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!  

Opinion on beginner DB

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Matt R., Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
  2. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    i would be very wary of buying an acoustic instrument online. if you must buy online, you should expect to pay a lot more in the long run; you'll want new strings once you get it ($100 at the cheapest), and a professional setup ($$$$$$, depends who u go to). the professional setup makes all the difference, a new, $700 bass isn't going to do much without it.

    i recently got a 3K Chinese made bass from a store. didn't play well at all, but after some new strings and a setup (which took 3 hours), it plays wonderfully, and sounds professional.

    if this is your first DB and you don't know if you want to make the long term commitment, i would highly recommend you pick up a used bass, in the 1-5K range, thats ready to go as is.

    one of the most important things to keep in mind that a bass like that one on ebay is only going to go down in worth, if you decide to sell it. a professional bass that has a price tag in the thousands, however, retains its value and can even go up in some cases.

    so realize that if you fork out a couple thousand for a decent upright, you're not actually losing money, its being temporarily stored as the instrument's value.

    if you want to get serious about this, meet with an upright bass teacher or professional player and get their opinion, there's a lot to know.
  3. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Heartache. That's what you can expect. Please don't buy any such bass. Such instruments are poorly made, are not delivered with setups that are playable at all, will fight you all the way, and may even quite literally implode.

    uethanian has given you good advice. The least you will spend, one way or the other, on a decent (new) bass is about $1200-$1500. That will include a good setup. If you were to buy that ebay bass, you'd spend, perhaps, a few hundred on a good setup. At that point, you'd have a decently set up but awful bass and you'd have spent nearly what you should have to begin with on a decent instrument. It's just poor economy.

    Check the newbie links for a wealth of great advice on buying a bass.
  4. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Matt, a friend of my owns the same bass (lefty Prima from freedom guitar) only hers is black. 700 bucks? I would guess she has spent that much again on a pickup, strings and setup. And she still isn't very happy, she'd like a new bass. But can't really afford it!?

    I don't like her lefty Prima either. It feels and looks cheap, the finish is badly chipped, it is coming apart at the seams (after 3 years), the bridge is poor quality and poorly fitted, the tuners don't operate smoothly, and the tone is poor.

    You would be much better off to put your money towards a decent, reputable bass.
  5. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Cool, thanks guys. I sort of suspected what you all have said, as it's generally the same idea with bass guitars. Buy a cheap POS and you end up upgrading it. I've also considered converting an NS EUB (the roughly $800 import model) to lefty. You all have any experience with those? Thanks again for the info:)
  6. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Excellent-- we saved another one! Go in peace.
  7. shadygrove


    Feb 14, 2008
    Marysville, WA
    I don't have any experience with NS EUBs, but if you look in the DB EUB forum there's a megathread on the NS Wav4 with over 900 posts.

    Good call on the CCB and good luck in your bass search !
  8. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    i wouldnt say thats true necessarily, i have a used squire i got for $100 and i love it to death, and there's nothing i feel like changing about it.

    yea, depending on what music you're playing, an EUB might be in your interest. if you're playing jazz or bluegrass or anything like that (or if you want to use a bow), i'd say get a real upright, but if you're playing more progressive type stuff, an EUB would work well. i'd say either ergo or NS are the way to go (but what do i know, the topics been all but exhausted on TB).
  9. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL

    Ha ha:smug:
  10. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    I hear ya, a lot of mods are subjective of course. The funny thing is I'm not a bluegrass/jazz or prog guy, although I've played it all. I want an upright that has a fingerboard that most upright players would feel is "normally" radiused so I can learn the feel of an upright and to learn how to bow, etc, if that makes sense. It's mostly a "broadening my horizons" type thing, and I'm trying to do it on a serious budget. Again, thanks for the input to you all
  11. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Yes, if you want to learn how to play the bass in tune, with some fluidity, learning to play with the bow makes solid sense, even if the bow never comes out on a gig, except to tune the bass. That said, I would avoid shops that "specialize" in jazz or bluegrass/slap bass setups.

    You won't want a one-trick-pony bass, if you play all types of music. Ideally, you want a bass set up traditionally, so that it bows easily.

    I would only use a shop with skilled, traditional bassists (that is to say, with some orchestral training/experience) doing the setup work. Go to shops that serve both professional orchestral players and professional jazz players. Avoid jazz or bluegrass specialty shops.

    If you want to play a wide range of music on the bass, you need a traditional setup (fingerboard and bridge curves, camber, etc.) geared to traditional arco playing. You can always change strings and soundpost settings to play other types of music later, if you want to, but you can't easily bow a bass that isn't configured for that...it is harder/more expensive to reverse that kind of restrictive setup.

    Plus, leave some money in the budget for a bow. A starting minimum "bow budget" would probably be around $350 - 400. Buying a bow can be nearly as involved as buying a bass. I would be leery of deals that "threw in" a bow. If you are going to try to use the thing, you want one that will work.

    Finally, you might check out a rental and a good DB teacher (read: skilled with traditional bass playing, using the bow, regardless of specialty or musical style). This person can be your ally as you enter the DB market. A rental bass can help you see if you dig this enough to put many dollars and countless hours of effort into it.

    You dodged a bullet on buying a cheap bass online. Good advice given in the previous posts.

    This is all, of course, IMHO, based on my own experiences...:)
  12. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    As usual, Eric offers sound (pun intended) advice. I'd like to add that there are budget bows now available that cost $100 or so. They are every bit as good or better than what a year or two ago were the "$350" budget bows. As I understand it, what changed was the merchandising/marketing models.

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.