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Thomann 33 3/4 EUROPE

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Arild, Jan 14, 2012.


  1. I have just bought a Thomann 33 Europe, fully carved bass from Germany. I guess it will arrive in a few days. This is my first double bass.
    Does enyone have any experience with these basses?
    Are the strings that comes with it good enough?
    Should I change The bridge to an adjustable bridge?
    The bass are settup for Jazz. They e-mailed me and asked what settup I wanted, before the bass where shipped.
     
  2. dj5

    dj5

    Sep 17, 2009
    England
    Mikman knows an awful lot about the thomann bass lines.
    I was going to get one of those myself at one time, so I'd be interested to get your impressions when it arrives.
    As to the set-up, I wouldn't hope for too much - I asked for a jazz set-up on the bass I finally bought, and it consisted of a cursory lowering of the G, leaving the D higher than the A, and the nut all over the place. If you can do nut and bridge work youself, you'll be ok, or you might just be lucky. If not, get it set up properly - mine felt unplayable to me when i got it (G at 13mm - for a EB - DB newbie!), but I lowered everything to my liking, and now it's fine.
    Good luck!
    Mark
     
  3. adamb1026

    adamb1026

    Nov 6, 2010
    Belfast
    I got one of these a few weeks ago. Came on its own pallet no less!

    I asked for swing strings. When I eventually got all the wrapping off, I opened the bass to find I had the attach the bridge. Again being a complete newbie to the double bass, I had to investigate how to set it up. Thomann put two pencil marks to where you should place the bridge and underneath it in pen were "G" and "E".

    I didn't do any modifications to it, as I don't know how to, or know anyone locally enough to do so. It looks really nice, but the craftsmanship on the tuning pegs isn't great. But I guess its what you pay for.

    It seems fine to play and I am getting into the swing (I do apologise) of how to play it through some youtube videos, but I will be hopefully taking lessons soon.

    The one rule I kept seeing time again, was that if you can fit a business card under the strings at the top of the neck, you should be fine.

    Good to know someone else is on the same boat! :)


    [EDIT] Actually, whilst trying to play along to a few songs, I have the noticed the bridge could be taking down abit. But again, I don't want to start sanding things down.
     
  4. Thank you for the information guys. Looks like I most certain have to attach the bridge myself. Hope I do it the correct way, so the bass can sound as good as possible.
    Adam: Are the strings okey?
     
  5. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    The Thomann 33 is a robustly constructed instrument. It features a medium grained top plate, fully carved from seasoned tonewood, a little bit thicker than my preferences. The back plate is well constructed but the braces are also thicker than normal. These factors tend to produce a rather nasal arco sound, typical in the moderately priced carved Romanian basses. The pizz sound is decent and the Spirocores mittel are the default strings for this particular instrument for jazz work.
    The bridge is a good one and the Thomann people usually perform a basic set up. The bridge's feet do not need any additional work but the clearance between the strings and the fingerboard has to be addressed according to your preferences. You need also some work to the nut, since it is higher than needed. The tailpiece is OK, the endpin is adequate and the tuners are cheap but decent and work perfectly.
    If you can find a good luthier in your proximity you'll have the maximum of the instrument's potential in your disposal, since only a luthier can address all these issues in a proper way. From the other hand this bass is a challenge for anyone with a solid knowledge in double bass lutherie. Some years ago, when i started my venture as an amateur luthier i spent many hours with a similar instrument. I regraduated the top, thinned the braces, changed the tuners with Rubners, stripped it and revarnished it with a Hammerl oil varnish. Finally i installed an adjustable Teller bridge and i strung it with Evah Pirazzi Weich. The Cinderella transformed to a beautiful princess and the bass became a good instrument with a booming pizzicatto sound. The arco sound lacked the desired volume but it was very sweet, cellolike. I sold it easily and the current owner is more than happy with it, using it for his regular gigs (80% pizz, 20% arco).
    So congrats for your purchase. Be prepared to add some more quid (set up and strings) and the bass will be your partner for many years, a good and trusted work horse.
    Mike
     
  6. Thank you Mike!
    Then I start with the settup, and new Spirocores. Maby I change the tuners later. If I buy new Rubner tuners, are they all the same size? Do they all fit the holes?
    Arild
     
  7. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Yes, starting with a thorough set up is the best idea. IMHO you do not have to change the tuners, they are cheap but adequate. It is much better to invest in a better endpin and in a compensated tailpiece. A Marvin wired tailpiece is also one of my beloved upgrades for this particular bass, since it increases the sustain and eliminates the string tension considerably. Kancas Strings offers a variety of endpins (either from carbon fibre or from wood), which can also enhance the sound of the bass. These are useful upgrades with minor costs. Stay tuned to TBDB and all this treasure of infos will be yours. Here are many friends willing to share infos, knowledge and experience. I'm glad that i am part of this community.
    Mike
     
  8. adamb1026

    adamb1026

    Nov 6, 2010
    Belfast
    My apologises, I went for the 11 3/4. The 33 looks beautiful though!

    The strings seem fine to me, I'm used to playing flats on an electric fretless, if that makes any different mind.
     
  9. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
     
  10. I will of course post a short review when I get the bass. Only problen is that i dont know mutch about double basses:)
    Mike, The description of the Thomann 33 3/4 Europe bass says solid body, fully carved? Can it still be laminated?

    Arild
     
  11. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Yes, the 33 is a fully carved double bass. The 11 series are laminated, the 22 series hybrids and the 33 and 44 series are fully carved basses. I am well aquainted with the 22,33 and 44 instruments but i have no idea about the 11 laminated basses. Either you or your teacher could give us a short review of the bass when it will arrive in your home.
    Mike
     
  12. adamb1026

    adamb1026

    Nov 6, 2010
    Belfast
    Thanks Mike, I will do when I get back to my parents house. Just a bit awkward transported to my mine. :)
     
  13. I got the bass yesterday. I must say it looks really nice. I had to put on the bridge my self, but I think that went well after the second try. (At first it was leaning a bit) It has been in my house for about 15 hours. I have to tune it pretty mutch. It goes flat after a while. I guess thats beacause of the temprature? Its really cold outside in Norway right now, and the bass has been on a truck for many hours. If things goes the way I hope I will have my first lesson on Sunday. The guy that are giving me lessons told me to bring the bass so he can take a good look at it, and try it out. I got a good feeling.;)

    Arild
     
  14. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Congratsulations and you know, as my good friend DRURB says: no pictures, no bass!!!
    Mike
     
  15. My new bass.
     

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    Nam likes this.
  16. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    My god man. That's beautiful.
     
  17. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Nice score! I can't wait for the report on quality & sound.
     
  18. Im still waiting to get a lesson and a pro`s opinion.
    Do any of you have an advivce on bad blisters?;)
     

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  19. dj5

    dj5

    Sep 17, 2009
    England
    Ha Ha - same here! (For the first week or two anyway)
    Make sure you play with the meat of the fingers(s) ie not the tips as you would on an EB, limit yourself to five minutes at a time (someone on here told me the same thing and I thought "FIVE minutes?", but he was right).
    Try not to keep going until you get open holes in the skin, just take it really slowly, and suddenly, you can do it with no ill effects.
    I now get sore fingers if I play my EB's, which shows how much attention they're getting since I got the DB.
    Now, perhaps in two or three years I'll actually be able to play the damn thing!
    Any chance of some pics of the scroll/tuners? Looks really nice by the way.
     
  20. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Do these basses have bevelled fingerboards?

    And if so, does anyone know how expensive it would be to get the bevel taken out of a fingerboard? :)
     

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