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BSX Allegro Users?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Suntower, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Suntower


    Nov 10, 2012

    First post here. Be gentle. :D

    I've had a BSX Allegro 4-5 years now. Like it a lot, but I don't see anyone these days using them where I live (Seattle) so I have some questions.

    1. Anyone recommend a -stand- for these things? I'm constantly worried about the thing falling over. Dino sells a 'display stand' but it's kinda expensive and doesn't really look all that practical for use on a gig. I just need something to lean it against that's stable. Suggestions?

    2. Anyone use a different 'belly rest'? The one mine came with isn't adjustable. I wish the -length- was adjustable. Suggestions?

    3. Mine suffers from fairly chronic 'rattles'... sometimes it's the battery cage; other times, the wires inside move around and vibrate with certain notes. Suggestions?

    4. I've been using helicores. To me they sound a bit better than the spirocores it came with... I mean it has so much sustain, the helicores kinda toned it down. But I wonder if there are other suggestions that would work even better. This is more about -me- than the audience. To the audience it sounds -great-. But from my POV, it often sounds kinda dead. Obviously it will never have the 'big' sound of a real upright, but any help would be good.

    I'm just wondering if these are common issues with common solutions. Again, it's not like a Fender Jazz where everyone has 'em and you can see what others do.


  2. Suntower


    Nov 10, 2012
    Thanks for replying. I did look at that. (A bit massive IMHO).

    I didn't see much mention of the items I had asked about (well, besides strings)... especially the stand and belly rest.

    Anyone else?


  3. cuatro_cuerdas


    Apr 2, 2010

    I know is not much help, but have you try to play without the belly rest?, I got my allegro for around one month ago so I am not a experienced player, but for me the belly rest was not feeling right so I took it off, regarding the strings I am also curious about other brands ...
  4. Suntower


    Nov 10, 2012
    You can definitely play it without a belly rest. I get why that's convenient---especially if you're not used to playing a 'real' upright.

    -However- I will suggest that you find a way to get used to it and actually make it work for you. (For me anyway) every part of the bass is -crucial- to playing in tune and with good tone.

    I mean, the shape of the neck at each point, the distance you have from the body, etc. are all 'clues' to develop muscle memory.

    If you tend to hold the instrument differently every time, it's much harder to develop consistency.

    My only issue is that the length feels -wrong- to me. But I can certainly go to a machine shop and adjust if there are no other options.

    My current issue now is a decent STAND.


  5. If you don't want to pay for Dino's BSX stand (it is a bit expensive), one alternative is the standard Hamilton double bass stand (KB-550). It's about $60 US with shipping.
  6. Suntower


    Nov 10, 2012
    hey thanks.

    When I googled that hamilton, I stumbled on the Ingles SA22 stand---which looks even better. Hadn't considered -either- so THANKS!

    I didn't want to get Dino's stand, not just because of the cost, but mainly because it looked kinda inconvenient. I'll try the Ingles and report back.

    I've also started realising another thing that grinds me about the Allegro... ieven though it sounds great from the audience POV... t's not just that it doesn't have the deeep low end air of a 'real' bass... it's that it is TOTALLY unforgiving in terms of intonation---in a way that's hard to describe.

    There's something about it where... if you don't hit EVERY note just right, it sounds really sour. I have pretty good intonation at this point BUT whenever I play an upright I'm immediately struck by how much more forgiving each note is---there's sort of a -width- between notes where they sound acceptable. On the allegro, if you don't hit -every- note bang on, it's just no good. And frankly? Sometimes I don't want to work that hard---I mean, I find myself not being as 'adventurous' as I might otherwise be because I'm always on my guard with it. Sorry for rambling... it's a great instrument; just sort of a love/hate thing. :D


  7. BigBeatNut


    Apr 10, 2006
    London, UK
    I use a regular db stand. It has two long arms to support the full width of a upright that look (aesthetically) too long but actually work fine.

    Coincidentally, mine has just come back from the repairer/luthier for precisely that reason. He removed the battery compartment and wedged the battery in there with foam, and he also figured out that the nick tilt wasn't adjusted properly ... big air gaps and lots of room for movement. Previously, I've also removed the preamp controls and found the preamp had come loose. On mine it is held in place with a sticky pad (part of the original design) and that needed replacing.

    I think the piece of plastic the controls are in is a bit flimsy too ... sometimes some pressure there will releive rattles. I think at some stage I may take on the DIY project of replacing it with something stiffer.

    Hope that gives you some ideas.
  8. Suntower


    Nov 10, 2012
    VERY helpful. Thanks. Gives me the courage to open 'er up and try to tighten things up.


