Want upright. Need advice!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by nicktunz, Oct 20, 2012.


  1. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Hey guys
    So, I am an electric player and I want an upright. I am poor.
    Knowing that, I am looking for advice. I know these basses get expensive. I do want something that sounds good and plays good. That is obvious. I found a local store(rhode island) that has a rent to own program for $70/month. 100% in the first year is applied to the principal and 50% applied after that first year. I could get a $2500 Eastman apparently. I don't know the details yet but I could also get a more expensive bass for the same $70/month. It'll just take longer to pay off. I do want to pay it off in a years time though.

    Basically, I just want to get some opinions on my best bang for my buck. Though, I really would like to not spend more than $3k if that is at all possible.

    Thoughts? I know you guys know your stuff.

    Thanks!
     
  2. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,197
    Go to Upton bass in CT. They're close to RI.

    Very helpful, nice guys. They have lots of used stuff to check out. Maybe a Kay that they reworked would suite you.

    Their hybrid is also a nice bass.
     
  3. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    I am probably going to go to Upton. I spent some time on their site. The only thing is, I don't think they have a rent to own program and I can't come up with any substantial amount of money at the moment. I want the world, but again, I'm poor.
     
  4. pbasswil

    pbasswil Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,142
    I think you'll be able to do just fine for your first double bass, for $3k. Especially in this market.

    Note, however: There are other expenses besides the instrument itself. A luthier should optimize your purchase ($$), and suitable strings can be expensive.
    You'll want at least a functional bass bag.

    The hard part is choosing the right instrument.

    2 suggestions:

    1) Find an experienced player who is not involved in selling basses to try any bass you're considering.

    A good candidate is a bass teacher. Even if you're not taking lessons yet, take at least one introductory lesson, and quiz the teacher for buying advice.

    Just be careful: a lot of teachers make money selling basses or referring students to sellers. Any signs of pushiness or impatience, try another teacher.

    2) Even though you're a beginner, nevertheless, try every double bass you can get your hands on. It's the only way to appreciate the wide range of tones and playability between different basses and different price points.
    You may not understand the differences yet, but you'll start to notice stuff.


    I agree with john m: If you can get yourself to Upton, do it! Just don't jump on the first appealing bass you see.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Good thing is I had a ****** engleharot some time ago so I know what a bad one feels like.
    I was also thought electric by a guy who was an upright player so my technique is pretty decent. I won't be taking lessons by studying on my own. I know enough to get going. I just don't know **** about what is a good maker. I see a lot of people with Shens. Anyone know about them? The sb80 or something is like $1500 at Upton but I am thinking it might be kinda too little bass for me. I don't want tohave to upgrade any time soon. I want something that will serve me well for a good amount of time.
     
  7. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Weird. C r a p p y got censored.
     
  8. kreider204

    kreider204

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,359
    Location:
    WI, USA
    I'm very, very happy with my Thompson upright from String Emporium. About $1500 last I checked. Take a look and email Steve if you have questions (he can be a bit hit or miss responding to emails, so if you don't hear from him after a few days, try again, or just call).
     
  9. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Also, sorry about the typos if a sentence doesn't make sense. I'm on my phone.
     
  10. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Ya. String Emporium is in Arizona. Probably not gonna make it there any time soon. I will look for Thompson though. I def have to try before I buy.
     
  11. chuck3

    chuck3

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,670
    Location:
    Brooklyn & Rhinebeck NY
    hey Nick - where you are in RI, you should definitely go to Upton and just talk to them. They are great people as well as great upright bass makers. I have two Uptons and couldn't be happier. I don't want to go into details, but they've been very fair.

    Here are a couple of shots from my most recent visit there:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. powerbass

    powerbass

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,196
    Location:
    western MA
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    4,286
    Location:
    Chicago
  14. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Thanks guys. A lot of good info to get me started for sure. Hopefully, I find what I'm looking for without putting myself in a terrible financial situation. Or maybe I will win the lottery. Actually, if I win the lottery, you all get basses.
     
  15. pbasswil

    pbasswil Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,142
    :^> I already got my lottery bass picked out, thanks! :^D

    Just to repeat myself: Try any and every bass you can get near to. Doesn't matter if you don't even know how to hold the things -- grab them and pluck away. The sooner you get a personal idea of how these things can sound, and how hard it can be to "fret" the notes, the sooner you're going to start to understand what you want to be paying for, in your first bass.

    Hold off until you've tried a whole bunch; then get second opinions.

    Best of luck!
     
  16. pbasswil

    pbasswil Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,142
    One more tip:

    When you're trying basses, always ask what strings are on it. They will hugely effect your judgement of the bass!

    - Orchestral strings when plucked can make you think the bass is dead. (Stickiness from bow rosin is a good clue.)

    - Heavy strings can make you think the bass is hard to play.

    - Light strings make playing easier; but sometimes they're there cuz the instrument has structural issues.
     
  17. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Went to upton in Boston today. Tried a bunch of stuff. Found an amazing Romanian carved bass from the 70's. It has a flat back and was really bright and punchy. I think it was called a shilling or something. Hold on. Maybe I can find it.
     
  18. nicktunz

    nicktunz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Disclosures:
    Fender, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Arc Effects, JHS, Ashdown
    Nope. Can't find it. It was awesome and only $3k. I just can't come up with that kinda cash unless I sell things. Which I could do but not sure if I will snag it in time. I'm gonna keep looking around. But I did try a Shen sb150 and that wasn't terrible. And cheaper for sure at $2400. I just really want that Romanian bass. Dammit.
     
  19. pbasswil

    pbasswil Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,142
    That's tough. :^/
    I'll just point out that down the road, if your're out gigging and digging your bass, a difference of $600 isn't going to seem like a big deal.
    OTOH it's hell to have to liquidate possessions. Good luck.
     
  20. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,186
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out this guide on the TalkBass wiki: http://www.talkbass.com/wiki/index.php/Beginner's_Guide_to_buying_a_Double_Bass
     
  21. drurb

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

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,312
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Thank you, Febs! I was hoping that people weren't going to try to re-write the wiki piecemeal via a bunch of posts!
     

Share This Page