1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Need an upright

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by dsperry, Oct 4, 2008.


  1. dsperry

    dsperry

    Oct 3, 2008
    Alright, i'm a selftaught upright and electric bassist and i currently have an electric bass. I play in my High School's orchestra and I need to know a good quality upright (or electric upright) bass that I could get for a reasonably cheap price (I'm not rolling in the dough right now).
     
  2. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    Chicago
    A quick answer: You'll need between $2k - $3k for a decent basic DB, bow, and bag. You may be able to find something for less used but expect to pay a minium of $1.5k.

    Does your school have a double bass you can use while in school? If so, use that one while you save up some money to buy one.

    If you tell us what part of the world you are in, we may be able to direct you to a luthier or string shop that carries decent entry level basses. Your best bet is to check several out and piay it before you buy. If you don't know enough about basses, find someone to go shopping with you who does.

    Just to give you an idea of what's out there, look at www.a440violinshop.com (Chicago) or check out the Lemur Music site in California (google is your friend).

    An electric bass for orchestra work? I don't think so.
     
  3. dsperry

    dsperry

    Oct 3, 2008
    Thank you. Yeah, I've used a bass of the school's since I taught my self in 6th grade and now I'm using the high school's but i needed a good bass of my own. Again, thanks for the info.
     
  4. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    Chicago
    One other source is our own TB For Sale section. For example, one of our regulars has a Stentor he's selling for under $1k - only problem is that it's in Canada.

    Again, if you tell us what part of the world you are in, someone will be able to help you out. We all have to start somewhere.

    Good luck.
     
  5. dsperry

    dsperry

    Oct 3, 2008
    Awesome. This isn't something I'll be able to do right away, obviously, as I need to save up the money first. I live in Whatcom County, Area Code 98225, in Bellingham, Washington. Thanks dude
     
  6. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    "only problem is that it's in Canada."

    Hey, I resemble that remark! My part of Canada is only about 25 minutes from dsperry's part of the USA and over oil-surfaced highways to boot! :)

    But seriously, the dollar difference can be beneficial for Americans shopping in Canada, whether for goods or services. There are some good deals on basses here too.
     
  7. dsperry

    dsperry

    Oct 3, 2008
    Just for then record, I never said anything bad about Canada. I myself think it's fine and dandy, but I think he was just saying that the transportation costs, what with gas prices these days, might make it harder to go there in search of equipment than if I stayed here in WA, and that if I went up there to check it out and it turned out it wasn't what I was looking for, then it would have been a long process with nothing to show for it.
     
  8. Sure, but given that you're in easy driving distance of both Seattle and Vancouver, you really ought to at least look that far afield. I mean, *I* bought a bow from Long and McQuade, so you really could consider it ;-)
     
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Perrydude, I only meant to enlighten the BASS BARISTA about your neighbourly status vis a vis 'Canada'.

    We do a lot of our shopping at the Lakeway Drive Fred Meyer and also the Community Co-op. They used to know us by name at The Bagelry too! :)

    I have a lot of friends and several clients in the Bellingham area.
     
  10. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    :p

    So glad that you love the bass. I was about your age when I got my first bass, and moved up from the school ply with the ridiculously high action. Based on my limited experience, I would say:


    - Read the myriad threads archived here on this subject. The information is still relevant. The rabid opinions are still rabid opinions. The misinformation is still misinformation. Only by sifting through all of that can one start to separate some of those nearly religious opinons from actual experience and common sense. Look for patterns of advice, unmistakable allegiances with certain vendors, and repeating information.

    - Don't buy sight unseen. Avoid mail-order basses that promise the world with their marketing. Even the "famous" ones. Yes, that means you :).

    - Take your time for shopping and learning if you can. Avoid living the reality of the old saw, "Marry in haste, repent at your leisure."

    - Don't think of the bow as a cheap accessory, to be "thrown in" to the deal. Save some loot for a stick. Perhaps check out the "Finale" carbon fiber bow threads if you play French

    - Find a teacher before buying and plumb the depths of their experience. Include them in the process. "Teacher" = professional (or formerly professional, or graduate student, at least) orchestra player, who plays the style of bow you use.

