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So I played a Guy Cole and I Think I fell in love

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Mgaisbacher, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Boston
    On friday I took a trip to Upton's shop in Connecticut. It was mostly just to play some basses since I just recently had Brescian hybrid built by them. Actually at this time last year I don't even think I placed the order so that goes without saying that the bass it just a little over a half year old. I love my upton and plan to have it for a long time if not forever but in the back of my head I know eventually I will want a fully carved bass.

    So when I got there I started playing some of their basses first, starting with a fully carved brescain since I figured it would be the most comparable to my bass. I enjoyed playing their basses and could tell the difference between my hybrid and the fully carved brescain. Even though I really enjoyed playing there basses there wasn't one that I played that really stuck out to me as something I really loved, or something that I wish I could of taken home with me.

    The I finally made my way to the Guy Cole which I had been eying up since I got there. The first note I played just filled the room and put a smile on my face. It had belcontos on it which I never really played before, I'm more a of a jazz spiro guy. Even with the belcontos it had a very full powerful sound with pizz and sung in the upper register. Then I played it arco which my arco playing isn't very strong but my go to thing to play is a F major scale in 3 octaves (since it covers mostly the whole register of the bass) and then play some of prelude to the 1st cello suite. Both of these things just seemed to effortlessly come out of the instrument. And the upper register just was so clear and perfect sounding. I could go on for much longer about this bass and I didn't even touch on it's looks or really how it played.

    It was the bass that when I left, it had me wishing I had the money to walk out of there with it. ( On a unrelated note, anyone wanna lend me $35,000?) I am still very happy with my brescian hybrid from Upton and a Guy Cole may never be in my reach especially with him winning the gold medal so I'm guessing his basses are only going to go up in price. One thing my trip did make me realize was for the price range, Upton makes some of the best instruments you can get. There were a few basses I played there were from different makers that cost a thousand or more more then my bass which I didn't like half as much as my brescain. I have yet to play a bass that was around the same price of mine that I liked more than mine. It also seemed like the only basses I preferred over the Uptons were ones that were $25k and above, like the Guy Cole, the Prescott, and the Hawkes. Other than the Cole and Prescott non of them really wowed me over the Uptons.

    I would also like to add this is just my opinion and I wanted to share my experience.
     
  2. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    It's great when you find a bass that just does everything right for you. I have also played a few I loved, but couldn't afford. It's great that there are modern makers like Upton out there making great value modern instruments.
     
  3. Were you able to check out the Benedict Puglisi bass while you were there? If so, what did you think? I've never played or seen one in person, but they look amazing. And apparently Christian McBride just bought one…
     
  4. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    I just spotted the Guy Cole bass on Upton's site. I was thinking it was an old bass. It looks superb!
     
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    The Cole instruments are probably the best things coming out of China.
     
  6. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Disclosures:
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    :D
     
  7. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Boston
    I was able to play that bass a little and it was a great bass but just didn't hit me the same way that the Cole did.

    Arnold what do you mean by that? Also i would love to play one of your basses, I don't think I have ever seen or heard one in person.

    I am starting my search for my next bass now even though I don't plan on buying one for at least a few years. When I bought my first Upton I didn't really have anything to compare it to and mostly anything was better than the ply I was playing. I love my Upton and like I said earlier probably will keep it forever unless it needs to go to fund a new bass. But Arnold, your basses are ones I will need to check out, even if I can't afford them ha ha.
     
  8. Yup, I've heard Guy Cole basses don't sound that bad.
     
  9. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Boston
    Yeah I messaged you about trying to check your Cole bass out a few months ago right? How has it been playing and opening up? I can only imagine great things.
     

  10. Right, I remember now. Its been doing pretty well.
     
  11. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Boston
    Good to hear, You are a lucky owner of a great bass.
     
  12. I own a Cole and it's been a wonderful instrument for me. There's a bit of a learning curve to getting around its high shoulders, but it's always been rewarding to play.
     
  13. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    A little confused............Guy Cole basses out of China? I thought he was in New Mexico and building basses sold at Robertson's.
     
  14. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Cole is married to a Chinese woman and maintains a multi-person shop in China. It is thought that this is where his instruments are made. www.dallasstrings.com At the last ISB several makers noted that the maple on his bass appeared to be Chinese. Some of the makers were concerned that maker's competition rules were broken, as every maker is required to sign a document stating that he/she alone made the instrument. If this information is incorrect I would hope Mr. Cole or a representative would chime in and set the record straight.
     
  15. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Disclosures:
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
  16. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Boston
    So since this thread has been revived after over a year I have to say my original opinion on the bass has changed. I played the same bass a few more times after this initial time but every time I seemed to like it less and less.... I can't explain why but it just started appealing less and less to me. One thing is that it just felt really stiff and it had obligatos on it which if I'm correct aren't high tension strings. The first time I played it was in upton's barn, then I played it in upton's Boston shop and it didn't hit me the same way, then I played it again in their barn and again it just didn't strike me as much as before. I have no idea about the facts of Guy Cole or where they are made, still seems like a good instrument but I think my taste have changed.
     



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