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Carved orchestra bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Cursivestrfkr, Dec 15, 2012.


  1. Cursivestrfkr

    Cursivestrfkr

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    I have the opportunity to buy a bass but its a carved, can someone compare me a carved bass to a plywood bass?
    Thanks
     
  2. Dave Irwin

    Dave Irwin

    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    Alexandria, Ohio
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    Welcome to TB!

    It's worth going through the Stickies.

    Generally speaking, a carved bass would be considered preferable for orchestral playing, assuming all of the caveats that one can imagine about the overall quality and state of repair that the instrument is in. If at all possible, you should have a luthier take a look at the bass before buying. He or she might recommend some repairs that you can figure into your purchase cost, and it's usually worth making sure that any bass is in the best shape that it can be in.

    I own both. Having played several basses, I would feel confident saying that a ply bass has a distinctive sound. Playing arco, the carved bass is first and foremost noticeably louder, but also has a more "complex" tone, which probably translates into having a broader spectrum of harmonics.

    Depending on where you're at in life, carved basses have some practical negatives having to do with how they hold up under adverse conditions. A ply bass won't split, and will handle humidity changes better than carved. This could be an issue if you are (for instance) taking your bass in and out of an older building that doesn't have decent humidity control, such as most older school buildings in the Midwest.
     
  4. Cursivestrfkr

    Cursivestrfkr

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    well I am in highschool and i am aiming for a future with the double bass. I've been playing for five years, and the bass i play at school is plywood so i sort of have an idea of ply
     
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  6. chuck3

    chuck3

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn & Rhinebeck NY
    that's great. I'm not a pro but I'm a decent amateur. I have an Upton plywood and an Upton hybrid (carved top). I don't have a full carved so full disclosure on that.

    Still, the two basses are noticeably different. The ply is a great bass in its own right, with a big, warm tone, and it seems to be indifferent to humidity etc. The hybrid/carved-top has a much more focused sound (to me it's very noticeable) but is also a more sensitive instrument in terms of responding to humidity etc. It also is not quite as "warm," for want of a better term, than the ply. But I would say it's more "musical."

    I use the ply for rock, blues and bluegrass. I use the hybrid/carved top for jazz. I love classical music but I don't play it in any organized way as my reading and bowing chops are not quite there.

    hope any of that is of use.
     
  7. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    All carved basses are not equal. Can you tell us more about the instrument you're considering?
     
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

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    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Time for me to post this yet again:
     
  9. swervy jervy

    swervy jervy Supporting Member

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    Jan 13, 2012
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    I declehhh today... CONK-id DAY!
     
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    It's wearing thin-- especially in the wrong thread. :)
     

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