Is this Carlo Robelli Bass any good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DirkLanceFan, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    most of carlo robellis stuff is mediocre. I played a jazz box guitar from them one time that had some good tone when put through some tubes. You might consider SX or Brice basses. They are a much better budget bass, as they take upgrades really well. And they just look great. The company that deals them the most really does have a good reputation, too.

    That is not the EXACT url, but it will take you there. By the way, your link doesn't work for anyone else but you because it relies on cookies stored on your computer.
  2. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    I think they are pretty much hit or miss, I have a USB590 that I use as one of my main basses, I love the tone I get from it and it has an amazingly comfortable body. I played another of the same bass and it sounded horrible, with a lot of pickup hum. Like all other mass produced basses you really have to try before you buy with these.
  3. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    Stay clear of them, they look much better then they are built! Case in point.....if you look at the necks, the headstock is a seperate piece glued to the neck, which is a cheap way of building necks (since less wood is wasted during the carving process). Also I don't think the glue they use is very good either! About three years ago I was checking out some gear at a Sam Ash in NY, and they had a bunch of them lined up. Looked cool.....but all of a sudden POW!!!! The headstock on one of them (a 5-string model I think) snapped right off the neck, right on the glue line. It scared the S!@# out of me and the sales people when it happened. The bass was just sitting there doing nothing when it happened. Nobody including the Sam Ash staff could believe it. Now would you spend money on a bass that could do that? Might make a neat effect during a show!!
  4. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl

    Just looked at mine and either the headstock is not glued or the did a really great job matching with wood grains.
  5. orange_nate

    orange_nate Guest

    Apr 15, 2004
    if you remember the rule of "you get what you pay for" you'll be okay....well this is true most of the time....

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would stay clear of them, they tend to look better then they play.
  7. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
  8. Thom Miecznikow

    Thom Miecznikow

    Oct 22, 2004
    I feel i have to step up for my Robelli bass. To be fair my main basses are fender jag and a washburn custom fretless. I consider my robelli my stunt bass. Ive had it as a piccolo as alternate tuning test bed (EAEB rocks) and when I have to get to a gig by mass transit in the snow but the fact is it plays like a charm and sounds fantastic. Its true they are spotty, 2 of the same bass will be vastly different but mine is really a fine bass guitar. I wouldent give it up for anything its just too much fun to play.
  9. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Everyone I've played or seen felt and sounded like crap. Nowadays with so many awesome budget basses out there, there's no need to even consider these. It would be cool if samash decided to start making good ones. Basses that can compete with squiers and SBMM subs and such, but they don't seem interested in making the effort. A lot of them sure are pretty though.
  10. cronker


    Feb 13, 2007
    Adelaide. SA
    Glued on headstock?
    Computer says no.
  11. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    A neck with a scarf-jointed head is stronger and better than a one-piece neck. And cheaper. What's not to love?

    Google "broken Gibson headstock"... Doesn't happen with a scarf-jointed head.
  12. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    I've got a fretless Carlo Robelli that sounds great- have it tuned BEAD, with round-core round-wounds for lots of 'mwah', sustain, and gets the Real bottom end w/o an octaver.
    Heard another really good-sounding fretted Carlo Robelli on U-tube. No problem with the construction, and mine's only 7.4#.
    As far as headstock design goes- lots of inexpensive basses use scarf joints to keep the cost of wood lower. I've heard of several manufacturers having an occasional glue joint let go: It's NOT an inherent problem.
    Some makers use flat headstocks with add'l hardware (and weight) added to compensate for their frugality. Seen those broken, also. They're accepted as 'standard' by some.
    If it sounds good, feels good, plays good, don't be swayed by those that have no experience with it- check it out for yourself.
    Too many in-experienced, un-informed opinions flying around-
    sorry, but you asked for them, without a filter.
    Inexpensive does NOT mean poorly made- some designers and engineers are able to bring relative quality to the marketplace without a huge pricetag.
    Then, for-sure, this is no Fodera or Ritter.
    Compare with Ibanez and Yamaha, for comparative quality-at-pricepoint, maybe.
  13. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've got three Carlo Robelli instruments. An 8 string bass and two 12 string guitars.

