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My old china junker

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by cabin dweller, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. cabin dweller

    cabin dweller Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Ridgeland, WI
    Howdy, I'm a bluegrass bass picker from the blue hills of Wisconsin. I pick in a band called The Cabin' Dwellers. I still use my china bass yet today. I have put this bass threw extreme use and weather conditions. The old junker is still goin'. The only luthiers we have around is yourself and a bench full of tools. I just bought a EM-1 from music123. I'm still waiting on the truckin company. The bass looks like has big "F" holes,so it should be a thumper. I hope it holds up to the punishment that I'll be putting it threw. I was at a work shop in BayFeild Wi with Del Mcoury's band. I got a chance to play Mike Bubs' 56-kay. Holy crap what a bass! To this day its still the loudest bass I've heard. If my EM-1 is half that loud,I'll be happy!
  2. Gufenov


    Jun 8, 2003
    It's good to see another bluegrasser from the frozen North on the board. Lots of festivals in your area! Gollihur's directory (http://www.gollihur.com/kkbass/luthiers.html lists several luthiers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Since there are a few months before festival season starts again, you might consider making the trip and getting your new M-1 set up properly. I know of a luthier in Eau Claire, too, who did a great set up on my S-1. Good luck with your new instrument.

    BTW, can you "pick" bluegrass on a bass?
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I had an ES9 for while. Engelhardt makes a decent bass IMO. I also bought mine from Music123.

    It probably will be drop-shipped from Engelhardt. The strings will be unplayable, especially pizz. The bass will be super stiff as well and have a semi-fitted bridge with no wheels.

    You really need to have a good luthier work on it. For few hundred bucks, you can have the post fitted correctly, the neck scraped out right and the bridge fitted with adjusters. (I'd go ahead and spring a little more for a better blank) He'll also get the nut in better shape than the factory did.

    While he has the strings down, have him fit the tailpiece with a flexible cable. The factory ones are super stiff. This cheap mod will make the bass much louder with a more ringing tone.

    If you have the time and money to have it all done in one whack, have it fitted with a nicer endpin. Engelhardt pins drive me nuts. Not a real necessity, but certainly a big improvement and will make life easier in the long run.

    For strings, I'd recommend Obligatos. They are loud, easy to play and have plenty of pizz sustain without being ultra contemporary sounding like Spirocores. They are a little darker sounding. I think Mike Bub plays Spirocores, but his bass is well-aged with a darker overall tone. I tried Spirocores on my new ES9, and they were too bright.

    Lastly, it will take a while for the bass to open up. IMO, you can speed up the process with a cheap fiberglass bow and a set of earplugs (optional)

    The bow cranks a lot more energy into the top than pizz ever will. Once I started bowing the swingmaster, it woke up a lot in just a few months.

    Just spend 15-20 a day cranking long tones on the open strings. If you get bored, run whole-note scales. You'll be amazed how the bow exposes holes in your intonation.

    If you actually develop an affection for the bow, throw away the Glasser and bet a real bow pronto, and don't touch the new one until you have hooked up with a teacher.

    But for the sake of rattling the bass loose, I think my advice is sound.

    I spend a lot of time at BG and folk festivals. There are more Engelhardts out there than you can shake a stick at. Some are really nice to play and hear. Others are just plain nasty. The setup makes all the difference in the world.
  4. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    + 1
  5. cabin dweller

    cabin dweller Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Ridgeland, WI
    I was wondering if anybody has tried pumping low bass sounds from a speaker cab at there new bass . A buddy of mine said he was as a music store in LaCrosse Wi and they were doing that to high buck guitars to open them up. Think it would work on bass fiddle?
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    read THIS THREAD. It ought to address your interests to some extent.