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Bass Cellar Londinium


The Burpster
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Had to go to London today for work..... (VERY UNUSUAL) and whilst I was there after I accomplished my mission of course, I thought I'd pop along to Tin Pan Alley.... AKA Denmark Street.

You know the thing, wanted a few bits= good excuse to wander around the shops slavering. + get to look at the Bass Cellar, always selling stuff on ebay and glossy ads in the comics.

Well the staff were pleasent enough, and I wasnt pushing them for info or buying anything expensive so we got along fine.

However the whole experience left me totally underwhelmed (especially looking at thier 2nd hand stock!) and thinking "well is that it?"

So I was wondering are there any bass only shops/ guitar shops with big bass sections that you walk away form with a big grin on your face EVERY time you go in..... OR that you cannot leave without something shiny in your hand as you felt it was 'just what you needed"?

Has the web killed off this experience ?

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I can't really comment as I've never been there despite my London-specific bass trips, this is because of the comments on the old forum that said 'Avoid the Cellar, it's awful, go to the Gallery or otherwise Bass Centre' ... so I have done, and they are great!

Edited by Alpha-Dave
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The Bass Cellar can be good or bad depending on the staff's attitude, the current stock and the number of other poeple in the store.

The Bass Centre is good if you're interested in Warwicks or Fenders (I'm not), although like the Cellar they occasionally have something else interesting in.

However the Gallery is always brilliant. There's something for all bass player's tastes - even mine.

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Maybe Bass Cellar has upped it's game since I was last in there.

I gave up going there after getting fed up with either their total indifference or else being made to feel as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.

Wunjos a couple of doors down is far better, though not bass only so the stock is smaller. Still worth poking your head round the door for some nice oddities they get in though.

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i've not found any bass shops in london that are particularly inspiring.

my fave bass shop was 'howard's bass place' in newcastle - lovely guy...very reasonably priced tech work and always some interesting basses in to have a look at...all second hand mind.

it's where i got my musicman sabre.

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[quote name='Musky' post='49195' date='Aug 22 2007, 09:44 PM']Bass Cellar... I gave up going there after getting fed up with either their total indifference or else being made to feel as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.[/quote]+1. They will [u]never[/u] get any of my money.

[quote name='The Burpster' post='49146' date='Aug 22 2007, 07:46 PM']So I was wondering are there any bass only shops/ guitar shops with big bass sections that you walk away form with a big grin on your face EVERY time you go in.....[/quote]Yes... the Bass Centre, in Wapping, circa 1986 :)
[i]*sigh*[/i] ahhhh those were the days, my friend...

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The bass cellar helped me out a great deal when i was looking for my first proper bass. They bascially let me try stuff out for about an hour, with the (long haired) guy bringing me different stuff, explaining them, then letting me have a go on my own for as long as I needed. The only reason I didn't buy something from themw as the price being roughly twice what i ended up paying. However I did buy a pedal, strap and strings from them based on that service and would again.

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Is the bass cellar the smallish one? I don't like going in there because I feel in the way the whole time. You can't even turn round if you've got a rucksack on.

I went to the Bass cellar with my mate when he was looking for his first bass. They let him play lots of things through a nice amp and didn't hassle him. Obviously the fella helping kept taking things off the wall that were just £50 above his maximum price, but you can't blame a fella for trying! Walked out with a lovely yamaha. Positive experience!

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Guest subaudio

went to the bass cellar on Saturday to buy some strings for my lacky Jobo 5, after explaining at length that they need to fit a 35inch neck strung through body as they didnt stock lacky strings, got them home and gues what, they didnt even go up to the nut even when not strung through. :S

£25 down the pan, they didnt give me a receipt either

Serves me right for not going to the Gallery.......

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[quote name='subaudio' post='49582' date='Aug 23 2007, 02:47 PM']went to the bass cellar on Saturday to buy some strings for my lacky Jobo 5, after explaining at length that they need to fit a 35inch neck strung through body as they didnt stock lacky strings, got them home and gues what, they didnt even go up to the nut even when not strung through. :S

£25 down the pan, they didnt give me a receipt either

Serves me right for not going to the Gallery.......[/quote]

Take them back, speak to the same person...... and give 'em hell..... :)

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Guest subaudio

[quote name='cetera' post='49589' date='Aug 23 2007, 03:05 PM']Take them back, speak to the same person...... and give 'em hell..... :huh:[/quote]

Will do but I'm away this weekend, really pissed of because I had a session the next day, luckily the strings on the bass were ok.

