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Touched by a stranger


skej21

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We all know it goes on, but never really give it much thought. We turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not happening. It’s almost taboo to mention... yesterday I broke that rule and seem to have created a significant divide between myself and a very good friend (who is also a bassist), by muttering three small words... “I played that!”

My friend had just bought a new MIM Fender Player series precision bass that had been sat in our local music store for a while. It’s in excellent condition and he finally bit the bullet and bought it, before bombarding me with pics and messages about how it was the bass of his dreams and that he was ‘in love’

Once I muttered ‘I played that... it was a really nice bass’ it seems like he is treating me like the guy his partner cheated with. Even though 6/7 other locals players commented saying the same thing. Surely he realised that other people have touched it!? That it gets passed around a lot in a shop. Even strangers!

Anyone else been on the receiving end of this? Anyone else feel it’s justified?

Just trying to understand the mindset 🤣

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Don't get me started! As a former music shop owner I have a real problem with the concept that once something has spent a nanosecond hung up on the shop wall it becomes ex-demo, and yet everyone loves the idea of being able to try new stuff out. Funnily enough I dien't last very long in that game - it would have been fine without the punters 🤔

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16 minutes ago, Mykesbass said:

Don't get me started! As a former music shop owner I have a real problem with the concept that once something has spent a nanosecond hung up on the shop wall it becomes ex-demo, and yet everyone loves the idea of being able to try new stuff out. Funnily enough I dien't last very long in that game - it would have been fine without the punters 🤔

My favourite when I worked in the shop was a bloke who literally smashed the headstock off another guitar (accidentally) when trying it out, went off to have lunch and think, and then came back with “it’s ex demo, so what’s the best price you can give me?” 🤣

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Is he one of those kinds of people who don’t  like you using their toilet when you visit? 🤣
I’d quietly break off communication with him and let him make any moves towards friendly reconciliation. Who needs any more negativity in their life at the moment?

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Reminds me of a story from when a good friend ran a music shop. A lady and her teenage son came into the shop and asked about PA amps for his first band.  My friend recommended a brand new HH mixer amp, and she asked if they could try it out at a rehearsal with his band. My friend duly obliged, giving them a boxed one from stock and letting them take it for an evening. They both came back next day and said it had been fine and was just what the lad wanted - then said they wanted an unopened one as the amp they had tried out was now technically second hand!

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I bought a Marshall Bass State B150 amp to replace an 80s peavey and an early Torque amp that I used to loop together. Not exactly bi-amping just running the line out from one in the input of the other. Anyway, I was seduced by Marshall catalogues of the DBS series amps and a glorious brand new one in the posh music shop. The grotty music shop had a second hand B150. I knew the catalogue inside out and traded both my old amps, some cash and probably some other stuff to buy this exotic amp. Blendable valve and solid state, heavier than a dead elephant and with a stupid handle so you struggle to carry it sensibly. It was great. Though not very loud... It got used on a few gigs then before going to uni I tried to sell it to an old school friend who brought along a Trace BLX 80 and it blew the Marshall away for volume. A bit embarrassing. I traded it back in at the grotty music shop for a more portable 100 or 150 watt band new Torque amp. 

Anyways, turns out someone I was doing a part time job with and got chatting to was a bassist in a band that did quite well locally a few years back. It was his old amp, and it was quiet for him too. I quite liked that it has belonged to someone I knew and liked. Years later I saw in the local crack converters a B150, covered badly in naff red tolex and with the buttons and sliders snapped and mangled. That amp had seemingly been through every bassist in town in the years in between. And crack converters wanted about the same money for it as I had paid many years earlier! 

Edited by uk_lefty
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1 minute ago, PaulWarning said:

when I had a Newsagents, the number of people that came in and wouldn't buy the top paper in the pile, they always took one from lower down, always found it a bit odd

Must admit I’ve been doing that lately, paranoid about Covid I guess! Really annoys me when people stand in front of the paper display reading all the dailies and often thumbing through them - you’ll know all about that having run a newsagents I’m sure.

