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Knilling or Strunal?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Vic Concepcion, May 2, 2004.


  1. Vic Concepcion

    Vic Concepcion

    May 2, 2004
    Hello everyone,
    I'm a newbie in need of some help. I'm looking to purchase my first DB. I've gone to several music stores, played a few, asked some questions and came up with some criterias.

    First, I definitively don't want an electric, since I'd like to use my DB in the University Ensambles (both classical and jazz). Second, I don't want a laminated piece. I played a pair of Strunals at Sam Ash (one laminated $999, one hybrid $1,999) and could tell that there was a big
    difference in sound quality----the hybrid had a denser, more direct sound than the plywood model. And third, it seems that (from reading your posts) Ebony-everyting is the way to go.

    Being willing to spend the extra grand for real wood. I've narrowed it down to four choices.
    1)Knilling Bucharest (Fully CARVED!!!)
    2)Strunal 5/20 or5/35 (Hybrid)
    3)Christopher Hybrid
    4)Viena Strungs Munich Bass (Carved)

    They are all at about the same price range, but i'm stuck on a few issues.

    First, what's the difference between the 5/20 and the 5/35.

    Second, does anyone have any feedback the Christopher (here is URL to the distrubtor who sells it http://www.stringbassshop.com/nbpage/MP_New_Basses.html).

    Third, being fully carved the Bucharest and Munich (great color) seem like obvious choices (for the price). However, a few posts have cited Knillings as being koreans (http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=85029&goto=nextnewest). From what I've read, that's not a good thing. Is the Bucharest model Korean or not. It would be great to have all-wood piece, and the store who sells the bucharest also happens to have one of the few Lutiers in NJ. It would be great to start a relationship by buying a bass from him (he would order it new).


    Thanks for reading my rants. Any help would surely be appreciated.
     
  2. Gary C

    Gary C

    Mar 16, 2004
    Canton Oh
    I think the plywood Knillings are Korean...the Bucharest ought to be from Romania. How much is the Bucharest? I just looked at a used Bucharest from a local owner for about $3000. Looked like a nice bass from what I could tell (although I'm also pretty new at evaluating DB's).
     
  3. Vic Concepcion

    Vic Concepcion

    May 2, 2004

    Dirt Cheap. He's asking $2350, and that's before negotiations. Also, he offered to try to find a factory second. He said that he finds one, he'll ask about $1800 or $1900. That reminds me: Does anyone whether seconds are good idea?
     
  4. Vic Concepcion

    Vic Concepcion

    May 2, 2004
    PS- Thanks for clarifiying the issue regarding origin :)
     
  5. Gary C

    Gary C

    Mar 16, 2004
    Canton Oh
    I was just looking at the Knilling website and realized there are both a carved and plywood model called the Bucharest.

    http://www.knilling.com/instruments.htm
     
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I play a Strunal, for music that requires both pizz and arco. To me the instrument sounds pretty good for the price, but whatever the terms are to describe a low neck height and/or wide top, I have to keep my bow within the C-bouts to keep my bow from bumping into the top of the bass.

    It has helped me a lot with learning to keep the bow perpendicular to the strings, so there is an advantage of sorts to this kind of setup. But the more advanced strokes like spiccato on the G string are a little more difficult to pull off without bumping into the adjacent D string.

    There are ways around this sort of problem with luthier support, but I'll probably trade it in one day for a bass that is more forgiving (and carved instead of plywood).
     
  7. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Victor, maybe you should also consider the Euro DBs that are advertized at the top of this page. I don't know anything about the Roma model, and it looks like the hybrid Wilfer wouldn't fit your budget, but the hybrid and carved Eberle are pretty good instruments, worth giving a try.
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Go to the thread NEWBIE DECIDING BETWEEN ENGLE & CHRISSIE and read what McBass wrote. Don't decide about names, decide about sounds. What sounds most like the bass you hear in your head that is in your price range?
     
