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bass prices, are some worth it?

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8 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

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

This is the point I've debated with. 

There is nothing wrong with a cheap bass, but there may very well be something a little sinister about how it's made, not just the pennies on the pound some of these people get paid, but the responsibility behind sourcing the materials to make them. Cheap is often cheap because someone is getting a bad deal, and that someone is usually the person who physically made it. I would rather pay more knowing that everything is a fair deal, though I appreciate I am in a fortunate enough position to have the luxury of taking that stance. There is a question of morality between the pros of a cheap bass and the ethics behind its creation and the expense of a custom bass which supports a single craftsperson. The same arguement can be had with almost everything we consume - cheap is cheap for a reason, though buying something expensive isn't always proof of a better product. The choppy waters of ethical buying are often hard to navigate with purposefully confusing currents put in play by those who wish to steer you towards a particular purchase. 

Edited by binky_bass
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2 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

The choppy waters of ethical buying are often hard to navigate with purposefully confusing currents put in play by those who wish to steer you towards a particular purchase. 

Bit like the whole vegan vs organic vs locally farmed vs factory farmed difficult to be “right” or ethical when there are so many factors at play. 

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52 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

My ego saves me a lot of money then.

Cool. I save money in other ways so that I can buy quality equipment for my profession.

17 minutes ago, Nicko said:

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.

Just like the difference between buying a Squier or a Fodera.

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32 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

This is the point I've debated with. 

There is nothing wrong with a cheap bass, but there may very well be something a little sinister about how it's made, not just the pennies on the pound some of these people get paid, but the responsibility behind sourcing the materials to make them. Cheap is often cheap because someone is getting a bad deal, and that someone is usually the person who physically made it. I would rather pay more knowing that everything is a fair deal, though I appreciate I am in a fortunate enough position to have the luxury of taking that stance. There is a question of morality between the pros of a cheap bass and the ethics behind its creation and the expense of a custom bass which supports a single craftsperson. The same arguement can be had with almost everything we consume - cheap is cheap for a reason, though buying something expensive isn't always proof of a better product. The choppy waters of ethical buying are often hard to navigate with purposefully confusing currents put in play by those who wish to steer you towards a particular purchase. 

I'd go much further than that, in suggesting that any 'luxury' items are at the expense of some poor sod in the world. It's my view that, once above a reasonable level (discuss 'reasonable'...), the 'wealth' accumulated comes from somewhere, and would be better spread out to those with less. This applies to holiday homes, second yachts, hunting lodges, eye-wateringly expensive motor cycles and cars and uber-expensive basses (list non-exhaustive...). An unpopular view, I know, and I've my share of hypocrisy in putting it forward, but until there's a better distribution world-wide, I'm rather Puritan where Luxury is concerned. I don't subscribe to the 'trickle-down' theories, either. Just sayin'. :|

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21 minutes ago, Doddy said:

Just like the difference between buying a Squier or a Fodera.

Possibly.  If the Fodera is the only instrument that makes you feel that way when you play it, or makes the sounds you want. I'm firmly of the opinion that sometimes you pick up an instrument and it feels and sounds right so you buy it.  I'm not quite sure how I'd fall in love with an instrument before it's built for me.

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3 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

I'd go much further than that, in suggesting that any 'luxury' items are at the expense of some poor sod in the world. It's my view that, once above a reasonable level (discuss 'reasonable'...), the 'wealth' accumulated comes from somewhere, and would be better spread out to those with less. This applies to holiday homes, second yachts, hunting lodges, eye-wateringly expensive motor cycles and cars and uber-expensive basses (list non-exhaustive...). An unpopular view, I know, and I've my share of hypocrisy in putting it forward, but until there's a better distribution world-wide, I'm rather Puritan where Luxury is concerned. I don't subscribe to the 'trickle-down' theories, either. Just sayin'. :|

It’s tricky... I suppose the key to this is excess. I see no reason why Bill Gates should drive a car as $hit as mine but if your average billionaire just hides out on a private island avoiding tax and spending the excess on their next home / luxury yacht then yes I do have an issue with it ...

