What are the 3 bass guitars most similar in sound to a double bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cyberprimate, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    my Variax does a real good upright impersonation...
    check out the Red Acoustic
  2. Lincoln


    Nov 3, 2006
    Tapewounds would do the trick, I'm sure of it...

    and I think the design could benefit from some more subtle treatment...
  3. Of course I can play Rob Allenens and Peaveys, but there are finite limits to what any given bass can do.
  4. illmusician

    illmusician Inactive

    Jan 28, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Rob Allen fretless basses
    Turner Renaissance
    Frudua guitars (Italy) Real Bass
    Ashbory bass
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I listened to that and that is as far away from sounding like a real Double Bass that I can imagine - too twangy and over-produced - it sounds compressed and has the typical mid range growl of bass guitars!

    Plus it is played in a way that just wouldn't happen with a DB - it makes me wonder if people have listened to any of the great DB players - like Ray Brown, Paul Chambers etc. ?
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Sorry - this is slightly better - but nothing like DB - you can hear the frets and the sound of position-shifting that you just don't get on DB and it basically sounds like a dull BG - whereas a real DB can sound lively and "in your face" - like Mingus or Scott Le Faro.

    Al you are really doing is disguising the most obvious features of BG - but not actually achieving the basic fundamental tone of a Double Bass in any way!

    No doubt it would fit in with some ensembles that require a more acoustic vibe - but it is a completely different sound when isolated like that.
  7. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    That sounds nothing like an upright bass.
  8. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass.

    Jan 19, 2010
    Providence, RI
    I know a guy whose hands are so amazing he can make his SX P bass sound like a sousaphone.

  9. I don't know if it is close in your ears...but I heard a hs student playing a Godin A-5 and I closed my eyes and could not believe that it was that close...http://www.godinguitars.com/godina4p.htm

  10. Yeah, but do you know anyone who can make a sousaphone sound like an SX?
  11. Scott McC

    Scott McC

    May 13, 2006
    Your Rob Allens don't sound even close.:p
  12. Well....walked into that one. D'oh!
  13. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    This is the case with ANY electric bass. The very best you can hope for is to sound less "electric", not more DB-ish. There is nothing that can mimic the attack/bloom/decay of a DB except for a DB ... even amplified, the basic tonal quality of a DB is quite evident. I regularly play DB and electric and some hybrids ... if I need a DB sound/feel, then I have to use a DB ... :cool:
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree with you 100% and do the same - I own BG,EUB and DB - I have yet to hear a BG that would make me change my mind on this.
  15. dmk

    dmk Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    San Diego, CA
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Once again - listening to that recording it is so far away from DB - not even close! You can hear the sound of the frets, the metallic sound of the strings as they hit the frets and the basic tone is nothing like DB...:eyebrow:

    I think we need a reference tone to compare, as I get the impression some people aren't sure what Double Bass should sound like - here's one of the best exponents around today although this is an old film :

  17. This discussion is a bit like the ones concerning, for example, 'getting that Marcus Miller tone'. Taken very literally, only a similarly spec'd 70's J bass will get you that exact tone. However, there are a million ways to be in that tone universe (i.e., big low end, single coil top end, preamp, bright, new, stainless steel roundwounds).

    If you take this to extreme's, one DB does not sound like another DB. Also, if you are playing in a true bebop or symphonic context, using anything other than a DB would probably not make most listeners happy, nor make the player happy.

    However, it is amazing to me how close a semi hollow body, wooden bridge, piezo loaded (key) instrument with tapewounds like a Rob Allen can get to the DB tone you posted, especially in a mix in a live setting where amplification is required. Having heard so many crappy live DB tones over the years, my feeling is that in many contexts, the Rob Allen type instruments would be superior (i.e., in loud volume, rock 'unplugged' contexts, or even big band swing playing).

    Even the Rob Allen with frets that I have has much of that woody, organic tone, that unique, woody treble attack, and that bit of 'hollow body' bigness down low. With someone who has a good jazz DB concept and technique playing a fretless model, most have been quite surprised at how close you can get, again, for situations where dragging a DB to a gig for one song, etc. would not really be worth it.


    PS I agree that Fender clip has nothing to do with an acoustic tone, much less a DB tone, although it is a good tone that would work in many jazz settings.
  18. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    And who is really trying to bust out solo upright? Also, if you are comparing an upright with a pickup such as the gage or the full circle, the the 'true' DB tone argument loses some ground, and more people are doing that these days in a non-claissical setting.

    Inside the orchestra, I tend to agree. Past that, I've heard a few that have a lot of the nuances that my kay has.
  19. I'd also agree that in a live and amplified context, a RA bass can be a lot easier/simpler to manipulate. An upright player once complimented that my bass sounded much better live than most uprights. Although, a couple weeks later I saw Stanley Clarke and his upright was amplified so perfectly that I certainly couldn't compete with the tone or playing.....
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I have yet to hear a recording/clip of a BG that sounds anything like a DB - but would be interested to hear more if anybody can provide any links..?

    Words are all very well - but the proof of the pudding...? ;)
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