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What's the deal with MTD's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I've been trying to sell my US MTD 535 for several months now and have had quite a few people serious about buying it.

    It's a beautiful bass and it does sound and play incredibly well. The bass is mint! A term that I really refuse to use unless it was built last week but the bass has no signs of wear.

    I don't think that I'm asking too much on the selling price for an instrument of this caliber and comparing to what BassNW and Bass Central lists these basses at I think that it is a fair price. But the interested parties just kinda bail at the last minute.

    Are MTD's not that much in demand, is the 35" scale that big of a deal, am I asking too much?
  2. Senor SQUID

    Senor SQUID Guest

    Jan 11, 2004
    That is a very fair price. I would buy it in a second if I could sell my ROSCOE LG3005
  3. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Look at the serial number on your bass. That low number tells you that aren't that many out there, period, in large part because demand for hand-built, high-end instruments from any luthier is small.

    I don't know what you're asking for yours, but I'll take your word that the price is in line with what other "as new" used ones are going for.

    You'll get a lot of lookers because there are lots of folks who dream of owning a bass this nice but really can't afford it... or, they can afford it and are nervous about making a commitment for something that pricey... I think it's just the nature of the market for an expensive bass. Expensive items of all kinds tend not to just fly off the shelf... but with patience and time, you'll find a buyer.

  4. Wasabi1264


    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    What is your selling price? I think in general, you need to be willing to go probably about 25% off of the price that the good dealers (ie BassNW and BassCentral) are selling them at, because otherwise, people would just buy new. I had one that I bought at close to $3K and when it was three years old, was able to sell it for $2500, but I think there weren't many out there at the time.

    You may just want to wait and keep trying every few months or so.
  5. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Your bass is beautiful and the selling price is fair. Not many people can afford a bass that costs that much is the simple answer I believe.
  6. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Saw the ad in the TB classifieds. Seems to be a very fair price. But, I will bet you that a similar instrument at Bass NW, etc. might take several months or more to sell. A music store *has* to be able to afford that kind of overhead... but an individual might not be able to.

    I know how you feel... It took me almost a year to sell a high-mileage sporty car I owned for what is was really worth. I sold it for a satisfactory price eventually... but there was a lot of waiting and dealing with "looky-loos."

    I wish you luck in selling it. It's a great looking bass! :cool:
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    GOT DAWG, Jerry!!!!

    If you need anyone to testify for your integrity as far as what you want to sell, just refer them to me. The Edens you sold to me are exquisite, (even though I replaced the pristine 210 XLT with a 410 XLT because I needed the volume).

    I would be all over this MTD if I wasn't saving for a Schroeder.
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    like Smash said, the usual things apply.

    It's a more expensive bass, so there's a smaller market to start with. It's also a buyers market for these right now it would appear, similar MTD's have gone for between $1700 and $2200 on ebay recently.

    Also, trades are very popular on the high end of the market due to some of the issues with selling them (less buyers etc). Sometimes it can pay to make a trade for another bass which is a bit more popular and easier to flip.

    But the one you're selling is a beaut, that's for sure.
  9. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I'm not sure what the street price is on a new MTD right now. I think that the price that I've got on it $2250 with the gig bag is fair considering the nice top and the condition of the bass overall. The 535 is about 3-4 years old. It was originally Jonathan Starr's bass. He sold it since he thought that it was a bit on the bright side. I find that it's just the opposite in that it seems a bit on the dark/warm side (maybe my hearing is gone in the high end, huh?).

    I really feel that there is merit in the thoughts that the times are rough. I guess really if you think about it, just how many folks do own a boutique-type bass. I'd bet that the numbers are actually pretty small. All really good thoughts from everyone of you.

    I haven't been THAT motivated as I do play the bass at home occasionally, still. And I recall what I had to do to come up with the money to buy it.

    I feel better now. Thanks! :)
  10. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    I would agree with this. Id love to have a mtd 535 and will get one but I have to sell a bass or two (fbass, warrior) to do it.

    and maybe some cabs. :( btw yours is killer, Ive been watching.
  11. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    I am not sure where you are trying to sell it, but TB, Bassger, etc are really a rather small part of the bass market. I have 4 students with MTD's. Not one of them frequents talkbass, bassgear, ebay, etc. You might want to see if Bass CEntral, Bass NW or even if Mike T knows of someone who might be interested

  12. As of late, MTD's have been selling for a few hundred less than normal. I'm not sure what the reason is, but they definitley used to sell between 2100-2400 on ebay, and now, they're selling for a few hundred less. The economy certainly isn't helping any either. As of late, in general, I've had better luck doing trades than selling. You seem to get better value that way.
  13. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings
    Hi there,
    I hear ya... here the same!
    Obviously they are hi-end basses, so => small market!
    We'll see.
    Good luck, fellow.

