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Interested in EUBs, but...

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by xtraspicy, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. xtraspicy


    Aug 15, 2012
    Hello Talkbass, brand new user here. I have read this forum every now and then for bass questions and there's a lot of good info here.

    I'm very interested in EUBs and playing one, due to their general portability, price point, the construction, and the different musical applications for them. However, after reading several threads on EUBs, searching youtube for EUBs and EUB players, and playing on a Yamaha Silent Bass myself, I can't help but think that they can never really compare to a DB, and I feel a lot of the DB players here would agree with me when I say that.

    Now, before we jump to any conclusions about BG players and DB players, I play both BG and DB, a Squier Fretless and an old Kay, respectively, and I love the sound of both of them. However, the Kay is a school-owned instrument (I play in college jazz ensembles) and I know that I will part with it eventually, so I was looking for a good replacement. I will be using it for every style of music, including jazz, rock, and sampling and recording it for EDM.

    I know that there's also the argument that DBs sound like EUBs when amplified anyway, especially in a larger ensemble or venue setting, when you must play amplified, but again, I'm sure there's also the counter argument about what type of pickups you're using and the amp. I also know than when amping an acoustic instrument in general, you must consider that the the sound has two origin points, and consider the volume you are producing with the instrument and using the "amp" to "amplify" your sound. I can get a good pizzicato DB sound out of a DB, and I wish to keep that. In a studio setting, a well miked DB will sound nothing short of "sexy," for lack of a better word. I have recorded with my Kay in a combo setting (unamplified, mic only) and I like the sound I get from it.

    Here's my question:

    TL;DR, I really love the sound of the DB that I'm using, but I really want to use an EUB for the sake of an EUB and what it can do. However, I'm afraid that I'll never be satisfied with it. Should I just consider buying a DB, or should I wait a while for technology to catch up or try a few more EUBs?
  2. I don't think you'll ever be fully satisfied by an EUB if you're familiar with a real DB. You're right, the EUB is often better for going on the road and loud gigs. But even if the amplified sound is similar, the whole playing experience is vastly different. Practicing on acoustic DB is way more fun! If you can only have one, go for the real DB IMO.

    But I think you can have both, at least eventually. You can get a workable EUB, good enough for situations where you really need one, for less than a grand. So buy the one that best suits your upcoming needs, and get the other when you can afford it.
  3. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    EUB's are tweeners, not organic woody of the DB, but definitely more mwah than a BG. I used one for years doubling with a BG but it never really worked out easily with my amps and cabs. There real advantage is their size. Can't beat a DB for sound and texture, IMO.
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I look at the EUB as a different instrument from the DB and EB and each have their own set of pros and cons.
  5. My thoughts exactly.
  6. I agree as well. But for me the EUB was a great transition back into playing DB. In fact, I gigged with my BSX Allegro exclusively for months before getting my Shen and for a lot of smaller bar gigs, the BSX still goes.

    I'd imagine part of why it works well is that I'm currently playing a genre that is not exclusive territory for DBs.
  7. mooseonbass

    mooseonbass Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2011
    I just picked up a Yamaha SVB-100 so I could have someting to practice with when I go on my annual vacation. I had played the SVB before and it felt the most like a real upright to me of any of the many different types of EUBs that I tried. The string length is identical to both of my acoustic uprights but the neck feels just like my German carved bass, which is worlds away from the neck of my Kay. The SVB is more portable in that it goes into a car full of luggage and animals more easily than the others but it may even be heavier than the acoustics and is certainly more unwieldy than a bass on wheels ( I use a buggy with 2 wheels). It fits easily on the overhead rack of the NJ and LI trains, sits in the seat next to me on a bus but is an unholy pain to schlep through the stations and up and down stairs. I haven't played it through an amp yet but I doubt that it will ever sound as good as my other basses in my small jazz combo. But that isn't why I bought it. For practicing it is perfect and I'm really happy with it.

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