So I bought a Carlo Robelli

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bobbykokinos, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. I went to Sam Ash and they had a Robelli for 53% off of list.. So I said the heck with it. It was between a cheap upright and an Eminence double bass. I bought it for $625.

    Now, let me preface this by saying all I play is jazz.. If I play classical its only for my own enjoyment. Having played it at SamAsh I thought it had a decent sound and decent play ability for a $625 bass. Its no $15k+ bass but its not as horrible as some of the reviews I have read on here.

    There is only one problem. There is a rattle. I'm thinking its the endpin. If I play the bass on its side without weight on the endpin, there is no rattle. Only rattles while on the bass. Is this an easy fix?

    I'm not looking for an "investment" bass. I'm looking for a bass that I can play some jazz/big band gigs with. Will I be happy with this bass for now until I can afford an upper level bass several years down the road? Will I have any major problems right off the bat?

    My gut feeling is it'll do its job for a couple years and then it would be a great bass to sell to a beginner. This bass was one of the better sounding basses I have played all day and I've tried basses in the $2500-$5000 range. Did I get a "Factory freak" or has their quality just gotten better?
  2. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    I think some of those are freaks. I've tried a couple of those a while back and some really sucked and one that I tired was very nice to play and sounded decent. I would just bring it to a luthier to check it out. It will be worth spending a little money to get it set up.
  3. I'll definantly send it to get setup. It felt really good coming out of samash though.

    I think I definantly got a freak because out of the 4 other Robelli's they had their, this one plainly had a way better sound and feel..

    Hmm.. Maybe I lucked out and got a great bass for a great price.
  4. You never know. I'm always knocking Kay and Englehardt, but i've heard freak one's that are killers!
    My newest student, TBer 5stringDNA, has a brand new Englehardt that's amazing!
    Can you pull your end-pin shaft all the way out of your bass?
    Sometimes, it's just the extra length of the shaft rattling inside the bass. If you cut some of that out......If they mushroomed the shaft, pull the shaft out as far as you can, cut it off, and get the cut-off end out through the F hole.
    Good luck!
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    That's pretty ingenious, actually...wish I'd thought of that two basses ago when I had that rattle that wouldn't go away.
  6. You never cease to amuse. :D
  7. I just saw one in sam ash for 999$ and I was interested in it. I never played double before but with in the next year or by years end I will be plying one and I will need one. How can a beginner tell if it sound like crap or not? Good luck to you Bobby.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    You can't really tell if you are a beginner. Thats why all of us CONSTANTLY tell beginners to get a teacher first!
  9. I've been playing DB for 7 years and majored in double bass performance for 3 years in college.

    Edit: Actually, more than 7 years because I started my last 2 years in high school.

  10. AND?

  11. That's easy for you to say! :crying:
  12. That's pretty expensive for an end-pin shaft!
  13. I think he was implying that since Im supposedly a beginner, I wouldnt know what to shop for. I know what I was shopping for and I also know what my spending limits are also. Out of all of the basses that I played within my range that I was willing to spend, the Robelli was the best option. I was willing to spend $4000. Yes, it is very shocking to me, but the Robelli played the best out of what I played. I'm not trying to say I know everything because I was a music major, but I am saying that I think I have a decent knowledge of DB's and have a decent ear on what to find. For what 'I' needed, the Robelli fit the bill. Again, I couldnt justify spending $10k+ on a bass that I'm just going to put a pickup on.

    On a side note, I played my first gig with it today. I got many complements from the members in the band. They too were shocked by how decent the sound was for the price.

    To me, the Robelli is like the "Essex" of upright basses. Its a bass that you may get a good one but also may get a crappy one. Its a bass that you play to tie you over until you can afford a good investment bass.

    So, despite they negative comments that I have heard about these Robelli's, I feel as if I got a "factory freak" or one that was setup prior to being bought. It works for me and, honestly, thats all I really care about. The only NEGATIVE comments I may get about the Robelli are from other basses players in the audience that will come up and ask "What kind of bass is that?"... I'll reply "A Robelli".. They'll reply "Wow, those are cheap basses, arent they?" Then I'll reply "YUP".. But when it comes down to it, they are in the audience. I'm out playing a gig.

    A cheap, playable, decent sounding URB is better than no URB. Right?
  14. That was the case with my engelhardt. It was no problem while standing because I had the pin extended all the way. If I played while seated, I shortend the pin and had the rattle. I fixed with a single layer of scotch tape around the rattling section of the pin.
  15. My first DB was a Robelli, it sounded pretty good even my teacher was impressed with it soundwise. My problem wasn't so much with the bass, it was Sam Ash. The bass was rental, and had some wear. When I bought I didn't think to inspect it. I was just excited to have a DB and when I brought it home I noticed a crack (repaired) on the neck just under the peg box and then another at the heel of the neck repaired too. Then I fished out a folded paper from the body and found the repair slip inside the bass telling the rental and damage history of the bass. The sales guy didn't even mention this and sold me the bass as new. I know I'm to blame for not inspecting the bass, but I really despise dishonest sales practices. I never liked SA, even when buying BG stuff I avoided that place and went to a mom and pop place.

    I ended up selling the bass and bought a Strunal hybrid which has and continues to carry me through many musical experiences.

    The moral of the story is if you can spend $700.00 to $1,000 on a bass save up a few more bucks and start looking elsewhere.
  16. Young, I'd suggest you take a trip to David Gage, he has Strunal plywoods that are personally chosen by him and set up with a new bridge, tailpeice, end pin, and fingerboard dressing for around $1,800. You'll need a good set up and probally bring your bass to Gage anyway. Give them a call, and tell them your budget and needs they will help you there, SA guys don't know about the basses they sell and will rip you off and tell you anything to put a bass in your hands. David Gage is good people.