Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Dad Bass, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Dad Bass

    Dad Bass

    Jun 22, 2005
    New Jersey, USA
    I may be in a position that I have and option of a laminayed bass or a hybrid from the same maker for about the same price range.

    What are the advantages or disadvantages. This is my first bass but I don't want to cheap out.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Dad Bass
  2. Which one sounds/plays better?
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I would much rather have a good plywood bass than a bad hybrid. Being a hybrid or fully carved bass doesn't guarantee sound quality.
  4. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    But it is a pretty good step in the right direction. So assuming you're hearing a difference in tone, then here's another tidbit. The big diff in favor of plywood is durability. The big diff in favor of carved is tone. A hybrid gets you some of each world as yo know. The tone of a hybrid is usually quite noticeably better than the same bass in plywood. The durability of a hybrid is so close to being the same as plywood that you might as well call it the same. So if the money is the same, and using the "all other things being equal" rule regarding the rest of the instrument, grab that hybrid and run to the car. :)

    *disclaimer: advice based on my personal experience with our basses only (Shens), your mileage may vary. My acid test is that the hybrids are holding up as well as the plywoods in schools. Hybrids in schools do attract a better grade of graffiti as well.
  5. I agree with this. When shopping for a bass a few years ago, I tested/played a plywood Strunal back-to-back against the same model with a carved top (hybrid). Same strings and the string heights seemed to be similar. They were basically the same bass except for the top.

    The difference in sound was quite noticeable (even my cellist niece was surprised by this). The bass with the carved top had simply a much richer (and better) sound to our ears.

    I bought the hybrid....
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think the key phrase there is "all things being equal," John. I have no doubt a manufacturer that's good (like Shen) will have a better hybrid than plywood. But if you take the best plywood Shen and put it up against a not-so-good carved bass like a Thoma, it's my opinion that the Shen plywood will sound better as the Thoma carved basses I've played have been unremarkable in every way. So if I was given the choice of a Shen plywood, or a Thoma carved bass or hybrid, I would take the Shen. If I was given the choice of a Shen plywood or a Shen hybrid or fully carved, though, that's a different story.
  7. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Jimmy has a point I suppose.

    But from the same maker, same model, one of them is a hybrid, and at the same price? I'd say take hat hybrid....
  8. Get the Hibrid

    With a carved top the sound will almost always improve over time esp if your using the bow.

    That's not always the case with a ply instrument.
  9. Another vote for the hybrid here, given that all other things are equal. I have a fully carved bass and the only thing I can admit to that is a disadvantage is there are many weather situations where I worry about it where I might not be so concerned if it was a hybrid. It is also true that I have played a hybrid that sounded about the same in tonal quality. If it is your first bass, you will get more mileage out of the hybrid and much more satisfying sound as you become a better player and the wood opens up some.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oooch! I just noticed that the original post said "from the same maker." Well in that case, I would believe that the sound quality of the hybrid model would be better than the plywood.