How about a 34" scale Electric Upright Bass??!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bob Gollihur, Sep 2, 2001.

  1. Yes, and I'd like it possible to be able to be bowed.

    37 vote(s)
  2. Yes, but I don't think I'd ever bow it.

    11 vote(s)
  3. No. It would have to be regular 42" upright bass scale length.

    9 vote(s)
  4. No, I would rather just have a regular fretless bass.

    6 vote(s)
  5. No, I don't ever want to play fretless.

    0 vote(s)
  6. Other, I've left a written response.

    2 vote(s)
  7. Hell no, I am having enough trouble WITH frets!

    1 vote(s)
  1. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Would you consider buying a 34" bass guitar scale Electric Upright Bass if it were a reasonably priced alternative to a fretless bass? (like well under a grand)
  2. hujo

    hujo Guest

    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    That's an interesting idea. There is the Zeta Crossover, but that is well over a grand, so it's really not what you're talking about, but...
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Bob, I would be very interested in such an EUB.
  4. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Bass Player magazine did a very good review of most EUBs in December 1996 - short-scale EUBs including the Conklin MEU (34'), Fleishman EUB-35 (35'), Kydd Bass (30') - I have yet to see one less than $1000. Are you thinking of making one?
  5. melvin

    melvin Guest

    Apr 28, 2001
    Id very much like that, seeing I want to get into DB playing more.
  6. MJB

    MJB Guest

    Mar 17, 2000
    I don't see much point in it Bob, so I voted regular fretless. I saw a guy playing a Moses EUB at a coffee shop one day and he sounded really good, but I heard him before I saw him and thought it was a regular fretless bass guitar. If it were to be 34" scale I would think you could pretty much make your own by making a stand to hold a bass guitar upright.

    Doesn't Fieldy play upright? :p
  7. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    A properly designed and amplified EUB shouldn't sound like a fretless bass guitar - there are some which do, but that's not what I plan. I'm talking about an instrument with a curved fingerboard and the ability to bow it. I'm just trying to determine those who would find it of interest.
  8. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I would very much consider it. What type of electronics are you envisioning?

  9. MJB

    MJB Guest

    Mar 17, 2000
    Ahhhh! I see, Bob. I wasn't really thinking about bowing. I kinda glossed right over that in your poll. There would probably be a market for such an instrument, particularly if you could get that upright sound.
  10. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Too early to say; I know what works but am exploring other options as well.
  11. I have a Zeta Crossover, and I also have a double-bass. I hardly ever play the Zeta. I play my double-bass most of the time. Forgetting about the sound just for a minute, (yes, I know the sound is the most important thing...), but the only thing which FEELS like a double-bass when you're playing it, is a double-bass. My Zeta feels nothing like a double-bass, and I've tried a friend's Steinberger, and that feels nothing like a double-bass either - especially with no step in the neck! - weird...

    My point is that it has to "feel right" in order to "play right" in order to "sound right" - I've yet to play an EURB which feels like a URB.

    - Wil

    Sorry, Bob - I've re-read you post, and my comments notwithstanding, I have some fretless basses, and they play quite differently to the Zeta, so I'm not quite sure which my preference would be. I think perhaps the fretless basses are more versatile. The Zeta is neither one nor the other, but somewhere in between, doing neither particularly well, but having the novelty of being able to be played arco, (actually the radius of the fingerboard/bridge is too large, making arco playing awkward). I think the three instruments are quite different, and it would be quite difficult to devise one which would replace all three...

    - Wil
  12. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    You have named a couple EUBs that are fretless basses in upright bass suits - I wouldn't want either, but it all comes down to taste, need, and expectations.

    There are many EUBs that range from very double bass-like to the fretless electric bass guitar in vertical motif. EUBs are truly a different category. I found the Eminence to be very upright bass-like when I auditioned it, as well as the Vektor and some Azolas.

    My quest is not to replace anything - just build an instrument that offers additional selections to a bassist's palette. I quite enjoy taking my own EUB on gigs for its contrasting character.
  13. ThePaste

    ThePaste Guest

    Dec 23, 2000
    West Virginia USA
    That upright that you built yourself looks pretty...
  14. Your points are well taken - but I'm still curious to know if the Eminence "feels" like a double-bass. In my (limited) experience, I've found it has to vibrate to feel like a DB...

    - Wil
  15. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Well, it goes without saying that there's no EUB that is going to feel exactly like a double bass, unless it is a double bass.

    Even another double bass is not going to feel exactly like my double bass.

    The Eminence does have some body resonance, but the "feel" to me was more in the neck structure, fingerboard, etc. -- where I put my hands on the bass, and the sound (my experience was with the original single wing-mounted transducer in early 1999) was pretty decent, too.
  16. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I've never played a DB and never wanted to, so I'd go for a good fretless BG.
    And bowing is not a sound I'm hearing for myself. Plus I've done more than enough of that when I still played the violin.
  17. LWatford


    Jul 28, 2001
    Helena, AL
    I would be interested in a 34" scale EUB. I would be more interested in one like the one you built, though! Didn't I read that you were building a 34" EUB for your son? How did that pan out?

  18. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    His is still in process, and it or another will be my prototypes. There are a lot of 42" scale EUBs out there, which is why I'm focusing on the 34" scale size.
  19. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy Bongo destroys villages and does my laundry Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    Given that your concentrating on the 34" scale, are you thinking of making this EUB wearable?

    Also, since the Lightwave bridge is now available as mono bridge units, it could be employed on a small radius instrument, and would probably sound pretty good. This probably takes the instrument out of the <$1000 range, but I'm wondering who is going to build the first Lightwave equipped EUB.
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I had a 34" scale EUB, the Zeta Crossover.

    It drove me nuts. Bowing was ugly sounding (probably 50/50 between strings and pickup) and the lack of a neck heel made position playing difficult. It didn't sound much like an upright, in fact my Godin fretless bass guitar sounds more like my upright than the Zeta did.

    Basically a 34" EUB would have to have three things to be worthwhile for me:

    1. SOUND like an upright, not a fretless bass guitar

    2. good bow sound

    3. Neck heel for upper register playing like a real upright.

    Even then, I would still PREFER the longer scale (40-42"). I'm sure my biases are due to playing the upright already.