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#61 Tom Brookes Music

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 09:36 PM

I like. Bass Direct. Mark is a certain breed of bassist, very much of the modern school of thought RE amps etc and only wants to stock stuff that he'd be happy to own and play, which is fine by me. I'm currently gassing for a USA Deluxe Jazz so obviously wouldn't go to Bass Direct for it, but it'd be the first place I'd look if I were to get a new amp. He's a really friendly guy, but more importantly is just incredibly passionate about his business. For me, the bass playing community is a better place having Bass Direct as part of it.

As a side note, one of the staff in there the last time that I visited was a bit of a tit!

#62 leftybassman392

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 05:53 PM

Slightly OT (with apologies) but it may be worth mentioning that Alex doesn't work at The Gallery any more. I took some basses in for them to sell a couple of months ago and they had some kid in who was - what can I say - on quite a steep learning curve. I'm sure he'll be fine eventually but at that time he seemed very new to that line of work.

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#63 wombatboter

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 09:43 PM

Sorry to bump this topic but I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the service Mark supplies..
Bought some Bergantino speakers from him a while ago and tonight I noticed that one of the tweeters cracked..
He gave me excellent help and feedback at 9.30 pm and even just now when a lot of people are sleeping and don't answer mails he responded quickly.
It turned out to be the amp instead of the Bergantino's (they are so good) but I am really glad with people like Mark who are available when help is needed...I had send an email to Bergantino too and Jim Bergantino also responded within the hour... Great service !

#64 NancyJohnson

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:00 AM

I'll just chip in here. I have a Lull incoming and have been dealing with Mark via email for a couple of months and phone for the last week or two. Correspondence has always been quick and concise ...there's been no steerage towards a different bass.

The only thing I would say is that I am feeling a little like a kid before Christmas at the moment; the Lull apparently just needed bolting together and would be available 'in two weeks', but at the moment I don't know whether the bass is even en route from the US (in theory we're looking at delivery next week). It's a minor thing I know, but I don't want to feel like I'm hassling BD unnecessarily.




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#65 Billy Apple

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:05 AM

I think for the money you're giving them you're free to hassle away.
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#66 NancyJohnson

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 09:29 AM

Nah, not in my nature. It'll be here soon enough.

When it's here, we'll sort out a nerdy evening thing at mine.
P
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#67 spectoremg

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 08:50 PM

I was in there last week. What does Mark look like?

#68 fretmeister

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 09:03 PM

http://www.cagedocta...rk_stickley.jpg

Like that.

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#69 spectoremg

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 09:14 PM

Thanks.

#70 spectoremg

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 07:03 AM

Sorry to report that he was ever so slightly patronising about string tensions. And further to previous comments the 'lad' in there didn't seem to have much of a clue. I'm guessing from the amount of music shops I've seen disappear its a very tough business - you need to be polite with well trained staff.

#71 gary mac

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 07:30 AM

View Postspectoremg, on 13 October 2015 - 07:03 AM, said:

Sorry to report that he was ever so slightly patronising about string tensions. And further to previous comments the 'lad' in there didn't seem to have much of a clue. I'm guessing from the amount of music shops I've seen disappear its a very tough business - you need to be polite with well trained staff.

Think he can maybe get a bit over enthusiastic for some :)

Our very own Marcus Bell is a staff member, well he was when I paid a visit.

#72 Sean

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 07:58 AM

I haven't been there for since 2010 as I'm still very happy with what the basses I bought at the time however my buying experiences and correspondence with Mark were always excellent. People do react differently to different people and I liked the no nonsense opinion. We disagreed on the sound of big valve amps and that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a big valve monster and Class D lightweight and that's great, it's normal, healthy debate, it's not sales BS. If I ever buy another high end instrument I'd definitely check out .


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#73 chevy-stu

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:13 AM

I went there to check out a lightweight D class amp/twin 1x12's options at BD about 2 or 3 years ago, and found Mark's opinion of amps completely at odds with mine, but he had good stock and was friendly and helpful, and most importantly he did stock other stuff I did like and subsequently buy.
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#74 CamdenRob

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:27 AM

What I find the most bizarre and amusing about that attitude is a seeming inability to believe that different people might like different things...

