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Electric Upright Bass For Recording Studio?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by PolkaHero, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    My bandleader owns a really nice studio and is looking to purchase an upright bass for it. He was thinking it might be better to go with an electric upright instead of a traditional model as more bassists would be able to play it. He's looking specifically at the NS Design CR4 Omni model which is a fretted upright.

    My question is can this model even remotely sound like the real thing? I've seen some videos of the NS fretless models and those sound pretty convincing but will a fretted model sound similar? With the scale length being the same as an electric (34"), I just don't see this sounding much different than a bass guitar. I have no experience with upright basses at all so I'm hoping someone here who has played these can lend some input!
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
  3. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    The Omni doesn't sound much like an upright, IMO. Not like a bass guitar either. I think it has it's own sound which you either like or not.
    I can see a studio keeping a piano, a couple of drum sets, but wouldn't most bassists want their own bass for recording? or is this just a studio for jamming in? Regardless, the Omni is esoteric enough so that I think most bassists would need some time with it before they felt comfortable. What kind of music are you playing the studio? How about a fretted acoustic bass guitar if you want to provide an instrument that many people could play with little adjustment.
  4. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    In my experience, two things:
    1. that ain't gonna sound like an upright much
    2. uprights are very personal instruments
  5. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    Thanks for the detailed response. Like you said, I'm not really sure the advantage of having a dedicated upright bass in my bandleader's recording studio. He already has a 6' grand piano and a high end Sonor drum set for the studio. I think he wants the upright mostly for recording ethnic music like bluegrass or classic country material.

    I've seen some videos of the fretless version that sound pretty close to an upright but I doubt the fretted version will sound close like you guys say. I really don't think a fretted acoustic bass guitar is going to come close to an upright sound either.
  6. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    There are only a few electric uprights that sound roughly like a real acoustic upright when amplified. The Eminence is one. I've heard recordings of Messenger's that sound close. I think there are a couple of others that have small acoustic chambers, like the Eminence, that also might come close when amplified. None of them sound much like an upright unamplified, AFAIK. I have the fretless Omni and I think it sounds pretty good when bowed, but more like a fretless guitar than an upright when plucked. Regardless, the Omni is in a space all of its own so neither guitarists nor upright players take to it without a few hours exploration.
    I have an Eminence and no one I've played with has ever complained about its tone, but to my ear, it has too much midrange and lacks depth. Fine for a jam but I, personally, would never record with it. I'm sure others probably would without complaint.