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Used Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DenisW, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. DenisW


    May 5, 2002
    Any tips on what to watch out for when looking at a used Bass.I am going to be looking at a three year old Warwick Streamer LX 4 string fretted bass .He says it has never been gigged.But does that really mean anything?
  2. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Not if he dropped it down a flight of stairs. Actually, just use common sense. Inspect the bass for any glaring problems. If you don't mind a few blemishes, that's cool. Inspect the neck, and see how you like the feel in your hands. Check for balance while standing, and comfort on your leg when sitting. Check the pots for any noise, and if they actually do what they are supposed to do. Try and play it through your own amp if you can. Check each string at each fret for any buzz, all the way up the scale. Try and play it for a half hour or so, and not just 5 minutes, to see if you have any fatigue while playing. Double check the strap locks to see if they are getting loose. If you like it, buy it.
  3. I would also check to see how much the truss rod has been tightened. I'm not familiar with Warwicks though but make sure it hasn't been maxed out.

    And check for dead spots - this might be a bit extreme but bring some new strings with you too. When I was buying my Jazz bass used, the strings were dead as hell but I thought it was the neck. I slapped on some of my old strings that I brought (just in case) and it sounded great.
  4. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Absolutley check the truss rod and make sure the frets are in playble condition, unless you're buying it with that understanding. It would suck to get it home and realize it needs a $300 fret job. Make sure all the pots and electronics are working properly. A little scratching in the pots probably just means the bass sat for awhile and they need to be blown out. Not a big deal. Check for any cracks around the neck joint, tuners, and headstock. As the others mentioned, see how it balances and if you like the neck profile.

    Granny's right, IME, old strings and some new strings can create imaginary dead spots. Beware of that. It might not be anyhting a new pack of strings can't repair.