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second hand double bass with broken bridge

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by BaRaN, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. BaRaN


    Oct 18, 2016
    Hello guys. I have and Cort A5 endonesia model and in my country, second hand price of this bass is 300$. I found a guy who sells a chinese double bass at 400$. I offered a trade+100$ and he accepted it. later this day he said the bridge was bent.

    here is how it sounds.
    This trade price is so good for me. I am not allowed to buy new instrument but this can be an exception. and I have to say I am very very low budget I can't afford even the 600-700$ model db. so this is a now or never situation. What are you opinions? buy and change bridge or forget it?
  2. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    If it's a no-name Chinese bass with a warped bridge, run the other way on this one. You can't just replace a bridge on a double bass. They have to be fitted to the top of the bass by shaping and sanding the feet. The cost of buying a new bridge and having it fitted will end up running you into that original budget of $600-700 that you said you can't afford.

    That video doesn't do the bass any favors either.
    longfinger likes this.
  3. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    It might help us to know what country are you in
    Your options are quite different from, say, New Jersey, to, say Western Sahara:)
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  4. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    No way I would buy a Cheap Chinese Bass. I spent time with an experienced luthier (instrument builder and repair man) and learned about the travesties of workmanship the chinese put into their basses -- non-quartersawn, cheap bridges (like yours), soundposts made of bamboo, plywood with air pockets in it, and materials that are "just what they can find". Neck joints that can't endure a sideways knock, and that are made to appear tight with sawdust and glue making them snug -- no wood to wood fit.

    The fact that the bridge is cracked is a leading indicator of other problems you will run into. It sounds absolutely terrible in the video, although I can't tell how much of that is technique or lack of familiarity with the instrument.

    I got into an upright back in December/16 and it was tough to find anything decent except for ONE MODEL at our local stringed instrument store -- if you are looking to go cheap, then it means patience until you find one that is not a cheap chinese bass -- one that was of decent quality and in the $1500 to $2000 range when it was new, and has fallen in value due to its size (1/2 and 1/4's don't hold their value, but can be OK to start on), or other reasons.

    If you've already bought this instrument, then I would hop on Youtube and learn how to retrofit a bridge and hope you can make it work.
  5. BaRaN


    Oct 18, 2016
    I am from turkey :( we are very close the economic crisis so maybe I shouldn't buy it and buy some potato and pasta to survive another year :)

    Guy offered a trade without +100$. direct trade with bass. I asked a luthier and he said he can change the bridge to 120$ He is not the best but a good luthier. Opinions?
  6. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Are there still paying gigs in Turkey? If you can get the bass to a playable condition, it can pay for your next bass if you learn to play it well. Plus, if you actually stick with a lesser instrument (which will be more difficult), then when you play a very nicely setup bass it will feel that much easier. My $.02 with the cheap chinese instruments is to try and get one that's a few years old already, that way if stuff is going to move around or warp then it's probably already done it. I set up my first (rather crappy and cheap, the only thing I could afford) bass with a new bridge and soundpost, it was very difficult for me at the time and took... for.. ev... er... but I did it with help from a lot of research, and I managed a bass on my budget that brought me thousands of dollars in gigs over the years and still going strong. The key is just to play (a LOT). Otherwise it's just a large object that is not very good to eat.
    james condino and bassfran like this.
  7. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I believe that it's better to get started somewhere....rather than do nothing as a result of no financial resources. Because you mentioned the financial crisis, I am assuming it's either this bass or nothing at all. Also, I'm assuming you don't know how to play it and want to get started on upright -- if so..read on.

    I don't think replacing a bridge is the most complicated repair in the world. I'd go for it if I had no money and no other alternatives to get a good upright bass. Just be REALLY careful with it, and recognize you are taking a risk that the top might implode, or the neck will separate, or that you might have to figure out how to fix it yourself some time. Fortunately you aren't out a lot of dough on this. I'd even consider retrofitting the bridge myself, but I've had some formal training in luthiery...

    But remember, under normal circumstances, if you have cash in hand, it's better to go with a brand that normally sells for $1500 to $2000 new. And preferably from a music store that specializes in these kind of stringed instruments and stands behind them.

    That's where you'll get quality.

    But no money, no fun is your situation. Unless you take the risk, from the sound of it, it'll be a long time before you have the experience. I love my upright and I'm so glad I took the plunge to buy it. I'd love to see you have the same joy --as long as you do it recognizing the risk you're taking. And do it knowing the thing is at least playable.

    Also, many people recommend renting a bass for a few months to see how you like it. At the price you're getting this for, you could throw it away in a year and be further ahead financially than if you rented one. I'd also see if you can beat the guy down on the price...

    It costs $150 a month to rent a bass where I am from. I had mine for four months, so that's the equivalent of $600 in rentals so far. I can sell the thing for 62% of what it cost me and be no further behind than if I had rented it.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    DoubleMIDI likes this.
  8. rgull


    Feb 14, 2015
    NW Italy
    Fix the bridge and play!
    PauFerro and Lazurus like this.
  9. If you don't want to fit a new bridge (now), you can try to bend the bridge back over steam. That might only hold for some time and can bend again, but for starting you don't have to deal with fitting a bridge.

    On my first bass (when I was fifteen) I didn't fit the bridge feet well to the bass (which was planned to be converted in heat energy by the original owner). I rescued the bass and played it for over ten years until it was stolen from the basement.
    The bass wouldn't sound it's best with that badly fitted bridge, but the plywood top was not damaged and that bass was a lot better than no bass. And the difference in sound is not that large to a good fitted bridge.

    Just be careful with the instrument as Chinese basses are often badly made and can destroy itself easily.

    And get some soft rosin for the bow, well for turkey better medium rosin, since it can get rather hot there (so no Pops). Kolstein All-Weather might be fine or Nymans.
  10. I had to google "Cort A5 endonesia model" to find out what you have. It's still inconclusive from Cort's website (even spelling "Indonesia model".

    A used $300 bass guitar is like a used $1500-$1800 upright bass. A used upright for $400 is like some throw-a-way electric bass guitar for $80 or less.

    Stick with the Cort A5 and keep playing it. It seems they make decent bass guitars. Set it up well and it could be fun and happy to play, and sound well. That $400 upright bass won't be fun to play and it won't sound good. And you won't even know how to play it, and from what you write, can't afford to take lessons to learn how to play it. Not a good option. Forget about this upright.

    Stick with the Cort.
    Dudaronamous likes this.
  11. BaRaN


    Oct 18, 2016
    thank you all guys. So I read all your comments and decided not to trade upright with my bass. I have an idea about quarter tone bass soooo... ;)