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how do you choose which 5/8 size bass to buy

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by flutebass, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. flutebass


    Feb 2, 2013
    I have been playing on a 1/2 size play wood bass for about 6 years and am ready for an upgrade to a fully carved 5/8 size bass. If I am considering getting a new one with a price range of $5000.00-$7000.00, does anyone have recommendations ?
  2. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Why do you want a "5/8," especially considering that there is no standardization with regard to fractional sizes? Why not a typical 41-42" string-length on a smaller body bass? Some shops call those 5/8. Check out Uptons offerings of smaller bodied basses.
  3. flutebass


    Feb 2, 2013
    my hands are too small. I can't play anything longer than a 40 1/2" sting length

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    There are plenty of 3/4 basses out there with a mensure of 41" or 40.5". I have one, a nice old Czech with a skinny neck. If you spend that kind of money on a 5/8 you're almost guaranteed to lose most of that money when upgrade time comes around again.

    How about a 3/4 bass with a false nut to bring the string length down to something more playable?
  5. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Have you been told this by a teacher? Generally, this is only true for people with very small hands or, perhaps, those who have suffered injury.
  6. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    A lot of Roth 3/4 basses were made with a 40 1/2" string length. With the proper setup, these can sound very good in spite of the short string length.
  7. flutebass


    Feb 2, 2013
    my other problem, I tried a shorter 3/4 size bass, I couldn't get it off the ground very far to carry it. I'm only 5'2"

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Have you tried a bass wheel?
  9. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    I would highly recommend Upton. I had them build a couple of basses for some students who are "vertically challenged" young ladies. The basses came out great, sound much bigger than they are, and would be very managable for you. Just tell Gary and Eric what you want and they can do it for you.

    BTW, I am playing on a 5/8 or small 3/4 bass, however you want to look at it with a short string length. The bass is really fast to speak, easy to play, and has plenty of power to sit in an orchestra section. Bigger is not always better...

  10. artfahie


    Dec 14, 2007
    Bar Mills, Maine
    +1 Upton
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well to answer the question posed in your thread title, I'd use those things on the side of your head.
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Yup, and your hands. ;) Play as many basses as you can charm your way into and eventually you'll find the combination that calls to you.
  13. flutebass


    Feb 2, 2013
    I have heard something about Upton basses that after a while they don't sound very good.. is that true ?
  14. flutebass


    Feb 2, 2013
    I am trying as many as I can and getting more confused than ever. Now I've been recommended a hybrid bass....

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    News to me.

    Hybrids have their place if you tend to be rough on your bass, do not have the time or proper living quarters to care for a carved bass (perhaps as a student, or the parent of young children) or if you're interested in saving some money rather than pay for a fully carved bass.

    In my experience, a good hybrid bass offers most of the sound of a carved bass, with most of the durability of a plywood.
  16. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    I'm on Year 2 of Opus 74's (fully carved flatback) lifetime, and it just keeps on getting better. It's had one or two minor maintenance issues, but one of those was my fault and the other was due to the climate change between Connecticut and Ottawa. I can't personally speak to their plywood or hybrid instruments, but everyone I've ever met has been pretty satisfied.

  17. Jsn

    Jsn upright citizen

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Someone is loading your ear with an amusing dose of poppycock. Upton didn't revitalize American-made bass manufacturing by (somehow) building instruments with an expiration date. :p
  18. homersbassfarm

    homersbassfarm Banned

    Feb 4, 2013
    western TN
    now, that's funny!

    Hi, you're on basstalk with Bo and Pluck the Fiddler brothers
    don't play like my brother, and don't play like my brother

    "diminishing sound" you sure you want basstalk and not cartalk?
  19. flutebass


    Feb 2, 2013
    thanks all... I think I'll make an appointment to check out some upton 5/8 size basses
  20. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I would recommend playing every bass that you can without any preconceived notions. Where are you located? Maybe we can reccommend some places to go. If you listen to enough people (especially online), you will find something "wrong" with every instrument out there. Just start playing everything in (and out) of your price range. Sooner or later, you will connect with something.