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Rob Allen Alternatives

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by anyonefortennis, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    I'm really really considering a rob allen at the moment and I'm prettu sure that I'll get one. However I want to make sure I'm not overlooking any other manufacturers.

    Is there anyone else with a similar product? Who else gives you the upright sound and vibe in a smaller/short scale bass?

    Your input is always appreciated as usual.
  2. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I don't know of anyone else building instruments quite like Rob's. I can't find anything not to like with the design & execution, but I do think the thumb rest should be standard equipment.:D I've yet to be lucky enough to play one. One of these days...!

  3. Hmmm, for a short scale fretless in that style it may be the only one. I did a bit of research before I ordered my mouse 30, but did not find anything else I could directly compare it too.

    There are a few that make a semi-hollow design like the Rob Allen MB-2 like the Rick Turner Renaissance, the Godin's. Both those are 34" scale though.

    I just did some google'n and fount this. Veillette's Minotaur, It's a 30" scale with nylon strings, but it looks like it's fretted. Shoot him an email to see if fretless is an option. I know it is on his other basses. I can't speak for Veillentte basses, but I know there are some owner's here on talkbass, so maybe someone can chime in. Try searching for "Veillette"

    Good luck.
  4. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    Sorry about the confussion. When I said Short scale, I meant around 33-35in. (I was looking at at deep 5 actually) Just shorter than 44in full scale upright. :)

    Not really looking in the 30 in scale.
  5. Okay,

    check out the three links above. They all make a semi-hollow bass similar to a Rob Allen in a 34" scale.
  6. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Citron Basses make some acoustic-electrics that look very interesting.

    Status Graphite makes the Electro-3

    Manne has an acoustibass

    The Bassline Worp Acoustic is an interesting headless semihollow

    The Azola Nouveau is another (and there may be other interesting models on the Azola site)

    Kinal makes a nice looking chambered DK-5

    And those are all I can think of off the top of my head. As you might notice I like this type of bass ;) I'm living in the cheaper area (Godin Acoustibass/A4/A5, Carvin AC-40/50, the Tune fretless 4 at Samash and Fender AE Precision/HMT (discontinued))
  7. BloodTypeBlue


    Feb 15, 2006
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    While I think Rob makes the 'best' of these types of basses, I think the 'original' is the Rick Turner model (Rob used to work for/with Rick). Rick has gotten some service and support complaints on the site lately, but his instruments are top notch, and in the same league as Rob's.

    I have not played a Deep 5... they look great but are VERY expensive. The 'standard' MB-2 is wonderful, and A LOT of bass for the price IMO.
  9. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
  10. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    I will say, I looked at pretty much all the other alternatives out there. For a long time I was considering a veillete. I played one at Namm and loved the tone and the people, Martin Keith is amazingly nice. Then I read a bunnybass interview with Rob Allen, met him and visited his shop, and realizes I was more pleased with the aesthetics of his design and his philosiphy of sound so described in the interview. I couldn't be mroe pleased with my Mb-2 and the experience I had ordering it and meeting Rob.

    The new Models on the Veillete page look amazing too, I'm gladto see some new ideas there, especially since they worked out so great!

    Best of luck with your decision. I will say however, if you're looking for an "alternative" to a Rob Allen to acieve the same tone and feel at maybe a lower price or with a different look, that's a bad idea. If you are, however, just checking out all of the options, good luck....I hope you find the right instrument for you.
  11. Giraffe

    Giraffe Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    San Diego, California
    I've got an MB-2 and two fretless five-string Renaissances, and they are all great instruments. Their tone and response is extremely similiar. I've played and owned a few more of each, and they seem to be very consistent, well made instruments that are very similiar. The biggest difference seems to be that there are a lot more of the Renaissance basses in circulation, and as a result there are terrific deals on second hand ones coming up fairly regularly. A second hand Rob Allen is not easy to find, and they tend to trade fairly high when they come available.

    I've played some (but certainly not all) of the basses that the other contributors have brought up, and quite a few that they haven't. I have found that the undersaddle piezos in an acoustic guitar style bridge as used by Rob Allen and Rick Turner provide a much different tone and response than magnetic pickups, and a significantly different tone from piezos mounted in metal bases. In my opinion, the piezos mounted in the metal bases don't approach the woody, DB-like tone available from the Turner/Allen instruments. All piezos are not created equal, and magnetics and piezos are just different animals. The basses with both do provide greater versatility, but if you're interested in the DB/Allen tone, I would focus on Renaissance or Allen. I think you would be very, very happy with either!
  12. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    This brings up a good point. I've heard a lot of people compare the Allen tone to a db tone, saying they are a hair's breadth part. I play upright as well, and While I can cover an uprightlike tone with my technique and touch, it's stillv ery unique. I find the roba llen to sound organic and woody, very warm. It still has an amazing amount of sustain and clarity with punch and depth. But still not exactly upright like. I consider it an organic sounding fretless, not an upright replacement (let's not even get into bowing...I mean tonewise). What do you all think. I'd especially like to hear from people that play upright as well as this type of fretless.
  13. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA
    I have heard this before at Talkbass and wonder were one looks for second hand Turner basses besides eBay.

  14. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I've had a Rob Allen Deep 4 in production since last year (Rob slowed down a lot when he made the move from Santa Barbara to Gardena). I bought it really on reputation, but still to this day have not held a Rob Allen. I have played a Turner Renaissance and didn't like the mandolin frets on it (I think this may be an option, so some of his basses may have full sized frets). It's interesting to see some of the other options mentioned on this thread. All are incredibly rare, it seems.
  15. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005
    My first instrument was cello. My father is a professional upright bass player. I love organic sound from a bass. I of course played years of music in bars with numerous Fender P basses etc.
    I really love the Tacoma basses. I have bought and sold five or six of them and now have just one four string fretted bass. The problem with the Tacoma basses is that they do not amplify evenly and so this rules them out as a consistent performance bass. I have had both four and five string models/fretted and fretless.
    Then I found the Turner basses. IMO, these are the best in producing an acoustic, warm, fretless, growling sound. Are they perfect for this? No way. I went back and forth between the TI acousticore stings, the La Bella balck wound strings, the TI flats. The Acousticores always won out. Yes, there is a loss of the deep tone that the La Bellas can give. But the excellent Mwah and the lyrical clarity is worth it.
    I have tried the Rob Allen basses. They are incredibly superb instruments. Unquestionably high quality and a delight to play. However, they are set up with a more bass heavy amplification focus. I feel that this limits the lyrical expression.
    I highly recommend the Turner basses. These basses provide more versatility with regards to tone.
  16. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    I think many people regard Rob Allen's basses as a more upright like, deep sounding instrument. When I play the head to Goodpie PorkPie Hat on my MB2 I know it is most definitely NOT a one trick pony. I can use my touch, right hand positioning, and left hand pressure to get a very lyrical sweet tone out of the bass. It's actually my favorite tone out of the bass. From the few brief times I've heard Rob play a few Mb2's, I must assume he is aware, as he was playing some beautiful melodic lines.
  17. Hi guys,

    I played a few Andi kristall bass at the Frankfurt messe and they are had great tone and easy to play.

    See them at www.kristallbass.com

    I love the sound of a Rob Allen but I have never played one.

    One of the thing that liked about the kristallbass was that it had a tone control and I need that!

  18. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    is a Rob Allen an upright clone?
    Absolutely not.
    It's a very warm, organic fretless bass guitar, and a fantastic one at that.

    An RA is at the top of my "to buy if I win a million dollars" list. Right next to a house. :D
  19. aesir6


    Apr 5, 2006
    odessa texas
    Whoa! That's sweet.

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