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Bass - gear thread

AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator
edited July 2010 in Bass Posts: 319
What basses do people play? Strings (Spirochore vs. Obligato)? Bows? Pickups? Amplification?

From what I can see on the net, a good, new, entry-level upright bass clocks in around $1500. A decent bow (mandatory for csardas!), $50. Plus pickup system for another $300. So for under $2000, you could get a good setup, minus any amp. Is that the standard drill?

What are the best low-end solutions for guitarists who just want to moonlight? Renting one is a dead end in my town: no one will do it, citing cost concerns. My local university won't rent me one, either. So I'm giving some thought to buying a fretless neck for my cheapie Yamaha electric bass.

Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Ando
«134

Comments

  • bumkneezbumkneez New
    Posts: 7
    Ando,
    Been about 40 yrs since I've owned an upright.
    The idea of adding a fretless neck to one of your electric basses sounds like a good option to me.
    From what I've read in other groups, with the proper setup a long neck fretless comes pretty close in sound to an upright.
    Good luck with your project. Hope to have a fretless electric myself some day.
    Musically yours, bumkneez
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 264
    I've also been looking for a way to jump into the acoustic bass world without spending an arm and a leg on an upright. There are some acoustic bass guitars that sound okay, but without that huge body, you don't really get that huge sound, and I haven't been impressed by the pickup systems I've heard.

    Have you thought about a guitarron? That's the bass instrument used in mariachi ensembles. It has a big body, so it produces a big sound. Plus, its neck is extremely short, making it more portable than an upright. You can probably find a used one in the $500 range. Of course, you might look a little funny playing jazz on it....

    Here are a couple of other ideas:

    http://www.knotafish.com/kf_gallery.asp
    http://www.jobass.com/

    Or if you suddenly win the lottery and want a very sturdy instrument with an incredible amplification system, try this:

    http://www.kingdoublebass.com/mainmenu.html

    - Rod
  • marcus johnsonmarcus johnson mauiNew
    Posts: 16
    I'm a hardcore double bassist, and I'm bound to die the same, so I can't believe what I'm about to suggest; The Ashbory bass. It's an ultrashort scale bass with big silicone strings. It plays effortlessly, very low tension. I played one when they were first introduced about twenty years ago, and I was pretty shocked....big, organic sound, amazingly "upright-like". Of course, you need to use an amp.

    Now, if you mention this post to my double bass brethren, I'll deny it with my last breath :lol: ...but for someone who doesn't want to commit to the DB and wants a "messin' around" bass, the Ashbory might do nicely. I think they go for about $250.
  • lukejazzlukejazz Natchitoches, Louisiana✭✭✭ Dunn Belleville
    Posts: 22
    Hey I remember those!! Didn't in come in some kind of a tube or something like you would use to keep drawings in? I remember being totally floored at how it sounded so much like a "real" bass.
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    Marcus:

    Interesting! What kind of amp would you recommend for the Ashbory assuming one was playing in an otherwise acoustic environment (a couple guitars and a violin).

    Craig
  • lukejazzlukejazz Natchitoches, Louisiana✭✭✭ Dunn Belleville
    Posts: 22
    found this post about mounting the ashbory on a stand if anyone is interested

    http://www.largesound.com/ashboryarticle/mod/stand/0001/
  • marcus johnsonmarcus johnson mauiNew
    Posts: 16
    Craig, I think you could use anything that you would use with a normal electric bass with good results. I tend towards amps that are sonically transparent and reproduce the double bass' sound without coloration. I currently use a Euphonic Audio iAMP 800 Combo, which is a beast...I love it! That's my main amp. I also play quite often through the Bose L1/B1 system, which is probably the best amplified acoustic sound I've ever gotten.

    I also own an Acoustic Image Contra, which is a little amp designed for double bass, and features a downfiring woofer. It sort of looks like a little dehumidifier or something. Shockingly loud. That might be the ultimate little stealth rig, paired with an Ashbory. Another one I've seen is the Phil Jones "Briefcase", I haven't tried that one yet.
  • trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 124
    For anyone interested in electric or electric-acoustic upright basses, there is a clearinghouse of information about them here:

    http://dvoi.com/proj/eubdb

    It would be cool to have a similar database for Sel-Macs, though probably a bit of overkill to create something this complicated.

    Because of all the variation in electric upright design, technology, and so forth, having such a database is really cool. It'll save searchers a lot of time.

    As for Sel-Macs, the luthier database on Djangostation.com is a nice start for this kind of thing. I'd love for details like first and last production, photos, design details, etc. to be included, but it's probably a lot of effort for a very small audience. Maybe if I ever get my database programming skills together, I'll put something together, like a cross between this bass archive and Jon T.Williams' Favino archive.

    n

    BTW,

    When I saw les Primitifs du futur this summer, they had this "utility player" who switched off between ukulele, musical saw, theremin, and Ashbory bass. I still haven't been able to find an Ashbory in a shop to try one (it hasn't been a real priority for me, but I always look for them in shops when I go). Ashborys were introduced around 1989 by Guild (who licenced the instrument from it's designer). Production didn't last very long, Guild eventually sold to Fender, who decided to reintroduced them four or five years ago I believe. There was a long gap, 10-12 years or so, when they were out of production, but I guess the legend grew...
  • pmh425pmh425 Middle Island, NY✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 86
    I'm a hardcore double bassist, and I'm bound to die the same, so I can't believe what I'm about to suggest; The Ashbory bass. It's an ultrashort scale bass with big silicone strings. It plays effortlessly, very low tension. I played one when they were first introduced about twenty years ago, and I was pretty shocked....big, organic sound, amazingly "upright-like". Of course, you need to use an amp.

    Now, if you mention this post to my double bass brethren, I'll deny it with my last breath :lol: ...but for someone who doesn't want to commit to the DB and wants a "messin' around" bass, the Ashbory might do nicely. I think they go for about $250.

    I had a Ashbory for a number of years and it had a wonderful sound. I recorded with it and a number of people did not believe me when I told them it was not an upright. I gave it to a friend of mine and now am very sorry I did (I am a guitarist mainly).

    -Peter
    -Peter
  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    From the point of view of performance, 2 guitars and a double bass looks really cool. However if you are just thinking of doing some home recordings a double bass can be a real hassle to store around the house, they are kinda big. I used to have one until we had 3 kids and then it had to go :( A bass guitar is a good work around and preferably an acoustic one, the problem here is that 90% of acoustic basses sound rubbish, i've only heard one or two that made a nice distinct bass sound without having to be plugged into an amp, Martin make a nice one and so do Tacoma, i think its called the thunderchief. However i'd try and get one without any internal pickups, you'll have less problems this way. Bear in mind they have less body than a double bass so they sound different, a good acoustic bass guitar has a unique tone, not to everys taste but its still acoustic and sounds much nicer on recordings than a slab bass.
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
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