1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Help me Pick: Fully Carved Gollihur Estle Louis, or KC Strings Krutz 300 Fully Carved

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by showfeet, May 13, 2012.

  1. showfeet


    Jan 6, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    I am looking to get an upright bass, having been playing electric for a few years, I fell in love with the tone of the upright. I have been playing in the school Orchestra, so I do have some experience, but in a bass I buy I want it to be used more for jazz.
    Anyway, I decided to save up a little more money than most "beginner" basses to get a carved bass. I have narrowed it down to these two basses, but other similarly priced suggestions are welcome. Thank you
    -Show Feet
  2. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Heavens, who knows! They probably came from the same Chinese factory. Both are sold by reputable dealers and both are probably fine student instruments. Either toss a coin or go try the one that is closer to you.

  3. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Always try to audition these things in person with a helper (maybe a teacher?) who knows what kind of you will be playing. Be prepared to drive some distances to try these out. Good luck!
  4. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Would you buy an electric that cost that much without trying it out first? Even if you experience with UB is not much you still can tell a lot from seeing and playing one in person.
  5. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    PM sent.

    I'm curious why you've ruled out other fine choices at the price point, such as the Shen hybrids. If your answer is that they are not "fully-carved," then you are being seduced by the "fully-carved" label. I have no experience with either of the basses you mentioned but, a priori, there is no reason to believe that they are necessarily superior to hybrids around the same price.

    As I've posted here before:
    Do not, however, be fooled. There are entry level carved basses that, from many standpoints, are far less desirable than a quality ply! Think of ply, hybrid, and carved as three overlapping distributions (bell-curves, if you will), with the mean value of "quality" being lowest for the plys, intermediate for the hybrids, and highest for the carved ones.

    ...A "fully-carved" bass for under $3k involves quite a few compromises. I've yet to see/play/hear one that I found more desirable than the best of the hybrids I've played that were of comparable cost. Perhaps sometime it will happen.

    Take a look here, if you haven't already.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    If you add your location to your profile, then folks might be able to recommend one or more shops. You don't have to be precise -- even a state or a region would help.

    When I started shopping for a new bass in earnest, I had a long list of criteria for what I wanted. One by one, those criteria fell apart as I played basses that went against my expectations. Simply getting a number of good basses under my hands changed my thinking about what I wanted.

    To reinforce what drurb says, I played some hybrids that sounded better than some fully carved basses.

    This exercise added several hundred miles to the odometer of my car. It was well worth the effort, even though I ended up buying a bass from a shop here in Madison.
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Get the KC Strings Bass. They do a wonderful job. I have had two and can answer questions for you if you pm me.
  8. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Anton's father Mischa spends a significant amount of time every year in china keeping the quality control on their instruments top notch, and they finish them at the shop in Kansas City.
  9. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Listen to fdeck. Play a bunch of basses. It's far from optimal to buy "blind" in this case, unless you absolutely must.

    Violen-- It would be helpful to the community if you would share the information that you have and your opinion regarding why their "fully-carved" bass is a better option than some of the better-known hybrids in that price-range.
  10. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    KC Strings is an excellent shop with a large inventory. I am curious why you would list them and an internet business in NJ as your two options. It is best to visit one or more shops and choose from their inventory because basses are quite individual. Where are you located?
  11. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Greg-- don't know if the OP has been back here but it seems that he's shopping for a bass with his computer and judging options via pictures, descriptions, and prices. Let's hope that, for his sake, he realizes that that "ain't no way to buy a double bass." :)
  12. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Tru dat. There's really just one place in the entire country in which I live that sells double basses (a few guitar shops holdings BSOs notwithstanding), and they really just had one bass that I was interested in. Nevertheless, I flew up and played it first, just to be sure. Added a few hundred to the overall cost, but definitely worth it for peace of mind.

    However, if you're committed to shopping online, Upton springs to mind as an obvious alternative with an interesting range across the ply/hybrid/carved spectrum.
  13. showfeet


    Jan 6, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    I actually have played both of these basses, in fact, they are the only ones I have really played. I was wondering about how they hold up over time, and how they sound with non-stock strings. I had never heard of Shen basses, so I never did any research on them.
  14. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ah, good to know. Well, if you've never heard of Shen, then it seems you have much more homework to do! :) Play a bunch of basses as suggested here. As for how each of your suggested alternatives holds up, I can't say. Many people, on the other hand, can attest to the integrity of Shens. With regard to how the KC Strings bass sounds with different strings, well, if you're serious about the bass, ask them to change them.

    Do you have a DB teacher? If not, then it's best to find one. That person can likely help you find an instrument as well. Often, it's worth paying him/her to spend the time with you. From what you've said, it's not clear that you really know what to look, listen, and feel for.
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    ^ What he said. The shop where I bought my bass was perfectly happy to change the strings on a bass for me. The old strings aren't wasted -- they'll go on another bass.
  16. You need to visit St Louis Strings, if you haven't already - they are affiliated with KC Strings and are great to work with. I've been renting a series I from them. If the bass you're considering is there, then I'm sure they would be happy to change out the strings for you. I bet they will even cut you a good deal on the new ones too. I get strings at 1/2 price with my rental. Good luck with your search!!
  17. bassdaddio


    Sep 26, 2010
    Hi Showfeet.

    We just took delivery on Friday of a Krutz 300 that is for my son's use. I am 100% happy with the transaction and the quality of the instrument we received. My son is feels it's a major upgrade from the school basses he has been playing. So at this point I feel my trust in KCStrings was well placed and I wound up with a better outcome then if I had tried to locate an acceptable instrument by my own limited talents. Will it last w/o major problems and be suitable for his HS music career and beyond - only time will tell. Oh and it appeared to be very well set up when delivered which saves a few bucks. Good luck with your decision.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    KC strings seems to have their stuff together. Definitely check out the Shen Hybrids though. I think you will be very pleasently surprised. I totally agree with everything drurb has said. A low budget fully carved bass in many cases will be eclipsed by a really good hybrid or even a great ply. Find a reputable dealer(there are several), and audition some basses. If you need to for whatever reason purchase a bass without being able to play one, I would buy from a reputable luthier who will be able to set the instrument up to your needs and let you know what would suit you the best as well. Its ALWAYS better to play an instrument before you buy it though.
  19. bdyer


    Mar 26, 2009
    If your interested i'm selling an Shen sb180 with Velvet animas, DAvid Gage pickup, New (heavy duty) endpin with case. I'm near Chicago and looking to get rid of this bass for $1800

  20. showfeet


    Jan 6, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    I am interested, but I am just now picking up extra hours at my shift. It might be a while before I have the money. Could you PM me if someone else takes up the offer?