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#2832550 - 02/01/17 12:35 AM Good place to buy a bass in NYC?
slowfinger Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
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Loc: Melbourne, Oz
The slowfinger will be in NYC in April and May for 3 weeks this year (Trump willing) and might be in a position to buy a modest bass (like a Squier PJ) to take home to Australia. I only know Sam Ash. Good used MIA or MIM would be considered also.

FYI a Squier VM Precision 4 costs the equivalent of US$600 here.

Any advice please?
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#2832635 - 02/01/17 10:05 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: slowfinger]
jcadmus Offline
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Loc: Connecticut
Rudy's Music has a great selection.
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#2833244 - 02/03/17 08:29 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: jcadmus]
butcherNburn Offline
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Don't rule out buying online and shipping to the hotel. Check out the websites, sign up for the emails, join the clubs etc.
True, it's not the same as playing it first. Not that trying one out in a busy store is and awesome experience either. Online you may end up getting a great deal and not have to pay tax or shipping (to the hotel at least).

I really wish my suggestion was to seek out a mom and pop store like one in Union City NJ (lower taxes), a 10 minute bus ride from Midtown. You can easy find out details via The Google. I also wish I could say cruise the pawn shops but that's pretty much dead for what your looking for.
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#2833277 - 02/04/17 06:21 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: butcherNburn]
jcadmus Offline
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One scheme I thought of for a friend of mine who lives in South America was to have him buy a bass here, and have me disassemble it and ship the parts to him individually. That would have gotten the pieces below the tariff threshold for his country.

We didn't end up doing it, but it's an interesting idea.


Edited by jcadmus (02/04/17 06:21 AM)
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#2833662 - 02/06/17 03:26 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: jcadmus]
Flemtone Offline
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Rather like Radar O'Reilley mailing a jeep home to himself from Korea, one part at a time.

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#2833677 - 02/06/17 06:49 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: Flemtone]
jcadmus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Flemtone
Rather like Radar O'Reilley mailing a jeep home to himself from Korea, one part at a time.



Exactly.
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#2833868 - 02/06/17 07:23 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: butcherNburn]
slowfinger Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 454
Loc: Melbourne, Oz
I found a ma and pa store in Union City, so I'll probably go and have a look. Thanks for the advice!
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#2833869 - 02/06/17 07:26 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: jcadmus]
slowfinger Offline
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Loc: Melbourne, Oz
I can carry a bass in a hard case as my 2nd checked luggage, so should not be a problem.

Since posting, I've enrolled in a course where i get to assemble a bass from a kit, under supervision. If it turns out any good I won't need to buy one in NYC ... we'll see.
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#2833952 - 02/07/17 06:25 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: slowfinger]
jcadmus Offline
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Registered: 11/22/05
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Loc: Connecticut
Just don't fly United.
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#2834242 - 02/07/17 11:54 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: jcadmus]
slowfinger Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
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Loc: Melbourne, Oz
Oh, too late. My flight across to LA is with UA.
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#2834282 - 02/08/17 05:53 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: slowfinger]
jcadmus Offline
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Doh! Hopefully, they've learned something from this experience.
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#2837214 - 02/21/17 06:46 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: jcadmus]
Nicklab Offline
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Registered: 12/09/03
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Loc: New Jersey
I compiled this a few years ago when someone over at TB asked a similar question. Here it is with some updates:


MANHATTAN

MIDTOWN
Guitar Center - Times Square - This is supposed to be one of the flagship stores in the chain. They have some special events here, but I've never actually been in the shop... despite working a few blocks away. It's Times Square, which is the biggest tourist trap in NYC. Take that into account and temper your expectations.


CHELSEA
Sam Ash on 34th street & 9th Ave. The Hartke Bass lounge is effectively Sam Ash NYC's bass department, and you may actually run into Larry Hartke in the process. You can expect to see some Sadowsky's and Fender Custom Shop instruments here, along with a few other high end offerings that you won't see in a run of the mill Sam Ash store.

30th Street Guitars (30th btwn 7th & 8th Ave). Great vintage/used gear, albeit a bit pricey. IIRC, this may have been the shop that wound up with Jaco's Bass of Doom, but the details there are murky. Still they have some awesome basses here.

Dan's Chelsea Guitars (West 23rd street). More of a guitar spot, but also good for some cool vintage gear


GREENWICH VILLAGE
Guitar Center (14th street btwn 5th & 6th Ave). The best bass inventory I've ever seen at any Guitar Center, and they've got a vintage room.

Matt Umanov Guitars (Bleecker Street). Cool vintage & new stock, and it's right across the street from John's, one of the best pizza places in New York.

Carmine Street Guitars - Rick Kelly is the guy who runs this place. He's made some amazing instruments for some of NYC's rock royalty. And he's got a series of instruments (including basses) which are made from reclaimed timbers. Some of that wood has come from historic New York buildings, and some of it dates back to the mid 19th century.


EAST VILLAGE
Rivington Street Guitars (East 4th st, NOT RIVINGTON ST). I've only ever seen these guys at some guitar shows, but I've never been in the store. They're much more about vintage than modern instruments.


