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jgmh315

Bass Direct

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I was in there a few months ago and he had a guy working with him that put me right off too. There was a nice Spector custom US bolt on commission sale in there (its been on here too) and i was sniffing about for something new. After i expressed some interest in trying it alongside a couple of other basses, the village in there said it 'was only any good for thrash metal mate, i wouldnt bother'. I wasnt asking for his opinion, just to compare with a few others i had already tried.
I spent my £1500 elsewhere a few days later.
I was wondering if they were trying to deflect a commision sale into a full retail sale and considered contacting the owner on here to let him know what a crap job they were doing of selling his bass but it sold a short while after so i didnt bother.

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[quote name='peteb' timestamp='1389289729' post='2332469']
Mark is a really nice guy and can be very talkative when he gets the chance, bearing in mind he is a one man operation and always seems to be really busy.

Beware that he is a man with very definite views, which may not be the same as yours! That is not to say that your way of doing things is wrong, but be prepared to be challenged a bit - he never read the memo about the customer always being right!! However, he does know his stuff and he may give you a new perspective on certain types of gear, etc...
[/quote]

Pretty much this .

I live on the Isle of Wight , but I have made the journey 3 times ( expensive ferry and 250 mile round trip drive ) so that must say something .
Avoid weekends if possible , as it's only a one man shop , it only takes 3 or 4 people in the shop to make it feel packed , and Mark,s attention is then divided . Considering that most music shops sell stuff that comes out of a container from China , it,s great to try out some quality bass gear .

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[quote name='JazzBassfreak' timestamp='1402270351' post='2471633']
I've emailed back and forth with Mark, I'll be straight up and say he seems downright rude, seems to have no idea about customer service and doesn't really pay that much attention to the rabble he's putting on the website either.

I could not recommend the guys over at Bassgear more.
[/quote]

+1... He posted on Facebook earlier today about Dunlop string offer and used a picture that had another company logo (rich tone) on it. Bassgear every time for me.

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[quote name='gadgie' timestamp='1402292862' post='2471670']
That's interesting and makes a bit of sense.
I contacted Mark about a PJB Cub combo. He came back saying he had a double 4 and also listed a few others that might be portable/sound good etc which was what I was looking for. One of the suggestions was a TC250 208. When I emailed back asking for a bit more details. He seemed to be pushing me towards the TC and not the PJB combo. Saying something like 'you would be better with the 208' for words to that effect. At the time I thought it was sales talk as he might have wanted to get rid of the TC combo, but maybe he was just giving me good advice....
[/quote]

Funny a long time back I rang to buy a Mark Bass amp head and cab (was looking something lightweight) and he talked me into a Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0 (which I am very happy with) as it would be 'more suited to the heavy stuff' I was playing at the time. Fair enough, although not long after I bought the Genz Benz, they discontinued the Shuttle 9.0 shortly and I did wonder if he was trying to get rid of stock before then.

However, I have to say I was chuffed with the Benz, and still am, so can't complain and I'll be back at some point for some more stuff. Can't complain really. Edited by JamieMillsBass

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I have always loved Bass Direct and found Mark an excellent person to deal with, however my last couple of visits/transactions I have dealt with the staff he now employs. I have to say they were absolutely un professional. I ordered some Aquila strings from them which I needed ASAP for a tour, 10 days (far too late) later I emailed to enquire what had happened to my order, I was told they had mixed me up with another Dave Evans and sent the strings somewhere in Cornwall! (It's worth noting I had to get in touch to find this out, they didn't feel the need to tell me). The strings finally arrived (obviously sent directly from this person in Cornwall) 2nd class with a receipt/invoice made out to someone else!...I emailed requesting the correct copy an made a point of saying that this was the most drawn out purchase I have ever made and below the standards I have come to expect, his staff member responded by sending me the invoice in some ridiculous text edit format (which I can't use for my records) as long with a message that simply said "Sorry about that :)"
Who puts a bloody smiley face at the end of a business email?!?!

Previous to this I made the 1hr 40 trip up there to buy a used U bass I had reserved via email. It was advertised on the site as fretless, I got there and it was fretted. Mark was not there and again his staff were completely unhelpful.

