My new Thompson RM-100

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by aguillem, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. aguillem


    Nov 10, 2013
    I just received my new RM-100 from Steve at String Emporium and wanted to summarize the experience, and the bass.

    I am new to upright (been playing EB for many years) and have been renting for the past 6 months to see if I should take the plunge to all upright all the time.

    I rented the bottom end Strunal, an Eastman VB80 and an Eastman VB95 from Long&McQuade (canadian music chain). They all came with a "factory setup" and were all pretty difficult to play and somehow didn't do it for me. To put it in perspective, the E string on one of the Eastmans had over 15mm+ of action, and the nut on the Strunal was unbearably high.

    I decided (on faith and reviews) that the RM-100 would at least have a top notch setup and should in theory sound quite good, that being said, it's quite the leap of faith to hand over 1.5K to get a fragile piece of wood shipped from Arizona to Alberta!

    Turns out I need not have worried as the bass sounds really great, plays very easily, and looks great as well. I opted for the oil varnish finish and it looks great! It is somehow matte compared to the glaring finish on the Eastmans and is a nice brown (the EastmanVB80 and Strunal are very ORANGE (not my cup of tea)). The tuning machines are also obviously durable, everything about the bass seems well thought out, built to last, and nicely finished.

    Dealing with Steve was great, everything worked really well and smoothly, and the bass was packed super well for shipping. I opted for the "Tuff-Bag" option and would highly recommend this as well, this thing is really padded and built to last unlike the little stock bags that came with my rentals. I suspect it also doesn't hurt to have your bass packed in a well padded bag for air freight.

    That's it... now it's time to get back to practicing...
  2. jon5252


    Nov 22, 2009
    Boise Idaho
    I have just ordered the same bass from Steve and am looking forward to receiving it . Your post is encouraging as I am making the same leap of faith in a sight unseen order.
  3. I've had mine about 3 1/2 years. I got it around the time of the Thompson review controversy, and being new to the instrument myself I kept a low profile about it.

    I've been very happy with mine and haven't had any problems with it. All I've done to it is change the strings and adjust the height, although it could use a better endpin. The couple of people I've taken lessons from thought it was a good instrument, and considering that I play it every day and gig with it periodically it seems solid.

    It doesn't have the harmonic complexity that my friend's carved bass has, but it's a different class of instrument. I'm very happy with it and certainly haven't outgrown it.
  4. the Thompsons are great basses. i was totally impressed. i think they totally SMOKE everything else in that price range. and even some of the more expensive laminated basses. and they look way more expensive with their fit n finish.
  5. jon5252


    Nov 22, 2009
    Boise Idaho
    So I received my new RM-100 yesterday. As far as shipping and packing goes I don't know how you could be any more seamless than this experience. The bag I purchased with this bass was five times the bag I had with my previous rental bass.
    As far as the bass is concerned IMHO it is well worth the money and exceeded my expectations. Set up was great and it has no downside I can see. It sounds really nice for a ply bass and for the money is really finished well. It is a $1500 bass, but I think I could play this for a great many years and still be happy with my investment. Compared to the other things I have seen locally this was a steal.
    Steve should be complemented. He is delivering exactly what he promises. Being a business guy myself I really appreciate that and will be calling him when I decide to upgrade to a more expensive bass.
    Thank you String Emporium!
  6. Are you fellas still happy with the Thompson upright basses?
  7. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Resurrecting this thread to add another opinion. I bought a used RM-100 a couple days ago. I haven't played URB for 15 years, so I'm hardly an expert. I took the bass to my luthier who sells Shen and is personal friends with Shen. He said the RM -100 is built the same as the Shen SB-80 except that Shen added extra reinforcement to keep the top from collapsing. He lamented not having sold me a bass, but said I got a good deal on a pretty good bass. In short, a solid bass for a solid price!
    Youngspanion likes this.