Acoustic and Electric...Who plays both?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thetes, Oct 29, 2000.

  1. Thetes


    Oct 29, 2000
    I play the Fender Jazz Fretless and feel frustrated because I "hear" the acoustic double bass's resonance when I play, and am constantly struggling to pull that out of my Fender. I would dearly love to hear from people who feel the same way and find out what you do about this; how you cope. I'm seriously thinking about buying an acoustic and would like to know what prices I'll be looking at for second-hand instruments.

  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Used URBs can start at $500, and lower, given the recent flood of cheapie imports. I am amazed to see new laminated instruments on eBay for under $500, but I would exercise caution.

    Your best bet may be looking for a used Kay, since if you get a good example for the right price, you won't lose money on it if you want to move up a step after a while. They vary widely in price, from the low teens to as high as $2K. Occasionally, you'll hear of a $750 or less bargain when someone sells theirs, not aware of the run-up in prices the last few years.

    I'll also plug the fact that I only recently began to sell new, fully carved double basses made in Bulgaria for $1875.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Thetes: you haven't mentioned where in the world you're located, so procuring a used Kay might be a problem if you're outside North America. If you buy new or used, look for ebony fittings, decent strings and, most importantly a good setup (ie. decent action, good endpin and tailwire, no buzzes, no wolf notes and preferably an adjustable bridge). Check the instrument for open seams or cracks, esp. around the neck block. If you aren't near a reputable bass luthier, Bob's website has links to a number of places where you can buy online, caveat emptor. A lot of places, including ebay, sell uprights without any kind of setup, so you should budget at least $300-700 to get such instruments in playable condition. New starter instruments with solid tops and ebony fittings from the Czech Republic and Romania can be found pre-setup between $1000-$2000.
  4. Thetes


    Oct 29, 2000
    I am now in Taiwan; and thanks to your information, I will not be buying anything soon (unfortunately). Prices here are SUBSTANTIALLY higher -- even outrageously so -- than the ranges you mentioned. Roughly 30% higher. It's a pity.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Funny you should mention about trying to get the upright sound out of your fretless. I was playing my Pedulla today (the one that's kinda still for sale), and I decided to run it through my SansAmp Bass Driver DI into my SWR WM-12. I've also got my Eden D-210XLT hooked up and sitting under the WM-12. Well, well, well ... when I set everything just about flat on the bass, mid-boost switch on, boosted the bass EQ on the WM to about 1 o'clock with a little kick in the treble, mid flat, and enhance at 1 o'clock, then set the SansAmp with a little bass boost and a little treble boost, blend max, drive 12 o'clock, presence 12 o'clock, VOILA! It's as close as I've ever gotten the thing to sounding like an upright. It was so simple, I can't believe I never did it before. I don't know if this will work with a Fender, though. You really need to buy my Pedulla.
  6. Thetes


    Oct 29, 2000
    The list of equipment you mentioned is intimidating to say the least. I have a feeling the double-bass would come out cheaper by far than trying to chase down all these or similar devices. I also play guitar; have for years. The catch there is that it's a never-ending quest for tone that kept me buying this effect and that amp for the past twenty years. With the bass I've tried not to go that route. (Can't afford it anyway) My Jazz Fretless still has stock pickups on it. If there one or two really effective mods or equipment purchases that would get my Fender and me nearer to the holy grail of that acoustic tonal quality, I might go it. Big investments are out of the question ...
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Thetes, I'm sure it was a joke. Munji is wanting to sell that Pedulla pretty badly.
  8. Hi, Thetes. Yeah, I live in no mans land too (New Zealand), but I do play upright, both acoustic and electric, as well as 6 string fretted and 4 string fretless. If the dollars are a problem, there is a simple technique to approximate the upright on your Jazz, without having to buy anything! Dial both pups up full, back the tone knob off a bit, lay the bottom edge of your palm(from your pinkie to your wrist) on the bridge saddles so your palm is muting or damping the strings a bit, and pluck with your thumb. With a bit of practice you can get pretty damn good at it, and while it wont sound exactly like an upright, it's pretty good! Make each note have it's full value (dont stop them short) and lock with your drummer's ride cymbal. You'll be swingin' man!
  9. Thetes


    Oct 29, 2000
    I watched Jimmy Garrison play with Trane on some old videos and his just happened to be the standard kind of plucking action for double-bass, I guess. You know? Using the edge of the first finger up over the finger board's higher reaches. There's a kind of acoustic quality in that.

    But I was kind of interested in Munjibungee's equipment. I was thinking that this little crappy ampo I've got just may be selling me out behind my back; you know; by noty reproducing the full tonal output of the guitar's pickups (I like "pups"). Was that SWR the amp? how big is it? (I want small) and how much? (I want reasonable).

    Anybody on pickups? How about active pickups? (If I've missed a crucial thread, just steer me to it!)