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which of these 2 cheapos are better?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by UtBDan, Oct 7, 2005.


  1. UtBDan

    UtBDan Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2004
    Connecticut
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I guess it would be the second one, because the company's called "Fantastic Musical Instruments"....

    You need to read the newbie links for a bit, especially the ones regarding cheap double basses. You could narrow your search by typing "crap".
     
  3. ctcruiser

    ctcruiser

    Jan 16, 2005
    West Haven, CT
    It is bad enough settling for a cheapo bass, but are you sure you want a 4/4 bass vs. a 3/4 that the majority plays?
     
  4. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Don't waste your money. I have talked to too many people who got burned by purchasing cheap "basses" like these only to have them self destruct in a fairly short time. If you can't afford to buy a decent double bass right now, consider renting for the time being. By all means, make sure you read the newbie links found in this forum. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43093
     
  5. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto! In addition, a cheap instrument will fight you all the way. If you must toss away $550, I'll send you my address. ;)
     
  6. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Hey UtBDan--

    You're in Connecticut! Jump in your car and head to Upton Bass in Mystic. You'll end up with all the education you need! You'll also likely end up with one of their fine instruments.

    See:

    www.uptonbass.com
     
  7. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've used Tom Kerr's company, Fantastic Musical Instruments, to buy "cheap" string intruments for two middle school music programs here in LA that I help sponsor. Okay -- let's face it a $500 Cremona bass and a $200 cello would not be what any of us use, but... It puts instruments into the hands of a lot of kids who would never otherwise have them!

    Tom is honest, his company is dependable (he's based in Pasadena) and provides a decent product at price point that is affordable to a lot of beginning students (and their schools) in what we euphemistically called the inner city. So I wouldn't knock it. Sure, if you're a serious player or student and can save $1200 or $1500 I think the Upton absses are great (and I think Tom also carries Christopher basses at a good price, but I think we're really talking about two separate issues here.

    Louis
     
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    As long as the instruments aren't so unplayable as to dissuade the youngsters. This has always been my bitch about 'student' instruments (as a teacher) -- unplayable and bad sounding instruments chase students away from music.
     
  9. jstiel

    jstiel Jim Stiel

    Jun 5, 2004
    Lake Orion, MI
    Likely to cost you at least $850 or more by the time you pay for shipping, real strings and a setup. If you have to go ebay, there's a guy there in CT selling a Engelhardt C-1 for $750 with Spiros, a bow, quiver and bag.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Engelhardt-C-1-...355518917QQcategoryZ16222QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    My point is that for not much more (or the same) money, you can get yourself something half-way decent that will save you money down the road and give you enough satisfying feedback to stick with it.
     
  10. M_A_T_T

    M_A_T_T

    Mar 4, 2004
    Canada
    I actually have the one from Baritoneman, and a cello from online guitar - the cello I was actually really impressed with for the price... anyways, the bass is not the greatest, but I've never actually tried anything different, so I can't make a comparison. It *WILL* need a setup. Mine needed a new sound post, bridge and nut lowered and new strings. Luckily I have the ability to do this myself....I have recently noticed small cracks with white flacky crap forming around the joint of the neck heel and button, though....
     
  11. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
    Don't buy those basses.
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    It is very difficult to learn th DB on an instrument that is hard to play. So many kids start in middle school and give up b4 they finish highschool. Part of the reason is the struggle to press the strings down and sound good. I have been lucky to learn on good Basses but I have seen my share of bad ones. If the neck stand is wrong and the FB is painted black, then you will spend more to set it right than a better used Plywood would cost. Even many of those can barely get more than a 5 1/2" high bridge with low string action therefore making it difficult to bow. If you are not bowing, then you are not really learning. Having fun and learning are two different things. You can have both, but not for $500. A passable working cheap bow runs 200-500. Good Bows. 1-3k.. Great bows.. 5-15k.. Basses..x5-10 in each class. For 2-3k you are on your way to learning and having fun. Bass repairs are not cheap. $500. is a bridge, strings and set-up.. And that's is your Fingerboard is usable.
     
