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China -> Germany

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Maaaven, Mar 26, 2004.


  1. Maaaven

    Maaaven

    Jun 24, 2003
    Pasadena Area
    After 9 months of playing a good quality bass made in Beijing,
    I purchased a finely restored flatback from Germany or
    perhaps Cz. It came out of the collection of a well known
    LA musican, David Young from Colburn School, LA Opera, etc.
    I bought it from a former student two nights ago.

    For those who might be considering the trade up, let
    me relate my impressions. The restoration was done
    by World of Strings in Long Beach. They did a very
    meticulous job and this bass is beautyful and solid.
    Their setup philosophy includes a minimal amount of
    scoop in the neck, and a moderately high action to
    facilitate easier playing and good arco tone. The action
    is high compared to a jazz rig, but still plays very easily
    and can give nice growl. I am leaving it as is for now.
    The neck is much thinner, and this significantly extends
    the endurance of my left thumb. This provides more
    direct load path, less bending = less muscle required.

    Also the strings are slightly closer together on the
    bridge, just a whisper more than 1.0 inch. I seem to
    have more freeboard on the E side, which solves my
    problems with pizz on the E-string. The awkwardness
    dissapeared when I switched basses. I could never
    figure out how to support my hand while playing the E
    string.

    I am able to play arco on all string at any place
    between the bridge and the fingerboard without
    any great effort. The bass seems to lead me to
    know the correct speed and pressure much more
    directly. On the old bass I was always guessing,
    and mostly getting it wrong. Big step forward.

    As for tone, the old bass sound pretty darned good
    pizz, and can be played arco by a skilled player.
    I am still a beginner, and struggled with it.

    On the new bass I can get great tone, and project it
    with real authority. The front table vibrates so much
    during FFF that to touch it makes you fingers tingle.

    Vibrato with arco was mystifying to me on the beijing
    bass. I tried it on the euro bass and I was quickly
    successful in making the first steps to this technique.

    I am very satisfied, and I find it very much worth the
    2X cost. I wish I had done it earlier, because I was
    wasting time with the old bass, but now I feel I can
    start moving ahead. Longer practice sessions, more
    focussed on higher skill level exercises should quickly
    start to pay dividends.

    paul t-
     
  2. So, what is the point of this lengthy missive? Or have I missed something¬Ö

    Oh, by the way, welcome to talkbass.com - you will find lots of great information here, lots of nice people, and a few curmudgeons - just like me ;)

    - Wil
     
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I think that the implication is that, if you were thinking about buying a Chinese bass, you should just go steal MAHWEH's instead.

    At least that's how I read it, I could be wrong.
     
  4. Maaaven

    Maaaven

    Jun 24, 2003
    Pasadena Area
    I guess to sum it up, "why would a relatively new player
    go out and drop $5-10K instead of less than half that?"
    It is a question that no one could satisfactorily answer for me.
    I found the answer the hard way, and wish to share it with
    anyone who might find themselves in the same boat,
    struggling against an instrument that is somewhat difficult.


    I have learned much by trolling the archives. After I
    found the twwo day default was limiting the scope
    of threads shown, I found a treasure trove.

    paul t-
     
  5. paul...good point. I agree with you and I wish more people would troll the archives!
    By the way, i'm one of the other curmudgeons!
     
  6. SleeperMan2000

    SleeperMan2000

    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
    Good story. I'm going to feel better when I finally go spend that 10K. I have a bass that leaves much to be desired, only reason I haven't upgraded is not enough time to play.

    I am not a curmudgeon.