Certainly won't be rushing back anytime soon.

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I bought my beloved Modulus from there, arrived the next day, exactly as described, actually it was like new.

I also just took advantage of the 2 for 1 offer on Dunlop Super bright strings, they too arrived the next day. They even tried (unsuccessfully) to track down a C string for me (they only had 5 string sets in stock), but they did try.

I like them.

:)

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I bought a Clover bass from there last year. I had to change to left handed, as i couldn`t play right. I couldn`t play a note at the time. I said i was interested in the Clover, and an MTD. He said he wasn`t prepared to go upstairs all the time to get that many down, which i was a bit disappointed as i wanted to handle a Roscoe. Anyway, the Clover being £1200, and the MTD being £900 or so, i just said that anything more than £1200 was probably a bit expensive. He talked to me as if i was a cheapskate. It did put me off. Anyway, he plugged me in, and he left me too it, which i was happy with as i couldn`t play a thing, so i just plonked away to see which was comfortable. Then he did whatever in the office, and he seemed to change from a bit offish to really helpfiul and talkative. Perhaps it depends on how busy he is at the time.
I phoned him a few weeks later, and bought a strap from him, and he was really chatty. Then i saw him at the LBGS, and again he was fine. I would always try to buy from him if he was competitive, as he is the closest bass shop to me, and i think it is important to try to support them as much as possible. I guess you just have to take him as you find him.

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Yeah, I'd agree, as long as I'm dealing with Mark I'll go back, he just needs to look at his choice of staff, who have the potential to damage an otherwise pretty sterling reputation.

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[quote name='davebass66' timestamp='1406729112' post='2514143']
Yeah, I'd agree, as long as I'm dealing with Mark I'll go back, he just needs to look at his choice of staff, who have the potential to damage an otherwise pretty sterling reputation.
[/quote]

I always ask to speak to Mark and not to the Oompa-Loompas.

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I was asked on my Spector NBD thread how my experience had been at Bass Direct. The following is my reply from the thread..

[quote name='Billy Apple' timestamp='1420224250' post='2646925']
I'm sorry that you did not have a good experience with Bass Direct. All I can say is that I didn't just pitch up and buy the NS2. My first call to Mark at BD started at the end of November. Mark was very helpful and he promised to get back to me with the information I was after. About a week later I received an email from him with various options and prices. After that we had a back and forth with my questions which amounted to about 30 emails. All I can say is that they were all answered promptly and helpfully.

When it comes to me being a customer I can be very detailed, to the point of being finicky and fussy and can test the patience of a Saint. Bass Direct were fine in their replies.

In my mind I had decided to order an NS2 from the States, which would've been a 7 month wait. I didn't really like the look of the NS2 in stock and was wanting a gloss finish. I visited the store almost to make my mind up that I would not take the stock NS2, but put an order in.

I'd not phoned ahead to say I was coming and arrived in a foul mood having done 10mph from High Wycombe to Warwick! All I was asked was if I needed help by an assistant, I said if I needed help I would ask. There were two other customers in. Me and the Lady were left alone to peruse the basses. I asked if I could handle the Helium and it was taken down and given to me, again I was left alone just to get the feel of it.

I asked if I could plug the bass in and was given the option of playing it through headphones as another customer was slapping away. Again I was left alone just to get on with it. Mark finished with a customer and I introduced myself and he was very friendly. By this time I'd pretty much made my mind up to buy the bass. Mark's assistant asked me what kind of stuff I was playing and said the NS2 would be ideal. I was also given the option of trying the Forte and a bass with a slim neck as a comparison.

Maybe I've been quite detailed here, but it's just to show that I could not fault Bass Directs customer service and attitude at all. I was left alone, which I like, offered alternatives and not pushed into anything. Compare this with my visit to the Gallery when I was asked if I really wanted to buy the Wal I'd asked to try as it was 3K!

So, that was my experience :)
[/quote]

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I like. Bass Direct. Mark is a certain breed of bassist, very much of the modern school of thought RE amps etc and only wants to stock stuff that he'd be happy to own and play, which is fine by me. I'm currently gassing for a USA Deluxe Jazz so obviously wouldn't go to Bass Direct for it, but it'd be the first place I'd look if I were to get a new amp. He's a really friendly guy, but more importantly is just incredibly passionate about his business. For me, the bass playing community is a better place having Bass Direct as part of it.

