New Bass Vs. Used Bass - where do you stand & what's your preference? Poll included

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by B-Mac, Aug 28, 2021.


  1. Always buy new

    30 vote(s)
    5.1%
  2. Mostly buy new

    110 vote(s)
    18.8%
  3. Sometimes buy new

    294 vote(s)
    50.2%
  4. Never buy new

    128 vote(s)
    21.8%
  5. I only buy carrots

    15 vote(s)
    2.6%
  6. I only buy used carrots

    9 vote(s)
    1.5%
  1. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    I was recently was thinking about the value of buying a used bass and how you can usually get more for your money when buying used. Of course this is sometimes a crap shoot considering that not everyone takes care of their bass the same way. However, barring that and not including high cost vintage basses that have appreciated in value, where do you stand on what you own or have owned and what is your preference today?

    Since buying my first bass in May of 2013 it turns out that 23% of my bass purchases have been for brand new basses which includes NOS and Demo basses meaning that they have never ever been previously sold or sold and then returned.
     
  2. PDW30

    PDW30

    Jul 12, 2021
    England
    I'd rather buy a current model new (if I could afford it :) ) but, for example, I prefer the Ibanez SR300 to the SR300E so I had to buy used.

    I might also hope that some of the bugs have been taken out of a used bass, such as sharp fret ends.
     
    B-Mac likes this.
  3. Picton

    Picton

    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    A used bass has had time to get all the problems out of its system. The frets have sprouted, the finish has cracked or bubbled, the intonation has been established. The prior owner has often figured out string type and thickness, and can tell you what different setups do. You don't have to worry about causing the first dent. Mojo. Lower cost.

    I have no idea why people are so keen to purchase new.
     
    J_R, Timmy Liam, Eric66 and 20 others like this.
  4. roccobass

    roccobass Still funkin’ in the free world. Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    California
    Can’t decide which is better.

    It’s all case by case. Of course, I can afford new basses up to certain price point, but certainly it’s the bass itself the tells me it’s the one. If it’s used, so be it. Some new basses are set and ready to go and some are not. In my stable, I have 3 basses where they were new and 2 that are used.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  5. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I have no preference as a whole. If a new one strikes me? Great. If a used one strikes me? Great.
     
  6. PDW30

    PDW30

    Jul 12, 2021
    England
    I agree with some of this - in particular, the second dent or chip is more easily borne if the first was put in by someone else. But in my experience couriers can do funny things to the intonation of a bass as they bounce the poor thing round in transit. I expect to have to play with the setup on a used instrument if I get it delivered.
     
    got_the_bug and Clank Plank like this.
  7. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    Well, I guess someone has to buy new basses, right? Otherwise we'd have a lot less used basses to pick and chose from. So, I'm definitely thankful for those who brave the waters and jump in right away.
     
  8. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I don't go into looking for specifically new or used. When I find one I really like, I don't care if it is new or used. I only care that it functions well and looks good. I'm one of those oddballs who thinks "reliced" basses show an indifference to maintaining your gear.
     
    stoyo, timplog, Alan Scharrer and 9 others like this.
  9. PDW30

    PDW30

    Jul 12, 2021
    England
    I also enjoy playing around with fountain pens, and in years of wasting (oops, spending) money on eBay I never found a pen for sale with a damaged body described as 'reliced' or 'roadworn'.
     
    stoyo, timplog, amper and 4 others like this.
  10. Lowendchamp

    Lowendchamp Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2021
    Shelton WA
    I try to buy new always because I treat my basses differently than others. I have gotten used with no issues but I only go that route for special cases. I was pleasantly surprised when I purchased a G&L tribute JB sight unseen in damaged condition for $300 and it is an absolute gem! That was just the right price exception. Plus now I know I want a G&L USA JB new. Otherwise I gamble with new and deal with customer service and my luthier as required.
     
    B-Mac likes this.
  11. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    SoCal
    I started playing in 1982 and bought my first new bass last year; couldn’t find a used Squier jazz bass that hadn’t had the truss rod either destroyed or crushed to the limit.