    So glad that you love the bass! It will keep you busy...:)
     
  11. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    - Avoid "all-or-nothing" statements

    I agree with Eric that it is better to see, touch, hear, feel, and play any bass you are considering buying. I think of "mail-order" basses as the ones sold by guitar shops and on-line music warehouses. If those are the basses to which Eric is referring, then I'd advise as well that you avoid them. They are almost always poor values for the money.

    There are also basses that are shipped by real bass shops and set up by real luthiers (e.g., New Standard, Shen, Upton, Wan Bernadel). Again, while it is better to experience any of these in person first, I would not say that any of these should be necessarily avoided especially if you can play them first! So, no, don't specifically avoid a brand simply because it is often shipped. I suspect what Eric meant is that one should avoid mail-ordering these basses sight unseen and sound unheard rather than that one should avoid the basses, per se.

    Now, about this sight unseen and sound unheard issue. IMO, it becomes less important to try first as the price-point decreases. Now, before everybody pounces, here's what I mean. I don't know anyone would or should drop $20k or more on a bass without trying a bunch first. That just seems patently absurd. At the entry level (e.g., $1500-$2000), however, which seems to be the level of interest for dsperry, there are, IMO, precious few instruments that are worthy. Here, I could easily see buying a bass sight unseen and sound unheard via the recommendation of a teacher or other trusted veterans. Still, it would be better to experience the bass first. Sometimes, though, that's not all that practical.
     
  12. bad_andy

    bad_andy

    Sep 21, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    ...and got a tremendous instrument. The conditions were: a reputable shop with a flawless feedback history. One week of phone calls with the owner discussion the instrument and options. An appointment with the local violin shop to have it inspected and set up the morning it shipped. Last but not least a week to try out and return the bass if all was not as hoped. We spent $3.3K and the first chair at the local symphony told me I got a bargain when he checked it out for me.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    If you live in Alaska or are shipwrecked on an island, sure, consider buying sight unseen, mail order. Otherwise, I would spend a little time and look around. Of course, make a generalization and exceptions will abound.

    There are businesses who need folks to buy mail order for their growth and/or survival. There are folks emotionally tied to those businesses and their wares. Accept that these things exist, but they may not have others' needs in mind, foremost. Marketing, formal or informal, is just that.

    For me, the great challenge in using others' experience is that too often, people become invested in the "rightness" of their opinions and/or their decisions. Hence, the needs for perspective, first-hand experience, and if possible, a bass-shopping ally with more experience and objectivity.

    Again, read the threads. See who defends which firm's wares. See what kind of players are buying which types of instruments. Do your homework.

    When I was 14, $1500 - 2000 was a sh*t ton of money. I wouldn't spend it without due diligence.

    I am not talking about the relative value of adjusted dollars, from 1974 to 2008, I am talking about the relative poverty of most 14 year olds. I, personally, was stone broke at that point, by most measures of wealth.
     
  14. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    No one could reasonably argue against due diligence. Then again, $1500-2000 33 years ago is not $1500-2000 today! That doesn't mean one shouldn't spend it cautiously and wisely. Any bass that costs that much in 2008 dollars is certainly one for which buying sight unseen and sound unheard becomes even less appropriate. I agree that one should take a very broad look at these threads and not place too much faith in any single individual's experience. Indeed, that folks are convinced of the "rightness" of their decisions is a concept formalized as the dissipation of cognitive dissonance. With all the reasonable caveats against buying sight unseen and sound unheard, businesses that "need folks to buy mail order" are actually, all other things being equal, at a marketing disadvantage. How much better it would be for them if potential buyers could get hands-on experience with their products via a wide range of shops. So, when such businesses prosper (check out the list I offered as examples above) and their products receive accolades from amateurs, semi-pros, pros, and well-known pros, that information should be thrown into the mix as well as it likely suggests that the assumption of "all things being equal" doesn't hold. Yes, it is still better to try before you buy. No doubt about it. In many cases you can actually do that with some of the bass shops that "mail-order." In fact, one of the shops often mentioned here routinely ships on a trial basis. Again, let's keep in mind that the OP was looking for an entry-level bass.
     
  15. dsperry

    dsperry

    Oct 3, 2008
    Thanks for all the info. It will really help me when I'm in a position to actually purchase my own instrument. I'll take what you all said to heart and try some basses at the local music shops for now, and if later I manage to hit Seattle or Canada, I'll make sure to check out what they have to offer.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.