Travel Bass Options...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Michael Drost, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI

    I might have to do a tour in Germany and would like to travel with my own bass. I am considering the Chadwick folding bass.

    Any hands on opinions of this bass or other worthy full sized travel basses? It will be a jazz/pizz situation.

  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I haven't tried the Chadwick but an experienced teacher friend of mine told me he was unimpressed. I can tell you that I'm happy with my Lemur removable neck carved Tosca model with travel trunk.
    MDrost1 likes this.
  3. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    I would say it really depends on your time frame and budget.

    If you love your current bass you could always just get luthier to covert it into a removable neck bass. There are some great systems out there that don't change the sound of the instrument at all, some argue some removable neck systems are possibly more solid than the traditional glued joint since a lot of them are precision machined. The downside to this is it can cost a lot. the process depending on the luthier can be anywhere from under $1000 to $3500 and then you still need flight case on top of that.

    I have always been unimpressed with chadwick's but I know a lot of folks who use them and some people who it is their main axe. If you are playing plugged in every night then it may do just fine. They serve a purpose and fulfill it well, being a fairly inexpensive instrument that weighs under 50lbs, folds into a small case, and feels like a upright. Some of the ones with a solid top sound decent but there will still be a giant hole in the back of the bass and a lot things inside of it.
    MDrost1 likes this.
  4. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I think it's important to qualify any/all travel basses as being some sort of compromise between functionality and tone.

    There's a pretty solid bell curve between price, functionality, and tone. If you want all three, you're going to shell out some serious cash. My Chadwick did everything it was designed to do, and even totally acoustic, in a mix with a tango quintet, it sounded great. Sometimes the tone we want when nobody else is playing is the same tone that gets completely lost in a band setting. I actually really appreciated the more one-dimensional and less complex tone of the Chadwick for ensemble playing, and it amplifies and travels well, ime.

    Charlie now rents his basses. You could get one for a month to try before you decide to buy.
    JeffKissell and MDrost1 like this.
  5. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    Thanks guys. I have been doing some research. Charlie seems to be a good guy who stands behind his product. I could play an EUB, but don't want to.

    I am convinced at this point that I am going to do the Chadwick. I need something that travels well. My Golia will live at home safely.

    Any advice from Chadwick owners? Strings, upgrades that were worth their weight? Thanks!
  6. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    The bass comes with a good setup, but I live in Canada so I had to go over it with Charlie via email and phone. I took it to Jake and we discussed some further tweaks, which suited me better.

    I'm pretty tall and the CF endpin that came with mine had far too much spring when I tried to use vibrato. I wound up swapping it out and doing the wood drumstick and new harmony ball end. It opened things up, as did Jakes mode matching. (No custom tail piece or anything, just the compromise version using the stock TP).

    Charlie recommends Spiros for a reason, I've never had one let go on me after many tear downs. (If, you like that sound. I kinda go back and forth...) The only synthetics I've tried are Innovation 140B (liked very much and lasted loooooong), and Zyex (loud, sort of middle ground between spiro and the 140, but they always break on me after a few weeks of road work. YMMV.

    Other than that, if you get swings in humidity, the fingerboard attachment sometimes needs seasonal adjustment where I live. Charlie has indicated it's really only a North of the border issue, as far as the feedback has been concerned.
    MDrost1 and Tom Lane like this.
  7. Go for the hybrid, it is worth the extra $400 for sure. Mine has done great on gigs and as a back up, I have no flown with it yet, my friends who have have been impressed.
    Obviously, you can get any bass to have a removable neck, so there is no question you can get a better bass. These are sturdy and more compact than any full 3/4 options. It is also the only fair price in regards to the trunk.
    MDrost1 and Tom Lane like this.
  8. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    Do you guys leave it setup when you are not traveling with it? How does it hold up? Just treat it like a regular bass?
  9. I have done both - it is great to have it in the case most of the time in my small Boston area apt. but it has been good as new every time I have needed it.
    MDrost1 likes this.
  10. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN

    I can't speak from personal experience but I know folks who use their chadwicks as their main bass, basically if they are not flying with it it stays assembled and is treated like a normal bass. It seems to hold up as well as any other bass.
    MDrost1 likes this.
  11. There are two important things: get him accurate measurements of your set up and do not get the plywood. My needs were a portable, less precious version of the set up and string choice of my bass with a carved top.
    Charlie does a great set up, so take advantage of that.
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