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2 minutes ago, Nicko said:

I'm firmly of the opinion that sometimes you pick up an instrument and it feels and sounds right so you buy it.  I'm not quite sure how I'd fall in love with an instrument before it's built for me.

I totally agree, which is why I played a load of instruments before deciding. I knew roughly what I was going to get when I ordered mine because I had played a few beforehand, and I trusted them to make an instrument of the same quality. Which they did.

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1 minute ago, Doddy said:

I totally agree, which is why I played a load of instruments before deciding. I knew roughly what I was going to get when I ordered mine because I had played a few beforehand, and I trusted them to make an instrument of the same quality. Which they did.

I'm glad you got what you wanted.  As I posted earlier, I have an issue with paying more for something that doesn't offer me more.  Others will see value where I don't - not a criticism just an observation.  I'm sure people would balk at what I spend on fine dining once in a while when I could go to a local bistro and fill my belly. Ultimately I end up with nothing but a memory from that experience.

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1 minute ago, Nicko said:

I'm glad you got what you wanted.  As I posted earlier, I have an issue with paying more for something that doesn't offer me more.  Others will see value where I don't - not a criticism just an observation.  I'm sure people would balk at what I spend on fine dining once in a while when I could go to a local bistro and fill my belly. Ultimately I end up with nothing but a memory from that experience.

And a belly

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6 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

And a belly

You overestimate the size of the portions.

I always decline the waffer theeen mint.

Edited by Nicko
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How come the discussion leaps from Harley Benton straight to Fodera?

I've had a few dozen basses, and played a ton more... the cheapest cost me £20 or was free, the most expensive had a retail price originally of over £3k. I've played and owned some great instruments, and some that were a bit "meh".

I've found generally, that there is diminishing returns the more you pay... 
and also conversely I'm more likely to find exceptional instruments at higher price points. 

I've found amazing basses that cost almost nothing, and I've found that there are some higher end basses with a real even resonance across the fretboard that I haven't found on cheaper basses. 

Don't over spend, don't get into debt to buy, the guy from Vulfpeck did quite well on a Mexican fender, it's not going to make you a better player, stop stressing about it, stop hating on people with more money than you, don't feel too inferior to the folk who are better players on worse kit than you, don't over-justify your own decisions without really listening to the other point of view... some people will have £5k worth of cheap instruments and moan about high end stuff not being worth it, some people have one £3k bass... shrug. 

It's Friday night, none of us are gigging, there's no live music to hear. I want a beer. 

[/rant]

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I'm in the happy position of owning two (yes TWO) Wals ... why would I spend so much? 

Well, the fretless is IMHO the very best fretless money can buy and back in 1998 when I bought it, it was cheaper than a warwick streamer.  The fretted one; bought at "today's prices", well it was very expensive for an electric bass, but, curiously, 2nd hand Wals never lose value, so really it's no different (apart from being more fun) to having a few £k in an ISA.  For what I play on it, a Smith or an Alembic might suit better (and have better ergonomics) but they lose value at such a rate it really would be expensive.

Hence, I guess why ancient mass produced fenders are expensive, no one loses money by buying them .. and that drags up the "relic" market and the Fender replica production models.  Though if anyone thinks those are an investment .. I expect they will be disappointed.

NB:  Nothing new about "relics"  btw; used to be called antiqueing.  I have a 120yr old cello that was antiqued at build - the antiqued bits haven't changed over the decades, but damage has accumulated around them so now it looks "old" as well as "antique".  My double bass is just "damaged" which affects its value downwards ... a little; but for what it looks like it's still worth plenty because it still sounds good (and it's old .. which adds kudos cost; people think old wood sounds better ... it doesn't really).

But yes, beer o'clock.  Good thread though.

