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Setting up 2 different uprights

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by Ed S, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    I just recently decided to order a bass from Upton to replace/complement my 10-yr old Engle. Gotta LONG wait before I get my new bass, but I was wondering what thoughts you might have on setting up 2 different basses.

    Bluegrass is my wheelhouse, but most of the jams and the group I play w/ are more general acoustic - with plenty of oldtime, C&W, Americana, folk... My Engle strung w/ Innovation Rockabillys fits the bill awfully well. I love how it plays, and I regularly get compliments on the sound.

    I'm working on playing more leads, up the neck, occasional slapping, and some bowing, just to be able to add the right touch to whatever I'm playing. I play NO jazz, and no classical other than rudimentary Suzuki-level exercises.

    The Innovations are really a challenge to bow. My initial thought was to replace them - likely w/ Evah weichs. That soon morphed into deciding to buy a hybrid. ;)

    At first, I thought I would set them up similarly, and keep my plywood as a travel/festival beater.
    -Then I thought I'm likely to fall in love w/ my new bass, and could just as well sell the old Engle. (My wife was VERY supportive of my buying a 2d bass, but she was pretty firm that she would not get behind any 3d bass entering the house! ;))
    -But just this morning, I thought I could use the opportunity to set the 2 basses up completely differently, to give me the most flexibility.

    What do you think of that? If you had a new hybrid and a solid plywood, would you set them up similarly so they would be as "interchangeable" as possible? Or would you set them up differently? If the latter, how would you set them up?

    I'm thinking of setting the new bass up as my generalist - a bluegrass thumping cannon that I can occasionally slap and bow. And I could go full-on traditional w/ the plywood, maybe with full guts...

    Just my initial thoughts. I've got NINE months in which to think about it!
    unbrokenchain and Keith Rawlings like this.
  2. If you have the space, why not?
    I love having two distinct DBs!

    ...and like you, I’m lucky my wife “gets it” too.
  3. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    i too love having two uprights.

    when my bass needs a repair or tune-up, i'm not out a DB.

    i love trying out new strings and string combinations on my back-up bass as a testing ground for my main bass. i actually bought some gut E and A strings that I'm going to try out and compare them to my Evahs.
    unbrokenchain and Fretless55 like this.
  4. 210superair


    Sep 10, 2019
    I have two just in case I break one, and it's happened at least twice so far, so two basses is always a good thing. Mine are set up very similarly, other than strings. Both have guts, but different ones, and it's quite noticeable. I don't know innovation rb strings are all about, synthetic? If so a bass with real guts would compliment it nicely. I have gamut red diamonds on one and lezners on the other. I've heard a few people complain about both strings but I really like them both, but the lezners much better. I don't think I'll buy another set of the rd's once they die.

    Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide!
  5. I like the Lezners too. G is whinny under the bow (especially open!), but I think they are a great value. High action is required to get the most out of them on my bass, but that's my preference anyway.
    210superair likes this.
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You think figuring out how to set up two basses is mind-bending? Try three.
    1. One for arco and bowing lessons.
    2. One for thump.
    3. One for gigs where I have to pluck and bow.
    And I love gut strings.
    I've been considering putting the Olivs on #3... but then what do I do with #1?
  7. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Kay and a carved here, the ply is setup with the Spiros pretty high so I can get some thump. The carved has Flex Deluxe solos at a low string height, and man is it butter with the bow... For me it's a gig bass and a house bass since my gigs don't generally call for much arco
    John Chambliss and 210superair like this.
  8. John Chambliss

    John Chambliss Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I have two also - one ply, one carved - one upstairs and one downstairs!
    210superair and unbrokenchain like this.
  9. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    I think 3 basses is about right.
    1. a nice old bass set up for legit, wide open, with arco friendly strings and a low C extension
    2. a good jazz bass with lower action, a pickup, and Spirocores
    3. a plywood, or hybrid, set up with guts for a more trad sound

    You listening, Santa?
  10. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I have a ply and a carved. My carved wears Mitts and an Obligato G, set up for pizz, but also I use the bow in practice. If I had only the ply, it would be set up that way. I will probably put some Preludes on it with a Mitt E, and raise the strings a bit for more thump.

    I'm in a weirder place because I don't get to play a lot of 'grass or folk (I'd love to be part of a folk-ish band), and the carved sounds so much better at everything else that I don't really have a practical use for the ply.
  11. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    I`m testing the waters of having two basses at the moment. The nr 1 is a big carved orchestral bass that is set up with guts and high action and another one is on the other end of the spectrum, a small carved bass with Spiro reds and medium action.
  12. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    My "2nd" upright is actually an EUB, an Azola Scarab. Each have their role.
    Inky13 likes this.
  13. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    I have one ply and one hybrid. I have them both set up as closely as possible alike. I don't really play two radically distinct kinds of music - classic rock and folk cover tunes in bars and private parties, and western swing/bluegrass/folk at festivals and private parties. But, I do play in two environments. I have the full ply 7/8ths for outside-in-all-kinds-of-weater here in southwest Florida. I play the hybrid when inside. The hybrid amplifies a little better. So, my set ups are identical: same strings, same string height, same pickup, same amp, when needed.
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  14. Inky13


    Nov 13, 2016
    Buffalo NY
    Same here. Really want to get another DB that isn’t collapsing into a space/time bending singularity.
  15. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    My thinking is a little different. I have two basses, a Shen 190 Hybrid with Pirastro Perpetuals and an Eminence EUB with Correllis. I found it works best for me to have them both set up in a similar manner so that I don’t have to readjust if using one or the other. I use them for bluegrass/new grass and jazz. Almost always electrified, so not interested in high action/big volume. Medium string height.

    This way I don’t have to readjust to different setups. Now if I was a classical player too (I can only wish) then this might be a different response.
  16. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    May be a benefit to my being as mediocre as I am - would be unclear what faults would be attributable to readjustments as opposed to my general incompetence!
  17. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I only have one double bass... My uBass works as a backup, but it doesn't count regarding setup similarities.

    I do have multiple banjos and multiple mandolins though. I go to great lengths to set the banjos up similarly and the mandolins up similarly so there is as imperceptible a transition as possible from one to the other.
  18. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    Do you mean "something like this"? ;)
    They sound really different, although I try to get the setups very similar... for my ears the instruments characters differ enough...;) I'm checking out different strings to get at least one of them more "bow-friendly"..;)
    unbrokenchain likes this.

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