Used Upright Bass
Sometimes buying a good, used upright bass can be tricky. The term
used always seems to depict cheaper, lesser kind of instruments
or second hand, though every famous Stradivarius violin
in the world is a second hand, used violin!
This page is simply dedicated to buying a good, used upright bass:
What to look for, what to avoid, etc... We find that
there are several levels of customers: Parents looking to buy an
upright bass for their child, students, serious amateurs and of
course, professional bassists.
No matter what your price range
or interest level, there are factors to look for in every bass.
(Are you looking to buy a good, used upright bass? We sell used
upright basses at the Bass Cafe.)
There are several parts of the bass that need to be checked over.What one first thinks is a great deal (and good upright bass),
can quickly find issues that make it a much more expensive bass
in needed repairs after you buy it.
Upright bass parts and repairs can be very expensive.
Here's a check list that will help you when you look over and
try a used upright bass. There are many more variables to look
out for, but these are the basic ones that will help you get started.
If you like, feel free to
email us if you have a question about buying a bass.
For one, make sure that
it has an endpin and that it works. That is, that it is not bent, locked into the same place
and that it can be repositioned and locked solidly without slipping
on the notches. (A
new endpin and installation can be over $100-150 easily)
a laminated bass (or plywood), look around to make sure that the
top is not sunken inward, or that the laminations are not cracked
or chipped away at the edges of the upright.
sure that the seams (where the ribs meet and connect to the top
and back plates are all glued without seeing any opened.) If the
bass is all ok with the exception of a couple open seams?that?s
ok. Seam re-glues are
not too bad cost-wise.
fingerboard. Play every
note on every string!!! Any
buzzing? A buzzing
fingerboard can make a bass almost unplayable. A fingerboard plane job can cost between $75-150 depending
on the time and effort required.
5) For a solid top, carved upright bass, check
for cracks. This can the most expensive repairs. In
most cases in order to properly fix a top or back crack, the top
would need to come off the bass. Just taking the top off (in
order to get to the crack) is costly
strings. If they are old, bent or partially unwound will need to
be replaced. Strings?.a big shock, can cost a minimum of $100 and
usually well higher to $150-200!
importantly, take the bass to a qualified expert, or teacher. They have seen a good many basses and will better help you
decide what to look for. You
should always try to buy the used upright bass from a qualified
dealer, with a good reputation, but if you find a decent bass in
your locale, this checklist could be a good start in what to look
Again, getting a used upright bass is not a bad idea. Almost all of our used upright basses at the Bass
Café are old, antique masters. They are all expertly set
up and ready to go!