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I want a big and boomy Bass, 4/4 plywood?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ericsmith, Sep 8, 2016.


  1. ericsmith

    ericsmith

    Dec 22, 2008
    Hi folks!

    I'm on the lookout for a cheap(ish), large working mans bass with a big pizzicato sound... No need for too much sustain and hardly any bow playing, atleast not in public lol.

    Strings would be guts.

    I did search the forums but found too little info.

    Could a bass like this be the answer to my dreams?
    Thomann 11 4/4 NA Europe Double Bass – Thomann Mobile
     
  2. wilsonn

    wilsonn

    Sep 26, 2005
    New York
    There's lots of basses that are the normal 3/4 size that are plenty loud. 7/8 basses in ply are not uncommon and can be loud. Good technique is probably more important than the size of the bass for producing volume. 4/4 is kind of an usual size. I've been playing a long time and I've never even actually seen one. So I wouldn't necessarily equate 4/4 with loud...I'd imagine that there are some inexpensive 4/4 basses like the one you link that aren't all that loud. I'd think that for the price of that bass there are some good used ply 3/4 basses that will meet your needs. A full set of real gut strings of good quality might cost half to 2/3 the cost of that bass. I think you'd probably be content with one of the many gut-like synthetic strings that are a lot less expensive and not prone to the vagaries of real gut. I love gut, but for someone just getting rolling it might be a frustrating variable.
     
    ColdEye and ericsmith like this.
  3. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    just like a 15" doesn't mean more low end over other drivers, a 4/4 bass won't always be louder and boomy.

    i would just go out and play a bunch of basses and find the one you like the sound of. and....feels good to play!

    a 42.5" or 108cm string length may be a tough adjustment for a person new to DB.

    it's fun to play basses! especially when the best one gets to be yours!
     
    ericsmith likes this.
  4. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I'm not sure how much research you've done, but there is a big misconception (I had it too) among non-double bass players that the fractional size of bass you need is somehow determined by your height, hand size, etc. Like if you get a 3/4, your changing yourself by a 1/4. Not so my friend.

    95% of adults play a 3/4. There are several design concepts and setup issues that determine the volume and tone of any upright bass.

    You don't need a 4/4. Nobody needs a 4/4.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald and ColdEye like this.
  5. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    Listen to sevenyearsdown! He's a beast of a man!
     
    sevenyearsdown likes this.
  6. ericsmith

    ericsmith

    Dec 22, 2008
    Why not? It's a different feeling to play a big bass imo...

    And I'm aware of the way a good setup makes a difference. Just wondering.
     
  7. ericsmith

    ericsmith

    Dec 22, 2008
    Thanks Wilsonn, I'm well aware of these facts too!

    I own two uprights, one carved German and a Chadwick Folding bass and I've been making living playing bass for about ten years so I'm sort of rolling already :)

    Edit: And I've played guts too for some time.
     
  8. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Look for a 1930s American Standard with the three digit serial numbers; half the weight and twice the voice of the 1950s models...

    j.
    www.kaybassrepair.com
     
    DC Bass, Remyd and ericsmith like this.
  9. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I'm blushing a lil'
     
  10. Ortsom

    Ortsom Banned

    Mar 23, 2016
    With 10y as a pro bassist & 2 DB's already you'll have a pretty fair idea of what you want. I have no experience with any of the Thomann basses, but I advice against buying any DB without first playing & assessing it. Only then you'll have a better idea of what you buy.
     
    ericsmith likes this.
  11. ericsmith

    ericsmith

    Dec 22, 2008
    Yeah.

    I think I'll set my scopes on the New Standard Clevelands or Duke Peacemaker basses...
     
  12. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I stand corrected then. If you've been making a living playing, then you know a little bit about what you want. Go for it.
     
    ericsmith likes this.
  13. Remyd

    Remyd Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    I don't know if I'd buy a bass that's that inexpensive generally, quite especially a big monster like that. I certainly wouldn't do it without playing first.

    I'm also with the crowd that thinks there's a reason that 95% of everybody plays the same size bass. I tried a $$$ 4/4 at the violin shop, although I suspect it wasn't a very good one, I didn't care for the pizz tone at all; sounded muffled without the kind of projection that I'd have expected from such a large sound chamber. Arco was nice and rich, but evaluation was highly limited by the fact that I suck. The luthier could make a fruit box strung with speaker wire sound good, so he doesn't count. ;-)
     
  14. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    i too stand corrected.

    a big DB seems to be your next frontier - enjoy!

    i agree that an inexpensive bass of that size would make me question its durability.

    i'd try a 7/8 gemunder from shen. i played one of those and that was well made and had a good tone. not very comfortable to play for me but a nice instrument!
     
  15. Have you played a Shen Rogeri Willow? The one I had sounded like a foghorn. With Spiros on it.
     
    neddyrow likes this.
  16. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    yeah i had one and i felt similar.

    i played a shen sb150 recently though and it was pretty awesome sounding. but i wouldn't call it boomy, maybe with a setup change it would've been.
     
  17. I think it's the willow and the sheer size that give the Rogeri that voice.
     
  18. El Thumpo

    El Thumpo Four strings, no waiting Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My SB-150 is surprisingly loud. I think it has to do not with its size, but the depth of its ribs. Plenty of room to boom in there.
     
  19. If you are beginner, it is key to understand the double bass is more about technique and less about gear - though we all love a nice bass!
    It it is very likely that solid hybrid plus arco and pizz lessons can get you where you want the fastest.
     
  20. El Thumpo

    El Thumpo Four strings, no waiting Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Thing is, the OP has been playing bass professionally for 10 years, and already owns two nice basses. He's looking for third instrument to give him a specific kind of sound.
     

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