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Engelhardt M1??

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jazzbo, May 14, 2001.

  1. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I just responded to this ad:

    Engelhardt M1 Double bass (3/4 standard size) with fishman pickup and soft carry bag. Great condition.
    $1000.00 or b/o.

    I searched Engelhardt's home page, and couldn't find an M1 model, but found an EM1 model. Here's the description:

    A popular school model that has won wide acceptance by students and advanced players. Properly sized and aligned, it has a close grained spruce top, curly maple back. Beautiful brown shaded finish. Attractive violin shape with rosewood trimmings. This is a durable, yet responsive instrument.

    EM1 • Standard 3/4 size
    Suggested Retail - $1,845.00 [​IMG]

    I'm going to check out the instrument on Wednesday. What questions should I ask? What should I look for in the instrument? I don't have any friends that play double bass that I can bring with me to look at it. I'll have to be the authority.

    Any other advice in regards to this instrument? I will be playing mostly jazz, pizzicato. I would like to explore other genres as well, and would definitely explore playing with a bow. I do know a good luthier in town, although I've never dealt with him directly, who could help with my setup.
  2. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, EM1 and M1 are the same bass. I'd note that the factory set-up is pretty mediocre. I played two different M1s at different stores and they sounded like they were completely different models. Setup does matter. If it doesn't sound great right off, $1000 used is too much. Actually even if it does, I think $1000 for a used M1 is a bit steep.

  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah, Ed, you did get kind of distracted. :)

    I think it's worthy to note that I have budgeted up to $2000 to buy a bass. I am interested in a bass that I can have forever. I don't want to spend $800 or more on something that is so-so, if I am eventually just going to have to get something better anyway. What's my point? Oh yes, if the Strunal is that much better, and with setup it's going to be say $1600 (I'm estimating from your post Ed), than is the Strunal, or anything else for that matter, a much better deal? That's definitely something I want to take into consideration.
  4. Have you played a double-bass before? Do you have a double-bass teacher. If this is your first DB, then I would strongly recommend you get the advice of your teacher. If you have previous experience, or are an "old-hand" then ignore my advice... Come to think of it, you'll most probably ignore my advice anyway... ;>

    Seriously, though - it looks like it might be a great deal - but I think I'd want to have a really good see/feel/play/hear it before I parted with the $$.

    Look for: repairs, cracks, condition of the bridge, condition of the sound-post, check the condition of the finger-board, condition of the tuners, look for cracks around where the tuners go into the scroll, look for cracks/repairs on the heel of the neck. Does it rattle or buzz? Maybe it needs a set-up (useful weapon to bring the price down :> ), maybe it needs new strings (another weapon...)

    How does it sound?

    I dunno, I think for that money it might be a bargain, but then it might not. I think I'd get someone who I trust and who knew more about it than me to check it out

    Good Luck -

    - Wil
  5. I have an M-1. The guy I bought it from said it was early to mid 70s, and from the Kay/Engelhardt era right after Kay was bought out.

    I have had a tought time getting it set up well (I don't really want to put $200- $400 more into it). I did recently pick up a good adjustable bridge that fit it almost perfectly, I just need to sand it down a hair. The tone of the bass is pretty good. I use a K&K transducer on it with Baggs Para-Acoustic preamp, and can get a really nice tone with those- can really get it to sound nice and full.

    I paid $700 for mine, and have put about 300 more into it, new strings, transducer, bridge. One thing I would recommend is- have someone else play it while you step back and listen to it. You will be able to tell a lot more about the tone that way. Look to see if it looks like the neck has ever been broken, cracks in top, back, or sides. This was a very popular school instrument, and I suspect that many used ones were originally from schools.

    Overall, I would say it is a decent instrument. But I will absolutely be in the hunt for a better one down the road. But it is playable, and carries an okay tone. Watch the tuners, they are kind of loose.

    I hope it works for you. Here is a pic of mine...
    Serial # 42238 if anyone can help me date it.
  6. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Oh. I should mention.

    I have never seriously played double bass. I have only casually played the bass at a local junior college. (pianist friend and singer get together and we "jam." After five minutes a small small but intense fire usually combusts in my left wrist, and which time I crawl all over the floor crying).

    I have an electric bass teacher who does not teach double bass. I do know of a teacher in the area whom I taken a lesson with before (on electric) and would pursue for double bass lessons.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Geez, Ed, are you trying to scare the poor guy to death?

    NOSEBLOW - If you wanna see me as a nervous wreck who keeps driving back & forth to Cincy and worrying intensely, there are three threads: "Split Top. Is My Bass Dead", "Advice Needed on New German Bass", and "Kay_____...What's a Reasonable Price" (or something like that). It was during this period that I pestered Ed, Don, and Reedo to death with questions and was rewarded for the most part with patience and sound advice. I still defer to them in most bass buying matters, but for whatever it's worth, my advice is:

    a) Find a bass that sounds good to you, even if you only hear the "ghost" of THAT SOUND because of the setup/strings.

    b) Leave enough money in your budget for an absolutley killer setup. Adjusters? YES. Neck plane? YES, if it buzzes at all. New Endpin? Maybe. Ask around and find the best luthier you can who has the reputation of not having an attitude about newbies or lower end basses. A snob will either charge you a fortune, or make you feel like he's doing you some huge favor by looking at your pitiful little bass, or both.

    c) Follow your heart when in doubt. When I bought my new German factory bass ( I still don't know what it is, by the way....I suspect Meinel, but can't be sure), it was because of a particular sound that it had. The guy who went with me was a bassplayer with way more experience than me, and he was practically begging me not to buy it (he has a phobia about new basses, like so many people do). Now, 7 months later, he gets a hard on every time he walks in on one of my gigs and hears it. It's gonna be YOUR bass, so follow YOUR ears and YOUR heart when there is any doubt.

    d) For pickups, four simple words: ALL HAIL BOB GOLLIHUR!

    Buying your first bass can be a blast and a drag at the same time, kinda like dating. Play the field, don't be in a hurry, and follow that little voice inside. Just remember that - just like relationships - breakups can be expensive. Good luck, and have fun.

    Oh, and whatever you do, don't forget to worry about it. A lot. ;)
  8. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    I have a both the Strunal 5/20 and the EM-1. They are both set-up for jazz and have bridge adjusters. I play the Engelhardt more often and find it a more comfortable bass to play. Engelhardt/Kay basses have one of the most playable neck designs I have played. The Strunal has a much wider (Thicker) neck. After playing the EM-1 the Strunal neck feels like the fat end of a baseball bat. I like the sound of the Strunals carved top over the all ply bass sound. And I mostly use the Strunal for recording. I would love to find a carved top/ply back with a neck like the Engelhardt/Kay....
  9. birdlandmusic


    Jan 10, 2011
  10. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    They are reliable and serviceable and durable. They have a decent sound. Some people like the neck--I found it too small and it made my hand hurt. Switching to a fatter neck bass was much more comfortable for me. Like all basses, they need to be set up properly

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