  9. Vic Concepcion

    Vic Concepcion

    May 2, 2004
    I have the music store's bussiness card where the owner wrote a short list of models and prices. He noted that the Bucharest Laminated would run me about $1700, and that the Carved would be $2350. Its a great deal for a fully carved bass. There aren't too many music stores in NJ that have orchestral instruments in stock. Part of the reason why I vacillated between the kneeling and the strunal was because I could actually play them without having someone breath down my neck. Sam Ash simply had them on the show floor ("great", I thought, "no hus, no fuss") but only sold strunals. Lou Rose (the knilling store) had to order it for me, but would let me play it once he got it. Also, the luthier there could do the set up before i even touched it (great plus).
    I hadn't considered other brands, because those were the only 2 brands that i knew i was going to get a chance to play fairly often before commiting. The issue was not really brand name, more so availability (knowing what i'm paying for before I pay, while not having to wait weeks to try them out), and the posibility of building a good relationship with my local luthier. Though I certainly understand the issue of quility control vs sound of instrument (inregards to brand names), so thanx for pointing that out.
    To the gentleman whose bass fell apart just weeks after his purchase, my condolences.

    Moreover, I'll be taking a trip to NY this weekend. So, I'll definitely spend some time at Ideal Music while i am there. A carved german for under $2500 WOW! More so, i'm looking fordward to talking about all of this with the owners and emplyees of that store. By the way, its good to know that the strunal is not just a big piece of junk (at least as far as starter bases go).
    Thanks, everyone, for your posts. I'll let you know how things turn out. I've been cheking this thread 2,3 times per day, so your advice is always welcome and appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    Victor
     
  10. Vic Concepcion

    Vic Concepcion

    May 2, 2004

    Thanks Tim,

    I went on his website and am planning on visiting his shop sometime soon. Do you know anything about those low-end Bulgarians that he sells? Would like to know more about them, since it would follow that he would try to sell me one.
     
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    If you're coming to NYC you should definitely spend some time at Dave Gage's shop. There are well over 100 basses to play.

    And not for nothing, you don't seem to have carried away the advice that's all over the NEWBIE Buy-a-Bass FAQs - DON'T GO TO A MUSIC STORE TO BUY AN UPRIGHT. Find a shop that specialises in basses.
     
  12. I haven't played one myself, but Bob has an excellent reputation.

    Tim
     
  13. Although it looks like you looking at others beside the Knilling, I would like to point out that from my experience as a luthier who does repair work for several large school districts, that the Knillings and the Roth basses are among the most trouble prone instruments I've seen in recent years. Both of these brands are selling both carved and laminated intruments made in South Korea. They all appear to be coming out of the same factory. The worst instruments I've seen are the carved instruments with flat backs. I have advised all my customers to avoid buying any bass made in South Korea.
     
  14. Vic Concepcion

    Vic Concepcion

    May 2, 2004

    Ed,
    Thanks for taking the time to follow this thread. Your comments, as well as those of others, have made me feel that I'm somewhat better informed. Though I was fortunate enough to find this forum, I did not run into Talkbass until after I had done all the legwork noted above. Reading all the information on this site has been immeasurably helpful. Also, I know that helping someone who doesn't seem to be very good at helping themselves can feel very frustrating, so thank you for replying anyways. In terms of the NEWBIE links, I just took a second look and realized that the REAL BASES links are not links to the manufacturer's website (ooops), but rather to threads regarding that manufaturer. I found a great thread regarding Christopher Basses, which was helpful. I tried reading all the newbie info before posting, but i must have missed that one. Any way thanks for keeping me on point.

    PS- you mean the Dave on Walker St. between Church and Broadway, right?
    PPS- Carved Knillings from South Korea? OUCH!!!!
     
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yes indeed.
     
  16. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Gage's (212) 274-1322 and AES Arnold Schitzer's (845) 279-4884. That should do ya for NY in your price range.
     
  17. Vic Concepcion

    Vic Concepcion

    May 2, 2004

    Thank You. The Phone numbers are a big help. I'll definitively stop by AES.