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Help finding an affordable but dependable double bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by That Fat Boy, May 10, 2005.


  1. That Fat Boy

    That Fat Boy

    May 10, 2005
    I need help finding a dependable double bass price range limiting at $2000. I have heard about Shen, Christopher, and Engelhardt. Does anyone have any feed back these or suggestions of other instruments that I should look at. Thank you very much

    Mike
     
  2. Hi, welcome to TB!

    Please fill out your profile, and take a moment to read the stickies at the top of this forum.

    This question has been asked (and answered) many times.

    -Daniel (4 weeks away from MY 1st DB :hyper: )
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I totally recommend the UB Jazz/Bluegrass by Upton Bass. $1500 gets you a terrific plywood bass with real ebony neck and tailpiece (not ebonized rosewood) fully set up by the good folks at Upton, and for another $100 you can get the Clef Revolution Solo pickup, which for my money is the best pickup you can buy, sounding better than many pickups that cost a lot more.

    Go to www.uptonbass.com and check them out. Great people, great products...can't ask for more than that.
     
  4. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    I second the Upton Bass recommendation. IMHO, it would be well worth it to scrape up another $500 and get their hybrid. It's a great value.

    Les
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Ebony Neck?.. And Ebony Scroll too or is it a Graft?.. Must weigh a ton..

    Unless you think the Fingerboard is the Neck. Then it is an Ebony 'Fingerboard'.

    Slabbers often don't know the difference ever since Fender made a Maple neck with the Frets right in it and no Fingerboard since the 50s. A Bat with Frets actually.. A fingerboard is Actually a seperate piece of wood that has been used for Centuries even when it was Maple Neck AND Maple Fingerboard on the Violins-Basses. Ebony came later around the 19th century or so as the 'norm'.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hey, it's not easy to type coherently at 2:30 am! Yes, of course I meant ebony fingerboard. And no, the scroll isn't ebony either ;)
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I know.. I was just pulling your leg...
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sure you were, Ken! I'll bet you're going to steal my idea for an all-ebony neck. I'm telling you...if I see a line of all-ebony Burners at the next NAMM show, I'm going to come to you for my cut.

    That's my idea of bass leg pulling...see, you couldn't offer an all-ebony neck as a Burner and keep it in the Burner price range. So I'll be seeing you for my cut when you offer the really expensive version of the all-ebony Ken Smith bass at the next NAMM show.

    :bassist:
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Don't feel bad if you never see us make an all-ebony neck. I don't believe in it so it wont happen.. But thanks for the offer...
     
  10. LowEndGal

    LowEndGal

    May 11, 2005
    Albany NY
    I'm in the same place as the original poster in that I'm looking for an affordable carved bass but after what I've read about the asian made basses I'm petty frightened of ending up with something that looks pretty and hold up for a short time and then begins to fall aprt. Also I've had people tell me that certain luthiers refuse to work on some of the Chineses basses because they're so awful. Are there any German or Czech carved basses that can be found for $2,000 and that are decent and don't need another thousand in repair work?
     
  11. Don't neglect the Kohr basses. I think they are made but the same factory as Christopher but are somewhat cheaper. I have a good friend who has one and it is a very good bass with a nice full tone. I think he gave about $1250 for it. The price included setup.
     
  12. In my opinion the deal to beat is the carved Bulgarian DB from Bob Gollihur. I have one now, the larger 5-string model and it sounds very sweet. These are very pretty basses, too. The 3/4 4-string is the closest to your price goal that I've seen in a carved DB. Mine is very nice. The sound of the carved wood is strong, warm and full. They come with helicore orchestras standard. The shop that makes them is small and the Bulgarian founder apprenticed in Germany in the 1920's. They send a certification of hand manufacture signed by a Master with the same last name as the shop founder. I've had it a couple of weeks now and I love it. :bassist:
     
  13. The Gollihur basses are certainly a great value. I've had mine for three years now, and it keeps sounding better. The are certain points to be aware of, however, if you intend to get one:

    • The supplied bridge is a piece of junk. I replaced mine immediately with a nice Despiau (a local bridge maker).
    • It is very heavy and built like a tank. I'm not sure if/how this affects the sound. On the other hand, I've knocked the bass around quite a bit, and it has suffered no damage whatsoever (if you don't count scratches in the nitro finish).
    • It's a quite bright bass. I had to get plain gut strings to finally get the sound I'm after.

    I decided to get this bass because as a southpaw, I didn't have that many options and as a struggling full-time musician, my budget is quite limited. :bawl: I'm currently saving up for a New Standard, but I don't intend to sell this bass. It'll make a great backup, and I think I'll put arco strings on it.

    I'd also like to add that Bob has been absolutely great, but you knew that.

    Here's a link to Kremona, the shop that makes those basses.
     
  14. LowEndGal

    LowEndGal

    May 11, 2005
    Albany NY
    I found this site on line - www.bassesonline.com - and they say they have Romanian and German fully carved basses for under $2,000. Does anyone know anything about them ? The site says they're in NYC which for me means I wouldn't need to buy on line and could go and check it out. I've been looking for a decent non Asian made carved bass for awhile and I've never seen them at a price like this.
     
  15. LowEndGal

    LowEndGal

    May 11, 2005
    Albany NY
    I checked out your link to Bob Golihur but all I see is a Bulgarian Bass that's selling for more money then the German bass being offeed at www.bassesonline.com and since I live in Albany I can always go and see the German bass with little effort but I was wondering if anyone knows anything about these people since although its close its still a trip to Manhattan from here and one I don't relish making. Nevertheless for a carved German bass for less the $2000 with a set up and one that I can see and play before buying it just sounds like I owe it to myself to check it out. Am I making sense ?
     
  16. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Here's a link to a thread from late last year / earlier this year about the www.bassesonline.com site and Ideal Music in NYC: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/search.php?searchid=1031875
    (There are also other threads if you do a search.)

    They do appear to have some great deals. A friend bought an Eberle plywood from them recently. It arrived without any glitches. My friend lives in another state, so I have not played it yet, however I've seen other Eberles (and the same bass under another name) and they were pretty decent.

    -bob
     
  17. LowEndGal

    LowEndGal

    May 11, 2005
    Albany NY
    Wow thank you so much Rob. I didn't realize I could do a search on here like that. I can't think you enough for your help. And also thanks for letting me know about that friend of yours who bought the Eberle. Thats the carved bass that I'm interested in so its good to know.
    I think I'll be going to NYC soon since its sounding more and more like this trip could be be worth it.
     
  18. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    They are a good shop. Take the time to go down and play the basses. Also, you'll need to spend some cash on the set-up after you get it.

    Might as well come down and hit all the NYC area bass shops.
     
  19. Eric_J

    Eric_J Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Flower Mound, TX. USA
    I have an Eberle Carved from bassesonline.com. For $1995 + $200 shipping, both I and my teacher are quite happy with it. It, like Bob's Bulgarians, is quite heavy and built like a tank. The set up was playable, although we've adjusted the sound post to darken it a little bit. The sound is quite acceptable bowed, although it doesn't have resonance of a Pollman or other more expensive bass. My teacher says it would be acceptable for a Music Ed major through college, but a performance major would eventually want a better bass.

    The top has a tight grain, the back, sides and neck have some flaming, more than the picture on the web site. The fittings are all ebony. The fingerboard had a straight grain, is predominatly black, but had some brown streaks in it.
    I purchased it new in Aug 2004. A stamp inside indicated it had been finished Dec 13, 1991. So it sat either in Germany or NY for a long time.

    For me, playing in the local community orchestra, it's the only bass I'll ever buy, unless I hit the lottery.