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Going from EUB to Upright

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Joe Nerve, May 16, 2005.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Hi again everyone. Have yet to make a clean transition to DB - a lot of reasons holding me back that I don't really feel like getting into. One of them is that I can't fit a DB in my place right now cuz I have a borrowed one that's crap here that I can't seem to give back to it's original owner (he doesn't return my calls) and my place is waaay too small for 2 of em. Anyhow - my question...

    If I bought an EUB and became completely comfortable playing it, would I be able to almost seemlessy jump over to a DB should the need arise? I ask because it just occurred to me that I could buy an EUB and use it lots on gigs once I get the hang of it. A DB would be real difficult for me to transport because I always have others and their equipment in my car, and I'd be way more motivated to get things going with an EUB.

    Thoughts please.
     
  2. pklima

    pklima

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Worked for me. It doesn't sound or feel the same, especially when playing arco (which is good to learn even if you will only play pizz on gigs), but I can testify that it is a useful "training bass".

    A 1/2 or even 1/4 size DB may also be worth considering and would be closer to the "real thing".
     
  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I would also prefer to play those types of EUB's that have an end-pin and don't use some cymbal mount for a stand. You should get used to having the bass lean into you, and where there's a body rest that simulates the upper bout of real DB. The cymbal stand EUBs kinda bug me cuz I can get too close to the FB unlike the real thang. Could potentially mess up your technique in the long run.
     
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Joe, Joe, Joe.

    Just do it. The Real Bass ain't all thaaaaat bad.

    :)
     
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    If you try this, be sure to set up the EUB with the action where it'd be on an acoustic upright. I've been gigging tons on EUB for the last year, but I can't get through more than a short stint on acoustic. I have tweaked hands though, which is why I gave up the "real" upright a zillion years ago. The medium-low action on my EUB is a godsend in my case, and I couldn't care less about crossover issues.

    As many others here on the DB have said before, I'd say to get an EUB if that's what you ultimately want, otherwise just get an acoustic ASAP if that's what you really want to be playing. If your experience mirrors mine at all, you'll likely find that you want a dedicated EUB amp, negating a lot of the space savings you're hoping for.

    Just my .02...and best of luck.
     
  6. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Yep. Think of them as different instruments: tone production on an EUB is a different and non-transferrable thing from that on URB (in my experience) and vice versa. Unless you choose to use a magnetic pickup on URB, in which case I swear the whole thing becomes a big cumbersome EUB...

    I hear you on the apartment thing, though--I had to sell one of my basses to fit in a small studio apartment in Brooklyn (and, well, to make the rent, too). But I think considering an EUB to be some kind of a substitute for an URB causes only heartache...
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Makes me glad I live in Florida and not New York with your property values. I mean, Florida is getting bad, but New York is just plain bad!

    But I digress...I just wanted to say congratulations on the write-up in Bass Player, Joe. Buy whatever you want, but as far as I'm concerned, it's easier to rock out on an acoustic upright. I personally like arriving to a gig with a bass bigger than me. But I don't live in NY so I can certainly see the need for an EUB there.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But my EUB has no magnetic pickups - piezos only!! ;)


    Seriously though - isn't this the case a lot of the time - so I go to Jazz gigs every week and in about 8-10 years, I have only seen one DB player not using pickups and an amp - so effectively they are all playing "cumbersome EUBs" !! :D
     
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    This whole DB thing drives me nuts because also the way my apartment is set up, there's really only one place I can keep it. It's in a corner, and in order for me to play it I have to maneuvre it around some furniture and stuff - not a huge deal, but I just about always say.. "Oohh... I wanna play it! Ahhhh.... screw it." Also, as I said it would be next to impossible to get it to any of the gigs I would be able to use it on, and with the particular bass that's in my place now I'd have to make at least a $400 (probably more- case, mic, strings, setup) investment before I could even think of really gigging with it. And after the investment the guy could call me tomorrow and tell me he wants it back.

    I keep looking for an easier softer way. Also, it's one main opportunity that's driving me - AND driving me nuts. A woman I play with in NY, who MIGHT take me around the world with her if played DB. We're super close and like family, and she's not happy with the guy she uses now outside of the US, but she can't guarantee me gigs until I can prove myself on the DB - which makes sense.

    This thread was started by an interest in a Dean Pace - but I believe my bubble has been popped from reading a couple of reviews. Is it true that it's more like a bass guitar than a DB, and I won't be able to put string on it anywhere near as thick as a DB?
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Don't know - but there definitely are many EUBs which can take normal DB strings of any thickness or type!
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You might also want to think about something like the Gage "Czech-ease" bass - which is a designed "Road Bass" - so it is about half the body size but has good acoustic sound - I've seen a couple of top Jazz pros using one to good effect! :)
     
  12. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I think you may be missing (or ignoring) the point I was trying to make (but then again, maybe it was unclear). I'm not talking about playing unamplified, I'm talking about amplifying one's DB with a magnetic pickup (making it sound like a P-Bass on steroids, or an EUB on piezos) versus amplifying it with a good piezo or a microphone. The reason we double bassists fuss so much about pickups is that we're all looking for one that faithfully reproduces the complex acoustic tone we work so hard to achieve with our fingers; the various piezos out there do it to a lesser or greater extent (Fishman=lesser, Realist=greater, IME), while a magnetic pickup like a String Charger only reproduces the sound of the metal strings and, in my experimentation, produced the exact same tone from the Kay, the EUB, and the Pollman DB I mounted it on.

    Bridge-mounted piezos (an Underwood, a Fishman, and a Barbera) sounded pretty similar on my EUB (a Knutson Messenger DLX) to the magnetic pickup I also tried on it. As much as we might complain about some pickups sounding "electric" on the DB, my experimentation indicated that, in comparison to their response on an EUB, the piezos do in fact pick up quite a bit of the body resonance/complexity of tone of the DB. But if one plays EUB and not DB (or DB and not EUB), it's hard to really understand these comparisons; I think spending some time with whichever type of bass you DON"T play will give a lot of insight into the one you DO play, but that would be a luxury for many of us (I sold the Knutson a couple of years ago--to a bluegrasser of all people!).