Personally I wouldn't buy a ric but that doesn't make them crap... it just means they are built for a different kind of player. if someone came to me saying they we're a traditional P bass through SVT guy looking for a lightweight rig, I would suggest an Aguilar, Orange or Ashdown setup. I wouldn't tell them that their sound was crap and they should go out and buy a Status bass and GK rig instead.

I met Mark at the London Bass show a couple of years back and we got chatting about basses, he then told me totally straight faced that I should cancel my Wal order and buy a Roscoe instead... I still have a little chuckle about it every time I remember.

Good range of stock though and alot of stuff not available elsewhere.
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#75 chris_b

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:37 AM

I bought my first Berg cabs off Mark before he owned the shop and I've always found him to be helpful and knowledgeable.

I used to drop in on the way to gigs. I haven't been that way for a couple of years and can feel a visit coming on.

I believe selling Roscoe's is what started him with the shop. They are excellent basses and he sells them, so why would he not suggest an alternative?

Generally people don't try it on with me. All you have to do is listen, smile and say OK or no thanks.

Sometimes someone comes up with a better idea, so I always listen.
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#76 colgraff

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:48 AM

I've got on well with both the Gallery and Bass Direct. The young chap I dealt with in the Gallery was very pleasant and helpful, as have been all in Bass Direct, although Mark can be a little forceful if he disagrees with what you want. Up to a point advice is useful, but he can overdo it. I once had to buy something from The Gallery because Mark was effectively refusing to sell it to me!
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#77 chris_b

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:56 AM

That's an odd situation to find yourself in.

I haven't experienced anything like that.
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#78 SolomonHelsing

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:07 AM

Hmmm maybe I should record "I'm buying THAT dingwall" and have it ready to put on repeat on my phone speaker.

#79 mattbass6

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 11:10 AM

I've been buying basses from Mark and Bass Direct for years. I actually think he owes me shares in the company, now. I have to say that Mark has become a good friend and I enjoy catching up and chatting with him. I have had nothing but amazing, friendly and speedy service. He's always been fair, open and honest. I don't always agree with his opinions but I feel he's just trying to get people to see something that might not have been on their radar when going to buy new gear. I know that if I have an eye on something, I'll get a very honest opinion as to whether it would suit me and the type of music I play because, he knows what I like / dislike. That doesn't mean I'll always listen but, I will take it on board. Anyway, he'll always have my business and I would highly recommend Mark and Bass Direct to anyone. I also agree with a lot of comments here, phone ahead and if you can, deal with Mark specifically plus, take a credit card with a big spend limit :)

PS I think The Bass Gallery is a wonderful place too. The only reason I don't go there much is simply because of its location and lack of convenient parking. Martin and Alex were always amazing to deal with. We are lucky, as players, to have so many amazing places to indulge in our passion :)
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#80 scannerman

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 05:10 PM

You can always tell people who spend too much money there, their basschat signature is full of Dingwall's, Skjold's, Genz Benz & Vanderkley's.....oooops
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#81 Billy Apple

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 05:17 PM

I'm going to stick up for the lads in the shop here. I've dealt with Marcus a good few times and find him to be spot on. Nice lad as far as I'm concerned. I spoke to him on the phone today and I've no complaints.

I sometimes wonder just how much we expect from people and how we justify those expectations.
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#82 Chiliwailer

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:22 PM

Bought two Lull's from Mark and the guys at the shop, very happy with my basses and very happy with the all round service, including the many emails to Mark before my purchases.

BTW, they just got some lovely new Lull's in stock....



#83 LemonCello

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:26 PM

I've bought a few basses from Mark over the years including a Vigier Excess (which I subsequently decided I didn't like and let go), and an astonishingly minty '79 Precision (which I subsequently.....you get the picture. I recently went back for a lovely P/J which was advertised as a US. Played it, loved it, bought it. After getting it home and 'showing it off' on here (as you do), one erudite gentleman informed me that Fender hadn't made an active US P/J since the early '80's. Got on the phone to Mark who told me he'd done some research after taking it in and learned it might be a bitsa. Advert wasn't changed however and still said US. I e mailed Fender customer relations (didn't expect a response), but got one in less than 48 hours. Turns out the neck on my bass (which is US) left the factory on an Am Stnd. Only later was that neck 'aquainted' with what has to be a Mex body. Back on the phone to Mark who said if I wasn't satisfied I could take it back and get a full refund. I wanted to keep the bass as it's the best Fender I've played by far so he gave me some money back. Two points to make 1. Mark should have changed the Ad when he discovered it was probably a Bitsa but chose not too - draw your own conclusions about that and 2. I'm happy that I have a cracking Bass with some money back.
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#84 dmccombe7

