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looking for my first upright!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by erikwhitton, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    can anyone help me out with this?

    i'm a few months off from the actual purchase but this is a good place to start my homework.

    where should i look, what qualitites should i look for, is it ok to buy one over the net, any brands or woods suggested, etc etc.

    one big question i have deals with 3/4 size. is this a standrad? should i go full size? can someone explain 3/4 to me?

    thanks all,
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I think you'll get more help over in the Double Bass forum...
  3. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed, you'll get more help in Basses [DB], which is where I imagine a mod will move this thread to.

    As for the size thing, 3/4 is standard for Jazz. I think the full size ones are mainly used in orchestras.
  4. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA

    thanks guys. mioderator - no need to move this thread. you can close it. looks like i have plenty of info to sift through. sorry for that post!

  5. Groovski


    Sep 20, 2002
    My happy place
    Hey Erik,
    Cool, your first upright. I just got my first upright about 6 months ago and I absolutely love it. I got a cheap one from a music store just outside of Nashville for around $600. It was a brand new Palatino 3/4 upright. I got a cheap one because I didn't know if I would stay with it like I did with my electrics.

    I believe that 3/4 is the standard for most uprights unless you are playing in a symphony, if I am wrong here, Someone will be quick to point it out I am sure.
    Hope you enjoy.
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    3/4 is pretty much the standard size. I would even say that it is the most common size in Symphony use. Although there are 7/8 and 4/4 basses still out there.

    Buying a double bass is tougher than buying a bass guitar. (So is playing one BTW)

    The setup of the bass has a MUCH bigger impact on the sound and playability of the instrument than it does on a bass guitar. In addition, the level of difficulty in doing the work yourself is much greater as are the ramifications of screwing it up.

    I would consider buying from a local source. In decent sized metro areas, there are usually one or two violin shops that buy inexpensive instruments, put the work into them needed to make them playable and re-sell them at a fair price.

    I learned this the hard way. I bought an Engelhardt ES9 for a seemingly great price online. It was dropped shipped to me from the factory. I am a few hundred in the hole and counting to my local luthier to get the bass in great playing shape. He could have sold me the bass with this work already done for less than I have in it now.

    AND, Engelhardts are much more playable out of the box than the dirt cheap basses. You could easily spend more with a luthier to make the bass playable than you spent initially for some of the ebay $400 specials. The scariest part about some of those is that they may only be able to made marginal at any expense.

    Your best hope is to find one used than someone else has already done all this stuff too. You can often trade a little road rash for sound and playability. If you want one mint and to play and sound great, you'll may pay more for it used than it cost new.

    Go to the other side of the board and read as much as your eyes can handle. Those guys are wonderfully knowledgable. The newbie link is very helpful.


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