My new Thompson RM-100
I just received my new RM-100 from Steve at String Emporium and wanted to summarize the experience, and the bass.
I am new to upright (been playing EB for many years) and have been renting for the past 6 months to see if I should take the plunge to all upright all the time.
I rented the bottom end Strunal, an Eastman VB80 and an Eastman VB95 from Long&McQuade (canadian music chain). They all came with a "factory setup" and were all pretty difficult to play and somehow didn't do it for me. To put it in perspective, the E string on one of the Eastmans had over 15mm+ of action, and the nut on the Strunal was unbearably high.
I decided (on faith and reviews) that the RM-100 would at least have a top notch setup and should in theory sound quite good, that being said, it's quite the leap of faith to hand over 1.5K to get a fragile piece of wood shipped from Arizona to Alberta!
Turns out I need not have worried as the bass sounds really great, plays very easily, and looks great as well. I opted for the oil varnish finish and it looks great! It is somehow matte compared to the glaring finish on the Eastmans and is a nice brown (the EastmanVB80 and Strunal are very ORANGE (not my cup of tea)). The tuning machines are also obviously durable, everything about the bass seems well thought out, built to last, and nicely finished.
Dealing with Steve was great, everything worked really well and smoothly, and the bass was packed super well for shipping. I opted for the "Tuff-Bag" option and would highly recommend this as well, this thing is really padded and built to last unlike the little stock bags that came with my rentals. I suspect it also doesn't hurt to have your bass packed in a well padded bag for air freight.
That's it... now it's time to get back to practicing...