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funkgod

bass prices, are some worth it?

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On 24/02/2021 at 15:27, Doctor J said:

There's a whole lot of exploitation built into your £99 Harley Benton. 

I know people who work at some of the factories that make OEM for western brands, including Peavey, ESP, Schecter and Ibanez in China.  They're not indentured slaves. They get paid a wage that is comparable to similar role of responsibility and skill in other market sectors, just like the UK.  Something like 3-4000 RMB/month.  No that doesn't translate into much by UK standards but the workers come from families that have modest lifestyles and income tax is extremely low.  They're comfortable with a lifestyle that is free of many financial drains such as status symbols, expensive hobbies, large insurance premiums, council tax etc.  They're also free to leave their jobs (and they do, many will stay a year in one place and move on) and workers rights are stronger in China than they are in the UK in regard to overtime, holiday pay, and maternity/paternity leave.  Companies were required to pay minimum wage to all staff during COVID lockdown.

EDIT:  The cost of labour is the main reason why stuff is cheap but that'll change in the next 10-20 years.  The other reason is because each person spends as little time on their part of the manufacturing process as possible and, yes, too often the labour is often (but not always) unskilled because factories don't see the point of investing a lot of time in a single employee if they're likely to bugger off in 12 months.  This is the main reason why some Chinese stuff is poor quality.  For some aspects like finishing, there's no substitute for having someone involved who has experience.  If you have a product that needs very little time to make and is fairly straight forward to make (ie. no finishing) then stuff can be churned out at insane rates.  

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Amongst my modest collection of 7 basses there are MIJ, MIK, MIRC, Indonesia & unknown. Previously I've had MIA & MIM. The price or origin does not influence my decision to keep or move on, only the feel & voice of the instrument after a setup and a few weeks of playing it.

I have noticed over the last several years though how the cheaper models have improved in quality. This must be down to improved QC and with CNC machining the accuracy & consistency of manufacturing.

Sure, "you get what you pay for" is still true to a certain extent but not a hard & fast rule. It's good that a decent instrument can be had from the word go for a modest outlay.

In the 60's when guitars first became popular there was a rush by manufactures to meet demand and quality was variable to say the least. But we didn't know any better. We didn't know about setups & intonation. String type & gauge were limited too.

I would say we're spoiled for choice now whatever your budget. And with easier access to information we are better informed before we buy, thanks to places like BC.

Edited by grandad
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As the owner of a Sadowsky nyc bass, I am of the opinion that they are nowhere close to good value for money, when purchased new. Indeed they often sell on the second hand market for 50% of their rrp. 

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8 minutes ago, leroydiamond said:

As the owner of a Sadowsky nyc bass, I am of the opinion that they are nowhere close to good value for money, when purchased new. Indeed they often sell on the second hand market for 50% of their rrp. 

Given that retail markup on many musical instruments and equipment is around 100%, that's about right.

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4 hours ago, grandad said:

I would say we're spoiled for choice now whatever your budget.

I agree.  The question of budget is an interesting one. Whilst I could go out and spend £3000 on a bass without making too many sacrifices elsewhere something in my psyche tells me "this does everything you need it to do" and I just can't see the point in paying more.  If it makes me feel more special picking it up, or is more comfortable, or sounds better I might pay a bit more but not because it has a "MIA" sticker on it.

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52 minutes ago, Nicko said:

I agree.  The question of budget is an interesting one. Whilst I could go out and spend £3000 on a bass without making too many sacrifices elsewhere something in my psyche tells me "this does everything you need it to do" and I just can't see the point in paying more.  If it makes me feel more special picking it up, or is more comfortable, or sounds better I might pay a bit more but not because it has a "MIA" sticker on it.

I suppose this depends on whether you are buying a bass that is a workhorse, an aesthetic indulgence or an investment. I know people that are happy to spend £2.5K on a gaming monitor... a second hand Rickenbacker looks like a bargain compared to that, or a MIA limited edition.. buy wisely and you can sell it on several years later for a profit, 

Edit: I have never spent nor am I ever likely to spend more than £1000 on a bass.... but what appears expensive is relative. A friend who had been a lawyer for  a couple of years whilst I was at uni had a thing for older Rickenbackers .... I thought what he was spending was utter lunacy but he could afford them then and if he still has them now they would be worth some serious cash.

 

Edited by tegs07

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On 23/02/2021 at 22:39, funkgod said:

Everybody at some time has looked at a price and said to themselves " WHAT? FOR THAT ?"

i know anything is worth what someone will pay for it, so im trying to think of basses that are really worth every penny against

others which i would call just taking the [email protected]@

so 1,  great value for money basses ? what is going at the mo which is great value for money ?

for example im just looking at the sire marcus miller on ebay for 360 buy it now looks great  and when you stack that against a mex jazz for now 150 more or even a usa jazz to me its looking pritty good spec wise, but are they really worth it ? ( im looking for a fretless)

and 2, which ones do you think is over inflated ?

so... would anyone pay £7,749.00 for this

https://www.peachguitars.com/fender-winter-2021-custom-shop-event/fender-custom-shop-1958-p-bass-heavy-relic-mb-vincent-van-trigt-faded-chocolate-.htm

 

That example is disgusting 🤣🤣🤣.  I don’t get the relic thing. 
If I ever win the lottery, I’ll buy loads of old messed up fenders and refinish them.  In poly.

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5 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

That example is disgusting

It is an extreme example.

In all honesty if I saw that in a shop I don't think I'd want to touch it.

I don't mind a relic, but that actually looks unhygienic to me.

Edited by Cato
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2 hours ago, Drax said:

Anything is worth it if you can afford and it makes you happy. 

