Posted by Kev on January 26, 2002 at 13:56:15:
For anyone who's interested, I just got my Gibson Blackbird that I questioned the board about, received good advice, and then bought it mail order. First of all let me say that I was not looking for another bass, I have a Warwick Corvette Standard that is probably a better instrument than I'll ever be a player (I'm working on that though), but I came accross this deal on Musicians Friends website for 73% off this bass w/case, $699 from $2691 list (yah, right). Another listing on the same site for the same bass *without case* was for $999. So I don't know if someone screwed up or thats just an old listing. I checked some recent reviews and people paid $1700, $1400, and $900 for this bass. I would not pay any of those prices for this bass, I paid $718 for bass, case and shipping and I feel like I robbed an old lady from her pension check.
This bass is NOT PRETTY, it was not meant to be. The finish is a terrible, worse than almost anything you'd see on a cheapo korean instrument. Anywhere on the bass that two peices meet(neck/body) it appears as it the paint was applied with a nail polish brush...by a drunk monkey. The paint and clear coat is so thin (insert Ally Macbeal joke here) that after playing it for 5 minutes I could detect noticeable wear. Hilarious. After seeing so many gibson instruments with great finish work I almost think it's this bad on purpose. They must have done these on Daddy-Daughter day and just let the kiddies paint the blackbirds. This was meant to be a thrasher instrument though-all hail satan or something like that.
So if the finish is important to you, you'll hate this bass. If you can overlook that you'll see where the real value is. The last I checked finish had little to do with the tone and real quality of an instrument (unless your John Lennon). You can drop $3K on a PRS and have your dog knock it off the stand and your finish is ruined, but, it's still a great instrument. The tone kicks ass, it's not adjustable (no tone/volume controls) but I use a Pandora effects processor anyway so I rarely mess with that. All the components are excellent quality, made in the USA stuff. The inlays on the next look great and are very neatly done, it's neck through body, good tuners, comes with straplocks, fretwork is excellent, setup good, and I'm hiding under the case if nuclear war breaks out. Even the weird "Optigrab" thing will be useful by absorbing damage the bridge/tailpiece would normally take.
So for $1700 or $1400 you'd be getting raped, overpaying at $900. But for what I paid, $718, this is an incredible deal. A word to the wise for any e-bay surfers, some folks are selling these for $800-1100, if you didn't check Musicians Friend first you might get taken for a ride. Thanks to the board for your advice and help, especially Mickster. I'm gonna go play now...
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