Double Basses come in all shapes, sizes, colours - and prices. But how do you really know what you should be getting for your budgeted price range? This guide will give you a general overview of the standards for double basses within each price range and offers a good starting point for finding a double bass that best suits your needs. Every double bass is different, and you should ideally look for the best value-for-money instrument placed within your budget.
If you’re brand new to double bass, we have lots of resources to help you get started, right here on our blog. We’d recommend having a read of our size guide to see which size may suit you best. We offer double basses in all the different sizes and prices to ensure you can find the perfect fit.
If you’re not sure if you’re ready to buy yet, why not try a rental double bass before committing to a purchase? At Simply for Strings, we also offer competitively priced short term and long term double bass rentals. Learn more about our rental double basses here.
These instruments are a fantastic way to start your musical journey (especially if purchased from a reputable music store!) At this price, you’re looking at an entry-level or beginner instrument that is typically factory-made in China. The basic structure of these double basses will be well-made, but they come ‘out of the box’ with no adjustments. You should expect most instruments in this price range to be constructed using a combination of ply, laminate and solid tonewoods like maple. These materials ensure affordability but still offer a warm, open tone. On the higher end of this price range, you should be looking for an instrument constructed using mostly tonewoods like spruce and maple, which will offer the instrument a more mature, resonant tone. You should be looking for consistency in the grain, which helps produce a clearer tone. A professional set up service will be required to get things sounding and feeling just right. Learn more about why your string instrument set up is so important here.
At Simply for Strings, we go through a stringent quality assurance process whereby each and every single one of our double basses are not only hand-crafted but also hand-checked before they arrive at the hands of their new owners. With quality you can see, hear, and feel, and having refined the balance between quality, quality and performance, our double basses are timeless and designed to last a lifetime. So whether your budget is $1500 or $6000, we promise we can find your perfect match.
At Simply for Strings, we include a professional set up on all instruments at no extra cost. We also have an on-site workshop where you can book your new double bass in for a service by a professional luthier. We welcome set ups and repairs, no matter where you originally purchased your double bass from.
For instruments in this price range, it is also important that individual parts are included or upgraded.
- Bridge & soundpost - these parts of the double bass must be included, as they are crucial for creating sound. If they have been fitted correctly, you’ll get a clear tone from the instrument.
- Strings - strings should be included with any double bass purchase, but we recommend upgrading the strings on beginner double basses to complement the instrument and give it a better tone.
- Bow - not all accessories are of the same quality, and since a bow is essential to playing the double bass, make sure your new double bass is supplied with a wooden or carbon graphite bow that will help you create a better sound.
- Case - a basic soft case should be included in beginner double bass outfits.
There is a shift in quality when you move to this price range. Double basses in this price range should be crafted using tonewoods only, rather than a combination of ply and tonewoods. Therefore, you should expect a shift in tonal quality and resonance. These double basses are hand-finished and higher quality fittings are used, which further improves the quality of the instrument. The combination of workmanship and fittings gives these instruments a more round, resonant and vibrant tone.
Instruments in this price range are suited for beginners and intermediate players alike. If you’re an adult beginner, this level of double bass will reward your playing (and ears!) for years to come.
Be on the lookout for:
- Upgraded strings - most double basses in this price range will include upgraded strings, which will help improve the tone of the instrument.
- Upgraded bow - some intermediate double basses in this price range will include a higher quality bow to compliment the instrument.
- Bridge - the quality of the bridge of a higher quality - at least an Aubert or Despiau 1-tree or above.
From here, you should expect to see a much higher level of workmanship and expertise going into the crafting of the instrument. All double basses in this price range should be hand-finished for finer detailing and overall, be more refined.
A higher grade of timber is used to create these double basses, and more highly skilled labour is required - resulting in a higher quality of workmanship. You should be looking for a tighter consistency in the grain across the instrument, which helps the tone of the instrument.
You should be looking for a very even grain across the top plate of the instrument. The grain is the natural alignment of fibres in the wood, and can produce a more visually pleasing aesthetic as well as improving the tone and resonance of the instrument. You’ll want to examine not only the grain across the top plate, but the flame of the grain on the back.
Varnish is another consideration in this price range - many modern instruments nowadays are varnished with an antique finish. Be careful to ensure the varnish is of a high quality and isn’t inconsistent in any areas.
In this price range, you’ll generally have to purchase a bow and case separately. It’s generally expected that you’ll have your own preferences for the bow and case, but you can always ask for recommendations from our friendly team of passionate musicians. Browse our Double Bass Bows online or in-store today.
From here, you should expect to see a much higher level again of workmanship and expertise going into the crafting of the instrument. Double Basses in this price range will be constructed using aged tonewoods, which will increase the resonance and vibrancy of the instrument. When selecting a double bass in this price range, you should expect to see professional fittings fitted across the board - an upgraded bridge, professional strings, upgraded tailpiece and high-quality machine heads. You should also consider adding an extension E string to a double bass of this calibre to aide in your orchestral playing.
Stringed instruments are an investment - in your craft, in your creativity and in your passion. So we know that, whether you’re a first-time student or a lifelong enthusiast, hobbyist or professional, we want to make sure you’ve found the perfect fit. At Simply for Strings, we offer a happiness guarantee on every double bass we sell - free return within 30 days of purchase. No questions asked. No fees to be paid. Why? Because finding the right instrument is a bit like finding your soulmate - it can take some time, but when you find the one, life will never be the same.
Of course, choosing a double bass that suits you and your performance needs doesn’t have to be a decision you make all on your own. Here at Simply for Strings, our friendly team consists entirely of musicians who understand the nuances of each different double bass we offer. We can guide you personally through our range, demonstrate double basses for you and help you find your perfect match. Whether it’s over the phone, email or in person, we’d love to hear from you. At Simply for Strings, we offer flexible payment options such as ZipMoney and Afterpay so you can pay off your investment interest-free*.
Get in touch with us today to start your double bass journey.