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yes im a newbie but i have tried

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by banjodave, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    ok - i have spent al lot of time going through the newby stuff but havent found the answer to my questions - although have found lots of answers to questions i hadnt thought of yet so thats cool...

    basically i am a short fella - only about 5'5 - i see 3/4 is basically standard size bass but how big actually is that and will i be able to reach the top??

    the ok - i am warned off chinese basses although they do look pretty to the untrained eye in nice black or white etc but i will take the hint and say no...

    i intend learning bass to play in more psychobilly side of things but a little bluegrass stuff too.

    i hve found a bass that has a solid carved top and ply sides {i assume this is hybrid} not ply but not carved - would this be suitable for what i am proposing? oh and price is £540 does this sound sensible? what benefits does hybrid have if any over ply?

    "DB1950 Stentor Student Double Bass

    Stentor Student Double Bass
    The Stentor Student Double Bass is designed as a low price model to suit limited budgets. The front is hand carved from solid spruce, back and sides made from laminated maple. Complete with cover and bow.

    Sizes: 4/4, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4"

    thanks a million
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    There are many makers and brands coming out of China today. Besides all the high dollar Pedigree Basses I have I also own two Basses from Sam Shen. They are better made than most older Basses I have seen from Europe. I wish they were 200 years old already so they can be seen for what they are within the ranks. If you want a good Bass that is carved and under 4k, try the 3/4 Shen Willow. This Bass sounds like it costs 2x it's price. Shen is the only company from China I trust at this time. Their carved Basses are the best I have seen from Asia.
  3. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    from reading there are some great chinese basses about but not in the budget range - correct me if im wrong as im not out to spend money for nothing but reading the vast majority of people think cheap chinese basses are pretty crappy


    i love the look of this and it is pretty muc the cheapest bass available over here - but was under the impression that cheap chinese basses were pot luck at best but junk at worst...

    so adding a chunk to my cash came up with the stentor - if it isnt any better i will save my cash and buy the thomann that looks cool.

    some people seem to say it doesnt matter for psychobilly and bluegrass but that seems a strange comment...
  4. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    I'm a relative newbie too, but let me share one observation. Suppose you take two basses and play them arco (with a bow) and one bass sounds much better than the other. If you then play both of them piz (plucked with your fingers) the perceived difference will shrink dramatically. If you then put both through a pickup and amplifier system the difference will be smaller still (often small enough so that the quality of the pickup and amplifier will be more important than the quality of the bass). This is one reason you will see a lot of people who play loud, amplified, piz go for an all plywood bass - the difference in sound (between ply, hybrid, and carved) has become so small that it's not worth the tradeoff in price and durability.
  5. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    thanks bob thats the kind of info i need on sound - so basically if i end up with a decent pickup and system behind me sound wise im not looking at masses of difference between instruments at my end of the budget...
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    The really cheap Chinese basses -- not the Shens that Ken mentions and I would add the Christophers to the list, too; we're talking Cremona and Palatino here, but their names are legion -- are quite capable of being beaten apart via slapping. I have seen it happen, more than once.
  7. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    ok - so the thomann for instance - is this a cheap chinese bass that will be beaten apart? i know its a bit specific but i have to be - i dont know if its even chinese - no idea how to find out - have looked on the web but no joy. i know its cheap but does it fall into that category? basically i want a bass to learn on same - old story i dont have much cash, want to play at home learn get better than eventually find a band - a piece of junk bass doesnt fit into the plan but if its fine for the style im interested in then thats cool - im not looking for a bass with an amazing tone or anything just something that will stay in one piece and be playable.
  8. Deltree


    Feb 7, 2005
    Perhaps you could consider looking for a second hand instrument if you have the time to wait for one to show up. It's always a good idea to 'put the feelers out' so to speak, and let people know that you're in the market for a bass - literally any people, you never know who's got 'em in the attic or wherever :)

    I expect you've already waded through it, but I think there was some discussion of Stentor basses in the 'Inexpensive Basses In U.K.' which is exactly what it says on the tin.

