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Basses to start with

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by KTB, Mar 12, 2008.


  1. KTB

    KTB

    Mar 12, 2008
    I'm am totally new to this site, and am wondering if there is anybody out there who knows anything about the Josef Bremen or Josef Lazar basses. I am pondering getting an URB, and have been doing some research as to what's out there. I have played a little electric bass, but have found something missing. The URB's mentioned above are in my price range, but I don't know if they are CCB's.
     
  2. wingnut

    wingnut

    Apr 18, 2007
    Las Vegas Nv.
    Hello welcome to TB. I have never played a josef bremen, however I talked with my luthier and he says that for the extra hundred bucks an englehart is a much better bass. They are also made in america.
     
  3. KTB

    KTB

    Mar 12, 2008
    Thanks for the info. I have researched the Engelhardt EC1, which is not that much more expensive than the Josef Bremen or the Josef Lazar.
     
  4. This is going to be a long one. We were all once where you are now so I imagine this information will be helpful to lots of people in the future.

    For someone new to URB, all of those fancy brand names can be confusing. If you really want to stir the pot here, create a thread entitled "Who made Juzek basses?" and watch the fireworks begin.

    Once you start peeling back the layers of information in what is often a futile attempt to "research" a bass or maker, you'll find that majority of inexpensive basses are being made in several shops spread about Eastern Europe and China. To make matters more confusing, a shop in Romania may create a bass from imported Chinese wood. The bass will then be shipped "in the white" to another country for finishing. So theoretically, you might be purchasing a Chinese/Romanian/Polish bass with a fancy Italian name! Oh, and that's if the bass was labeled correctly. Good luck ever getting to the bottom of it 100%.

    Yes, there certainly are "cheap Chinese basses." I've also seen quite a few "cheap European and American basses." Place of origin is not always the most reliable indicator of quality. At this writing, the Chinese made Shen basses are fantastic instruments for the money.

    Here are some things you can act on:

    1. Establish a flexible budget. You should be able to find a new, acceptable quality laminate bass for between $1500-2000. Keep in mind that saving money on the front end may cost you dearly in the long haul with repairs or necessary upgrades. You're better off saving a little more money before buying a $600 bass on eBay which you'll ultimately use for firewood. Likewise, a cheap vintage beater can be a money pit as well.

    2. Seek out a few reputable shops in your area. Tell them you are new to URB and you need help selecting a decent bass within your budget. Some shops will even give you up to 100% for an instrument you purchased from them if you wish to upgrade in the future. That's a fantastic program.

    There are quite a few basses to choose from: Calin Wultur, Shen and Upton get consistently good reviews. King and Englehardt basses are popular with the rockabilly set so that's worth a look as well.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    Get the Engelhardt, and check out www.fretwellbass.com

    When you order a bass from Fretwell you get a great price and your bass comes setup how you want it. I'd highly recommend Jerry Fretwell if you go for the Engelhardt.
     
  6. +1 on Fretwell - Jerry's "Da Man" when it comes to new Englhardts & old Kay's as well as other vintage upright's.

    http://www.fretwellbass.com
     
  7. shadygrove

    shadygrove

    Feb 14, 2008
    Marysville, WA
    In addition to the Englehardts another bass you might want to check out it is the "new old stock" W. Eberle laminate from www.bassesonline.com (ideal music). It has a thicker neck than the Englehardts I've played and worked better for me although that's very much a personal preference and you will find many opinions on this site about Kay/Englehardt necks and plywood basses in general

    The "basic setup" by ideal was playable, but you also have the option of purchasing one not set up at all and having a local luthier set it up the way you want it. I had an ideal put an adjustable bridge on it, then when i got it filed down the nut slots a little on the E and A string to lower the action at the nut. Someday i'll spring for a more refined setup, but it plays well enough now it can wait until i need new strings.

    I won't go into the whole story here about why these basses are a good value. It is on the bassesonline site and you can find many related threads here on talkbass by searching for Eberle. There is no substitute for playing upright basses to find out what sound you like and how they feel, but imho the Eberle is a solid instrument and I like the sound of it for the old-time/celtic/bluegrass music I play and imagine it would also work well with a pickup for rockabilly.

    - Jeff
     
  8. Great advice from Jet Nero

    + one for Upton Bass

    http://www.uptonbass.com/

    Talk to these guys, follow their advice and you wont go wrong.
     

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