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How much is too much for a piece of wood?


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I'm being attacked by two fairly aggressive bouts of GAS at the moment. Having sat back this time, rather than jumping straight in as I normally do, it occurs to me that I could buy quite a nice car or build a conservatory for their combined value. One moment I think I'm mad for even considering buying both of them and the next I'm overwhelmed by a "buy them now or you'll regret it once it's too late!".

Whilst I don't have a problem with acquiring more basses (there's always room for one more, right?), it makes me think seriously how much even a top end bass is actually worth? Or more precisely, how much would you be willing to pay?

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker
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interesting...personally, at the moment I don't think I could ever justify more than 800-1000 on a bass, and even then I would have to really love it. I look at more expensive basses and just think that it really isn't worth it to me. My USA Jazz cost me 700 on here, and it is everything I want from a bass; it feels great to play, sounds perfect, and every time I look at it, it makes me want to play.

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Cost is all relative. Anything is worth (to you) exactly what you are prepared to pay for it.

My first bass which cost £60 back in 1981 when I was a student and resulted in me cutting back on my food expenditure for a month was less affordable relatively, than the custom Sei I bought for £2800 a few years ago.

Edited by BigRedX
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£1500 is about my mental ceiling, and the most expensive I currently own has a list price of £1400ish (although I paid a couple of hundred less than that). I wouldn't want to take anything any more expensive than that out of the house because I know how narked I'd be if it got damaged.

It is indeed all relative, though... if you can shell out several grand in the name of retail therapy and nobody's going to go hungry because of it, then go for it!

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[quote name='Ed_S' timestamp='1327345180' post='1509720']
...if you can shell out several grand in the name of retail therapy and nobody's going to go hungry because of it, then go for it!
[/quote]

Actually, consumer capitalism demands that people[i] do[/i] go hungry, but that's another thread... ;)
Back OT, I'd agree with RedX and say it depends on what you're looking at and what you think it's worth to you... for example if you saw a totally original 62 P-Bass in great condition for £2K, that would be a bargain, wouldn't it? If you like Fender Ps, that is... :D

Edited by discreet
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[quote name='jackers' timestamp='1327344260' post='1509698']
....I don't think I could ever justify more than 800-1000 on a bass....

....My USA Jazz cost me 700 on here, and it is everything I want from a bass....
[/quote]
I didn't think I could either. It does become easier the more you do it. That's part of the danger!
My go to bass cost me £900, which was a lot when I bought it and I can't imagine ever parting with it.
So why do I even want another one?
[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1327344546' post='1509703']
Cost is all relative. Anything is worth (to you) exactly what you are prepared to pay for it.
[/quote]
Agreed, auctions wouldn't exist otherwise, but I'm struggling to find the point where I should say "Hang on. Are you really going to pay that much just for a *************** and a ***************?".
[quote name='Ed_S' timestamp='1327345180' post='1509720']
£1500 is about my mental ceiling, and the most expensive I currently own has a list price of £1400ish (although I paid a couple of hundred less than that). I wouldn't want to take anything any more expensive than that out of the house because I know how narked I'd be if it got damaged.

It is indeed all relative, though... if you can shell out several grand in the name of retail therapy and nobody's going to go hungry because of it, then go for it!
[/quote]
Yes, I think you should be able to get something that should do pretty much all you want for around £1.5K and I would happily shell out that much without thinking twice. However, and let me first assure everyone that we will not run out of food, quadruple that and then add some more - and that's just for one of them!

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1327345827' post='1509733']
....if you saw a totally original 62 P-Bass in great condition for £2K, that would be a bargain, wouldn't it? If you like Fender Ps, that is... :D
[/quote]
P's don't really do much for me (says he sheltering from incoming fire). I do like my Jazz though.

The trouble with bargains like that is that they don't stay around for too long and I usually miss them anyway!

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[quote name='BurritoBass' timestamp='1327346594' post='1509756']
I find you can get some pretty amazing basses between £500 - £900 so why go nuts?
[/quote]

Tend to agree with this, particularly with vintage instruments... there's a crossover point where a bass becomes desirable as an 'antique' [i]and[/i] a playable instrument, and you have to decide if you're a player or a collector... or both.

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I've had a few boutique basses which I've subsequently moved on, some sooner, some later. I find that after the sting of spending the money has faded, you can fall out of love with them just as easily as a £200 bass. The only difference is the hit you'll take financially if you've bought new, or unwisely. I'm digging my bitsas these days, mostly because they do what I want them to, partly because they do this for so little money.

Having said that, I do have a Shuker still, and it's very very nice. I wouldn't have paid what it cost new, though - I picked it up for a third of that.

