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Emulating An Upright...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ZenG, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. I know that emulating an upright bass by using an electric is not really doable per se.

    But getting at least a somewhat similar sound tonewise within the confines of electric basses is
    something that I aspire to.

    Just wondering....would a pair of jazz pickups (or a J-bass) be better for this than using the P or P/J

    I do all the other stuff (mutes, treble off, fingerpick, strings, EQ tweaks,etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc..)
  2. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Of all my basses, this one comes the closest to an upright sound.....

    It's got a piezo pickup.....

    My actual bass in the video.....

  3. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs

    imho the best way to get an upright vibe is good palm muting technique and using the thumb. But you really have to mute - move to the left of the saddles. P or J doesn't matter. Also don't need foam mutes. Your palm FTW.

    If you combine it with a Rob Allen, you might sound even more like an upright than an upright. Of course that comment will make upright players uptight. Allright. Outta sight...

    Actually I think most uprights tend to sound pretty lousy amplified. I prefer an electric with palm muting but YMMV.
  4. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    DSCN0349.JPG Near as I can tell, the original Ampeg fretless EUB-1 is still as close as anyone's come to doing it. Unless it's one of Bruce Johnson's clones... They used a unique electro-mechanical pick up, and duplicating an upright was the whole idea anyway. Personally, I can get close enough to make me happy with this little gem; MIK Rogue VB-100 with Roto 88 tapes..:)
    jumbodbassman likes this.
  5. get a u-bass
    SwitchGear, Low84, Dogghouse and 3 others like this.
  6. twinjet

    twinjet What does God need with a starship?

    Sep 23, 2008
    On my bass, I solo my bridge in passive, plucking over the neck. Bass cut +0 dB, Treble cut -15 dB. No mutes or foam, I just let the bass do the talking while I do the walking.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  7. Tried those whenever I go to the bass store. Just can't get into 'em. The strings are weird.
  8. twinjet

    twinjet What does God need with a starship?

    Sep 23, 2008
    Too small for my liking... Strings are certainly different. Not for me.
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    This is an excellent bass for the job. However, I own a Carvin (now Keisel) semi-hollow bass that is very similar and about half the price. Same nice mahogany neck, same fretless and I also use the the same black nylon wrapped strings Just a killer upright imitation. For even better sound stuff some foam under the strings at the bridge and for an even BETTER imitation play it like an upright. If you don't play upright this is going to be hard to understand, but you pluck with the side rather than tip of your finger with a certain style and move typical of upright playing. Yeah, I know... vague. but given the right "upright attitude" that bass really just comes alive! I VERY much recommend one and sometimes you can find them at an excellent price used (There is one like mine at the local music-go-round for $700 right now.) The key here is semi-hollow body. Hollow body basses have a similar sound but feed back like mad! The semi-hollow is as stable as any mag pickup bass. It's good stuff.
    Groove Doctor and Fat Freddy like this.
  10. You'd think that someone would have developed an authentic sounding upright effects pedal by now?
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Rob Allen Mouse.
    Wendler is also good.

    Even with a good bass you need technique as mentioned above.
    Many basses (even my cheap G&L with TI flats) will get "in the neighborhood" with attention to technique.
  12. The new Ibanez SR500 might be worth a look, esp. the fretless version.
    Semi-hollow, piezo pick ups and tapewounds seem to be the way to go.
    SwitchGear, Hues, gt96g and 1 other person like this.
  13. Also interessting:
    Fully chambered and with piezo pickups.
  14. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    It's been tried, apparently not so easy.
  16. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    bholder likes this.
  17. franklindayala


    Feb 8, 2015
    Marco bass guitar

    I Also thing that a hollow body, piezo pickup and tapewound is the way to go for a DB sound
  18. My Renaissance was outstanding, nice purling, etc. Plain, but elegant.

    I needed to sell it at the time; when I took it to the shop interested in buying it, they hadn't played one before.
    The shop guy began playing it, and then stopped and yelled out to his co-workers:
    "WOW! Come here! You guys gotta hear this thing!"

    Needless to say, I demanded & got top dollar for it!:roflmao:
    bholder likes this.