DB Choice: Searched and want input

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jay, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Hey y'all. I've decided to learn the real bass, and the DB hunt has already begun. I'm currently looking at:

    Kay - M1 I believe...not certain, but what I've been told is that it's from the '70s. OK condition, plays smoothly. The neck was cracked and repaired, and there's some sort of crack and repair lower on the body. $850

    Englehardt - C1. Excellent condition, a couple years old, plays wonderfully, very comfortable. A scratch here and there from handling but no real damage. Being sold because the previous owner's jammin' buddies died. $850

    What do y'all think? I'm leaning towards the Englehardt, but I figure that y'all have some sort of hidden wisdom that could point out something I'm missing.

  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Up here, a Kay would cost more.
    They're both generally reliable makers.
    They cost the same
    Which one sounds better? Do you have a bass playing friend who could play each bass while you listen from 15-20 feet in front of the bass? The one who is playing is in the worst position to hear what a bass sounds like.
  3. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Without getting too complicated, pay some attention to the fingerboard. I happen to own one of them there Englehardt C-1s, and fingerboard is rosewood, not ebony, and is pretty thin. This makes future adjustments somewhat difficult.

    The bodies of both the C-1 and the M should be fairly similar, so take Don's advice to heart. The one that sounds best wins, but do pay some attention to the fingerboards.
  4. Check the tops for any signs of collapsing along the f holes. Better yet, steal a makeup mirror and a flashlight from your wife (or girlfriend) and check the bass bar for separation. (it runs most of the length of the bass) This fix will cost more than the bass is worth.
  5. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Thanks guys.

    Well, right off I would say that the Englehardt sounds better, but I've only heard from where I was playing it.

    From my best educated guess, I would deduce that the fingerboard is ebony. I have a rosewood fretboard on an acoustic guitar I have, so that's my comparison. I'm pretty sure it's ebony, but as always, I could be wrong.

    I'm thinking that the best way to find out about the Englehardt is straight from the guy that is selling it. Maybe I can get some contact info from the store owner.

    I hate to be a pain, but could y'all give me a little more info on what a bass bar is, what it does, and what I should, more specifically, look for? I'm clueless and practically no one here plays DB. Y'all are my only hope here, I appreciate it guys.

    Thanks again.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    It's a place where basses hang out, have a beer or two, and fantasize about going home with a shapely 'Cello at the end of the evening.



    Or, alternately, it's the piece of wood which runs along the vertical axis of the top of the bass right under the bass foot of the bridge. If the bass bar is loose, the top has to be removed in order to repair it, which often costs nearly as much as a plywood bass is worth.
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Inspecting a bass bar is not simple. You have to drop a light inside, then be able to drop in and control a mirror to sweep the full length of the bass bar.
  9. ah yea....something about a woman with a cello between her legs.........umm.......was that out loud?..............
  10. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Ah yes, double bassist humor. I really should hang out here more often. No childish ranting, no screaming newbies...this place is like heaven! :D Not to say that the BG side is hellish...well...ok, it is. But that is irrelevant.

    Thanks for the links mchildree, and DURRL, thank you for the dubbing and description. I've been thinking about this bass and I am going to inspect and test drive some more before deciding further.

    Thanks again y'all.