  9. sensei_steve

    sensei_steve Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    Reisterstown, MD
    I play a bsx allegro and like mine a lot.

    I bought two Ingles-Cello-Stand-P583 stands from gollihur. I just looked and didn't see them on their website. I'm writing from my phone and i can't attach pics. Here is a link to the stand at another vendor, http://www.everythingcello.com/Ingles-Cello-Stand-P583.aspx . I cannot speak for the vendor. I keep one stand in my suv and one stand open at home. I adjust the stand height so the extended endpin does not touch the floor so the stand and the bottom of the bass support the resting weight of the bass. The stand also has a hook for your bow.

    Dino will talk you thru tightening any rattles.

    I don't use the belly rest. I play the bass open style, somewhat like Rabbath style. IMO this position is convenient for playing thumb positions.

    I think it would be nice to find softer 'gutsier' strings.
  10. Suntower


    Nov 10, 2012
    I'll e-mail Dino. I imagine it's because business is booming, but in the past few years it's been tougher and tougher to reach him.

    If you have recommendations on softer strings, I'm all ears. I've only ever used Spirocores and Helicores... per Dino's recommendations. Would gut strings... or hybrids would work with the transducers?


  11. BigBeatNut


    Apr 10, 2006
    London, UK
    That's the one I use.

    Yeah, I forgot to say, I phoned Dino the first time I had problems and he suggested opening it up to check on how secure the preamp is. I discovered phoning him is much more effective than emailing him :)
  12. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Using your link to Everything Cello, it's the stand from Ingles called the SA-22 (not sure where the P583 came from). We still have them, FWIW.
  13. Suntower


    Nov 10, 2012
    Some updates.
    1. I got the Ingalls stand. It's weird. It's definitely an improvement, but I'm not 100% sure I -trust- it. It's like the front feet are slightly off the ground. It seems stable enough. And -yet-... Is that normal?

    2. I did a couple of things to tackle the rattles.
    a) I simply took off and put back on the neck a couple of times. It turns out that how one does that makes a BIG difference in the -tone- which I never noticed before.

    b) I stuck some foam in the battery compartment and it not only made a buzz on two notes go away, but that too made the tone -noticeably- better. Hurray! OTOH, it also made another note -start- to buzz. Argggh!

    I wish I could make -all- the buzzes go away.

    Now... if I could get some strings that sounded better (less 'metal' sounding) I'd be in business. ( Any ideas?)


  14. cuatro_cuerdas


    Apr 2, 2010
  15. As long as the pickup is piezo, you can use any string you want.
    If you're seeking really mellow strings, steel sets like BelCantos, Kaplans, Flexocors ('92s) and Jargars are nice.
  16. cuatro_cuerdas


    Apr 2, 2010
    Thanks for the advice eub_player, I will check all this brand and see what is available in my area, and do you have any experience with the Clef gut strings? :
  17. No, I'm not using gut strings.
    Here in Quebec, weather is very changing and gut is too unstable.
    I'm using Innovation Rockabillies right now and like them.
    Synthetic core, and flat black tape wound.
    Low tension, very easy to play.
    You can't really bow them though. (maybe by roughing the bowing area with sandpaper, but I'm not playing arco anyway...)
  18. For bowing the Innovation 140B (Braided) are nice. I even play them in a big band now. Not the best for slapping, because of the outer metal winding, but because of the same reason good for bowing. Maybe a bit more tension than the Rockabillies, but less than most other bowing strings (similar to Spirocore S42W in tension, but easier to bow and with a soft sound). They have the same synthetic core like the Rockabillies.
  19. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    I have the same issue with pitch. In my case it probably has to do with overtones. My Allegro is a solid body and the tone is much more like a fretless bass guitar.
    I figure it's good to practice on and when I switch to DB it feels easier to play.
    I use this instrument mainly to practice on. I can play with headphones or with the amp low late into the night and it's comfortable to use with a regular chair.
    I've also found it's more comfortable to play it "side saddle", resting on my right leg without the tummy rest. You can do it with your legs crossed too.

    does anybody have issues with the endpin slipping or bending?
    It sometimes creeps down. Dino told me not to over tighten it so I'm real careful with it.
    I'm not really comfortable with playing it standing partially because the endpin seems like it could bend when it's out most of the way. I'm 6'3" so I need it out all the way.
    I concur with Sunflower, It's a real quality instrument with good solid wood in the fingerboard and body which makes the solid body pretty heavy. I'd say it weighs more then my DB. Another reason why the endpin with a friction tightener makes me nervous.