Who's buying all these basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's amazing to me the amount of basses you see on the wall at these music stores, and every couple months they're all gone and they have new ones. And in a couple months they're all gone and they're replaced by new ones again. Ebay must have a couple hundred or more basses selling every day of the week. Boutique builders sell them so fast they end up having to make overseas factories just to satisfy the demand. Bass Central, an store I thought would never fly in central Florida when they told me about it, is the largest seller of boutique basses there is and the owners and staff do quite OK for themselves.

    Who the hell is buying all these basses? Where are they? Do people who do nothing but play a couple notes along with records amass large amounts of Sadowskys, Smiths and Alembics? And the amount of beginner basses is just staggering. Sooner or later I think we're going to hit a saturation point, and instead, the demand just seems to exceed the supply with no end in sight.

    I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but it sure seems like a boom period for bass builders.
  2. I've often wondered the same thing. "They" say that a bass player never has trouble finding work due to a "shortage" of us and my personal experience agrees. It just doesn't compute for me.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It's seems in the last year, I have been through about half of them. GAS aside, I hope to settle on a bass soon.
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    This is a question I have often pondered myself as well. Basses are obviously being produced at a much faster rate than they are being destroyed, at both ends of the price spectrum. Maybe we'll get really lucky and this overpopulation of basses will drive prices down :D .
  5. True, but look at all the guitars that are sold too!

    As long as that outpaces bass sales, we are fine. :p
  6. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    Hard to say who's buying them all, but mine seem to have a way of multiplying. :D :bassist:

    Status Graphite KingBass Artist, Spector Euro LX, Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo, Rickenbacker 4001v63 Mapleglo

    Oscar Schmidt OB100, MIA Fender Jazz w/J-Retro, Kramer XKB-20

  7. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Brad Johnson. Mostly.
  8. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    Given the range of choices, bass is one of the cheaper, easier and cooler instruments to pick up.

    Most of them are practiced for a little bit, then left in the garage forever. It's like languages and martial arts-- 80% of people don't complete their first class. If you are going to pick up something and drop it, then a $500 Yamaha bass makes more sense than a $20000 Yamaha piano (which can't be stored very easily in the garage). And basses are cool (did I already say that?)

    Cool is subjective, but generally accordians, pipe organs and oboes are not very cool; double basses are very cool. Difficult is subjective too, but pianos and pipe organs are both difficult and expensive. And basses are cool (I'm not sure I mentioned that?)
  9. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    That's probably because a majority of sales isn't necessarily from 'working' or full-time musicians... it's from weekend warriors who have the income to support such a GAS habit.
  10. Pneuma


    Feb 14, 2004
    Case in point, I happen to think a well played oboe or pipe organ is probably one of the MOST cool things that can ever happen.

    Now French horn and soprano sax, that ain't cool. If you want a clarinet, just get a wood one ;)

  11. truckin88


    Oct 18, 2001
    Newburgh, NY
    new 16 year olds every year
  12. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
  13. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I think there has always been a demand for basses, just never as many affordable ones. Overall, people make more $$ than before and buy more for themselves, their children etc.. As a result of this we also live in a much more disposable society where waste and self induldgence is acceptable (I'm guilty too... I have 13 basses!).

    Because we make more $$ we buy stuff! In addition, because the cost of entry is alot cheaper than ever, more people are entering the market and upgrading sooner. You can buy a decent bass for $200 where as you had to spend about the 400 many years ago for the same quality.
    Besides, there are alot of basses at every price range.

  14. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    On the other hand, pianos look great in the living room and they look even better with all the family pics on top. :p
  15. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    Take into account that every major retailer sells on ebay too . So it might leave the wall , but not to a local customer . I think you will find that to be the case with most of your bass only stores like Bass Central . Europes got a better value to thier money right know and they are buying much of the vintage market up ( not to mention Japan and Asia who still come to guitar shows and leave with 10 or 15 guitars ) .
    The instrument business is now a global market .

    Boutique builders don't generally build more than 50 pcs a year so that is not a big percentage in the global scheme .

    There are luthiers who build more than that but typically it is under 200 a year . Compare that to 200 a day for a production instrument built by the big guys :eek: .

  16. Koushaku

    Koushaku The artist never sleeps, only dreams

    Mar 10, 2005
    Albany, NY
    As I know you're all aware, basses have many variations, not that it is the only reason. But like take myself, a college kid, not a ton of extra money, I have four basses...a fretted 5 with passive pups, a fretted 5 with active pups, a fretless 5, and a 6. Now...I need to work on upgrading those to higher end basses, and maybe I'll throw in a 4 or something extended range depending on my mood.

    Compare that with other instruments, they only have just so many variations in structure. Like guitar, most are just 6-string, you could get a 7, or custom make an 8 like Meshuggah or something, and of course differet pups, but for the most part, guitarists just get 6-stringers. Not like us bassists, who want to have all these different choices, ranges, and tones at our disposal. And luckily, prices are reasonable enough for our instruments to support that kind of variety.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings

    Let's see... THOUSANDS of basses sold every year. OTOH BILLIONS of people in the world.


    I have no idea where they might be going :D . Now if the question were who's buying all the Celine Dion cds...

    besides Aussie barristers of course :smug:
  18. I sold my Ibanez SR300DX to Guitar Center and told him I wanted a Fender Jazz Deluxe.

    When we finished the transaction he told me that the Ibanez I sold him just went out the door with a happy customer.

    Isn't that cool? GC had to bass for about a minute. ;)
  19. Don't forget that 99% of the bass community has probably never heard of TalkBass before. There are bars in every city, and bass players in every bar.