Re: Searching for "the ba

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Posted by Rich Laird on December 04, 2000 at 09:09:14:

In Reply to: Searching for "the ba posted by Katie on November 29, 2000 at 02:19:41:

: Hello all -

: I'm doing some research before buying my next bass. I'm
: a sophmore at a conservatory, and I need to move from my
: high school bass to an instrument more suited to the
: college level. I'd really appreicate it if people could
: e-mail about basses that more or less meet the following
: qualifications:

: - $8000 max (US dollars)
: - 5/8 or 3/4 size
: - definately fully carved (!)
: - preferably located in the Midwest or the East (U.S.A.)
: - especially interested in Preston, Lott, Wilfer, & Grunert basses
: - a ('fingered') extension would be a great bonus

: Thanks a bunch for your help!
: Katie Lewis
: or

Kolstein would definitely be a great place to go and try out different basses in your price range. Whether your most attracted to a Kolstein instrument or something else, that's one place you can go for some variety and selection. And every instrument will be in an excellent state of repair and adjustment. Also, of course, there are other dealers....maybe one or two closer to where you live that would have some basses to show you. Check out - there's a nationwide listing of luthiers that could be a big help. There's also some "classifieds" where people have basses for sale.

For $8,000, you can expect to find a truly beautiful instrument. As you obviously are already aware, it takes some reasearch to learn about 1) what suites *you* as far as the perfect bass goes and 2) what the marketplace is like and where you're going to find that beauty.

One question I would have for you is: What is it about Preston (Prescott?), Lott, Wilfer, and Grunets basses that has you focused on those particular names? I've annoyed one or two people by saying this before, but IMHO names don't really tell you all that much. For one thing, (I could be wrong) I don't think there's a lot of similarity between the makers you mentioned. For another thing, I have this sneaking suspicion that you're going to get a lot more bass for your money if it's unlabelled. In your price range especially, I think there are probably some awsome basses out there where the label fell off a hundred years ago. Of course it's up to you if you truly want a "pedigree", but is that what you want to pay for?

If you're studying at a conservatory, I would think your teacher would have some ideas. At a minimum, it would be a good idea to have your teacher see and play an instrument before you make the final decision to buy.

An extension, of course, can be installed on a bass if it doesn't already have one. One thing to be careful of (as you may know) is that not all basses have a top which is strong enough to support an extension. If you go that route, make sure whoever sells and installs the extension really knows what they're doing.

Just one other thing while I'm rambling away: You're really smart to "research" this thing before you do anything. It's obviously a big investment. Make sure you get something that reflects *you* and the sound and feel *you* are looking for. One mistake I have made...and I think others have, buying something that sounds great and has magical response and eveness....but is just too big, too small, too high in the shoulders, has an uncomfortable string length, and things like that. The size, shape and dimensions of a bass are a big part of what *you're* instrument is all about. This is one thing I think people often don't attach enough importance to.

Good Luck!!

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