Trying out expensive basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by J. Crawford, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I have a bit of a problem guys..

    I have been saving, and am still saving, to splurge on an awesome bass that I plan to use in college, and for many years to come.

    I just have on problem.. I want something more than a Fender, meaning something almost boutique or boutique. I will be buying used. My price range is approximately $1500, but I can move around a bit and keep saving if needed. Buying used only! I would rather stimulate TBs economy than GC, and a lot more bass can be had for the money used.

    Thing is, I dont have the opportunity to try things like Sadowskys, Lulls, Elricks, etc., things the average guitar shop or GC would have. I cant drop that much cash on a bass that Im not 100% positive I will like and love to play for years to come.

    I live about as far east in Ohio as possible, right on the little tiny part where Pennsylvania is 5 minutes away, as well as West Virginia. I am willing to travel a bit, but being only 16 its hard to convince the parents to let me go on solo road trips.

    I guess what Im asking is, how do I know for certain that I will like a bass sight unseen? I love Fender, but I want something more, and especially more personal, not just a production line bass.

    Im all ears, so anything related to trying basses, travel, or basses in that price range is welcome!

    Thanks guys!
  2. panama


    May 26, 2009
    Any bass can be personal. You just have to love it.
  3. Check out return policies. Sometimes you may just be out shipping. See if there's anyone in your area with something similar. Although, sometimes you just need to take the gamble, especially if what you want doesn't exist and will need to be custom made.
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Thats not what Im saying.. I love my Geddy and plan on keeping it forever, but Im the kind of guy who has always been different. I like to be different than everyone else. I have been saving for a long while to buy a new bass, and I plan on it being perfect..

    Thanks for the opinion though!
  5. PatO


    May 21, 2006
    Colchester VT
    hey man, first off - good luck. I remember when I was in that same boat and I got screwed buying a bass that I didn't have my hands on prior.

    second - if you can somehow rally some troops to help get you to NYC, swing into Rudy's Bass Stop. That is (in my opinion) the best place on the east coast to try out basses that aren't stocked many other places. If you can't make it there, it never hurts to call around to every guitar shop within driving distance and just ask what they have in stock. I'm always surprised to see exactly how friendly and helpful some places are when they know you are actively trying to spend good money on the right bass at the right place.

    Back in the day I picked up my first peavey cirrus as my 'headed to college to study bass' bass. I love the cirrus' and now own a few of them, but they aren't for everybody. The price range on them new is right around where you want to be and many shops are Peavey dealers so they are pretty easy to come by. just stay away form the bolt on varieties.
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I have always wondered about the "trial period" thing with TB. People have told me to:
    1. Get the bass shipped to my house, and pay for shipping. Trial it for a day.
    2. Either buy the bass then, or pay for the shiipping back to the owner.

    I dont know how fellow TBers feel about that. And it wont be a custom build Spade, thats a bit out of my price range. Used is fine with me. Im a feel and tone guy, so looks arent as important as those two... Though looks do matter to an extent! ;)

    I have the Columbus GTG tomorrow and plan to try soem stuff out.. That is about it.
  7. bfc


    Feb 15, 2008
    Fenton, MO
    You should truly look at Carvin basses. You can customize them yourself and end up paying 1000-2000 bucks to get what you want. Look into to it. I own a B5 and did not play Carvin until I ordered one. I absolutely love the sound and feel of my bass. It cuts through the mix of my rock band, and I get compliments on its looks all the time. I love Carvin and am looking into the SB series 5 bangers, now.
  8. jworrellbass

    jworrellbass Commercial User

    May 17, 2009
    Colorado Springs CO
    Owner, builder: jworrellbass
    What are you looking for, scale lenth, number of strings, ect? I've got a custom for sale I would be willing to part with it for $1500 Check out my site it's the 5 string. I offer a two year warranty and if you don't like it just pay return shipping. Or if you want something custom built I can do it for a bit higher, depending on pickups and other things.
  9. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Maybe I could talk pops into a father-song trip to NY, and come home with a bass. Or at least try a bunch out, and return here to splurge.

    We didnt get a family vacation this year due to my lil brother breaking both wrists, so maybe Ill talk to him.

  10. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Research, research, and then, research some more.
  11. That's a dilemma. I think the people who do know what all the boutique brands sound and play like live in areas where those kind of instruments are actually in circulation. That leaves alot of us wondering.

