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EUB's in the UK

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Si-bob, Jul 27, 2002.


  1. Hey, i come from the dark side of the boards :)
    Basically i wanna get my hands on a good quality Electric Upright, and i was wondering if anyone knows of any decent builders in the UK? Except for Shuker, i'v already looked into that.
    Cheers

    *Si*
     
  2. Phagor

    Phagor

    Mar 26, 2002
    London, UK
    Hi Si-bob,

    I looked around recently for EUBs over here. Not a lot of choice.

    I heard some good things about Mo Clifton, based in Blackheath, who makes an interesting EUB...

    http://www.davesutherland.co.uk/workshop.html

    pics at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Terry_Holland/dbass1.htm along with some other EUBs. He was very helpful when I contacted by email.

    I ended up buying a Steinberger CR5M from the Bass Centre in London (and Birmingham, Manchester?) - very nice, easy to play, good hybrid sound between a fretless and a DB.

    What sort of thing are you looking for in an EUB?

    Good luck :D
    Mike
     
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Not to be persnickety or anything, but simply FYI: This is the DARK SIDE of the boards. You come from the land of light, the land of FiElDy, the land of smileys...down here in the castle, about the only rays of light we get happen when some poor lost slabber wanders into the rosin forum and starts a fire....
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    My experience coincides almost exactly - I ended up buying a CR5 without magnetic pickups as these tended to make it sound more like fretless BG to my ears and I was looking for more of the DB sound.

    I used it last week on Jazz Summerschool and got lots of favourable comments regarding sound as well as a lot of amazed, incredulous stares - as in , what the hell is that!! ;)
     
  5. Hey guys, thanks for the replies. Basically i'm looking for a 34", possilby 35" scale 5 string EUB. Preferably without a magnetic pickup, i want a really good double bass sound and i want to get away from the electric fretless sound, as i have 2 of these :). I'v only played double bass a couple of times, but i loved it. The only thing i didn't like was the size of the body and the amount of difficulty in playing up high and transporting it about!

    Thanks

    *Si*

    p.s.
    the last time i was at the bass centre i remember seeing an NS, but i can't remember it it was a 5'er or not!
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well as Ed is saying, you are basically asking for the impossible!

    I honestly believe the only reason the NS basses sound any different to a fretless BG is their 42" scale length, but even so I can appreciate the comments that they do sound like a fretless BG the higher up the neck you go.

    I have found the NS EUB to be very portable and nothing like as difficult as a "real" DB to play. I've tried a few, briefly and could get nothing out of them. Whereas with the NS EUB I was playing tunes, with a reasonable tone, after about 20 minutes in the shop! I played a gig after about 3 weeks!

    After 3 months or so I still find it difficult to play "up high" - but I know local Jazz DB'ers who still don't play beyond the octave, after many years of playing - even when they solo! ;)
     
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Been consindering the same option of late.

    The bassgallery in cambden currently has few eubs in there, some american, and some very much - to my novice hands - like acoustics - ie. real tough to play and real heavy. They also have some that are basically just fretless basses but upright - they're horrible! :meh:

    Thanks Bruce, that is very reassuring, I cannot make my acoutsic sound anything but foul above G on the A string!

    Q) My acoustic's action is bl~~dy high, making me play less and meaning I can get some awesome sounds when I really dig...
    How does the steinberger compare to an acoustic in terms of the action? Can you get that same playing feel from it?
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've sent a PM with details - but just to say -that was a while ago now and I have been making progress! ;)

    So , I have raised the action, but the big thing was getting some real DB strings (based on reecommendations round here!) - these make it sound much more like real DB.

    I have done a lot more solos on EUB , in Jazz sessions and I can play well above octave G now. But it still feel awkward - I'm not sure about the technique to use.

    So - I don't need to use Thumb technique, as there is no body in the way. But as you get higher, the position changes, so you are forced into an approximation of this. But this varies depending on how high I have the bass set up on the stand. I've been experimenting with the ideal position - but there seems to be a fair amount of leeway, given the 'open access' nature of the fingerboard.

