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between a NewStandard Lascala Bass, an Upton Bass professor and a Wan-Bernadel Deluxe

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by lellomolinari, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. lellomolinari


    Mar 9, 2009
    boston ma
    Hi Guys (and Gals),
    I am about to buy a new Bass. I have narrowed down between a New Standard La Scala Bass, an Upton Bass Professor, and a Wan-Bernadel deluxe. The la scala is clearly the most expensive, laminated is $4,600, hybrid is $6,200 and carved must be around 8,000.
    The UB professor comes in Standard $5,000, Poplar Deluxe $6,000, and Professor Deluxe $6,500.
    The Wan-Bernadel Deluxe costs $4,950 AND include a Mooradian Deluxe cover (about $350?).
    I live in Boston and I have visited Arnold Schnitzer in NY, I have visited the UB shop near Berklee, and I could easily even drive to CT. The String emporium is in Phoenix AZ and I do have a free ticket from my miles (+ they do say that they will put you up for the night and even give you a comp orchestra ticket).
    By the way... I am also STILL try to sell my carved german bass... I posted THAT here a long time ago...

    I would appreciate any input

    Here are some links;
  2. I think a La Scala Hybrid is THE ticket. Considering one for myself.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    With all due respect to Jason, I think the best course of action is for you to investigate all three for yourself and try to play all three with your own hands. According to your profile, you are hardly a newbie. You've visited two of the shops. Did you play the basses in question? What did YOU think? In the end, you're the one who'll live with the instrument and make music with it. It hardly matters what other players would prefer.
  4. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Uh, have you played all three? When I was buying a bass, I got a hold of all the basses I was looking at and took them to a hall and had others listen to me play all three of them. Then I had my friend play them and I listened.
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Yup, there's an echo in here. It's a good one, too!
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    They are all very good basses. Only you can decide based on your own preferences. IMO the Wan is a very good value, but only if you like it. I would think there must be some in your area. Call Steve at the String Emporium. I'd also check out Nahrmann if you haven't already.

    Just looked at your ad and am wondering what kind of improvement you're looking for over your current bass?
  7. I played a LA Scala ply bass once - it was very impressive for a ply bass. I still feel 4 grand + is way too much for a ply bass of any kind - except a Czech-ease for obvious reasons, though I find them to be overpriced as well. I am not saying they are not made well and I know people like them.
    Arco can be fine for a gig or two on a ply bass, but it will likely be less inspiring to practice arco at home on much less to play classical concerts on.
    If you have a decent carved German bass I doubt it is going to be a good exchange.
    I also think you shouldn't rule out second hand basses in that price range, you can often find something really great.
  8. +1!!! Why not put about a fourth of that money into a great set-up, strings, endpin and all?
  9. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine

    Hard to imagine what any of those other basses could have over what you have already. I wouldn't consider any laminates for arco work. Hybrids with solid tops would be fine but I wouldn't play a laminate in an orchestra if I had a choice.
  10. lellomolinari


    Mar 9, 2009
    boston ma
    thanks guys... all good points...
    I am not looking for a laminate, I would get an hybrid, but ideally a carved instrument.. there is nothing wrong with my heberard meinel... except.... that it doesn't inspire me anymore to practice... I have recorded a few Cds and quite a few concerts with my german friend, and to tell you the truth, I am jealous of other fellow bassists, and I am looking at other basses as if I was looking at other women... does that make it officially a midlife crisis?
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Of course, not all carved basses are created equal! A great setup, strings, and end pin won't turn a so-so bass into a fine bass. I figured, given that you're an experienced player that you wanted to "step up" because you judged the bass you have not to be one that gives you what you want. That seems to be the case.

    To my knowledge, none of us who has posted here has played the bass you have so none of us is informed enough to advise whether any of the basses you're considering would be a substantial improvement over what you have currently or over what you'd have after having its setup tweaked, etc. For all we know, your current bass already has a fine setup. I was assuming that you had pretty much determined that. It's not hard at all for me to imagine that the basses you're considering could represent substantial improvements.

