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Eub for first double?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Skindie, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Skindie


    Oct 20, 2013
    Ey up :)
    I play bass in a fairly good youth big band ( an 82' Ibanez roadster 2 with nylon coated flatwounds for anyone who's strayed over to the wrong side of the forum) and am looking to get something a bit bigger and more upright for my 18th birthday. I'm tempted to go for an eub as something I can transport easily and possibly do some cool looper stuff with. What would people suggest as a good one for playing some jazzy/blues stuff?
    Thanks :)
  2. What's your budget?
    Do you want to get an EUB you'll be able to play with a bow?
    Are you willing to get lessons from a DB teacher?
  3. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Those two things are a must if you want to end playing double bass! No matter what anyone says: you can get a better EUB than a double bass for what most people what to spend on an entry level instrument.
    An EUB is nice to have once you get a real double bass, too. I would find a double bass teacher who will do lessons on their bass.
  4. Skindie


    Oct 20, 2013
    At the moment under £1000 would be good. I'm going to find a db teacher yeah. I'm not too fussed about bowing at the moment but don't really want to limit what I can do with the instrument in the future so a bowable one would probably be best. :)
  5. For me the EUB is either a different instrument (to hold and which kind of music is best suited to it) or a more portable (but not neccessarily lighter) instrument to replace a double bass in rehersals or in gigs with less space.

    My big band leader usually insists to use a real double bass in the concert.

    Since I have grown up with double bass, not bass guitar, with a good (and more expensive) instrument you get most of the feel of a real double bass, but not the sound. This might be OK for larger/louder ensembles where an amplified double bass does no longer sound like an acoustic one (and needs to sound different to get through the sound of the large ensemble), but for smaller groups specially if they all use acoustic instruments, it sounds different.

    Bowing on a EUB is more difficult than on an acoustic instrument. This does not matter for a few longer notes, but if it gets rhytmical or faster, you might have problems on an EUB.

    I don't think an acoustic double bass needs to be more expensive than an EUB. Cheap EUBs and cheap double basses are ... cheap. They may have or become problems. A few might be OK (maybe the Warwick Triumph Lite for an EUB). But for the same money you can get asian or romanian double basses. (OK, you need a pickup and maybe a wheel or better a Bass Buggie for easier transport too.)

    It seems you are located in the UK. A lot of UK players are happy with cheap double basses from Gedo-Musik in Germany. I have played several of them in their showroom, they are OK for your budget. Have a look at the UK basschat.co.uk forum. They are from asia or romania. I talked to the owners and they told me that they only buy good manufactured instruments that won't fall apart after a few years. US or european hand made instruments of course won't fit your budget, a lot of the a bit cheaper ones are relabeled asian or east european instruments with a local setup.

    I take my EUB to the rehearsal because around 5PM the busses, trams and trains are so full that I would have problems with my double bass. I also take it into my holidays (by car) because it doesn't take any useful space (I hang it onto the dog separation lattice above anything else). But even this EUB (CLevinger) is more expensive than your budget. My cheaper Stagg is hardly used at all (it s more like an instrument for experiments or for sporadic use). It is useable, but bowing is harder than with the Clevinger (wobbly body support) and I won't like to have this as the only instrument. (If you have an acoustic double bass it would be OK for the rehearsals of the big band.)

    I would stay away from the NS EUBs, since they are rather upright electric bass guitars than double basses. For the feel and preparation for double bass get an instrument with an endpin, not a tripod-based one.

    For a really cheap EUB read the Palatino and Stagg megathreads (completely!). The RDL rosewood fingerboard Stagg sounds much better than the cheaper ones, but still has the wobbly body support. For the cheap ones, check before you buy that there are no buzzing spots on the fingerboard using low action (G 4-5 mm, E 8-9 mm at the end of te fingerboard). And i mean spots that buzz more when you press the string down there than a few centimeters up and down. Do calculate a new set of strings (at least £120 for a decent set) too since the factory strings are often cheap.

    And never buy an instrument before you haven't tried it. Better get a teacher now, rent a double bass for a few months and then you (best together with your teacher) can decide what is the best instrument for your budget.
  6. mtb777

    mtb777 Serving bottom for the Most High. Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    Sunny South Florida
    I love my NS and the action is very easy. If you can go used, try to get at least a CR-4T(Traditional) model which you can string with real upright bass strings, and the key to my point is the electronics at that level has a blend knob for the 2-way piezo pickups versus an on off switch or actually either/or switch. The blend gives so much versatility in your sound. Huge step up. I got mine used for $1000 US. And I love it. I also have a borrowed '54 laminated Epiphone upright that is very well set up that I love. Nothing like wrapping yourself around that big vibrating body! Funny thing. The sound man at one of the churches I play at prefers the NS. It's easier to play and I can go from straight upright sounds to full Fretless tones with the blend knob. The less expensive NXT models play the same pretty much but the stand is a little cheaper and you don't have the blend option. Plus my model can be strung with traditional strings and you can jack the bridge up to get closer to upright action if that's what you are looking for. They now nicely as well although I'm not very good.
  7. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Just to clarify - you can string all of the NS Bass models (including NXT, CR models) with real upright bass strings. They all have the plate on the back with the keyhole slots for the extended length of 3/4 scale bass strings. So, don't necessarily limit yourself to the CR-T if you find a good deal on a different model - the primary differences would be (as I recall) that the CR-T comes with the endpin instead of the tripod, does not have the magnetic pickups, and has an inset marker where the neck heel would be... mostly subtle differences.
  8. mtb777

    mtb777 Serving bottom for the Most High. Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    Sunny South Florida
    My CR-4T came with the tripod. I did buy it used though. No marker.

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