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Purchasing a double bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by PCprincipalbass, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. PCprincipalbass


    Mar 5, 2013
    Hello everyone. I am asking a few suggestions about buying a double bass for the first time. I've always used the school basses and have never owned my own. I'm a freshman in high school and I'd like a bass that will last me through college plus a bit after. I'm not sure a whole lot to look for as I have never purchased a bass before. Also my budget is about $10,000.

  2. Ryker_M


    May 10, 2012
    London, Ontario
    You've given yourself a pretty liberal budget, which is good. However, to get a decent idea of what you're looking for you should read some of the stickies. They're full of great resources for finding a bass.

    Generally though, you should look for something "local" to try out.

    Good luck with your search!
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my view your budget is on the high side unless you're really gifted.
  4. MaxJohnson


    Jan 29, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Where do you live? That will open up your options. I say, go play every single instrument you can play, and that should teach you about the different qualities of instruments. Play stuff that costs WAY more than you want to spend, but play everything you can get your hands on. Every instrument you play will help inform your opinion.
  5. PCprincipalbass


    Mar 5, 2013
    Hmm interesting comments. I'll take into thought what some of you have said. And I didn't know you could pay under 10k for a nice bass.
  6. PCprincipalbass


    Mar 5, 2013
    I also reside in oklahoma
  7. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Easily. Start reading right here. I owned two nice basses that were well below that price range before owning the one I do know which is in that range. It was literally decades before I got to that price-point.

    Will it be your parents or a parent who is fronting the cash? If so, it might be wise to have him/her/them read the links above along with you.
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Just to provide one data point, I know a young man who's a freshman in high school and recently got a new bass. I have reason to believe that he's quite a promising musician. He did his homework, working with his teacher and the local bass luthier shop -- both of whom are well respected. The consensus of these experts was a high quality plywood bass would get him through his high school years.
  9. PCprincipalbass


    Mar 5, 2013
    Ah didn't think of asking my private teacher and yes it will be my parents doing the purchasing part.
  10. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay

    excellent advice.
  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Both of my kids are in music lessons, having started out on 1/8 size, so we've bought a few instruments. :eek:

    Definitely get your teacher involved! The young man I'm talking about took a number of basses to his teacher, including an instrument that I was thinking of selling. Sometimes the teachers know who might be selling a bass.

    A shop will let you take out a bass on trial, so your teacher can check it out. If you look at used basses, the seller should be willing to let a luthier look it over.

    It's so helpful to get some third party opinions. When I was shopping for my new bass, I had 1000 ideas in my head for exactly what I wanted, amounting to 1000 misconceptions.
  12. doublebass.josh

    doublebass.josh Guest

    Aug 25, 2007
    Chicago, IL;
    Upton Bass. Check them out.
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    And I had a couple of HS students who went the opposite direction. One went from a Kay to a $16k new Paesold and the other has his old bass for sale at $18k and now plays an Arnold Schnitzer bass at USC. If you've got it, why not get a nice bass? And 10k isn't that much as these things go.
  14. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    For a player who's made the commitment to college and possibly a career I don't see anything wrong with starting on a good bass. It worked Kieran Overs. At 60 or so he's only ever owned one double bass 40+ year career.
  15. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    With all due respect, if you hadn't thought of involving your teacher and your parents aren't yet in the thick of things with you, then much of this is premature. Ah, impetuous youth! Everyone here who has answered has given you fine insights based on years of experience.

    I am a strong proponent of getting the very best instrument that one can (within reason). While that's true, there are practical matters to consider. So, I agree with both fdeck and Eric. That's not unusual. I agree with just about everything those guys say. :)

    Given your level of play, your (in)experience, your plans, where and how far away from home you might be playing, etc., it MAY be foolish to get the bass now that you'll want to carry you through and beyond college. I can imagine many, many different scenarios and no one here in internet land is privy to the relevant facts that would determine the optimal choice for you. By the way, I wonder how you came up with the budget of $10k.

    So, here's my $0.02. Consult your teacher; consult your parents. Do your homework with your parents and read the stickies here thoroughly. You'll need to allow more than five minutes for that. :) Then, with a better foundation of knowledge, c'mon back here and ask targeted questions.

    We're here to help!

    PS- jeffbonny, I've listened quite a bit to Kieran Overs' work with Sophie Milman and have seen him live. I really admire his playing!
  16. PCprincipalbass


    Mar 5, 2013
    Thanks everyone for the great advice. I didn't know so much went in to making all the decisions about purchasing a double bass.
  17. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Check out the stickies here on TB and I have some info on my site, MostlyBass.com

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