    Sorry, but inexpensive does mean poor quality (and the bass was not really THAT inexpensive; was selling for $300 though I got it on sale for $150. A week after I bought it GC offered me $30 as a trade in on a new bass) .

    My Carlo bass indeed has some of the best electronics I've ever heard (go figure) but the body is made of something resembling Celotex, had the WORST neck dive of ANY bass I've EVER played and I had to add about a 3" button extension to fix it with about a 6 inch screw so it wouldn't pull out of the soft wood. The bass is a disaster area. And did I mention it has an awful silver sparkle finish.

    OK, so why do I still have it? Because it's an 8 string. electronics make it sound reasonably decent and I'm gassing for a 10 string and until I can get one of those at a decent price the Carlo will have to do for the few times I want an 8 string. But once I find a decent 10 string that Carlo crap is out the door!

    On the other hand, my 12 string guitars are really pretty nice for not much coin. One (cutaway) cost more than the other, but the cheap one clearly sounds and plays the best of the pair.

    So based on that I'd have to say, I agree with JustforSport and tell you to just go try it. I would NEVER buy a Carlo Robelli sight-unplayed. Talk about pressing your luck! But Like my cheapo 12 string geetar, sometimes a gem does come through.

    But much better instruments are the other Sam Ash brand, I think it's called Brownsville? The instruments I saw were pretty nice although some say those made before 2002 have Robelli level quality (after 2002 are made in Korea).
  14. Gibson uses scarf joint headstocks...are you saying Gibson guitars are poor quality? How about Charvel? Jackson? Need I say more?

    A scarf joint is not an indication of poor quality.
  15. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification

    No, but the joint Gibson uses is notoriously weak. A deeper scarf joint where the headstock piece extends under the fretboard is much stronger.

    And IMO Gibson quality has taken a serious nose dive in the last ten years.
  16. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I've owned Carlo Robelli basses for years. I even bought 2 each of the same basses. One of them a 4 string (my daily player) and the other an 8-string.

    I owned both of these bases for years back in the the U.S. When I move to Greece I sold them. I regretted it. Found the same 2 models for sale, used online. Bought them and had them shipped to me in Greece. This is how much I love these basses.

    Both sets had no problems with warping, sound, poor craftsmanship, intonation, etc.
    After setting them up, they play great, the electronics are awesome and that's that.
    The only issue was with the 2nd 8-string I bought. One of the smaller, guitar type tuners was busted. I replaced it. Good as new. I had no problems setting intonation or string height.

    Yes, the 8 string has neck dive but, oddly enough, I don't notice it anymore. Perhaps it has to do with the wide strap I now use?
    Personally, I love the heavy silver metal flake.

    Ok, that's it, I'm starting a Carlo Robelli club here on Talkbass. Who's with me???
  17. I bought a fretless Robelli for $89 bucks. Looked cool. Sounded great. Felt very good. I eventually decided I didn't need more than one fretless 4 and moved on. But it wasn't a bad bass. I liked it.
  18. Baird6869

    Baird6869 LET'S GO BLUE JAYS...(in 2016)...LET'S GO!!

    All Custom Foderas are built this way also.
  19. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Hey folks,

    I'm sorry to derail this thread a bit but I've been wanting to do this for a while and due, in part, to this thread, I've decided to go for it.

    For anyone interested, I've started the first official Carlo Robelli club here in TB:

    I'd love to hear from other folks that enjoy their CB basses and would like to share their stories and photos. SO, if you would like to proudly join and get a number, cllick on the link above and share!
    Please, no negative responses. That's not the purpose of the club.

    Thank you.