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What made you buy your bass ? (DB forum thread)

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by C.Veltman, Aug 18, 2000.

  1. Dear bassfriends,
    what made you buy your bass (basses) ?
    Was it the sound ? The nice wood ? Price/value ?
    Did you buy it as an investment ? Historic value ? Pronenience ?
    What made you decide the purchase ?

    Just being a bit curious !

    Kind regards,
    Christian V
  2. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Great question!......I finally saved enough $$$$$$.

    I bought my first bass, an Englehardt, from some farmer in southern Indiana, $600. I still have it. I still don't know why I bought it.

    My other bass is an early 1900's German, gamba-shaped, archback w/ "C" extension. I chose it over about 8 other basses in my price range. I loved the shape and color, and it just felt right. I did make the mistake of playing one bass that was more in the "Higdon" quality and price range. The openness and ease of playing was just amazing! For just a moment, I was thinking of items in my house that I could sell to raise the necessary funds.

    Anyway, delighted with the bass I have, but I will be stashing some cash aside.
  3. Hello, Christian-
    The first bass that I ever bought was in sad shape the first time that I saw it.It was owned by a former member of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and when he passed away,his widow left
    it sitting in the basement,and the fingerboard was warped,
    it had a soundpost crack and the seams were opening up!Don't
    ask me what made me pick it up, but as soon as I touched it, even in the terrible shape it was in, it had THE SOUND!!!
    A sound that just made my knees buckle, and I knew I had to have it.
    So after a few thousand dollars in repairs and ten years later, I am still playing that same bass. It has a tone that
    is just unbelievable, and it seems to sing when I play it.
    I have other basses, but this 1923 Juzek is my special girl.
  4. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    I have a little worm in my tummy that tells me what to do music wise. Lucky for me everyone that I talk to seems to think I have good tone on bass. Go figure. :D

    Iofflight likes this.

  5. Sound, sound, sound! My bass plays and sounds like a bass costing twice as much. The fact that it's esthetically beautiful is a bonus.
    Iofflight likes this.
  6. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Ed has seen my basses; they're all different. When I play a bass that sounds great, it automatically looks nicer; blemishes and cracks become character lines to be admired.
  7. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    With certified checks, lots of things are possible.
  8. Damn, Mister Ed, I haven't heard those names in quite a while,I'll start from the top. Never met Kennerson, maybe he was before my time. Ray West the Tuba Player or Ray Wiest the keyboard player?I only played with Ray Wiest a couple times when he was at Hamilton,and he didn't impress me much, but Ray the Tuba player was my running buddy when I was at Monmouth. We used to run four miles every morning and for some reason it acted as a laxative for him. Or maybe it was the half-case of beer from the night before. Anyway, I think he is retired now.
    CHahowski is now teaching piano at the army school of music in Little Creek, VA.He was a cool guy when he was at Hamilton, and he still is, but now his health is failing due to liver damage from alcohol.
    Wow, that shook my memory files a little...
  9. Thanks Bassfriends for your replies !

    Do I dare to make my own confession ???......

    I took a chance but not realy. My present bass was standing dusty and with two kinds of very old strings fitted.

    The sound was dead...

    But I realy liked the vintage look (approx 150 years old).
    Repaired in Berlin Germany 87 years ago according to the sticker inside.

    (What kind of idiot buys a bass by the looks???)

    Anyway....when playing arco the D string was singing although not with a magnificant sound but something told me "there is more to get".
    This was the only decent but very old string fitted...

    So I bought the bass and brought it to my luthier. A new soundpost was
    fitted and of course a new set of Thomastik Spirocore and....

    Wow ! I was correct in my asumtion, it sounded great and so was the price.
    Well of course I was lucky but I believe my intuition played a part in this story.
    The bass monetary value is according to a collector at least 5 times the price I payed. I will post some pictures in a few days as there are some unanswered
    questions about it´s origin etc.

    Kind regards and thanks again !
    Christian V
    ps, I asume it´s still my bass as dear Ed F has neither seen or played it (yet) ;-))
  10. How about it, Ed? I hear there are some cheap flights to Sweden coming up in October!;)

    [Edited by reedo35 on 08-21-2000 at 06:14 PM]
  11. psychotic_judoka


    Aug 29, 2000
    wow, such fancy stuff u guys have, i baught mine, because it was the cheapest they ahd there, and i didnt have anymoney, and i didnt know how to play yet, so i figured, hey go cheap to learn then get a better on later, makes sence eh?
    i wish i had such a cool history behind it...
  12. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    psych- most of us started the same way. I traded my alto sax without telling my parents until after. My 2nd bass, a Czech plywood, cost $175. I played 37 years on lesser instruments (and I'm making up for it now!)

