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carved bass vs. hybrid

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Mr. RC, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. Mr. RC

    Mr. RC

    Oct 31, 2002
    New York, NY
    I am looking to buy my first uprightbass and I would like some advice. I've been swaying towards the Strunal 5/20 (carved top model) after I've read about much of the praise its gotten. I was also looking at the Vienna Strings fully carved Munich bass. I would like to know if anyone has experience with both of these basses. Should I purchase the full carved or the hybrid ( both are around the same price).

    you can view them at


  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Do you have a teacher? A luthier in your area? Why are you only looking at new basses? How much are you planning on spending?

    Having purchased a new bass, I'm not sure that I would ever do it again unless it was love, like it is in my case.

    Your profile says that you have a Kay. What you're looking at doesn't look like a big enough step up to fool with. Stick with the Kay and save your pennies, and keep your eye open for a bass that speaks to you. Hit all of the shops and play all of the basses that you can get your hands on. Also keep in mind that your tastes are going to change, and at your age, your playing is still likely improving by leaps and bounds.

    I played a generic Czech plywood for 15 years (professionally) until it got destroyed. The reason that I never upgraded is that I never ran into a bass for less than $10G that I like that much better.

    Get around people that really know what's what, and get your hand on as many basses as you can. I think you'll find yourself on another path if you do.
  3. Mr. RC

    Mr. RC

    Oct 31, 2002
    New York, NY
    Yes I do have a teacher. There are a few luthiers in the Washington, D.C. area that I haven't checked out. I surely would like to hold on to the Kay but it is my school's. I am a junior now and would like to buy a bass before the summer in order to get accustomed to it for college auditions. I am only looking at new basses because in Washington, D.C. a used one is hard to come by. I really only have about $1,500 to spend.
  4. I recently bought a hybrid bass, although I probably could've sprung for the carved. My reasons were purely practical:

    1. 2/3 less chance to crack
    2. 90% of my playing is done through an amplifier,
    3. to get into a really nice, old carved bass would have cost me way more that the entry-level new carved bass that I might have been able to afford, which really didn't sound that much better than the new hybrid.

    I did, however, concede to buy a 7/8 hybrid, because it had a bigger sounding lower end and warmer sounding high register.
  5. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    One of my basses is the Munich, and I am pretty happy with it, it's not the bass that I play all the time but is a very nice bass, I only paid about $1600, from what I've seen around it was a great deal. BTW how much do they want for the Munich, also I got mine in about a week, but I heard some people having to wait for few months to get their bass, so you might want to check on that.
  6. jugband


    Jan 16, 2001
    Don't the majority of body cracks occur in the top, though? :confused:
  7. jugband


    Jan 16, 2001
    Don't the majority of body cracks occur in the top, though? :confused:
  8. "Don't the majority of body cracks occur in the top, though?"

    That's why it's 2/3rds less a chance. I have seen fully carved basses with worse cracks in the sides then the top. I have the Strunal 5/35 (which I purchased brand new) for 2 years now and am pretty happy with it. Although I would jump at the chance of buying a older fully carved bass my wallet can't right now. If you find yourself not being able to afford something older I would say go for the Strunal, you can usually find them in a shop and try them out before buying it. I'm surprissed no one has pointed out the ills of buying a bass online or through mail order.
  9. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I think you'd be well-advised to stop thinking in terms of brands and model numbers. Yes, Strunals, Christophers, Shens, Engelhardts, etc. are made in "factories". But they are built of essentially organic materials. Just as no two people are exactly alike, nor two snowflakes, there are no two pieces of wood that have the same density, resonance, or stiffness. And there are significant variables in finish thickness/hardness within a single product line, which affect tone. Every ebony (or other) fingerboard is unique, and the instruments will have variations in their set-ups. Find a bass that speaks to you, no matter what the country of origin, make or model number. Buy from a reputable dealer, and insist on a week's grace period during which it can be returned or exchanged. If you find an older bass you like, by all means get a pre-purchase inspection by a knowledgeable luthier.
  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    ...what he said...
  11. Touch


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    If you are in the DC area, check out Chesapeake Bass Shop in Annapolis, MD (www.chesapeakebass.com ).

    David Mansbridge is a luthier and sells new and used string basses. I bought a 100 year old carved top from him (after playing about 8 basses in his shop).

    Super nice guy AND he used to do security for John Denver (go figure!).

  12. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    This is a very timely tread as I'm starting to look for a DB also. Are there any other places in the Washington D.C. area I go to play and chose the right bass for me?
  13. craigr


    Mar 13, 2007
    Thankyou for your input! I have a Romanian carved; have played against several. The sound is close but not enough to make the leep as yet. New is fine ..age speaks.
    I feel sorry for my teacher& luthier. Its their doing.
  14. Steve Crowe

    Steve Crowe

    Jan 14, 2009
    Because of advancing age I have to give up playing my 1946 Kay URB. I still play my Fender J-bass with flatwounds occasionally. Is there an effects box that would EQ and add the woody harmonics of an URB to my signal?
  15. Behold, the zombie thread! After being dead for 5 years, it was awakened twice in the last two.
    I suppose there's a better place to put your posts, Crowe. :)
  16. Steve Crowe

    Steve Crowe

    Jan 14, 2009
    I'm sure there is... but where?
  17. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I think he's talking about the BG forums....

    I am a regular there and it's been covered more than once (as everything has). Consensus is you're never going to really get close to a DB sound on a BG, but there ARE things you an do to get closer. By all means head over there and use the Search box.
  18. Listen to this guy -- Schnitzer is a very well-respected maker himself (at least here in the northeast, although I'd have to believe his rep extends beyond that).

    Basses are like people -- no two are alike.

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