Question about basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by LightRaven, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. Hello all.... I have a simple question. Well.... maybe not that simple. How many of you have really expensive Italian, German, or any other type basses. I'm talking about the ones that cost $20,000 and up. I'm asking this because, eventually, I need to get one. And I don't know how to go about getting the money together for one because they are so expensive (but so worth it! :) ) It just seems so impossible to save up that kind of money. So I was wondering, for those of you who have these expensive instruments, how you went about getting the money for them. It just seems to me that I'll be saving money for the rest of my life!

    Thanks guys!

  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    The responsive question is, do you need a $20,000 bass or do you need an instrument that is solid and sounds like a $20,000 bass? For me, it's always been the latter.

    I think -- and perhaps guys like Jeff B and Martin S will disagree -- that much of that $20k is attached to the label. Case in point: My friend plays a Betts of London violin with the last two digits of the date cut off the label. It decreases the appraised value of her instrument by fifty percent. How does it affect the tone?

    I've seen it over and over. The '61 Martin D-28 which conquers all the $5k+ guitars, but cost 1/3 that much, because it -- gasp -- lacked the original finish! The Mark VI tenor which, behind the screen, sounds like a $5k collector piece but cost 1/3 that much, because it -- gasp -- lacked the original finish! The $500 Gibson with a sound that will break your heart, but a crust only Homer Formby could love.

    Maybe you need that $20k bass because you're in a situation where the look or the label matters. I've never been there. My two cents is, by all means, learn what a $20k bass sounds like (I'm jealous -- have fun). Then go find that sound for half as much.
  3. Thanks for the feedback. I actually have never heard a 20K+ bass, without it being in an orchestral enviroment. My teacher has a wonderful Italian, but I don't think it costed more than 20K... I have heard a 2 million dollar violin. I met Elizabeth Pitcarin at a master class at my university, in which she plays the violin which is believed to be "The Red Violin." After hearing her violin, I was almost disgusted with the sound my bass produces! (I feel guilty having said that.... I do have a wonderful German hand carved bass.)

    Anyway... thanks for the response, I'll definately keep your suggestions in mind when the time comes for me to upgrade into the "Big Leagues"

  4. So the "Red Violin" is real?
  5. Apparently, yes. She owns the violin that is thought to be that violin, but she doesn't know if the varnish is truly made from blood.