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Eminence vs BSX Allegro

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by bobsax, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Are there any other hollow body EUB's out there that have removable necks?

    I was wondering how the Allegro with it's built in pick-up compares ? Arn't they pretty similar as far as their bodies are concerned?
    Has anybody played both? I'd love to hear any opinions on how they compare by somebody that has played both.

    I have a solid body Allegro and the high , mid and low controls are nice but the solid body makes it sound like a typical EUB. The pick-up is in the bridge and it makes the removable neck easy to break down. I assume the hallow body Allegro is the same.

    I've read here that a lot of eminence players use an external eq with the Realist pickup or they switch to a Fishman.
  2. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    I'm thinking of getting the Allegro hollow body.

    It costs less, is made in the USA and seems to have all the same specs as the Eminence. i.e. hallow body and detachable neck.

    The Eminence megathread is full of issues with the Realist pickup so I think the BSX built in pickup with high,low and mid range EQ should be better.:confused:
  3. I've owned both the Eminence and the BSX Allegro Acoustic (hollow-body), and the BSX is the better choice for me.

    The Eminence and I just didn't agree. I found it to be feedback-prone and "mid-rangey". But there are individuals who can get a great sound from that instrument. See/hear the Arturo Sandoval album "Live at the Blue Note" (Dennis Marks, bass.)

    I get a very good pizz and arco sound from my BSX. If anything, the bowed sound from this instrument is better than the pizzicato tone. I've used it in piano-bass duos, small combos, big bands, pit orchestras, and church service orchestras, and it works well in all of these settings.

    FWIW, the BSX has the Thomastik Weich strings, and I use a G-K MB150S combo amp and a Grunberger graphite bow. The Grunberger seems to project a bit better than my wood bow.
  4. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Thank you Glenn

    I really appreciate your input.
    I'm curious about their relative sizes. I've never seen them side by side but from photos of people playing them it looks like the BSX Allegro is smaller. There is a video that I'll try to find a link to that has the Allegro played unamplified and it sounded pretty good. I've never heard the Eminence unamped . If it's a bigger body would you say it has a louder unamplified sound?

    I'm just curious if they can be used in acoustic rehearsals with a guitar or two?

    Thanks again
  5. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    I have an Eminence for more than 4 years. I use it as my travel or tough gig bass. I don't think you'd be able to use it acoustically with a guitar or two because I can hear it okay in a hotel room without worrying about disturbing my neighbors. So, the bassist can hear it without an amp well enough, an audience, I don't think so.
    I haven't tried the BSX so I can't comment on it. I like the Eminence because I don't have to change my fingering nor technique when I switch between it and my upright. I, personally, don't care for it's tone, either amplified or acoustic because mine, at least, lacks depth in comparison to my carved bass. I hear it as a pleasant, if a bit mid-rangey, plywood bass when it's amplified. Okay for relatively unimportant gigs, but I wouldn't record with it because it's not the sound I hear in my ear. It's a good compromise between airline portability and tone, IMO. In my case, I'm playing jazz and I play a fair amount of arco. If you're playing bluegrass gigs, you may find that an lightly amplified Eminence is the bees knees for you.
  6. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    A lot of bluegrass and jazz players use the Eminence.
    It seems to be by far the most popular choice for a hallow body removable neck EUB.
    I think the BSX Allegro is the closest thing to it and it's about a grand cheaperhttp://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/bsx-bass-allegro-acoustic-electric-upright-bass#productDetail

    Here is a vid of the BSX un-amplified.
    Does anybody know of an Eminence similar video?

    Hey mods
    I found some threads with the same subject.
    Maybe you'd want to combine them?

    regarding my question on the size of the bodies,
    In the top thread MACMRKT(banned) says this;
    I owned both, though not at the same time, and am testing one now. Different! The BSX is a bigger bodied bass, especially in depth, with a removable neck as standard AFAIK. It had a darker, bigger sound. It also seemed more rugged and 'hand-made', although I'm sure both are, even though one is domestic, and the other imported.
  7. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    Okay, I listened to the BSX video unamplified. Ignoring the player's technique, which I hear as not very good, 1) how close was the mic in the recording? and how hot was it?
    I can tell you that it's very unlikely that you'll be able to pull enough volume from an unamplified Eminence to match the volume that the BSX vid displayed or play with more than one guitar without an amp; probably not even one guitar without an amp, but maybe you should check with Gary because he might have better info on the acoustic viability of the Eminence. He seems to sell to a lot of bluegrass and other acoustic genre players so he might have better info than my limited experience.
    Other than that, I thought the unamplified BSX sounded very similar to the unamplified Eminence. Similar amount of sustain, depth of timber, tone, etc. The strings and player's technique can make a huge difference, but what I heard sounded very similar to my Eminence. Both sound a little too modern for my ear, but then I'm shooting for a 1950's upright sound so we probably have different goals in mind.
    Honestly, it sounds like for your goals, you need to audition both for a couple of weeks. Record them and listen back to the recordings to get a more objective perspective. I'm sure both are fine instruments for more airline friendly basses. Neither replace a carved upright in terms of tone but you have to expect compromises in an airline-friendly package.
  8. I sold my Eminence to a bluegrass player, so, anecdotally at least, that confirms bobsax's observation.

    I've always thought that the Eminence and BSX Allegro are essentially similar in size, although the BSX is probably a bit deeper, as someone else has observed. Since both have 41" scales or thereabouts, the body length has to be similar.

    I don't use the BSX - and didn't use the Eminence - without an amplifier, in either practice or performance. Neither instrument puts out enough sound, IMO, to justify use without an amp, even at low volume levels. If I need to keep the instrument quiet, so that others can't hear it while I'm practicing, then I'll plug in headphones and shut off the amp's speaker. Admittedly, this all may be the result of my approach to playing the instruments.
  9. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
  10. Alain Bass

    Alain Bass

    Jun 6, 2004
    Paris France
    There is not more problem with the Realist on an Eminence than a Realist on a regular doublebass.
    Now for the eq., a preamp will do the job.

    The main problem with those upright bass is that it has a tendancy to rotate. You don't have it close to your body as a regular Doublebass.
    For that, The Eminence Bass Steady-foot™ Anti-rotational Endpin Foot is paradise.

    What about the BSX ?
  11. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    The BSX Allegro has a pressure tightened endpin that can slip if you don't tighten it enough.
    There is a piece that sticks out to help with balance (tummy rest?) just like the Eminence
    The rotation isn't an issue if you play sitting.
    I played an Eminence once and the endpin was pretty cool.