Full Size upright bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Gabu, Aug 31, 2001.

  1. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
  2. olivier

    olivier Guest

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Yes Gabu, 3/4 is the standard size for double bass, with a vibrating string length around 105 cm. From time to time you'll find a 7/8 or a full 4/4 with string length above 110 cm which requires bigger hands to be played confortably.
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Whoever wrote the e-Bay ad does not know what he's talking about.
    As Olivier says, 3/4 is the STANDARD size in basses.
    The ad says 3/4 is the FULL size, not 4/4. That is total s##t. A full size bass is 4/4. However, you don't want one.
    New players should stay with standard size.
    gerry grable likes this.
  4. olivier

    olivier Guest

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Just in in case someone gets tempted by this type of e-bay ad, lets warn again that this is not the way to get your hands on a first bass. Of course, the price is sweet and the bass looks good, but the stuff probably needs from 500 to 1000$ of setup work. And even then may not give a decent sound.
    You must play a music instrument in order to judge it. If you don't know how to play, then get the advice of someone who knows, friend or teacher. In the first place you should check what the luthiers near you have in stock and may offer.
    Besides this I have nothing against e-bay (where I shop for CDs).
    Full size peace,
  5. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Thanks for the quick replies guys.

    I don't have any experience (or education in that instrument either) yet. I just found it to be interesting and the size thing sounded funny to me. I have been wanting to study double bass at my local community college. This would initially be in a classical class with Jazz to later follow.
  6. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    As a maker and repairer I'll add that there are size differences even within the sizes. In other words
    not all 3/4 size basses are the same size, and that goes for 7/8 and 4/4. I've worked on a number of large basses that were refered to a 5/4!
    Addtionally, bass size often has nothing to do with string length. Standard string length is generally considered to be anything between 41" and 42".
    Also, some basses have rather wide upper bouts, and some are a lot narrower which can make a big difference in their playability.
    For your first bass, I'd advise one that has a standard string length, diffintely not over 42", and shoulders or upper bouts that are not more than
    20" wide.
    I've never seen a bass come from any supplier that has been set up correctly which was noted by a previous post.
    Try to find someone who specializes in basses.
    Tell me where you live, and perhaps I will know of somebody in your area. Most bass repair persons know almost everybody in the bass repair community(believe me it's a small group). Even very good violin repair persons know very little about basses, and guitar or electric guys usually know even less.
    Good luck,
  7. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member

    It has been a while since anyone has posted on this subject. Let me say this - I started out on upright because I listened to a guy play a 4/4 Juzek and loved the sound! I eventually have migrated to a 7/8 Christopher 600 and found that the sound is wonderful. I do play a 5 string bass using a lo B and have wanted to move to a larger size body in order to get better response on the low end.
    As stated before, I purchased what was advertised as a 4/4 size bass because I was very interested in obtaining the hard shell case associated with it. As it was listed at a bargain price, I figured the gamble would be worth it. Well, when it came in I found that it was smaller than my Christopher 7/8, but much larger than any 3/4 I've seen. Needless to say, I had to buy a real hard shell in order to get one large enough to fit my 7/8 Christopher.
    All of that being said, years ago I would see 5/4 uprights advertised. I've been searching, but have not found any at this time.
    The larger the body, the better low end response should be! Of course, the quality and make up of the bass also applies. I find that my 600 Christopher has more volume and response than my 400 (that I play more often, because it's a less expensive bass!). I often play my 7/8 size acoustically, but certainly have to pull harder on my B string in order to get much volume. Therefore, I was wondering if anyone knows of a 5/4 size for sale. The bigger the box, the better!
  8. bassmanbrent

    bassmanbrent Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
  9. jsf729


    Dec 12, 2014
    Central Maryland
  10. Too much for me as well.

    Besides playing it comfortably ... I need to be able to get my bass in and out of some tight spots at some of the venues I play. Even my 3/4 Upton Bohemian (which has pretty narrow shoulders) barely makes it sometimes ...
  11. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member

    Lust, lust, lust! These are wonderful instruments! I wish I had know about them 20 years ago, but now that I don't have another 20 years left, it's probably too late. Ah, but to be able to experience the sound they have. . . . . . . lust, lust, lust!
    Just for that I'm taking my fully carved 7/8 to my gig tonight. The only bad thing about it is that the sound I get from this bass can get you hooked! When I go back to your cheaper $3k bass, there is no satisfaction. The sound just isn't the same!
    Playing on any of the 5/4 basses discussed would be just as bad, maybe even worse! I would get so hooked on their sound that I'd have to take it out on a gig that only paid 50 bucks, just so I could enjoy what I was playing. It's like shooting that stuff in your arm! One can easily get hooked and then needs the satisfaction of experiencing the high that only this type sound can give!
    J_Bass likes this.
  12. jon3673

    jon3673 Supporting Member

    Well, it's been a couple of years since I actually played my fully carved bass in a public venue, but I took it to our Django Reinhardt jam session last evening. It was so different from my bass that has a plywood back & sides. Now I'm hooked again! The acoustic response of this instrument is wonderful! I can actually hear my lo B with the same volume and response as the other strings. So, I guess this will now become my working ax, because it's a pleasure to stand there and experience this beautiful sound! (I'm a happy camper again!)
    J_Bass likes this.
  13. Fog_Man


    Oct 7, 2018
    Need advice on acoustic bass upright strings. Icame across this site and link when I queried the net on upright acoustic base strings. Like OP, I became confused with the 3/4 size lingo. I am aware this is an old thread; welcome to point me to a newer or more relevant thread.

    My wife’s dad died in a VA home. He lived in Cleveland Ohio. and left her a full size “King” brand 4-string acoustic base. His day job was as a dentist (boring); his weekend jobs were playing his acoustic base in a jazz group and Ethnic (Central and Eastern European) weddings (interesting but less $). Later in his music avocation, he switched to electric.

    His string base has not been played in decades, and was stored in his Cleveland basement. So, pointers on how to make it contemporarily playable would be appreciated. By contemporary playable I mean appropriate strings and perhaps pickups to go along with my Gretsch 5622.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    You should start your own, separate thread on this. Detailed pictures will help the forum help you. Without doubt, you need to take this to a bass repair expert to get an evaluation. The bass may be in great shape or may need work to make it playable, especially after sitting without attention for decades. Here's a list Gollihur Music - Upright Bass Specialists: Instruments, Pickups, Preamps, Amplifiers, and Accessories
  15. If it can be saved, it should be saved. If you’re not willing to put up the money, pass the bass on to someone who will.

    Kings are great. I own a ‘34. Arguably the best plywood basses ever made in this country.
  16. Fog_Man


    Oct 7, 2018
    Inspiring comments
  17. Acoop


    Feb 21, 2012
    At home I play a 7/8's with a 42 1/2" string length which is just on the edge of stretch. ... About 3-years ago I found a 100-year old, 4/4 Juzek in Florida. It had a massive lower bout and huge sound but it was way too much for a vacation bass and I sold it and picked up a 3/4 German laminate. ... 4/4 basses, I imagine, were designed for orchastras and meant to be left in the concert halls and not dragged around.
    Fog_Man and Sam Dingle like this.
  18. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    The biggest hassle of my new 7/8ths bass is lugging it around. Once its on stage its incredible, but my BACK haha
    Fog_Man likes this.