Repair vs Replace... Upton Hybrid

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Will Kelly, Jan 8, 2014.


  1. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    TX
    I wanted to get some input from everyone else here on this.

    I have an Upton Standard Hybrid (round back) that I really like, I believe it was made in 2011. I am not the original owner. The bass was a customer return to Upton and had a soundpost crack in the top from being strung up without the post in place.

    The bass has made a couple of return trips to the Upton shop over it's life to have patches installed on both the top and back to keep it from sinking on the treble side of the top. It was stable for about a year. Now, in the past few months, it's back to sinking like the Titanic. It's gotten bad enough I've had to retire it essentially; I've run out of room to raise the bridge anymore.

    I used to live in Boston so it made getting things fixed pretty easy. Now I live in Texas. Not so much.

    So I'm torn... wether I should get the bass repaired again, or just order a new one. I don't think the top on this one will ever be right, so I'd think I'm looking at a new top. New top plus shipping vs just ordering a new bass (an unknown quantity).

    Thoughts?
  2. tdgllc96

    tdgllc96 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Location:
    Kinderhook, NY
    Hi Will

    If you are near Austin, Violins Etc. has an excellent repair shop. I've dealt with them a couple of times for DB rentals. Don't know if they could handle a full top replacement but it might be easier than getting back to Mystic. Good Luck.
  3. Champagne

    Champagne

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Location:
    West Chester, PA
    Wow. I almost bought that bass. Sorry to hear of your troubles with it. :-\
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    What has Upton offered to do? Seems like crating it or trunking it back to them for a new top and set up is the best scenario to me.
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  6. neal davis

    neal davis

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    toronto canada
    I agree with Eric, if you love the bass you have try and save it. It would be a cheaper route.
  7. Nagrom

    Nagrom

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Western Canada
    Has Upton offered a trade-in value for it? Maybe that's the way to go.
  8. misterbadger

    misterbadger

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Northern California
    Are you certain that the top's sinking and that there aren't other factors (like neck or fingerboard warping) that are contributing to your problem? If you're not seeing the crack worsening or others appearing, maybe something else is going on.
  9. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    That bass was made for somebody who set the bridge and strung it up without setting the soundpost. I was told they called Upton daily to complain about wolf tones etc. until the top cracked.

    They accepted the return and made a new bass for that numbskull, so hopefully they take equally good care of Will.
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'd do both. I know it's a lot of bread but I'd jiust upgrade to something better, preferably through a trade-in through Upton or through a luthier. At worst, you'd get a new one and then put this one in the shop up to fix so that you could sell it.
  11. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, California
    Disclosures:
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    The various options will have different wait times. Does Will have another bass or a good friend who will loan him one for a while? Does he have a relentless performance schedule that doesn't allow for using a temporary replacement loaner bass that doesn't quite perform as well? The answers to these questions may help to determine which way he goes. Good luck!
  12. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    TX
    I do have a second bass, so its not like I will be left without.

    Also, for the record, while I lived near Boston, the guys at Upton were awesome enough to do all the patch work on the bass free of charge. I feel like they did what they could for it (especially since I was not the original customer). It's really not their fault or any slight on their workmanship (which is great).

    I'm waiting to hear back from Upton on cost. It's really a consideration for me of cost/repair vs cost/replace. If the repair cost plus shipping is going to be north of a couple of grand, I'm going to have to consider ordering a new one which is only around $3500.

    I think in its current state, the bass is not something Upton (nor I) would re-sell, so that option is probably out.
  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I dunno. I can't see replacing a top being more than $2K - it's definitely gotta be less than $3.5K for a whole new bass. I wonder if Upton would be able to do it and for less than just about anyone else since the bass is in their design. But everything is shaped by hand so who knows if that really does matter or not.

    Certainly, Upton's is a class act in the way they're handling these repairs.
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Will, unless you bought it "as is", you expected and deserve a good serviceable bass, and considering Upton has tried to do right by you in the past, I bet they would continue to do so now to finally resolve the problem. Either a repair or trade in. Assuming you paid less for it than a new uncracked bass, I would think the difference would get you a new top or new bass now.

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