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I like buckeye burl... it's my weakness, it's a bit like crack, rather moreish once you had just a taste... I have a few buckeye basses, a buckeye pen and even a buckeye handled chef's knife... I know, its foolish, its vein, its all of the above. But I LIKE IT so bullhockey to anyone who says otherwise! 😜

Jewellery isn't for me, not too fussed by the car I drive, my other tastes aren't overly lavish (save a good bottle of single malt here and there). I like buckeye and I like basses and even better when they're combined!

It all really boils down to what we each like in life! Plenty of people on this forum split their expendable income over various Interests and spend less on basses and more on other things, some live a modest lifestyle by choice or otherwise, we all are individuals, we all have our opinions! So long as we're all as content as we can make ourselves and hopefully a few others around us, then we're doing OK. 

Or, we can fall into the hopeless pit of despair and feel overwhelming guilt for every little luxury we buy because we didn't give that money to someone less fortunate... it's a fair point, perhaps one for another thread. For those who feel this guilt in such a fashion that compels them to tithe away their spare pennies, then I will raise my glass to you and declare you the better person. I helped a fallen granny once, I've done my bit. 😋

 

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I’m a distinctly average player, so I feel that only justifies me owning a distinctly average bass 😂

The whole money argument is a bit mental when you really think about it.  If you own a house in the UK you fall in to the top 5% of wealthiest on the planet.  How crazy is that?!

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8 hours ago, tegs07 said:

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.

 

My main Rick cost me £490 in 1993. It’s now probably worth not far off 10 times that. I think my old Wal Custom was £895 in around ‘95. Now it’d be worth around £5k. 

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I have only skimmed this thread after the first page. I don't understand why you would have an opinion or make judgements about about other people or their motivation based on their choice of instrument.

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3 hours ago, Nicko said:

Possibly.  If the Fodera is the only instrument that makes you feel that way when you play it, or makes the sounds you want. I'm firmly of the opinion that sometimes you pick up an instrument and it feels and sounds right so you buy it.  I'm not quite sure how I'd fall in love with an instrument before it's built for me.

This is a dilemma. I’ve had instruments built for me by some of the best luthiers out there, but they’ve never (so far at least) hit the mark. Tony Levin once said the only way he can tell you if he likes a bass is by playing it. I suspect I’m the same. Even with a specific template (woods, hardware, electronics), there are too many variables. 

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25 minutes ago, GuyR said:

I have only skimmed this thread after the first page. I don't understand why you would have an opinion or make judgements about about other people or their motivation based on their choice of instrument.

Definitely there is no right or wrong answer... buy whatever works for you. 

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32 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

Does that include a terraced house in Middlesbrough - Cheapest Places to Buy a House | UK Top 20 | Move iQ?

I couldn’t tell you - someone else on the tellybox did the maths.  Just blows my mind though.

It’s all relative.  My cheap bass would be a luxury accessory to many in the world.  I’m not really arguing either way though - people find their level, and that’s cool with me.  We’re lucky to be in a position to be talking about it all I guess.  That fender in the first post though... 🤮

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3 hours ago, Pea Turgh said:

The whole money argument is a bit mental when you really think about it.  If you own a house in the UK you fall in to the top 5% of wealthiest on the planet.  How crazy is that?!

I’m sure I kinda tried to work out once - but In time of income I think full time work on minimum wage in the U.K. Puts you  in The top 1% Globally 

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6 hours ago, tegs07 said:

It’s tricky... I suppose the key to this is excess. I see no reason why Bill Gates should drive a car as $hit as mine but if your average billionaire just hides out on a private island avoiding tax and spending the excess on their next home / luxury yacht then yes I do have an issue with it ...

Luxury yachts are probably the best example of the one eyed views on ''trickle down theory''.

On the one hand it's the rich pissing on the poor.

On the other hand luxury yachts employ a lot of skilled tradesmen to build and maintain them. That's a big industry here in NZ.

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