Could it be... my first Upright!?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Petary791, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Well I pretty much read the WHOLE noob thread and clicked most of the links. I still couldn't find very many in my budget, so I doogled a google saying "Plywood Basses." I found this site.

    I would get the 3/4 model. 3/4 only means that the body is 1/4 smaller than a full sized right? Any bad ideas about this? Thanks. :)
  2. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Wait, hold yer horses!

    First, I would advise against buying a bass without playing it first (I did it and regretted it big time) unless it is something that is HIGHLY recommended such as A New Standard La Scala or the Like. You should hook up with a luthier - many of them sell basses, can get you a good deal, and most importantly can get you an instrument that works well. Same goes for pro bassists in your area. Check out Bob Gollihur's Luthier Directory. Good luck, feel free to ask whatever you want!
  3. sonic bass

    sonic bass

    Jul 12, 2004
    Most contrabasses are 3/4... it's the standard size.. don't worry just enjoy it...
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Ditto what Alexi said. Buying a DB isn't like buying a slab bass. It's a living/breathing instrument. Slabs can still play OK if the build quality sucks. It's not the same on a DB. If you can't afford something like an Englehardt, I wouldn't even bother. Save up your pennies til you can afford it.

    The only time where I can see someone making an exception to the cheap basses is where they're playing them in person, but even then I'd be highly suspicious. You're looking on the web and you don't even have the slightest idea of what you're getting. It's your choice if you want to gamble several hundred bucks on a bass-shaped-object (BSO). The odds are high that such a bass will end up sounding very dead when it arrives at your doorstep.

    IMO, if you don't know the difference between a 3/4 and 4/4, you should probably hold off and read more posts. Use the search tool and look up terms like "cheap beginner bass". Don't be in a hurry.

    My $.02
  5. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN

    Do yourself a favor and get to one of the fine midwest bass shops. Out of respect to our sponsors, I will not mention them by name, but if you go to Bob G's website you can find their websites. They are in Cincinnati and Chicago just to name a few. All of them carry a wide range of basses and are very good about leaving you alone while you play to your hearts content. Most prefer to work off an appointment. That way they can have several basses waiting for you in your price range.

    Good luck, but don't buy sight onseen!
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Unless you do buy sight unseen. People do it, y'know.

    The best advice is to get out and play a lot of basses, talk to a lot of bass people, etc. Of course that's the best advice.

    So, what do you do when you can't follow the best advice -- as when you live in a part of the world where it's far easier to check out every variety of accordion that's ever existed but where there are actually only 12 double basses within an 800 mile radius? You go on very expensive road trips and take months or years to make your decision.

    OR, you buy the damn thing MAIL ORDER, "sight unseen". Use your common sense -- deal with people who have a good rep, deal with instruments whose manufacturers are known to the community of DB players (no better place than here to get that feedback), and do lots of research on prices, methods of shipping, etc.

    "Can't" follow the best advice is different from "won't" follow the best advice. If you find yourself in the "can't" camp, don't beat yourself up.

    So: you've heard the best advice, the ideal advice. What I've offered is some real world advice. I bought a Christopher Hybrid from a Canadian luthier/dealer 1000 miles away from me and I am extremely happy with the deal. I've spent the time I would have put into serious looking into practice and gigging instead. Would I feel bad about buying an Englehardt from Bob G, mail order? No. Would I feel bad about buying a New American Standard, or a Shen, from folks whose rep I've gotten to know via this board? No. Is there a better bass out there for me? Very likely yes. Do I care? Not enough to lose any sleep over it. I pulled the trigger on the decision and got the pretty good deal I expected. I've always got my eye open for a better bass but in the meantime, I'm playing. Save the anxiety for something that matters.
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    FWIW, Classic Contrabass is a legitimate luthier's shop in suburban Chicago. It's about 15-20 minutes north of Palatine.

    I was in that shop back in the fall as we have friends in Palatine get up there about once a year. The lady that runs it was very nice, seemed knowledgeable and the handful of basses in the place were setup nicely and played well.

    She seemed fairly young and is perhaps just trying to get started, but if you read her resume at her site, you see that she is a life-long bass professional, boasts an MA in DB performance as well as a graduate of the Chicago School of Violin making.

    I would not consider buying from her a high risk net deal by any means.
  8. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Dammit Rondeau, I have great pride in the grammatical correctness of my posts!!! So much for perfection.

    I will most likely impose a one-day suspension on future posts beginning right now.

    I will be "onseen" for the next 24-hours. :bawl:
  9. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    If we all saved our posts for sober second thought and a good editing, where in the mothering h*ll would this board be?

    Nowheresville, man.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What's your budget?

    If you can spare a grand, might I recommend an Engelhardt EM-1 from Bob Gollihur ( and a Brazilwood Bow to match. Great bass for the money, but throw in another $400 and it's an AMAZING bass in any price range.
  11. Well said!