  13. Neither.
    Do the homework, save your money.
    $500 "basses" will impede your progress and discourage you.
     
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I just talked was at my luthier shop the other day and he was doing about $500 worth of work on a $500 ebay bass. When he's finished it is still not worth $1000.
     
  15. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Look, guys, let me try this again: we got TWELVE $200 cellos adn THREE $500 basses into the hands of middle school students who wouldn't have had ANYTHING. SO... we get decent strings, a decent setup and thet gert STARTED. That's number 1. Number two -- the BOWS are the real crap -- thoses Glasser fiberglass things, but again economics come in;
    Number 3 -- I am personally sponsoring tha ASTA (American String Teacher's Assoc) HS Double Bass comeptition again this year -- so I think I know whereof I speak -- we need DECENT intstruments at a decent price to get people started, encouraged, sustained and supported in middle school etc;

    One of the middle schools just LOST half their basses (granted they should have been lost!) because the janitors flooded one of the bathrooms above the music rooom and the instruments were standing in 18 inches of water all weekend.
    So, Ken, Ray I agree -- a serious student comes to me and says he wants to play bass, etc you get him the best instrument, the best bow etc for the money that he and his folks can spring for.

    I'm talking about a constituency here that doesn't begin to have these resources -- NOR DO THEIR SCHOOLS. So I'm am
    still not convinced that THREE $500 basses in this situation in not infinately (or at least three times) better than one $1500
    bass.

    Over to anyone else who wants to respond!

    Louis
     
  16. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Louis F makes a good point. Better to be playing a cheap instrumment thann not playing at all. Lot of great blues music was made on Kay guitars bought at sears. Three $500 basses is a section, they are learning about making music together. One $1500 bass is probably not as good an outcome

    and I'm just unsure on this stuff--I don't have enough experience with the cheap chinese basses. On the one hand, I've read and heard all the horror stories; on the other hand, I've seen cheap instruments coming out of china (guitars) that are pretty astonishing. Computer driven carving equipment is pretty consistent and in the guitar world, the low end is just amazing. When I was a kid a cheap guitar was going to be a rough playing, lousy sounding horror show--now the same thing is remarkably good. Could this same process not apply to basses?
     
  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    for $500. the fingerboard is maybe maple painted black which is crap. The strings are junk, the set-up is bad and the sound is awfull. The feel and playability is like pushing a car up hill. Is that how we teach music to people. Hand to hand combat with a piece of chinese junk that costs more to fix than it's worth? This is why so many people give it up in the early years.. It's just too difficult..
     
  18. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I personally think there is nothing wrong with buying a cheapo bass as long as you set it up well enough so young musicians don't get hurt. If you go into it with the realization that these instruments are essentially disposable, then your expectations are realistic. And if you get 5-6 years out of it in an environment not conducive to maintaintaining finer (more costly) basses, what's wrong with that? Again, the set-up is very important for young players: strings low enough, not too much fingerboard camber, and adequate arch for bowing. But that should not be too expensive...
     
  19. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    I agree that cheap electric guitars and basses are much better than the ones we started out with and are excellent instruments for people to start on. But electrics are adjusted mostly by turning screws; URBs mostly by carving wood. The biggest improvement in electrics is in the quality of the machine tooled parts. The only piece of wood of any real quality needed is for the neck. So the improvement doesn't necessarily carry over to URB.

    In some ways I agree with Arnold and Louis. If you can set the instrument up to be playable there is no real harm in the cheaper bass. But seeing all these old Kays around makes me think that the $1500 laminates are a much better investment for a school or a student. Isn't a $1500 bass that last for 50 years a better investment than three $500 basses that last for five?
     
  20. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va

    I don't think i disagree with you, Bob, but the guitars i was thinking of were the "blueridge" line of acoustics made by Saga in China. I helped a kid across the street buy a new acoustic guitar recently. She had $400 to spend--I was amazed at how good some of the guitars were at that price range. She ended up with a slope shoulder Gibson style dreadnaught that played easily, was even across the fretboard, was well finished and well enough built--a good instrument. Maybe it won't hold up over time--I don't know. But for under 400 bucks, how long does it have to last? The kid gets an instrument she can make music on, that won't hold her back. If it works for acoustic guitars, why not for basses?