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Can you get a good slap (Jimbo Wallace) tone from an electric upright?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by John Eaton, Mar 30, 2021.

  1. John Eaton

    John Eaton

    Mar 30, 2020
    Electric bass player with limited room and have never played upright. If I was going to dabble, which I want to, it would be to dabble in the rockabilly/Reverend Horton Heat sound arena.

    Sorry for the noob question, but can you get Jimbo Wallace sound out of an electric one of reasonable price? I would be willing to retrofit with his strings/pickups/preamp if that is possible too.

    If possible, are there decent lower cost alternatives to look for vs. others? I know nothing about this part of the bass world.

  2. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    It depends on the style of EUB. The kind that are a slimmed down upright with a standard fingerboard would probably work well. An NS style EUB wouldn't work well because there is no space under the fingerboard for that slap/click sound to develop and be picked up.
    equill likes this.
  3. What about a cheap DB instead?
    Why an EUB?
    Fretless55 likes this.
  4. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    The bassist from the Hollisters slaps an Ampeg Baby Bass and he’s always gotten a good sound. They’re a very underrated Texas roots country band from Houston.
  5. They're not inexpensive though, but I agree that kind of EUB would seem to fit the bill.
    There are cheap colombian baby basses also.
    nbsipics and Keith Rawlings like this.
  6. John Eaton

    John Eaton

    Mar 30, 2020
    I just assumed this would be the cheaper route, perhaps not. Again, I am a noob when it comes to uprights.
  7. You can get a cheap used ply for cheap, but granted it won't be a masterpiece of course.
    Like suggested above, an Ampeg Baby Bass, or clone, could be interesting.
    In the likes of MOG or Blady for instance.
    For instance:
    SOLD - Blady Baby Bass
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  8. John Eaton

    John Eaton

    Mar 30, 2020
    Ah! This I like. Will investigate. Thanks!
  9. John Eaton

    John Eaton

    Mar 30, 2020
    Fretless55 and Keith Rawlings like this.
  10. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    It looks really nice for a rockabilly setup and Gollihur doesn’t sell junk. They’re very reputable and will help you throughout the process should you purchase from them.
    Fretless55 and HateyMcAmp like this.
  11. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Krivo Pickups
    I really don’t mean to be discouraging but I think for slap a
    Gollihur has been around forever and has always sold only high quality stuff they stand behind. I think that bass represents a really good value and I believe them when they say it would arrive ready to play, which is not a given with mail-order uprights. If you are really interested in playing slap, this bass would be far superior to any EUB on the market. I say this as someone who has owned four EUBs and currently has a very nice Eminence bass. There is a balance point for slap that I can kind of achieve on the Eminence, but I'm always worried I'm about to launch it across the room. The body really holds the bass in place for this relatively physical style of playing.

    Also, I noticed the bass comes with an all synthetic Evah Slap strings installed, which are a nice all around set but kind of high tension for straight up rockabilly. I would recommend to substitute them with Eurosonic ultralights if you are going to slap most of the time and don't plan on bowing the bass.
    Fretless55 and Keith Rawlings like this.
  12. John Eaton

    John Eaton

    Mar 30, 2020
    Thanks all! In within driving distance to them so I might just go check them out
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  13. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    One other point for consideration...

    I've heard -- and successfully copied -- DB-slap people slapping on a fretless uBass after changing their technique enough to accommodate the vastly different instrument. The big question is whether a person wants to make those required technique changes.

    In other words, do you want to not only sound like, but also play like Jimbo Wallace? If so, you may also want an instrument similar to Jimbo Wallace.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  14. JayLaughlin


    Sep 15, 2016
    I have the Gollihur Ed bass and really love it. It is, perhaps, the best value for getting into slap bass. It's a well made bass and is delivered ready to play. I highly recommend it. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this one. And if you have any questions about it, Mark is a great guy and you can just call him up (or use the chat function on the website).

    Mine is still strung with the Evah Pirazzi strings that it came with. Good strings. Innovation Silver (or Gold) slaps are a good option too. If you do want different strings, let Mark know and he can have them installed before it ships.
  15. h00v3r


    Jun 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    You can mount a Shadow RB Pro on a 2x4 and get a really good amplified slap/clicky sound out of it - SH RB-PRO Rockabilly Pro Upright Bass Pickup & Preamp
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 18, 2021

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