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Song Double Bass Fully Carved Chinese Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by DrewWalden, Jan 14, 2011.

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  1. DrewWalden


    Jul 28, 2009
    Cleveland, TN
  2. kmanley_29649


    Jan 25, 2008
    Taylors SC
    I asked the same thing here a few months ago, and didn't get any responses. I'm interested in hearing anything anyone has to say, but I wouldn't expect much if I were you.
  3. Jsn

    Jsn upright citizen

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    The strange thing about that brand is that it seems to exist only within the confines of eBay. You'd think that such an artisanal persona would have a footprint elsewhere on the web.

    I wonder if "Song" is supposed to resonate with "Sun", as in Xuechang Sun.
  4. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    It seems like there are plenty of shops in China making decent instruments (not CCB). What the difference is that many have no distribution or reps in the US, so they lean towards ebay to get exposure but do not realize that Ebay is not the source most people think of when buying a bass or string instruments.

    That is just my take on it.

    I wonder if a thread sticky would be helpful of the known and reputable shops/factories making basses in China?
  5. timobee4

    timobee4 Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    Cairns, Australia
    Mate, its a real hit or miss! You can't try the bass you can only pray that what you get will make you happy and it will live up to your expectations! I took a chance with a Ma Zhibin bass also from eBay (China) and I got lucky. very lucky. Expect some movement of the wood it may open up here and there, easily fixed. Luthier will have to dress the fingerboard, you might wanna get better tuners and endpin. Than in the next 5-6 years you get the pleasure to watch it mature. Some of these Chinese basses are slap happy but sum are as good as any. I love my bass and will never sell it. Saying this after 31 years DB and.5 basses.
  6. r.t.swing


    May 5, 2009
    "Only exists on ebay." Could be true, but I know in the trumpet world Chinese instruments are often labeled by the shop selling them not the manufacturer so the same instrument can vary in price by several hundred pounds depending on the status of the shop. I bought trumpet for £275 that under another name would sell for £799.Could the bass be labeled something else in other places.
  7. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I would love to see that...
  8. I like the fact that Song makes more obscure instruments at student prices. I've seen several gambas, 5-string cellos, baroque viola, etc. pop up on ebay for way less than $1k. That would have been unheard of to find any of those instruments that cheap a few years ago. Probably not great instruments but very cool for teachers and students who just need a functional piece.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    The question is whether they are, indeed, "functional." Does anyone have first-hand experience?
  10. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    They look real nice, but the name "China" still scares me.
  11. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    I ran across a Snow bass at Bischoffberger in Seattle several years ago. It was a very nice but "new" instrument. With so many people in China it doesn't surprise me that there's more than a few good luthiers there. Look at how many good Chinese basses are sold here.
  12. I'm sure they're nothing exceptional but they are meant to be played and could be in working order with a good setup.

    Just the fact that they're making the instruments at all gets some respect from me. I remember shopping around for a gamba when I was in college and it was nigh impossible to find anything under about $3k.
  13. MIKMAN


    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    In some other threads in the past we shared our opinions about the various Chinese basses. We must keep in mind that most of the Chinese makers use very beautiful tonewoods, albeit not properly aged. These basses show some structural problems but most of them can be addressed by a competent luthier. The main problem is that the average Chinese double bass needs more manhours in order to be not only a beautiful instrument but also a resonant, deep sounding bass. The average Chinese luthier tends to construct htem with thick and not properly graduated plates, with thick bass bars and with a not so functional neck overstand. Given that only a few of the buyers can afford the cost of a proper regraduation etc these instruments remain in the student level. Arnold once said that this fact represents a wastage of fine tonewoods and i agree with him, since these excellent tonewoods in the hands of respectable luthiers could be transformed in masterpieces.
    So, to make a long story short, i would never buy a Chinese e-bay bass. The total cost to make it function properly could reach the cost of a well known and very well constructed instrument.
  14. If only this sentiment could be conveyed to some of the quality woodworkers in the East. The investment potential would be ridiculous. They really do make a fine looking.
    I am sure many are capable of making fine sounding instruments as well.
  15. I am always skeptical about unknown instrument brands that are only sold on ebay. There are many bad instrument makers who prey on beginners who are clueless about instrument quality, and when a beginner figures out the instrument is of inferior quality, its too late to change feedback or complain.

    I do not doubt that Song instruments are inferior. But in descriptions, multicolored text and variable font sizes make me wonder.

    Reputable instrument makers produce instruments with minimum or no flaws. If you look at the picture where the two pieces of wood meet (endpin side), there's a white stripe. A beginner plywood Kolstein Bass will not have that. A handcarved bass will also have bookmatched back pieces, not what the Song bass has.
    Also, the bridge is thin. In most basses I've seen at Kolstein's and David Guage have fat bridges. The difference - a thin bridge will often warp. Of course it depends on the quality of the wood, but still.
  16. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    There's one of these on eBay right now they want $4000 including shipping. It's a 5 string, pretty finish and wood.
    There was a 5 string CCB on eBay last year. Like this thread says, I'd never drop 4 grand on a hope and a prayer from China...
  17. I have one of their gambas. It's not exactly historically accurate but the workmanship is great.

    I wouldn't drop $4k on one, and I'm not sure those instruments are even really marketed towards Americans, but they know what they're doing and build decent instruments. They're definitely not the same instruments you see in the big online catalogs.
  18. I found a Chinese bass in a shop (not set up yet) marketed by one of the Kohr's (Johannas I think) and it was $8,000 retail. Maybe a sign of hope that exchange rates are beginning to normalize? Or just testing what the market will bare.
  19. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    I just want to make sure we're not confusing Snow with Song. I know Jack Snow, and talked with him a bit at the VSA last week. Good guy, and in the group I consider responsible Chinese makers. Song to me is a complete unknown.

    As was stated above, the wood aging is a huge factor. It requires a ridiculous amount of care to be able to produce a stable instrument in a production environment, and unless someone has been doing this for a long time and has a considerable investment in wood and an aggressive aging process, I'd be wary.

    To many manufacturers, the bass is the after-thought instrument, and I doubt your average factory is committing consistent attention to the steady improvement of their product. There are a handful of reputable Chinese makers, I would recommend sticking with those.

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