I know this is an old thread, but I can't help notice the amount of views and want to throw my 2 cents in.
I agree with everything Cletusaz said in his posts about buying a bass, but
when I first thought of playing upright 6 years ago there was NO WAY I could afford "an affordable
entry level bass". $500 seemed to much to pay for an instrument that I knew nothing about, let alone
purchasing an Engelhardt or Kay. Especially when I had no Idea whether I would like playing it.
It's a lot of money to lay out for, let's face it, for an experiment.
So I spent a year searching for something I could afford. I finally found a cheap bass at a pawn shop for $500.
and played it for 2 years. I later came across a Cremona bass at HB woodsongs in Boulder on consignment.
for $575 and liked it much better than the one I had been playing. So I bought that and sold my old one on
craigslist. I've been playing the Cremona for several years now and like it so much, I spent $300 on strings,
had a new bridge made, and had it set up. ( I spent more on strings and setting it up etc. than the original cost)
There is no getting around you get what you pay for, but there is nothing like the joy of making music. It served me well to buy the cheapest bass I could which was all I could afford. It got me started playing bluegrass. I would not trade that for the world.
If looking for a bass, ask a bass player near you to help you look, and get advise. They might even come look and play an instrument you've found and give you advise on it. But always remember to reflect on "how if feels when YOU play it". Your perfect instrument may be very different from others.
nice to have a forum I can rant in. I just wanted those on a budget to know that you do not have to spend a lot
of money to have fun playing bass.