Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ispider6, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. ispider6


    Jan 30, 2005
    Had an interesting night tonight. I went to see the Tord Gustavsen Trio at Merkin Hall in NYC. I must say they were terrific and they have a new record out on ECM called "The Ground." Y'all should check it out. Anyway, the bassist, Harald Johnsen, was playing a Czech-Ease because his bass was severely damaged on a Lufthansa flight (the neck broke completely off). He took the bass to David Gage and Gage totally hooked him up at the last minute. I have to commend him for that. Unfortunately, my first experience with a Czech-Ease was not a good one. The bassist is a decent player but the Czech-Ease left much to be desired in terms of sound. After all the positive posts here, I expected to be blown away. To its credit, it does sound okay given the fact that its lower bout is less than half the normal size of a regular DB. And in my book, it still sounds better than EUB. I'm pretty sure Harald was using Velvet strings (expensive gut) but there just wasn't much meat or sustain to the sound. Granted, there are many other factors involved in why it sounded the way it did so I don't want to be too unfair to Gage but after all the hype I was just a little disappointed. I guess I'll have to wait until I try one myself to judge whether their worth their weight in gold.
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I had the chance to talk to Steve LaSpina tonight and he was saying that he's starting to have trouble with the airlines even with the CE bass. Charging overages and/or refusing it, etc.
  3. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Your report of Mr. Laspina's recent experiance with the airlines is causing me some concern, I just bought a CE and it's making it's maiden voyage by air on Friday, next week. Guess I'll be getting to the airport extra early and ready to whip out my credit card if nessasary, lets just hope that my matine-idol good looks and million dollar powers of charm and personality will be sufficent to do the trick! I don't even want to begin to think of what will happen if they just flat refuse it....
    I promise to post a full report after I get settled in China.
    As to the bass's sound, I guess one might compare it volume-wise to a half-sized bass, that's ok for me since I'll be using it thru an amp most of the time on my gigs. It's natural (unplugged) sound should still be enough to give me and the rest of the cats on the bandstand enough of an acoustic "hit" to be satifying, even with the amp in use to fill in the sound. Certainly more than an EUB or slab ever could. As far as it's capabilty to sustain, I don't find it too much different than most other good plywood basses I've played, seems to get plenty of "mwaw" on the low notes when I want it too, acousticly. Higher up the bass, the notes sing as long as I need them to as well. It's seems easier for me to get big sustain when I'm plugged in, with the included Realist it's fine, with an Underwood that I've been trying it's "mwaw city" if I want it. The bass's bridge reacts tone and attack/decay-wise with the Underwood the way most basses do, much more would be too much.
  4. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Just curious what kind of jobs you have lined up in China.

  5. It may be the sound Harald was after? - I don't know what the Czech Ease sounded like of course but I have listened extensively to the trios two fabulous cds on ECM - Changing Places and The Ground. I'd like to hear what you think of Harlads bass sound there where it is presumably recorded under ideal condititions on his ideal bass.
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Just a thought, no evidence to back it up, but...
    if the cat had just had major trauma traveling with his bass, maybe he wanted to see how the CE would be "under fire" in the real world in order to decide if that might be a solution for touring? If he liked it on the gig, then he could buy one and not have to worry about breaking his bass anymore, kinda thang.
  7. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong

    This time it's a 3 month gig at CJW in Shanghai, my first time working for them.
  8. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I am only too happy to report that my Czech Ease made it to Shanghai in one piece and without incident. The bass went in and out of two different planes, a short flight, LA to San Franciso then on to Shanghai, checked all the way thru from LA.
    It was easy, I went to the oversized counter and the folks at United Airlines were delighted to take the bass, with no additional charges.
    Since arriving here I've found that the bass in it's soft case even fits fine in Chinese taxis, they are mostly old Toyata Crowns and are a bit smaller than cabs seen in most US cities.
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Good deal. You'll have to post some pix of your trip when you get the chance!
  10. I was just reading this thread yesterday when into the radio studio where I work came the singer-songwriter Ray Lamontagne and his bass playing accompanist whom I was introduced to as C.T. He had a Czech-Ease with a Realist pickup and clearly loved the thing. He sat on a normal chair to play it. To my ears it sounded in the control room like a normal bass with the all the low end rolled off, and though that sounded a bit thin on its own, it sat very well with Ray's guitar. I wasn't engineering that session so I had to go after a short while, but not before I gave C.T. the heads up on Talkbass, so we may be hearing from him in future!
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Lynn Seaton decided to buy a Czech Ease this year, and brought it to the camps. He reported no problems getting it shipped here, and it sounds wonderful. He played an acoustic duet with Rufus on day 1, and Lynn's sound was ample to keep up. On Wednesday's concert, his amplified sound at the annual VERY LOUD concert was cleaner and more controlled than I've ever heard him get with his regular bass, and if I hadn't been watching, I would have had no idea that he was playing on anything other than a regular 3/4 bass. I played the bass for a few minutes and was mightily impressed. Two thumbs up.
  12. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    It's nice to see that a musician of Lynn Seatons caliber and credentials finds the Czech Ease up to his standards for a road bass.
    Mine has been of good service to me six nights a week for over two months now. It flew to Shanghai regular baggage with no overcharges whatsoever. Nothing on the bass has moved since I first had it set up in LA, other than to kind of settling down thats to be expecting as a brand new bass "plays in". The bridge and soundpost all remain in the exact same positions as they were, even after the long flights and hard nightly playing. It's easy to get a good amplfied sound thru any number of amps and PA's I've encountered here. I like this bass for what it is very much, a very practical travel sized plywood bass that sounds just fine. But...stay tuned, because this very day, I just bought yet another bass!
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    In other threads, I've mentioned that I saw Michael Formanek in a trio, using one of these - at my local Jazz club and presumably for all their UK tour. I was sitting very close and the sound was great - compared with the best full-size DBs I've heard in the same place.

    This was a Sax-Bass-Drums trio - so you could really hear the bass all the time and it was a very rich sound.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Hey Bruce, what's with the avatar? Did you finally break down and buy a doghouse?
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

  16. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I had the opportunity to play the Czech Ease bass. Impressive.

    I was just curious what kind of shipping container the bass went in when it went through the airlines are oversized baggage and there were no problems. Thanks.
  17. Dave Bruebeck played a pop/jazz/religious music gig at one of the local Episcopalian churches here a couple of months ago and I believe Michael Moore was playing a CE. Hard to tell due to cheap seats and church ladies with big hair and big hats. The clarity and tone were on the button and Moores' facility with the insturment was nothing short of spellbinding. How those "big city" boys can play them basses!
  18. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    Harvie S uses a CE set up with Labella 7720s and he swears by it. I've heard him at a few gigs using it and the sound is always large and resonant. He let me play it too and it felt good to me.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
  20. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Fender, Source Audio & Fishman
    This is all good news. I was going to order one on Monday anyway. I'm selling my NS CRM 4 and getting a Czech-Ease plus the hard case. I just can't get comfortable with the feel of the NS. I also have trouble with intonnation on it since there are no physical reference points and I don't want to look at the dots the whole time. Plus, I can't stabalize the d*mn thing for arco playing (it shakes too much on the stand). I'm not that crazy about the sound even though lot's of front of house people like it. I was a little worried about ordering a the Czech-Ease without playing it first, but I won't be in NY until October. The tour starts in September and I got a little peace of mind from this thread.

    I would like to keep the NS for certain things since it is the ultimate fretless bass, but it won't cut it as my main travel bass. It has it's merits, but it is nowhere close to the real thing.