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OK, here we go again. EUB as substitute for URB for URB player.

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by turf3, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    It looks like most of the threads on here of "how do I get an EUB to sound like an upright" are primarily aimed at/by BG players trying to simulate the upright without the investment and size. I am interested in coming at it from the standpoint of already playing URB and I want something easier to haul and load in/out. I know it won't be a perfect sound match. When I try to search or look at sticky threads, all I come up with are extensive threads on extensive mods. (and there were two that rapidly turned into real firestorms...) I'm probably missing something, so if anyone can point me to a thread that gets close to answering my question, I would be grateful.

    ****Here it is: THE QUESTION: ****

    I would like a recommendation on a reasonable-priced EUB/pre-amp/string choice combo that does a reasonable job of filling in for an upright, without extensive mods other than pre-amp and string choice (and ***maybe*** a pickup change).

    I already know how to play URB (I'm not very experienced and I'm a work in progress, but that's not relevant to the question. I play with standard URB technique.) I want to play an EUB the same way I play URB, not to apply BG technique. Pizz is the main thing, limited interest in using an EUB for arco.

    Again, I won't be surprised if threads cover this topic, but I wasn't able to find the Cliffs Notes version that I would like to see. So please be gentle with me.
  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I'll give it a try, off the top of my head:

    Most sound/feel like a URB (in no particular order): Kolstein, Czech-ease, Yamaha, Eminence, Messenger

    Very popular for Latin players (INPO): BSX, Azola - good sound but not much like a URB

    Popular with rock/classical/indie players: NS Designs - also good sound but not much like a URB

    There are others but that ought to give you a pretty good start. Somebody will chime in with their favorite that I left out. I don't think you'd be interested in the Stagg, Kydd, or Triumph because they're necks with a small solid body.
  3. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    I own one of these. The solid version. Good feel, good amplified tone. Will never be an URB. But it's very nice.

  4. How important is volume before feedback?

    I play an EUB for amplified situations so I don't even have to think about feedback, the easier mobility is just a bonus.

    Also, reasonably priced is a VERY wide price range. IF you could narrow it a bit that would help.
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Define "reasonable-priced"?

    Price range determines everything.

    And lets get this over with. There is no URB substitute. There are only sticks that have their own sound, or URBs with bodies which are cut way down (Czech Ease, Kolstein). I dont' consider Eminence in the latter category as it's cut down a little too far.
    DoubleMIDI likes this.
  6. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
  7. dc-upright


    Mar 31, 2013
    I bought a Stagg EUB a couple of years ago. I play upright in a bluegrass band and was looking for a solution to make travel easier. I changed out the strings with a well used set that came off of my Kay. The main problem I had was sustain, I tamed this quite a bit by putting a piece of foam under the strings on the back side of the bridge and I also added a rubber practice mute. I run this through an Acoustic Image Clarus head and an Ampeg 1-12 cab. This is not perfect and does not sound exactly like an upright but it sounds more upright like than an electric bass. I have gigged this setup enough I think it is a workable solution.
  8. rhopper

    rhopper Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    You could check out the Ergo Bass. Not nearly as expensive and I gig with it pretty regular now.
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Since you asked for "a reasonable job of filling in for an upright", the answer is really anything.

    My long experience with amplifying DBs and owning a few EUBs (Ampeg, Zeta, Azola) is that amplification is always a compromise and what works for me might not work for you.

    If you wait long enough every EUB owner who replies to this thread will recommend what they play.

    What are you using for amplification today (pickup, preamp, amp)? What style of music?
  10. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    OK, as requested:

    "what means "reasonable price"?" Fair question. Now bearing in mind that I want an EUB to simplify load-in and load-out in a few tight venues, and I'm willing to make compromises on sound, I'd like to keep it to less than half the cost of my URB, or about $1800 or less. Less than $1000 gets first prize and I understand that may come with additional compromises.

    Ability to play at high volume before feedback? Probably not ever going to be an issue for me, because...

    "what kind of music?" Mostly trad-jazz, bluegrass, and country, am gradually working up straightahead jazz chops.

    Current equipment: Romanian flatback carved bass, Realist pickup, Fishman B-II preamp, Acoustic AB50 amp. (I will probably replace the amp at some time, but for the relatively low levels of volume I work at, it gives me enough "lift" over the horns.)
  11. Will a fingerboard on a stick do it or does it need to at least give tribute to a standup bass?
  12. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I would like it to have a standard string length and fingerboard curvature. It would be nice if it had a D neck, but it seems to me that I could always carve a neck heel out of cork or wood and attach it at the appropriate place. I don't know whether the absence of an upper bout to rest against my beer gut would throw me off or not. I don't think it needs to LOOK like an upright bass; the only thing that's really going to look like an upright bass is an upright bass, and I've already got one of those.
  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    If you have a budget of <$2k, there really aren't any serious choices.

    I would just get a Palatino and mod it up just like they've done here in the megathread. Anything else will give you mildly similar results and other cheap options will be stuff that is on a tripod. I can't stand anything on a tripod myself. The Ergo's are a bad joke to me.
    carl h. likes this.
  14. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Oh, to clarify about "substitute for URB"...

    If I played electric, the weapon of choice for me in the circumstances I've described would probably be a Fender bass. But it would be a lot easier for me, given my time constraints, to play something with the same fingerings and body position I am used to, than to get control over the Fender. So you can assume that I would probably be OK with a sound somewhere between a Fender Precision and a URB.
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Then I'd get a Palatino and invest in a Krivo Pickup. That combo should work well.
    Jeff Bonny likes this.
  16. Horsefeathers. Used Merchant Vertical basses occasionally pop up for less than that amount, and the MK EUBs being made in Italy can be had for under $2k shipped to the US, though I have my doubts about pearwood as a fingerboard material. A TB member owns one and posted a clip downboard a few months ago. It's an impressive-sounding fence post. :D
    DoubleMIDI likes this.
  17. Up and Away

    Up and Away

    May 16, 2015
    If you wait long enough every EUB owner who replies to this thread will recommend what they play.

    OK,here's mine.Yamaha SLB 200 works for me and I got it used at what I consider to be a good price.The point is"used".Of course you have to be careful but a lot people who buy EUB's never use them and want to get rid of them.Check out ads on this site and whatever else you can find.You might find a really great deal on something that just didn't work for someone.Good luck!
  18. I hesitated to mention my Palatino, but it has proven satisfactory as a giggable substitute with some inexpensive modifications and a set of decent strings.

    I brought it to a TB gathering and passed it around and it was very well received both for its upright like playability and even its bowed tone.
  19. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    If you're not picky or in a hurry, very good value can be had in the used market, such that most of the EUBs are in your price range. You're assuming higher risk of getting stuck with a unusable instrument requiring a lot of expensive work, if that work can be done at all, but that's a calculus everyone has to make for themselves. Personally, I've had very good luck in the used market. It's beneficial to you that you're not that picky about the tone. I find switching between different scale-length instruments and D versus Eb neck takes a day or two of adjustment practice and is not a big deal, but YMMV.
  20. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Lots of foam down by the tailpiece. Any idea why? Hard to think it would affect the sustain much down there.

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