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What bass should I get?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Riley09195, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Riley09195


    Jan 11, 2019
    I am a high school student and am fairly serious about playing the bass. I want to buy my own bass, which is something I should have bought years ago. However I’m hella broke and basses are not cheap. I want to stay below 2750 ideally and want something that will sound good for primarily orchestral playing. I would also prefer not to get a laminate bass simply because I don’t like the tone/quality of most of them, however if I’m not completely against it if it has a nice sound. Are there any bass recommendations? I am also open to buying a used one.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  2. A Shen hybrid or low-dollar carved model such as the Willow flatback. Where are you located?
  3. Riley09195


    Jan 11, 2019
    I’m in the Bay Area in California
  4. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Patience will reward you far beyond your wildest expectations and a hasty purchase may leave you penniless with an embarrassing piece of junk self destructing Chinese bass shaped object .....
    Ross Kratter likes this.
  5. Kickdrum


    Jul 17, 2011
    A String Emporium carved bass could work for you. Check them out. I think I remember them being around that price when I was doing lots of research for my first double bass/upright bass about two years ago and they kept coming up as a solid option as I read around the internet. I’ve bought other items from String Emporium since then. For me, I eventually ended up going with an Upton Brescian Hybrid and I’m very very happy.
    Ross Kratter likes this.
  6. Go see Steve Swan.
  7. tumbo

    tumbo Supporting Member

    I posted the following in a similar thread earlier today. At the risk of appearing to be a dubious echo, I thought I'd post it again here in case you find it useful:

    After much experimentation in an effort to make my electric bass sound like a double bass, I decided that it would probably be more productive and satisfying to just learn how to play a double bass, so after a little internet research, I contacted Upton Bass last year and purchased one of their Standard instruments. One of the better decisions that I've made. They were great to work with and my Standard is a pretty impressive bass--it arrived perfectly set up and has a very satisfying tone in all positions. I had a bit of concern about having the bass shipped to me in Utah, but that turned out to be unwarranted. The bass was shipped upright in a wooden crate that had a Tip-N-Tell indicator affixed to it so I could confirm that it had remained upright and had been handled carefully throughout shipping.

    As I've gained more experience and have had the opportunity to play other double basses, I continue to be really impressed with my Upton Standard.
    statsc likes this.
  8. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Second this!

    Also Lemur has a showroom in Gael's old spot in Berkeley.
  9. String Bass Sales & Repair · Steve Swan String Basses

    A 3rd for Steve Swan! He has a ton of Shen's in your price range at his shop that would be a great starter bass. I played (and still play) a Shen SB 180 hybrid throughout my undergrad and it has served me very well.
    JeffKissell likes this.
  10. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Another vote for Swan. Shen basses are well made and fairly priced. Upton basses are fine enough, but, pretty basic, and their prices are arbitrary like everything else in New England.
  11. Aldwyn

    Aldwyn Old Musician, New to UB! Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Columbia, Maryland
    When looking at the Shens, definitely look at the Hybrids people are mentioning, but dont pass up trying out their laminate models either... Set up right, they play and sound fantastic for the money! (and the price difference between the laminate and hybrid Shens will then give you a good chunk of change for a nice bow!)
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I strongly advise against (in your situation) ordering from an east coast shop or on-line store. You live in a part of the country where there are good local options. Get your hands on the instrument you are considering, play it, work with the shop on setup and best strings for it and drive it home with you.

    Great stories of purchases made on-line based on reviews and endorsements are fine for people who live no where near a decent shop. You have a better options. Shop and buy locally.
    tonequixote and matthewbrown like this.

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