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prices of basses...handmade vs nonhandmade...etc...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by werbo1, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Just a few thigns...what sets some basses so high above in price of others.

    I see how handmades need more time and require more work....but what difference does it make in terms of playability and tone. Take for example the MTD Saratoga and an MTD 535. Apart from the price range whats so special about the MTD 535.
    (by the way i love my MTD saratoga)
    Another thing - i was looking thru musician's friend and was shocked to see a Jaco bass for 3000 smackers. Right next to it a Standard Jazz for 625. Why a 2400 price leap? They only stated what was specific on the Jazz in terms of pickups and the like. The Jaco was just fretless and had some of his paint dings on it.

    I feel like i'm writing an essay and heres my conclusion - what sets less expensive basses apart form the upper tier of expensive basseS?
  2. In many instances, the less expensive basses are priced lower than the more expensive ones.
  3. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I concur with Mr. Carnivore. Perhaps the sellers of such basses expect to receive more monetary compensation for said basses?
  4. Stevious G

    Stevious G

    May 5, 2003
    Well, in the case of the Jaco bass, it's actually more like an american made reissue than a standard. The price jump is still huge, though, to go from a bass that'd sound and play like Jaco's, to a bass that'd LOOK, sound and play like Jaco's. More than I'd ever pay...

    And I find that actual hand-made from scratch basses have the POTENTIAL to destroy ANYTHING mass-produced. I don't know what it is... They just feel soo much better. It's because the little things are looked after, and everything is done juuuust so.
    It's not even a cost thing. You can get a Nordstrand that'd blow away the Jaco relic bass in every way, (in my oppinion, or course,) for 2/3rds the price. And it'd be hand made to YOUR specs every step of the way.

    I find that true custom builders charge what they NEED to, (usually,) and big names charge what they CAN, (usually.) Custom builders also have a lot to lose, or gain, with every customer they get, so they really try to WOW you.

    Give me a Huff, Browne, or Nordstrand over a high end Jazz any day, regardless of which costs more.
  5. You are talking about the latest reissue series MIA Fenders?
    I played a Jaco at Sam Ash in Clearwater last Saturday. Missing a control knob in addition to the pickguard. May have had a marine epoxy coat on fretboard. It was only $1,100 new, marked down from 1,7xxx.

    I think the Jaco version sounded great but would not pay extra for it. Maybe it has/will have collector value. I think part of the premium is a fee to pay to the Jaco estate. Fender tried to release a Jaco version earlier but could not agree with the estate on how much extra to charge/give to then. At least that was the rumor. But I remember seeing one at Mars around '98. I want to say that it may have even had fake scuff marks. And that was not even the official Jaco version.

    I think a regular 62' reissue in fretless is enough for me. I would call it a Jaco bass, but leave the pickguard on and marine epoxy off. I will never be Jaco and it is kind of hokey IMO to pay a fee to the Jaco estate to be an impostor.
  6. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Pretty much like anything else - its time, materials and perceived market value.

    There are factors in well considered, constructed and finished instruments that entail more time. A sculpted top/back and involved edge treatments. Tight tolerances on fit and finish. Lacquer vs. poly or two parts. Aging or relicing.

    There may be differences as well in quality of components - hardware, electronics, wood species, etc.

    The last one is wholly subjective and sometimes the mark is missed utterly here. A real good instance is the Nikki Sixx T-bird by Gibson. It was constructed and finished as some of the best instruments made by Gibson and originally sported a $3K price tag. When the market ignored the instrument the entire production run was discounted and the model discontinued - hence its being available through MF for $700 or so. Best deal on a bass in recent history IMO.
  7. First I'd like to say that you can find some superb basses for 500-750. Now onto the 1500+++. Some of the cost is in materials, exotic woods, electronics. But most of the cost is in craftsmanship. All of these "Handmade" basses Are indeed handmade, to very specific tolerances.

    Just like cars, furniture, houses. Do you need a 450k Porche carrera Gt? Pontiac GTO is pretty nice!

    Do you need a 6k Fodera? I don't but if I had the cash I'd get one in a heartbeat :D
  8. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Its been a while since i've been in school, but I thought I would pass on the following useful tip:

    If your conclusion is a question, you probably will not receive a good grade.