As a side note, one of the staff in there the last time that I visited was a bit of a tit!

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Slightly OT (with apologies) but it may be worth mentioning that Alex doesn't work at The Gallery any more. I took some basses in for them to sell a couple of months ago and they had some kid in who was - what can I say - on quite a steep learning curve. I'm sure he'll be fine eventually but at that time he seemed very new to that line of work.

I pass this on without judgement on anyone involved.

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Sorry to bump this topic but I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the service Mark supplies..
Bought some Bergantino speakers from him a while ago and tonight I noticed that one of the tweeters cracked..
He gave me excellent help and feedback at 9.30 pm and even just now when a lot of people are sleeping and don't answer mails he responded quickly.
It turned out to be the amp instead of the Bergantino's (they are so good) but I am really glad with people like Mark who are available when help is needed...I had send an email to Bergantino too and Jim Bergantino also responded within the hour... Great service !

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I'll just chip in here. I have a Lull incoming and have been dealing with Mark via email for a couple of months and phone for the last week or two. Correspondence has always been quick and concise ...there's been no steerage towards a different bass.

The only thing I would say is that I am feeling a little like a kid before Christmas at the moment; the Lull apparently just needed bolting together and would be available 'in two weeks', but at the moment I don't know whether the bass is even en route from the US (in theory we're looking at delivery next week). It's a minor thing I know, but I don't want to feel like I'm hassling BD unnecessarily.



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Sorry to report that he was ever so slightly patronising about string tensions. And further to previous comments the 'lad' in there didn't seem to have much of a clue. I'm guessing from the amount of music shops I've seen disappear its a very tough business - you need to be polite with well trained staff.

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[quote name='spectoremg' timestamp='1444719813' post='2885226']
Sorry to report that he was ever so slightly patronising about string tensions. And further to previous comments the 'lad' in there didn't seem to have much of a clue. I'm guessing from the amount of music shops I've seen disappear its a very tough business - you need to be polite with well trained staff.
[/quote]

Think he can maybe get a bit over enthusiastic for some :)

Our very own Marcus Bell is a staff member, well he was when I paid a visit.

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I haven't been there for since 2010 as I'm still very happy with what the basses I bought at the time however my buying experiences and correspondence with Mark were always excellent. People do react differently to different people and I liked the no nonsense opinion. We disagreed on the sound of big valve amps and that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a big valve monster and Class D lightweight and that's great, it's normal, healthy debate, it's not sales BS. If I ever buy another high end instrument I'd definitely check out .

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I went there to check out a lightweight D class amp/twin 1x12's options at BD about 2 or 3 years ago, and found Mark's opinion of amps completely at odds with mine, but he had good stock and was friendly and helpful, and most importantly he did stock other stuff I did like and subsequently buy.

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What I find the most bizarre and amusing about that attitude is a seeming inability to believe that different people might like different things...

Personally I wouldn't buy a ric but that doesn't make them crap... it just means they are built for a different kind of player. if someone came to me saying they we're a traditional P bass through SVT guy looking for a lightweight rig, I would suggest an Aguilar, Orange or Ashdown setup. I wouldn't tell them that their sound was crap and they should go out and buy a Status bass and GK rig instead.

I met Mark at the London Bass show a couple of years back and we got chatting about basses, he then told me totally straight faced that I should cancel my Wal order and buy a Roscoe instead... I still have a little chuckle about it every time I remember.

Good range of stock though and alot of stuff not available elsewhere.

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I bought my first Berg cabs off Mark before he owned the shop and I've always found him to be helpful and knowledgeable.

I used to drop in on the way to gigs. I haven't been that way for a couple of years and can feel a visit coming on.

I believe selling Roscoe's is what started him with the shop. They are excellent basses and he sells them, so why would he not suggest an alternative?

Generally people don't try it on with me. All you have to do is listen, smile and say OK or no thanks.

Sometimes someone comes up with a better idea, so I always listen.

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