    Obviously I buy used if I can.
     
    J_R, gg69, Artman and 1 other person like this.
  12. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    All of my instruments at this point are things I built - I guest that means I'm more in the new camp, although sometimes with neck swaps and the like, I'll end up with an instrument that's part new, part 6 years old or something. But even in that case I'm the original owner of all the parts.
     
    byacey likes this.
  13. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    The way I see it, it’s going to be “used” after a month in my custody. So why pay the “new” premium?
     
    Eric66, Matt R, TrustRod and 4 others like this.
  14. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    SoCal
    .

    I bought my first fountain pen two weeks ago on a whim. I can see how it could escalate quickly and get very, very expensive.

    Yeah, relicing is a phenomenon of the guitar world and looked for a while like it was going to become a thing with furniture but thankfully that nonsense seems to have come to a stop. There is a place for doing exact recreations of old instruments for artists who don’t want to deal with the insurance hassles of taking a six-figure instrument out on tour, but at least for me, that’s where it stops.
     
    TrevorOfDoom likes this.
  15. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass

    Nov 22, 2017
    Mostly depends on price. Inexpensive stuff you might as well spring for new. Used is a good value over $1k for me.
     
  16. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    my 2 faves clock in @ under $250 total used so buying new and untested is pointless.
    no matter what you do in a store it won't give you the needed hard core info you'll find at home or playing in real life situations and comfort zones, for smart buyers low risk buys are plentiful.
     
    B-Mac likes this.
  17. David McIntire

    David McIntire

    Apr 5, 2020
    Earth
    I have bought exactly 3 pieces of gear new in almost 40 years playing. My first bass, which my parents actually bought, an amp right after my ma passed, and my current #1. I only got my current #1 new because I new a guy who was a big deal at Fender at the time, and he got me a deal I could not pass up. That bass has been with me at every date I have done in the last 11+ years. Over 3000 by last count. It basically lives in my van. Never goes out of tune. And always sounds incredible with no eq tweaking whatsoever room to room or studio to studio.

    Literally every other bass, amp, cabinet, has been bought used. I never shop for new gear. I never look at new gear. Not interested in the inflated prices. And I learned to service my own basses and gear at a young age. That knowledge allows me to buy some things without worry, knowing I can fix any issue. I got my entire main rig; Demeter preamp, Crown power amp, and two SWR 2x12s for 700 dollars. I've been using this rig trouble free for nearly 5 years. And will use it til I quit. I have a custom Fretless 5 I use lots. Used. A backup preamp and pedal d.i., used. Even my cables are used. I get failures from my friends and fix em. I do use new strings. Heh.

    I just don't see new gear as a value. Why overpay? And, I have twice the rig for half the cost over many of my new buying friends. I do have those friends. Offered my Demeter/Crown to a buddy for 600. He bought new for 1200. I have more power and versatility concerning ohms and bandpass filters. His amp only goes to 4 ohms, while mine can run at 2. I still don't understand the fascination wit new gear. But? To each his own. For certain.
     
  18. trothwell

    trothwell

    Apr 9, 2008
    Years ago we had a Music-Go-Round store here, and a local used guitar store. I'd be perfectly happy to buy a used bass if I could easily evaluate if I liked it or not in person. But now I buy most any music stuff online, and I tend to mainly buy new.
     
    B-Mac likes this.
  19. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    If I see a bass I want badly enough and I think the price is right (and I can afford to buy it, that’s the important part!), I’m not concerned whether it’s new or used.

    I don’t study a potential bass purchase to within an inch of its life. If I want it and I can afford it, I buy it. It’s not a house or an insurance policy. And I don’t cast judgements on the merits of buying new or used anything. Over-paying is in the eye of the guy with CIF (cash in fist). Life’s too short.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
    B-Mac, TTA and Lowendchamp like this.
  20. Honestly used asking prices are so close to new prices that mostly I buy new unless it’s something that’s not made anymore like Kramer 650s or Kubickis.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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