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The Basscentre is no longer a shop.


6stringbassist
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If it wasn't for the Basscentre:

I would not have my beloved Modulus Oteil 6 string

I would not have my never to be without kickback 12" (great for small pubs, and kind on the back)

I have never been to Basscentre since it moved, so the answer has got to be move it back and get the old staff in!

Then everyone will be happy :)

Cause no one had a bad experince before it moved did they :huh:

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[quote name='bassbloke' post='129450' date='Jan 28 2008, 05:34 PM']Yes, but was it an inevitability because that's the way things are generally heading or was it an inevitabilitybecause the shop has been a pale shadow of it's former self after relocating from Wapping.

I loved the old bass centre and really enjoyed the odd trip up there. I also bought quite a lot from them. I still regret the day I saw two Vigier basses, a Passion 5 in blueburst and a Passion delta metal fretless in black and went for the fretless. I reckon I'd still have the 5 to this day.[/quote]

I played both of those!
But I already own a Vigier 5. Which I bought at the Wapping BC, along with several other instrumnets and my current (long-suffering) amp!

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[quote name='LukeFRC' post='130007' date='Jan 29 2008, 01:52 PM']hmm i went there once, to look for cab that their website said they had. Despite me able to see a pile of stuff made by the same manufacturer i was ignored and when i asked taken to something else and just left there. They had no interest in selling me anything and were rude.
Mike at the Bass merchant/iceni zoot however responded to speculative emails chatted to me for ages, was friendly, offered me a tour of the zoot bass workshop if i ever came down and was generrally ace- even after he had got my money. And sold me a great amp at a silly price.

One is still in business one isn't.[/quote]


+1000 for Mike

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Personally I think this is a huge shame. Whether people think the service wasn't great, or whether the stock held was in decline, us bass players are a much ignored/under-catered for breed and I defy anyone to say they'd rather the place closed.

It was great to know that if I was in the s&*t on a Friday/saturday afternoon I could go there and find strings/valves/straps or even a spare guitar if things were really bad.

Yes, Wapping was better - but blame the developer/landlord for booting them out of that (and they still haven't finished the flats they booted them out to build).
Yes, sometimes the service sucked big time - but at least it was there, and it saved my a7se on several occasions.

I always got a good price when I asked, and they really looked after me when I went in (on a weekday ; ) ) to go big amp shopping.

Shame shame shame...

ps. the website is rubbish.

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[quote name='Mike' post='129966' date='Jan 29 2008, 01:07 PM']I think he was hugely messed about when he asked for the payment he was owed. Hope that worked out okay.[/quote]
I was and it did, thanks :) Unfortunately, I was one of many. R5R5 got screwed around more than I did, and I recommended the Bass Centre to him!

I get the impression that either their bank or their accounting firm charged the company for withdrawls above a certain number so they kept lumping in their commission sale payments in with their salary payments. Then I suspect they had to give their accountants a certain number of go's at processing the payments before they had to cover the Bass Centres bank charges.

All of this translated into ridiculous delays, because they expected the customer to wait while their accountants got their arses into gear and organised themselves. I really didn't see how that translated into a positive attitude towards customer service, they should have had a contingency plan rather than force their customers to wait up to 3 months for payment.

Having said that, I do miss being able to walk in there and engage in some healthy banter - Jimmy Simms and Dan were great.

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[quote name='synaesthesia' post='129956' date='Jan 29 2008, 12:53 PM']I for one would like to see an internet only business offer prices where you know you are not paying for the overheads they no longer have for keeping a shop. Five quid less than Soundcontrol or any other other shop retailer with rented premises and staff to pay does not really cut it.....[/quote]

Maybe they want to stay in business ....

