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Upton Bass Basses???

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by azflyman, May 1, 2004.

  1. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Greetings all,


    Anyone know about Upton Basses? I am interested in the laminated violin model that goes for $1400. Looks OK but sounds nice on the website www.uptonbass.com Let me know what you all think. They the bass comes with a very nice professional setup (per the site). Anyone have experience with these basses or the shop in general? Any help would be great.

  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    At that price, it is all but certain that Upton is contracting through an overseas maker (perhaps Asian) to provide basses for Upton to label as their own. This is pretty common.

    That being said, it doesn't make them bad basses. You just have to play one and decide what you think.
  3. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Me being in AZ and them being in CT, this will probably not happen. I know no one bass will sound exactly like another but build quality and appearance should be close. Thanks fot the response. :D
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    I have played and heard the Upton laminated model. IMHO it is head and shoulders above most of the laminated models out there in terms of sound and in terms of quality of construction. Based on my own personal experience, you can trust Gary Upton implicitly! At $1400 for this bass I wouldn't give it a second thought!

  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    As I understand, they are from Poland. The quality of construction is rather nice!

  6. http://www.stringemporium.com/more_basses.htm

    Check out the Shen at the bottom of the page. I bought my German Bass from Steve and he`s a good guy. Do a search for Shen here on TalkBass and you will see their not Crap at all. All well, they are in AZ so you might could take a roadtrip.

  7. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I ordered a bass from Gary Upton, www.uptonbass.com It should be sent from CT on Monday (I hope). I hope it arrives Friday so we can have the weekend to become thoroughly acquainted. I have a seven day trial period but I think this bass in a no brainer. This bass is my first double and I am excited and a little frightened. I consider myself only a custodian for my lifetime. If I were to bet, this bass will outlast me by a good while.

    This is a Hawkes copy from what I understand (Ed Friedland, my teacher) so thumb position will be a challenge. He states it has shoulders like Rosy Grier. From what I could hear over the phone with Gary playing the beast it will be a monster.


    I am getting the bass with an adjustable bridge. The climate is very different between CT and AZ.

    I decided on an Upton bass because it is built in Poland in the old traditional style and process. I also get a killer setup, not whatever the factory did or did not do. I don't have to spend another wad of cash to get it to play well. If I really hate it or it is a POS (which I sincerely doubt) I can send it back within 7 days. Gary only had one criticism from a customer, the finish was too thin :D He he he

  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    AZMANIAN - I'm glad you have a bass and I certainly hope you are happy with it.

    But I gotta say, I STILL do not understand this widespread insistence on ordering stuff over the web. Steve Kosica has a BUNCH of basses that you would not have to assess by having somebody play one over the phone to you, you could actually put your hand on it.

    There are lots of basses that sound good. Some are easier to get to that sound than others. The only way to know is to put your hand on the bass.

    If you stick with the instrument, at some point in time you are going to trade up. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE heed the advice that people here who have been doing this awhile have been giving.

    Go someplace with a lot of basses and play as many of them as you can. Decide that way.
  9. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    Although I entirely agree that anyone buying a bass should really go and play it first ... the fact is for various reasons many people opt to buy on line. Some will learn the hard way while others will end up with something they actually like but it's a crap shoot and there's no doubt about that.
    My experience these last few months trying to liquidate a large bass inventory puts me in the odd position, like it or not, of selling any way I can . Musicians have come to the shop when they're within a few hundred miles but many others can't and have in fact bought on line from me and most of these in California for some strange reason. Perhaps it's because of the price they're able to buy at although I've sold inexpensive laminated basses and more pricy Wilfers on line and no one has ever complained about anything. In fact it's been completely the opposite and I bet reputable dealers that have been selling on line for awhile have much the same experience as I do.
    True, I'm not selling a Chinese Ebay "special" which I suspect would not make someone very happy when they unpacked the crate, nevertheless, and speaking from my experience only everyone seems to be quite happy about what they bought and so far I've sold quite a few basses.
    So just from my own personal experience I have to say that when possible by all means go and try that bass you are thinking about buying - but buying on line is not always a negative experience but can be in fact a really good opportunity. In my case it's absolutely a win win and what's so bad about that? Just my two cents.

  10. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Actually I would love to visit the shop in Phoenix but it is 4 hours away. So, lets say I made the trip. I work Monday through Friday 11am to 7pm. I have no way of making this trip before or after work. Saturdays are extremely tight, I usually get one out of four after commitments. The one I get is spent doing something other than driving 8 hours. I am at the point where time is much more important than money.

    I did visit shops in Tucson that had basses and Southwest Strings, probably has 50 basses in stock, three different basses total that I could afford. The only thing they rent is a full wood Korean bass that the top is not really carved it is bent, like some old Gibson guitar tops. It sounded reasonable but I have a extreme dislike for wood putty, get the picture, and only $1,800 on sale! Not much there :(

    When I trade up, and this will happen (playing bass for 28 years is no infatuation, it is love for sure) I will do much more traveling to buy. I have done quite a bit of research on the web and through this forum and others.

    I spoke to Gary Upton several times and believe he is as straight up guy as there is around. If this bass is good Gary probably has a customer for life.

    The next time I get to Phx I will stop in and see the basses available, who knows, I may come home with a new child.

  11. I think you'll be happy with your bass. I bought the hybrid version of your bass, and I'm really happy with it. The all laminated one was nice too though.
  12. I did my research on line, and then went out and played both the Upton laminated bass (made in Poland), and the Shen laminated bass (made in China).

    This required a two stop road trip that lasted an entire (long) day, with my teacher as my passenger. If I remember it was about 4 hours to the first stop.

    I liked the Shen laminated a little better, though after hearing my teacher play, and then trying the Shen hybrid, I bought that instead.

    I did very much like the Upton laminated though, had I not had the extra cash, I would have been quite happy with it.
  13. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I just received an email from Gary Upton. The bass has been set up and is ready to be packed for shipment. :) It will ship via truck freight Monday and with luck I will have it on Friday or sooner. Gary said "it sounds like a gem!!!". I can't wait. :hyper: I emailed my teacher, Ed Friedland, and expect to hear from him tomorrow on setting up some lessons on the URB. This should be a wonderful journey.

  14. bill spangler

    bill spangler

    Mar 4, 2001
    Albany GA
    Please post your impressions ASAP!

    Also, it would be great if Ed would post his comments here or on "Musicplayer" also.
  15. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I received word today the bass shipped. I hope to have it in my hands by Friday, then the work begins. I have not played URB since 1979 :eek: It will be a blast :hyper: