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Ergo Megathread part I

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by learning_towalk, Apr 3, 2004.

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  1. learning_towalk

    learning_towalk Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    I did a search and all that kept coming up was people saying "for the price they're great" threads....

    with that being said...what can you tell me about Ergo EUBs???

    i'm wanting an upright for bluegrass/acoustic sets...but lugging around a 3/4 size DB isn't very easy to do in a mini mini van with electric basses,racks,and cabs or practical to do for the occasional acoustic set/recording ...so I saw these 5 string 800 dollar EUB's online...

    i'm looking for a low priced EUB that's natural sounding through my amp that's deffinately the most important thing to me is that it sounds like an upright, and also that it has the "feel" of an upright...but won't take up 3/4 of my car in the process

    thanks alot!
  2. funkytoaster


    Mar 23, 2004
    logan, ut
    This is the first time i've ever posted, so here it goes. I just recieved my Ergo yesterday, and i have been very pleasantly surprised. I am new to the upright (i am actually a jazz guitar player-please, put down your weapons) and i wanted something i could cultiviate my DB desires with and not break the bank.

    Initially, the new strings made it sound pretty nasaly, which really scared me at first, but after several hours of playing, it seemed to calm down and sound pretty good, especially considering that the instrument is just a stick of wood and 4 strings. The bass reacted well to the bow, although i am no expert on this matter.

    The best feature on the bass is the tone knob-you have to turn the tone down a little, but then it sounds quite natural. Still, this might be the new strings. Sound is a very intimate thing for a player, and I don't think it can easily be described. My previous bass was an ampeg-baby bass that i had on loan from the university, and i definitely prefer the Ergo- You couldn't even think about the bow with the ampeg, although i have no idea what strings it had.

    As far as portability goes, i don't think you can do better than the Ergo. It's shipping weight (with the supplied cymbal stand, which was definitely the heavier of the two) was only 16lbs. It is made out of cherry, and is suprisingly light. The wood also has some definite MWHAH going on, which i like. I Shopped around town, looking for a travel case, but don't know what to use.

    As far as feeling like an upright bass...well, the neck IS nice and beefy and the strings look and feel like they are spaced correctly... but you have to realize that there is no body, of course...and that takes some getting used to. Plus the transition to thumb position is essentially nonexistent, so if you are used to using the body of your bass for pitch reference, then you will have to rethink your approach.

    There are several other Ergo owners on this site as well, and it was because of their reccomendations that i made the purchase. I'd have to say that i am highly satisfied, but i am also "A Newbie", at least to upright.

    ps.- the guy who makes these-Jesse Blue- is a really cool, and laid-back guy, at least in email correspondence. I must have emailed him a dozen times with a whole slew of questions and concerns before making a purchase, and as you can probably tell, i tend to over-write. Just go to his website and get his email there, he could probably provide more insight than anyone else on this forum.

    Anyay, enough abusing my forum privelages...
  3. Welcome to TBDB Funky. I think you're overly concerned about the size and loading problems concerning a DB. I drive a hatchback...I can put two DBs in there back to back. My big 7/8 bass, stool and amp fit in there along with another passenger and plenty room for other stuff!
    With your van, you won't have a problem at all. There's only one way to get that DB sound and feell! To get that real DB sound, you don't need those huge amps and racks. Alot of us use little polytone 12 inchers.
    This isn't an ad to sell this bass, because I don't want to ship it....but I have an Englehardt i'm selling for $900, so you CAN get a beginner DB for a hundred bucks more than the Ergo!
  4. learning_towalk

    learning_towalk Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    as far as the racks and cabs go, I use all of that stuff for my electric basses,which is my primary instrument...I have an 8 space rack, a 410 cab, a 115 cab and soon to be lugging around 2 electric basses in a Mitsubishi expo :) (thank God for roadies to get all of that stuff out!)

    it will still be a few months before i make a decision one way or the other, however I really do like Engleheardts...of course I've only played them and Epiphone uprights(which rock!)

    please keep the comments coming!

    thanks a lot!!!
  5. You need to look around......you need to experience what it sounds and feels like to play a real CARVED bass. Even if you can't afford to buy one now, you have to HAVE that sound and feel in yourself in order to make any kind of judgement on a cheaper bass! And believe me, Epiphones do not ROCK as you put it, compared to a carved bass!!
  6. learning_towalk

    learning_towalk Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    for what I would want it for, old Epiphones do rock...that is my opinion. I love them and they're not that expensive to get a hold of. I'm not planning on throwing down tons of cash on a first upright...so something in the sub $1000 dollar range is fine for me.
  7. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Well, I bought an EUB (Ergo actually). Sold it -- I mean, it's "good for the price" I guess. But really, you owe it to yourself to play some "good" basses before plonking down that much money. Even though they're cheap for an EUB, they're not cheap like a Fender Squier P-bass for $120 -- we're in a different league here. I've bought (used) and sold dozens of slab basses before settling on my Fender Jazz. But you don't really have that luxury (without tons of patience and cash) with an URB.

    So once you've accepted that you're gonna spend some dough, and you're gonna be stuck with what you buy for a while, I think it makes a good bit of sense to try out all your options. I just went ahead and bought the Ergo. Once I played a "real", carved upright I knew the Ergo was done. I ended up getting a great deal ($1000) for a 50-year old carved German upright, and sinking another $600 in repairs. Now I have a bass that's worth $3500, not that I'd sell it...

    Don't get me wrong -- the Ergo has its uses; mostly high-volume and latin gigs. But I found that if there's any way in hell I could take the real upright, I would. So I sold the Ergo.

    From your profile, it looks like you have some killer basses on your GAS list. Thus I take it you're a bit of a gear snob :D So am I. Trust me on this:

    Epiphone URB : Good Carved URB ::
    Modulus/Fodera : Fender Squier P-bass. w/ warped neck.

  8. marchepn


    Jun 24, 2004
    Salem Oregon
    I just purchased a 5 string Ergo EUB and love it. It is a little different than playing an accoustic upright but if you couldnt tell that by looking at it than... well we won't go there.

    This instrument has a lot lower action than most upright basses and I actually found that to be a lot of fun. It is really easy to play and there is no ring in the sound of the strings. This instrument is light easy to transport and deserves a much higher price tag. I recommend making the purchase before the price goes up or someone offers to purchase the company. Either way these are bound to go up in price.


    Paul M.
  9. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Bought my Ergo just to practice late at night so as to not disturb the neighbors. IMO, the ergo is so-so and not a very good substitute for something real. An Englehardt w/ a good setup will def be better. The construction of my Ergo is mediocre, the varnish is now gumming up between the strings and the connection to the drum-cymbal mount still loose. Even despite those two things, the feel is definitely not the same. The mount on the cymbal stand makes it stand straight up and totally static. A little awkward compare to being able to freely lean a DB in any direction as your playing needs. Fingerboard isn't the same as a DB... my RH thumb makes an uncomfy 90 degree bend resting on the Ergo when playing pizz. On a real fingerboard, you only make contact on 50% of your thumb's pad allowing much more comfortable angle for your thumb. For some reason, I want to describe it feeling very "tight" or "tense" compared to my Chrissy.

    Sounds totally nasal, lacks the depth and warmth that a REALBASS has. Maybe if you dialed it in just right with EQ you might get some usable sounds. Just listen to that Gregory Bruce Cambell link I put up on another thread - still very thin sounding. IFIWU, I'd save my pennies, look for a REALBASS, an Azola Bugbass, an Eminence Portable bass, or a David Gage Czech-Ease.

    Come to think of it, I'd look into a Mathias Thoma Jazz bass... http://www.steveswanguitars.com/Gallery/Thoma/MT-23 EL4/
    Price seems right, but how's it sound? I wouldn't know. Prob better than an Ergo is my guess. For now, it does what I need it for, but I wouldn't play it for anyone else's ears.

    EDIT: I didn't read WARTBUTTON's first post carefully - and ditto on his second post. I'd prob go for an Engle like the one he's selling over the Thoma I just mentioned. Englehardt's have been tested over an over by others on this forum and is probably a safe bet.
  10. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    You're not really going to get an upright sound from an Ergo, more like a giant fretless BG. I second what a couple of other TBers said about playing some good basses before putting down money and making a more informed decision. It sounds like you got plenty of gear and if you're going for an upright sound you should get something that really nails it. If EUB, save your money and get a better one like Azola, Knutson Messenger, Eminence etc. I just have a feeling the Ergo won't do it for you. :cool:
  11. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    I'd buy Paul's Engelhart-- that is one hell of a deal. There is no substitute for a double bass.
  12. ctijm01


    Oct 6, 2004
    I just got one instrument of the Ergo type but with 6 strings.
    And the problem with the low C (as I tuned) is that I hardly can play it as it is very noisy. I´ve always to compensate heavily with the equalizer of my bass combo. Is this a general problem of instruments with this low string, is this lowest string to be critical also with other instruments? I´ve no idear. Or is this just bad luck for me.
  13. Having either a low C or low B, as I do, is not a problem in a real double bass. Of course adjustment by a pro luthier is a MUST on any instrument. I can't speak at all for the Ergo or any other bass-type instrument.
    Please give us a little more info in your profile, so we can better understand your needs and all that good stuff.
    Sounds like you're on the fence and haven't quite decided to jump off on the DB side? :bag:
  14. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN

    What do you mean exactly by noisy. Is the string action too low? Is it hitting the fingerboard, causing the noise?

    Does it change depending on the amount of diggin in you do?

    Does the string just feel loose to begin with?
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Just a warning here: now way, under any circumstances will I do biz with Steve Swan again. I don't want to take up space in this thread to go into details, but forewarned is forearmed...
  16. Again, if you're on your way to a real DB, stopping off at that Thoma on the Swan sight isn't the way to go. It may have more of an acoustic sound than the Ergo, but those things are SO skinny, they're uncomfortable to play...at least from a real DB standpoint. As I mentioned on another thread, it's important (for me at least ) to feel those big ribs and the sound vibrations moving through them. Also, to be comfortable moving into the upper positions, the bulk around the neck and shoulder area plays an important role as a guide into the thumb positions.
  17. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Interesting... this guy seemed to have a stellar experience with Steve Swan. :confused:

    I know i mentioned the Thoma in an earlier post, but I have NO IDEA what that thing is like. I just thought it would be closer in terms of feel w/ an DB than an EUB. I mentioned it cuz it is an option and it seems that nobody has really looked at one.

    I'm sure that thin body isn't enough to generate any big sounds comparable to a DB anyway. Seems like Paul is the only that has voiced any kind of experience with it (is that true?). Only one way to find out. But when that Thoma sells for $900-1000, I'm pretty suspcious that it's not all that great. Is it me or is it a little bit of CCB I smell?

    I think it's unanimous that if you want to learn to play a DB, go buy a DB and don't bother ****ing around with a substitute for all the previously mentioned reasons.
  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  19. Yeah diddy, I tried a couple of those at some store in Chicago once. Absolutely a very faint acoustic sound. They even had outside liners on the ribs which cut down the little rib vibrating area even more!! You need some rib DEPTH to move that sound around. :scowl:
  20. ctijm01


    Oct 6, 2004

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