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Yes, an AliExpress question.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by isher1992, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. apolinario87


    Dec 13, 2013
    Don't waste your money and time! Some years ago, a friend bought a "Sterling Ray 35" for $350. It was the worst bass I've ever played:

    1. Crap electronics and hardware.
    2. Misaligned and too chunky neck (like a baseball bat).
    3. Poor fret job.
    4. Never got a comfortable string action without fret buzz.

    Even Fender and Squier basses made in China are crap, you can't expect something good from chinese replicas.
  2. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Check out my thread on buying a counterfeit Ampeg Dan Armstrong bass from a Chinese seller.

    I wouldn't do it. Using your example here, I could have bought my bass because I owned a real Ampeg Dan Armstrong and a I wanted backup or equivalent bass with more modern hardware and electronics. If so, I would have been disappointed.
  3. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    knumbskull, Thibby, 4sight and 5 others like this.
  4. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I have a guy locally who buys frequently AliExpress gee-tars and brings them to me to set up. This is what I have observed:
    Two of them were pretty good basic instruments, with understandably cheap electronics. Easily replaceable, an easy fix for anyone with extra money and a soldering iron. But you should probably figure in the cost of some good electronics almost immediately.
    Only one had really crappy fretwork, but, again, I was able to level those, file the sharp ended ones off and re-crown, so it finally played pretty decently. I have only had that one in the shop once, so I also do not know if the structure (like the neck wood) was going to warp or twist under tension with time, which would be my main concern.
    One thing I've seen in MOST of those guitars was certain weird "non-attention-to-detail" things, for example, a Prince "cloud" replica guitar where the pickups were a good inch from the strings even with the mounting screws all the way up... because the flat pickup mounting rings were just too short. On another one, the tone controls were simply wired backwards (full clockwise was treble cut). Just small oddities that give me the idea that these were built to LOOK like real guitars by people who don't actually play them.
    So... what everybody else has already said... it IS a crapshoot. If you're not into working on your instruments yourself, like fret leveling or electronics swapping... I'd avoid buying from that source.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  5. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You get what you pay for.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  7. Oh, ya.
    I forgot I say that with every post.
    It is very true.
    EddiePlaysBass and DJ Bebop like this.
  8. Add it to the cart and find out.

    I've been wanting another one, but according to Rondo, they are not going to be restocking them.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  9. The Squier scpb’s in butterscotch and white blonde (see my avatar) have bodies made from pine. The LP blue one had a basswood body. I can’t remember any other colour options.
    Communication with the aliexpress sellers (they are middle men,not manufacturers) seems to be a big problem from what I gather. On the plus side they seem to do best with simple bolt on designs and less well with les Paul’s etc. Their default woods seem to be basswood and paulownia. Communicating that you want alder, and actually getting it, seem to be two different things. You’re probably best off waiting for a used Squier scpb to show up.
    DJ Bebop and PennyroyalWe like this.
  10. Thanks for that.

    I'm quite capable of changing pickups/electronics, bridges, etc. I've been doing that for a long time. I can take care of sharp fret edges. But anything beyond that, I could probably deal with it, I just haven't invested in the tools to do so. Have little time to.
  11. I use .100-.045 gauge strings tuned a half step down and use a 1mm delrin pick and a low action.

    It does not take much at all to split a plastic nut in half with just one string bend. I'm hardly hitting it with a hammer. They're usually hollow in the middle and flex easily.
  12. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    Heres my experience with AliExpress......

    .....the faults are in the details and they ( the Chinese manufacturers) miss a LOT of them.......everything from miscut bridge saddles to holes not drilled deep enough to accommodate a bridge and pretty sloppy craftsmanship all the way around that wasnt cnc......the sad part is that if these manufacturers concentrated on the details rather than what looks great in pictures (as well as not putting fake logos on the headstock of one.....I wouldve preferred it not to have one as its not fooling anybody ), they can probably charge a little more and completely dominate the musical instrument business....as it stands, I wont ever order another no matter how great the picture looks....YMMV and all that stuff

    Edit: yes i could switch parts, dress frets, swap pickups and redrill holes...but if i have to do all that as well as time spent, wheres the savings?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
    S-Bigbottom and MattZilla like this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I just don't understand why people would want to risk real money where they know the odds are they are getting a piece of poo. I buy good instruments and I keep them.
    S-Bigbottom and Frank77 like this.
  14. Some of the posts in here have changed my mind about it, it's just sometimes you read threads about cheaper instruments and it's like people knock the cheaper instruments just because they're cheaper so they must be garbage, you know? See many a thread bashing the smaller names without really presenting valid stuff and seem to base opinion completely off country of origin.

    Rondo had the Douglas Pisces (which has a jazz neck profile) and Turser had a nice one that's now also out of production. Harley Benton from Thomann Music may be the ticket.
  15. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    In general you won't be charged for breaking something. The store should be insured.
  16. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Anytime you buy an instrument sight unseen, it's a roll of the dice. Reputable e-tailers have reasonable return policies. Returning an AliExpress might cost almost as much as the instrument. The only way I'd buy one is as a platform for drastic modification and experimentation
  17. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I bought my main bass (Fender Jazz with P neck) used about 34 years ago. I'd rather do that than own a bunch of cheaper basses.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  18. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I’ve only actually handled one Chinese clone, a fake Rickenbacker being offered for sale in a pawnshop for $400. It looked great on the wall, but actually playing it......not so good. It didn’t sound anything like a Ric. The frets were some kind of cheap alloy heavy on the brass and were tarnished. They had not been dressed at all, no level, no polish, sharp fret ends, so it buzzed all over the board. The paint job was pretty good. They focus on the cosmetics, so the clones all look the part, but don’t necessarily play well. Lots of great reviews out there, lots of terrible ones. How much $$ are you willing to gamble?
    knumbskull and M.R. Ogle like this.
  19. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018

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