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1st Purchase of DB

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by William Fairman, Mar 7, 2002.


  1. My son is hoping to attend music school in Denver this Fall. He will be in a contemporary music program
    with an emphasis on Jazz.

    To date, he has played a limited amount of upright bass. But he will be playing a lot of it if he indeed enters the jazz program. He has purchased all of his electric basses himself, and he has some very beautiful, hand crafted, wood electric basses. But I am going to pay for the upright bass.

    I need the voice of experience to help with this 1st purchase. Clearly, I am not going to purchase a carved bass in the $7,500 and up category. But I am wondering about a "good" fully laminated bass that will stand up to a student's life in a semi-arid locale, versus some of the Eastern European fully carved basses I have seen anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.

    I guess in a nutshell, is there really such a thing as a good laminated bass?

    For example, Kolstein's in NY has a $3,600 fully carved, slightly oversized 3/4 bass, with violin shoulders. They also have a $2,400 fully laminated 3/4 bass from Eberle's (Germany?).

    And what about the top of the line Englehardts?

    Thanks for any insights you might share.
     
  2. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
  3. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    First question, will you adopt a 40-ish year old man, complete with wife and son?

    What a thoughtful thing your doing for your son. I wish you both well.

    Anyway, a laminated bass might very well be the best bet for your son initially. Englehardts and Kays are rock solid, and you seldomly have to worry about splitting seams or all the other #^$* that you go through with a fully-carved basses. As you will often see on this board, proper instrument set-up is the key to player satisfaction and advancement.

    Therefore, you need to get to a shop that specializes in basses and is run by a qualified bass luthier. Why? Because set-up is the key.

    Since you are located dead smack in the "middest" of the midwest, I personally cannot recommend a good shop close by, but maybe Farmerdude can help you out. He lives somewhere in Dorothy and Toto land.

    I would highly recommend the shop that I frequent, The Cincinnati Bass Cellar. I know it's a bit of a drive, but you call the guys up, tell what you're looking for, and give them a price range. When you get there they will have 5-10 basses in a room and will leave you alone to play. When you're done, they will set up the bass to your specs.

    http://www.cinternet.net/~astetson

    513.661.6224 Andy Stetson or Chris Roberts

    Good luck. I'm sure some of the professional jazzers will weigh in on this subject in subsequent posts.
     
  4. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    William-

    Scroll down a bit in this topic to "Best plywood ever". This contains a link and a plug for Arnold Schnitzer. He has a line of plywoods that are singularly unique. Arnold has few equals in understanding what makes a bass play right. To my knowledge there has never been a ply bass designed to these standards before. These are refined instruments and in my opinion will easily out perform the kolstein model.
    The Eberle is a well made bass and has nice fittings. They are a good value but the design of the instrument is not optimal. They are also very heavy.
     
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Jeff, didn't I read somewhere in your or Arnold's postings that he has a 2 yr. wait for one of these basses? I hope your advice above means that I misunderstood because it sounds like a bass I'd like to check into.
     
  6. Let it be known - I live in Missoura!
    I like tigers, not jayhawks.:D

    I would be happy to show you around KC if you wish William. St. Louis is also a great resource. If you go to the Cincinnati Bass Cellar let me know, I'm going with ya. :) Oh yea, I also have 6 basses for sale.
     
  7. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    No, that's on one of his new hand carved basses. To my knowledge there is no wait period on a New Standard bass.