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Spent a lot of money with them back in the mid '90's - trace head, hipshot tuners, books etc, my best experience with them was in the old shop at Wapping when I bought a 1979 Ibanez 8 string - they let me tinker around with it for an hour before deciding to buy it then gave me a free gig bag, 2 t-shirts and a set of elites!
Worst experience was when I went to part exchange said 8 string they would only give me £200 (and I bought it from them for £800 9 years before!) then charged me full whack for the Fender P bass I was after, didn't have the right one in stock so had to have it couriered over to my home, they managed to give the courier firm a different address to mine I then had to drive 15 miles to get it - not impressed!

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[quote name='BeLow' post='130350' date='Jan 29 2008, 10:53 PM']The original Bass Centre was an icon and for that reason it is sad to see it closing down.

I buy from local music shops where possible and am lucky to have a pretty good one an hours drive away but there are some things which the internet suppliers are better for and I will use them if needs be.[/quote]
+1

The original Wapping shop when Barry Moorhouse was there in the late 80s & early 90s was fantastic.. Wall to Wall full of great gear, exotic and traditional basses and you could spend all day in there if you wanted to and could afford to!

Seems that a customer-friendly retail shop with an online presence that's founded or run by a real specialist, such as a great luthier like Bernie Goodfellow in Brighton or Martin Petersen at The Gallery etc, etc, is the way forward..

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Imagine a place where your look at lots of basses and amps, even try them out and really enjoy playing without any pressure.

Also where the staff are friendly and helpfull knowing that if you were to buy the gear that you'd get good aftersales support.

I'd gladly spend an extra 15% over the going rate.

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I still live in Belgium but during the eighties there was this big boost with Britfunk and a lot of exciting basses like Wal, Jaydee, etc...
Since it was impossible to buy these basses in Belgium, let alone try them out, I was obliged to go to London if I wanted the instrument of my dreams. There was no internet or youtube (which made everything more charming actually) so I had to rely on brochures I got after writing to Ian Waller or John Diggins (it still brings back memories when I see the answers I got with the signature of Ian below his kind letter).
For me taking the bus, the train, getting on board in Oostende on a boat to Dover, taking the train to London, use the London tube system for the first time and finding out that Wapping was really at the end of nowhere, was very exciting around 1986.
But since I really wanted to buy a Jaydee Supernatural I travelled to the Walhalla of bass : the Bass Centre in Wapping. I was amazed with what they had in stock and which I only knew from bassmagazines. I was also really pleased that I finally could take the money out of my shoes which I had hidden in two small plastic bags under my feet.
I remember that I had expected the shopsellers to be more friendly since I went through so much trouble but I ended up buying a white Jaydee (which turned out to be terrible in the end since the neck was very unstable and I had to send it back to John Diggins who in vain tried to repair it...)
I went back to Wapping around 2000 - 2001 but I was completely ignored by everyone in the shop and it didn't feel too good for someone who went through all the trouble getting there.
I used to work in a musicshop myself and I have always treated bassplayers like I wanted to be treated myself. Good advice, listen to what they were looking for and no lies even if that meant not selling the instrument. I always hoped they would come back because of that attitude and they did...
If you show respect and understanding for a client it always turns out ok and it will beat the internet. I don't go to bass-shops anymore since I don't buy that many basses anymore but I still pity the fact that I didn't buy that fancy fretless Wal that last time I was in Wapping. It costs me so much more to buy them now.
Too bad bass-shops disappear because of certain factors. Around here in Belgium there is only one !

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[quote name='Perry' post='130597' date='Jan 30 2008, 12:42 PM']Imagine a place where your look at lots of basses and amps, even try them out and really enjoy playing without any pressure.

Also where the staff are friendly and helpfull knowing that if you were to buy the gear that you'd get good aftersales support.

I'd gladly spend an extra 15% over the going rate.[/quote]


Yeah +1

Why is it so hard for music retailers to do that consistently?

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Back in the 80's & early/mid 90's they were a great store! I used to LOVE going there & spent a lot of money at the time. Nick, Wayne etc were wonderful, patient, helpful and friendly staff.

Since they moved to Liverpool St the stock has become staid and boring and the service has gone to the dogs.....

I'm sad to see it go, but it appears that their downfall was of their own making.... what a waste....

