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Do you purchase your basses online?

Do you purchase your basses online?  

97 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you purchase your basses online?

    • Yes, after trying them in a shop
      2
    • Yes, without trying them first
      78
    • No
      17


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Given everything that's going on at the moment, it's likely that we'll have to wait a while until we're able to visit a music store to try a bass guitar out. So it got me wondering if the majority of people still seek out a music store before deciding on their purchase or if an online review/sound sample is sufficient.

 

I used to insist on playing the instrument before purchasing it but with all the different brands available, there are only so many that I'd be able to try in my local music shops. It also seems like the combination of online reviews as well as the freedom to return instruments (in a given timeframe) means that buying online has never been safer.

 

But I'm curious to know what everyone else thinks; is it just me that is happy to go off a YouTube review before deciding on an instrument purchase? :) 

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I don't even go by youtube reviews, I farking hate slap 😂

If it looks nice and has an interesting pickup/electronic setup, chances are that's enough.

I don't really see the point in trying as the first thing I do is apply my preferred strings and setup to it, so it's going to feel and sound different anyway. Plus, the setups in most shops would discourage anyone from purchasing in the first place. Nowadays I tend to be drawn to instruments I haven't played, rare birds, if you know what I mean. Who needs to try a P or a J, it's not as if we haven't played hundreds of them before?

 

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I just make my own, or have someone like the bass doc do so. 
it’s a long time since I bought an entire instrument online or on-prem

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Doctor J said:

I don't even go by youtube reviews, I farking hate slap 😂

Same here, and it's only another person's opinion of the instrument anyway.

Out of all the basses (I don't buy very often, and only sold one) I've bought over the last 20/30 years I've only tried two in person first.  The same for guitars of the thin stringed variety.  I've never been disappointed in the slightest. 

I would never have found my Warwick Fortress collection (one of each model) in a local music shop or national shed, nor the Warwick Stryker I bought on here (kinda wish I hadn't sold it sometimes).  I don't really go to the national chain stores these days, I prefer older gear.

Edited by inthedoghouse
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I only buy a bass if it's the one I'm actually buying. There are too many variables even if it is the same bass that you then buy online. I went back on this recently and learned the hard way, having to return something I played in store but purchased online.

Funnily enough, I'm strongly against buying used now for the same reason. Either I've been very unlucky but I have come across so many chancers trying to sell me something that clearly did not function properly. I would always play these basses first, in person, but spot the problem every time. I've had broken allen keys in saddles, neck bows bigger than a banana, frets which could slice your fingers, tuners that required an iron grip to turn and basses that weighed 3 lbs heavier than advertised. The seller is always upset when I point these problems out... 

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Posted (edited)

The last bass I bought after actually trying it out was about a year ago, the norm for me is buying on here or ebay. To date I’ve never had a bad purchase.

Edited by Lozz196

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Being a lefty, many instruments that interest me are only found online. I’ve been pursuing a ‘ buy to try ‘ policy for years.

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Posted (edited)

I'm also cack handed, the chances of me finding a shop that stocks what I want is nearly zero, plus it's very difficult to come to a decision by having a 30 minute noodle in a shop through a strange amp, I nearly always listen to what others are saying, usually on here, then try and find one second hand, that way if  I decide it's not for me I can sell it in without losing too much money

Edited by PaulWarning
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In the last 20 years I have only bought 2 instruments (out of over 50 guitars and basses) that I tried in the shop first. 

One a Squier VMJ was sold within 3 months. It was fine in the shop on my knee, but I couldn't get on with how it hung on the strap. The other one a Burns Barracuda is my go-to bass for one of my bands, but isn't 100% perfect and will at some point probably be replaced with either something else that I've bought on spec on line or had custom made for me.

Most of the guitars and basses I like simply aren't available in musical instrument stores, and if they are are almost never available in multiples to try. Therefore I might as well buy on-line and try it at home and in rehearsal where I can make a far more meaningful decision on its suitability than any number of hours playing it in the shop, and return it for a refund if it doesn't suit me.

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Mostly on here or eBay, my first few basses were in shop purchases. But the shops around me were (it might have changed in the past 10+ years) very limited in their bass range. Also, I prefere second hand savings.

So far I've never had a bass which wasn't as described/something wrong, but if I don't get on with it, it's easy enough to sell it on without as much of a loss if it was brand new. 

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I have an Ibanez Talman en route from BC Marketplace and technically I tried it in a shop first albeit 2 years ago. 

Otherwise I buy here. My decision based nothing but GAS and occasionally what you lot say about it.

I buy new if it has Harley Benton written on the headstock because I know it will be an extraordinary bass for very little cash. 

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I've only once bought a bass after trying it first. 

My most expensive online purchase was from Guitar Guitar, and I would have really like to try it beforehand but just didn't get the chance.

It was slightly disappointing, when I got it, as it didn't live up to my initial preconceptions. But it's growing on me.

All my other online purchases (mostly from basschat) have turned out fine and lived up to expectations.

