#1
well hi people. i made this thread first of all to share an exoerience i had when researching luthier made basses, and also to make some questions.

Well I think we all know that I am an entry level bassist, taking lessons, and all that stuff. but surfing the net i found a site of a group of luthiers (from my country, Argentina) that seemed to have some reputation, a lot of pleased buyers and their facebook comments, nice instruments photos, and a lot of stuff. thay have standard issues, and of course, you could ask for a customized guitar or bass. the site looks very nice, and these people state that they make high end stuff, but somewhat cheaper, since you don't get to pay the headstock logo, the comercialization, the shipping costs, and the customs fee. it seemed pretty decent. well, the thing is i called the place, so i could ask for my private session to test the basses, and invest in the one i liked the most. i asked to try their 3 standards (MIA fender, MM stingray, and Warwick corevette imitations) and the guy tells me (on the phone) they're very different basses... are you a beginner?
I lamely say i am, and then the guy tells me that i should buy something else, cheaper, because this are professional basses...

i said ok, and hanged. I know i am only a beginner, but i didn't like the way i was treated, i mean, my money is as worth as any other's (pro, novice, billy sheehan or whatever) , and if i can afford it, why can't i buy it, or even try them?! i think it may be early to get a bass like that, and all, but i liked the idea of having a really good bass for a nice price, supporting my countrie's industry and all... but it seems i am not good enough for that.


now, questions:
Are luthier made stuff good enough? are they worth it? because it seems luthier made instruments seem to loose quite a lot of resale value. which i don't care, as i would expect to have a bass for a lifetime, or at least personalized so i wouldn't want to sell it.
Are all luthiers such dicks? I mean, are they all aonly interested of making instruments just for supposed pros?
do you think this guy is stupid, since he lost a customer for no good reason at all?
Is it completely wrong that i'd like to have a nice bass even though i am a beginner?

If you'd like, i could give the link to the site so you can look at the basses. the good thing was that i could get a really nice jazz bass for like US$1000 (note that here MIMs are US$1000 and MIA are between US$2000 and US$2500... it almost double as in USA isn't it? it seems that every instrument, imported, is at least double the price compared to the price in the original country...)

you can also share your experience with luthiers and their stuff!!
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
Last edited by Sudaka at Feb 15, 2012,
#2
The guys a retard from what you said. Now he could be really anal (idiot savant) who makes only specialty luxury instruments for a elite customer base, but if they have a standard series he just sounds like an ignorant jerk who knows more about the building than customer service. It's not a beginner question to try all their basses, obviously if they are copies you'd want to see how they sound unto themselves and if they match what you wanted.... Sounds like he's the newb.

As for luthiers in general, it's a tough business, very small customer base, hard to spread the word, and people will be in general wary about paying you money (usually a lot) for an instrument when they know a name brand can do it reliably. If they are just producing copies and taking custom orders, it sounds like they are just trying to cater to your countries demand for instruments when most name brands are imported from a great distance at a very high exchange rate.
#3
I like how you said, "Novice, Pro, Billy Sheehan."
OT: He probably thought that you were just gonna play the basses, say you'll come back in a few days, never come back, and he would just be a Guitar Center. Luthiers may take pros more seriously because, well... they're pros. They don't want to work with a beginner who can't really spread the word of them, whereas a gigging musician has musician friends that may also want a custom bass. He is a bit of a dick, but there is some support behind his behavior.
#4
Quote by askrere
If they are just producing copies and taking custom orders, it sounds like they are just trying to cater to your countries demand for instruments when most name brands are imported from a great distance at a very high exchange rate.

you got it. and that's what the site says.

I also thought that i could've said that i wanted to test the three basses to be able to tell which one is the more similar copy. but i had no reaction.

I'd like to know if generally it's worth buying something from a luthier (i know that not every luthier is the same, and there might be some genious as there migth be some idiots) but as a general rule, are luthier made basses a good option, or it's too much of a risk? what do you think?

and yes, as you explained, skullivan, there is some support behind his behavior, but, still, he could have been somewhat nicer, specially assuming i am a newb.
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
#5
Quote by Sudaka

I'd like to know if generally it's worth buying something from a luthier (i know that not every luthier is the same, and there might be some genious as there migth be some idiots) but as a general rule, are luthier made basses a good option, or it's too much of a risk? what do you think?

and yes, as you explained, skullivan, there is some support behind his behavior, but, still, he could have been somewhat nicer, specially assuming i am a newb.



