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PALATINO - ALL improvements possible please

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by uprightman, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Just bought a Palatino EUB. Please tell me all the recommended upgrades and improvements that should be made to it. Thanks....Uprightman
  2. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    I was looking at these too... I really want an upright to play around on, and they look pretty good for pretty cheap.

    Can you play them with a bow? Are they full scale or 3/4 inch? Can you play the whole neck easily like you would be able to on an NS EUB? Are they worth buying?
  3. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    You might have a bit more luck with this in the upright basses area of the forum.
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Yup. Moved to the plugged-in Dark Side.
  5. I have had my Palatino for 2 weeks so far and the only chances I have felt compelled to make was new strings and respace the bridge.
    It has made a great difference since I put on D'Adderio Hybrids strings and I alway play it through a K&K pre amp. It sounds really great now really acoustic. So far and you must understand I am a rooky with electric instruments ( Acoustics for 30 years) I am very pleased with this instrument. It sounds great either bowed one finger style.
    A couple of things I have learned to do so far is to turn the amp up and the bass controls down. Control everything throught the pre amp. I think it has had a bad wrap so far it is much better than the credit given.
  6. Hi Uprightman,

    I hadn't looked at this thread before I posted a reply at another. If it is improvement in sound quality you are after then you might like to look at what I did for a 20cent outlay and couldn't be happier. Just look for a Thread titled " How about a Palatino Club"......LUKE
  7. Tørd


    Feb 18, 2006
    Hey guys. I bought a Palatino from Instrumentpro.com (the $659/no shipping charge people) in September, and I took it out on a ship gig for 3 months (AIRLINES BE DAMNED!). I didn't want a Palatino, and have universally despised every EUB I've tried since Merchant came out with the Vertical in 1980-whatever. The Palatino was unfortunately the most practical solution I could find ($659 vs. $3K for a flight case or paying David Gage or Kolstein $100 a week to rent one) -- I have a good carved bass and made the mistake of taking it on a boat before -- practically had to blowdry it before the gig every night..

    Anyway, about the bass.. Instrumentpro.com might require another posting entirely, but here's how my order went down:

    I ordered the thing over the phone (as they couldn't really get that nutty 'purchase something over the internet via credit card' thing together) in the end of September. I dealt (repeatedly) with "Daniel" (the official rep listed in all the ebay ads, etc.). Nice guy.., but it was pretty much a disaster. I was promised the thing in 5 business days. After 2 weeks I was informed that A.) the basses were back-ordered (I needed mine by mid-October), and B.) they had initially forgotten to process my order (yes -- the phone order, even after the credit card mess), so I got a little irked (okay, A LOT irked) and told them to forget it -- cancel my order, etc.

    After another week, I got a call from some other guy who informed me that they had also FORGOTTEN TO CANCEL MY ORDER, so the thing was on its way (from some mysterious warehouse in Tennessee). Some knucklehead also added an arbitrary $100 fee to the transaction, but a little chat with the credit card company got them to (*ahem*) remove it..

    The bass finally appeared 2 days before I left town, and I was flipping out. My trusty UPS brute dumped the bass in my driveway ('Fragile' -- must be Italian or something..), and after reading some of the postings here, I've gotta say I was SHOCKED to find it wasn't broken. So.., at least I got the bass, right?

    I put it together (the bridge is actually fine, and it's cut like a real bass bridge -- not like the NS one or that Dean atrocity that kind of feels like you're picking up your Fender and putting it on a stick..).

    It claims to have a chamber of some type, but it seems like it's primarily there for sticking that Godawful metal thing (that's supposed to duplicate the 'feel' of a real bass -- yeah, right -- my bass feels exactly like being poked in the chest with a tent stake). I think the body is just a slab of heavily laminated playwood, but the neck is solid and of a decent scale & thickness.

    I defy anyone to play anything in thumb position with that aforementioned metal thing stuck in your belt or jabbing you in the lower abdomen. The endpin is also a total mess -- it vibrates like a kazoo when you hit an open E or G. The bridge is wrought iron (more vibrating -- stick a towel down there or something..), and the supplied strings are wretched (like flat wound guitar strings..). I have no idea what they were -- not so much as a lowly set of Weichs on it or whatever.

    I had an extra set of already broken-in Pirastro Obligatos around, so I put them on immediately and also raised the action up about half an inch. This helped immensely, as it kind of started to feel like a bass. The fingerboard has a number of 'speedbumps' on it, but I didn't have time to get them taken care of before I left, so high action it was..

    I'm generally not one for taking power tools to instruments, but I knew that endpin had to go, and forget about that stupid bar attachment thingie. Removing all that stuff took about 38 seconds, and obviously somebody's already considered this, as the bass has little rubber stoppers on the bottom of it.

    Tyrone Brown plays an NS and sits down to do so -- like a 'cellist. I'm not one of those 'sit on a stool' guys, so this was the biggest adjustment I had to make. I ended up sitting in a regular chair and learning to balance the bass between my feet (I play pretty hard and move around a lot). This worked very well, and after a night or too felt relatively normal (Thanks, Tyrone!).

    I had to mess with the pickup a little too -- initially the G and D were louder than the A and E, but after I took it apart and put it back together again a few times (the bass, not the pickup), this stopped. I was considering sticking an old Fishman on there if/when I have to play the bass in public again (ie; in the middle of the ocean), but I'm not sure it'll fit between the strings.

    I was stuck using an old GK on the gig (yep -- the ubiquitous 1991 space heater model) and for some odd reason the bass sounded better through that than through my Acoustic Image (Contra). It really doesn't sound bad at all, but watch that tone control knob (I kept mine off and EQ'd from the amp) unless you wanna sound like you're on a late seventies/early eighties recording with a direct box (I sure don't..).

    I ended up playing the Palatino on about 85 4-hour jazz gigs, and I got my money's worth. I had no maintenance issues (ok -- the tone knob fell off, but I didn't need it anyway), it stayed in tune almost 100% of the time, and it sounded good. I only had to change the battery twice as well (trust me -- you'll know when it needs replacing.., BZZZZZZZZZZ!!)..

    It may spend a lot of time in my closet (next to the Fender), but all complaints aside, I'm really happy to have it.

    Oh yeah.., it fits in the flight attendants' wardrobe closet on a 737 and (even better) into the overhead compartment on a DC-10. I don't know about other planes yet, but I'll find out..