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[quote name='OldGit' post='130744' date='Jan 30 2008, 03:54 PM']Yeah +1

Why is it so hard for music retailers to do that consistently?[/quote]

Because for every one OldGit or Perry who really does appreciate the service, there are 1000 other customers who are only interested in the cheapest deal and will even attempt to lowball that. Internet sales have taken the pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap concept to the limit and it's getting harder and harder for the decent shops to stay in business. Ultimately the market will support a certain number of specialists, and I guess what we're seeing is this shaking out. No surprise that the Brune St. Bass Centre has gone, particularly given that the main man is now fully occupied selling Brian May skinny-string replicats. I never visited the Wapping shop so I don't have anything to compare it to, but there are other examples of shops that were great for customers but bad for business - any Manc types of a certain age might remember Sounds Acoustic, for example.

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[quote name='silverfoxnik' post='130371' date='Jan 29 2008, 11:28 PM']+1

The original Wapping shop when Barry Moorhouse was there in the late 80s & early 90s was fantastic.. Wall to Wall full of great gear, exotic and traditional basses and you could spend all day in there if you wanted to and could afford to!

Seems that a customer-friendly retail shop with an online presence that's founded or run by a real specialist, such as a great luthier like Bernie Goodfellow in Brighton or Martin Petersen at The Gallery etc, etc, is the way forward..[/quote]

+1 To this post - I remember the old Bass Centre with a lot of good memories. I used to visit the place at least 6 times a year (was like a kid in a sweet shop), & the staff there were great. Chris repaired my Peavey BW15 a couple of times, as well as putting the EMG BTC circuit in my Yammy BBN5.

I think The Gallery has now taken it's place - long may it continue!

Cheers,
iamthewalrus.

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[quote name='pete.young' post='130909' date='Jan 30 2008, 07:57 PM']Because for every one OldGit or Perry who really does appreciate the service, there are 1000 other customers who are only interested in the cheapest deal and will even attempt to lowball that. Internet sales have taken the pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap concept to the limit and it's getting harder and harder for the decent shops to stay in business. Ultimately the market will support a certain number of specialists, and I guess what we're seeing is this shaking out. No surprise that the Brune St. Bass Centre has gone, particularly given that the main man is now fully occupied selling Brian May skinny-string replicats. I never visited the Wapping shop so I don't have anything to compare it to, but there are other examples of shops that were great for customers but bad for business - any Manc types of a certain age might remember Sounds Acoustic, for example.[/quote]

We live in interesting times.

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[quote name='Perry' post='130597' date='Jan 30 2008, 12:42 PM']Imagine a place where your look at lots of basses and amps, even try them out and really enjoy playing without any pressure.

Also where the staff are friendly and helpfull knowing that if you were to buy the gear that you'd get good aftersales support.

I'd gladly spend an extra 15% over the going rate.[/quote]

Haven't you just described a BassBash? (although maybe not the extra 15% bit)

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How about this then - a mobile 2nd hand bass shop.

With new your always competing against internet sellers on price which is a hiding to nothing because there aren't that many people who will pay more for good service. For most people the 2nd hand market is mainly ebay, which is almost always buying blind. People probably would pay a premium above ebay prices if they got the chance to actually try first.

Load up your wagon and off you go. Advertise in advance, hire a venue/hotel etc, you'd only need to visit each region once every couple of months, do it on Saurdays & Sundays when people can actually attend, make an occassion of it. If this sort of show came to town near me every 2 or 3 months I know I'd go along to see what was in and try stuff out and maybe spend a bit of cash.

Just an idea,

elom

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[quote name='pete.young' post='130909' date='Jan 30 2008, 07:57 PM']Because for every one OldGit or Perry who really does appreciate the service, there are 1000 other customers who are only interested in the cheapest deal and will even attempt to lowball that. Internet sales have taken the pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap concept to the limit and it's getting harder and harder for the decent shops to stay in business.[/quote]
Thats why we get basschatters desperate to find £3 sets of strings to put on £1000 basses. But that said - if the buying experience is a pleasure many are prepared to pay the premium. It is quite obvious from the comments that doing business with the Bass Centre was not a pleasure.

