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D or Eb Neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by carteru93, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. D neck

  2. Eb neck

  1. I will be purchasing my first double bass in a few months (Upton UB Standard), and they give the option of string length with a D or an Eb. I'm about 5'10 and have "normal" sized hands. I'm used to playing a D neck, and played my teacher's Eb neck bass one time, and didn't notice too much of a difference, but I was only playing it for a couple of days. Would there be a noticeable difference in the future after playing for a while, and would you recommend one over the other and why?

    PS. I understand a D neck is the norm for a double bass.

    The poll is for which you recommend, not which do you use.
  2. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    There is really not that much of a difference really in the end. I guess you can say I like Ed necks because that is what the bass I've had for the last 12+ years has and I am use to it. But If I was to get another bass D v.s. Ed would be my last concern other than color;).
  3. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have two basses, one with a D neck and the other with an Eb neck. I think one of the main differences is that notes above that Eb are a bit easier to reach than on the D-neck bass.
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Get the bass that sounds better, not because of what neck it's got.
  5. thewhale


    Feb 28, 2008
    north carolina
    I was talking to Dwayne Dolphin one time about why I didn't want to sit in on a jazz jam session. I had played my buddies bass that was on stage before and had trouble playing it in tune because it was a D neck and I'm used to Eb. Dwayne lectured me about how he didn't even know what kind of neck his bass had and didn't care. He said I should just get up on stage and play no matter what instrument was up there. It's the bassist, not the bass.
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    We've been around on this one many times here on TB. I agree with everything that's been said here. Preferences, when they exist, seem to be based on what the player is used to. Yes, one can argue that a good player ought to be able to switch with no problem but, justified or not, players seem to prefer what they play on most. With that in mind, I believe D-necks are the more common. So, if you are just starting out and thinking of buying a bass, then all other things being equal, get a D-neck. That way, it will be easier (even if slightly) to sell the bass if and when you want to make a change. If Upton is offering a D or Eb neck, then all other things are equal. So, go for the D-neck as a matter of practicality.
  7. Thanks guys, nobody has brought up any significant advantages of the Eb neck (other than being slightly easier to get high notes). If anything, there seems to be more advantages to the D neck. Poll says D neck so far also.
  8. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Really? There doesn't seem to be a standard as far as I can tell. Both my basses are pretty common basses (Shen and Lewis & Sons) and they are both Eb necks. I would say of my students basses it is pretty equal either way.

    I'm going have to go with P-Diddy on this one. Just buy the one that feels and sounds good.

    I'm one to say it doesn't matter and never teach my students to use that as a reference point. With the difference in necks heels and such it is just too variable. Search that discussion though. We beat that dead horse somewhere 'round here.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, yes, I do think the D-neck is more common but I could be wrong. Still, the OP was asking whether he should opt for a D-neck or Eb-neck on a given bass. So, for him, it's not a matter of what sounds better because it's the same bass either way. This is a rather rare circumstance. Given all that, I think opting for the D-neck holds a slight advantage but it's certainly not crucial. Judging from the poll-- assuming we can take that as representative-- the clear preference is for a D-neck. Now, even if that preference is totally irrational, if it exists, then selling a D-neck might be easier. Again, given it's the same bass either way, it seems that would be the better choice.
  10. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Got it.

    So he's talking about buying a bass that he hasn't played and won't play? You know what I'm gonna say 'bout that.;)
  11. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    True but, I have NEVER played two basses that sounded the same, have you?
  12. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    That's not really relevant here. He's gonna have a bass built. They can build it with a D-neck or an Eb-neck.
  13. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    True-- but I always have felt that playing a bass before you buy is far more important for carved than ply basses. I'd never argue that "play before you buy" isn't the ideal choice. IMO, there are precious few new ply basses out there that are of really nice quality in terms of build, playability, and sound.
  14. I probably should clarify a few things

    The bass I am considering purchasing is an Upton Standard. They have an option of scale length of a D or Eb neck. Like Drurb said, it's not like I am considering 2 different basses and will buy based on the string length. I have total confidence in buying sight unseen (unplayed?) from Upton. The basses would be exactly the same construction, but with either a D or Eb neck. There's no way I can drive from Sudbury, Ontario in CANADA all the way to Stonington, Connecticut in the USA just to try a bass. Of all the ones I've looked at, this seems to be a good ply bass that I can afford that's not made in China. Not that I have anything against Chinese instruments, but I have much more confidence in buying something from the USA and talking directly with the dealer AND maker all in one. How many bass shops can say that they make their own line of basses? My guess is very precious few. Again, not bashing anyone else, just sayin'.

    It would be different if I were buying a $15,000 fully carved vintage German flatback or something, but that's not the case, it's an $1800 ply bass. DOn't get me wrong, that's still A LOT of money, but they also have a "product defect return" policy and are set up to my specs.

    Play before I buy here just isn't an option. At least with this bass and company, that seems to be a great deal if I ever saw one.
  15. Also, I neglected to post this earlier, the Eb is a bit more expensive, is it worth more money in your opinion to go with it?
    Unless anyone can come up with a really good reason to go with an Eb to justify the extra cost, chances are I'll go with the D neck.
  16. Could someone explain what is a D neck and an E-b neck ? I am not familiar with these terms. Thanks.
  17. fryBASS


    Aug 8, 2006
    New Haven, CT
    This refers to where the neck meets the body, the note on the G string. Most basses, the note happens to be a D (equivalent to 7th fret for you BG players), some are an Eb.
  18. Thanks for the explanation.
  19. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    All other things being equal, an Eb neck has a smaller heel which is more prone to breakage.
  20. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    Please forgive the very basic nature of this post, but I still can't tell if I have a D or Eb neck:


    Previously, I had heard that the first finger in IV position was the kind of neck you had; I also read the finger directly behind the second finger. This is all very visual, I realize. The above photo is a still from a video of me playing in IV position on the G string (1-D/2-Eb/4-E). Because it's hard to take a photo of the position, here's a 20-second video where I rotate the bass a little.

    So, what do you think? Do I have a "D" or "Eb" neck? BTW, the bridge is where it's supposed to be on this instrument now (centered between notches on the F-holes). String length = 41.5" on this bass.

    Thanks a million, everybody.


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