    [Edited by Don Higdon on 08-30-2000 at 07:49 PM]
    StyleOverShow likes this.
  13. Well, I may have some fancy stuff now but, like Don, I didn't start out out with that instrument. The truth be known, I started playing Bass when I was in seventh grade,
    and it really wasn't my first choice for an instrument,but
    I wanted to play in the school orchestra and I couldn't afford to buy an instrument, and the Director needed a Bass player. I had been playing piano for a year, so I could read music a little, and I happened to be one of the tallest kids in school at the time, so he takes a look at me, thinks a minute, and says those fateful words," hmmm,
    your Mom drives a Station Wagon, doesn't she? How would you like to play Bass?" and the rest is History. He Dug up this beast from the bowels of the school basement,I think it was an old Roth Bass,and it was almost falling apart,but I got it home and my father,not being a luthier,fixed it up as best he could, and that was the bass I used for the next two years, and I performed my first bass solo on it,The Happy farmer,I think it was called.Anyway the moral of this story is a shameless plug to support music in schools, because that's where a lot of future musicians get their first taste of music.


  14. wow, such fancy stuff u guys have

    Nuthin' could be worse than my first bass. Although
    I'd been interested in the doublebass since I was very
    young (it was so big and so deep, ya know)it wasn't until
    my junior or senior year of high school that I started
    playing it. I was recruited for the school orchestra because I played electric bass guitar. I wasn't given any lesson, I was just expected to be able to play. It was a terrible experience but wanted to continue after graduation. With no guidance whatsoever I spent 7 or 800 hundred bucks on a 1/2 size Romanian-made plywood bass. The strings must have been two or three inches off the fingerboard and was so quiet that it couldn't be heard over the smallest background noise. After a while of struggling with thing, really unable to anything with it because it was so fatiguing and despite all the work it took to play didn't make any sound, I found a teacher. At my first lesson he told me he didn't ever want to see that bass in his house again, that if I could practice on it more power to me, but at the lesson I'd use his bass; it was a Kay or American Standard or something.
  15. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    And then there was that aluminum bass at the high school...:
  16. I wonder what one of those would sound like with a
    set of Spirocores?
  17. Wow: you guys are a lot more forgiving than another board I was on...I was almost afraid to post about my poor Palatino because of some really nasty things about "lower end starter basses" said elsewhere.
    Truth is, if the Palatino didn't exist I wouldn't be playing DB right now. It was all my wife would let me spend on my first DB. My incentive is that I was promised an upgrade if I stick with it (umm, the bass, not the wife).
    After the addition of adjustable bridge and Spirocores, it sounds nice, I think.
    Plus, I'd be scared to death to have anything really expensive around the house right now with 2 kids under 6 years old and a lab pup running around! That aluminum bass sounds tempting....

    [Edited by double dad on 09-02-2000 at 08:05 PM]
  18. Hi Doubble Dad !

    There are always a lot of oppinions about "cheap"
    basses and other instruments especially when produced in
    China. Yes, it´s tru a lot of nasty instruments have
    left that country. Today there is a major change in theire
    production. Last year I bought a Fender Stratocaster
    candy apple red with a maple neck and it is absolutely
    worth every penny ! I have played a lot of vintage
    guitars and basses and there is no question, they are
    real value for the money. There is however one thing
    or better, the very important thing, theese instruments have
    to be set up by a skilled luthier. It does make all the difference.

    One other important fact is that a good player can make
    a Palatino sound great with the proper set up and strings.
    I have seen it happen ! You can always sell your home
    and get that Montagana later on ;-)) They sell for around 1.000.000 USD I believe...

    Kind regards,
    Christian V

  19. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The Montagnana recently auctioned went for L155,000.That's what, $225,000?
  20. Hi Christian--thanks for the kind words. I'll think about the Montagnana, next time it comes up for auction :)
    and if I win the next Survivor...
    check this one out--and I thought going to a 5-string would be hard!

    [Edited by double dad on 09-10-2000 at 07:12 PM]

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