    The best thing you could do is play your current bass right next to the ones you're considering. A good luthier should be able to advise you as to whether the bass you have could be tweaked to give you what you want.
  12. I have been there. A set up and solo strings brought it back for me, but DRURB's points are well taken.
    My Spriro solo are getting toward 2 years old and they STILL inspire me to practice. I took them off and put on Wiechs which for the most part sounded better but just were not as fun to practice on - and a well practiced me over-rides any string sound!
    Not to deter you from the bass hunt, just sharing my experience.
    I also have a strong feeling you'll regret letting that bass go!
  13. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    It's also quite possible that others here know more about your Meinl and its potential than I do. Have you had a trusted luthier give you advice as to whether changing the setup, etc. might get you to where you want to be?

    FWIW, each time I have stepped up or traded up, it was the case that the bass I was leaving was well set up and couldn't have been made to perform near as well as the "new" bass I chose. I'm sure that's the case for many others here as well. It sure is worth investigating (if you haven't already) what, if anything, could be done with the bass you own.
  14. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I spent the whole day yesterday with a friend driving around Seattle and playing basses for him. We had a lot of fun and in the end, there were a clear winner. None of us could have or would have picked it from photos and a description or the opinions of others. But after playing a few, only one shook the windows and inspired us to keep picking it up. I got an email from him that he went and picked it up this morning. I would never advise anyone to buy a "step up" bass any other way.

    And "friend of mine from Seattle", I was here looking for your post and pics of the new girl. tick...tick...tick...
  15. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    The inspiration comes from wanting to make music, not the bass itself. What qualities in your fellow bassists instruments are you jealous of? Be specific so you have something to go on other than a new thrill.
  16. lellomolinari


    Mar 9, 2009
    boston ma
    yeah guys...
    I hear you, I have a luthier that has been taking care of my bass for many years. BTW his name is mark carlson and he does fine set ups. The bass is there as we speak and I will pick it up tomorrow. I have switched back to obbligato strings after a short fling with the evah pirazzi. I have a realist pick up and an old fishman. both pick ups go into a K&K pre-amp, into a volume pedal, into a walter woods amp, into an epifani speaker. I get a great sound amplified with a variety of groups. I also play in a few local orchestras. The acoustic bowed sound is ok.I think that that bass sounds as good as it ever will. The key question is that I need to sell that bass in order to buy anything. I will take it to the upton bass shop, and see what they offer it for it. If I could sell my bass and buy a new bass for a couple of thousand dollars, then I can do it. I took this bass to arnold in NY and he told me that $3,500 is on the low end of what that bass is worth... It's not a seller market...
  17. Yeah, but I know exactly what he is saying, in my case it was solved a lot cheaper. Inspiration to make music is one thing but for practice it is a whole other situation in my experience!
  18. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Strings are one way to get a different flavor, for sure. You have to make the best of what you've got until you can make a change...

    The tough thing about having to sell a bass before getting another is that you'll lose the tried and true before you know if the new one will work out the way you're hoping it will. That can take sometime, IMO.
  19. koricancowboy

    koricancowboy Ausberto Acevedo

    Jun 10, 2003
    I have found that a bass that gets a great sound for jazz hardly ever gets an equally good sound for the orchestra and vice versa. I have a bass for each and I think its the best way to go. Not that it can't be acceptable or even good but its rarely equal. I should say in that price range. When you start talking Panormos, Prescotts, etc. its a bit different. For the sub 5,000 set I have found this to be pretty true. So I guess if you can only have one bass, I guess the question is which set up do value more, a jazz set up or orchestral set up. For me its orchestral cause I play about 90% orchestral and 10% jazz. YMMV, I'm sure others will chime in soon to tell you and I that I'm wrong. ;)
  20. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I'd like to chime in and say that you're right. I think, perhaps, it has much to do with the setup as well. Even with a Prescott, the setup might be optimized for one or the other type of play.
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