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Backup bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Ron Plichta, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    How many of you have a backup bass? I'm enjoying my carved Juzek/Czech/? bass, but am aware that it will eventually need to have seam/crack repairs due to the nature of the beast. If you have a backup, to what level of quality do you get? I would assume that the backup would not be carved, but not a bottom of the line ply.

    My primary playing is orchestral for now, but I wouldn't mind something a little more versatile in a backup.
  2. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    If you're worried about not having a bass while yours is in the shop, just get the luthier to lend you a bass. Whenever my bass is in the shop for more than one day, I'm always lent a good bass.
  3. I'm playing mostly and aspiring to more orchestral as well. My backup was my first: a Johannes Kohr K61 ply, Chinese, shiny, but good craftsmanship, ivory fittings. Set up with D'Adarrio medium hybrids and a Revolution Solo II pickup. Sounds good in all venues. No wolf tones. No feedback when amplified. Have seen them or comparable models for less than $1,000 on the web.
  4. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I just got a bass that i totally love but there are some gigs i dont want to take it to.

    Looking for an old beater Kay that i can do what i want to and have for those less savory situations.
  5. Be careful about bringing new basses into the house. They breed like rabbits.
  6. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    That's why I always keep my '69 Jazz Bass in the closet. They don't breed :bag:
  7. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Hey Ron,

    I got by with one bass for something on the order of fifteen years or so. She was (is) a sturdy lass, and a real trooper- never had any problems. I talked myself into buying backup basses many times, and always ended up feeling bad that they just sat unplayed and sold them.

    Not too too long ago I got a bug to go back to gut strings and I wasn't gonna do that on my orchestral bass- so I got Shen SB80 that I use for everything except classical orchestra. I keep an extra set of arco strings that I can slap on the Shen should my good bass need time off.

    A recent trip to my luthier's shop has rekindled the fire to mess with Viennese bass- so now I'm on the lookout for a third bass that I can use for that. :help: :rolleyes:

    Anyhow, if it makes you feel better to have a backup and you have the means to get one, I say "why not?"! :)
    I expect that you could get by without one though. Check with your favorite luthier to see if he or she has loaners or rental basses available- if not, I can send you a few leads.

  8. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    '69 jazz bass? You mean a plywood upright built in 1869 right?:bag:
  9. Mine is a Shen Willow. I use it for outdoor gigs or rougher environments. I've been tempted to trade for a New Standard never found the right situation. While the Shen is fully carved, it has been super stable. Hasn't even split a seam.
  10. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choiceâ„¢ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I found a good deal on a used Holbein which is a shiny Czech plywood made by Strunal for Sam Ash. I plan to use it for outdoor gigs or anywhere I wouldn't wan to take my carved E.H.Roth.

    - Steve
  11. MIKMAN


    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    My backup bass is a Strunal 5/27. It' s a hybrid featuring a medium grained spruce top and ribs and back from Tineo laminate. It is strung with Velvet Garbos and delivers a thunderous pizz tone. The bass can play unamplified in small jazz combos but most of the times i use my Revolution Solo II,a K&K preamp and my Gallien Krueger combo. It's a war horse and has served me very well under the merciless Greek sun or in outdoor gigs with a 80% relative humidity.
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    My backup bass is a laminated version of the same model as my main bass. It's a great bass, but given the choice I would play the main bass 10 times out of 10, and do.
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    My backup bass was my main and only bass for 30 years, carved Juzek. It did all my gigs. A few rib cracks and seam repairs in all that time but nothing major. If you are careful, you probably won't have many problems.
  14. MIKMAN


    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Well Eric it depends on the weather conditions. If your gig is under horrible conditions (open malls with more than 80% humidity, night gigs by the sea, early evening concerts in open ancient theaters with 38 degrees centigrade) it would be unwise to use a fully carved instrument. last month one of my friends suffered a long soundpost crack on the top plate just because he took the risk to play with his magnificent Wilfer in a two hours concert in a medieval castlle by the sea. I try to avoid such things and i keep my fully carved Paulus only for indoor concerts.
  15. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    My main bass is a carved Romanian from 2006 for orchestral stuff. Backup is an old Epiphone that likes to play the blues!
  16. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I guess Larisa is tougher on basses than Chicago!
  17. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    But worth it with those beautiful venues: Ancient theaters! Medieval castles! It makes me flash back to Phaedra with Melina Mercouri and Anthony Perkins :bawl:
  18. MIKMAN


    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Unfortunately i live in a city notorious for the highest temperatures in Greece during the summer and the highest humidity levels durig the winter. That's the reason i i devoted my life and my business to climate control!!!
  19. MIKMAN


    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Yes, it's a fact that we have many chances to play in various places with lots of history behind them. Next week i play in a major concert in the medieval castlle of Platamon, in front of an audience of 1.000 people. It'w located on the feet of Mount Olympus, hanging on a rock 100 meters above the sea. I'll be the lead saxophonist but i'll close with my double bass playing my beloved tune "Misty".
  20. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    It sounds wonderful. And, if I can be forgiven for name-dropping, I'm certain that Erroll Garner, whom I had the pleasure to know, would be delighted with your choice of "Misty".

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