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Electric Uprights... um...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thumbz, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Thumbz

    Thumbz Guest

    I need advice guys, and girls...

    Am thinking about selling my motorbike to buy an electric upright such as the steinberg(er?) 5-string...

    Need the encouragement and advice as to alternatives costing around £2500 ($4000
  2. If you can find a Zeta bass they are less pricey than an NS Designs. They also have "crossover" models that you can wear as well as use as an upright.
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Lots of very different brands to choose from. I'd suggest jumping over to the Basses (DB) forum and do a search for EUB, Azola, NS Design, Eminence, Knutson, to just name a few.

    IMO, the NS Design you mention is at one end of the spectrum, very nice bass but sound-wise more like an electric fretless than other EUBs. Others like the Eminence have more of the feel and sound of the double bass. Make sure you know what you want before buying.
  4. Thumbz

    Thumbz Guest

    Thanks guys... I am really looking for that DB tone...
    I know, I know just buy a Double Bass then...

    I do prefer the more modern look and the portability of the NS, and I believe Tony Levin uses one.

    Will check the other manufacturers though. Again, Thanks.
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    DB tone+NS portability=Eminence w/detachable neck.

    Otherwise, Azola or Kania could be neat. As Eminence, they are more of ElectroAcousticUprightBasses.

    edit: the name Knutson does have a certain ring to it....:D
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I bought an NS CR5 and I do think you can get a Double Bass sound - I have used it at Jazz Summer School and several Jazz Jams/workshops and have got nothing but compliments about the sound.

    I think you need to raise the action (very easy) and play every note as if it is a Double Bass - when I play it like a big fretless bass - then it sounds like fretless BG - when I am very careful about playing each note like a DB then I think it can be made to sound like an amplified DB.

    I will say that the Magnetic pick-ups sound much more like BG - so I bought the piezo-only version - as I have BGs for that sound.

    Basically though, it was the only choice in the UK - I didn't want to buy something without playing it first and I also was strapped for cash and bought using interest-free credit.

    I have seen the Zeta things and think they are much less like DB than the NS basses - especially the short scale. I don't believe you can get anything like a DB with short scale - it has to have the 42" scale length.

    You cannot get Eminence in the UK - the only way would be to buy from the US and then get it shipped. To me this ruled it out, as - I couldn't try it first, it could easily be damaged in transit (I don't trust the post office not to drop stuff heavily!) - and there is the issue of paying VAT, Customs Duty etc.
  7. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    One thing about the Eminence - at least the one I got - is that the build quality and finish is not up there with for instance NS Design or Azola. So I second the idea of trying it out first to make sure you can live with that. The sound though is IMO closer to a DB, but on the other hand so is the way it plays - it's as difficult or perhaps more difficult than a real DB on your hands. Which might be what you want if you're used to DB. The NS Design I tried played like butter. :)
  8. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    Do yourself a favour and try the Takamine B10 (preferrably with La Bella nylon tape wound strings). I've been using it for a few years now and get often very favorable comments on its sound. It certainly sounds way better than the Zeta's; I haven't been able to compare it with the NS.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think anything is better than the Zetas if we're talking about short-scale!! I think 42" scale is crucial.

    As Anders says - build quality on the NS basses is very good and they are well under £2,000 - but in the end it is availability in the UK which can be the determining factor....
  10. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
  11. ceeprm -

    There is no such creature as an NS Design EUB made in Korea - it just doesn't exist. There are only two versions: the USA which is handmade by a small crew in Maine at Ned's shop; and the Czech, which is made in the same factory as the Spector NSCRFM series basses.

    As Bruce pointed out, the build quality on the NS basses is exemplary, and you can get a good tone out of it for many things, especially with the magnetic pickup models. I've gotten compliments doing straight ahead jazz gigs (and gotten a killer doghouse "thump"), swing gigs, latin (with the right setup on the electronics and the right touch, it will out Baby Bass a Baby Bass! ;) ), and even played stuff with - as Bruce pointed out it will do - what was basically a great big EBG tone.

    String length is key to getting it to happen, my experience with the shorter scale EUBs is that they work fine, are easier to adjust to at first, but don't have the depth of the 41-42" scale length instruments.

    All this should be taken with a grain of salt: I'm an endorser, and I sell them! I'm not an endorser because I got any kind of special treatment from the NS folks - I bought my only NS bass prior to getting any recognition from the company, and even prior to being employed as a sales person at BC. I bought it because it was the best one for myself and my application, and I recommend that if you can, you try several different ones out before purchasing. There are many excellent instruments available that haven't been mentioned here yet: Azola and BSX come immedately to mind.
  12. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    I meant Czech....
    Still a US handmade one is going to cost a lot more than £2000!
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

  14. Thumbz

    Thumbz Guest

    Thanx all you guys. I am new to this site and have been out of the music scene for a number of years. I really do appreciate all advice given.

    You are a helpful bunch... no matter what "they" say about bass players!
  15. eddiebo

    eddiebo Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2002
    Montclair, NJ
    I highly recommend going with a "true scale" EUB (41", 41.5", or 42" scale like NS or Azola). This way if you ever want to play a "real" upright, you already have correct technique and don't have to stumble through relearning all of the left-hand positions.

    Being an URB guy, I have never been able to get used to the "bodyless" electric uprights but would recommend the NS or Azola for the scale, build quality of the instrument and reputation of the builders. The Azolas are probably some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with any any service-oriented industry - good, good people!
  16. eddiebo's right, Jill & Steve Azola are great folks, that make a great bass. I just couldn't deal with the whole thumb position thing, so the NS worked better for me (plus I dig the whole "modern art" vibe of its looks), the folks at NS Design (David & Ned at the shop, PJ Rubal in sales) are also first-rate folks, great to deal with!
  17. Check out Bob Gollihur's links page which features links to just about any EUB there is:

    Cheers rOdy

    Ps he sells EUB's too and he's a dream to deal with. Drop him a line if you're interested.

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