I was saying idiot savant, which is incorrect but basically means someone who does something really well (like luthiery) but has zero personal skills.

As for the support of his behavior. I still think he was rude, and even if he likes pros that make word for him, he obviously sells a many basses and you have money. I bet he'd feel bad if you mentioned his name on here with all this distaste.
#6
Quote by Sudaka
now, questions:
Are luthier made stuff good enough? are they worth it? because it seems luthier made instruments seem to loose quite a lot of resale value. which i don't care, as i would expect to have a bass for a lifetime, or at least personalized so i wouldn't want to sell it.

Custom-made instruments generally lose a lot of resale value because they are customized or personalized to the original owners tastes. As for whether custom-made instruments are good, that depends completely on the builder. You could have some guy making "custom" instruments from scrap lumber in his garage, you have some of the top boutique companies in the business like Alembic, Fodera, Ritter, etc, etc, and everything in between.

Are all luthiers such dicks? I mean, are they all aonly interested of making instruments just for supposed pros?

Luthiers are people too, and there are plenty of people out there who are ass holes. While I've rarely heard of luthiers turning down customers like that, keep in mind that they do want serious customers who know what they want when ordering a custom instrument. He probably thought you were an inexperienced beginner who wanted to order a custom bass, but had no idea what you were looking for. That doesn't excuse his behavior, but keep in mind that he probably doesn't want to explain every detail and option to someone who has no idea what they're looking for when he could be building basses and filling orders.

do you think this guy is stupid, since he lost a customer for no good reason at all?

Who knows if he's stupid or not? If he has a steady or regular flow of customers and orders, he may have deemed your business unnecessary if he thought you weren't a serious customer. If not, then he just turned down an order he may have needed to stay afloat.

Is it completely wrong that i'd like to have a nice bass even though i am a beginner?

No, its not wrong. There's no rules to what bass you can have at any point in your bass-playing career. You could be a complete beginner with a $12,000 Fodera or a gigging pro with a Squier Affinity, it doesn't matter. If you can afford it and it makes you happy, then its fine.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#7
If any salesperson talked to me like that I'd be telling them to shove their product straight up their arse and shop elsewhere.
It doesn't matter whether he "needed" your business or not. Anyone with half a brain knows that if you receive poor service from somewhere you're going to tell people about it. It doesn't take much to damage a stores/small business's reputation and I'd imagine in a country like Argentina word of mouth travels a long way. Treating customers like that is one of the stupidest things someone trying to sell things can do.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
Last edited by consecutive e at Feb 16, 2012,
#9
Quote by Skeletomania
Or you can go w/ something from warmoth or allparts.


He's in Argentina, would be expensive, and it's already expensive.
#10
Quote by askrere
He's in Argentina, would be expensive, and it's already expensive.

Lol this.

thanks for your support guys. i thougth he was rude with no reason to it. he could have explained a little bit what he ment with pro instruments (basically what you all have said, like he prefers pro to buy his instruments and that he would consider a time loss to let me play something and then wouldn't know what to ask for, etc. but, what i cared abuot was that i wasn't doing anything wrong here, i mean, nothing to deserve this kind of response.


all in all, in this little time i've been learning how to play bass, i have become more sentimental with my squier, so i won't sell it so i could get anything better, and i may mod it in the future. however, for now, i am happy with it, i named her ("Josefina", in english would be "Josephine") and i know that if i continue develop, and become a bass player, as for today is what i wish, i'll have some other basses for myself. so now i am a little less concerned about what bass i have (after all, i have a decent and giggable bass, that provides me everything i need).

anyway, we could still talk about luthier made basses. for example, when you buy a custom made, you can ask for not that common woods. Do rare woods shape the sound of the overall bass, or it just a matter of looks? Is the body and neck woods important in the result of the bass's sound? or electronics, pick ups, and technique are a lot more important when it comes to the sound of the bass?
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
#11
Quote by Sudaka
Do rare woods shape the sound of the overall bass, or it just a matter of looks? Is the body and neck woods important in the result of the bass's sound? or electronics, pick ups, and technique are a lot more important when it comes to the sound of the bass?

The answer isn't a simple yes or no to any of those. There are two camps of thought on the issue of "do different kinds of wood make a difference" and discussing it here usually leads to flame wars and all kinds of nastiness. If you want answers and opinions on this, I'd recommend searching here or searching old threads on Talkbass.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass