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EUB or DB?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Apr 11, 2004.


  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    I'm a bass guitarist (2 years exp) but for the last year or so I've been getting more and more into jazz. But as I do so, I can't help but be infected with this overwhelming desire to play an upright! The musicians who play on some of these songs are just phenomenal! It gets worse when I actually come into physical contact with an upright, be it at school or in a store. The most recent occurance was some old, 3/4 size blue sponge-painted (it was obviously painted a LONG time ago, it's chipped, scratched, and beat up all over) with a p-bass pickup haphazardly rigged up under the strings, extending off the fretboard with some ridiculous excuse for a preamp literally duct-taped to it.
    The question I have isn't so much as "how do I get started" or even "is it worth it", because I have both of those covered (I have a teacher that also plays upright and regular access to the school's bass during school).
    See, the issue is at home practice. I won't be able to get to far on a DB without actually having one at home, and I can't exactly steal the school's every night. And yes, I already plan on familiarizing myself VERY well with a bow ;).
    My question: should I get an electric upright bass, or a regular double bass?

    General things to know:
    -When I play BG, my strings are set low and have loooow tension so I might find an EUB a lot more comfortable to play
    -I'm not -- repeat, NOT -- looking for something that sounds like a fretless BG. I already own one for that purpose! :p
    -I'm on a tight, TIGHT budget. As in, less than $1100 CAD would be ideal. I won't be buying one for a while, as I can actually sign the school's bass out for the summer (but not during the year -- yes, I know, there's a phenomenal lack of logic there) but I don't have a summer job yet.
    -What are some companies that if I go either way would be good for me? I'm familiar with NS Design and Azola, but as far as I know, they don't make anything that's even CLOSE to my price range.
    -Space isn't an issue.
    -Noise isn't an issue.
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    If you want to play the bass, then get a bass. If you're short on cash, then you'll have to save some. The EUB is not generally any cheaper than a decent ply bass, and often more expensive.

    As far as action, it's going to take a while to get your chops up. The more regularly you priactice, the faster you'll get it together.
     
  3. Make sure you read the newbie links in the basses forum. There is good information in there regarding some of the basses (Engelhardt, Christopher, etc.) in your price range.
     
  4. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    My real upright is much easier to play than my stick bass. I'm working on experimenting with the EUB, but it will never sound or play as good.
     
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Alrighty, guys...I'm still in the market, and after finally actually starting DB (on an actual DB, about 2 weeks ago), the action thing isn't really an issue anymore. I mean, yeah, I haven't fully adapted, but I'm noticing building endurance. I'm just using the school's for now, and I'm (hoping to god that I might be) getting a job soon, so I'm doubling the budget -- $2,200CAD, not including taxes.

    I'm still looking for an EUB, because I've seen and heard of too many people's basses getting knackered in ye olde Canadian winters, but if the right 3/4 size DB came 'round my way, I'd pick it up instead.

    Criteria for EUB:

    Normal DB scale (41"/42")
    Bowable
    Decent DB simile

    That's about it. Full scale length, bowable, and a decent simile of a DB tone. $2,200CAD or less!
     
  6. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    CAD$2200 is about US$1500.
    Are you sure he can get a Messenger for that price?
    (at least not new!)
     
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    I bought my Azola Bug II for about $1500 USD, slightly used. I have seen them for that price at other times as well.
     
  9. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    oopps!!! :D

    i did get mine for 1350 used, but you're right, new they are about 2500+

    :)
     
  10. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I recently picked up a basic Azola Bugbass for $900 used but excellent condition. I've been playing upright for 13 years. While I like the Azola and play it often, it is no substitute for the woody, 3D tone of an acoustic upright. At higher volumes with the amp cranked the Azola does a nice aproximation of an amplifed DB but in any kind of acoustic or semi acoustic situation the DB sounds much better. IMO you should get a DB. A decent plywood bass is not more expensive than a decent EUB.
     
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I had an Azola and liked it alot. I now use a good old upright with a K&K Bass Max pickup. There is no substitute for that upright sound.

    I have also sat in with a piano player (acoustic grand) doing standards at a fancy restaurant here in town. All I did was bring my bass - no amp, no nothing. It was great. With the EUB, it would have been more to haul and not as cool sounding - or looking - for that matter.

    People I play with always comment on how nice it is to hear someone playing "real bass" in combo and big band work.

    Yeah, it's a pain to haul around, but in the end I think it's worth it.
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well that's right - if you can hear it - over the drummer and the noise of the club, tills ringing people chatting loudly etc. etc. ;)
     
  13. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Bruce Minefield, you're a gem.
     
  14. Why agonize over this ? Just get both ! ;)
    I use my BSX on gigs, being a BG player as well I had all the amps and cabs already. And I have the plywood baby at home, workin' on chops and arco. All for about 2K. It can be done on your budget, get shoppin' ! :D
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Keep up!! ;)

    The original poster updated us a while ago and has now started on DB, but would like to buy an EUB as well - presumably why this is now in the EUB forum !! :)
     
  16. OOPS . . . :)
    Sorry, I should pay attention to the dates in the post . . :smug:
     
  17. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Any more reccomendations? I'm buying an EUB because I'll have regular access to DB's for 11 months out of the year for the next five and a half. After schooling is all done, I'll be picking up a DB and moving to NY. Until then, I need a serviceable electric upright.

    Once again...criteria are:

    Bowable
    41-42" scale
    Decent simile of an URB tone.

    It doesn't have to come with a bow (I'm thinking about using the school's until I can pick up one of those carbon fibre jobbies) but it would be kinda nice.
     
  18. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    The Eminence EUB should fit the bill nicely!
    :)
     
  19. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'm really nuts about the Alter Ego, but it's more pricey.
     
  20. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    The Eminence does look pretty swanky, but it's $2,800USD new. Even used, that's far and away above my budget.

    What's the site for Carruthers basses? I've heard great things about them for the price.