Experimental basses of the '50s-'60s?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by rch427, May 31, 2002.

  1. rch427


    May 31, 2002
    I'm a newbie to the list, so please forgive the newbie-ish tone of the post. I bought an electric bass a couple of years ago, but have not had much success in learning to play it, as it always felt a bit awkward in my hands. And so, I've been thinking of trying the stand-up/double bass instead. (The few chances that I've had to play around with one were more than 20 years ago, but I remember it feeling rather comfortable, although the lack of frets was disconcerting.)

    Since the price of a stand-up is considerable, I've been thinking a bit lately about what may have been available, bass-wise, in the '50s and '60s as an alternative to the wood, acoustical basses. So, I'd like to learn what was made back then as a different option. In the arena of guitars, there was a lot of experimentation then, such as Ovation with their fiberglass bodies, Danelectro with masonite bodies, National (and other) dobros with the metal resonators, and so on.

    Can anyone tell me if there were stand-up basses, made in the '50s/'60s that tried other materials/configurations than the standard type? The only one I know of is the Ampeg electric. Any others?
  2. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    Welcome to the board. My first suggestion is to go to http://www.urbbob.com/basslink.html which is the gold standard repository of bass info on the net run by (All Hail) Bob Gollihur. It's where I found most of my information when I ventured into the DB world 2 years ago.

    Second - alternative materials don't equal lower price. If your interest in 50's-60's alternative material stuff is historical/nostalgic that's fine but don't expect a price break. There were basses made of aluminum which have been universally panned. Fiberglass was tried with equally bad results. A few companies are making carbon fiber basses now. It's all at Bob's site.