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Roma Basses, are they worth the money?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Tyler_W, May 14, 2006.

  1. Tyler_W


    Jun 15, 2005
    Woodbridge, VA
    So... I was searching the web for a decent bass and I came upon this bass:


    It's at a nice price of $750 so I was like "sounds good"

    but.. is at a decent bass for the money? Does it have a good arco/pizz sound? is it balanced? does it have a good feel?

    give me your opinions!!

  2. I got one a coupla weeks ago.
    See my thread:

    IMO, yes its worth the money. A well built plywood bass.
    Ebony fingerboard and tailpiece. Solid construction.
    Sound? We'll see. Right now its about average for a new ply seems to me. Sounds as good to me as a buddys of mine's new Engl ES1 and cost me 1/2 the money.
    Is it what you need? Don't know. Depends on what your gonna do with it.
    I was looking for a tough new ply to bang around and pound out bluegrass on. Think its gonna work for me.
  3. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001

  4. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    So.....where does a guy go to get info on the Roma on that page?
  5. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Sorry...that's not specific to the Roma, but it's got a lot of other info you may find useful. Maybe for future reference?
  6. You can do a talkbass search for Roma, or bassesonline, these basses have been discussed quite a bit here.

    Like I said, I just got one. Ask me anything specific about it and I'll try to answer.

    It seems to be solidly built, sound about same as any new ply in the 900-1500 range. Its not gonna be the same as a nice Upton or Shen ply set up at a good shop probably, but those will run you twice the money. Its definatly not a cheap chinese bass(CCB), although priced like one. That makes it a good deal IMO.

    If you plan on much arco, you probably should go with a well set up hybrid bass from somebody like Upton, Lemur, Lloyd, or a good reputable shop near you, but it'll cost you substantially more.
  7. philly


    Nov 20, 2004
    All I can add is that they ARE NOT cheap chineses basses, but decent ply basses maybe in the englhardt range, give or take. With some additional setup ($200-$400) they might be pretty nice.
    For around $1000-1100 including a good setup they would definitely be a good deal for a bass to get started on and maybe as second bass for beating around, or as whit says, as a bluegrass thumper (no offense meant to you bluegrassers). You figure that an upton ply would be around $1800 nicely set up. The upton is probably a notch or three better, and their service is quite good, so its a close call.
  8. The neck is thicker than engls and kays, but not the 2x4s found on CCBs. A good thing in most folks opinion. I'm used to kays and engls, so I'm adjusting to it, but its not to difficult.

    I had to lower the string notches slightly in the nut, very carefully with a round file. Just a few strokes got the action down to where it plays as good as my old kay. If you do this kind of thing yourself, you better know what your doing, go very slow, and careful. A Business card under the strings will keep you from going to low, and also protect the fingerboard from a wayward file stroke.

    The endpin is a light weight standard design. When all the way in, it rattles on the open E and A. In the 1st notch where I play, its fine. Tuners are standard nickel plated design, nothing fancy, but they work smoothly. Tailpiece hanger is some kind of synthetic rope/poly/monofiliment stuff, a cut above the coat hanger wire on my old kay.

    Fingerboard is acceptable for my purposes. But I don't play much up the neck noty stuff and I keep my strings high. I notice there is a visible scoop in the upper reaches. If you play much up there with lower action, it would prob have to be planed. But I have found no buzzy spots.

    The bridge was well sculpted and fitted well to the top. Not the hardest high grade maple, but still nice work.
  9. arco? I dug my old german fiberglass bow that I've never really used out of the closet, and the mites had only left me about 2 hairs on it. So I drug a fiddle bow across the strings and it went "whooom". That about all I can say about that.
  10. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    No doubt, I did not mean to imply that page don't help out, cause it does!

