Upton v Christopher?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Demens, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Well, I did a search on Christopher basses (the lower end... like 100 series) and the last post in it was from like 2003. And everyone seemed to be really enjoying them.

    So, I was wondering how they compare to the Upton Plywood basses, like the Hawkes model. I am going to be taking a road trip to Austin to look at some Christophers (the plywood models) and they are about the same price as an Upton, so I was wondering which people think is the better deal.

    (If this thread has been posted already, please direct me to it... I searched and didn't find it)

  2. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    Well, a few searches of the posts should yield useful info. That being said, I personally have never been impressed with the build-quality of the Christophers. On the other hand, I have been very positively impressed with the build-quality of the Uptons. They sound great too! ;)
  3. mpoppitt


    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    If you have the extra couple of hundred dollars, I would go with the Upton.

    I love the way the Superswing looks.
  4. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    My Christopher 303 hybrid is a month shy of two years old and has been great. I got it from David Graham, a luthier in Arlington, TX. (between Dallas and Fort Worth) David is great.


    Play whatever you can get your hands on and use your gut is my advise.

    Happy Hunting . . .
  5. I'm very happy with my Upton. Probably the main reason why I went there is the good rep they have on this forum. We worked together to get exactly the bass I wanted for my budget...and worth every penny.

    gomez :)
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I second the opinions about Upton. I bought a Hawkes and love it. Never played a Christopher, so I can't tell you about them, but Upton rules.
  7. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I haven't gotten the opportunity to play either, but Upton has a cult-level following here at this point, and Christopher supporters seem to be in the minority (they are not bad basses though). This is an open and shut case if you are asking here on TB, you'll get a long list of Upton votes. I'd like to try one myself, as I would like to do away with my engelhardt in the next year or so.
  8. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    I think I am going to just rent from Austin or Dallas... And seeing as how Upton isn't carried anywhere around here, I guess I won't be playing one.

    I will probably do a rent to own kind of deal with a Christopher or some other bass along those lines.
  9. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    Renting for a few months is a great idea. You'll get used to the rental bass and get a better idea of what aspects of its sound and feel that you do and don't like, then be much better prepared to judge any new or used bass that you might purchase.

    You guys in Waco are pretty smart!
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    When I bought a bass, I had no other options but to buy one over the net because the only place around here that has affordable plywood basses carries only CCB's. So after about 2 months of research I went with Upton. Since that time, I've got to try a lot of upright basses out between rentals and a September visit to the Upton shop, and I'm 100% fully convinced that I made the right decision. It's better than even a couple lower end carved basses I've tried, and out of all the plywoods I've tried in its price range, the Upton is by far the best, and the second best was a Shen I tried while at Upton.

    So while I wouldn't disagree that the best way to buy one is to try a lot of them, if you have no other options than to buy off the net sight unseen (or even if you do), Upton is about as close to a sure thing as you can get.
  11. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    I got my Christopher 200 series in August and I've been very pleased. If I had to purchase sight unseen without meeting the person setting up the instrument, I'd be inclined to go with Upton. In your case, the chance to (1) play the bass before buying and (2) deal directly with the person doing the setup would point me toward the Christopher (or better yet, the bass in my price range that sounded and felt best). Remember, regardless of the comparisons of average quality that people make here, you are pitting a randomly selected Upton against the best bass you can find.
  12. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Well, I have had a fully carved Christopher for about two
    years now I think. Brought in for me by a local dealer, then
    had it setup right here in Portland. I have loved it since
    day 1, and it just keeps sounding better as time goes by.

    Its not gonna compete with a Juzek or some vintage
    bass, and I'm not good enough for one yet anyway :)
    But its got great sound for an entry bass, and it keeps
    me in love with playing :)

    I noticed that since I bought mine the price on the fully
    carved has gone up, so if the day comes for me to
    upgrade this one should sell easily enough.

  13. Someone seems to be missing the original point here...the question was low-end Chrisses v. Uptons. Now there are posts about fully carved, much more expensive basses, and how much we all love them...well whoop-de-do. So would I, but let's stick to the point here shall we.

    Why ask a question when all you get is narcissism.

    whew...I hope I don't have to do that again.

    four strings, four fingers...is that evolution or what?
  14. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Thanks for getting us back on track :p
  15. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    the first bass I owned was a hybrid christopher. I sort of sucked back then, so I can't honestly judge it with a full degree of certainty, but I rember it being very...okay
  16. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    "very...okay" like "extra medium"? :D
  17. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
  18. Ken Lloyd

    Ken Lloyd Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Portland, Maine
    Interesting that Upton gets so much good press (which I also agree with in my own experience with them), but I don't see their name in the list of DB merchants on the newbies part of this forum.
    Why's that?

  19. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Heres a brief update...

    After checking finding info on various stores in Austin and Dallas... I am pretty sure I am going to go with Blackerby Violin Shop in Austin. I can rent for $50 a month plus a $55 initial setup fee.

    I called and asked what they rented, and they said they usually have in Christopher or Eastman basses in the $1800 range for rental.

    Here is a link to their shop if anyone wants to check it out: Blackerby Violin Shop

    Has anyone done business with them before? They were very helpful over the phone.

    Thanks for the help
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Has to be an oversight. They advertise here so it would have to be an oversight.