Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Calin Wultur Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bassphase, Aug 2, 2004.


  1. bassphase

    bassphase Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    San Francico Bay Area
    Hi
    Has anybody played or heard of Calin Wultur basses (sometimes spelled Voltur)? This site and a couple others have them http://www.steveswanguitars.com/wultur.html
    They're made in Romania and are in the $3 to $4K range for a carved model. I'm in the market for a DB and they're in my price range --I could go a little higher I suppose. Any info or other recommendations would be appreciated--I love Marc Johnson's tone if that helps any (yeah, I know, it's in his hands)


    Thanks

    bob
     
  2. You might check with JR Music.....Talk to Eric Roy. They handle basses that look like these. They are all Carcassi and Panormo patterns as well, so i'm thinking they are the same basses. Sure hope you aren't thinking of buying a bass without looking and playing?!!
     
  3. bassphase

    bassphase Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    San Francico Bay Area
    No chance of that. I'm the type of guy who wants to try out toothpaste before I buy it <g>. I was hoping that a few people had heard/played one. If there were a bunch of thumbs down I might not follow through with checking one out. I've heard a few bad things about some Romanian basses and I was curious if these were good insturments.The closest dealer is a couple hours drive away (which I'll probably wind up visiting since I plan on auditioning as many basses as possible). They ARE the same basses that J.R. music wholesales. Do you think Erik would be a reliable opionion?

    thanks


    bob
     
  4. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Eric's a straight shooter, so it's worth a chat with him. I've heard generally good things about the basses JR distributes. Perhaps you could add your 2 cents after you take one for a spin...
     
  5. bassphase

    bassphase Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    San Francico Bay Area

    I never heard back from emailing Eric but I got to try out 2 Calin Wultur Carcassi roundbacks today. Actually, I get to keep the one I chose from the 2 for a few days for further evaluation thanks to Steve at Steve Swan guitars. It's a 3/4 with a 42" string length (he was nice enough to restring it with spiros at my request before the audition). It's very attractive with highly flamed backs and sides.

    First impressions were: a very focused sound with a lot of growl and definition in the lower positions. Has a decent sustain and a very detailed midrange. The E string is a little soft and not as big as I'd like. The instrument is set up with fairly high string height and the bridge doesn't have adjusters. He's offering it at a very low price ($3300) so the cost of a setup would still get me out the door very cheap (He's not a luthier so I would hire my guy)

    My biggest issue is the timbre and response of the upper registers. Kind of choked sounding, definitely not the singing thumb position I'm looking for. So what would account for such a wide tonal response? I haven't ruled out the bass completely yet--I'll have stronger feelings in a couple more days. I have several more basses in my area to check out. I'd appreciate any referrals from TB members. I'm in the San Francisco area and I'm trying to keep my budget below $6K (which I guess is the real problem)


    bob
     
  6. Bob, some of those issues with the sound can be adjusted, as you know, with sound post/ bridge placement. Tell me what you think of the workmanship....the quality of the purfling, the machines, end pin etc.
    I'll email Eric today and try to find out what's up with him.
    Are you happy with that Carcassi pattern? I love the look, just am a little concerned with those real sloped shoulders.
    I played one of Barrie Kolstien's Carcassi copies. It was set up for legit, so from a jazz stand point, wasn't able to get much of a reading.
    I use Spiros too and have requested them on the one i'm interested in.
     
  7. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS

    The Carcassi model that Rumano Solano makes is VERY nice. I had a hard time deciding between that and the Klotz. Mark Osborn in the OKC Philharmonic bought it. It was set up for legit but had a lot of potential to be a nice jazz bass.

    Monte
     
  8. I haven't seen Rumano's Carcassi that I remember....of course, compared to these Romanian basses, Rumano's are a whole different animal.
     
  9. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Yeah, but they aren't that bad at just over $10k.

    Monte
     
  10. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Hey, my wife and I just had a baby, so if I've been slow on the draw...you'll have to extend my sleep deprived brain a
    little forgiveness!

    Bob, I see your eMail and I will reply to you now. Sorry again for any delays!
     
  11. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Cute kid that Olivia! How does she like the low frequencies? My boy just loved the low end when he was about that size. Don't blink, she will be grown.

    az
     
  12. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    If I just squint a little with one eye, rather than a full two eye blink, can she be at least to the point where she sleeps a full night?

    I agree with Paul about adjustment. for example, I just had a dealer come in this week to try a nice violin out. The violin was setup by the workshop, and it sounded alright, but it was uneven and was put down faster than it took to tune it up. So, I grabbed it, checked a few specs...and things were just not right. I adjusted the string length, after length and repositioned the sound post and it was a different violin. Passed it back and forth a few times with the dealer playing it, giving me his feedback, and then me trying to decipher his words and what I heard into what I know about sound post placement. Within 15 to 20 minutes of doing this...we were both very pleased and he left with the violin (this was Wednesday). Today I get an eMail that the customer took it and how fast can I have another ready for the same "pass the violin" time we just did.

    Bottom line...a fine setup and some time with a person who can translate what you feel and hear into logical adjustments can make or break your opinion of an instrument, IMHO.
     
  13. Hi All,
    I just wanted to offer my two cents, having purchased one of these basses fron Steve Swan. This is a kind of a long story. First off, Steve is a great guy and will do just about anything to help you find the right bass. For me, that involved calling Steve, discussing my needs, and having him make some recommendations. After, talking with him, he offered to bring a bass to my house and let me play it for a week or so. So, a day or two later Steve brought a Wultur Panormo Carved Back bass over and just left it! Oh, by the way, before he brought it over he asked what kind of stings I'd prefer and gave me a few choices. I played it everyday and took it my lesson and had my teacher play it. Overall, it was a very good bass. I compared this bass to a friend's Thoma MT-1, I felt the Wultur was a far superior instrument, hands down. It had much more depth, richness and complexity of tone. I should also note, that my basic evaluation criteria, is mostly concerned with producing a convincing orchestral sound.
    That being said, I had a few issues with the Wultur Panormo: It has broad shoulders, so the high register will take some getting used to, the set up at the nut was too high(it was high at the end of the fingerboard too but that didn't bother me as much), and the strings weren't the best for orchestral playing.
    After calling Steve back and discussing these issues, I asked if I could try a Carcassi model, so by the end of the week, he brought a Wultur Carcassi Flatback to my house. Well, instead of picking up the Panormo, he left both basses for me to compare. So, I played them both for another week, took them both to a lesson. The Carcassi was also a very good bass. It has sloping shoulders, which is nice, but it also has a longer body, which takes some getting used to as well. The flat back had a nice quick response played pizz, but was not quite as full and rich as the Panormo arco. So, after a week I called Steve back and we talked some more. I still had concerns with the Panormo, but felt it was better sounding than the Carcassi for what I wanted it for, orchestral playing. I asked Steve to see one other bass, a Wultur Panormo Flatback. So he brought it over and picked up the Carcassi, again he left the Panromo Carved Back to compare to. This time Steve brought a set of orchestral strings and a nut file. AND while at my house restrung the Panormo carved and Panormo flat back with the same strings and adjusted the nut to the same height on both the basses. I compared the two, and FINALLY settled on the Panormo Carved Back. I've been very happy with it, it gets better everyday and there's still some room for improvement, but its been great. BTW, I did play some some exceptional Chinese carved basses at A&G in Oakland. I liked their clear focused tone and rich timbre, but they didn't have the quite the complexity of the Wultur basses or the sheer volume. My 3/4 Panormo is sized more like a 7/8. It's very big and resonant. I played some really great sounding Christophers too! I think the plywood and the hybrid are the best value out there, plus they look beautiful. But for what I wanted and my price range, the Wultur Panormo Carved was perfect.