Eminence Megathread

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Christopher, Mar 21, 2001.


  1. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I spent some time with a four and five string (high C) Eminence today, at the NAMM show. Mercifully, his booth is in a lower volume area of the show, and was able to audition it through a 2x10 Genz-Benz amp which is a tilt-back.

    My concern was the change to the Realist pickup, but in conversation with Gary, the unit used with the Eminence are to his design specs. I learned some interesting facts about the Eminence and his modified units.

    Bottom line is, I will be getting an Eminence shortly after I return to NAMM, and will begin to offer them on my web site.

    As a player coming from double bass, today's experience confirmed my enjoyment of the instrument back at a past NAMM, and I'm now in the position to be able to stock and sell them.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Don't keep us in suspense. What sort of mods were those?
     
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    From the pic it does seem to have a slightly narrow string spacing, can someone who has seen one in real life compare it to your average DB or other EUBs?
     
  4. I don't own one, but I'm thinking that the narrow string spacing is due to the fact that it is a 5-string.

    I played a 4-string at a trade show and didn't notice closer string spacing. The Eminence, by the way, is manufactured by Christopher.

    I enjoyed playing it. It felt quite natural to hold, and the purely amplified sound was much better than my Anglefarht plywood.

    If I wasn't saving my bread for a new URB, I might consider buying one as a practice bass.
     
  5. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I played a 4-string several months ago, and I found the whole "feel" of the instrument very similar to my standard 3/4 upright. In particular, I did NOT feel that the strings were any closer together than on my 3/4.

    I travel a lot on business, and I've been thinking of getting an Eminence with a detachable neck to take on the road, so that I don't completely lose all those practice days. The acoustic sound is loud enough to hear it pretty well, but not so loud that I'd get kicked out of the hotel for playing.

    Is that a crazy idea?
     
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    No, that's an "Eminently" practical idea. Bob Sinicrope (one of the guys I teach with at the summer Aebersold Camps) bought one last year for the same reason, and he loves it. He brought it to Louisville on the plane in this black case that was kind of round and looked to be slightly smaller than a set of golf clubs and slightly larger than a fishing pole. It sounded okay to me, and the travel option is indeed appealing.
     
  7. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    The strange thing is that I only play classical music - almost entirely arco. I don't play jazz or EBG - never have - and I STILL liked this thing. The one I played bowed very well.
     
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I'd like to try some lower tension strings for my Eminence EUB. I don't play with a bow, music is mostly jazz standards.

    Some strings that have been suggested to me are Pirastro obligato, Schertner velvet and Thomastic weich (all names from a phone call, I may be incorrect on spelling etc).

    Any comments, suggestions, recommendations, would be appreciated!
     
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    1 and 3 I have some experience with, and you'd likely be happy with either. I would lean toward the Obli's as a recommendation for pizz as they might reduce the negative aspects of the pickup a bit more than the Thomastiks. I think the Thomastiks might bow a bit better, but the difference is slight.
     
  10. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Thanks. The Obligatos seem well liked enough from what I can see from other comments here as well, so I guess I'll start hunting for a decent price then! :)
     
  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Just finished exchanging the stock strings (D’Addario Helicore?) with Obligatos, and I like it! They are much easier to play for my untrained hands, I hear a warmer (but perhaps slightly less percussive) sound, and best of all they almost totally cured a very difficult to play A string (there was a kind of wooden thunk depending on how and where I plucked the string). Looking forward to the next rehearsal now...
     
  12. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I'm an American working bassist who spends most of my time working in Dubai, U.A.E. these days.
    The ever increasing cost of air-cargo has made it very difficult for me to always have my double bass, a hybrid Schuster on the road with me. I've been fortunate to own a Carruthers E.U.B. and have been able to continue playing on what is more or less an upright "sounding" bass as a result. Still, after become quite attached to playing the "real bass" the Carruthers stick had become less than satisfactory. It does what it does very well but still left me longing for a more natural sound and feel.
    So I ordered a new Eminence Removable Neck Bass, sight and sound unseen! I felt confident in this decision, because of prior good experiances dealing with (Al Hail!) Bob Gollihur. Bob was able to get the bass shipped to me very quickly and at a very reasonable cost.
    I'm very happy to report that the Eminence is a truly fine bass, and lives up to it's claims. It is in fact in my opinion very close to a real double bass in terms of it's feel and response. It's sound when plugged in compares favorably to both my "real" double bass and many others that I have heard and played. The Realist pickup that is included with the Eminence works well with it.
    The musicians I'm currenty working with were thrilled upon hearing the bass on my gig for the first time, comments have all been very positive, not only on the basses sound but on it's look as well. It's quite an improvement from the electric "pogo stick" that they had become accustomed to seeing me play every night.
    I like this Eminence Bass very much, it really feels and sounds very good. I'm glad I risked it and will not be returning it to Bob for a refund!
    I'm greatful to Talkbass for providing the kind of info that is nessasary to make decisions regarding a move like this, reading the comments and opinions of others regarding the Eminence and other E.U.B's was a great help to me. Thank you.
     
