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Engelhardt C1?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by CBgaragebassist, May 11, 2010.

  1. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Many times. It's what shows up pretty often as a rental when you're on the road. I can get through a show on one if I have to. Schools buy them because they're bulletproof and of decent quality for the price. Way better than most of the "Ebay crap". The neck profile is way too skinny for my tastes, but some slabbers like them because they feel like BGs. They aren't bad, but I've played lots of them, and none of them has been "great".

    They're like cockroaches, they are everywhere. So you might be able to find a used one from someone locally, save some money. With the link you gave us, in addition to the purchase price, you'll need a DB luthier to set it up for you, so if you can find a used one nearby that's ready to play, you'll save even more bucks.
  2. rusag2


    Oct 22, 2009
    Los Angeles
  3. rusag2


    Oct 22, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Also check the TB classifieds. There's an Engelhardt for sale there in your price range....
  4. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    I found mine on craiglist used for $600 back a few years ago. They turn up used pretty often because they are popular workhorse basses for Bluegrass and Roots music. They are built like tanks and amplify well. I get alot of use out of mine and it looks the same as the day I found it, they really hold up well.

    The EG9 in the classifieds looks nice.
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Hmm... for just a little bit more money you could buy a Shen and, IMO, get a better sounding, better designed instrument (including a better neck profile), and even have the set up included from a real bass shop.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I just want to note a minor point of terminology, since it's not mentioned in the linked website and could easily be overlooked:

    Laminate = Plywood

    The Engelhardt is plywood bass, and is certainly a step above the cheap eBay basses. Most entry level basses are plywood, and can be quite respectable. They have the advantage of being less expensive, of course, but also immune to cracking under conditions that can be expected for student instruments such as adverse climate conditions.

    I have recently played some Shen plywood basses in shops, and was impressed with their quality. I've also got a Kay plywood bass, which is the precursor to the Engelhardt. The history is that the Kay business was taken over by Engelhardt after Kay ended production in 1969.
  7. curbucci


    May 11, 2010
    New member here. What about a properly set up new Engelhardt Es1 with upgraded parts such as bridge & sound post compared to a properly set up Shen SB80 or a Eastman 85 with stock parts?
    Do the new Engelhardts have that much of a bad reputation?
  8. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    They only seem to have a "bad" reputation here on talkbass, and from dealers who sell competing brands. I suggest you play one and decide for yourself.

    The Shens are very nice basses also though, and some like their tone and thick neck better. I like the way my Engel sounds and plays, and the good setup I have does make a big difference.
  9. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Sorry about the zombie thread, but I've been working with a 1994 C-1 for the last couple of months and wanted to get my 2 cents in for internet posterity. So, here's my review of my Engelhardt C1. I paid $900 for it locally with some finish dings and put $200 into setup and strings. I play Folk, Country, Jazz, and Blues in order of preference :_)

    I played classical and jazz throughout high school and college, but took a couple years off as a grown-up to have kids, wife, divorce, alimony, depression, etc. I got the latest bass this summer when I had a free couple of months due to a layoff. I got it with Super Flexibles, but setup for slap (or never setup properly at all), which was a little weird. I tried getting my slap on with those steel ropes, but they bruised my fingers quickly, and I hardly play arco anymore. I switched to Silver Slaps, which are my new favorite strings for non-orchestral uses and had the setup changed to more like 18mm than 24mm at the advice of my luthier. Passed on messing with the bridge, less a little sanding, 'cause of the low tension strings. If I go back to steels or tapes, I'll get the adjusters installed and the setup changed to something less ridiculous.

    Slaps bow OK but not great with a couple technique adjustments. Jazz is a little harder, due to the high strings, especially in thumb position on the lower strings. The A and E are basically unusable above 6th position, which doesn't seem to matter anywhere but jazz. $200-300 of work would set that right, but I almost never notice, so I passed. No fingerboard work, due to lack of money, but it could have used some on the bass side.

    Tone isn't quite as nice as the European carved monster I played in college. Seems like the 3rd and 4th harmonics are a little more pronounced than I'd like, but nobody, including other bass players, has ever said anything, even when I asked and did A/B with other's basses. I had a long talk with a locally famous folk guy around here who plays a 60's Kay with original guts about the difference. He liked mine and said something like "You know, for a plywood bass, this thing sounds alright, and I like them strangs", which from that gruff a-hole is really a top-flight compliment.

    My favorite part might be the durability. I have this folk/roots jam session that I've attended about a dozen times. This week, the temperature was sub-freezing and I walked my bass about a block right into a high-humidity bar, played for four hours, then walked the bass back. Tuning stayed solid the whole time and I was even able to have a 15 minute chat with a buddy without worry. Except for the finish. The finish is on the delicate side.

    Make fun of me if you will, but I need to be able to play in any of 3 genres at any time, and I'm a convert to low tension. This bass fits my needs in 90-95% of cases, and I look forward to the aging process over the next 10 years or so.

    So, 4 stars for sure. Points for durability, flexibility, and basic bass tone. Deductions for overtones, finish, and the (dyed, wearing off quickly) fingerboard. If you're looking for a laminate bass, and cheap is on your list of requirements, consider a Englehardt C-1.
    tbplayer59 likes this.

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