Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Craziest, most unique looking upright?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by CeroFrio, Jun 12, 2004.


  1. CeroFrio

    CeroFrio

    Mar 23, 2004
    Although their definitely is a broad range of UBs and EUBs Their seems to be only 2 kinds of body's available. The old standard hourglass aucostic, and the electric that looks like it's just or almost just a long fingerboard. The most interesting UB that I ever saw was an old Gibson SG bass that was modified with a new neck and put on a stand. I don't think it sounded that great, but it definitely stood out. Has anyone seen an UB or an EUB that seperates itself from the pack in the visual compartment? Electric Guitar and Bass guitars have this luxury, why not Double Basses too?
     
  2. Look under Basses. then The Talkbasses.
     
  3. CeroFrio

    CeroFrio

    Mar 23, 2004
    Though I beleive those basses (on "the TalkBasses" thread) are indeed beautiful and fine instruments, they still follow the same tried and true rules of construction and look. Although they're finer details are worlds apart, at first glance, these instruments all look very much the same. I'm sure many of you are rolling your eyes at what I'm asking for. I appreciate and understand that many bassists value quality sound over everything else, or prefer the "classic" look of uprights. I want to find something (because I'm not experienced nor have the time to make one myself) that really catches someone's eye. I'd like to have an Upright that people don't know is an upright until I start playing it. I think that hip mounted Upright is breaking the paradigm a little bit. Dean and Steinberger are different but they are making an even more boring looking instrument. I want people waiting for me to get on stage, and spend time talking about the instrument that some tech is tuning, wondering what the hell it is. THAT's what I want. Does anyone know wear I can find THAT? :confused:
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Talk to a guy named Wishnevsky. I am sure he could get you somethig worked out!
     
  5. Wyzird05

    Wyzird05

    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    After initially reading this post I was going to tell you to design a new instrument, but after reading it again I would have to say you could create something that is unique. You just need the basics. A box, neck, strings and something to tranfer vibration to the box. Even an electric bass and guitar need some basic materials. They both need some sort of magnetic or lightwave pick up to collect vibration. There are many different shapes and pickup placements that supposedly help produce some aspect of sound better than any other bass on the market. So why not make a DB with a box that has more curve or curves? It would be hard to work with the wood and probably not sound the best, but it could be done. I myself have wondered lately what effect on sound would moving the bass side f-hole to the upper bout, kind of like Taylor and Tacoma acoustic basses, would have on a DB. I would actually like to move both F-holes up to the top, but realize for adjustment purposes that would be near impossible. I would imagine by simply moving the bass side f-hole up it would give the bass bar a little more chamber to resonate in creating a deeper sound.
     
  6. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    what about acess in the back of the bass? I am not sure how this would affect it structurally, though. They did that with the Gibson 333 guitars, if memory serves.
     
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I think you're gonna have to build it. Maybe you could do something along the lines of a Chapman Stick, which has an attachment that slips in the waistband in the front of your pants ( :eek: ), and supports the instrument. And although it wasn't an upright, Allan Gittler made a fretless bass a long time ago that was essentially four aluminum tubes side by side, with pickups inside.

    As far as double basses go, our friend Arnold Schnitzer's Ergonomic Contrabass is a little warped..literally! Prolly sounds fantastic.
     
  8. What about access in the side?

    Erik Meatleg has some interesting electrics. They're a little heavy though, I think his bass is something like 45 lbs. It comes with a Gravity Dominator Base (I think that's right) to hold it up.
     
  9. Are you guys holdin' out on me Marcus? Is Arnolds Ergo up for viewing? I haven't seen it yet!
     
  10. CeroFrio

    CeroFrio

    Mar 23, 2004
    I checked out his homepage, and some of his designs were really interesting and seemingly exactly what I was looking for, until I saw his uprights. For some reason he decided to stop being creative and have look very traditional. True the headstock was interesting, and it was a bit more elongated than most UB but that's it. The rest was exactly the same. Their seems to be this unwritten law that all Uprights have to have the same Body shape, 2 F holes and a elf toe curled headstock. There's variations and exceptions, sure, but I can't find a complete departure anywhere. What if Wishnevsky made an upright that looked as cool as his Rock and Roll Bass, or his guitars or mandolins? Has anyone ever even thought of making those. Why hasn't the DB players caught up with the electric guitarists and the Bass Guitarists, who have BC Rich, Ibanez, and Jackson making bizarre bodies for them. When is it our turn to get these unique out of this world bodies.

    As for making one of my own, I'd like to, because who else to make my perfect UB but me, but I have no experience in design or construction. I'm only 17.
     
  11. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    It's up on his website (AES). It's on the page that shows the handmade stuff. There's also a little slideshow that features Ahhhnold building a DB.

    There was a nice bass built by Thomas Kelischek awhile back, right before he had a stroke which took him out of the game. It was his only DB, I think. It was featured in Double Bassist mag, the issue with Charlie Haden on the cover.
     
  12. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Interesting and observent that Marcus brings up Tom Kelischek while discussing my "Ergonomic Contrabass". My original concept for the bass featured a cornerless design (which I believe is best for tone), but I ended up deciding on upper corners so the player can more easily manage moving the bass around. When I laid out the shape on paper I immediately thought of Tom's lovely bass. However, mine is asymmetrical (deliberately). I tip my hat to Tom. It's really a shame what happened to him at such a young age. Does anyone know what his status is?
     
  13. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    It appears that his family is pretty active in the biz of early instruments in NC;www.susato.com

    You could probably find out how he's doing through them.
     
  14. I noticed that Steve Wishnevsky has an unusual bass in the lowest photo featured on his front page. It seems to have a handle.[font=Arial, Helvetica, adobe-helvetica, Arial Narrow]
    [/font]
     
  15. This is like saying a Porsche is just like a Neon. They both have 4 wheels, windows and a steering wheel.
    You don't know enough about basses to know how insulting you are to Arnold's creativity. I have watched that bass being made, and I have played it. The design concepts are revolutionary, if you know what you're looking at. They are a case of form following function. The bass astounds everyone who plays it. There are some whimsical touches, but they're probably just too subtle for someone who knows nothing about basses.
    Maybe you can work out something with Earl Scheib.
     
  16. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I think he was talking about Wishnevsky. But the idea is the same.

    Dono...you played the Ergo? I'm interested in your impressions.
     
  17. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    An instrument has to be built a certain way in order for it to: A work sonically, B be able to play, C not fall apart. Weird to look weird with no other reason is lame.

    Still
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127579
    or
    http://www.abasses.com/upright.html
    or mine
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=130475
    or the thing in post 21
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=131284
     
  18. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Aaron (aka AMN) is being humble, he came up with a really cool looking EUB in no time at all.
     
  19. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    Well the "looks like it's just or almost just a long fingerboard" bugged me :p
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Isn't the whole point that the only reason you would go to the trouble of mastering such an awkward instrument as the Double Bass is for "that sound" and nothing else - so, looks are not really relevant and it is a question of how you get "that sound" - if you don't have "that sound", then you might as well play a BG and have it look as 'weird' as you want...?