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Thinking About A Chadwick

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Michael Karn, May 11, 2017.


  1. I was wondering if there were any Chadwick owners in the general NJ/NYC area who would be willing to let me check their basses out. I'm on the road all the time now and am really sick of bass du jour, plus I need a new backup bass anyway so I could potentially kill two birds with the one stone. I'm particularly looking to try plywoods because that's most likely what I would get myself. Thanks in advance
     
  2. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    OK, so I don't want to start this over here, but the plywood Chadwicks I played were not in the "great plywood bass" category, but the hybrid is nice. It seems sturdy and plays well. It is only $400 more. It is a great back up bass. Charlie's set ups are really good. My luthier measured my bass and he got it dead on.
     
  3. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    You can check mine out in Ridgefield Park if you like.
     
  4. Thanks Earl, I'm definitely going to take you up on that in the next couple of weeks. Lunch on me!
     
  5. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    If the sound of a $1500 Shen loaded down with 4 pounds of rattling Home Depot looking plastic accessories stuffed into a giant hole in the back of the bass is what you like, then more power to you on the Chadwick. If your goal is a nice bass with a removable neck, you have plenty of other options to explore. In the NY area, I'd look around for one of Arnold & Keirin's New Standard builds with a removable neck, and Upton is only a hour or two away.
     
  6. First of all, to my knowledge Arnold hasn't been involved with the New Standard basses for awhile, and I never heard that Keiran was, if I'm wrong I'm willing to be corrected. And even though your tone is pointlessly smartassed I'll answer you face value. My goal is to have a bass set up to my specifications that I can get on a plane with no overweight or oversize charges. The Chadwick is a proven commodity on that score, at least from everything I've heard from several people who have them. With that said I'm not done researching, and actually playing one is part of that. If the sound, or anything else about it isn't up to my standards then I won't get one. But what I've been told from actual high level professional bass players has been overwhelming positive. And as far as removable neck basses go, I don't know anyone who is consistently getting those on planes with no overages. So, while one of those basses would be aesthetically and tonally superior (especially a New Standard), if I don't have absolute cost certainty then they are fundamentally useless for what I need. Traveling without a bass is unpleasant enough, I don't want to have worry about whether I can afford to travel with my "travel" bass.
     
    RRR, Josh Kneisel, damonsmith and 2 others like this.
  7. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    Just let me know when you are ready Mike. I will message you my number.

    So, while the Chadwick is not overweight, a few years ago the airlines changed the size regulations so now it is technically oversized. Before that I never got charged, in the last couple of years it has been hit and miss, it all depends on how the person at the counter is feeling that day. I have had good luck calling it a cello, and also by checking it outside and giving the guy a $10-20 tip.
     
  8. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    It has parts that move with screws - pretty easy to just tighten them. Mine had a rattle, I tightened it, is fine. You do need to own and be able to use a screw driver to get a good experience from a Chadwick. Part of the idea is to get the least valuable instrument we can stand into the hands of those baggage monkeys. The removable neck and case choices are not in a competitive place yet and they get hit with overage charges more often.
    Classical soloists getting high dollar gigs or (more likely) travel funded by a university really do need a high end bass. For the rest of us, a well set up hybrid with our exact string choice is more than fine.
     
    dkimbrobass likes this.
  9. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Michael, check with Clark Sommers about his removable neck Cleveland that he's been using touring with Kurt Elling.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    Michael Karn and james condino like this.
  10. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    To the OP, Michael, I can't say enough good things about the Chadwick. For what it is, it does an amazingly good job.

    If you're looking for something to take on the road and you're traveling in a van/bus/trailer situation, I think it's a great purchase.

    If you're thinking about fly dates, well, I just sold my Chadwick for that reason. I was doing a ton of travel in 2016. I fly Southwest exclusively, but each time, I was hit with a $75 oversized (not overweight) fee. That's an extra $150 per trip that has to come out of the band leader's pocket or in my case, my own. It's not the end of the world, but Charlie is now renting his basses at a very reasonable rate. He'll ship a bass to wherever you're going, and you ship it back when you're done. For the time, money, hassle of having to get the bass to an airport and through security, I'm going to start taking him up on his rental if I can't obtain something locally for fly dates. Flying commercial isn't going to get any easier, cheaper, or more instrument friendly.

    If I'm traveling by van/bus, my bass goes inside on a bunk, and I take my carved bass even while I owned the Chadwick.
     
  11. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I still don't think there is a cheaper option for bringing a bass, is there? Mine is basically a back up bass and if I get asked to travel the oversize fees will have to be worked into the project. Devin Hoff says never stand it upright and never call it a bass. Keep it longways and call it a cello!
     
  12. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Glad it works for Devin, but I've been there and done that, and the fees are still charged.

    I agree with you, Damon, even with the charges, there's probably not a cheaper way to bring a bass on a fly date. That being said, I'm leaning toward getting my carved bass converted to a removable neck. If I'm going to be charged to bring an instrument, I'd rather bring my favorite one. No disrespect to the Chadwick. It was always a very functional #2.
     
  13. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I used to fly with the String Bass shop coffin in the 90s, every little sound during the flight and even a small turbulence just knotted my gut. It was amazing to have my own fiddle with me but the flying with it was too stressful. The Baggage handlers are not getting any better, either!
     
  14. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    I've just put down a deposit on a Fly Auray. A lot more expensive than a Chadwick but a whole world away in terms of how much better an instrument it is. The owner of the Fly Auray I tried out tells me he has never once been charged oversize fees for it, and does unamplified gigs on it regularly (chamber music and baroque).

    The Guy/Dawson bass is also beautifully made, and a bit cheaper than the Fly Auray, but smaller and quieter (not sure if its still called that actually, these days made by Laurence Dixon)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  15. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    There are a lot of better bass options out there for sure. I've commented before on the double prices for half cases and basses! Chadwicks can't be argued to be more than solidly adequate and the best deal for the the money. I can play unamplified with my hybrid.
    One super important thing about the Chadwick is getting accurate measurements done by a luthier. I had my luthier measure my string length and height and all that and Charlie nailed it.
    I am guessing a Chadwick hybrid set up just like your bass will be better than a Chadwick in the abstract.
    If I ever end up in a more isolated place where I have pursue travel more I made need an upgrade, but I think this is fine for the time being.
    Another plus to any of these travel options as a second bass is that they fit in tiny apartments a lot better than normal bass!
     
  16. Thanks Earl, I'll be back next week, I'll talk to you then

    This is very good to know, and may just end my thoughts about getting one of these. I don't in any way want to have to deal with any hassles, let alone charges, as much as I hate road basses it's just not worth it, at least right now. And if this bass isn't going to avoid hassles and fees then the compromise in instrument quality is totally not worth it. But we'll see, I'm going to contact Christian McBride and see what he has to say and then go from there.
     
    JeffKissell likes this.
  17. Thanks Eric, I will. A funny thing is, I ran into him in London last November, we were at Pizza Express and he was down the street at Ronnie's, and he was using the (very good) Ronnies house bass, so I just assumed he used rentals all the time
     
    Eric Hochberg likes this.
  18. Thanks very much Pat, this is extremely helpful
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  19. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    incidentally made by Laurence Dixon, who I mentioned earlier
     
    Michael Karn likes this.
  20. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Barry Guy seems to not even record or play local shows with his normal size bass: