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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Tumbao, Mar 7, 2006.
...a New Standard AES Instruments, just vote.
Haven't gotten to play them yet, but I absolutely adore the look of the LaScala... so elegant and clean.
The LaScala is definitely really purdy. But after looking at K$B's Prescott thread and drooling over every Hawkes Panormo I've seen, I'm starting to dig that bass with the big booty.
I didn't vote becuz "it depends". I own a laminated Cleveland and I love it. Had a chance to try a laminated LaScala and I loved it too. Here's the breakdown...
If you're playing music where you want that big "money note" sound (older jazz, blues, rock, folk, probably classical section players) where each note is a juicy, pillowy cloud the Cleveland is the way to go. Upper reg. access is a bit challenging (due to big shoulders...maybe they shoulda called it the "Chicago") and there's not a ton of pizz upper-mid growl. Very deep, authoritative arco tone. I imagine the Cleveland (especially hybrid/fully carved) would sound MAJESTIC in 5ths tuning or with a C-extension. If I ever get a second DB I'd like to try guts or maybe CGDA on the Cleveland...
LaScala--sounds leaner, more focused, more growl up top for jazz pizz. A lot easier to reach the upper registers for TP. Sounded great, but the Cleveland was more what I wanted. I can't imagine you could get that kind of low end from a much smaller bass.
I also had a chance to play an old American Standard a couple days after trying the New Standards. It was the most "alive" old ply bass I've ever tried but it didn't have the complex tone of the NS's, it was beat to h#ll, and it cost about 20% more.
Well, I voted, because my La Scala has changed everything for me, and my love affair with it has been well documented here, ad nauseum. But if I had the space and the $$$, I'd be really tempted to pull the trigger on the Cleveland as well. The thought of that bass with the Red Mitchell (fifths) set of Animas gives me shivers. I could rule the world. Geez, Winston...thanks for getting THAT idea into my mind....And actually, the wide shoulders wouldn't be much of an issue in that case, since you would have a whole lot of range available already, without having to climb the bass like a horny bunny rabbit.
As far as category 3's concerned, I'm open to anything that Wil and Arnold are willing to present.
Oh ****! Thats unbelievably tempting. I'm $350 in strings away from that. I wonder how hard it is to get used to the 5ths? Guess I should start reading...
......Marcus, you are sick. Now I have GAS for tuning.:scowl:
All LaScala here. I liked the first one (hybrid) so much, I ordered a second one (ply) for my office at the U. I like the playability of the neck, and the narrow shoulders, and the growl, and the clear tone, and the volume, and....
The Clevelands are nice as well, and I would have bought one if one had been available when I sold my backup bass. But they were all spoken for.
Re: 5ths - that new trick sounds so unappealing to this old dog that not only do i not have GAS for the idea, I believe I may even have SAG. It's great that Red was able to pull that off over a weekend, but I don't think I'm quite that quick a study.
It's a shame there's nothing like this available in the UK...
The La Scala still surprises me with its volume sometimes. It really suits my style of playing perfectly. The Cleveland idea would just be an indulgence at this point.
Anyway, if I were to attempt fifths tuning, I'd have to go crash on Larry Holloway's couch for about a year.
Originally I had G. A. S. for the LaScala. I hadn't played a New Standard but I had played an Old American Standard that I almost bought about 2 years ago. I really liked it but it was just too much bass for me. The scale length is over 43 inches. (plus it was kind of an ugly green) I didn't really even look at the Cleveland because I falsely assumed it was an exact replica. (I obviously did not read the New Standard story).
A TB'er about an hour away had a Cleveland and graciously invited me to visit. I figured I could see Arnold's work and get a feel for what a LaScala would be like. After the first few notes I starting doing some quick math in my head to see if I could sell enough old gear to actually pull off an order. So yesterday I set Arnold a deposit for a laminate Cleveland, and I am going to try for a fingered C ext. on it.
I voted for the Cleveland, for the big deeep sound. I am playing mine with gamut medium+ guts on the D/G and Super Silvers for the E/A. For the music I am playing (old time jazz/ folk/bluegrass) I couldn't be happier. I recently played with a revered local player for the first time, and you should have seen his face when he heard the sound this bass makes.
Since the voters are identified, I'll qualify my vote for the Cle (mine's the same color as Joe's [edit--though I just realized that's not a Cle!]). I've never played a La Scala and hope that it's even better on an absolute scale. But I prefer the Cle's qualities just as described by winston and others around here (and on the NS website). I prefer the gamba shape too.
Here is a pic of my Cleveland (when it had eudoxa/oliv):
Cleveland all the way. It sounds huge, it looks huge. For me, the NS Cleveland is completely UNDENIABLE! Winston is totally right about the differences. I've played his bass by the way, as well as a bunch of basses at Gage's and a friend's restored American Standard in NY., some new carved imports, both Europe and China in the SF bay area. I also had a chance to playe a hybrid Cleveland, a La Scala, Arnold's American Standard and a few "nice" carved basses at Arnold's shop last fall(maybe even your Martini, Ken .) That was an eye opening morning to say the least. What I came away with, though, was how happy I was with my own bass. A basic laminated Cleveland. This will be my last and only bass.
This is pretty interesting! Lotta you folks seem to like "da butt"
Side note; I just got off the phone with the folks who are booking our gypsy jazz group for a private thing tonight, about twenty people, thirty minutes, big bucks. They've asked us to play unamplified. These are the kind of gigs that I really look forward to on the La Scala. I know that it's going to be perfect; the bass, the Animas, and the guitars and violin unamped, are my favorite way to do that band. We have a big feature concert at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in April, but I enjoy these little unplugged things at least as much as the big stuff. I get tons of volume out of my bass, so I don't sweat it at all.
Maybe the best thing about these basses, whether it's the La Scala or the Cleveland, is that they allow so many of us to play at a very high level, on a beautiful looking and performing bass, at such a reasonable price. I've said it before, but it bears repeating...I just can't wait to go to work now.
+1. I can't put it down when I'm at home. I chomp at the bit to get to the gig and start playing.
+1 on this. One cannot lose by choosing either of these basses.
I own a laminated Cleveland. I've had it for about a year and 6 months or so. Recently [late January] i restrung it w/Spirocore Weichs. I really like it. I plan on eventually buying a few more basses from Wil & Arnold. I would like to try out a hybrid in each before making a decision. Even though, if i had the money-i'd just order 1 or 2 of everything and only then think about "that's a lot of bass space". Oh well-it seems like it'd be a great problem to have.
Take it easy everyone.
Geez...you guys are making me want to just walk out and blow my savings account on one of these beauties. Must resist....
Resistance is futile.
I have never played a LaScala but I can't say enough about my Cleveland. It may not have the richness of a 150 year old carved but it is easily the best plywood bass I have ever played.
I can't say for sure it will be the last bass I ever own but it will take something pretty special to take its place.