  13. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised.

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I'm thinking of trying different strings on my Eminence EUB and would like to hear about other's experiences with different strings.
    I'm hoping for better arco response with less scratchiness, and a more open pizz sound without getting too metallic sounding. I also wouldn't mind going to a slightly higher gauge/tension string if needed. I don't really want any less tension than the stock Helicore Hybrid lights (Orch. light on the G).

    Thanks,
    Ric
     
  14. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I just put a brand new set of Obligatos on my Eminence this evening. I've never tried them before, always played Spirocores before on my basses, and lately Heliocore hybrids so I've been very interested in something a little different sounding, so here is my two cents worth. The tension of the Obligatos feels very similar to the Heliocores that come installed with the bass.
    The strings need to settle in but my first impression is good. They are darker sounding the the Helicores, I like what they do to the low end very much. Not metalic sounding to me. The bowed sound is great, and very easy to start a note, the bow just sits on the string thruout the stroke, like riding on a rail compared to the old strings!
    Looking forward to hearing them after they settle, they stretch a lot at first, manufacture claims they will become stable in two days time.
     
  15. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Boy, am I glad to read what Mike says. I always thought that Helicore Hybrid were not hybrid at all, given their low arco performance. When I tried an Eminence at Musicora two years ago, I told the guy I was very surprised by their choice of string and that Obigato would bring more fondamental out of the dulcimer shapped body. I guess that's what you're experiencing now. Enjoy.
     
  16. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Mark Rubin at Violins Etc. strings his with Velvet Garbos. The one I played through an Acoustic Image Clarus and a 12" Bag End was so nice that if blindfolded I probably would have been hard pressed to tell the difference between that and any other laminated realbass amplified.

    Monte
     
  17. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I took my Eminence with two day old Obligatos to a big band rehearsal which included a very well known and respected piano player/ arranger, don't like to name drop, but many of you out there have probably played some of his charts. He made some nice comments regarding the sound I was getting, that was nice, since the he's worked with every good player in town since the 50's.
    However, thruout the entire rehearsal I found myself feeling uncomfortable with the strings, they just were not "feeling right" under my fingers, mostly on my left hand, they kind of felt like they rolled around under the fingers, they also felt much stiffer as I played in the middle positions of the bass, I have not experianced this before with this instument, my action is set on the low side, the bass is brand new and the neck and fingerboard are perfect, the tensions going up and down the range of the bass have allways felt fine when using steel strings so dealing with this was a real drag.
    So they are now off the bass, put a set of not very old, but broken in Spirocore Orchestra Gauge strings on and left for a quintet gig this evening, and had a ball playing, the bass sounded and felt great, I've played Spirocores more than any other brand, they were the first strings I ever used and I guess that's just what I'm most used to. Even took an arco solo and found it "not too awful sounding" and much to my surprise, the crowd in attendance was delighted, got a big round of applause after that solo! I might try the Obligatos out again later, maybe on one of my other basses, or you might just see them show up in the "for sale" section. A lot of you guys seem to like them awful lot, I can't fault their sound, big fat sound, they sure do bow nice, but I just can't get past the way they feel.
    A fellow I know here in town has an Eminence stung up with Garbos and I'm hoping to get a chance to try his bass soon, meanwhile, I'd like to hear from anyone else that uses Garbos, tell me how they are working out for you.
     
  18. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised.

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Just bought a set of Corelli 370F's for my Eminence, from Bob Gollihur. Based on his recommendations, I chose 'em over the Obligatos because I wanted to get close to the sound and feel of the Spirocore Weichs on my upright, and the Corellis do that pretty well. They don't feel quite as smooth, but I don't notice while playing. I'd tried a used set of Spiros that my teacher lent me, but they didn't do it for me on the Eminence.
    I tried the 370's on my upright before I put 'em on the Eminence, but they seemed to sound a little thin compared to the Spirocores, especially the E string. Not so on the Eminence though. They're nicely balanced and make the bass sound more alive and responsive than the stock Helicore Hybrids. They seem do bow a little better too, but my arco technique is still pretty bad, so I don't know if I can blame or credit the strings for any changes.

    Ric
     
  19. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Hi Rod!

    Yes, I had an awful problem with the A string, which was improved a bit with Obligato strings. It's still there though, even if not so bad. I find technique has a lot to do with it, if I take real care to play distinctly it's better, but I'm having problems with quicker passages. Every now and then I get that ugly thunk from the other strings as well, but the A string is definitely the worst.

    I have no other experience from DB playing, perhaps someone can tell if this can be a problem with other basses as well?

    /Anders
     
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Could you describe the "thunk" in more detail? I've heard a fair amount of "thunky" type of noises come out of basses, and some of them are light years away from what I thought they were when I first heard them.
     
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