first double bass, are these two only suitable for bonfire wood?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by renfrew, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. renfrew


    Jan 7, 2013
    Hello fello bassists,

    I fell in love with double bass after watching local jazz and blues bands and want a good all rounder, they are both similar price but appear to be rather different. Most notable is the varnished Primavera P50 Laminate Double Bass and the Canadian maple Archer Double Bass

    Although Im only young I am 6ft so I presume I need a standard 3/4 size

    1) which one do you rate as the better double bass going off the specs?
    2) and the Primavera states its a Gamba design but I do not see this in the picture?

    Body: Hand carved, Atelier built
    Top: Hand carved select Canadian spruce
    Back: Flamed select two-piece Canadian maple with matching ribs and scroll
    Finish: Hand applied oil in orange-brown with slight antiquing
    Bridge: Adjustable, Maple, 3 piece construction
    Neck: Maple with hardwood fingerboard
    Tuning Plate: Brass engraved with nickel winders
    Spike: Adjustable

    Type: German style, octagonal pernambuco bow with horsehair
    Adjuster: Ebony with two nickel bands
    Lapping: Nickel silver with leather thumbpiece
    Frog: Fully mounted and lined round heel ebony with abalone pearl eye
    Tip: Bone

    Primavera P50 Laminate Double Bass 3/4 Outfit (Gamba Design) — an entry level three-quarter size double bass designed for beginners and students. Comes complete with a
    The back and ribs are constructed from highly figured maple (laminate), with a spruce laminate table. This double bass is finished in a lightly shaded, amber brown varnish. The sound and style will fit most musical genres - whether played in an orchestra, or as part of a jazz ensemble or big band.

    Included Accessories:
    Primavera Bow (with half-mounted ebony frog)
    Padded Cover (with carrying straps)

    Ebony fingerboard with ebony top-nut
    Chrome-plated individual machine heads
    Metal alloy tailpiece
    Height adjusters allow for different playing styles

    Any advice would be much appreciated, I hope you can help me not buy a stinker!

    I also look forward to replying to talkbass posts.



    Attached Files:

  2. Rigel42


    Mar 24, 2009
    Naples, FL
  3. Marial

    Marial Synthlandia Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    Stay way away from any bass that doesn't have an ebony (or at least rosewood) fingerboard. This comes from unpleasant personal experience. You'll have a hard time finding anyone to work on it otherwise.
  4. Hi, Ian

    Where are you located and what is your budget? You can do better than either of those...things.
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  6. renfrew


    Jan 7, 2013
    Thank you for the advice gentlemen.

    Im not sure I can get a Christopher 100 in the UK but I shall have a good google for it.

    Thanks for the rosewood fingerboard tip. I think I shall have to accept a bass that will have some flaws for less than $1600. The Archer one does seem to have better reviews and I am sure the vanish on the Primavera will not help with the sound?

    Thanks again
  7. renfrew


    Jan 7, 2013

    The UK and around $1600

    I liked the sound of this double bass,
  8. renfrew


    Jan 7, 2013
  9. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Add a zero to the end of your price range and you might be getting close to what one of the basses in the video go for (or close to half?).
  10. There ya go, Ian. That is a good place to start. If you are able to go and play some basses, or even better, rent one for a few months, that will begin to lead you down a road. If you do rent one and get some lessons, you will get some chops together so when you do go and buy a bass, you will have a foundation to be able to discern what bass you would like in your price range based on personal taste (feel, sound, vibe).
  11. Thomann=Strunal, from what I understand. I had the cheapest Strunal with an ebony fingerboard, and it was a pretty good bass. Robust, made in the Czech Republic in a factory that has been making stringed instruments for decades. The hardware was awful but can be replaced for a nominal cost later on.
  12. renfrew


    Jan 7, 2013
    Thank you Champagne, I know for looks I do prefer the matt finish. I also like a punch sound which isn't to bright.

    It appears that the thomann 33 is the best selling double bass on thomann's site


    it certainly sounds nice on the sound clips available on the website. Shame that the Christopher series does not have sound clips or more images.

    Can either of you guys tell me what ...
    flat carved maple back means? do that mean the back is completely flat?
    also is a round ebony fingerboard pretty good?

    Sorry to ask such simple questions, I really appreciate your time.

  13. renfrew


    Jan 7, 2013
    the guys bass in the youtube clip is a Chris Threlkeld. Appears to be an american double bass, it sounds lush

  14. It is a flat back. No belly. I have no idea why they would say the back is carved. Everything I have known about flat back basses are they are flat slabs of wood glued together with added cross bracing. I had a flat back for a while and I loved that bass.

    Fingerboards come in round and beveled. I think most today will be round but I can be wrong. The beveled boards permit more room for the E-string to vibrate.
  15. uprightben


    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    When they say "carved", they mean not plywood. It's not carved really, but milled solid wood. That archer thing looked really bad to me, the bridge in the pic needed a lot of work to not be a disaster. I think you are being steered in a much better direction with the strunals and christofers.
  16. Valis


    Mar 30, 2004
  17. Rigel42


    Mar 24, 2009
    Naples, FL
    Awesome! That's the exact same bass I have :cool:
    I play in a jazz trio and I've only had compliments on the sound. I'm sure there are better (and more expensive) basses out there, but that one is getting the job done just fine.

    I have some band recordings I can post so you can hear the sound. I'll try to do that this week.
  18. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    It's the shadow created by the fingerboard.
  19. Rigel42


    Mar 24, 2009
    Naples, FL
    As promised. The Chrissy 103 Bass played by a mediocre bass player, but the bass still sounds good :D
  20. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Hey man, I live about a mile away from Gear4Music's showroom (it's in Poppleton). A couple of times that I've stopped in there to pick something up I've tried their double basses, and each time they were shocking.

    The 'Archer' model, the woods look OK, but the basses are so badly set up it's impossible to tell if they can be made into decent basses. The first one I came across had three strings on it and the action was about 3/4" at the end of the board, if not more. Another one I saw was tuned several tones flat so I got my phone out and attempted to get it up to pitch, and as I did the bridge BENT - literally bent like a banana as I tuned it.

    I tuned it back down and the bridge went straight again. It was as if it was made from living wood, it had no rigidity at all.

    So while you might be able to make a decent bass from one, it will involve a setup and probably a new bridge and certainly some new strings, so you're looking at spending another £200 - £350 setting it up once it arrives from G4M.

    On the other hand I can recommend the more 'budget' end of the range from Gedo Musik in Germany. They set their basses up very well before they ship them and will fit a good set of strings too, I bought a bass from them last March and it hasn't even seen a luthier yet it was that good out of the box.

    Apparently Thomann are equally reputable and their '22' model is a Strunal that is often recommended for beginners.

    But yeah, I would steer clear of Gear4Music. You just don't know what you're going to get.