    For an objective view - ask Alex Claber - another TB member who has been to some of the same Jazz workshops as me, recently - so can tell you what my EUB sounds like!! ;)
     
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Thanks very much Bruce... very helpful info :)

    In response to your PM:

    "Yes, you can raise the action very easily, with two screws in the back of the body."

    >>> Aah, so you can raise it up really high - like 3/4 of an inch at the octave!! Excellent. I've played an EUB with mega low action at the gallery, it was just aweful!

    "But mostly people comment on how good it sounds - or how good, considering the amount of body missing!!"

    >>> I understand, that's as good a review as I could hope for, thanks!

    "I tried a few of these in the Bass centre when it was in Wapping - they got some down from Manchester especially for me!! I found that the magnetic pickups added low end, but made it sound more like BG."

    >>> I emailed them today to ask about stocks. I'm going to have to get up there and try some out.

    They do a CRT now - a traditional set-up version of the CR4 /5 - i'm intreagued to find out what the differnce is now you've said that you can maintain high action on your CR5?
    I know it has only the piezo and if what you say is correct I shall probably feel the same - ie, little point in having an EUB that sounds just like a long scale electric.

    "I've had no problems - although it does take a while to get used to and to find the right setup of the stand that is comfortable and efficient to play"

    >>> I can imagine, I've spent a many hours just trying to hold my acoustic right!!

    "The only slight problem is that it needs a decent Hi-Fi amp to sound anything like DB."

    >>>That's not so bad - I can live with that!


    >> That is intersting. I have my acoutsic set so that first position is just level with the top of my head - making the "higher registers", well 9th "fret" easier to reach.

    thanks v much tho. very helpful. i'll get up to the bass centre (when I've recovered from my wrist operation tomorrow :eek: ) and try some out.
     
  10. Phagor

    Phagor

    Mar 26, 2002
    London, UK
    Just to add my twopenneth...

    I found that I couldn't raise the action on my CR5M as much as I would have liked. The adjustment is a pair of allan key grub screws that go through the back plate and push the piezo pickup up. The grub screws only have a certain amount of travel. I'd be interested to see how high the new CRT is. Might be worth getting the Bass Centre guys to crank up the action for to make sure.

    In fact, I managed to screw up the bass by shorting one of the battery leads - these run between the two grub screws, and somehow I managed to get one caught :eek:. Couldn't figure out why I was going through new batteries every gig... duh! Easy to fix once I realised, but maybe could have been designed better? :meh:

    Despite that, the action doesn't really bother me - I'm finding that it sounds more and more like a real UB the more I listen to UB players and try to play proper UB lines... again, duh!

    I do like the extra magnetic pickups on mine - I feel the piezo is too clanky on its own, and the mags add some useful fundamental.

    As for position, like Bruce, it's taken me a while to get a comfortable position. I started off with the nut level with my eyebrows, and the bass vertically upright, but leaning back slightly... After a while, I found this quite uncomfortable, so now I lean the bass off vertical towards me and also lean it further back, and this is much better, I guess more like a real UB position.

    Let us know how you get on, Howard :)
    Mike
     
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    hey Mike,
    thanks for the info, yes I certainly will check one out fully before i even consider spending the cash.

    i cant play upright for toffee, but i do find it's almost impossible to make an acoustic upright sound like a BG, it's far too big and unfriendly!!

    and yea i will let you know how i get on. it'll be next year sometime before i buy, but i'll take a trip up to the basscentre sooner than that i expect - well if they still have some in stock i will anyhow

    ta
    H
     
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - I think it's important to have it leaning back from the vertical - I have a couple of videos which show how a DB should be held and I did discuss this with a DB teacher (Jazz pro) this summer - he thought I should turn down and try to get more volume by raising the action further and using my fingers. He thought my position was alright though! ;)