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What to do about my bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ABlueJazzBassist, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. ABlueJazzBassist

    ABlueJazzBassist "Always play beautifully."

    Dec 26, 2012
    Hey talkbass, its been a while but I could really use your help, as I'm in a tough situation. I'm a relatively new bassist and I bought my first bass over this last summer.

    Anyways, it was a tricky situation. Basically I bought the instrument through a company other than the manufacturer. It was/is a year old, and had had some severe neck damage which a luthier had done a good, or so I'm told, job repairing the issue. The instrument was supposed to be fully carved and made in Germany. It cost me $3500. I didn't get to see the instrument at the time of purchase. It was told however all the information you see above.

    I was shipped the instrument and had a few days grace to accept or reject it, and I accepted it.

    Fast forward a few months into the future. The neck has a slight crack at the base of it, so I take it to the luthier. I'm a freshman jazz bassist at UNT. He says he can't tell wether it's really an issue or just a disfiguration. Anyways, we're sitting around talking about the bass and discussing what it is, and to my surprise, he tells me its not carved. I lacked the experience to tell myself.

    So I call the guys I bought it from, and they say the word carved is a typo, that they meant crafted. However, if its a typo, its a typo in bold at the top of their homepage that they have now fixed.

    Should I pursue a refund, since they basically didn't give me what I payed for? Or should I keep the instrument. My luthier says its worth about as much as I paid for even though its not what I was told it is. But the neck damage will make it hard to sell.

    I will be willing to share any information requested. I really need help. This is tough.
  2. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    How does it sound?

    How does it Play?
  3. tappingtrance

    tappingtrance Cooke Harvey Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2005
    If it is a problem for any reason use that as a return point. That is a bogus sham and you caught them.
  4. If I was in your shoes, I would ask for a refund unless I thought the bass sounded totally amazing and couldn't be easily replaced. Just my $.02
  5. Agreed. False advertising is frowned upon to say the least. Apply pressure until you get what you want, up to and including the point of lawyering up.
  6. ABlueJazzBassist

    ABlueJazzBassist "Always play beautifully."

    Dec 26, 2012
    I'll post pictures and maybe some recordings in a bit. Personally, if I spent a lot of time setting it up and put some work into it would probably play alright. Keep in mind I am in the middle of my school year, I can't really afford to be without an instrument. I think there are rentals available at school though. Its hard to get people to talk straight about this in person because people don't want to be offensive. I appreciate the opinions.
  7. ABlueJazzBassist

    ABlueJazzBassist "Always play beautifully."

    Dec 26, 2012
    It can be kind of tough to play, but some days its almost where I want it. The sound is a little tin-can-ish to my ears.
  8. speeves


    Apr 18, 2008
    Yeah, ask Lynn about rentals. He may able to turn you on to a temporary instrument, if the office is out of them. (If you should decide to return yours).
  9. ABlueJazzBassist

    ABlueJazzBassist "Always play beautifully."

    Dec 26, 2012
    Lynn's a great guy, he said I could borrow his if I had to. They are out of rentals, but one guy apparently has two checked out (for solo tuning and regular tuning) and if I decide to go forward with the refund thing, I'll probably be able to weasel one out of him. But I'm still considering things.
  10. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    You paid $3500 for a plywood or hybrid bass with neck damage that doesn't sound or play like you want it to. Return it. You should be able to get a nice instrument in that price range in your area.
  11. Nagrom


    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    Didn't you say you had accepted it a few months ago, after having a few days acceptance period? From a vendor who "accidentally" described it as carved?

    Doesn't seem likely that you'll get satisfaction at this point in time.
  12. ABlueJazzBassist

    ABlueJazzBassist "Always play beautifully."

    Dec 26, 2012
    I agree that it won't be the easiest argument, but the best analogy I can think of is this: if I were pitch deaf, and paid a guy to tune my piano, he still has to tune it correctly. Even if I'll never be able to tell the difference. If he doesn't, and I find out, he should give me a refund for not doing his job correctly. And if by accident you mean repeatedly stating the word carved, and having it in bold on the header of the page. I did indeed go beyond the acceptance period. Everyone I've talked to around here thinks I shouldn't get trouble about it, the product wasn't what was described. Looks like its time to talk with the parents.
  13. Craig - I've sent you a PM. I agree that you shouldn't have to keep the bass if you don't want, since it was not described properly to you before you bought it. However, if you decide to keep it, I wanted to weigh in with some local luthier thoughts.
  14. Jsn

    Jsn upright citizen

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Look, that's not a typo. It's false advertising, which is a form of fraud.

    The term in question is a commonly-used determinant of quality in this product category. If a professional in the field uses such a term in the clear context that it's normally used, they can't hide behind the excuse of "oops, that's a typo."

    If they could, it would be a loophole for all kinds of shady operators. This is why a kennel owner can't sell a dog as "pedigreed" and claim they meant "pretty great". A car dealer can't sell a car as a "convertible" and claim they meant "comfortable".

    An instrument dealer can't sell a bass as "carved" and claim they meant "crafted". Little chance that would fly in court--probably open them up to criminal as well as civil charges.

    Go to the Wayback Machine, print out a few copies of the old page with the "typo". Approach them with one, and ask them to make you whole.

    By the way, the so-called "approval period" is irrelevant: misrepresentation is misrepresentation, no matter when it's discovered.
  15. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    If the won't make it right once you discovered the fraud contact the attorney general in your state and/or the state it came from. That sometimes gets their attention.

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