+1 for the Wapping Bass Centre, the bass institute was upstais at the back, had some great lessons there, I turned up a while back on a shopping spree and found it all boarded up :)

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Guest subaudio

[quote name='The Burpster' post='49934' date='Aug 24 2007, 08:29 AM']interesting so far.......

My original point was muted towards....

Are there any REALLY GOOD bass shops about? from the above it seems very few, and far between ?

B.[/quote]

Tis true, although I have to say, I have never been disapointed with the Gallery.

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The Bass Gallery is probably the best of the bunch but unlike everyone else I didn't have an amazing experience. I brought in an Iceni fretless I bought off GBH on BW, it needed some things doing to it, like replacing a 6 string EMG pickup with a 5 string one (GBH neglected to mention that, even when I tried the bass out and said it felt like quite a stretch), but that's mostly my own fault for not realising, and being realistic I would have bought it anyway.

So, back to the gallery... I took it in and they explained that I would have to wait a bit for a 40DC pickup but they could try a 2nd hand EMG 5 string P pup in there in the meantime, as well as giving it a setup, filling the gaps left by the downsized pup and fitting a ramp as well as fitting Elites Nickel strings. The onus seemed to be on me to keep phoning to find out when the bass was ready. Finally got it back, had a quick play in the shop and took it home with my wallet considerably lightened. Realised after a more extensive play that the setup wasn't great, the strings weren't elites, and the pickup really wasn't what I was after. I got in touch and explained that I'd still rather a 40DC. They again told me to phone back and I did this once or twice a week for a couple of months but still no sign of the 40DC, each time I called I was treated in a slightly more offhand manner. I suggested that they get in touch with me when it comes in and I haven't heard a peep out of them since. That was around January/February time. I paid a fair bit of cash for the work done and after being treated like that I don't think I'll shop there again.

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[quote name='The Burpster' post='49146' date='Aug 22 2007, 07:46 PM']So I was wondering are there any bass only shops/ guitar shops with big bass sections that you walk away form with a big grin on your face EVERY time you go in..... OR that you cannot leave without something shiny in your hand as you felt it was 'just what you needed"?

Has the web killed off this experience ?[/quote]

The Bass Gallery in Camden. Always an experience! :)

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Mike Walsh at the Bass Merchant (makes Iceni Zoot basses) is based in Witham, Essex (CM7). He will endeavour to get what you're after, he's got a superb high end selection of amps, cabs and combos (Markbass, EBS, Ampeg etc) and a fair selection of basses - recently he sold me a superb Warwick Streamer Stage 1 5 string w/ Aero pups & East pre at a very reasonable price!

WELL WORTH A VISIT! In my experience he can pretty much beat any price. He gave me great deals on MB gear.

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And to answer the question, I always leave satisfied from the Bass Merchant. Even if he hasn't got a bass in I'm after, we still have a great chat and he always has time for me. He also gave me a tour around the workshop - extremely interesting!

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[quote name='cetera' post='49419' date='Aug 23 2007, 11:33 AM']I hear you..... wonderful times.... :)[/quote]

They certainly were.

Nick, Alex, Grant and Chris had a lot of money off of me.
And I've still got all but one piece of gear that I bought there (A Russian Bigmuff, BTW)

Currently, I'm frequenting PMT (Southend or Romford) and BassMerchant.
The BassCellar has always left me underwhelmed.

I've never found the Gallery, but I can't be bothered to traipse all the way out to Camden just to go there. It's not like Camden has anything else to offer...
Well, not for me, anyway.

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[quote name='Musky' post='49195' date='Aug 22 2007, 09:44 PM']Maybe Bass Cellar has upped it's game since I was last in there.

I gave up going there after getting fed up with either their total indifference or else being made to feel as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.

Wunjos a couple of doors down is far better, though not bass only so the stock is smaller. Still worth poking your head round the door for some nice oddities they get in though.[/quote]
+1000
Dagnabbit, Musky! * - y'took the words right outta my mouth.

[i]*(For the nonplussed and persons of a youthful persuasion: this expression was the catchphrase of a popular 1960s cartoon character called Deputy Dawg, whose faithful companion was a Muskrat called Musky - see below.)[/i]

Edited by Oxblood
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Every time I go to London I (stupidly) make a bee-line for Denmark St, every time I am completely uninspired by all the shops. IMHO overpriced and not very customer friendly. For example one of the shops wanted a whopping £1400 for a new T'Bird, another shop just along the road wanted an even whoppinger £1200 for a used T'Bird... my Mrs asked me why I had a long face and I said that I could get almost everything they had for cheaper in t'north or off the internet.

Don't think I'll bother next time.

Richard

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