Psychiatrists would ask happy for how long though. I don't rely on my basses to make me happy,  just satisfied with the playing experience.

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As well as a 5 and 6 string, I have a 4 string Harley Benton that cost around £128(with 20% VAT). What features or qualities is it lacking that a £700 or £3000 bass will provide that will add value to my bass playing?

And the answer is exactly why I bought it rather than a much more expensive bass.

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35 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

£700 or £3000 bass will provide that will add value to my bass playing?

And the answer is exactly why I bought it rather than a much more expensive bass.

Nothing if you’re happy with it. Don’t replace any of the electrics or hardware then if you go of it in a couple of years you can sell it for a 50% loss. Some one else may have bought a scarce MIJ 80’s Fender and sell that in a few years for a 20% profit. There is no right or wrong answer here.

 

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47 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

As well as a 5 and 6 string, I have a 4 string Harley Benton that cost around £128(with 20% VAT). What features or qualities is it lacking that a £700 or £3000 bass will provide that will add value to my bass playing?

 

Why do people buy top spec BMWs or Mercedes when Renault Laguna does the same job?

Edited by Doddy

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8 minutes ago, Doddy said:

Why do people buy top spec BMWs or Mercedes when Renault Laguna does the same job?

Much of the reason will be ego. I don't there will be many practical reasons. Because of their focus on performance, a great many of those German cars are well known for being some of the least reliable on the road, and notoriously expensive to repair.

I'll stick to my Harley Benton.

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4 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

Much of the reason will be ego. I don't there will be many practical reasons. Because of their focus on performance, a great many of those German cars are well known for being some of the least reliable on the road, and notoriously expensive to repair.

I'll stick to my Harley Benton.

Maybe they just dreamed of owning one since they were 12, spent 30 years slogging through work, raised a family and could finally afford their childhood dream?

The world isn’t just 1 dimensional...

 

Edit: before you comment no I don’t own a fancy German car .. wouldn’t mind one of those air cooled 911’s though 

Edited by tegs07

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2 minutes ago, tegs07 said:

Maybe they just dreamed of owning one since they were 12, spent 30 years slogging through work, raised a family and could finally afford their childhood dream?

The world isn’t just 1 dimensional...

Well, yes that's possible. But given the sales it would be improbable.

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16 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

Much of the reason will be ego. 

Really? Because there seems to be certain people who have an ego about playing cheaper instruments.

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Just now, Doddy said:

Really? Because there seems to be certain people who have an ego about playing cheaper instruments.

It's like those who rant about being vegan*... my response defaults to: cool story bro. You do you. 😎 

At the end of the day, we're all opinionated know-nothings! We like different things, that's the glory of being an individual! If we were all the same then we'd all have a Harley Benton and those with Harley Bentons would have nothing to be self righteous about! 😁

 

*disclaimer, not all vegans rant about being vegan

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Also, while I think about it, and in response to no one in particular, if everyone was super thrifty and only ever bought the Harley Bentons that life has to offer, eventually the economy would collapse as a good proportion of industry relies heavily on us, the general public, buying things! Our purchases necessitate jobs, those jobs pay wages to the people that use services that the companies we work for create. So, in actual fact, if we don't have the occasional splurge, implus buy or 'treat' (where affordable) we'd likely see the loss of many artists, businesses and jobs. I mean just image if a giant virus came about and meant we could spend our money within, say, the holiday industry or the hospitality industry, imagine what havoc that would wreak!

Edited by binky_bass

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27 minutes ago, tegs07 said:

Maybe they just dreamed of owning one since they were 12, spent 30 years slogging through work, raised a family and could finally afford their childhood dream?

The world isn’t just 1 dimensional...

 

Edit: before you comment no I don’t own a fancy German car .. wouldn’t mind one of those air cooled 911’s though 

And we could go cruising in it!

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5 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

Given that retail markup on many musical instruments and equipment is around 100%, that's about right.

I get that, but when compared with IMO better value alternatives, their price new is too much. I was blown away by a cheap as chips Sire j bass at a fraction of the price. It had alot more in common with the Sadowsky than I would have imagined. Of course the all important Sadowsky brand name was missing from the headstock and that was probably its major failing. 

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1 hour ago, binky_bass said:

It's like those who rant about being vegan*... my response defaults to: cool story bro. You do you. 😎 

 

Ah I do love a radical vegan. Nothing like living on an island surrounded by fish and with a climate perfect for sheep and dairy and being lectured about what you should eat ...

Disclaimer I am a reformed vegetarian in remission...

Edited by tegs07
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1 hour ago, Doddy said:

Really? Because there seems to be certain people who have an ego about playing cheaper instruments.

My ego saves me a lot of money then.

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2 hours ago, Doddy said:

Why do people buy top spec BMWs or Mercedes when Renault Laguna does the same job?

Well, I confess I've never driven either a BMW or a Laguna, but all of the Renaults I have driven have been vastly different driving experiences from the Mercedes cars I've driven.  A friend of mine once remarked as we drove out of Paris in a Renault that the most frustrating job in the world must be a designer for Renault.  You spend your life coming up with ideas for fabulous cars and then the company makes something completely different.

The Laguna does the same job of converting fuel into forward motion and transporting you in a box on wheels from one place to another.  The way it does it makes you feel vastly different from the way some other cars do the same job.  It will suit some and not others.

I don't drive a top spec BMW or Merc. btw.  When I bought my last car I walked into the dealership with a list of things I wanted some of which were a little niche.  They sold me a Golf Estate.

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4 hours ago, Drax said:

Anything is worth it if you can afford and it makes you happy. 

True, up to the point where one's conscience kicks in, regarding ethics and societal notions. Greed is greed, however it's expressed. :|

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