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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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As with any higher price purchases - house, car, hols, escorts -  as both my current and ex wives will attest I truly am an*l retentive when it comes to researching before buying. Usually when buying a bass, I'll draw up a shortlist of around 4 or 5 depending on looks. Then I'll visit around half a dozen stores that stock them and spend up to an hour in each, proceeding to annoy slap haters there with a rendition of Graham Central Station's Pow. As well as looks, slappability is my main criterion.  I've got a bad case of GAS at the mo' , made even worse knowing Bass Direct is only a 15 minute drive away but not being able to go in there. I've been perusing GAK, Andertons and other sites. I often go as far as putting a bass in a basket but always stop short at paying for the bleddy thing.  I'm not sure how people can shell out several hundred quid plus on an instrument without trying it out.

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When you're forced to shop online, as I am, you can always send it back if it's not to your liking - as long as you realise quickly. :)

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1 hour ago, Barking Spiders said:

As with any higher price purchases - house, car, hols, escorts -  as both my current and ex wives will attest I truly am an*l retentive when it comes to researching before buying. Usually when buying a bass, I'll draw up a shortlist of around 4 or 5 depending on looks. Then I'll visit around half a dozen stores that stock them and spend up to an hour in each, proceeding to annoy slap haters there with a rendition of Graham Central Station's Pow. As well as looks, slappability is my main criterion.  I've got a bad case of GAS at the mo' , made even worse knowing Bass Direct is only a 15 minute drive away but not being able to go in there. I've been perusing GAK, Andertons and other sites. I often go as far as putting a bass in a basket but always stop short at paying for the bleddy thing.  I'm not sure how people can shell out several hundred quid plus on an instrument without trying it out.

Cue Chrissie Hynde:

"Got Bass ... in Basket. Intention ... I'm gonna think about it."

 

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I had to buy online for my main squeeze. I really wanted a first run Fender Japan Jazz Bass Special (which is actually a PJ). 

I got Danny the bass hunter at Bass Japan Direct on the case and he found me one over there within a couple of weeks.

Bit of a gamble but it paid off. It's incredible.

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Posted (edited)

When I purchased my bass, they hadn't invented 'on-line' 😃😄

We called it 'mail order'. 

Edited by Bilbo
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Posted (edited)
On 01/06/2020 at 14:55, Stub Mandrel said:

I'm not sure how people can shell out several hundred quid plus on an instrument without trying it out.

1, I live quite a bit away from the nearest guitar shop. About 100 miles to be precise and B. I always know that if I hate a bass that much I can sell it again. 

I can honestly say I have never found a bass that is so horrid that I could never get used to it. Maybe that's because for years when I first started I had to put up with real mediocrity and learned to deal with it.

Edited by ubit
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I buy almost everything in my life online, basses no exception. I do prefer to use the independents, and hope they retain the physical shops as they’re still pretty magical places to visit. 

There’s something hugely enjoyable about walking into a shop with cash to spend and seeing what they recommend. On one of the few times I’ve managed this, I left with a Cort Jeff Berlin, which I would never, ever have bought without someone putting in my hands.  

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Yes, mostly have to. Its a long journey to go to any place where they have anything other than a couple of fenders. Also depends on what I am getting, some brands are pretty consistent so you know what it is going to be like, like my ibanezes, all bar one of which I have bought online.

In fact, now I look around, all the basses I have here, apart from the 5005 and the 8 string were bought online (and they were actually bought online but picked up in person), and all the basses I saw in a shop and tried before I bought have been long sold.

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4 hours ago, ubit said:

I can honestly say I have never found a bass that is so horrid that I could never get used to it. Maybe that's because for years when I first started I had to put up with real mediocrity and learned to deal with it.

I suspect there are those who have very clear mental pictures of what they want from an instrument, and spend a long time searching for it, and may turn over basses at a great rate.

Myself, what I like most is when basses feel and sound different, and as long as they are capable of being well set up and can be made to sound good through an amp  I enjoy the variety.

I find it really hard to understand why people may have many basses that are near identical (Ok I have both Fender and Squier jazz basses but they do feel and sound very different).

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Posted (edited)

Instruments are personal. The way they feel,  look sound etc. If I'm spending a significant amount would always want to try first.

I've tried a few basses over the years expecting them to be 'the one's but they never turned out to be what I needed/ wanted.....and vice versa.

Edited by scannerman

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I don't buy without trying, generally, because I'm SUPER SUPER SUPER pickup about how basses play. Its gotta have a fast neck and low action or its a deal breaker. If I ordered 10 basses I'd be returning 10 of them. I know people say you just gotta get it set up, but I've owned basses that no amount of work by myself or qualified luthiers would get them to play right. 

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I will try them out first wherever possible.
I've bought one bass (an Ibanez 5er) on Ebay and was very lucky with the price and the condition of the bass.

I've had 4 new Rics from online stores, all great and I still have them.

One new custom colour Fender FSR P online from PMT, which I had to set up, but mint and lovely. Never seen one in-store.

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All Three of my current basses (and a fourth on the way) were built to order so I couldn’t try before I bought given they didn’t exist when I ordered them.... 🤔 

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All of my gear is from online sources, pretty much. Never been a problem for me but I do struggle with the idea that I need to find a bass to suit my specifications. I just think it is a bass or a guitar and it is up to me to play it not up to it to fit me. I think a lot of the details people agonise over are pretty much snake oil. 

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I've bought basses online.  Sometimes I will have tried them via friends etc, but I'm not low enough to try one in a shop and buy online. If I've gone as far as trying one in a shop and decide to buy it then I'd  buy it from that shop.

Sometimes I don't try them.  Whatever happens I'm going to buy certain - to me - iconic basses, Hofner Violin, Epiphone EB3, Steinberger, etc, whether I've played them beforehand or not.

Sometimes I build them from parts sourced online.  I built my Jazz that way, and I'm currently building a Precision with gold hardware that way.

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On 05/06/2020 at 07:58, Bilbo said:

All of my gear is from online sources, pretty much. Never been a problem for me but I do struggle with the idea that I need to find a bass to suit my specifications. I just think it is a bass or a guitar and it is up to me to play it not up to it to fit me. I think a lot of the details people agonise over are pretty much snake oil. 

I think that’s a very good point, sure there are aspects that we all like/prefer but I’m willing to bet we could all play a fairly decent gig on an unfamiliar bass. 

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On 05/06/2020 at 07:58, Bilbo said:

I just think it is a bass or a guitar and it is up to me to play it not up to it to fit me. I think a lot of the details people agonise over are pretty much snake oil. 

Yeh, a lot of people make do with whatever is available, thats the good old british 'why fix it if it aint broke' spirit, the reason we have not much manufacturing any more,  but if you are going to spend your own money on something, why not get something that is comfortable and you find appealing?

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As a complete newbie to playing bass (or any guitar) I had no option but to buy online sight unseen as despite having a music store literally just round the corner none of them are open.

Even so going into a shop to try one would have been pretty pointless anyway as I couldn't play (getting there on basics now), I did use PMT as that felt like a real shop with an online presence.

I bought one of the Hofner Ignition basses, as it seemed like a sensibly priced version of a bass that I recognised (I'm a McCartney fan), not perhaps the best choice for a hamfisted beginner. Wish I had looked online more (and found basschat before I bought) and gone for a cheaper more basic bass as I think it would have suited me better. I guess it just means I need to buy a second one already.

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Posted (edited)
On 03/06/2020 at 12:21, Stub Mandrel said:

I suspect there are those who have very clear mental pictures of what they want from an instrument, and spend a long time searching for it, and may turn over basses at a great rate.

For sure. I suspect there are also those who have no idea what they actually want from an instrument, but just feel the need to buy something, as we frequently see so many bizarre and different pairings in the “What should I get?” threads. I’d say a lot of these get moved on too.

Edited by Doctor J

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On 03/06/2020 at 12:21, Stub Mandrel said:

I find it really hard to understand why people may have many basses that are near identical (Ok I have both Fender and Squier jazz basses but they do feel and sound very different).

Because two Fender P's or J's CAN sound quite different.

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2 hours ago, ubit said:

Because two Fender P's or J's CAN sound quite different.

Yes, but they come in many different specs.

Some people have seven Stratchwangler Fritzblasters, all with the same specs and nothing different but the colours.

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Some people have seven Stratchwangler Fritzblasters, all with the same specs and nothing different but the colours.

I have 3 Ibanez SRs 5 strings, 2 with the same pickups. I know which is which from the recorded sound. Even live I can tell them apart

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I'd by a cheapy on line and have. Wouldn't buy an expensive instrument without trying it in the flesh/wood first.

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On 05/06/2020 at 01:53, cord.scott said:

I don't buy without trying, generally, because I'm SUPER SUPER SUPER pickup about how basses play. Its gotta have a fast neck and low action or its a deal breaker. If I ordered 10 basses I'd be returning 10 of them. I know people say you just gotta get it set up, but I've owned basses that no amount of work by myself or qualified luthiers would get them to play right. 

Same here! Many of the basses I have had simply don’t go low enough or have necks straight enough. It’s really disappointing when you like everything else bout a bass but just can’t get the feel you want. Adverts often say ‘super low action’ but the G string is about a CM off the board! 

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I always buy online or second hand from here 

I wouldn't dream of going to a shop and trying a bass out and then buying it online  from another retailer I think that is really out of order 

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