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Why no cheap/beginner Sticks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Reverend Duke, May 3, 2003.


  1. Reverend Duke

    Reverend Duke

    Apr 3, 2003
    I don't know if this is going to get moved, but I thought it would at least get seen here.

    Being a former guitarist and a fan of King Crimson, I have had a curiosity about the Chapman Stick. It splits the difference between bass and guitar, and you could even be a solo act with it.

    Now my question. Why is it so expensive? Even on eBay, used Sticks go for 1100 bucks. Is it such a niche instrument that there isn't someone in Japan, Korea or Mexico that can make a knockoff someone like me can experiment with?

    :bawl:
     
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'd love to see an inexpensive Asian licensed copy of the Stick - I'd buy one...
     
  3. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    Stick... there will never be an inexpensive Stick because Emmett has his head in his armpit...

    The Mobius Megatar *whatever* checks in at $700 or $800 bucks... The Warr is even more than the Stick...

    Used sticks are really easy to come by, and if you wait someone out, they'll usually drop their price drasticly- I did.

    I bought a Stick and sold it 6 months later- I did't take a bath on it, but I didn't get what I wanted for it either...

    ek
     
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Emmett has his head is in his armpit? How many do you suppose he makes? How big a market is there?

    Read up on his legal issues with Warr and Mobius over patent issues.

    Sorry, some things just cost what they cost. I'm waiting for a $200 Sadowsky :rolleyes:
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Anyone who wants to make a version of the instrument will either have to license Emmett's patent or risk a legal scrap with him. Hence the dearth of low-priced Stick makers or knockoffs.
     
  6. Reverend Duke

    Reverend Duke

    Apr 3, 2003
    I guess my thing is, why not license it out to someone in Asia? If Mr Chapman is proud of his invention, then why not have as many people play it as possible? Having a starter/cheap version leads people to eventually want a 'real one', which creates a larger market for his product. Even Tobias, Music Man and Warwick, bass brands I thought I would never see reasonably priced instruments from, have some good stuff made overseas.

    I've never seen the patent, but I'm pretty sure that it's still basically wire and wood, right?

    "$200.00 Sadowsky". (sigh) The Sadowsky is basically a Fender Jazz, not a whole new instrument.

    L
     
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Hard to say - how many potential Stick noobs have been scared off by the high cost of admission? I know I have...
     
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Replace "stick" with:

    1. upright bass
    2. Sadowsky
    3. El Whappo

    Suddenly it's no big deal :D

    I think the much bigger barrier is trying to figure what to use it for.
     
  9. RS

    RS

    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    $1000- $1200 is not a lot of money to spend for an instrument of that quality.

    The stick is a an instrument for the few and the intrepid.The instrument itself will never have a wide appeal. The import strategy is probably not a viable or lucrative one for this type of product.

    Besides, it doesn't seem likely that EC's goal would be to push a few more units to a couple more people even if if he could make more bucks.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's sort of a chicken and egg problem.

    I'm sure Chapman would be happy to license and mass produce in Asia if there was a large demand for the instrument - but there isn't, and probably won't be one unless it's somehow made available to the masses.

    HeavyDuty's onto something with the cost scaring people off, but the other thing that scares people off, me included, are all the possibilities it presents. I don't want to spend time learning a new instrument that comes in a crazy tuning (or rather, all sorts of crazy tunings) and still has "legitimacy" problems - the bass guitar has enough of those!
     
  11. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    Me too... It seems like a cool idea but it would be nuts to drop that kind of $$$ on an unknown. He should take a page from Lakland and get a good quality offshore manufacturer to do them up. Of course his patents will eventually expire...
     
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    "Build them (in Korea, Vietnam or China), and they will come..."
     
  13. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    That's really all I meant with my armpit comment- if Chapman would have LICENCED his design/found offshore production for starter instruments, he would have made a better base of followers, insted he dwindeled his business in fighing people who even used the word "stick"

    wrong priorities for a revolution.
     
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I wonder how much demand there would be, given a musical climate where it's considered a problem to show up at a recording session with a non- Fender (or Fender-alike) bass guitar-- forget about convincing someone that their song would sound good with a non- bass guitar.
     
  15. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    "Double du-u-u-e-e-e-e-e-ece!"
     
  16. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Historically I can't say, but I'm pretty sure that there isn't enough demand for Stick products to warrant foreign manufacturing. At the current production rate, if the demand was that high, he'd be charging two or three times as much.