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Getting closer: Engelhardt EM1 or Strunal 50/1?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by gtrandbass, May 8, 2006.


  1. gtrandbass

    gtrandbass

    Jun 12, 2005
    I have done quite a bit research now on starter basses and now thinking of getting either new Engelhardt EM1 ($870) or Strunal 50/1 ($830), shipping included. I bet these must be better that the cheapest Chinese basses.

    I also considered Shen SB80 but it is too expensive for me now.

    Qualitywise which one would be better? I can work on action myself but how probably these basses need planing of the fingerboard too? If that needs to be done how much I should be prepared to pay? Any other things I should pay attention to?

    Tks.

    PS: I never went to see that used Cremona prices at $600
     
  2. Where are you getting an EM1 for only $870? That seems like a very good deal! What type of music do you play?

    I'm looking into purchasing my first DB for bluegrass. Currently leaning towards an Engelhardt.
     
  3. All I had to do to my EM-1 was lower the action a bit at the bridge. I took it down 3/16" and the action is now perfect (for me that is). The board is straight, the way I like it. I should add that I changed the strings as soon as I took it out of the shipping box. I am very, very pleased with the EM-1. I Know nothing about the Strunal bass.
     
  4. You're not going to lose either way between those two choices . . . Personally I like the Strunal better because of the meatier neck, but it's your choice. Can you play them side by side to compare? ;)
     
  5. gtrandbass

    gtrandbass

    Jun 12, 2005
    Thanks for your replies, keep them coming!

    The Strunal has a "swelled back" -- how does this affect the instrument?

    Call Will at Woodwind & Brasswind, 888-590-9700 x2457.
    I play in a jazz fusion band (bop, swing, blues, bossa).
     
  6. ToR-Tu-Ra

    ToR-Tu-Ra

    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    A bass can either have a sweeled (round) back or a flat one. I *THINK* Engelhardt is a roundback too. The Strunal I own and the few other I've played have a beveled fingerboard, which I like better than the flatter ones. Can't comment on engelhardt since I've never played one but seems the general consensus is that they have a rather thin neck which some people find unconfortable. It'd be great if you could try them both and see which one you like better.
     
  7. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I own a Strunal 50/4 which I believe is the same as the 50/1 except it has ebony fittings vs. ebonized hardwood fittings.

    I'm very happy with it.

    Since it is a large 3/4, closer to a 7/8's in size, it has a fairly big sound. String length is around 42.5". I don't know how that compares with an Englehardt.

    Mine also needed a set-up which was included with the extended warrantly I purchased from Sam Ash music.

    I also decided to replace the end pin and bridge with an adjustable one, but that was my decision to do that, wasn't really necessary as far as the bass is concerned.

    One other thing, the stock Strunal strings feel like rubber bands. You will need to replace them, although not right away. I used them for 6 months until I replaced them.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck!
     
  8. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I don't like the skinny necks on the Engleharts.

    Personally, I'd still say hey, you're two-thirds of the way there- save another $400 and get a Shen.
     
  9. DHoss

    DHoss

    Nov 23, 2005
    CT
    Engelhardt's M-1 specs may have changed since they built mine in 1990 but here are some measurements:

    Ten and a half inches from the nut (where the octave+ harmonic of each string rings), the neck is about 1 1/2 inches thick, and 1 3/4 inches wide.

    The upper bout is 20" wide, the center bout is 15", the lower bout is 26 1/2", the ribs are 8", and string length is 42".

    The plywood's 5/16" thick, measured at an ff hole.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck with your selection!
     
  10. DHoss

    DHoss

    Nov 23, 2005
    CT
    Engelhardt's M-1 specs may have changed since they built mine in 1990 but here are some measurements:

    Ten and a half inches from the nut (where the octave+ harmonic of each string rings), the neck is about 1 1/2 inches thick, and 1 3/4 inches wide.

    The upper bout is 20" wide, the center bout is 15", the lower bout is 26 1/2", the ribs are 8", and string length is 42".

    The plywood's 5/16" thick, measured at an ff hole.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck with your selection!
     
  11. gtrandbass

    gtrandbass

    Jun 12, 2005
    Hey -- great additional info, thanks!

    Here some more comments/questions:

    - I have no possibility to physically compare these basses
    - Are there any Engelhardt owners who like their skinny necks for jazz? I like the thin neck of my electric.
    - Do you know which strings come with EM-1? I assume all factory strings are not first quality and need replacing soon anyway.
    - I have read about end pin issues on both
    - Does the large Strunal 3/4 still fit into a regular 3/4 sized bag?
    - Larger size of Strunal makes it obviously harder to transport?
    - I like Engelhardt's 2-year warranty, need to check what Strunal offers.
    - I simply cannot afford that price difference between these and Shen, LOL!
     
  12. ToR-Tu-Ra

    ToR-Tu-Ra

    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    I thought the octave sounded at the middle of the string... so if its ten and a half inches from the nut, this would infere a twenty one inch string lenght... dunno, maybe you meant 20 and a half inches from the nut, that would be closer to the 42'' string length... Or maybe I'm plain wrong.
     
  13. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I bought a Bob Golihur 3/4 size bag, the green one, and it fits fine.

    Standard Strunal warranty is one year. I extended it to 2 years.

    As far as getting it around, I've bumped it a few times, but nothing major. One of the reasons I changed the end pin was so that I can put a wheel on it.
     
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Regarding your first question; count me as one jazz player who does not care for the skinny Englehardt neck. It seems to be a general concensus, but I wouldn't want to speak for the lot of us. As for me, it's a major pain in the wrist.
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    +many
     
  16. gtrandbass

    gtrandbass

    Jun 12, 2005
    Frank/Glivanos/Marcus/Chris

    OK -- what about the Strunal necks, are they much heavier than average?

    As an BG player an idean about having huge chunky neck does not sounds that attractive...
    Thanks.
     
  17. ToR-Tu-Ra

    ToR-Tu-Ra

    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Remember you don't play The Bass the same way you play the electric.
     
  18. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Dunno about the Strunal neck, never played one.

    The thin necks may seem attractive at the outset, to a DB beginner. But the playing technique is completely different from that of the electric bass, and as it turns out, a thicker neck seems to work better for most people in the long run. The profile of your left hand is more "clawlike", as if you were holding a baseball. You don't want any bend in your thumb, which works fine on the electric bass. In fact, the thumb does almost no supporting at all on the DB; the strength comes from your whole arm and upper body. Hard to explain, easy to understand when you play for awhile.
     
  19. Here Here, What he said ! If you are coming over from the BG side, you will find that you need to develop a different fingering technique to compensate for the longer scale. The thicker neck helps with establishing the proper form, so you'll stretch more, playing with four fingers rather than moving your whole hand around like many people do on a guitar.
    IMHO . . . :smug:
     
  20. steve in tampa

    steve in tampa

    Jan 11, 2006
    I've had opprtunity to play several Kays, a couple Englhardts, some CCBs, a Strunal, an Eberle, and a couple others I can't remember. Personally, I prefer the thinner neck. I have an ES-1 that is very powerful. The back is not flat. I play bluegrass, folk, and rock.
     

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