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What would you do with an “extra” bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by g-dude, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Sell it

    5 vote(s)
  2. Donate it

    6 vote(s)
  3. Get it set up the same as my primary bass and use it for non-optimal conditions

    25 vote(s)
  4. Set it up to play a totally different style of music

    32 vote(s)
  1. So my Uptown should hopefully be arriving soon - just made my final payment for the shipping.

    In the meantime, what I have is a used Chinese-made bass with some finish checking, that really could use a setup to at minimum fix the string height. I’ve owned it since January, and basically figured that for the price I paid for it, it would beat renting an instrument for an unspecified period of time with the idea that I could sell it and recoup some or all of my purchase price.

    So now I find myself with some options:

    1) I could sell it. Can’t sell it back to the place I bought it from, as they are out of business. Don’t know what a dealer would give me for it, but probably not much. Music Go Round has plenty of 1/2 size basses on hand, so mine would be the only 3/4 on the floor. Private party introduces dealing with random people and the frustration it entails, or trying to do some word of mouth combined with aggressive pricing.
    2) I could possibly donate it to a school. I assume they can deal with the need for a setup. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to get a deduction without an appraisal and even then the new standard deduction is large enough compared to my mortgage interest that I might not even itemize.
    3) I can keep it, just get a setup, and then let it gather dust until the off chance that I will somehow have the chance to play it in a situation where I wouldn’t play the Upton.
    4) I can get it set up totally different than my incoming Upton - maybe set it up to be able to play Rockabilly while my Upton is setup to be a well rounded bass suitable for arco and pizz.
  2. John Chambliss

    John Chambliss Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    It's nice to have a backup for those times that your primary bass is in the shop and/or you just don't want to take your primary bass for whatever reason. My two are setup about the same right now.
  3. CB3UK


    Jan 13, 2017
    Id just keep it as a backup. Unless you have some dire pressing reason to sell it, I dont see any real impetus to offload a bass just because.
    DrayMiles and g-dude like this.
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    If I had a second bass, it would be strung with gut strings. Always tempting, but so far deemed impractical on my primary bass, but if I had two...
  5. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    See if you can find a local student or kid who could use it. Be that guy and just give it to them for free, maybe in conjunction with one of the schools. Get in a nice verbal agreement & handshake that should they move on then they need to pass it on in the same manner to someone else. Teach them that life is more than just dollars and doing good deeds is equally important to being a good citizen.
  6. So probably time for some disclosure here: I probably own too many bass guitars. As in I own five, and will be adding a sixth in the next couple of weeks...although to my credit, I did sell off one recently to bring me down to five. I do have a nasty tendencies to have WAY too much redundancy in the way of instruments — six electric guitars, two acoustic.

    I won’t even go into amps, pedals, etc. I am thinking about starting to thin the heard, especially when it comes to my synth gear.

    So while paying for a setup and keeping it as a backup bass makes logical sense to me, I sort of feel like I need to break the habit of having a backup unless I can come up with a REALLY super compelling reason why I need two gigantic instruments — especially since my opportunities to play out are heavily dominated by the bass guitar.

    I guess put another way, I’m trying to change my thought process from “I need a reason to get rid of it” to “I need a reason to keep it that comes out ahead of current reasons to send it to its next home.”
    equill likes this.
  7. Those seem really expensive and a lot of work, but that thought did cross my mind. I’d probably go the route of something that is claimed to be “gut like” knowing that it was just BS.

    That’s also a nice thought that I like. I mean, it ain’t fancy, but it’d be a perfectly acceptable bass once the setup is a little better...only thing that stopped me from already spending the money on that is because I was trying to minimize the amount I sunk into it. Perhaps the school could treat it as “their” bass to be used by a child that can’t afford to have a bass for practice at home, and just pick a kid each year to use it.
    oldNewbie and james condino like this.
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've done "gut like" on my primary bass. That opportunity wouldn't justify a second bass for me. Gut or bust.

    My (1) bass guitar is the backup to my doublebass. There really isn't a reason in my world to have an actual backup DB, but you may be different. James's suggestion is a really good one too. You could make a difference in someone's life.
  9. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

    Don't pay for a setup, but set it up yourself, to the best of your ability. Give it away. Try to find a worthy recipient. Perhaps a student who can't afford to buy one. If you can't easily find someone locally who deserves it, offer it for sale on Craigslist for a bargain price.
  10. I already did - it’s still not great, but it is less worse.

    My fretless bass guitar had higher string height than the G string on my DB when I got it. :eek:
  11. Basso Profondo

    Basso Profondo

    May 1, 2020
    g-dude likes this.
  12. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I only play double bass occasionally, so it's not something I have a backup of - unlike all my electrics where I'll take two to a gig, one as backup. I like your idea of a different setup for a different style of playing. But I have also taken advantage of the "donation" route with various gear in the past. Either a school or a kid who could use a leg up on something that I'll never use again.
    g-dude likes this.
  13. So my new bass is arriving tonight.

    At this point, I might take a hybrid approach of getting it setup for slap, and then look to donate it in the future once we’re on the other side of the pandemic.

    Of course, I might change my mind a few times this evening.
    Keith Rawlings and QweziRider like this.
  14. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    every good general has reserves.
    Jason Hollar and g-dude like this.
  15. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I love the idea of donating... But, realistically, we're all on a clock related to how long in our life we're going to be able to play whatever instrument we're talking about. To the OP, I'd say that having a backup instrument that you don't have to be as careful about related to weather and other conditions, is an excellent idea.

    And, if your playing is particularly for one general kind of music, set it up with strings, action, bow, etc., the way your primary instrument is set up so you can pick it up and go... On the other hand, if you're multi-genre tendencies really require a differently setup instrument, do that.

    Back to donating, when your fingers or hands or elbows or shoulders or back or ears or whatever are telling you it's time to stop playing -- and they will someday -- that's the time to find a young able-bodied and able-minded player to pass your instrument(s) to. You might be lucky enough to also be able to pass some free instruction on, in the form of lessons, at that time.

    The only problem with multiple double basses is the space it takes in a house to store them. If you can deal with that, no problem. If not, well, maybe it's time to donate now; it sounds like you have plenty of bass-voiced instruments on hand to use as a backup for a double bass if absolutely necessary.

    Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your new Upton!
  16. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Donating to a school is a great idea. Here is another one: https://music4veterans.org/about-us
    They are one of a few charities working with Veterans with PTSD and other issues.
    oldNewbie, equill and james condino like this.
  17. kerrycares

    kerrycares Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Howell, Michigan
    I only keep one upright bass.
    I’ve sold and donated basses in the past.
    powerbass and james condino like this.
  18. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    I have one bass with Kaplans, for orchestral music, and one with Olivs, for everything else.
  19. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Oconomowoc, huh? They must've headed up to you right after delivering mine!

    And the comparison doesn't end there. I choose option 4 from your OP. That's what I did w/ my old Englehardt ply while my Upton hybrid was on order (which everyone around here is completely sick and tired of hearing about! ;)) I had Innovations on it for a long time - and thought I liked them, until I put on guts. Like TroyK said, gutlike is no comparison to guts.

    I played around w/ my new bass for several hours this eve. And was convincing myself what a piece of $hit my old ply was. But then I picked it up, and remembered why I liked it so much. It does something really different from the new bass. Of course, mine is set up just the way I like. And I'm going to enjoy having a beater to take out to play outside, where I can lay on its side in a parking lot - and slap the heck outta it.
    AGCurry likes this.
  20. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    I don't know ... a second bass to play with sounds like a recipe for going broke buying strings.
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