An age old question

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by Slaps McGoo, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Slaps McGoo

    Slaps McGoo

    Mar 23, 2008
    This is going to be long winded, a forewarning!

    The question that everyone dreads asking for fear of being looked down on most times, but I've been reading this forums for some time and get a good vibe. I'm a beginner, in the market for a double-bass, I've been doing a lot of research and have got a couple opinions from local players I respect. I've looked at a Carlo Robelli (300&200) which a very talented slapper plays here, he just reccomended a quick trip to the luthier for it. I've also been contemplating an Engelhardt EM1 but I'm not 100% on that because of the lack an ebony fingerboard. The Swingmaster and Supreme are pushing the very limits of my budget and are probably actually outside. I have looked around locally for a used bass, only luck I have had thus far is a 1500$ unknown american or czec bass, great action on it, but I'm iffy about it for some unkown reason, and when buying one I want to feel 100% sure I've made the right choice. Come Tuesday (it being Easter weekend) I'll be calling both McGill and Concordia Universities here in Montreal to see what they might be able to offer me in terms of used student DB's. (The bassist from this band reccomended the Carlo Robelli to me)

    A quick note to end
    Carlo Robelli 300 --> D’Addario Helicore bass strings (a $150 Value), Rubner German Tuning Machines, Ebony fingerboard, adjustable bridge, excellent horsehair bow and matching bag case (from the site) = 1000$ I believe this is the bass that the guy i know plays, and he can slap the [I can't control my vocabulary] out of it.

    Carlo Robelli 200 --> The Carlo Robelli 200 series 3/4 size string bass is everything a player needs in a quality upright, but at a great price. And it's full, robust sound must be heard to believe! It features a spruce top, laminate back and sides, ebony fingerboard, adjustable bridge, and Rubner tuning machines. For added value, it comes strung with D'Addario Helicore bass strings (a $150 value). It includes a quality horsehair bow and a matching bag. = 800$

    I won't bother posting Engelhardt stuff, it's easy enough to find.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Slaps McGoo

    Slaps McGoo

    Mar 23, 2008
    Lots of views but no replies hehe. I have another question, after reading around a bit more. These Eberle basses that are being sold, how are they for rockabilly? Read some very positive and no negative reviews. And should I be going for a top carved, or full laminate (plywood) bass? This is the main question here.
  3. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Slap, I've only been playing about a year and a half, so I'm not in the best position to give advice. But I will anyways...

    If your budeget is limited, I would forget about carved, hybrid, etc... and just go for the best plywood you can afford.

    Most slappers use plywood basses. My buddy has a carved bass, he had a gig recently and had to borrow my bass - his neck was coming off!
  4. wingnut


    Apr 18, 2007
    Las Vegas Nv.
    I think I would go with the engelhardt. A lot of people around here use them and they sound good and can obviously take pounding.
  5. Slaps McGoo

    Slaps McGoo

    Mar 23, 2008
    Does anyone know what the Engelhardts are made of? Looking at the EM1 and EC1. Both in my price range, both nice basses with a jatoba (sp?) fingerboard as opposed to ebony, but I've talked to Jerry Fretwell and he says these fingerboards work just fine for Rockabilly. Back to the original question though. Are these hybrids or plywoods? The description given on his site doesn't quite specify.

  6. Englehardts are plywood!

    Jerry will confirm ! - or -

    "All our Basses and Cellos feature lightweight laminated construction for the finest tone and serviceability."
  7. bluegrasscat


    Aug 9, 2006
    tejano bass is right!! they are laminated! M1 is usually a lami spruce top with Rosewood fingerboard- rosewood tailpiece. i think the EC1 has same woods but fingerboard/tailpiece ebony??? but i may be wrong on that?? try to play both of them to see the difference in playability e.c.t.. Engels are nice cause, you dont really have to worry about them! they can take a pounding!! but you might need to spend $300-600 bucks more for a set up!! or go find a nice old Kay or A/standard for the same price as a new Engelhardt. what is a Hybrid? = part something and part something else, mixed together! kind of like a fancy word for mutt! ahh just kidding!! gl slaps mcgoo
  8. TorchClef


    Mar 29, 2008
    Slaps McGoo- The EM-1 is a great plywood bass.. given i have an ES-9 which also sounds great! I bought mine through Upton String Co. out of Conneticut.. they unfortunately dont sell them anymore but they do sell a UB laminate bass. And if your familiar with Amazing Royal Crowns...the Bassist Jack Hanlon is the man that sets all their basses up before they leave the building, and does a fine job of setting it up the best way that fits you.
    Otherwise im also somewhat familiar with the Carlo Robelli basses... i think the 200 is cheaper by $200 but i dont think the fingerboard is ebony but a maple with a black finish. And the 300 did have ebony fingerboard. The Helicore strings are good for bowing. And i dont know your tastes but you may want to consider the Rotosounds or Clef gut strings, but that is another age old question. One that is bitterly battled out as you may see on the various forumns.
    Have fun!
  9. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    +1. A big reason I ordered my plywood bass from Upton is that I was confident they would set it up right for Rockabilly.

    That being said, I understand some people on are very happy with Jerry Fretwell's set-up, and in hindsight I wouldn't hesitate to order from him.

    And in further hindsight, I often wonder if I should've ordered a Slapking from I'd really like to know how steel strings respond with a mag pickup - I despise the issues I have with feedback. My buddy has a Slapking arriving soon and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it - then I'll be able to compare.

    For me it was a toss-up between Upton and Slapking, and Upton won partly because of my confidence in their set-up, and I've been very happy since. I think my "skill" on the bass has come a long way in a year and a half, and I attribute that in part to the right set-up.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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