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Suggest an EUB: arco, silent, travel ready

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by mheintz, Mar 22, 2006.


  1. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
    I would appreciate suggestions for an EUB that is great for arco, relatively quiet or silent when not amplified, travel ready, and has the same rib and heel placement of a DB. For example, I am very intrigued by the Alter Ego, but I would like suggestions of alternatives (particularly less expensive alternatives). (Thanks to Ray for pointing out the Alter Ego.)

    I'm sure the Eminence and the Azolas are nice instruments, but somehow the extenion which places the instrument in the right position doesn't appeal to me. I prefer the simulated ribs of the Alter Ego. The Merchant bass is also interesting, but it doesn't appear to be quite as travel ready as the others. I'd appreciate any impressions to the contrary.
     
  2. Basso Musico

    Basso Musico

    Mar 10, 2006
    Boston, MA USA
    Former Endorsing Artist: AlterEGO instruments
    Thanks for posting this mheintz - I second your call for info.

    My criteria are slightly different (primarily the shoulder extension), but much of it is the same. There is an Azola that looks good for me (Lightning Bug), but I have yet to play one. I like some things about the Warwick Triumph, but have yet to play one (and some of the members of this community have discouraged me, primarily because of the arco sound).

    This group seems very well-informed, so I'm looking forward to see what comes of this thread.
    Thanks.
     
  3. gvb1

    gvb1

    Jul 10, 2005
    San Anselmo Ca
    The BSX Allegro arcos very nicely with the right strings on it. The long peg is a little weird but most all the time I play it sitting in a chair almost like a Cello. You really become part of the instrument that way and you are also down at the guitar players level.
     
  4. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
    Thanks, gvb1. I'll look more into BSX. My initial impression is that simulated upper bouts, which the Allegro doesn't have, would provide points of reference as well as balance points. Then again, I have never tried the BSX. Do you find that the metal extension sticks in your ribs?
     
  5. gvb1

    gvb1

    Jul 10, 2005
    San Anselmo Ca
    When I referred to the metal extension I was talking about the peg at the bottom of the Bass not the tummy rest. If you need points of reference BSX will put markings on the neck for you.
     
  6. gvb1

    gvb1

    Jul 10, 2005
    San Anselmo Ca
    I'm not a salesperson for BSX but I do like the instrument. I was very impressed when I found out that both Brian Bromberg and Santi Debriano have BSX basses in their arsenal.
     
  7. RadicalDad

    RadicalDad

    Mar 6, 2006
    Portland, OR
    The tummy rest on the Allegro is the simulated upper bout. I have played it standing in a "normal" position, sitting, and now am altering my stance to simulate the Rabbath-style angled endpin on my regular UB. In all cases the tummy rest can be adjusted so that it is comfortable. Haven't had any trouble in that regard. I really like the way it plays too.

    I travel with mine all the time. I put it in a golf bag so I don't have to pay airline overcharges. I also had a bridge bag and neck bag made to speed the packing process. Glad to share how I did this. Works great.
     
  8. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
    Thanks for the response! I'll need to check one of these out.

    To clarify, my impression, which could be utterly mistaken, is that the tummy rest allows the bass to rest away from the body, but would not sit against the body like the upper ribs of accoustic. I guess I'm really asking if the lack of upper ribs makes it too easy to play. Silly I know, but I am looking for something that would feel the same as my acoustic particularly when playing arco, e.g. having to adjust the bass ever so slightly to get around the upper rib when digging into the E string. I'm worried, maybe wrongly so, about developing bad habits. So far I've only tried the NS on a stand. I felt a little disoriented, but maybe the tummy rest would cure that.

    Thoughts?
     
  9. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Hi- I am thoroughly pleased with my Clevinger Opus and I do believe it has all the physical reference points w/ removeable bouts and pin position you are accustomed to. I came straight to this from electric bass guitar so we may have a different perspective here. I really suggest you look into these excellent basses though.
    It folds and travels well, great for arco and fairly quiet when not amplified.
     
  10. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
  11. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
    Thanks emblymouse and damonsmith. Clevinger might be up my ally, but buying new might be out of my price range. I'll keep an eye open. I'm sure that the Ergo is nice, but it doesn't have any of the reference points that I want and I haven't been thrilled with the arco samples.
     
  12. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    The main thing about the ergo is the more you play it like a double bass the more it sounds like one. I wish I had some samples, I can get a really singing sound out of mine.
     
  13. EggyToast

    EggyToast

    Jan 21, 2006
    Baltimore
    yeah, you can tell that the Ergo is made from a single piece of wood, because the tone "ages" like an upright bass. Mine was very bright and almost guitar-ish when I first started with it back in January, but the tone has definitely changed as the strings have gotten aged and the body has been played more. I was surprised, to say the least, but pleasantly so.

    I will agree that if you're looking for reference points that it doesn't have any at all, but most reference points are just pieces of wood or metal that technically could be screwed or glued on to any EUB. Jesse at Ergo carves the neck correctly, so even though you don't have to go into thumb position, you'll know where the body would normally start. You can also use that as a guide to attach something on your own -- or even ask Jesse if he could make something up for you.
     
  14. oaktownthump

    oaktownthump

    Aug 7, 2006
    I've been playing a Merchant vertical for about 3 years, and can't speak about travel I can say it is very comfortable, sitting or standing. The rib extention is wide enough so it feels very stable, and the neck has a heel, some do not. As for the endpin it is conventional with the addition of a small T-bar that stablizes, but is removable, to reveal a spike, Very nice bass, both arco and pizz.
     
  15. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I do have an Ergo solo piece on my myspace page, below. It is live on the radio through a little fender practice amp. It is really out and pretty hyper but some legit arco sounds pop up in the middle and pizz at the very end.
    Because it is on the stand you do not miss the body at all. Since it is standing up all the time I end up practicing more. It is great for late night practice.
     

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