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 04:00 PM

I recently drove 300miles down to Bass Direct and the young lad I believe is Marcus was very helpful. Mark knew I was coming down that day however he was tied up on a phone conversation when I walked in. Marcus asked me roughly what I was looking for and brought down every bass I suggested and laid them out on stands for me. Plugged in a headphone set and left me to it. After a while he came back thru and asked how I was getting on. Gave me his experience and views on the basses I was looking at. Seemed surprised when I said I didn't like the Spector bass. We talked a little more and he left me to it again. I eventually narrowed it down to either Dingwall Combustion or NG2. Marcus talked over what he thought were the main differences and uses for each and we more or less agreed on that. He asked me what type of music I was playing and he thought the NG2 would suit better. At that point Mark came thru and was as nice as nine-pence. You couldn't get a better host. We talked a while and he more or less repeated Marcus view on the 2 basses and we then plugged into a Vanderkley amp and cab for the final decision. I made my mind up that the NG2 was more what I was looking for altho playability was even on both. We talked a bit about the other basses in stock and all in all I would have to say and excellent experience. I enjoyed their company for couple of hrs and left with my NG2. Another 300 mile drive home and I would have to say I would do it again. Very helpful without being over-powering. I did also discuss various amps I was using and Mark voiced some opinions that I was already aware of about amp voicing. He obviously prefers the clean hi-fi amps but fully understood my choice of either Markbass Combo or Ampeg SVT4 with Berg HT322 cab. I would have to say that everyone should visit Bass Direct once in their life. Great experience just to look around even if not buying. Dave

Edited by dmccombe7, 15 October 2015 - 04:01 PM.

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#85 visog

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 07:30 PM

So I was in the market for a bass distortion... tried out the range. Marcus set them up and Mark looked over proceedings. Great range to try.. EBS and Darkglass notably. I think Mark is a prickly fish if you go in with a load of old school Fender mojo baloney. He's definitely from the new world of bass which is what are you wanting to do... here's the tools to do it... And there's no better choice in the UK for high end except perhaps the Gallery - close call.

All that said, he's never gonna shift that gold sparkle Mayones bass unless Prince comes in the store...

#86 skychaserhigh

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 07:14 AM

He called my favorite P bass an 'antique' when I was there ! His customer service was excellent though , my credit card wouldn't go through for some reason but let me take the vanderkley cab home anyway. He rang me the next day to say he'd sorted the payment . I was also able to try as much gear as I needed when there and not pushy at all , well recommended.

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 07:31 AM

View Postskychaserhigh, on 16 October 2015 - 07:14 AM, said:

my credit card wouldn't go through for some reason but let me take the vanderkley cab home anyway

Now that's good service!
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#88 skychaserhigh

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 07:51 AM

Indeed it was ! He definitely went the extra mile there which helps build up customer trust.

#89 DavidMcKay

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 08:03 AM

View Postskychaserhigh, on 16 October 2015 - 07:14 AM, said:

He called my favorite P bass an 'antique' when I was there!

I like this guy and I've never met him! Sounds like there is a bit of a Fawlty Towers era John Cleese in his character. Just can't help mentioning the war!

I have added a visit to Bass Direct to my bucket list.

#90 JTUK

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 08:28 AM

View Postvisog, on 15 October 2015 - 07:30 PM, said:

So I was in the market for a bass distortion... tried out the range. Marcus set them up and Mark looked over proceedings. Great range to try.. EBS and Darkglass notably. I think Mark is a prickly fish if you go in with a load of old school Fender mojo baloney. He's definitely from the new world of bass which is what are you wanting to do... here's the tools to do it... And there's no better choice in the UK for high end except perhaps the Gallery - close call.

All that said, he's never gonna shift that gold sparkle Mayones bass unless Prince comes in the store...

I'd be pretty sure you could add BassGear to that..

Edited by JTUK, 16 October 2015 - 08:29 AM.






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