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Shen SB 80 Bass - Good Deal for Beginner ?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bass1000, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. bass1000


    Jan 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    Hi Everyone, Im a DB newbie, so I'm looking at renting this Bass. They said total price was 1800. What do you guys think, is this a total waste of money? Do i have 3 grand to plop down on a bass right now? No - so that factors in too. I'd just like to know i'm not getting totally ripped off. Any advice would be great. I've also thought about starting out on a NS design bass.
  2. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    $1800 to rent a bass? I don't think that's what you meant to say. $1800 may or may not be a good PURCHASE price, depending on who is selling it and the quality of the setup.

    The Shen SB80 gets good grades around here as a basic entry level plywood bass. Of course, you should check out any bass you want to buy in person. If you don't feel you know enough to evaluate a DB, bring someone with you who does.

    FYI: there's a Shen SB80 on Chicago Craigslist selling for $1450. I don't have any specific knowledge about this bass.

    Two more pieces of advice: Check out the "newbie" threads at the top and fill out your profile. Knowing where you are, generally, allows others to offer more concrete suggestions as to what's out there.
  3. frichter


    Mar 26, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I personally have never played an SB 80. That being said, every Shen I have played has been of high quality, and I have always been impressed with their sound, playability, and consitency.

    I think renting is a good idea, and your pricepoint should allow you to stay away from a bass which may end up costing more in the long run.

    If you do indeed have 1800 to spend on a bass, you have options . . . be sure to play before you pay. Good luck.
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    They're good basses. $1800 is a little high. Upton has them for $1550. You can find them used for a fair bit less.
  5. bass1000


    Jan 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    Actually I meant that 1800, would be the total I would pay if I finished renting/buying it. 100% of rental goes towards purchase, plus it receives Luthier setup, and maintnance during the entire time I rent it. I browsed through the newbie threads and found one or two opinions on the Shen, and yes they seem to be fairly positive. Thank you for the advice.
  6. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    $1800 is high
  7. Shovelbone

    Shovelbone Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Yonderville Georgia
    I would definitely look at the Upton Plywood basses. They go for about 1800.00. My teacher just bought one and it sounds amazing. Its hard to believe that tone was coming out of a plywood bass! I am actually looking at picking one up myself in a few months!
  8. us_soccer


    May 16, 2007
    upstate ny
    I was in your same position about 2 and half years ago. Wasn't sure if I'd stick with the DB, so I rented it for 3 months, and the rental money went 100% to purchase price of the bass. I found a used SB 100 (which is really the same as the SB80, just a different finish) and loved the instrument. I went on to purchase the bass and am still playing now. Shen makes great instruments.

    However, I concur that $1800 sounds quite a bit high for an SB80. You could get new for quite a bit lower I think, and used for even lower than that.

    I paid $1100 for a slightly used one that was well set up and in very good shape.
  9. bass1000


    Jan 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I will definitely be reading the fine print.
  10. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    I've owned my SB80 for 3.5 years, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

    As to the price, $1800 straight up would indeed seem somewhat high but I imagine the store puts some amount of cost premium on the rental aspect of the transaction...
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Agreed. The rental aspect is where the few extra hundred are going with this deal. if it's in good shape, it's not really a bad deal since you can try before you buy and opt out if it comes to that.
  12. kmanley_29649


    Jan 25, 2008
    Taylors SC
    I love my SB80, but as others have said, 1800 is a bit high. I paid 1100 for mine last March, but it was used, so it's obviously cheaper than a new one. They are great basses, but so are Englehardts, which are around the same price range. Make sure to play the bass before you buy it.
  13. bass1000


    Jan 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks again to all who have responded, it's nice to post something in a forum and get intelligent respectfull responses.

    You guys are right in the fact that the few hundred are part of the rental agreement, but i am also taking into consideration this is a local luthier who has been around for 30 years, and they have set this bass up for me and will take care of it for free the entire time I'm renting to own it.

    My biggest concern was that i was getting a Bass that was really really cheap. To me I'm thinking it's worth it. plus when I'm ready I will have a reliable and trustworthy source to buy and maintain my future Bass.

    Thanks Again - Cant wait to dive into the DB !!!!

    Jeff Allen
  14. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    $1800 across what period of time? What is the upfront money and what is the payment?

    Yes they usually sell in the $1500 range but if the vendor is carrying the lions share of that amount over time plus giving you an opt out then an extra $300 could be a good deal depending on the details.

    If you have cash upfront, know what you want, and don't plan on upgrading or selling right away then you can do better.

    If you don't have all the bread right now or aren't sure if you'll stick with that particular bass it could be good if you don't have obligation to purchase for all the money if you opt out early.
  15. bass1000


    Jan 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    Hey guys, I picked up the bass today, all total if I buy this particular bass, it will be 1400 bucks. A Very fair price considering the service it comes with. I brought it home and played for a while. This will take some time!
  16. kmanley_29649


    Jan 25, 2008
    Taylors SC
    That's awesome! Like I said, I'm very happy with mine. What style do you play/plan on playing?
  17. bass1000


    Jan 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    Didnt see this til now. Traditional Jazz, possibly some newer stuff, but i have been working on standards on BG, and I am going to move over song by song. The action seems pretty high and it's hard to play more than an hour at a time right now, but i know that's how it goes at first. I'm starting to find the positions better already.
  18. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    good work so far. Fatigue after an hour is totally normal. Don't overdo it at first. The DB is physically demanding, much more so than bass guitar. You have to learn to be strong and supported but at the same time relaxed. Very zen.

    Have you got a teacher yet?
  19. bass1000


    Jan 26, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    No sir, not yet, it's next on my list.....

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