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Shen SB 80

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bluegrassboy, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. I am currently considering a couple of basses, including the Upton Hawkes. But, a couple of shops near me have the Shen SB 80. I've heard good things about the SB 100, but in a search of the forum, I couldn't find that much about the 80. Does anyone here own one, or has anyone played one? (I haven't had to chance to visit the shops yet.) What are the major differences between it and the 100? Besides it and the Upton, I'm also considering an Englehardt M-1. Advantages to the Upton and the Shen are the setups that will be included in the purchase. But, I love that old Kay/Englehardt thump, so that's the sound I'm trying to achieve. Thanks in advance...

    Bluegrass boy..
  2. sejarus


    May 8, 2002
    I'm renting an SB 80 right now. I was told there are 4 differences between the SB 80 and SB 100: different style (quality) of end pin, different quality of ebony fingerboard, different style (quality) of tuners, and, and....endpin wire? dang, I forgot what the fourth difference is.

    The bass looks nice, sounds nice, plays nice, but I can't really give you an opinion on how it compares with other basses, because I have nothing to compare it to. I'm a very green newbie--I've now been playing upright for 12 days. My intention is to rent and take lessons for a few months to see if I really have the time and motivation to continue playing. At that point, I'll actually have a basis for comparing basses. So I'm renting a bass with good bloodlines (Shen) from a good luthier who I knew would give it a good setup, and taking lessons from the best teacher I could find--all things I learned from the talkbass forums.

    For that purpose, the bass suits me fine.
  3. efhole


    Nov 26, 2004
    If I were you, I would log on to Brent Norton's website @Nortoncustoms.com and send him an e-mail or give him a call direct. He use to sell both Engle and Shen customs and should be able to give you an accurate comparison between these two basses. I have heard some good reviews about the Shen basses on Rockabillybass.com, but these guys play through a pre-amp which amplies their instruments. The M1 I have has been played many times in my bluegrass group and it really has a nice boomy sound. I have spent quite a bit of money getting it to the point of playing great and sounding awsome.I really love this bass and hate to even consider selling. The only reason I am selling is because I bought a very old American Standard bass that I have coveted for a very long time. Hope this helps. Good luck in your quest.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I think the 100 has real purfling while the 80 is painted.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Painted purfling goes back 100s of years on Basses. I have seen several great Basses & own one oldie with painted Purfling. The English did it in the late 18th century in the great shops. I have seen one Bass attributed to Forster with scratched and painted purfling and another Betts Bass from 1800 with Painted top and back purfling. If they didn't think it was important, they didn't bother with it. This takes 'nothing' away from a great Bass. My Martini and Batchelder are both unpurfled but my Shens are.. What does that mean?.. Not a thing.. Will you pay extra for a Bass with purfling or do you buy by the sound/condition/pedigree of the Bass?

    If you are comparing two great Master Basses, the purfled one might or might not sell for more depending on the sound, etc.
  6. sejarus


    May 8, 2002
    Chasarms said "I think the 100 has real perfling while the 80 is painted." Yup, that's the 4th difference I couldn't remember.
  7. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    The 100 also has a laminated spruce top, plain maple back and sides, where the 80 has plain maple all around.
  8. OK, now the differences are becoming a little more clear. Thanks to all!

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