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Moving to the UK... Any basses I should check out?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Mar 26, 2003.


  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Yup, I'm biting the bulletand moving to England. Are there are bass manufacturers over there that are worth checking out? Is equipment significantly more expensive over there; should I buy a bass in America before I move? Speak to me.
     
  2. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Which part of London? It's definitely worth checking out The Gallery in Camden Town, North London. They've got a good range of top notch gear packed into a tiny space and are also the home of Sei basses - do a search and you'll find that several TB members, including myself, are owners of these gorgeous instruments.

    Wulf
     
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I have no idea what part of London I'm moving to. I've never been there! :D I'm really wanting to be in the thick of things culturally and musically; any suggestions? Some help would be cool, as I don't know a soul in the UK.
     
  4. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    American basses are much more expensive here. The general rule is 1:1 even the the exchange rate is 1.5something. A new Musicman Stingray will cost over £1000 ($1500). Here are some UK shop links

    http://www.basscentre.co.uk
    http://www.coda-music.co.uk
    http://www.machinehead.co.uk
    http://www.soundsgreatmusic.com

    you should get an idea on prices from that.

    If you want an english made bass then before I give you makes etc I suggest that you consider buying a secondhand US bass to trade for it.

    The main English basses are Status and Wal and both of them are quite 'quirky' with die hard fans and those not so convinced.

    The amp at the moment seems to be Ashdown.

    Socially you are on your own mostly (try finding musicians in your school/college/work-depending on how old you are-if you are over 18 or look it try meeting people in venues). Having said that us UK Tbers do get together infrequently, so pester Wulf for another one.

    UK regulars are

    me
    Bruce
    Wulf
    Moley
    Howard K
    Steve Lawson
    and anyone I forgot
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I would make a point of getting out to Exeter to see Hugh Manson, JPJ's luthier. My uncle brought back one of his fretless basses a few trips back, and it's amazing! A very nice guy.

    The West Country is beautiful to visit, too.

    http://www.mansons.co.uk/
     
  6. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Well, I guess that's brave / foolhardy [delete as appropriate] of you :eek:

    Unless you're coming across for the sake of a job (in which case I'd highly commend considering work location as a major factor in where to dwell - I'm in SE London and a mere five minute walk away from my office... bliss!) it might be worth doing a research trip before committing yourself. Most parts of London are pretty expensive, but you'll find a massive range of differences from one place to another.

    That way, you can check out the music scene (and music store scene) and see whether you really do want to move to the land where tea is served hot, plugs have three prongs and people say tom-ah-toe....

    If you do visit, then post the date - it would be a good excuse for seeing if anyone's up for a day in town.

    Wulf
     
  7. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    let's see, there's Sei, Overwater, Dingwall, Status (are they still made?), Wal ... and over in Ireland there's Chris Larkin.

    I'm in the process of having two basses (a fretted and a fretless) made by Jon Shuker, who has a shop near Sheffield:

    www.shukerguitars.co.uk

    For a handmade bass made by one person, these are pretty reasonably priced, and Jon is a good guy.
     
  8. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Sei!!!
     
  9. From Scotland here :)

    Johnny BoomBoom is around here somewhere :)
     
  10. Dingwall? I thought they were US-based?


    some others-
    Iceni (started out making graphite neck basses only, now mainly graphite-reinforced wood necks)
    http://www.zootbass.co.uk/
    (website finally working BTW)


    GB guitars (Bernie Goodfellow)
    http://www.gbguitars.co.uk/

    Nightingale (built the plexiglass P bass for Charlie Jones)
    http://www.nightingaleguitars.com/
     
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Well, apparently I'm a dingbat regarding Dingwall. Actually, they're neither US nor UK but Canadian. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to be exact.
     
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Well, that's kinda like the US, and kinda like the UK... (ducks)
     
  13. Me, I'm here. There's Johnny BoomBoom and MicroBass from North of that border too.

    Anyways, there's Overwater basses - they're really nice, handmade - maybe compare them to Sadowsky, or that kind of bass?

    There's not that much in the way of gear though, and it's all really expensive. The best thing you could do is buy tuff before you come over, then maybe sell it.

    Maybe take orders from some of the members here?;) :rolleyes: :cool:
     
  14. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I think the only gear I'm going to bring is my massive pedal collection (Lovetone, Zvex, etc.), my laptop, POD, and a spare change of clothes. I've got enough money saved up so that I could go without working for a while, but I would like to get a job once I get there. It's a little scary to move without ever having been there, but I'm taking a glorious risk and hope things don't go too bad. How's the music scene in London?
     
  15. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I thought you had to have a prearranged job and a sponsor to emigrate or even work in the UK?
     
  16. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I fortunately belong to the British Commonwealth, which basically means that my grandmother was born there. According the the Ancestral Heritage Act, I can work in Britain without a work permit. Pretty sweet, huh?

    Still looking at hoods. I'm looking for a spot that would appeal to a 26 year old who's into King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Ministry, Meshuggah, etc.... weird, artsy prog rock stuff. I want to join/form a band as soon as I hit the UK and start gigging. Oh, the rent needs to be cheap. Looks like I want to have my (carrot) cake and eat it too!
     
  17. Hmm, music scene in london? Probably either hip hoppers or wannabe goths :rolleyes: :p


    :)
     
  18. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    If you asked me and you didn't I would say you need to think this out a bit more. However I'll just provide some links so you hit the ground running.

    Loot is a good site for finding instruments and bands so

    http://music.loot.com/scripts/loots...=&Distance=0&Location=2-1&SS=0&action=Find+it

    Also there are some Indie type sites with band and venue info.

    http://www.burbs.co.uk/system/index.html?autostart

    http://www.musicomh.com/venues/

    If you are taking a flyer at this the advantage that you have is that if you find a 'scene' or band that suits you then you can live there (maybe).
     
  19. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    We prefer not to associate with you tight-fisted Scots :D (j/k guys)
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well apart from bass stuff costing twice as much as the US - everything else does as well!!

    But property prices in the South East are even more expensive and rising rapidly - I know a few people who have tried to move to Brighton as they saw it as a cool place to be - but ended up moving back to the North or West as they just couldn't afford the rents or to buy any property! :(