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out with the old in with the new?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bass dan, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. i was curious to see if anyone has actually compared the the new upton hybrid against the old. i have a european import model that was built in 2007. i think it is a good bass and meets my needs. i am somewhat offended by uptons advertisment of the burning bass and the "out with the old, in with the new". basically saying out with the crap and now we finally got it right. i find it hard to believe the new version is that much better than the old. i could be wrong i have not tried the new ones. these guys build quality intruments and not just since they went to doing everything in house. maybe they are using more quality materials to build the basses with, hence the higher price. i think its great that they are doing it all USA, but are they saying what they did before was crap? i would be interested to hear how they compare.
  2. kevinmoore73

    kevinmoore73 Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    It's all marketing.
  3. All sizzle, no steak.

    Kidding aside, they seem to be decent "budget" basses for what they are. Difference in EU vs USA is the wood selection and the build. Beyond that I have no details but really I can't imagine it amounts to much, except it probably costs them less because they don't have to factor in the rock-bottom value of the US dollar. I agree with the above -- all (or mostly) marketing. And I agree with you that that campaign is a bit disparaging to their customers who own EU made basses. Kinda alienating a large market there, which seems counter intuitive.
  4. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Supporting Member

    So who is th "Master Luthier" who builds the new "Born in the USA" Uptons? Not that Upton was anything but secretive about who built the European "Uptons," but one would assume that they (Upton) "built their brand" on basses that were built by "old world" people who had some kind of substantial background in luthiery. So who knocked the Euros off the gig? Training? Pedigree? Mojo?

    It eludes me why the USA built ones are -- instantly -- deemed inherently better than the ones Upton made their internet bones with. Are the USA-Uptons built by luthiers who have better training, more experience, bettter chops than those who built imports?

    I mean, there are a lot of bad-a**ed luthiers in the Northeastern US. A lot. With substantial cred.

    Do any of them build the new "USA" Upton basses?

    And the "endorsements..."

    Upton's neighbors list the LAST NAMES of their endorsers and -- damn! -- they're top-drawer players

    Upton's "endoresements" say, "Joe A. sez this bass is the loudest and has the best tone of any bass I've ever heard."

    Not credible, IMHO.

    Compare those to the endorsemnts of the other cats in that neck of the woods.

    Sizzle or steak? You be the judge.
  5. thats not a side by side comparison.:confused:
  6. dchan


    Nov 19, 2005
    Bethlehem, PA
    I noticed that the scrolls of their 'new' basses appear to be less traditional. They no longer have that ridge down the middle that their 'old' basses had and other basses have. Some might deem it unique while others might deem it as less artistic. Does it have anything to do with the sound? Probably not.


    I also noticed the scroll on fire in the ad. Do you think that an actual bass was sacrificed? :D
  7. Yeah, I remember seeing very similar over the top praise for their European imports. The same European imports that could be purchased at any number of shops all over the US.
  8. i guess i should have kept my comments about their advertising to myself as this thread is heading towards a upton bashing session. i was feeling a bit "burnt" by their new slogan. it may be to early to ask for a side by side comparison, but if anyone has had the chance to do it i would like to hear your thoughts. just to be clear i am a big upton fan not only of their basses but their customer service and set ups.
  9. Sorry, it wasn't my intention to start another one of those... and i know i did not give an A/B comparison, just sharing what I've read in other posts. Do a search and I'll bet you'll find something.
  10. malloybow


    Mar 10, 2008
    I played a hybrid there in December in the showroom which was US made. It looked and sounded much like the Euro hybrid I played a year earlier. The workmanship seemed comparable as well. The Standard versions are less ornate than the previous Euro models and I would prefer a new Deluxe or an older Euro model personally. I have a 2005 laminate Upton which I like. I wouldn't have any regrets about your 2007. The new US basses seem like a good value also.
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Dan I gotta say, this is a classic case of reading something that's not there. When somebody says "That's a red hat you're wearing" and you're hearing "Your mother dresses you funny", well that's not really their problem, right? They can only be responsible for what they write, not what you read.

    And I imagine it was a buncha them sitting around in a room trying to figure out what would be an effective way to get the word out. What I don't imagine is them sitting around saying "our old stuff was a bunch of crap", they seemed to be pretty happy with it. And seem to be pretty happy with making the change.

    But alla this speculation is just that, speculation. Those guys (Gary et al) actually post here, so instead of idly speculating as to motive and trying to parse what they were maybe possibly trying to attempt to say, why not just ask them rather than us here in the peanut gallery? Unless you don't want any answers but just wanna whack the nest a little?

    I mean, I don't want to speculate as to your motives...
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Oh and what's the scene on St Simon's these days? I played there back near the dawn of time (mid/late 70s) with a fusion kinda band. I can't remember the name of the club, but it was owned by (maybe?) the brother of this singer, Caroline Aiken, who we had met through being booked at the old Night Flight Cafe in Savannah. I was young AND stupid and, when we were setting up and doing sound check, got introduced to some old black guy "who played some jazz too, on saxophone". So I shake his hand and "yeah glad ta meetcha" and then about my business. Find out later that I just got introduced to Lucky Thompson.

