Originally Posted by Matt Ides
Steve, they still have there place in the bass ladder of life. As Crow pointed out Engels were the only option for most of us when got our first affordable/starter bass.
A Kay was the only affordable option my family could afford decades ago. That was then; this is now. IMO, there are so many superior options available today that virtually every newbie would be better served by casting Engels off from any rung of the bass ladder. I can think of no aspect of the design or sound of an Engel that is up to the level of, say, an entry-level or comparable Shen. In addition, there are other fine options as well. I know that Engels have some devotees. To each his own.
Originally Posted by will33
Do the skinny necks cause you to want to grasp them more with your hand rather than use body leverage to finger notes, or cause bad habits that don't transfer well to "proper" necks?
Yes, they lead to the baseball-bat hold because the left-hand gets fatigued when you try to maintain the proper "claw" on the neck.
Originally Posted by KUNGfuSHERIFF
Not to mention that for a lot of us, Engels/Kays are THE SOUND for some genres.
This is, perhaps, the exception. That is, when an experienced player makes the choice based on a niche. Indeed, for some genres, a Kay or Engel is just the ticket, sort of in the way that a rusted out '55 Buick is far more desirable in a demolition derby than is the Maserati GranTurismo I mentioned above.
That's not really meant to be insulting. It's the lack of refinement of the sound of Kays/Engels that can make them perfect for creating the "thump" that fits so well into some genres.