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Old 09-17-2008, 12:57 AM
John Perrin John Perrin is offline
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Default I Need Some Advice

First, let me give you some information about my situation. I've been a bass player for about 14 years now and always played a school instrument. The problem is that I'm no longer in school, and have lost my source for instruments to play on. To make matters worse, I'm paying off student loans and don't have a huge budget to make a purchase.

I would classify my skill level as at least intermediate, and I play mostly orchestral stuff with a little jazz thrown in every now and then. The complication is that I live in West Texas and the closest bass shops I know of are about 300 miles away so I need to have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for beforehand considering I won't have much, if any, opportunity to try basses out before I buy.

I'm looking at trying to keep my total expenses (for bass, bow, bag, strings, and shipping) to somewhere around $3,500 but I'd like to end up with something playable and I'm hoping maybe you all can point me in the right direction.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:24 PM
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Are you looking for a ply, carved, or hybrid instrument?
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:56 PM
John Perrin John Perrin is offline
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I'm not particularly picky about whether it's carved/hybrid/laminate as long as it is the best quality I can get. It's fairly dry where I live so a carved bass might take some extra looking after to prevent cracks.

I've done a bit of digging online over the past few weeks and have narrowed my search down to the Calin Wultur, Upton, New Standard, Wan-Bernadel, and Emile Gillet.

I may be able to push my budget a bit closer to $5,000 if I absolutely have to, but really I just need to get something that will be able to last me a few years.

Of course, I'm not married to the whole new bass thing. If anybody knows of a good used bass at around my budget level that I might keep an eye out for I'd appreciate the heads-up.

Last edited by John Perrin; 09-17-2008 at 04:59 PM. Reason: And another thing...
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:45 AM
Phil Maneri Phil Maneri is offline
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For that kinda of bread the Hybrid LaScala New Standard bass would be at the top of my list. Moving between section work and jazz work with a set of Evah Pirrazis on there and I'd think you'd be very happy.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Maneri View Post
For that kinda of bread the Hybrid LaScala New Standard bass would be at the top of my list. Moving between section work and jazz work with a set of Evah Pirrazis on there and I'd think you'd be very happy.
+1 on Phil's recommendation.

Of the options you mention, this seems the clear winner in terms of quality, versatility, setup, support, and value per dollar, IMHO.

Other basses may cost fewer dollars, but think about the difference between price and cost.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:23 AM
John Perrin John Perrin is offline
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Really, the only things holding me back from the hybrid La Scala is that I'd still need to get myself a good bow to go with it, and they are a bit pricey for what I feel like I can afford. The La Scala hybrid would cost me about $6,500 for the bass and a decent bow and I'd still need to get a bass bag for it which could be another couple hundred.

So far I had been leaning toward the Calin Wultur Corsini fully carved bass with that $300 bow/bag/rosin package. One of the reasons I'm liking this bass is that the D. Tecchler bow that Ken offers looks like just what I want in a bow and for the bass, bow, bag, and rosin it comes out to something like $4,950.

How do you feel the Corsini compares to the La Scala? That $1,700 or so difference in price could buy a lot of groceries or pay a couple of months rent...

I completely agree with you on the Evah Pirrazzi strings though. I had planned to put them on whichever bass I end up with.

Another option to through into the mix might be the Amati KSB Shop Bass which starts at $4,500.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:01 AM
Phil Maneri Phil Maneri is offline
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I never got around to trying Ken's new string basses.

I'm sure they are great, Ken has excellent taste.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Maneri View Post
I never got around to trying Ken's new string basses.

I'm sure they are great, Ken has excellent taste.
Again, what he said. I haven't played Ken's Calin Wultur basses either. Neither have I tried his bows, but I trust his judgment, experience, and taste completely. If he says they are good value, I would believe it.

If you are sticking between AES and Ken Smith you are in good hands, IMHO.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:13 PM
John Perrin John Perrin is offline
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I guess the other option would be to get a Sam Shen SB200 Willow and a Coda Bow Metropolitan. That would add up to just about $5,000 I think.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:58 PM
Eric Hochberg Eric Hochberg is offline
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All of your ideas are good in terms of bass choice, although I'm not familiar with the Gillet bass. This bow might be a good option for you since you are considering carbon fiber.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:13 PM
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Arrow hummm..

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Perrin View Post
I guess the other option would be to get a Sam Shen SB200 Willow and a Coda Bow Metropolitan. That would add up to just about $5,000 I think.
Sorry to butt in but I just wanna say that this is a good choice as well, my stock aside. One thing I want to mention is that my shop does NOT depend on DB sales to pay the bills. I do this as a personal hobby aside from the Smith Electric Bass business and just need to make a bit over cost to cover expenses with the DBs like these. I have several Basses in stock within in your price range and can make some Special deals. I can do better with the New Amati models than the Wultur stuff but with Bow included, I can make it interesting either way.

The best thing I can suggest is that you fly here and try out the Basses I have and pick one out. I think the savings will off set your travel expenses for the most part. Also, buying the wrong Bass (for you) mail-order, will cost you even more money to sell it and find the one that really suits you better.

Coming here will Not allow you to try every Bass in the world that is available but will let you see if one of them fits your needs. The same model of Bass by brand or maker does not make them equal in sound or feel. Wood, exact thicknessing and workmanship varies in every Bass even if it's the exact same model.

Last edited by Ken Smith; 09-18-2008 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Typos.. many of them.. lol
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:28 PM
John Perrin John Perrin is offline
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How would you compare the Shen SB200 Willow to the Amati KSB and Calin Wultur Corsini? Do any of them stand out as being better made in any way?

I probably will end up having to make a vacation of getting around to try out basses.
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:47 PM
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Cool humm..

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Perrin View Post
How would you compare the Shen SB200 Willow to the Amati KSB and Calin Wultur Corsini? Do any of them stand out as being better made in any way?

I probably will end up having to make a vacation of getting around to try out basses.
Arnold has the Amati in his shop. It is deeper and to me better sounding than any of the Shens he has in stock, all carved. This opinion was shared by a pro Orch. Bassist visiting from Denmark that picked up my Loveri at the shop so Arnold could tweak the set-up. He said the Amati sounded better.

The Wulter is again not as deep as the Amati but I only have the Panormo model in stock now to compare and that is a bigger and deeper sounding bass than even the Corsini is so take that as a Yes.. better deeper tone than the Corsini.

The Shen willow I have played was a 3/4 and I think it was nice but not as nice as the Corsini bass.

Why not PM Arnold of his candid opinion since he knows 2 of the 3 choices if not all 3. If you visit Arnold, you can play some Shen's a swell. I have the Wultur and Amati here but not the Shen, sorry.
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