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So why did I like the cheap bass best?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by funkasaurus, May 1, 2001.

  1. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Disclaimer: I have played bass for a whopping two months, so what do I know? :D

    I got to play some really sweet basses today. Numerous 70's Fender J and P basses, 70's Stingray 5, Stingray 4, Rickenbacker, G&L 2000 and 2500, Peavey Cirrus, Warwick Corvette 4, an older Sadowsky 4, Spector 5, and Spector 4.

    Guess what? MY favorite was easily the Spector 5, followed by the other Spector, then the Rick and G&L. I knew that Spector makes USA, Czech, and Korean models. I just assumed that it was a US or Czech model and when I went to check, imagine my surprise when I found it was a Korean model! I think it was about $500 cheaper than all of the other basses I tried.

    So what's the deal here? I don't know much about setup, but I can't imagine that all of the other basses in the store had bad setups and the Spector had a great one. I saw a post the other day where someone had posted pics of their Spectors and I thought they were pretty sweet looking, but besides that, I haven't really heard much about them. Could it be that they just fit my fledgling style well?
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    People like what they like. If you like a bass strictly because of price (high or low), then you might have a problem;)
  3. You know what I love?

    The Haloflash, sure its very trendy, but it just loks SO unique.
  4. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    I find it hard to belive you tried a 70's Stingray5 since the stingray5 was first introduced in '87.

    regarding your preferation of the Korean Spectors over all the US made G&Ls, Fenders, RICs and so on- you should buy what you like regardless of it not being made in the USA or not making ppl here comment you on that gorgeous 7A maple top or sub-atomic ultra active Bartokiki Preamp.

    you can't make music with a high-end bass that isn't playable in your hands but you can with a bass that feels right.
  5. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    What id like to know is who this dealer is.A guy that sells Sadowskys within 500 of an MIK Spector is just what im looking for!!!My advice is buy anything BUT the Sadowsky.Whats that dealers name again?Heh,heh,heh.
  6. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    To make it simple - As demand out-paces the supply of a good, the price will go up. The manufacturer can do a few things: continue to keep the high prices by holding back production (often to ensure the quality - or just to retain the exclusivity of the good) or increase output to meet demand (which can lead to lower quality - escpecially on crafted items that require skill like basses). To increase output he will try to have more efficient production (which can call for higher overhead - such as a larger factory - the cost of which he will defray by making a plant in a cheaper labor market where there are incentives to invest and by increasing output to keep the cost of goods per unit down). Three cases in point: USA, Czech Republic, Korea, and China. Whereas Korean and Chinese manufacturing bases have a demonstrated core competency in mass production at low cost, the Czechs have a history of craftsmanship in goods such as glass forming and wood carving. In the USA, the cost of labor to make basses is very high, so there's more focus on high-end manufacturing.

    We are seeing an increase of more mass production basses as a result of manufacturers trying to defray the cost of production while making the most of the overhead by producing more cheaply on a larger scale.

    It's why a small corner grocer has higher prices generally than a warehouse market. Does the apple taste different - not really. Does the bass sound different - hmmm. Here's where the analogy fails (or does it?). With a larger population of goods, you are more likely to see a wide disparity between the high and low quality. Though you can still get as good quality as one from a more time consuming production method.

    Here's the point, when items are mass produced, it doesn't mean they are poor quality. You just run a higher risk of getting a lemon. Don't assume though, that it is mass produced just based on where it is made.

    The advice to you - Bring in your amp (if they don't let you - don't buy from them). Play for at least 30 minutes. Play at different volumes, different settings, seated and USING A STRAP (very important). If you find utility from the good (in other words, if you get your rocks off on the bass) after this test - be happy with your decision.

    Just remember, you are starting out. Don't expect your first car to be a Ferrari when you hardly know how to drive. You will probably move on to replace your first purchase or add to you collection as your style and needs develop.

    Good luck! And check the prices here:

  7. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Hmmm...my guess is that the Stingray 4 was the 70's model instead of the 5. Is this possible? I tried out so many different basses, my head was spinning and I may have gotten them confused.

    The dealer was 30th Street Guitars in Manhattan, between 7th and 8th. Pretty cool place, it was my first time there. They have many more guitars than basses though. Oh and the Sadowsky was more than $500 more than the Spector. I should have said that the Spector was AT LEAST $500 cheaper than the others for the most part.

    You're right about it being light. It was noticeable lighter than the MM, 2500, etc. Maybe that's why I liked it. I don't know what kind of wood it was. I played every bass with the same amp, a used Nemesis 410 combo. I kept all the settings on the amp neutral for each bass. I guess I gave the impression I was looking to buy a new bass, but I'm not. I actually went there to look for a new amp and had brought along my mim jazz. When I got to the store, a salesmen directed my to go upstairs for the bass stuff. I did and found myself alone with all of these sweet basses. So I did what I think most people here would do in that situation-I sat down and made some new friends. :) No sales pressure. No one came upstairs the whole time I was there to give me a sales pitch or pressure me to buy something. I think the staff was too busy with some contractors there doing renovations. The only other person I saw up there was a mom with her 12 year old kid, who asked if I was a salesman, then left when I told her I wasn't.

    That's an interesting point you make about mass produced basses. Never thought of it that way. I have a mass produced mim jazz that I'm really happy with and don't plan on replacing until I feel like I'm proficient enough to know what I really want in a bass. I will keep your advice in mind when I do go shopping for my next bass. Thanks!

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