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My latest bid for 15 minutes of fame on Talkbass!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Mike Carr, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I bought a David Gage Czech Ease Bass today!!!
    I'd been playing another brand of travel bass for quite a while now but had missed the true sound and feel that only comes from a double bass. My former road bass was very close, but just not close enough. I'm playing on the road almost all the time, at least 9 months a year since 1999 so having an instument that is airline friendly is a must. I can't offer much of a review yet since I just brought it home but I can tell you all I'm really diggin' it so far. Jon at World of Strings in Long Beach, CA knocked himself out making sure the bass was set-up to my liking and that everything on the bass was A-OK before I took it home. I'll be playing it on a gig in Shanghai that I'll begin next month and know that now, by having that big bass feel and sound I will be having a fine time over there. This bass sounds and feels very good!
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I saw Michael Formanek playing one of those - so you're in good company! ;)

    He made it sound great - but people mentioned how he would probably make anything sound good, so it will be interesting to hear how you get on! :)
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Awright! I'm looking forward to hearing how it works out for you, Mike.
  4. Awright Mike, I heard Mike Moore playing his on TV with Brubeck....sounded good.
    Keep us posted!
  5. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    My new Czech Ease got it's christening today on a gig with a fine quartet of LA musicians. I was playing a private affair in a rather large room for about 500 guests. I used my 80's 2 channel Walter Woods and a Razer's Edge 10 box. Flat EQ on the Woods, with no sort of extra pre-amp, just straight into the Woods. The bass sounded great played thru this rig in this manner in this particular room. A great big but still very clear and defined sound both on stage and thruout the room, just the bass and amp, no PA. All comments about my bass and it's sound were favorable. This from guys who are used to hearing the fine sounds provided by instruments manned by the likes of Dr. Art Davis (John Coltrane)and John B. Williams (Nancy Wilson, Arsinio Hall Show, Tonight Show Band.) Everyone dug the Czech Ease, to quote the pianist, "Mike, your in there now!" He's a cat that was used to hearing me on EUB more often than not on recent traveling gigs. Everyone also got quite a kick out seeing it's clever "pop off scroll". The scroll above the pegbox is held in place by three small wooden pegs and magnets, stays on fine while in use and saves several inches when packed away in it's travel mode.
    My Czech Ease has an Eb neck, a D neck is offered as well. The fingerboard on mine has a more rounded radius that the one on the D necked model I compared it with, but I found my bass to be more comfortable to play in thumb position. While I'm accustomed to a flatter fingerboard, like that on my other double bass, I can use the Czech Ease's rounder fingerboard and bridge radius to good advantage when I play arco, which by the way also sounds surprizingly good, in spite of the bass's smallish plywood body. I'm finding the change in fingerboard radius easy enough to get used to, and the amount of camber on the board is just right for a good singing pizz, with plenty of growl if I want it. Mr. Gage did a real nice job on this fingerboard! This bass puts out a decent amount of sound unpluged, no, it's no cannon but I think it's quite OK for it's size. Plugged in, with it's Realist it sounds as good as any other good plywood bass I've tried, very even up and down the neck. No notes seemed either too weak or too boomy. The Realist seems to be an ideal pick-up for this bass.
    In conclusion, I'm very happy to have this bass and look forward to getting a lot of good use from it! I'd certainly recommend it to anyone that travels a lot, it's flight case seems to be of a very good quality. Lets see what happens when the bass and I fly to China next month!
  6. Sounds good Mike. How long do you figure it takes for you to set the bass up.....you know, plugged in and ready to go with just the Realist and an amp?. What's the weight of the bass in the case?
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You know, I always wondered what Rikki Lee was singing about all those years ago...

    Sounds like you found a treasure for yourself there, Mike. Do you have any pics? I'm not sure what the Czech Ease really is. Is it the one that looks like a DB with everything below the bridge sawed off? And it "folds up"? Sounds amazing if so. Congrats!
  8. You're showing your age here.
  9. Rikki Lee, didn't she have one of those bad talk shows? :bag:
  10. isolated

    isolated Zenkaku

    Dec 7, 2004
    The BX
    Thanks for the thorough testing and well-written review. I've been wondering about this thing for a while. I was also curious about the Guy/Dawson creation, but the weak dollar doesn't make that purchase seem practical right now. I'll be in NYC next week and look forward to checking one out, mostly on your recommendation. You da man.
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I ran into Dave in frontof the shop just as he was getting back from the MusickMesse, apparently they are getting ready to offer the Czech-Ease in a wood model. He was pretty jet-lagged and I didn't want to hang him up for long, so I didn't ask if that was gonna be carved or pressure formed or what.

    Just a head's up...

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Nice a carved model. I would be interested in eventually getting something like that. One thing about travel basses....if you have to bring the strings back up to tension every time you set it up, they never really have a chance to settle. Have any of you had any problems with this?
  13. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    On my Alter Ego they and the bass settle in after an hour or so after assembly.
  14. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    It's not any sort of fold-up bass or removable neck type. The carved part of the scroll comes off, but not the strings or bridge or neck like the last EUB I had. There is no extra set-up time nessasary. Just like any bass, just comes out the bag, set the end-pin (extra long, because the body is small) tune it and play. Chris, the best way to describe it is that it's like a normal bass, with a lot of the body missing below the tailpiece. I havn't weighed it, but understand that it's weight in the flight case is such that it shouldn't incur oversize and over weight charges. Come to think of it, the weight is listed on Mr. Gages web site I think.
    Works fine with an Underwood PU too, I tried it like that but like the Realist sound on this bass a bit more. I might keep an Underwood on it for an allternate, but can't imagine using it too much. I'm trying not to get too hung up into the "lets try out a bunch of different pickups and pre-amps" game with this bass, as there is often no end to this sort of obsession.
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah, Dave pulled the CE he took to the show out of the back of a Town Car (car service). I'm sure they have a pitcher of the case it comes in at the site....
    sorry, had to run away for a second. Anyway, the top of the case (when it's sitting on the ground) sits below shoulder height on me and I'm 5' 8"ish.
  16. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I just saw a guy playing a Czech Ease on Letterman with a singer songwriter guy, alternative acoustic pop folk kind of stuff. The bass sounded good! I think the artist was named Ray LaMontane. Makes me wonder how many of these are in use so far. The serial # on mine is 81, don't know how Gage's numbering sytem works.