  14. willrwilli


    Jul 15, 2002
    I agree with alot of the comments posted here. I just picked up a used 635, but had to sell another bass to get it. Most of us that know the value of an MTD also know that part of the thrill of owning one is not everyone can afford one. I have never been able to buy a high-end piece of gear without having to sell or trade something else. When I got my 635 I looked at your bass, but I really wanted to get a 6 string. Don't give up the right person is out there some place.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    That bass could take several more months or it could sell tomorrow... that's just how a high end purchase goes when you ask for fair market value. While all sorts of things factor into this, the bottom line is that the problem is price. Depends on how fast you want to sell it... if you're in no hurry, sit back and enjoy the ride. You already know what kind of stuff you'll have to deal with in the meantime.

    I've sold a few basses, some quickly and some not so quickly, the quickest were either priced very attractively (translation: better than "fair") or were in high demand (by at least one person... with funds;). I think your bass is priced fair.

    By the same token I've seen some people absolutely (IMO of course) drop their pants and sell gear for way below market. The deals I got on some of my Elricks and my Ambush are excellent examples of that.
  16. I am a bit surprised that it's taken so long to move, Jerry. It is a really great looking & playing bass:

    Here's a pic of it next to my alder 435, which I still have. At the time, I preferred the darker tone of the alder 435 to the ash 535, though I might feel differently now. I waited a long time for it and my wife carried it back from Woodstock to Maui when it was finally done. Someone should play the heck out of it.


  17. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Outstanding bit of trivia, Jonathan. And a great photo! Thanks :) I have gotten more comments on how beautiful the bass is than any other bass I've owned. It does attract a lot of attention which can be scary playing some of the cheesey dives I've played in.

    Mike kinda nailed it that TB, Bassgear and Harmony-Central are really small markets. Maybe in some way I'd like to see the bass go to a fellow TB'er and keep it in the family.

    I have gotten some low-ball offers but have hung tough on the asking price just because I haven't been willing to just give it up. It is a very sweet bass. I was hoping to get some feedback from you folks on the price as a reality check.

    Thanks all for your thoughts and comments.
  18. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    When you get into a high-end bass, say $3000 or more retail new, there are a lot of choices for an "elite" market-
    Sadowsky, Fodera, Alembic, MTD, Roscoe, Celinder, Fender Custom shop, Elrick, Read, etc etc, not to mention any number of superb custom builders.
    The number of outstanding bass guitar luthiers is really amazing- I'm sometimes suprised the market exists-
    Check out DC Olson, M Basses, R Basses, Cliff Bordwell, Michael Dolan, and many others.
    Your MTD hangs tho; they are impeccable. Eventually, you can find a buyer who will use it. Good luck.
  19. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    I understand how you feel. I had a similar experience. I tried to sell my 535 a year ago or so. I decided to price it at what I thought was market at the time in order to get it sold reasonably quickly, I think I asked about $2,600. I posted it on a few Net boards and also posted a color photo "for sale" ad at all the local music stores' bulletin boards. I had a few "tire kickers" but no serious offers. I couldn't believe it! no one wanted to buy my exquisite 535!

    I finally I received one offer from a TBer at $2,200, but I just couldn't let it go for that price. So, I ended up keeping her, and I'm OK with that. I'm actually happy that I kept the bass, even though I don't use it as often as I use the F Bass right now. It's truly a great bass to have in your arsenal. The workmanship, playability, and killer tone set it apart from other basses.

    IMHO, the market demand for high-end use basses is quite thin, and it has its peaks and valleys. A few years back, almost everyone wants a 535. today, a number of other brands are the subject of the current wave of market demand. Maybe the market will turnaround sometime soon for USA MTDs. If not, just hold out for the price that you feel is fair. If it won't sell, be cool with keeping it for now.
  20. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Thanks so much for the kind words, Rick! I wanna hear how the Schroeder works out for you.