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dannykennedy

Antoni 3/4 double bass ADB 05

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Hi experts in acoustic field. I have a EUB which I am pleased with; suits gigging. Would there be any reasons not to buy the above at £350. The urge is still to play a DB acoustic and use it as a back up rig. I understand the possible limitations of a student/starter instrument but this sounds a good buy as it has hardly been used by a new learner who has decided it is not for him.

Your expert views would be very useful. I play in a big band so varied music including Arco.

Thanks in advance.

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Does it sound good and play well? Does it have a good set of strings and all the things you'll need? (Case etc). Is it set up properly?

It's a tough one to offer advice, and there are some more qualified than I am. The aim is to get an instrument that's well set up, easy to play (within reason), comes with everything you need and - most importantly - sounds amazing!

Buying a guitar unseen is usually OK because the industrial manufacture ensures at least a certain level of quality. They're also less likely to move, shift or change much. A DB is naturally a very different beast!

Personally, I would look on the forums here and see if I can find an instrument with great strings, a good case and a proper set up that has been loved and used.

Of course, the Antoni may be this bass. My concern would be that if it's sat around unloved and unplayed by a learner it may have some of the common set up issues you find on new basses.

Hope this helps!

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Posted (edited)

At £350, that's £250 off the retail price of the Antoni.
I used to sell these basses some years back when I worked in a music shop. They're obviously Chinese basses (or certainly that region), distributed in the UK by JHS. Antoni is their own brand which they import.

To be honest, you get what you pay for. It's hard to be honest without sounding like a 'double bass snob', but these basses (imo) are basically just pieces of throwaway wood glued together in a double bass shape. If it hasn't been set-up yet, a good luthier will almost definitely need to try and work some magic on it to make it playable.

That said, if you are just starting out, and if you're on a very tight budget and want to try out the double bass to see if you take to it, the Antoni will get you going. I was in the same position, and my very first bass was actually a piece of junk I bought off eBay for around the same price. I was totally new to the upright bass, but it got me going.

If you do get the Antoni, practice regularly (daily), and take to the double bass as an instrument, what you will probably find is that within 4-6 months you will start to realize the Antoni's limitations and you will have quickly 'outgrown' it. If you were to then go and try out some other basses - Much better basses, you will wonder how you ever played the Antoni.

Like I say, however, I started out on a £350 bass. I made a significant upgrade within the year (once I'd saved up some money) as once I took to the instrument I realized I needed something much, much better, but, that £350 piece of junk got me going, and certainly served its short-lived purpose.

Edited by henrywillard

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Posted (edited)

As Burns-bass says, it's really difficult to comment re a DB you haven't tried, or even played - perhaps even more so than a bass guitar....

However, Antoni seem to have a pretty good reputation for entry-level / beginner level DB's. And I'm sure there are many experienced players out there who also play them, and there will be experienced players who swear by theirs, over more expensive instruments. There are quite a few Antoni's around, so spare parts should be readily available, and I'm sure most decent luthiers will have worked on one....

Is there a DB playing Basschat member, or a local luthier who would be willing to take a look at the bass? It's worth asking, maybe post an ad on here? Perhaps the price of a pint (or 3) - but it could stop you wasting your money, or prove the bass is a bargain...
If you were nearer me (in Cardiff) I'd take a look & give you my opinion (not that that is worth too much lol)

My first EUB was a Stagg. As soon as I had learned a little on that, I had the itch to get a "proper" acoustic DB too! So I know the feeling.
Go along & try the bass for as long as you can. Maybe walk away for a day or two and ask if you can come back & try it again - at least let the seeler know you are truly interested, and not just mucking around.

most of all, good luck with it :)

EDIT: Also, as henry says above - you do indeed get what you pay for. But perhaps saying that Antoni's are pieces of throwaway wood may seem a tad "strong" - I know what he means re the comparative quality of more expensive instruments, but from what I've seen, they are put together fairly well for the sort of money you are talking (made in China doesn't necessarily mean "awful" or "low quality" - just look at the Squier Classic Vibe range). A good set-up will help make the Antoni more playable (if it hasn't had one).

If you're going to spend loads more money, then you have to wait a long time to save more money, and you still won't have the experience of playing an acoustic DB to help you judge the next one you buy - at least the Antoni will give you that... and looking at their second-hand value, you should at least get your money back - which is a good reason to buy a used bass.

You could also think about spending just a tad more, and buying a Gedo DB - these seem to get rave reviews from owners on this forum. Or keep an eye out on the marketplace on here? - most BC members seem to be honest & straightforward, I have to say. Then it's just a waiting game.... and I know that itch will want scratching ;)

Edited by Marc S

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I find them like used cars, you find something that looks ok, in this case for £350, then you think well a couple of quid more gets you a Gedo, then another £250 will take you into carved front basses made in europe from Gedo or Thomann, but then for a £1000 you could a really nice used bass, but then if it's not a good example that's a lot to lose, maybe a decent one from a dealer including a setup to your liking which is going to start around £1750.........

You get the picture :lol:

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If you can afford the initial outlay (and you don't break it) you can generally sell a secondhand double bass on again for what you paid for it. So I'd be inclined to spend a bit more and get something slightly better - older instruments from maybe £750 up would be a great deal more enjoyable to play.

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I had an Antoni as my first acoustic bass. I found the neck to be very deep (front to back) which I felt impeded my playing slightly, but it was a decent enough instrument to get me started, I did a couple of recordings and lots of gigs with it after having a decent luthier set it up. But as others have said I found I outgrew it very quickly. I bought an older Musima (probably 70's/80's) for £500 spent another few hundred getting strings and set up, it needs a new bridge too. When its finally done I will have spent close to £1k to get a nice sounding playable bass. It's totally up to you which way you go. I got my money back on the Antoni, and it was fine for the money, but my Musima definitely feels and sounds more like a 'real' bass.

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