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The Instrument Connection - Redondo Beach, CA

To continue his passion for high-end bass gear that began as a teenager, bassist Lou Laurenti established The Instrument Connection (T.I.C.) in 2005. From his privately-owned and operated showroom, customers have the opportunity to check out both traditional and exotic works of art which Laurenti believes to be the finest high-end basses found anywhere today. T.I.C. works in conjunction with some of the most highly-regarded luthiers, and T.I.C.'s mission is to provide its customers with dedicated personal service and worldwide shipment of products at competitive prices. Along with maintaining a second-to-none bass inventory to choose from, T.I.C. is also the authorized dealer of premier sound equipment and accessories. Whatever your needs might be, T.I.C. is available to personally assist you in making the most informed decision in order to best suit your bass-playing goals.

What led you to founding a high-end bass shop?

I have been a bass player since my late teenage years. I have always loved music and the bass. As my musical ear developed, I started listening to more fusion and all the bass players that came from the fusion world including Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke. Not only did my ear seek more sounds, my love for the bass guitar itself expanded, and as bass players, we want to know what bass a great player is using to capture a great sound.

As a young teen, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at a small music store called King James Music in Queens, New York. The store was managed by Joey Lauricella, now co-owner of Fodera Basses, and Roger Fiorentino. I became great friends with Joey and Roger. In fact, we are still friends today. All we did was talk about bass. While spending a lot of time in that store, I had the opportunity to learn about and play some high-end basses of that time such as Alembics, Carl Thompson's, and a few others.

Since that time, I learned to love and appreciate high-end basses. I'm a firm believer in the quality and the superior workmanship that goes into making high-end basses. I truly believe they are superior to most factory-made basses, but that is not to take anything away from some factory made basses. I know that most of these high-end basses are quite costly, but I believe you are much better off spending a lot more money on a superior bass that you will have for a lifetime as opposed to spending the same amount of money purchasing several cheaper basses and not liking them.

Did you decide to place the primary focus of your business on high-end bass gear since so many other retailers already sell inexpensive equipment?

No. I wanted to sell high-end basses regardless of what other retailers were selling, but I'm aware that most retailers are selling inexpensive equipment.

Which product lines do you sell?

I carry Fodera, M-Bass, Roscoe, Manne, Mike Lull, Brubaker, and Epifani.

Are there certain things you look for when deciding which brands to carry?

I try to really research the makers of the equipment prior to accepting a dealership. I try to play all the basses and find out what they are using when building a bass. I speak extensively with the luthier and find out what makes him tick to see if we are a match. I also believe in having not only a business relationship with the luthier but a friendship as well.

How can customers check out the instruments you have in stock?

Customers can setup an appointment to come by my studio and play the basses they want.

Which of your product lines tend to be the most popular?

All the products that I have chosen to sell move well. I offer a wide variety of gear, and I'm always researching new lines.

Have you found similarities amongst some of the things that your customers typically request?

Many customers are just discovering high-end basses so they are not that familiar with all the different types of woods that are available. I try to educate them on that topic, and it does seem that 5-string basses have captured the market.

If someone is looking for a particular sound, do you offer consultation on which basses might suit their needs best?

I only want what's best for the customer and what they are looking for. I want them to be happy with their purchase and the sound they are trying to get. I also want them to be friends of T.I.C. I don't just try to sell a bass. Don't forget, I'm a player who loves basses so I know what it is like to look for a bass.

How long is the average waiting period on the delivery of a custom-built instrument, if you don't have a specific bass available to purchase directly from your showroom?

It all depends on the builder. Some of our manufacturers are really backed up so the wait can be a long one. Some custom basses can be built in as little as a few months or so. I always tell customers that they aren't only purchasing a bass. It's a work of art and an investment of a lifetime.

Besides basses and amps, do you offer any accessories?

I offer strings from La Bella and Fodera.

Can you provide repair work on the instruments you sell?

Yes. If a bass that I sell requires any type of work, I send it back to the person who built it because there is no one that knows more about that particular bass than the person who made it. I also have a list of local repair persons.

Does much of your business come through the form of internet sales?

Most of my business comes from good old word of mouth. I have lots of happy customers who refer others to me, but I do receive a lot of internet inquiries as well.

Contact Information

The Instrument Connection
Hours: By Appointment
Phone: 310.792.9218
Web Site:

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