for lots of different high-zoot basses, you'll get a good idea of the prices difference between new and used (most such shops have about half and half).

    Maybe you'll find something you can't live without. More likely, you'll find something damn close, if only it had a different number of strings, was a different color, had/lacked frets, had the same pickups as that bass over there, etc. Find out who made it, and give him a holler. He'll be as glad you did as you will.
  17. If you want that sound, you could try just putting the ACG preamp into your current bass first. The filter based preamp will help you get that sound more than an entirely new bass will.

  18. I personally wouldn't get a custom bass if I were in your shoes, because your tastes, styles, and band environments will change. A maple/ash active J one day, a passive rosewood/alder P the next, 5 strings, 4 strings, etc... Many bassists have paid their deposit and waited next to a year for a bass, only to have it arrive and not be what they want/need anymore!

    You will also be hard-pressed to sell a bass with your specific wood/pickup selections at a price anywhere near what you paid to have it commissioned for you...

    In your shoes (or my own), I would rather buy a high end bass, preferably second-hand. Don't believe that standard Sadowsky's or F Basses are in any way inferior to basses that are taken on a one-by-one basis. Their name-brand status also helps with reliability and resale value issues. And chances are, due to their more standard designs and components, they'll likely be more versatile or "forgiving" to your ever-changing tastes than a wenge/ebony monster with 3 pickups and a funky shape. :)

    I'm just suggesting this because many GAS-infected bassists get too specific about what they "think" they want in a bass, which of course changes with time. You've only been playing 2 years... if you could imagine how many times I've changed my "ideal" bass in the 5 years I've been playing... Just my honest opinion.
  19. I don't know those luthiers at all. Not a knock against them but for ANY manufacturer or luthier:

    I'd play one before plunking down a deposit. The farther from mainstream that you go, the more risk you have getting a tone you don't want and limited resale with a white elephant. Just my .02 from experience and seeing threads here and on some guitar forums.

    I concur with the Sadowsky, F, Wal, Alembic, etc line of thinking above. And if it's a Wal you want, wait and save.
  20. + $0.02

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