NGD Cheap Thrills - $54 Bass

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Manodano, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I admit I'm a bottom feeder. I love cheap guitars and I try to keep one or two projects going at all times.
    In that light, I bought one of the cheapest instruments I've ever come across, mainly just to see where our Asian bretheren are cutting the corners, and to give me something to work on.

    This particular bass was listed as "buy it now" for $54 on ebay, and it shipped from a domestic warehouse, and delivered in seven days. There are numerous sites on ebay selling these in various colors - I think they are all posted by the same importer. There's a cheap strat and jazz bass copy as well.

    I bought this thinking that I would pull the frets out and make myself another fretless bass. Honestly, I expected the worst.

    The bass arrived at my office via FedEx on time and unhurt, though single boxed with most of the styrofoam inserts broken up.

    The only flaw of note: One of the pickups arrived unglued from its cover and laying down in its cavity. I simply loosened the strings, removed the bridge, unscrewed the pickup, glued it into the cover, and put it all back together. I raised the pickups, and lowered the action (about a 1/4" from the top of the fret to the bottom of the strings at the 17th fret). A few fret ends needed a little filing. I left the the intonation and the truss rod alone. Even with the stock strings, the bass plays and sounds real good.

    Nice and light basswood body, decent poly finish, good neck, a lot better fretwork than I expected, seemingly OK nut, and surprisingly decent hardware. The fretboard is some cousin of rosewood, and its a little grainy down near the heel, but perfectly smooth up near the nut. The fretboard needs oiling.

    IMG_2186.JPG
    Here's picture of the pickup pre-repair, and the Fenderish bridge.
    IMG_2187.JPG
    The treble side horn seems a little long. The grain on the back of the body is, well, interesting. The picture makes the neck plate look wanky-jawed, but its not. I really like the light weight of this bass, and it has real good sustain:

    IMG_2190.JPG
    The headstock is Fenderish. The neck is smooth with a thin finish, maybe a light oil finish, I dunno.

    IMG_2188.JPG The tuning keys are vintage style, and work just fine: IMG_2191.JPG

    Good stock roundwound strings, I'd say medium gauge, and properly installed. The plastic nut is perfectly functional. Slab fretboard (hell of a slab, in fact) : IMG_2189.JPG

    I played this bass for about two hours today, and I've actually bonded with it as-is. That surprises the hell out of me! Still, I might beef up the bridge, and eventually get a better set of strings. No rush on either thing, though.

    I've owned numerous basses, and still own quite a few, but with my tweaks I think this might be my go-to bass. If you want a bass and don't have one, and enjoy tweaking things a little, I'd recommend grabbing one of these - its a hell of a deal!
     

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  2. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Good stuff, Cheap Thrills bump:

     
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  3. DonM

    DonM Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I was thinking this one.

    image.jpeg
     
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  4. backinit

    backinit Well-Known Member

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    I think it's great.
     
  5. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the excellent review. The tuners look a little wonky, especially the G string, and the grain on the backside is definitely unique. Still, one would be hard pressed to do better than that for a cheap, well playing bass. Enjoy!
     
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  6. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Well-Known Member

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    Can you post a link to these? I looked and haven’t been able to find them. My wife has been wanting to try playing bass and this screams that it may be time to finally buy her one to try. If she likes it I can either upgrade this one or buy her a better one down the line.
     
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  7. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Mine came from “Fastbuy Inc” but there are a number of “sellers” sending from the same warehouse locations, so I figure they are all the same importer.

    Look for the ads offering the bass in multiple colors.

    The ebay listings do come and go, appear under multiple seller names, and the prices creep up as their stock depletes, but this deal reappears when a new container comes in. I tracked the
    Listings for about three months before getting weak and pulling the trigger.
     
  8. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You’re right, that tuner is wonky. I didn’t notice, but I felt it when I tuned the bass. Easy fix, though.
     
  9. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    I originally said it looked like the G, but upon closer inspection it looks like it's actually the D that is out of line with both the tuner above and below.
     
  10. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    really impressive. Top grain is decent and at least not boring. The back is wild. I have a 20$ fretless that I actualy prefer to many other basses. IT had the frets "RIPPED " out, the body actually, a solid plastic type resin and the PG is cardboard but I like it. It has pennies glued to parts of it. pre'86 tone pennies.
     
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  11. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Looks pretty good for $54. Do they have any P/Js?

    BTW, Fender-style bass pickup covers are not typically glued on. They're meant to be removeable. The springs on the height adjustment screws keep the pickup pressed up against the cover when it's in the bass.
     
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  12. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    The stock el-cheapo pickups are glued to the covers. There was some dried glue evident on the cover when I pulled it out. I used a thin smear of E6000 adhesive to attach the pickup to the pickup cover so I can get it off when needed. The Asian covers have square angular corners, not rounded corners like a real Fender P-Bass pickup.

    I also glued a piece of foam (cut from a pool noodle) to the cavity under both pickups to counteract the springs and maybe dampen the pickup a little. The cavity is a lot deeper than the pickup.

    There are Jazz Bass copies all over ebay for around $80. My pal down the street has one of the Jazz Bass copies and I like it a lot. I haven't seen cheap P/Js on ebay - consider the $109 Rogue from Musicians Friend if you want that.

    The old hillbillies around here did that. Where are the pennies glued on your bass? PICS!

    By all means, get her one of these! You don't have to tell her how cheap it was! I wish my wife played bass! Free advice (same wife for 40 years): Find her another teacher.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  13. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it occurred to me after I wrote that message that there was probably some kind of sign that they had been glued in (it was a hasty post while on a break). Plus, the other pickup would have been glued in too... Plus, they're Asian pickups.... Der.

    Meh... I'm just trying to sell myself something. I have a PJ project in mind, and I'm getting tired of the bad case of "no basses" that Rondo seems to have been suffering from for a while.

    Every time I go to the bass page, I see the same short-sclae PJs and a bunch of BASS UKES! Really... Who wants to play a bass ukulele?? I'm a bassist and I don't want to play a bass ukulele! Then there's the pointy, multi-scale, multi-string, fake boo-teek monstrosities that apparently everybody wants except me... I was hoping some new basses would arrive in the last couple of shipments, but it doesn't look like Kurt's too concerned about replenishing that stock.

    The thing is; I like SX basses.... A lot... The quality is on par with (if not better than) MIM Fender, and that quality has been consistent over the last three SX basses I've bought - several years apart. I'm afraid I might be disappointed if I go even cheaper than that. :)
     
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  14. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I understand perfectly,

    IMGP3536a.jpg [/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  15. jhull54

    jhull54 Well-Known Member

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    Man, that's a great deal all day long, every day. Congrats on a great deal, and as long as it plays and sounds great, fantastic!
     

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