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3 minutes ago, casapete said:

Must admit I’ve been doing that lately, paranoid about Covid I guess! Really annoys me when people stand in front of the paper display reading all the dailies and often thumbing through them - you’ll know all about that having run a newsagents I’m sure.

it was worse for the top shelf mags 😂

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never had this from a fellow bassist. Not the same but, I have been told not to touch our keyboard player's Nord. 

Tried to help him out with his gear after rehearsal and he objected to my handling skills. 

As we rehearse down a flight of stone steps, I couldn't be happier with the arrangement. 

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1 hour ago, uk_lefty said:

I bought a Marshall Bass State B150 amp to replace an 80s peavey and an early Torque amp that I used to loop together. Not exactly bi-amping just running the line out from one in the input of the other. Anyway, I was seduced by Marshall catalogues of the DBS series amps and a glorious brand new one in the posh music shop. The grotty music shop had a second hand B150. I knew the catalogue inside out and traded both my old amps, some cash and probably some other stuff to buy this exotic amp. Blendable valve and solid state, heavier than a dead elephant and with a stupid handle so you struggle to carry it sensibly. It was great. Though not very loud... It got used on a few gigs then before going to uni I tried to sell it to an old school friend who brought along a Trace BLX 80 and it blew the Marshall away for volume. A bit embarrassing. I traded it back in at the grotty music shop for a more portable 100 or 150 watt band new Torque amp. 

Anyways, turns out someone I was doing a part time job with and got chatting to was a bassist in a band that did quite well locally a few years back. It was his old amp, and it was quiet for him too. I quite liked that it has belonged to someone I knew and liked. Years later I saw in the local crack converters a B150, covered badly in naff red tolex and with the buttons and sliders snapped and mangled. That amp had seemingly been through every bassist in town in the years in between. And crack converters wanted about the same money for it as I had paid many years earlier! 

In the mid 80's I had an early Stingray. I didn't really get on with the pick-up placement (being used to the position on a Precision). I sold the Stingray to a chap I knew in order to buy my '66 Precision from a shop in Brighton. It was £260 and had been there ages, this was a time of headless basses.

As he handed over the money I explained what I was going to use it for and it turned out he was selling the bass through the shop! To take things a step further, I was playing in a band around Brighton and a friend of the band came along one time. He was an ex bass player and explained that the fact it had SD scratched into certain parts was the fact that it had belonged to him (Steve Davy) and he had bought it new. He played in a band called Steamhammer and had used it extensively in that band - playing with the likes of Freddie King etc.

I always love those stories of a small world etc.

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17 minutes ago, stewblack said:

never had this from a fellow bassist. Not the same but, I have been told not to touch our keyboard player's Nord. 

Tried to help him out with his gear after rehearsal and he objected to my handling skills. 

As we rehearse down a flight of stone steps, I couldn't be happier with the arrangement. 

Weird. I'm always more than grateful load-out help, even with my cissy lightweight gear. The only thing I don't take help for is actually putting it in the car, as I have a 'method' (I bet I'm not the only one!).

 

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12 minutes ago, Rich said:

Weird. I'm always more than grateful load-out help, even with my cissy lightweight gear. The only thing I don't take help for is actually putting it in the car, as I have a 'method' (I bet I'm not the only one!).

 

Yup.  Loading my car is like a Rubik cube.

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2 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

when I had a Newsagents, the number of people that came in and wouldn't buy the top paper in the pile, they always took one from lower down, always found it a bit odd

The top one sometimes if it was top of a bundle from the wholesaler usually had your delivery/box number label stuck to it.

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As a lefty, this is extra funny to me and something I've never given any thought!

