Posted by Bob Gollihur on July 12, 2000 at 08:58:06:
In Reply to: What's the $ in setting up? posted by Julia on July 12, 2000 at 05:27:33:
: I'm finally getting to grips with what's involved in buying a double bass, I understand that a large part of the cost can be in 'setting up' a bass, I understand flutes, clarinets, sax's + piano's where on the whole you get it + you play it. What are these 'setting up' costs? what does it involve? and why do the manufacturers produce an instrument which is not 'set up' ready for use? or is the setting up different for each player? Can anyone explain?
Double bassists will have their own preferences for strings and action. Since a set of strings for double bass are very expensive, you'll find manufacturers putting a cheap set, since they will likely be replaced immediately. No point in adding $100 to a bass' cost instead of $30 when you're more than likely going to throw them away. The string height will be different for many players, so again, manufacturers would be foolish to cut a bridge or nut to a height that may be less than what is desired- you can take material off but not put it back on.
The basses I import have cheapo strings and high bridges and nuts; at the customers' request, I replace the strings and then cut the bridge and nut to accommodate those preferred strings and to the action appropriate to their style of play and preferences.
It must be problem to retailers who display basses for auditioning, because I know the strings on the basses I receive are horrible and sound terrible, and the action makes them almost unplayable. I have seen some in chain stores displayed like that-- it must discourage potential players as well as potential buyers, because they're often awful 'off the shelf'.
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