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First Double Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Classickbass, Oct 15, 2010.


  1. Classickbass

    Classickbass

    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN
    My first post on the DB side of talkbass. I have, for some time now, been looking for my first double bass. I have never owned one before, or even played one in a store. I recently came across two for sale on my local craigslist and was hoping for some expertise from you guys on these instruments.

    http://knoxville.craigslist.org/msg/2007480840.html

    http://knoxville.craigslist.org/msg/2005235007.html

    What should I look for when I go to see them firsthand? What questions should I ask the current owners? Thanks for any insight you may choose to share with me.
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    They could both be decent. If the cheaper one isn't set up well, you could spend a few hundred on that. I think the ebony FB is probably worth the higher price alone. If you have $1500 to spend, I'd try and find a Shen SB80 set up from a luthier. Then you compare sound and feel and make a decision, ideally with a teacher or other experienced double bassist to help. I believe the Engleharts have necks on the thin side and many here don't like this feature from a technique standpoint.
     
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1
     
  4. Classickbass

    Classickbass

    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN
    Thanks for the replies. I will heed your advice and look for a better instrument. I thought it odd that I only see Engels on craigslist, hint hint I suppose. I think I am going to look at Upton's website and see what they have. Thanks again!
     
  5. Rocky

    Rocky Inactive

    Jul 21, 2000
    Los Angeles
    Hi, I just received my Upton Standard last month, and can honestly say you will not go wrong buying from this company. If you check out some of my older posts you will find I had a few small issues with my bass, but these are being resolved. Most of the issues I had were cosmetic, and not really a problem at all. The people at Upton are top notch, and they make a great product along with being a green company. Trust me when I tell you that their basses are worth the extra money.
    I can also say that I am making much more progress with the Upton than the other two basses I previously owned. In the past I have owned a blond Englehardt Swingmaster, and a Christopher 100 series bass. Both basses were decent instruments, and were only sold because of circumstances beyond my control. I had to put a few hundred into each instrument for setups, but both were decent quality without issues as both were bought new. The Engelhardt does have a smaller neck, and for me this was not comfortable. At the time I was strictly a electric player, and I thought the smaller neck would be good for me, but I wound up getting cramps playing this bass. The Christopher had a larger neck, and I found it to be much better for my hands. It was a very nice bass for the money, but it was nothing special, and I prefer to support American companies when I can. The Upton has a very comfortable neck for me, and I can play this bass for hours without feeling like my hands are cramping like they would from the Englehardt neck. Sound wise the Upton has a much fatter, bigger, louder tone than the other basses too. I am still very much in the learning stages, and am by no means an authority on these instruments, but I will say that IMHO the Upton bass is a superior instrument that will facilitate faster learning for me because it fits me better.
    Lots of people love old Kays and Englehardts, and they are great basses, but they are not for everyone. IMHO The best thing you can do is too play as many basses as you can, and if you find something that interests you then have a teacher, luthier, or accomplished double bassist look at it for you. Others will correct me if I am wrong, but I almost think its better to find a good teacher first, and then have them help you find a bass. I also highly recommend that you read ALL the newbie links here on TB, and do as much research as you can stand on the internet. This may save you allot of time and money in the long run. Best of luck with your quest, and if you have any questions that I can answer regarding my Upton or the other two basses feel free to ask.
     
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Call some shops in Nashville and go see some basses.
     
  7. Classickbass

    Classickbass

    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN

    Good idea. Knoxville, which is only 30 minutes away seems to be exclusively electric bass. I did find two shops that advertise 'All String Instruments' but only one of them has a Double Bass...er, sorry, Bass Fiddle. And they have no Double Bass teacher to ask questions of so, yes, I am heading to Nashville next week or the week after.
     
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
  9. Classickbass

    Classickbass

    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN
  10. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    String Emporium is a quality shop. Steve will probably send you one on trial if you are interested. Haven't seen one of the Gilets, but the higher priced Wans are very nice.
     
  11. derft

    derft

    Aug 10, 2010
    Burleson, Texas
    If you are going to stay in the $1500 range I can recommend the Thompson RM-100 from Steve at String Emporium. I recently bought one for my wife. Bass sounds great, has a nice finish and the hardware is very nice. It was set up perfectly with a really great adjustable bridge and Innovation Gold Slaps (at my request).
    Looks well built to me.

    Bass was packed very well and was sent by air on Southwest.

    Steve is really great to deal with.

    Fred
     
  12. Did you Ever get a New Bass??
     
  13. Classickbass

    Classickbass

    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN
    No, I have not. I am getting as much background as possible. I do not want to spend this kind of money and end up unhappy with my purchase. I would never have thought that there was this much information on such a 'simple' thing as a Double Bass. Only goes to show what I know.
     

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