    Don't worry about your height either, you will certainly be able to get along with a 3/4 size bass.
  9. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    thanks tomasito - well that takes the height issue out of the equasion good stuff... yea my eyes are going funny reading on screen copy - the stenator bases in the inexpensive thing were the higher model not the student model - almost 2ce the price - will keep looking and reading - any more pointers would be great
  10. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    if you read the aformentioned 'inexpensive basses in the UK' you'll find out that just to confuse things, stentors are actually made in China! But well made, I play a stentor conservetoire aand haven't seen a better new bass in the price range
  11. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    yea - im finding the more i read the more contradictions i get - just what i need when trying to sort things out in my head - the conservetoire is one up from the student i believe - assuming it is a better made version of pretty much the same thing would you as someone who has had their hands on one recomend it for a learner looking at psychobilly / bluegrass? cheers there
  12. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    One way to avoid basses that can't be set up or fall apart - see what the shops that do their own setup and repair work are selling. Very few of them want to deal with the problems of a badly made bass. If you see a brand that is only sold on the internet or by big box stores or guitar stores .... that's a clue.
  13. <<<<ok - so the thomann for instance - is this a cheap chinese bass that will be beaten apart?>>>>

    Well, thats the million dollar question.
    All you need is a durable 3/4 plywood, but does this bass meet that criteria? I have no idea. You need to find out more about it, talk to someone who has actual experience with them over a 2-3 yr period of time at minimum.

    Somebody in the uk needs to speak up here and direct banjodave to a shop or reputable online retailer in the uk where he can purchase a decent quality plywood bass along the lines of a US Engleheart, Upton, or similar product from eastern europe or china.
  14. Deltree


    Feb 7, 2005
    Thomann are great, at least two guys on the board have bought cases from them now and saved a pretty penny, but I would hesitate if it came to buying any new bass unseen over the internet. The sad truth is that most cheap imported basses will probably turn up on your doorstep needing some work before they're playable. New strings and a setup at the very least, maybe a more substancial bridge, maybe worse. :meh: I think if you possibly can, you should aim to buy a bass that you've seen and touched, I hope that doesn't sound patronising! There are plenty of cautionary tales elsewhere on the board though!
  15. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    i know what you mean tomasito but to be honest i could go and see a bass and hold it and knowing next to nothing about basses could still walk away with a junker - i dont feel patronised its fine... i will look and say ohh thats pretty [not quite but i think you will get what i mean]
  16. Make sure you play the bass before you buy it. I noticed one of your questions was concerning height. Well, I have played many 3/4 sized basses and I'm not sure which on was the standard one. But, I have been playing a 3/4 since I was in
    6th grade. At that time I was about 5'2". Now I am 6' and I play a larger 3/4 and a small 7/8 sometimes. I don't think height will be an issue. Remember, if it is to high put the end-pin in more.
  17. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    great logic but slight problem - cant play the bass before i buy it - i dont know how to play a bass :)

    latest news - i have been in touch with peter tyler and he has a few basses that arent too far out of my cash range so i can save another month and be able to but a second hand bass

    "Czech, laminated, circa 1970, dealer&#237;s label Foote Franklin
    model, brass tuners on quarter plates, brown varnish, (string 106cm; back 108.5cm)"

    we will see
  18. Yo, how old are you? If you are in high school than you could go to a local high school strings program and get simple instruction there. I recoment you start how I did. With the four Essential Elements for Strings books.
  19. banjodave


    Feb 17, 2006
    hmm just out of school - im 28 - yes i know - im short for a guy.....

    music is a bit different in schools over here i england too but anyhows - good idea but sadly not
  20. Well, you should find a private teacher near where you live and take lessons from him and have him go with you when you buy your bass so you can have some unbyes expert opinion.