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tiny uprights?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Toetsi, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. well, i'm considering of changing to an upright, but i think they're too big to carry... i heard something about little uprights. they should look like the classic ones, but smaller ). do you know anything about these ones?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    They're not too bad to carry. The difference between moving a 7/8, 3/4, or 5/8 or 1/2 (what you're talking about), is very slight. Get yourself a Gaines wheel and go.

    I move my 7/8 on the buses and subway all of the time. It gets more complicated when moving the amp at the same time, but it can be done.
  3. You can buy 1/4 size Uprights, and Strunal even makes their all-plywood models as small as 1/8 size.

    As for looking "like classic ones", they are almost identical. It can be very difficult to tell size from photos, unless they are taken with something else in the picture that can be used as a visual size-reference, like a door, or a person.

    I don't know what the dimensions are on a typical eighth-size bass, though you COULD email George Seger (amati_strunal@msn.com) and probably find out in short order how Strunal makes them.

    Normally, basses smaller than 1/2 size are meant for children. The shorter scale-lengths (length of string between bridge & nut) puts the notes closer together on the fingerboard for little hands, and the necks/fingerboards are not as large.

    Also, the kids don't have to hold up and manuever an instrument that's twice as large as they themselves are.

    Some adult men put longer endpins into 1/4 basses, and use them on stage, due to the very portability issue you mention.

    In email that I've passed with such a person, he told me that his 1/4 sounds pretty much like any other size bass, as far as deepness of tone, etc. but just isn't as loud.

    I doubt if that guy ever takes it out of his living room without an amplifier, though I've never heard anything smaller than a 1/2 size, personally, and I MIGHT be surprised.

    4/4 bass is 74 inches tall
    3/4 bass is 72 inches
    1/2 size bass is 68 inches
    1/4 size bass is 65 inches
    1/8 size bass is UTM (Unknown To ME ;))

    A 3/4 bass is typically about 26 inches wide, and I think that a half-size is typically about 24 inches wide.

    There are no hard, fast standards as to what measurements constitute what size of bass, though overall height, and especially length of scale are pretty consistent identifiers of size.

    Body-sizes, as far as width and thickness vary considerably.

    One major factor in how hard a bass is to carry, though, is how well your bass bag is designed, in terms of straps & handles. Most 3/4 basses seem to weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 pounds. They're big, but hollow...

    Also, for about $50 you can get a bass wheel that replaces your endpin while you're transporting.

    www.uptonbass.com sells a bass bag that has small wheels built into it.
  4. There is also at least one company (Knilling, I think) that makes a "slim" upright bass, which has the same dimensions as a 3/4, but with very narrow ribs. This cuts down on the weight and the amount of real estate the thing occupies.
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Caveat emptor -

    The resale market for undersized basses is zilch.
  6. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=16222&item=933773048&rd=1


    Apparently the Birkhamshaw bass sold at www.uptonbass.com also comes in sized down to 1/8.

    I've never heard anything smaller than a 1/2 size bass, but if I didn't plan to play it amplified most of the time, I'd approach a tiny bass with a lot of thought.
  7. Henry


    Sep 26, 2002
    Proprietor of Superior Bassworks
    Fender makes a good one. Not very loud acoustically, though.:D
  8. tiny uprights? isn't that a Zappa song?
  9. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    also, if you like upright. but it's to big for you to carry, and wouldnt mind having a sorta electric sound NS design makes awesome elec upright type things. dont know what the heck to call them.
  10. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I own a 1/2 size bass that I got in a trade. I intended to sell the bass but have kept it, for the time being, since it sounds great amplified and is very easy to play. It is a Karl Reiser carved bass made in Sri Lanka.

    I recently played the little bass at gig in a medium sized venue with a 5 piece band. The leader asked me to turn down so I just shut the amp off. He asked me to turn down again!

    My 1/2 is not as loud as my 3/4 basses but it certainly is a usable instrument. I kick myself for passing up a beautiful Juzak 1/2 about 10 years ago.

  11. Don,

    Have you priced a Prescott church bass lately? Let me know where I can get one for zilch.

    My son started on a 1/4 solid wood bass. It had a sound that put the plywood I was playing to shame. There is a good market for them if you are patient.
  12. I have no idea what the present selling price is for a Prescott church bass, but I do have a little experience with one. My late mentor had one in his shop for about 20 years. He finally gave up trying to sell it, and gave it to the Harry Truman Museum in Independence, MO. It was too big for a cello and because of the cello like neck (handle length), no bass player could play it either. I have to doubt if there are many true Prescott church basses that could be used as small size double basses without extensive modifications. Prescott was self taught and in many cases, didn't follow the classic standards for instrument sizes. Although many of his doublebasses were wonderful, the church basses were another animal all together.

    FWIW - I agree with Don about resale of the smaller size basses. My experience has been that for every person wanting to buy a smaller size bass, 50 or more want a 3/4 or larger.
  13. Hmm, a tiny upright... A violin! :)

  14. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    Violin has completely different tuning.
  15. I am an electric bass player so don't quote me on this, but can't violins be tuned differently if you want?
  16. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    of course they can be tuned differently, but tuning a violin (fifths - lowest note g) to something resembling a bass tuning (fourths - lowest note e) is going to throw off the string tension a great deal.

    i admit, though, that every time i pick up a violin (now and again) i set about playing it in a jazz bass style. :) gotta go with what you know...

    sean p
  17. I was just screwing around, but technically, they both have the same strings- EADG--just not the same direction.
  18. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I knew that you knew that. Play it upside down.:D
  19. Or better yet... Left Handed!
  20. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Let's not get into that again!

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