I have only once bought a bass from stock, because there usually simply weren't any. On the rare occasion I bought something totally new in a shop, it always had to be ordered for me and arrived untouched and boxed, at the risk of not liking it and having to sell it at a loss (or not buying it and losing my deposit). The one exception was an Esh Stinger I that I bought in a shop where the Lefty Bass Day was held. I had been coming there for 4 consecutive years and that very same bass had been there for all those years and it had intrigued me from the very first time I laid eyes (and hands!) on it. The last time the price had dropped by a lot because the shop was clearing stock to focus on amp building (CMS Music in Duisburg, Germany is no more, and is now Rheingold amplification). 

That said, I've never really thought of shop models as used or even secondhand. I think it's important to be able to try a bass out first, and pick the one that suits you best because it's something so personal! You just can't say "I like this one, so get me an identical one from your storage that hasn't been touched" because the new one could very well feel and sound different. 

I buy all my instruments used these days, often having them shipped to me without being able to try them out first. The lefty community is fairly small, so I often know the seller or other previous owners from different forums like this one. This will sometimes only add to how I feel about an instrument, and it builds trust :)

Edited by LeftyJ
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9 minutes ago, steantval said:

The top one sometimes if it was top of a bundle from the wholesaler usually had your delivery/box number label stuck to it.

Ah! insider knowledge, that's right, but I always put that one on the bottom, 

I'm not bothered if someone else had owned or touched something, for instance I've never understood why some people want a new car, talk about paying through the nose, I'm quite happy with a 3 year old one, but I guess there wouldn't be any second hand ones if everyone was like me.

Like @LeftyJ  (I'm cack handed as well so the chances of trying before buying is pretty much zero) I always buy basses and other stuff like amps and speakers second hand, that way if you don't get on with them you can move them on without too much of a hit to the pocket, but thankfully some by new stuff

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29 minutes ago, DaytonaRik said:

When I read the title I thought it was going to be an in-depth observation on people you've never met and/or don't know...but alas not!

I think the cliche response is something like “chance would be a fine thing”?

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3 hours ago, casapete said:

Reminds me of a story from when a good friend ran a music shop. A lady and her teenage son came into the shop and asked about PA amps for his first band.  My friend recommended a brand new HH mixer amp, and she asked if they could try it out at a rehearsal with his band. My friend duly obliged, giving them a boxed one from stock and letting them take it for an evening. They both came back next day and said it had been fine and was just what the lad wanted - then said they wanted an unopened one as the amp they had tried out was now technically second hand!

No problem, as long as they pay the hire cost for the one they've been testing..! -_-

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3 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

when I had a Newsagents, the number of people that came in and wouldn't buy the top paper in the pile, they always took one from lower down, always found it a bit odd

I always do that, and never walk on the cracks in pavements too....

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4 hours ago, Rich said:

have a 'method' (I bet I'm not the only one!).

You are indeed not alone! 

My car tetrus skills would be legendary if other people got as excited about them as I do. 

My greatest achievement was probably the two blokes and a full drum kit in a kia picanto. 

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6 hours ago, Len_derby said:

Is he one of those kinds of people who don’t  like you using their toilet when you visit? 🤣
I’d quietly break off communication with him...

... having first shªt in his slippers.

 

(Possibly OTT?)

Edited by SpondonBassed
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  • 2 weeks later...

A couple of years ago I bought a second-hand EBMM Sterling Fretless. When I arrived at the house to pick it up, the guy who opened the door turned out to be a grieving guitarist, whose best mate and bass player had recently died, and he was selling his off gear for the bassist's family. The bass was (and still is) amazing - it's the perfect instrument for me, but was absolutely filthy, and I took a long time cleaning the previous owner's DNA off it. The weirdest part was that the guy obviously had very acidic sweat, and his thumb print was etched into the tuning pegs. A tube of metal polish and a new scratchplate later though, and the bass finally started to feel like my own. Although I never met the guy (or even know his name or saw a picture of him) when I play this bass I quite often think about its previous owner.

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