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Yeah, several posters talked about trying something in the shop and then buying more cheaply on the web. Another mentioned that they didn't seem to care if you bought it or not.

The difference is [b]salesmanship[/b]. Don't confuse that with [b]pressure[/b]. Real knowledgeable, enthusiastic salesmanship can shift product. The salesman really aught to be as expert that the customer. "let me show you a trick with that", "listen to THIS setting", "We can set that up for you before you leave sir." is coupled with one vital ingreadient. Bearing in mind that postage costs money and e-companies often claim stock that they don't have, then you need to wait for delivery and maybe take a day of work to recieve it;

"You're holding it in your hand. Would you like to take it with you TODAY sir?" Is a REAL seller.

Any business that does not understand the importance of TODAY to a customer, does not deserve to be in business.

Last time I walked through, they stayed holed up it their counter fortress. "you alright there mate?" Its not the same really, is it?

Edited by Pbassred
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  • 2 weeks later...

I completely agree!!
The few times ive went there(making a special trip as well) i spent money but was treat with complete indifference,even completely ignored while staff chatted in the back room, i had to go in and ask to pay for something, i remember an article about it and they went on about how pride themselves on customer service but i havent seen that, it is a shame theyve had to close because there arnt too many bass specific shops in this country but im not really going to miss it (the first time i went was at wapping and it was very diffrent funny that!!!)
never mind theres always basschat.
L



Well I won't be shedding any tears. Sounds harsh, but the few times I went in there I swore I'd never go back. The service wasn't just indifferent, it was bordering on being rude. As has already been mentioned - if their website doesn't improve pretty sharpish - they'll be finished, which can only be a good thing for all the shops/websites who [u]do[/u] make the extra effort for their customers :)

Pl

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  • 1 month later...

Funnily enough I agree with everyone.

When they were in Wapping they were great. Nick and Alex were always very helpful and happy to do deals. I bought two basses from them, as well as a Hartke rig and they were always happy to have me bumming around trying stuff out.

The shop moved and so did the staff....and the attitude. Since moving to Liverpool St the staff had absolutely no interest in the customer and they seemed to have crammed everything into a cupboard. I rang with serious enquiries and got knocked back every time.

Fortunately Alex is now the manager at the Gallery and is always pleased to have people come by and try stuff out which is why I bought my last bass from them! I would recommend any business that you would have given to the Bass Centre you now consider giving to them!

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[quote name='drgrew' post='166387' date='Mar 30 2008, 05:27 PM']Funnily enough I agree with everyone.

When they were in Wapping they were great. Nick and Alex were always very helpful and happy to do deals. I bought two basses from them, as well as a Hartke rig and they were always happy to have me bumming around trying stuff out.

The shop moved and so did the staff....and the attitude. Since moving to Liverpool St the staff had absolutely no interest in the customer and they seemed to have crammed everything into a cupboard. I rang with serious enquiries and got knocked back every time.

Fortunately Alex is now the manager at the Gallery and is always pleased to have people come by and try stuff out which is why I bought my last bass from them! I would recommend any business that you would have given to the Bass Centre you now consider giving to them![/quote]

Bang on there, mate. I remember Nick working there back in 1995, when I bought my first ever proper combo (an unfeasibly heavy Carlsbro 150w job) and he was literally falling over himself to help out and get the best price possible. Such a great shopping experience. Similarly, Alex was always incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic - I'm so glad he's at the Gallery now, since it makes it even more satisfying to shop there.

The last few times that I went to the Bass Centre, the service was certainly far superior to the complete knobheads that you get working in Denmark Street, but just wasn't as it used to be. There was a guy who seemed to be the head honcho there and he really came across as though he didn't want to know. How sad :) .

Edited by geilerbass
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