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Looking to upgrade in the NYC area..

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ChopsMcGee, Oct 22, 2010.


  1. ChopsMcGee

    ChopsMcGee

    Jul 5, 2005
    Miami, FL
    Chiming in to get some opinions about buying a bass in NYC.
    I've been playing upright bass for about 6 years now, and recently graduated with a degree in jazz studies on upright. I'll be in the city from 10/28 to 11/3, and have some appointments set up at the Gage and Kolstein shops. I've been stuggling with the playability, action and string tension on my current bass for a while now, and am looking to move on up in the world. I'm not particular about wanting to sound like (insert famous bass player here), I just want something that is comfortable to play, and speaks to me. With that said, my main influences (for the time being) are Scott LaFaro, John Pattituci, Christian McBride, Ray Brown and Ron Carter.

    I'm setting my limit at $6500 for a bass, but certainly wouldnt be opposed to spending less on something that sounds good. I have no aspirations of becoming a famous bassist, I just wanna swing. If anyone has any suggestions as to where else I could go, or if you have an instrument for sale that I could try out, I'm all ears. This will be my first instrument out of the student model range, so any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Between Gage, Kolstein, and your budget, you should be able to do pretty well.
     
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Check out Craigs List, there are a couple of nice looking basses in that range right now. Check in with Carlos Henriquez (he's a member on this site, you should be able to e-mail him), he's had a number of basses up for sale. I'd email Arnold up in Yorktown Heights and Geoff at Bass Garden, just to see if they have something in your price range that's worth playing. Even in these parlous times, your budget may be just shy of getting you something that's significantly different than what you're playing.
     
  4. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    Chicago
    I'm not from the NYC area but would certainly recommend a visit to Arnold in Brewster, NY. For that budget, you can get a hybrid Cleveland or La Scala. Another $2k or so will get you a fully carved La Scala and Arnold has been known to conjure up a fully carved Cleveland model from time to time. Search this forum for many discussions about these excellent instruments..
     
  5. JBass1

    JBass1

    Dec 6, 2005
    NYC
    Warwick custom shop on East 7th street...then go grab some indian food on 6th!
     
  6. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    You are here: TalkBass Forums > Double Bass Forums > Basses [DB]


    Also, +1 for checking out Arnold's shop and craigslist.
     
  7. bribass

    bribass

    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    FYI; Arnold's shop is in North Salem, NY

    ..moved from Yorktown Heights years ago.
     
  8. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    Chicago
    Isn't the shop in Brewster, or is that just the PO address?
     
  9. ChopsMcGee

    ChopsMcGee

    Jul 5, 2005
    Miami, FL
    Thanks for the advice everyone; I'll be passing by as many of these places as possible, at least until I find something.
    Ed, I've played basses of friends and my teachers that have been in the 3500-5000 range that have sounded great; you dont think I'll be able to find something worth buying for less than 6500?
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's not what I said.
    What are you playing now? If you're playing a well made used plywood (Kay, AmStand etc.) or a new well made Asian or former SOV block bass ( Shen, Christopher, Bob's Bulgarian etc), the majority of basses that are going to be significantly different are going to be in th e$8 -10K range. All of the basses that will be significantly different? No, as I said, the majority.

    And it kinda works that way no matter what you're playing. My bass (depending on the market) would fetch somewhere in between $8 and 10K; I have yet to play a bass within the $12-15K range that makes me say "oh yeah, I'm getting THIS one." So (if I were looking), I'd need to start in the $18-22K range. I might get lucky and find something for less, but the majority of basses are gonna be more.

    Is that a little clearer? Just from looking around Gage's last time I was in AND seeing who's selling basses in the city these days, if you show up with $8K, the world's gonna be your oyster...
     
  11. ChopsMcGee

    ChopsMcGee

    Jul 5, 2005
    Miami, FL
    Ahh, that makes much more sense. I've been playing a decent (no major cracks, fretboard is even) no name hybrid from 50s/60s that just takes a lot of effort to get a good sound out of. My bass is valued around 1800-2k, and I'll probably be selling it to recup from buying something else. Hoping to find something that is easier to play and get a louder sound.
    I'll be going with what you said in mind and do some comparisons from the 5 to 8k range, just to see if rendering myself completely broke is worth the jump..
     
  12. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Given you'll be all the way up here, I think it would be worth it to visit as many shops as possible and play as many basses as possible. If you can swing it, you'd do well to visit the several fine shops you'll find along the way if you extend your trip from NY all the way up into Massachusetts. Not that you can't find fine basses at the places that have already been mentioned but you never know where you'll find your musical mate.
     
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Upton in Connecticut isn't that far away, check out their website and give'm a call.

    And the OTHER thing I forgot to axe, when did yer teachers/friends buy their basses? I only paid $2K for mine, but that was back in the late 80s. Charlie Haden only paid $4K for his Vuillaume, but that was 68(I think?)...
     
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Carlos is selling a German factory bass for $7500 over in the DB classifieds here, right now, go check it out...
     
  15. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    +1
     
  16. ritchietime

    ritchietime

    Sep 18, 2007
    Brooklyn Ny
    Well I've got a big Shen 7/8 maple bass you are welcome to come check out. It's loud and thumpy but still has a good center. Below your price range also!
     
  17. basscomp

    basscomp

    Feb 7, 2003
    New York, NY
    Please check out new post (around 10:15 AM 10/26/2010) for a string bass for sale in NYC. I think it might be exactly what you are looking for.
     
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Carlos just dropped the price to $6500!
     
  19. ChopsMcGee

    ChopsMcGee

    Jul 5, 2005
    Miami, FL
    :D So...
    I went and visited a couple of shops in the New York area, and gave Geoff a call at the Bass Garden up in Yonkers. After playing about 12 nicely setup basses in my range, I found something at the Bass Garden thats just right. I'm settin it up right now, but hope to have it back at home in the next week or so. Thanks for the recommendations everyone; now I can't wait to get home and play the thing!
    Will update with specifics and pictures later.. :bassist:
     

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