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I think it depends on what you are buying, I have just brought a Status S2 bass direct from the factory because I know exactly what I am going to get, a beautifully built bass that is going to be 100% right straight out of the box.....would I do the same with a late 70's Fender (and many other basses of that kind of age) not a chance, it needs to be played, weighed, fully stripped and confirmed it is as described before I would consider parting with a large sum of money for it

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I own 7 main basses and 6 were bought online. They usually require a setup to suit my tastes but if you do a bit of research, it's no worries. Thinking about the 7th was an online ad but a cash on collection deal so I tried it when I bought it. Worst case scenario, if you get one you don't like, just send it back.

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Excluding all the private secondhand purchases / trades, my buying record has been:

4 basses purchased online untried.

9 purchased from the shop where I tried them out. 

One tried in a shop first and then purchased online. This however was when I AB'd two different basses in a shop and did actually buy one of them from there. I then decided to buy the other a few months later but just happened to order it online as there was a good deal available at the time.

I do prefer to support actual shops where possible. Even buying from the bigger stores like Anderton's, PMT (and of course Dawson's) that do have an online presence as well, still helps to keep shop staff employed. 

As far as how successful my purchases have been through either route, there's not really much in it. Of the basses that I currently own (and I am very happy with all of them) one was bought online untried, one from the shop where I tried it out and the other two were secondhand and bought privately. 

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Yes - I ordered a custom Bass, which obviously I hadn't played before purchasing. I was familiar with the brand, as I owned a number of their signature Basses for many years' before.

The last Bass I purchased on-line (from a popular auction site), I only played for a few minutes when I went to collect it from the sellers' house. It was about an hours' drive away from me, which saved on postage and peace of mind for me as the buyer. It was a Sterling RAY34ca and after several months, I decided that the neck didn't really work for me - and I moved it on, for a little more than I paid. That's the way it goes sometimes.

IMHO, I don't think you can really get into an instrument by auditioning it in a shop. There's way more to it than that. And why limit yourself to a choice of what retailers may or may not have in stock at the time?

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6 hours ago, Doctor J said:

I don't really see the point in trying as the first thing I do is apply my preferred strings and setup to it, so it's going to feel and sound different anyway.

This.

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6 hours ago, Doctor J said:

I don't really see the point in trying as the first thing I do is apply my preferred strings and setup to it, so it's going to feel and sound different anyway. 

Build quality isn't important then?

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My Shuker's are custom made, so obviously no chance of playing them first!

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Not brought from a shop for years. One reason i dont is the ability to send it back if i dont get on with it. Make life easier. The other big one is most of the paces i buy from are not local and i dont drive. 

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Depends on what my criteria is (and available budget).

It would be superb to go to a music shop that has a good selection of different basses to try some out, unfortunately, I don't have that luxury. There's only a couple of shops, and they only stock the usual Fender/Squier basses (or derivatives). If you're lucky, there may be something else, but generally, low to mid price, rarely anything over £500.

If you want anything different, you need to search online.

Had a number of good experiences buying online, had a couple of bad experiences too. Live and learn.

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Always try them out and buy from a shop - so far. I am down to three bass guitars  but have tried many over the last few years. Set up and strings can be easily changed - neck shape, balance, playability / feel and connection are to me too important to risk online purchasing. Basically I am too lazy to want bother with a return. Far too much hassle. Physical looks are very different to any pictures too.

There have been many real disappointments following a tryout and which stick in my mind including Spector NS5; Ken Smith 5 (cannot remember the model) - both of those just did not work for me in terms of playability - I had decided on  the Spector before I went into BD, but walked out with my Roscoe Century. As soon as I picked it up, it just felt right. The Sandberg California TT5 Masterpiece felt very light and cheap and the Mayones Jabba 5 Hadrien Feraud felt like it was a toy lump. I would love the MTD in matt blue that is for sale on here, but am not going to even consider it due to the chance of it not being right for me. The bass is a tool, but as a hobby player, I just want to enjoy playing it and want to look forward to picking the guitar up.

Going forward, when I do have a custom made, it will be online, albeit it will be based on a combination of all I have played and made note of that is what I want. 

All subjective, but my choice.

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As a lefty, music stores are usually a disappointment because they don't stock many left handed basses outside the obligatory black or sunbust Squier or entry-level Ibanez. I buy most of my basses used, online, from private sellers. Most basses I buy unseen and without trying them out in real life. Of the 30+ basses I've owned, only three were bought new in a store, one of which was not in stock and had to be ordered especially for me (without the possibility of a refund), one came from Guitar Guitar's webshop without playing it first and one was a NOS store demo that I've been eyeing for several years and tried on several occasions and just HAD to buy when the price was almost cut in half because the store in question ceased their activities. 

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Difficult to answer, first 2 basses were bought n a shop after trying 3rd was from a mate/dealer after discussing various intstruments, 4 was was bought online with a particular idea in mind still not the way I wanted as CV19 has got the way. Don't know if Frankenuke counts as it's Bass tuned but an octave above as will be my next instrument which will be specially built to my specs. I wouldn't normally buy without trying first.

One thing I am finding is that the instrument influences what/how I play, the latest electric is growly and raw and makes me more inclined towards harder rock

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