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finding the right travel/practice bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Kevin Sylves, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Kevin Sylves

    Kevin Sylves

    Aug 18, 2007
    Boulder, CO
    I am about to take a trip for several months to San Diego and don't really want to lug my huge, heavy, fragile 120-year-old instrument with me. While I'm there I don't have any performances scheduled, I just need something to practice on. The sound quality isn't really important; in fact, it would be nice to have something quiet for practicing late in hotel rooms. What is important to me, though, is that it feel as much like a traditional double bass as possible, so that when I get back home I can transfer what I've been practicing back to my instrument without having to adjust my playing and hand/body positions too much.

    I've looked into some travel instruments (Eminence, Kolstein Busetto), but they are a little out of my price range - I'm looking to spend roughly $1000 and no more than $2000. Should I be looking at electric uprights (EUB)? I've never tried one myself - I've heard that they aren't set-up for being bowed, and again I'm worried that it won't 'feel' enough like a real upright (especially since I play seated).

    Any advice would be really appreciated - thanks a bunch!
  2. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    What I would do if faced with your situation is to buy an Engelhardt, get it set up decently, and stick a rubber practice mute on when I needed to be real quiet. I'd also check with some local luthiers to see if they had any used instruments in that price range (most likely a laminate). I might consider renting a bass for six months if it were substantially cheaper than buying one. Nothing plays like a double bass other than a double bass.
  3. frichter


    Mar 26, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I really enjoy the sound and feel of the Eminence. I got mine under the 2000 mark, but then upgraded the bridge . . . I still think its possible to find one around your budget. What is nice about the Eminence is the fact that it has a fully acoustic body and actually creates a sound when not plugged in. The sound is pronounced and clear (just not loud or full-bodied). The "feel" is not like a real double bass because of the small body size (string length is still 41 3/4). However, I think its about as close as you can get with an eub for the money. Good luck in your search.
  4. Call up Jon at World Of Strings to see if you could get a rental.
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Many EUBs can be bowed, but the real issue I think is that they are very different than UB's in their balance and feel. They take some getting used to. And with so many on the market, it could take some time for you to find the one you like and that works well in a seated position. Unless you want one to play on its own terms, I don't think it will substitute for playing/practicing on your instrument. I don't see the point if it's just for a few months. A Czech Ease might be the closest in feel to your bass, but a bit more $$ than your budget and is still fairly large.

    I think you'd be better off renting something locally from a shop or player. Or, just bite the bullet and bring your bass.
  6. To take the subject a step further, there is a possibility that I'm going to be travelling to places like Angola, Nigeria & Saudi Arabia in the near future for work. This would be a 9 week on, 3 week off (or similar schedule) situation.

    As a DB beginner, what are my options?

    Dean Pace, NS WAV or CR, Kydd, BSX, etc? Portability is highly important, as is ability to get through customs in less than civilized nations.
  7. tyggis


    Mar 11, 2008
    My naive question is, why do you have a 120 year old one if you dont want to use it? But as mentioned before, i would rent one, not buy one. If you rent one you can just deliver it back if it doesnt fit you. Could save you a lot of money.
  8. If it was me I think I'd get an electric upright and shed on material while I was away from home, then spend time on technique when I got back. I hate traveling with my good bass; worrying about damage or theft and you can guaranty that nobody will complain if you use a electric with headphones.
  9. Kevin Sylves

    Kevin Sylves

    Aug 18, 2007
    Boulder, CO
    I do want to use it! Bringing it with me is just not very practical. I think that renting sounds like a good option - I think I'll look into that before exploring other options. Thanks everyone for the advice!
  10. jeffrey fisher

    jeffrey fisher

    Sep 10, 2010
    I have a tour planned next month to india, and not really considering taking my good instrument, but do not want to spend lots on a travel bass at this time--has anyone had experience trying to get an instrument set up from a rental company? i have rather low action for solo work--my new album, which is mainly solo bass, is on the New Age charts at this time, so i'd like to create as close as possible the sound i got recording. Planning to take my good bow. Any problems traveling by air with a bow in a case?--jeff fisher
  11. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Also Hammond Ashley in San Diego. Erik Johnson there is very helpful.

  12. gcordez


    Jul 14, 2008
    Im selling my Chadwick Folding bass, which would be perfect for your situations...
  13. Rvl


    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    I am a big fan of having 2 basses

    I try to always have a spare instrument
    A good one and an ok one

    Use the ok one for outdoor shows or places you feel your bass might be damaged

    Right now I have 3 UB and 2 EUB and 2 acoustic bass guitars and 20 electric basses. Definitely excessive and I must get rid of many of them (but I love all of my children!!!)

    I would consider an EUB as an excellent spare or ultra compact/travel instrument.
    BUT a nice UB sounds and feels much better and no amp is required


    Robert VanLane

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