    It' s a pretty beautiful place to live, how's the playing scene? Any jazz to speak of these days? Are you gigging there and what kind of music?

    Thanks for bringing the memories back!
  13. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Eric Rene Roy, graduate of North Bennett Street School in Boston.

    Speaking for myself, I would make the other assumption -- that the people working in the fiddle factories of Eastern Europe have no more luthiery background than anybody else.

    I dunno, man. If you believe everything you read on the internet you wind up buying stuff that makes your elbows bigger or whatever. I don't remember The Uptons saying that, but even if they did you can wait for the JD Power Report On Basses if you wish.

    Maybe so. Frankly, I don't think you'll have a lot of luck getting any business to detail the backgrounds of their production workers. In any event, form your own conclusion based on whatever research you believe to be appropriate.

    I don't think that's a fair question. If you go to Volker Nahrmann's shop you don't expect to find Mark Carlsen behind the bench. If you go to Gage you don't look for Mike Shank. But taking the inquiry at face value, if you are asking whether anybody who doesn't work for Upton works for Upton, the answer is no.

    Look, Anonymous, if you think that Eric Revis and Johnny Pat aren't top-drawer players than I want to know who you're hanging with!

    I particularly dig Pattitucci's endorsement. He doesn't say, "This bass enables me to turn fishy-crackers into sardines." He says, "This is a good tool which I teach on and which I can recommend to my students."

    No argument here. Do the research. Check it out in detail. Buy the bass you've tried.

    Oh Ed . . . much to practical . . .

    Further your correspondent sayeth naught. And I mean it.

    = = =

    Disclosure: I'm Upton's lawyer, but this response isn't about that. Fire away . . .
  14. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Talk about memories! Great player, insufficienty regarded when he was alive, disgracefully so since his passing.
  15. I have one of the first US-made Upton Deluxe Hybrids and let me tell you it is a great bass. With the bow, case and setup and shipping, I could not have gotten a better deal. My teacher fully agrees and he definitely knows what he's talking about when it comes to basses. The bass has a huge sound and a great pizzicato tone. I'm not experienced with the bow so I'm no authority to comment on that, but my teacher played my bass (with MY bow, not his) and it sounded amazing (to my ears.)

    I've seen pictures of the old European hybrids. Granted I have NOT seen it in person but in the pictures I saw, the finish was very reddish and did not display the grain of the wood as much as I would have liked. The new US hybrid that I got, has a perfect finish. It's medium brown and the natural wood shows through beautifully.

    I would for sure recommend this bass to any other bass students. I'm sure it's not an instrument for professional players in an orchestra, but it is a perfect instrument to gain experience on. All the other student basses I've played have been horribly weak compared to this one.

  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah, and I'm one of the cats who insufficiently regarded him! If I could go back and slap myself on the back of my head, I would. And then I'd try to get him to talk about playing with OP...
  17. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    What is the point of wondering about all of this, for those of us who already own older Uptons?

    I tried and bought my bass because I felt that it represented a reasonable and fair value for the price. That remains true for me regardless of whatever else the company subsequently produces.

    Kudos to Upton for pursuing relentless improvement of their wares! Anyone who makes stuff for a living is in the continuum of change and growth (hopefully).

    As far as marketing text goes, I ignore it. If folks are going to get all wound up about inaccurate or hyperbolic marketing text, why target Upton? Why should one business be held to a higher standard than others? Our culture provides few rewards for humility. They are simply working the market as they see fit.

    Finally, Upton has been able to offer some customization of finish colors for awhile. When I was considering having an instrument made by them, instead of buying the used bass I got, we discussed a range of possible stain colors. The older instruments were imported in the "white"...in other words, the idea that the color has changed with the U.S. models seems off a bit.

    More like their current color ranges have evolved over time, whether built here or imported...Frankly, Bridge's bass' color looks identical to my instrument's, an older European import.
  18. BPeder


    Oct 30, 2007
    Minnetonka, MN
    It makes my day when Sam posts... especially when he helps dampen down a thread that's heading south as these Upton threads so often do. I think Gary and Eric are watching but staying out of it. They have basses to build. Also, they know these threads can get pretty jagged, and life's too short to pay attention to all but the worst carping on their basses. I know they answer the phone though. They always do when I call.

    One thing I would point out. None of these new Uptons are even close to fully opening up yet so comparisons of anything but looks and craft are probably premature.

    Anyone who has seen any of my posts knows that I, like Bridge, am really digging my USA hybrid. It's a great bass for the money and I'm glad I bought it.

    Cheers, Pete
  19. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I'm pretty sure the OP was simply looking for someone who's done a side-by-side comparison of the European and the American Uptons.

    Anybody have the relevant qualifications?
  20. ctregan


    Jun 25, 2007
    Syracuse N.Y.
    I would be interested in seeing their USA manufacturing process.
    Do they use a CNC to carve out the parts?

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