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Menzel vs. Engelhardt

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Davis Goertzen, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Hello there, I am looking at two possible-potential upright basses. Both are laminated. One is a Menzel MDN950BT which comes with a gig bag and costs $2,667.55; the other is an Engelhardt ES1 (Supreme, not to be confused with Swingmaster) which does not come with a gig bag and costs $2,339.96. Which would you guys recommend? I would be playing mostly bluegrass, and exclusively (I think) pizzicato. I am not perfectly sure on the price; I will correct it if it is wrong. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Davis Goertzen
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow, that's high for an Engelhardt. The ES-1 goes for $1350 without a setup, and the setup shouldn't be more than $300. Makes me think he's gouging you on the price of the other bass, too.

    Check out www.uptonbass.com . Their laminated basses blow away Engelhardts. And it's $1650 with a full setup, strings, and bridge adjusters. They'll sell you an Engelhardt if you really really want it, but you will be happier with one of their basses. They're called the Hawkes and Media Fino. I have a Hawkes, but if you like a smaller body like an Engelhardt, the Media Fino sounds just about as good as the Hawkes, and definitely better than the ES-1.
  3. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I am assuming those prices are Canadian?
  4. ctcruiser


    Jan 16, 2005
    West Haven, CT
    I was able to get my lefty ES-1 with set up and new bridge for $1,450 US. I like the sound of it and if you want one, you should look for a new dealer.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But wouldn't Canadian dollars be different?
  6. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Menzel $2667.55CN = $2222.50US
    Engelhardt $2339.96CN = $1949.89US
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Is that Exchange rate based on buying or selling and why...? ;)
  8. Not necessarily. It depends on what has to be done. If you have decent strings and a quality bridge installed, you will be crowding the $300 mark. Add to that a fingerboard dressing and you could easily approach $4-500. Throw in labor price differences for different regions and you have yet another variable to think about.

    Given the going rates for work in Tennessee, $1900 for an ES-1 would be a little high. However, Davis might check with some of our Canadian members (and there are quite a few) and discuss the subject.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well, I was going for ballpark there. Also, didn't notice the guy was Canadian, so maybe that's what they go for in Canada, huh? Even still, it seems a bit high, but maybe not unreasonable in light of how Canada is with imports.

    I still stand behind what I said about Upton basses, though ;)
  10. The prices seem a bit high to me, but maybe he's looking in North-Eastern B.C., where there aren't a lot of options. In the Toronto area, you could likely find the basses cheaper, but there's more competition around.

    That's my $CDN 0.02
  11. Davis, where did you get your prices, a local dealer? It's good to deal with someone local who can service your instrument on an ongoing basis, and best to play before you buy. However, for the sake of comparison, you might want to check a couple other places. Perhaps contact Gerard Samija in Vancouver, through this site or his website. There's also Hammond Ashley in Seattle south of the border, Lemur's a little farther down the left coast, I'm sure there must be others. Don't buy the first bass you see because it's the only game in town. I've seen some surprisingly cheap shipping prices quoted on this site.
  12. You're right, those prices would be in Canadian $$$. But I was awfully wrong on the prices. The Menzel was around $1200, and the Engelhardt was $2,339.96.
  13. Is there any reason why you are just considering the ES-1 and the Menzel? Are you able to look at and play any other basses?

    The way Jimmy goes on about that Upton Hawkes, I might have to get one myself. In the under $2K price range, it is a highly endorsed bass on this forum. I don't know anything about the Menzel basses, but that price on the Engelhardt seems high to me. My fully carved bass (Gollihur Music) was just slightly higher and it is a 4/4 5-string. It came with Helicore strings also and sounds real sweet. The 3/4 4-string model would be less than that Engelhardt.

    The latest Engelhardts I've heard and played were not so bad, but I think you could get a much better sounding plywood, or even a hybrid or carved bass for what the Engelhardt was quoted at.

    Read some of the other posts on various different hybrids and better grade plywoods, etc. Several dealers (like Upton) will ship basses and if your local selection is limited to the two you mentioned, you might do better ordering from one of the more reputable dealers that will ship.

    Usually we say try before you buy and don't buy sight unseen, but there are circumstances sometimes that make it a consideration.
  14. Check out bassesonline.com for a Roma ply.
    I got a carved Eberle from them for $2K ($1,995 US). The Roma plys are much less. A better bass than the Engle for less money.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    OK, then I'd bet money that the Menzel is a Chinese bass, and while some have had success with Chinese basses, the majority say to avoid them because of problems and flaws in workmanship.

    I have heard some good about the Roma and Eberle surplus basses that the guy in NYC is selling. I know of another guy who bought a plywood Eberle as a backup to his carved bass and seems to like it. I've never played them so I don't know, but word I've heard has been favorable. I didn't know they existed when i got the Upton, but if I had it to do over again, I would still get the Upton.
  16. Unfortunately no. As you may have seen, I live in North-eastern B.C., Canada, and the closest music store doesn't even stock upright basses yet. Engelhardt and Menzel are, as far as I know, the only names available to them as yet. I once played an aquaintance's old Kay that I really liked, and having heard that Engelhardt is the second generation of Kay, I thought maybe the ES-1 would be a good chance.

    JimmyM, I think I'm inclined to agree with your comment about the Menzel. Thanks everyone for your help.

    Davis Goertzen
  17. I'm having and playing both of these basses. For sound and Projection you should go for an Engelhardt ES-1 all the way. I've played several acoustic gig and was always loud enough... Sound great when plugged but more prone to feedback then the Menzel....
    If you want a Solid Beatup bass to carry around with a ok acoustic sound and projection, you can think of Menzel.. I have a 16 years old Menzel at home and never had any issues with it. I'm playing Rockabilly mainly amplified and always sound good...
    Take whatever feel good in your hand and suit your needs.. but the Engelhardt would be a better choice....
  18. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I'm guessing, given that the OP was 12 years ago, the person has already made their decision.
    JC Pat likes this.