Getting an EUB!

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by brahmshalim, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. brahmshalim


    Apr 30, 2012
    Hi, any ideas what EUB would be good for a moderate player? Thanks! :)
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Want to play pizz only?
    Or also arco?
    Any experience at playing DB?
    Your profile is empty.
  3. brahmshalim


    Apr 30, 2012
    i was planning to make it pizzicato only, because i play both cello and the violin too! :)
    but can you give me te recommendations for:
    pizzicato only, arco, and both of them? Thanks!
  4. brahmshalim


    Apr 30, 2012
    experience at DB? not much, but i never really used the bow. i always played pizzicato - jazz.
  5. brahmshalim


    Apr 30, 2012
    and for budget, most probably, max of $1000? Not too sure too, well yes im still young-ish and my parents agree more if i played music than games. Haha! :)
  6. Groundblast

    Groundblast Inactive

    Mar 26, 2012
    Bismarck, ND
    Check out ergo instruments. A regular 4-string is only like $600 I think. Plus Jesse (the luthier) is an awesome bass player and guy in general
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    +1 for Ergo.
    In that price range, it's the best one methinks.
  8. I would first decide if you want the same feel of playing (as far as it can go) like on an acoustic DB or not.

    So first decide if you want a stand or an endpin.

    The stand fixes the instrument, so no chance of rotating or change of bass angle to the floor. This might sound good, but it might not if you use this technique on double bass. Electric bass guitar players seem to like that, but not every double bass player.

    The endpin enables you to change the angle and let the bass rotate, but since it is much thinner than a acoustic double bass, you either need a special anti-rotation endpin (Eminence) which disables rotation but not changing the angle or something that emulates the upper bug that is pressed against the body (I call this a body separator or body spacer).
    A good body separator is rigid and has a large area to press against. The Stagg's body separator is made of aluminium rod and not very rigid, my Clevingers is rigid but with a small area. Either the manufacturer or the pre-owner put rubber foam (like the one used for bicycle's hand grip) around the Clevingers body separator making it much bigger and it also doesn't move on the players body any longer, which is good to control the rotation of the instrument.

    So even if you buy an instrument in your price range, you may need some modifications.

    I got my Clevinger 5-string used for about $1000, the Stagg costs about half of it new, but is not an instrument for long time and heavy use. The Stagg with a rosewood fingerboard should be better than the painted hardwood neck-integrated fingerboard, but I haven't seen one yet. There are a few others in a similar price range (i.e. BSX Allegro) that might be a bit better than the Stagg.
  9. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Great comments Double Midi

    I've been wanting a more portable bass and was looking at EBG's but I have very little BG technique. it seems like a waste to get an instrument that I can't play as opposed to an EUB which I should be able to play with DB technique.
    I'm in a similar situation as Brahmshalim but I have no bow technique.
    I just called Steve Swan and he said Steinbergers were good.
    I guess that's NS Design? Could the NXT-4 be all the bass I need?NS Design NXT 4-String Electric Double Bass | Musician's Friend
    They have more expensive ones also.
    Since I've really learned to play on a DB I wonder if I would prefer a peg like the BSX BSX Bass Half Note Acoustic-Electric Upright Bass Nutmeg | Musician's Friend
    However it's getting to be out of my price range.
    ---and what's up with the super expensive Yamaha Yamaha Silent Electric Upright Bass Brown | Musician's Friend
    Does it really sound and feel better or is it just the added on gizmos?
  10. Hi Bobsax,

    you need to check out as many EUBs as you can find before you know what you like and dislike. Check even the higher priced ones. You might find out why some are better and why and if this is relevant for you or not.
    I think playability is the most important thing, you can add a pickup if the built-in is not good. For some cheaper ones like Stagg and Palatino there are a lot of modifications on the net, but it won't make a first class instrument out of it.
    If you are used to double bass, better stand away from the tripods, but try them for the length of a whole piece with lower and thump position like in a real playing situation. You might find that most of the time you are nailed to position and need to make step here or there for optimum bass vs. player position.
    Find an EUB that has a D or Eb neck (the same you play on your acoustic DB), a lot of chinese ones don't have one of them and your orientation might get lost.
    Some have an endpin straight like the double bass, some angled like the Clevinger (mounted close to the end of the fingerboard). Can't really say what is better.
    A major difference is the distribution of mass. An acoustic double bass has a lot of mass far away from the center, an EUB has most of the mass very close to the center. So the EUB will accelerate faster to rotation forces and feels different than an acoustic double bass. There is no useful way to change that. Best thing is a good body separator to fix the angle with your body. (But even then you need one hand to hold it in position.)

    The Yamaha comes closest to a normal DB, but is a bit expensive too. I never tried it myself.

    My first EUB was a Stagg (got them really cheap from Ebay, needed some minor repairs). Not bad, foam under the underlengths, nut and bridge grooves needed some work. The body separator is weak, better build something else for it. There are some nice wood constructions I have seen on expensive EUBs. But for the beginning (until you hate it) the Stagg body separator might do it. Sound is not so bad, but somewhere between acoustic DB and dark electric BG. If you want to buy one, try the bass in the shop, put the action low and lookout for a buzz free instrument and only buy exactly this one. Planning a painted fingerboard is not so much fun and also costs some money or work time. (I got two Staggs, one with a good fingerboard and one with a rather bad one.) After the Stagg I got the Clevinger used (upper limit of your price range), but I still need to enhance some less nice but important details. But the Clevinger is much better than the Stagg. But now there might even be better ones than the Clevinger that are not too expensive.

    I think there is a cheaper but not bad copy of the BSX on the market. Can't remember the name. I saw it mentioned on the british forum several times. I think this might fit your price range, it was a lot cheaper than the BSX you referenced. Might be a better solution than the Stagg.
  11. bobsax


    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Thank you Double Midi

    This is great info. I'm not in a big rush so I should look around and try out a few. I should be able to find some shops that carry them in the SF Bay Area. It looks like Guitar Center Doesn't have any.

    TalkBass is probably the best place to search for more info and you've narrowed the list down considerably so I don't have to read through pages of threads and then find out the EUB is designed for BG players.

    --thanks again
  12. I was wrong about what I saw at The Stagg is the cheap version of the Aria SWB (about $2000).
    Most of the chinese EUBs you can find now have a rather long neck (not D or Eb).

    I would say first look for the neck, then for the endpin and body spacer vs. tripod, then for solid or hollow body (solid if you want to get loud, hollow otherwise). You might need to make some compromise to stay in your budget. I wouldn't exclude the tripod totally. Try them out and decide for yourself. Same for the neck.

    BTW, double bass tuning machines are MUCH better than the cheap bass guitar ones used rather often. Some EUBs need special or shortened double bass strings. Piezo pickups are OK, but having a magnetic too might help getting really loud. (But might blow your budget.)

    The sad truth is a good EUB costs as much as a medium quality double bass.

    For the Stagg and the Palatino (and maybe some others too) read the Megathreads on talkbass. You will get good idea what is wrong or suboptimal with them, what to do, and learn a lot what is important. Might need some time, but well spend. Then if you know what is important (for you) go out and check the EUBs.

    Don't forget to take your bow and rosin (and string cleaner) with you when trying out the EUBs!
    Don't expect they have a bow to try and this way you can be sure you always tried the same bow for comparison.

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