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1327347217' post='1509770']
Having said that, I do have a Shuker still, and it's very very nice. I wouldn't have paid what it cost new, though - I picked it up for a third of that.
[/quote]

I've heard a rumour that it takes quite a while from order to delivery with those! ;)

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1327344546' post='1509703']
Cost is all relative. Anything is worth (to you) exactly what you are prepared to pay for it.
[/quote]

This^

People pay £20k+ for a pair of shotgun stocks and there's probably less wood in those than a bass. OK, the shotguns will generally receive finer workmanship, but even so . . .

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The most valuable bass I bought...
No, no, no. Wait. I'm saying the whole thing wrong. The bass I [b]paid most for[/b] was my T-40. She was expensive, about 430 quid in today's Pound Sterling value in PLN. I know I could've bought T-40 cheaper in UK, but I instantly feel in love with that particular specimen. Irresistible. My Fenders cost me about £290 each but they're worth much, much more in my book. Never going to sell them. T-40 stays with me, too.

My monthly salary (in Polish conditions, quite good for a just-graduated-culture-studies-student) is not much bigger than the price I paid for T-40. So I guess that about £500 is the frontier today (I'm talking about the Polish currency equivalent, of course). When I'll start to earn more, I'm going for something special, much more expensive.

Edited by Immo
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Wasn't it Dweezil Zappa who used to gig with a cheapie Squier Strat? The instrument is a tool - it's the person using it that's the really important component. It's nice to have cool gear (and I've had plenty through my hands over the years), but at the end of the day your skill and/or talent as a player is what matters most; nice gear just makes your job a little bit easier.

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what's it for. if you earn your living by it the answer is different than if it is just for fun.

If you earn from it: as much as you need, but not more than you can afford

if you don't earn from it: Who knows? what are your other outgoings, you earn the money, you decide. for me I bought a few basses in the £700-1000 range and sold them on again as I couldn't justify having such nice expensive and new things.
I think the most I spent was £550-£600 or however much my JV cost. The wick was much less than that :D I've been very very lucky though. If some guy on hear earns £200,000 a year on what ground would I say that his ritter was 'too much'?

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[quote name='Jerry_B' timestamp='1327349256' post='1509831']
Blimey, hark at you lot - and here's me thinking that anything over 350 quid needs more thought... ;)
[/quote]

haha :P we aren't saying it doesn't need serious and careful thought. Only that the figure each of us says would be the upper before we say 'no, that's too much', irrespective of how nice the bass may look or sound etc. :)

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1327347024' post='1509766']
Tend to agree with this, particularly with vintage instruments... there's a crossover point where a bass becomes desirable as an 'antique' [i]and[/i] a playable instrument, and you have to decide if you're a player or a collector... or both.
[/quote]
Neither of the two I am looking at are antique, although I do get the vintage vibe thing.
I'm always on the look out for a year of birth Jazz, but I have managed to resist all the ones I have seen as they neck stamp never has my actual DOB on it. Hey, that's the way I deal with it!

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1327347217' post='1509770']
I've had a few boutique basses which I've subsequently moved on, some sooner, some later. I find that after the sting of spending the money has faded, you can fall out of love with them just as easily as a £200 bass. The only difference is the hit you'll take financially if you've bought new, or unwisely. I'm digging my bitsas these days, mostly because they do what I want them to, partly because they do this for so little money.

Having said that, I do have a Shuker still, and it's very very nice. I wouldn't have paid what it cost new, though - I picked it up for a third of that.
[/quote]
I've only ever had one "boutique bass" which was second or third hand and I subsequently sold, but didn't lose out of.
I have to say that wasn't the plan, I bought it to keep, it's just it that was too bloody heavy!
It was an Alembic Mark King. A truly lovely instrument with an awesome tone, but we didn't get on physically :-((

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1327348015' post='1509792']
This^

People pay £20k+ for a pair of shotgun stocks and there's probably less wood in those than a bass. OK, the shotguns will generally receive finer workmanship, but even so . . .
[/quote]
Shotguns Schmotguns.
Give me a Benelli with a plastic stock any day.
A wooden stock don't make the hole any bigger :-))

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[quote name='uncle psychosis' timestamp='1327348077' post='1509795']
I don't think I could ever spend more than £1k. And even then, it would have to be *really* special.

The only things I can see myself buying in the future are a nice jazz and a nice precision- excellent of examples of both can be had new (never mind second hand) for less than £1k too :)
[/quote]
At the risk of being classed as a bass snob, I still think when you get up to the £1.5K mark the attention to details starts to shine through.
Having said that, RRP are absolute garbage and you can get some really good deals if you look around.

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