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NBD Eastman VB305 With Video

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by rickwolff, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    That's my Shen Gemunder behind it.

    I'm going to do a little video, too. IMG_20180121_125525892.
    Reiska, csrund, geoffbassist and 5 others like this.
  2. MDrost1

    MDrost1 Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    Nice! Congrats. Are you setting this one up for arco playing?

    Incidentally, I play Eastman Archtop guitars and feel that the sound and workmanship is an amazing value.
  3. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    I hadn't decided how I would configure each bass, BUT, as I only do a little arco playing (which might be obvious), I think I'm leaving them both as 'hybrids', with perhaps a slant toward Pizz/Jazz but the ability to play arco as well. Check out the video I'm just posting. I was really impressed with how well it bowed with 'jazz' strings, wheras with the Helicore Orchestra strings it came with I wouldn't have considered playing a jazz gig.
  4. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    OK, so here is the video. Take note, please, this is with the KNA DB-1 piezo pickup. Yeah, I know, I was surprised myself.

  5. Is that the Quenoil that MGR had?
  6. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    Sho nuf, it is. I had it sent up to Volker Nahrmann just up the road and he did the repairs and shipped it to me. All told, I'm into it for about 2K, which is a real bargain in my book.
  7. Nice. Now I’m sorry I passed on it. Sounds great!
  8. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    Did a rehearsal with the new bass and found EQ settings on the Genzlihur that gave the KNA pickup the sound of MBOB (my bass only better). Sounded a little like my old teachers Precott. IMG_20180121_184508467.
  9. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Is it particularly annoying that the labels for the knobs are underneath the knob, and most people will view from above? Or, do you get used to it? Sorry to hi-jack the thread, but I'm interested in this combo.
  10. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    Howdy Bob,

    Hi-jacking is always OK on my threads. That's how I learn stuff.

    Re: the knob labels, first, you learn pretty quickly which is which by position,

    Also, IF you put it up on a speaker stand (it has a built-in stand adapter) then you can plainly see the knobs.

    I'm still loving this little combo for DB (that's all I play anymore). It's probably just fine for doubling at less than Rock&Roll volume, but I don't happen to use it that way. The phantom power is great for powering condenser mics - I often use one channel for my pianists AKG C411.

    Interestingly enough (at least to me) about a year ago I one found one of the GenzBenz Shenendoah Acoustic amps online which were similar to this. I bought it (from GC) but returned it after I found it didn't have enough low end. That's not a problem with the new 'Genzlihur'.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  11. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Thanks Rick. Your answer sounds reasonable.
    Congrats on the new bass. It sounds really great in the vid you posted.
  12. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Congrats with your bass! Sounds good. How was the setup? And did you try other (more expensive) Eastman models?
    Do they have a dealer in the Netherlands? I want to try out some of their models.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  13. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    Hi Les,

    It's kind of a strange story how I got this bass. I used to browse the internet for basses for sale around the country. This one came up at a used instrument retail store in Boston and was at a rather ridiculous low price. It turned out that the bass had fallen over and been damaged. I contacted a good luthier near the store and arranged for him to look at and subsequently repair the bass and then ship it to me. He not only did the repairs but planed the fingerboard and removed the varnish from the neck and oiled it. As he told me - he was setting up the bass for me just as if he were going to be putting it in his showroom - so he did a really good job. (Thank you, Volker Nahrmann).

    So...to answer your question, I've never even seen another Eastman bass, and bought this one sight-unseen (which is frequently and loudly discouraged by many on this blog). It's probably fair to say I got lucky.

    Here is their website: Eastman Strings

    PS Even though I hadn't seen this bass before I bought it, the reviews I had found were generally quite positive. Eastmans are not nearly as common as Shens - which is my other bass, but they seem to have models at comparable price points. As a new instrument this VB305 would have been in the same ballpark price-wise as my Shen- 5K - but as I took a chance on a damaged instrument I got it for a lot less. Again, I got lucky, and early results would indicate I am really going to like this bass. It's not only a good jazz bass but even with the 'jazz' strings it seems to have a really pretty voice under the bow. I'm hoping it will encourage me to continue and expand my practicing.
    Les Fret likes this.
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I went to the Eastman booth at the Midwest Clinic last month. Jason Heath of Contrabass Conversations invited me as he's been working with them. I played three of their basses, a ply, an intermediate and their high-end model. Sorry don't know the model names or numbers, but the basses were very nice, set up well and sounded good, although a bit hard to hear with all the noise in the convention hall. I had to shoot a couple of trumpet players a dirty look as they were pointing their bells right at us...

    The basses seemed every bit as good as the Shens I've played and the top of the line bass was nice and resonant. Eastman is also offering extensions as original equipment, and at an attractive price compared to custom after-market extensions. The top-end bass had one and it seemed to work well. Pretty cool.
  15. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    Thanks Eric, that's 'all I needed'.drool The 'top-end' model you played was probably the VB605 Andreas Eastman VB605B-BU
    Just when I thought I was ready to settle down I now have a new bee in my bonnet to try the 605. What the hell, you only live once (and if I bring home yet another bass that might not be for very long).

    Seriously, though. I really appreciate you sharing your experience with the Eastmans.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  16. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I don't think it had Busetto corners. It was the most German feeling/looking Chinese bass I've tried. I think it's made with European wood. I'll ask Jason which model it was.
  17. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    It probably was the 605, but most/all their basses come in different body styles:
    • Size & Patterns: 3/4 in Gamba, Quenoil, Violin Corner, Busetto; 7/8 in Violin Corner
  18. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    FWIW - I have an Eastman mandolin. It's the best $1,000 Mando I've encountered. The Eastman arch top guitars also get great reviews.
    MDrost1 likes this.
  19. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Ok, I did play a 305 with extension and a 502.
  20. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired???

    Since you were impressed with the 502, which, like the 605 is listed as one of their 'advanced' models, I'm sure you would be impressed with the 605 as well. The 605 is the only one that mentions
    • Expertly tuned plates for optimal sound and response, it is also referred to as their
    • Top model from the Andreas Eastman workshop
    I do see from the website I link here that there is also a VB905 which is more expensive yet. This link will also show you the prices (list, I assume). Eastman Basses

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