EUB "sensible" choice? WRT maintenance, humidity, fragile, setup, playability

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by warx, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. warx


    Sep 13, 2010
    Marin, CA
    Looking at getting my first (and most likely only) UB. Being lazy I guess I want something that is always going to be in prime playing condition despite all the varying conditions. While on my EBs things like truss rod and minor nut and bridge adjustments are within my realm I feel nothing on a decent carved UB would be DIY so it'd be going to the luthier a lot. (OK, I might be over-reacting but all my instruments have always been made of solid wood, carbon and steel...)

    Other factors:
    • Being a leftie I'm pretty limited to choice (budget ~$3000), never any used options
    • Always use reinforcement so I'd need to get a decent mic/piezo etc. and that means self-imposing a painfully long and detailed TB/google research that would be a prerequisite to purchase
    • I generally have some sort of clumsy incident (trying to carry too many things etc.)
    • Lower action & easy to play for an EB convert
    • Not likely to arco
    • Any gig would be local (have car space, would never fly)
    • A decent UB-like sound is important
    • Some part of me wants to be a purist
    Basically with my price range it comes down to either an Engelhardt ES-1/9 Leftie (if the reversing upmark, case & shipping still keeps it at $3000 - oh plus the piezo, preamp etc.) or the MK Classic.
    MR PC likes this.
  2. madbanjoman


    Feb 23, 2011
    I own the MK Studio and a plywood DB. The MK is great but nothing beats the real thing. I am a fellow lefty but just stand on the wrong side of a righty and play that way.
  3. You could get a lefty Upton Standard ply for under $3k and have a real, high-quality, purpose-built lefty that would teach you how to pull a big sound.

    The schlep factor is what it is. You live with it. And don't write off the bow prematurely. It's magic.
  4. Impossible. I gig an Eminence, and as close as it is to a real upright sound, it's still nowhere near an upright sound.
    Steve Boisen, Kickdrum and Tom Lane like this.
  5. MVB-1 with a Rev Solo and Spiros.
  6. MR PC

    MR PC Inactive

    Dec 1, 2007
    I'd avoid purchasing EUB until you sort out your priorities.
  7. An EUB can sound a bit could or thin/small because of the small or non-existent body resonance.
    And since an upright is often played in low to medium volume, the acoustic output is part of the sound heard by the listeners. Therefor an EUB gives only part of a double bass sound, not the real thing. It is closer than a fret less bass guitar, could be bowed (but often not as easily as a regular size acoustic upright), but in a small or rather quiet group you will miss the real upright resonance.

    So you need to diced what is more important for you, lower maintenance cost and smaller size (but not necessarily less weight) or better sound and easier holding of the instrument.
    If you would like to use effects like chorus or distortion rather often, an EUB would be the better choice, because the acoustic sound does not collide with the processed sound, but if you generally prefer the acoustic double bass sound an acoustic upright would be better.
    An EUB can be nice if you play on small or crowded stages or if you want to avoid carrying the big thing to rehearsals, but then it is an additional instrument, not your only upright.
  8. warx


    Sep 13, 2010
    Marin, CA
    Maybe a ply (or hybrid) might work best. Reading a little more about their resilience to temp/humidity changes and they don't seem like the moisture sucking animals I'd imagined. Plus, I'm in Northern California and it's pretty moderate here I suppose. Having the acoustic option would be nice. OK, I'm sold. Now on to the difficult leftie no-try-before-you-buy procurement process... Thanks all !!
  9. What kind of music do you want to play? What are the sounds in that genre?
  10. warx


    Sep 13, 2010
    Marin, CA
    Well... since you asked. I generally play (on EB) things like acid jazz, rare groove, soul and Nola funk. But, always been fascinated by Chris Wood & Brian Brombergs' work and other gritty playing like Soul Coughing, Cat Empire, G Love. Also, having grown up in the sampling era of early hip-hop always thought that sound just brought it to another level.

    Yes, I'd love to play Bop stuff - but that isn't likely given my skill-set!
  11. warx


    Sep 13, 2010
    Marin, CA
    UPDATE: Have an RM-200 ordered. Excited! Now to find a teacher to supplement the Rufus Book/DVD.
    Randy Ward likes this.
  12. warx


    Sep 13, 2010
    Marin, CA
    As a conclusion to this thread, I received Thompson lefty (RM-100 after all) yesterday and am very happy. No I've got some serious re-learning (and grip strengthening!) to do.

    Thanks for your input and steering.
    Josh Kneisel and Randy Ward like this.
  13. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Welcome to the dark side!!!
    Randy Ward and warx like this.
  14. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    I have a righty! Good basses for the money.