SOHO
Rudy's Soho (461 Broome Street) Rudy's was one of the legendary spots on West 48th Street, but they've closed the original shop and moved down here. I haven't been there yet, but the original Rudy's was one of the places where you could always find a great high end instrument.


LOWER MANHATTAN
Ludlow Guitars (on Front St. near South Street Seaport) Effects pedal heaven. Some modern Fenders & Aguilar amp gear. But this store is geared a little more towards guitar players. I haven't been here since they moved from the East Village, but this is one of the cooler spots in Manhattan.




QUEENS
Sadowsky shop (Long Island City). I haven't actually paid the Sadowsky shop a visit since they were still in Midtown Manhattan in the late 90's. But Roger & crew are very accomodating, even if you're just there to get one of their awesome preamps.




BROOKLYN
Main Drag Music (Williamsburg). It's pretty much all vintage stock here, with some very cool offerings.

Southside Guitars (Williamsburg). Great vintage offerings. They also deal in some modern gear (Nash). Very cool guys to deal with.

Fodera Shop - While they're not an instrument store, any time I've run into Joey Lauricella of Fodera he has been kind enough to invite me to come check out the shop.
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#2837404 - 02/21/17 05:59 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: Nicklab]
butcherNburn Offline
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Nicklab, nice list. It's a shame the tax in NYC is a killer. The jewelry shops used to get by that by sending the box out of state, avoiding the sales tax, and the customer taking the item that day. (ssshhhhhh, no one is supposed to know)

I'm pretty close to GC in Times Square too, I wouldn't step in the place unless I was truly desperate. Perhaps I'll think about it the next time they're predicting another snowpocalypse when there's few people there and they have little means of escape.
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#2837549 - 02/22/17 09:39 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: butcherNburn]
jcadmus Offline
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It's kind of a shame 48th Street "Music Row" is gone. I walked through there last year and it was a ghost town. The only thing missing from the picture was tumbleweeds.
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#2838040 - 02/24/17 12:30 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: jcadmus]
Nicklab Offline
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Blame Sam Ash, along with rising real estate costs in Midtown. I remember 48th Street in the 90's, and I think 'We Buy Guitars' was still there, as was 48th Street Custom. After the two of those shops left things started the downward spiral, albeit over the course of 15 years.

IIRC, the Hard Rock is looking to build one of their hotels on 48th Street. But the neighborhood has changed. It's incredibly corporate now, and it's right off Times Square which has turned into some ridiculously lit Disney spectacle. 48th Street served working session musicians, Broadways pit musicians and some visiting rock stars. And that's because the theaters were nearby, as were some of the more notable recording studios. The Brill building is only a block or two away, as well.

Now the music business is spread out across the city. The pit musicians are still there, but a lot of the studios and session work are gone. The labels do much more business in L.A. And the musicians live more often downtown or in Brooklyn. The demise of 48th street just followed the business.
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#2839364 - 03/03/17 08:01 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: Nicklab]
_Sweet Willie_ Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nicklab
I compiled this a few years ago when someone over at TB asked a similar question...


Terrific list. Not all are good for finding a modestly priced bass.

And, yes, as noted earlier, NYC sales tax is a bear, so weigh that against the relative cost for the same instrument abroad.
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#2839368 - 03/03/17 08:04 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: Nicklab]
_Sweet Willie_ Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nicklab
Now the music business is spread out across the city. The pit musicians are still there, but a lot of the studios and session work are gone. The labels do much more business in L.A. And the musicians live more often downtown or in Brooklyn. The demise of 48th street just followed the business.


And there are a ton of jazz guys who live in the NJ 'burbs of NYC...e.g., drummers Billy Drummond and Lenny White, guitarist Dave Stryker, and others.
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#2840055 - 03/06/17 03:25 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: _Sweet Willie_]
Nicklab Offline
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Originally Posted By: _Sweet Willie_
Originally Posted By: Nicklab
I compiled this a few years ago when someone over at TB asked a similar question...


Terrific list. Not all are good for finding a modestly priced bass.


Slight oversight on my part. wink
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#2841260 - 03/12/17 09:37 PM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: Nicklab]
slowfinger Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 454
Loc: Melbourne, Oz
Thanks for the list Nick - I've got time to look around so will check out some of those.
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#2843334 - 03/21/17 04:22 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: slowfinger]
slowfinger Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 454
Loc: Melbourne, Oz
Over the last few weeks I've been attending a saturday afternoon course at a 'Neighbourhood House' (or community centre) building a bass from a kit. I finished it last weekend and I'm quite happy with it. I'll still have a look around though.

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#2843371 - 03/21/17 07:10 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: slowfinger]
Danzilla Offline
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Well done! It's always nice to be able to say, "I made THAT!"
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#2846596 - 04/03/17 07:18 AM Re: Good place to buy a bass in NYC? [Re: slowfinger]
Nicklab Offline
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Registered: 12/09/03
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Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: slowfinger
Over the last few weeks I've been attending a saturday afternoon course at a 'Neighbourhood House' (or community centre) building a bass from a kit. I finished it last weekend and I'm quite happy with it. I'll still have a look around though.







It definitely is a lot of fun to undertake a project like this. I documented my first project bass build way back when, and I continue to love playing that instrument. A big part of the appeal for me is the time and effort I took in building it, but it also helps that it plays really well and sounds great!
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