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Upton Hybrid or Bob's Bulgarian?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by David Landreth, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. David Landreth

    David Landreth

    Mar 3, 2005
    Hey guys, I'm just looking for a little advice on a new bass.

    I've been doing some research on basses around the $2500 to $3500 range and I think I've narrowed it down to either a Upton Hybrid or one of Bob Gollihur's Bulgarian basses. A friend has a Bulgarian that he just ordered and is really happy with. I'm going to drive out and see him on Sunday and check it out. I'm looking for any insight you may have on either of these instruments and how they may compare.

    I've got the music stores in town to bring in a variety of isntruments for me to try out but none of them in that price range seem to do anything for me. I'm keeping my ears open for used basses but they don't seem to pop up very often.

    I'm a full time side-man and I've been doubling for the last few years on an inexpensive Chinese bass with a carved top. It was doing fine for live jobs but it really doesn't hold up under the microscope when I've taken it into the studio. I'm mainly using it on jazz gigs and pop gigs and I drag it out for the odd country gig too. I am mainly concerned with getting a solid playing and good sounding instrument. Aesthetic touches (fancy purfling or general sexiness) aren't really that important. I'd appreciate any and all advice. Thanks guys!

  2. Creese


    Mar 27, 2005
    Don't count out the Shen Willow's. It was the best horse in the stable when I recently was in the market. It held it's own when stood up with six other basses of equal and much greater cost.

  3. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    I owned an Upton Hybrid for a year and a half and thought it was the best thing out there for the money, for the first several months. I don't know about Bob's basses, but I would be more inclined to look for a carved bass. There are some nice ones coming out of China for about the price of the Upton. With the price increase, I would look elsewhere.
  4. moopants


    Oct 21, 2006
    Lake Charles, LA
    I went with the upton. I didn't want my first bass to be carved. I don't live near a luthier so getting it repaired and set up is going to be a pain. Just look at your entire situation and all your surroundings, weather conditions, etc. to make your best decision.
  5. I bought an Upton Hybrid cuz I would rather buy a bass in person (I went to the shop)

    They're made in the good ol' USA (which i love for no reason at all)

    And I'm not too sure about a $2300 fully carved, just doesnt seem right to me
  6. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    You got an Upton Hybrid for $2300????????? I thought they were $3700.
  7. Of course not!

    But for $2700 you can grab yourself a standard hybrid, which is the exact same as the deluxe in terms of sound, but the sides of the bass are a not-so-perfect poplar and don't have purfling (useless on laminate anyways)

    I'm saying I was nervous about the fully carved Gollihur is selling for $2375, seems a little too good to be true to me, but I'm sure it's a great bass
  8. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Curious--which ones?
  9. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    I have not played a $3700 Upton, but I have played carved basses under $4k that were better than the Upton Hybrid of a year or two ago. KC Strings, Lemur and others sell some good carved basses coming out of China. I just played one at a late night jam.
  10. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
  11. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    dont forget about set up. i think the upton basses come with a set up. i'm not sure about bob's basses. that's a huge factor i think. basses with a "factory setup" are generally unplayable.
  12. lowEndRick

    lowEndRick Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    I own one of the new upton hybrids. It is a wonderful instrument in my opinion. :bag: I bought it before the price went up and if I were faced with a purchase decision today I might be considering the hybrid standard with poplar sides and back for 2750. Functionally it seems like the same bass. Most of the differences between the deluxe and standard seem cosmetic.

    Having said that, I would strongly suggest, as many others have, that you play the bass you buy before purchase. I am lucky enough to live in close proximity to upton and other shops. I felt very comfortable with my decision once I ordered the upton hybrid.
  13. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    One price range and basses from fully-carved to fully-plywood have been mentioned. Gotta love this place! As I said before in a previous post:

    Do not, however, be fooled. There are entry level carved basses that, from many standpoints, are far less desirable than a quality ply! Think of ply, hybrid, and carved as three overlapping distributions (bell-curves, if you will), with the mean value of "quality" being lowest for the plys, intermediate for the hybrids, and highest for the carved ones.
  14. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    For the styles you mentioned-i don't think you could go wrong w/a Cleveland. I am overly biased as it is my only bass & i have not played any of the basses you originally mentioned. The bass is hearty-i've played it outside in weather ranges from snowing to upper 80's. The sound is great too.
  15. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    ...although neither can be had inside the budget of $2500 to $3500.
  16. David Landreth

    David Landreth

    Mar 3, 2005
    Thanks a lot for all of your advice guys. I'm going to look into the Cleveland basses but I think they might be just a little more than I am looking to spend. I had a chance to try the Bulgarian today and it was really nice. Thanks for the insight everyone!
  17. i have one of the new upton hybrid basses and it is great! I just went to state contest yesterday and i got alot of complements on it. I have played alot of basses in this price range and in my opinion none of them sound as good as my upton although i did play a nice sounding christopher that was about the same price. i ordered my upton in july and was fortunate enough to have them send me one of the first all U.S made ones for the price of the old european made ones. At upton they will make your bass and set it up to your specifications i could not be more happy with mine!
  18. One thing I was told at the shop is that you can trade in your Upton for full/almost full value and put all that towards a fully carved Upton, saving you a bunch later on, if you decide to stay with Upton (Granted you keep your bass in very good condition).

    But I'm not too sure about how/if they apply that to basses they ship :/

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