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What upright to buy for 2400$ Maximum ?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Nic_rip, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Hello,

    this is my first post on talkbass.

    I was wondering if anybody had suggestions here. I'm new to the double bass world, and I'm about to buy one pretty soon, and my budget doesn't go over 2400 $.

    I am taking serious electric bass lessons, but would like to play some jazz.

    Now... I live near Ottawa, Canada, and there's only one store selling double basses: Peter Dawson's violons.

    The bass they have around my budget is a Shen DB150.

    Do you think it's reasonable, at 2200$ ?

    There are other stores in montreal and quebec city, but they have other models which I don't know of. All I know is that they're made in Germany, are hybrid, and cost a little less (1800$)

    Should I consider more the price, or the place and service ??

    Any advice is strongly appreciated, thank you!
  2. I would consider the BASS itself. Get a DB teacher (or a serious DB player) to try out the bass you are interested in.
  3. buddyro57

    buddyro57 me and PJ (living with the angels now)

    Apr 14, 2006
    Cedar Falls Iowa
    I would also point out that you will need service, so it might make sense to purchase the bass from someone who is reputable, has a good repairman, and who is more-or-less local. That should not be difficult living near a mertopolitan area. I think its a lot like buying a car, you also pay for the service; the store you buy it from will have more of a sense of oblgation to take care of you when you need it, and you will need it- maybe just for minor issues, but it will happen. It would be easy to check around to see if your store has a competitive price on the Shen.
    Good Luck!
  4. Don C

    Don C

    Jan 13, 2007
    Victoria BC

    You might want to visit Peter Mach at 309 Eardley Rd in Aylmer.
    He quite often has some Double Basses in his shop, or knows where there is one for sale.

    Also, call Don Gorman.
    Last I heard he was in Merrickville about 40 minutes south of Ottawa.

    They'll both give you good advice at the very least.
  5. No referrals or other business stuff from me, but here's what I'd do:

    I'd buy one of those (apparently) $900 Eberle/Musima NOS basses, buy all new parts for it (including fingerboard and everything, probably) and then hand the whole lot off to the luthier in your area (or reasonable radius) who you get the most positive reviews from local bassists re: fingerboards and setup work.

    Those basses are bomb-proof and in my experience can set-up and sound very acceptable. You'd end up with a bass that you'd never have reason to get rid of, especially if you or someone else worked some magic on the "varnish". Right off the bat I'd do whatever I could to tone down the gloss, but the color (orange!) is what really kills the eyes; if all that gloss coat were to come off though I'm sure the color could be toned down and a decent finish achieved.

    When I find the time, I'll be building one up like this to keep around as a beater/shop/picnic bass and as a loaner for people with sick basses. I might even do more than one as long as I'm at it; probably cheaper to get all the parts at once anyway...
  6. RD


    Jun 17, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Make sure you'll have enough money left over for any set up work you will want, a bow, and a bag. Some places will include these things in the purchase price, some won't.
    I second the idea of taking along someone with experience.
    Also, you may consider renting a bass until you know what you really want. Many places that offer lessons will also rent you a bass and whatever else you need until you get some experience under your belt.
    Lessons on upright are essential, at least at first!
    good luck,
  7. mdcbass

    mdcbass Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Seacoast of NH
    You might take a road trip to NH and get this nice old Kay which is probably setup well and has a pickup and gig bag.


    Check for basses in Vermont and upstate NY, too.
  8. Elemetal


    Mar 10, 2006
    You can get a ****** one. I don't think anyone should have to deal with playing on ****** ones especially when learning how to play upright. I played on a ****** one for a few years and it was way harder to progress and I recently bought a professional one and my skill level has soared just because it's easier and fast to learn concepts. I paid $8500 for mine but I got a real steal of a deal on it. I could have paid more. I think you might need to consider adding a few thousand more to get a decent one.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Nonsense. For $2400 you can certainly buy a well-designed instrument that is set up properly so that it will be quite comfortable to play. No, it will not have the complexity of tone and/or the aesthetics of a more up-scale instrument but it will not, in the least, hinder learning. The setup is of paramount importance as is the overstand, fingerboard projection, bridge height, and a host of other factors. There are quite a few instruments available for $2400 and less that would fulfill the requirements.

    Crappy basses can be found in many price ranges and poorly setup instruments are not uncommon. Yes, they hinder learning. Neither, however, is necessary at the $2400 price-point.
  10. I couldn't agree more.

    My college owned a $20k+ pollman that was a complete dog compared to the 5/8 Juzek I played.
  11. I'd check out Peter. (I don't know Don) You should also come to Montreal. (watch out for Jules!)
    You may want to post a wanted ad here at TB. Makes sure you put Montreal in the thread title and we'll be coming out of the woodwork to give tips on basses for sale etc.
  12. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Just curious-- was the problem with the setup or did it seem the instrument itself was lacking? Of course, sometimes it's quite hard to tell!
  13. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Elemetal, in my opinion, you are a ******head :)

    $2400 is more than enough for a suitable beginner bass.
  14. I bought what I thought was a dog of a double bass when I first saw it. It had a hole on one of the sides and it was missing a bridge, tailpiece and soundpost. The endpin was rolling around inside the double bass. I bought it for AUD$600 and then took it to the best luthier we have in Australia, he charged me AUD$1100. He fixed everything on that bass, without resetting the neck. That double bass plays like a dream now. And other players have used it on stage and love it. A good luthier set-up can make a huge difference to the double bass you play. Oh, and the string choice also helps.
  15. It was actually set up really nice considering it wasn't anyone's personal bass.

    I don't know. Part of it may have been the strings but I could just never get that bass to really speak the way you'd think a $20k bass should. It may have needed to have the soundpost adjusted a bit. It did sound good and had a great fundamental sound in the lower register and a smooth tone in thumb position but I could really make the little Juzek SING.

    When you're talking about acoustic instruments I think a LOT can be said for spending long hours really learning the ins and outs of the instrument.
  16. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Thanks for the reply. I agree. I'm no luthier and I don't play one on TV but I do know that judicious adjustments of the soundpost position, for example, can make substantial differences. In any case, it takes a good instrument and a good setup to make an overall good bass. Your example seems to demonstrate that!
  17. Gérard Paradis

    Gérard Paradis

    Mar 30, 2008
    Hello Nic, just to tell you about my experience. I live in Québec city, I ordered an Eberle fully carved from Musima, the price was 1,800$ US, 185$ shipping, 400$ for taxes etc.. = 2400$. I have a very nice bass, well built, that sound and play very well and I am very happy with it. The bass look pretty, no orange at all. But you dont get a bag, bow and setup though.

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