    Anyways, I did order one of the Romas, my requirements just weren't anywhere near justifying shelling out a bit (that and I decided I was going to still use an EUB). Seemed like the Englehardts were the only viable alternative if I was really looking to save dough, and frankly that is what I decided to do after seeing a Cremona and a Shen and some 'vintage' older laminates in the same day and thinking I probably would not be unhappy with the freakin cremona (today that is, not the day when it fell apart).
    So, I ordered one of these and a bag, shipped, right at a grand. Nothing else out there for that price that is somewhat recommended up here, so it will hit me later this week. As almost a total newbie, I'll let you know if it is for the guy with minimal needs.
  11. bierbass


    Sep 5, 2005
    Knoxville, TN
    I got one 2 years ago for outdoor pops concerts and something to play bluegrass on if I wanted to slap it and not worry. I bought it with the intention of getting something inexpensive then turn around and set up the way I like. So basically get a new bridge and nut. The nut height was too high and the grooves were spaced unevenly. Probably be wise to get a new sound post as well but its not that bad, I still havn't done that myself. I also put a Gotz endpin on it. I do not exagerate when I say that the stock end pin is a piece of crap. The neck on mine is an Eb neck if that makes any difference to you. Generally, I've got no regrets.
  12. The string spacing on mine seems ok.
    Just had to lower the grooves slightly.
    The bridge ht is about where I like it, so I don't need to change it.
    I'll prob go to some lower tension strings after it opens up a bit. But the Helicores work fine if your used to steel.
    Soundpost is fitted well, so I'll leave that alone.
    I'll prob upgrade the endpin to something more substantial at some point, but as long as it don't rattle at my ht setting, just gonna play it.
    I already had a bag, so mine came in at $950 total.
    Already played one gig, and havn't spent a dime on it.
    Don't plan to until I change strings, and thes'll last a couple of years if I decide to keep them.
  13. I bought a Roma hybrid in January. It is a good sounding bass. I had it set up with a new nut, adjustable bridge, replaced the sound post and some work done on the fingerboard. Also, I put Flexocors on it for orchestra use. Still cheaper than most hybrids out the door.
  14. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    FINALLY got around to having this thing set up, played a little bit with the high action, but the fb had a little lumpiness to is, so that had to be dealt with before I could do anything. Mainly just used an eub out, but I think next year the stripped down acoustic bluegrass thing is gonna pick up.

    Anyways, as stated, been playing DB for a year, had the chance to play engles and various Kays from different years, I still really don't know what I am looking op or listening for but this bass has every bit the projection that I was hearing from those kays, and I feel like the sound is better than the two engles I had to deal with. Well, to be honest I like the sound better, but it could be a biased opinion, however this thing plays so nicely now, I am in a new DB that plays awesome for about 1200. I think they are out of the fully laminated, but could only imagine how nice a hybrid fully set up was. (my setup ran 200 bucks for fb work and then action adjustment)
  15. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Good for you.....bon apetit!!
  16. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    The Roma plys are now all gone ... thank you bass community for giving the ply models good homes - (even though for $750 what a bunch of fuss pots some of you are - jes kidding)

    And most of you all know what remains - but not for long which I know makes a few people on here very happy. It'll just be a few more years I promise.

    PM me or email for any further information on this subject.

    Thanks again and have a great holiday season all you low enders and anyone needing a tuba just let me know. I'm in that low end sort of mood ... :)

  17. No, Thank you Steve for the best bass deal around, in spite of all the flack you've taken over the years. My Roma has stood up to over two years of giging and abuse and still looks and sounds great. Actually the sound has improved, or maybe my playing as well ! ! :bassist:
  18. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    Well you're very welcome Frank and the same to the rest of you as well.
    Having now been around many of you at the shop for the last few years, I can tell the difference between the natural inclination to never be completely satisfied and really being unhappy.
    Being a musician myself, I can understand that never ending quest for perfection ... which always finds one feeling almost satisfied but not quite.
    Fair enough.

    I'm just glad you're all (somewhat) happy with the instrument and its serving your needs.

    Have a great holiday everyone and make some great music.
  19. Steve:

    Just want to tell you that the Eberle I got from you in the spring has turned into a darned good sounding instrument.:hyper:
    Some string changing and new sound post along with 6 months of playing pizz have really opened it up.
    Heck of a buy for a good playing bass if anyone who was looking at a Roma wants a slightly more expensive instrument.
  20. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    Thanks, always nice to hear ...

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