    Youtube is a good place to check out instruments, though internet pics, vids, and files only give you a fuzzy impression of the real thing.

    $1,500.00 is a lot of coin, and would cover a nice custom build. If you have a qualified tech in your area who can help you with the build, you always have the option of ordering up your custom parts and finishes from one of the parts suppliers (Warmoth, US Guitar Parts, etc.) and assembling your one-of-a-kind custom boutique bass in your home town.

    Otherwise, you have to go with what you know and what's available. If you buy something and don't like it, it would be nice to be able to return it or sell it off and recover your investment so you can start again.

    Going a new direction with an instrument is always a bit of a gamble, so here's wishing you only the best of luck!
  12. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I love the new Carvin "retro" series, but Im a big headstock fanatic.. IMO, its more important than the bass itself.. it has to be perfect..

    Very nice! Very Fbass-esque! But again, and I mean no harm in this, your headstock just isnt my kind of thing.. And as I said, I mean no harm in that!
  13. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I have always liked the Gecko series, and Warmoth itself.. I never though about making a fully complete bass myself.

    But if I were to do that, I would have the parts sent directly to a fellow TBer and pay him/her to do the work for me.. Im very ignorant on that part of bass playing.. ;)

    And thanks for the best of luck!

    @ Dark, how did you pull off buying both the RB and Roscoe sight unseen? I mean, didnt that scare you?
  14. Now you're thinking outside the box. And if you get someone who really knows how to build and set up to your tastes and needs, pick your woods, hardware, and electronics carefully, chances are very good you will have a little brainchild that you will love forever and ever.

    BTW, I had grandparents in the valley, Lansing and St Clairesville. Are you familiar with or near those towns?
  15. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Yup yup, Im in the Valley. I had a golf match in St. Clairsville just last season. So I get around via golf! ;) Im closest to cities like Beaver PA, Chester WV, and Toronto, OH.
  16. jworrellbass

    jworrellbass Commercial User

    May 17, 2009
    Colorado Springs CO
    Owner, builder: jworrellbass
    No harm taken, what kind of headstock are you looking for? Here are a few new pictures of my current project a 5 string fretless.
  17. Cool. I grew up in Columbus, and we used to visit that area alot growing up. Very pretty.

    Just a side note: A build is a pretty big step. Short of that, you could spend some time brainstorming all the things you would like to have in your bass, from body wood to neck woods to hardware and electronics. Then find a reputable boutique builder who makes something (or will custom make it) that meets most or all of your criteria. Again, since you basically designed it on paper yourself, chances are very good you will end up with a winner. It will be like your baby, and most of us end up loving our babies. ;)
  18. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    I got a Dingwall without ever having even seen one in real life. It worked out for me.
  19. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yes it did, somewhat, but quite honestly, as I said, research.

    I spent months, and months, looking into the RB, every soundclip I could find, searched years old TB topics(dug up a really good soundclip too, of Bruce Lindfield slapping on an RB, I was suprised*), scoured youtube, listend to tonnes of band that Rocose played in, read every spec I could find ten times over, then spent most of a year waiting for a blue and maple one to show up, but thats a different story.:D

    The whole process took quite a bit over a year, but the result was a bass that not only looks perfect(IMO), but everytime I strap it on, feels like home, sounds like heaven(IMO), and covers almost everything I need.

    As for the Roscoe, same process(soundclips were kind of thin on the ground), but much quicker, I was looking for a good 5er, wanted a thin neck, Roscoe showed up for sale, seemed to tick all the boxes, thin neck, medium wide spacing etc, and a good deal, so I took a shot. This one was much scarier than the Fender, which is the way with boutiques, IMHO, but again, once I opened the case up, all the worries dissapeared.

    I've bought 7, maybe 8 instruments sight unseen, with high levels of success, and some luck.;)

    * I lost that when my hard drive took a nosedive, I must look for it again.
  20. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA

    Were I in your boat, I'd look for an Ebay deal. If you don't love it, flip it and try again. I got a GREAT - I mean GREAT Zon sonus special for $1200 year before last - - it's a keeper. I've also bought some real clunkers, but if you are smart about buying, you can flip with minimal loss. Buying new is a *complete* rip unless you find something you REALLY dig.