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..So I bought a brand new bass off eBay for $55 and ....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by keyboardguy, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    Ok TBer’s, I took one for the team . I know you’ve seen them online. I bought a $55 brand new bass off Ebay to see how bad or good a really cheap bass could be.
    Here's a link: (or just search ebay for 'bass guitar')
    New Vintage Brand 4-String Electric Bass Guitar Black Blue White Red Yellow | eBay

    First some Pics:
    IMG_1871.JPG IMG_1872.JPG IMG_1873.JPG IMG_1874.JPG IMG_1877.JPG IMG_1875.JPG IMG_1876.JPG
    First impressions;

    Finish. The body.
    I chose the natural(yellow) body color because I figured the builder would pick a better piece of lumber. I was right. Not sure of the wood, maybe paulina? And only 2 pieces! Doesn’t look like basswood. The poly finish is really nice! Smooth, no drips or runs. As good as any $200- 500 bass out there.

    Neck finish. Well, looks like they didn’t sand it enough or some grain was raised when they sprayed it. I used 320 sandpaper on the back of the neck for about 30 seconds, and it feels great now.

    The neck is a little bit ‘chunky’; more U shaped than C shaped. Frets not bad; no sharp edges. I was practicing some songs today and didn’t really notice the slightly fat neck. So it’s bearable.

    Of course I had to adjust string height and neck relief a little. (At least the truss rod turns)

    Electronics. See the pics. Pots not scratchy but I have a grounding issue. A lot if hum until I touch the volume knob or the guitar cable metal plug. I will put some aluminum or copper shielding tape inside the cavity and probably re-solder the electronics.

    Pickup. LOW output. Maybe after working on the electronics it will help. I’d say I have turn up the volume 2 or 3 notches to get respectable volume. Tone is decent.

    Strings. Ho hum. Decent sound out of them (I guess) Not sure if new strings would increase the volume any. Or would I want to invest in strings for this?

    So, is it worth $55. Absolutely. Would I pay more? Probably not. This will be the “keep in the trunk in case the main bass fails at a practice or gig” bass.

    When I get the time I’ll work on the electronics and get back to you all.

    BOTTOM LINE: Buy one if you’re handy with working on basses. Come on it’s $55 dollars !!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  2. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    What are the white markings in the control cavity? Glue?
  3. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    And why are all the photos upside down?
    gebass6 likes this.
  4. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sounds like you're getting the grounding issue from the ho hum strings? Might want to check that out.

    And I like the corrugated hard case! Thanks for the review, I've seen those.
    dbsfgyd1 likes this.
  5. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    More like a weak attempt to sand inside the cavity.
  6. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    It's Sunday and I have to watch football... Just stand on your head :roflmao::smug:
    SBassman, SLIV, Lance Bunyon and 9 others like this.
  7. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    I will check out all the grounds..
    RyanOh likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it's your NBD! congrats on your new instrument! :thumbsup:

    there was another thread recently on those axes (or one like them = cheap). i'm not the least bit surprised that they can be made to work well. yours looks good, too, so you've got that going.

    your hum may be nothing more than a lack of grounding (check under the bridge).

    if they offered a fretless i'd probably get a few of them! good luck with yours! :thumbsup:
  9. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Worth it for the body alone.
  10. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    You will have much more than 55 bucks worth of fun with it.
  11. JZQuantum

    JZQuantum Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    Should I sell my Nash and get like 30 of these $55 basses? I'd have 1 bass for every day of the month. What a luxury that'd be!!!

    I am tempted to get one to use as a mod platform, though.

    How is the truss rod in these? Do they actually do anything for the neck relief?
    pcake and ThinCrappyTone like this.
  12. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    If the intonation is good with the bridge being like that, I will buy you a burrito.
    Glazenn, kirkdickinson, bebi and 2 others like this.
  13. Ghook

    Ghook Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2018
    Eastern US
    I think for $55 you can't go wrong if the truss rod turns. You choice of a natural to expose the wood... excellent! Happy NBD
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  14. rwkeating


    Oct 1, 2014
    You can only get so much for $55. Quality is the first thing they cut. My guess is that the photos are fine but the bass was built upside down. :)
    Oddly, Glazenn, twinjet and 13 others like this.
  15. The strings on these are universally bad. Hum and pickup output are a crapshoot: varies from bass to bass. Bridge and tuners are reliable. Neck seems to be the weak link in terms of both stability and finish. I think your finish sanding of it is a good idea. I might go a step further and lightly spray a clear finish on the neck just to seal the wood.
    JZQuantum likes this.
  16. You could do a defret. Ot buy an aftermarket fretless neck. But these basses are NOT drop-ins for Fender parts.
    The pockets are a tad too small. Easiest remedy is to save down the neck heel to achieve a snug fit.
    JRA likes this.
  17. Did you experiment with pickup height?
  18. Truss rods work, but sometimes the relief does not hold.

    Mod platforms is what these basses excel at. That, and the heaviest weigh in at about seven pounds.

    The choice of finishes has diminished a lot since I got mine. But GFS (GuitarFetish) offers the bodies in a variety of finishes (which are priced at about the cost of OP's bass).
    pcake likes this.
  19. Depends on the hemisphere in which the bass was built. Might be the Coriolis Effect.
    Glazenn and rwkeating like this.
  20. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    right, thanks! but it's too much work when we can get cheapo fretlesses for $100-150. might be a fun project for someone more ambitious than myself! :D

    i'm just not surprised that some factories are joining a competent neck assembly to a piece of wood...competently. :laugh:
    staurosjohn likes this.

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