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Engelhardt?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bassicsax, Sep 8, 2019.


  1. bassicsax

    bassicsax Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    Did Engelhardt go out of business and I missed it? I just did a search and nobody has them in stock right now...
     
  2. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    I can't seem to find the website today.
     
  3. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Looking at the Engel/Link FB site, it seems something is wrong.. if they go, how many makers of ply basses are left in the US?
     
  4. Rebop

    Rebop

    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    That review on their FB from last month isn't a good sign.
     
  5. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    I've heard a rumor, far from confirmed, that Tom Link has retired and sold the operation to Upton Bass, which might be a good thing.
     
    GlenParks and unbrokenchain like this.
  6. Up and Away

    Up and Away

    May 16, 2015
    Yeah, I heard the same thing from a knowledgeable source. As the happy owner of a Swingmaster ES 9 I guess it's bad news but times change and the Kay/Engelhardt/Link legacy may live on in another incarnation.
     
  7. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    I think that'd be a great move for Upton personally, especially if they use quarter-sawn necks and use a traditional neck joint :)
     
    KUNGfuSHERIFF likes this.
  8. DrewinHouston

    DrewinHouston Not currently practicing Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    Wow!
     
  9. Remyd

    Remyd

    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Eeeep! Not that the guys from Upton aren’t talented, but I never got to buy a swingmaster!
     
  10. bassicsax

    bassicsax Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    [QUOTE
    Exactly!
     
  11. Rebop

    Rebop

    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    I have a feeling that if this is all true you'll still be able to buy a swingmaster.
     
  12. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    If one company buys another one, it's usually to absorb the assets and build profit on them. As I see it the main Englehardt-Link assets are the jigs and tooling, personnel experience, supply and distribution chains, and brand recognition for affordable US-made products with history. I can imagine profit in maintaining the Chicago operation, maybe with small changes to methods, and integrating the products as a popular line below the current Upton offerings.

    Upton has started building cellos, it's clear they're interested in exploring new markets. It could happen.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  13. Jacob_9012

    Jacob_9012 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2019
    I don't know if it's my place to confirm this but I was at Upton recently, and Eric told me that they had bought engelhardt. I don't know what they are planning exactly to do with it.
     
    Steven Ayres likes this.
  14. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Soon the vintage DB market will be flooded with pre-Upton Englehardts.
     
  15. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    I kinda think it already is, which leads to the important question, from the business perspective: what's the market, and how mature is it? E-L survived for fifty years, but the last thirty can't have been kind. The student market that Kay grew on is at best a fraction of what it was in those days, and the Chinese builders already have it sewn up. So is there a really a growth region between the BSOs ($500-800) and the Upton hybrids ($2-3K)? Might it work to do the romantic thing and build Kay reissue models to replace those old soldiers in the country, rockabilly and Americana genres?
     
  16. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Absolutely! "Made in USA" is still a big selling point to a lot of people, myself included, even if the lower-priced Chinese instruments have come a long way. They would also do well (imo) to simply manufacture all the pieces of Kay/Engelhardts so that those old soldiers can have transplants if needed!
     
    Keith Rawlings and james condino like this.
  17. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Double down on this. Necks especially, and in all sizes. I have been looking forever for a half-sized DB neck for a project. To date, no luck.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  18. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    It would be nice for restorers to have access to Kay-style necks as well, the Englehardts are different enough to be easy to spot as replacements.

    Half-scale would be a new thing. As far as I've been able to determine, neither Kay nor E-L ever made a 1/2 bass.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  19. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Upton making these can only be an improvement. I'll stop before I say something that will get me flamed !! Congrats to Eric and Gary.
     
    misterbadger and james condino like this.
  20. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I'd been asking Tom for years, when the time comes, sell me the assets so I could continue restoring the brand using legacy jigs and tooling. All I ever heard from his end was crickets, so I worked with another to recreate my own that I'd guess are better than the original due to digital technology's accuracy.

    Anybody who wants to resurrect the brand using beat up 75 year old infrastructure sounds like a great way to invest a half million $$$ to guarantee tens of dollars in return....
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 10:23 PM
    salcott, Remyd, dan1952 and 2 others like this.

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