Why are EUBs so expensive?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by PB+J, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    They should cost more like what a solid body costs--there's no need for an acoustic box or fancy carving, acoustic tone isn't the issue--every time I look at one of these, I'm stunned by the cost. You can get a decent MIM fender bass for 350 bucks--why is a EUB so expensive?
  2. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I should add I know about the dean EUB--my personal interest is in an EUB I can maybe use on gigs but also for silent or quiet practice at night--so it has to be full scale and feel like a "real" double bass
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    How many MIM Fenders are they churning out with cheap labour...:meh:?
  4. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    right but the labor is less and less the reason why MIM fenders are cheap--cnc machines cut the parts extremely precisely. Frets take a good deal of handwork, but you don't need those on an EUB. The nut would probably take some handwork, buthow much? I suppose the market isn't large enough for anyone to do the tooling

    I mean, look at it this way--a made in the US fender bass is under $1000 dollars. Why are long scale EUBs typically more than twice that?
  5. It is all about supply and demand. There isn't the demand for EUB's that there is for a fender guitar. If companies where selling as many EUB's as they were EBG's, they would surely be cheaper.

    Regardless they would be a little more than the EBG's due to the extra wood they take and the longer more expensive strings.
  6. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Strings, hardware, and a big Ebony board have a lot to do with it. Finding lumber in the appropriate size can be troublesome. The elecronics in an EUB are more complicated than the passive magnetic systems on bass guitars. But I would say that overall demand is the largest issue. There often times isn't enough demand to lower the price of fabricating your own parts, and a similarly small demand for aftermarket parts raises the price of them as well.

    Also, something that can't be overlooked is that DB players are used to paying alot of money for thier instruments. EUB manufacturer's are trying to legitimize themselves. So, they feel that they have to charge a substantial amount in order to be taken seriously. Its sad but true that people are more inclined to be satisfied with something that they paid a lot of money for.

  7. FWIW Bruce, Fender Mexico employees are paid a very competitive rate. It ain't a sweatshop.

    The guy I bought my EUB from is a one-man band. He does all his own R&D, manufacturing and marketing. Because of that, he has to charge a little more to make it worth his while, I think.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's still the same point - the reason Fender produce basses in Mexico is precisely because they can save so much money by doing it!
  9. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    As noted, a BG-sized piece of ebony- or even rosewood- isn't cheap. BGs can get by with a 1/8" slice; a UB fingerboard is a lot thicker, wider and longer. The Azola baby bass is one of the simplest EUBs around, at least from a design standpoint, but you still have some massive slabs of wood there.

    It takes a certain amount of space- which has to be purchased or leased, insured, heated, and equipped whether you're making one bass a month or 100. You need staff, advertising, sales, and so on. And the kind of automation needed to make those $250 P-Basses that Fender sells today requires millions in up front capital investiment.

    There's a general rule of thumb that says manufactured items need to sell for about 5x the marginal cost of production- so a $1,500 EUB might cost $300 to make before you add insurance, marketing, rent, and all those other factors. Could you build one for $300 in your home shop?
  10. ingo62


    Mar 15, 2005
    Emden, Germany

    I recently bought my Palatino EUB for about 450,- Euro from german ebay, so I can't see your problem .. :smug:
    O.K., it's a cheapo EUB, but imho the MIM Fender is a cheapo too :)

  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    They would cost more like a nice solid body BG -- if they sold in the same numbers. Supply and demand, same as it ever was. ;)