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kedo

Electric basses

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I am struggling to carry my bass at my advanced age, and am considering a more portable instrument. I'm interested in members thoughts on these. Seems there are two types: hollow bodied (allegro, eminence etc) and sticks: (NS Designs, Aria etc). Do the hollow instruments sound more authentic? I would just as well play my Fender bass than an electric double bass that sounds like a bass guitar. Are there any 'stand out' models. I don't want to spend more than £2,000 but would prefer less. It seems that advice from retailers depends on which models they stock. I'm not sure if I should by a cheaper one for rehearsals and lug the 3/4 to gigs, or go the whole distance and get a decent one and use it on stage. As acoustic basses are hard to amplify, it seems to me that a dedicated, quality electric bass could be superior. Advice from members would be very useful to me.

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I really like my Stagg bass, I've sheilded the cavity and fitted proper strings that cost half as much as the stagg did but its great now, does it sound like a DB? Not so much, does it sound bigger and thumpier than the thumpiest of thumpy electric basses, hell yeah! The audience really like it and it feels and plays fairly similar to the DB, much more than an electric bass thats for sure. Shame your so far away or you could have borrowed mine to try it :)

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[quote name='kedo' timestamp='1419026355' post='2635932']
As acoustic basses are hard to amplify, it seems to me that a dedicated, quality electric bass could be superior. Advice from members would be very useful to me.
[/quote]

I've been playing mainly EUB for a bit over ten years; mine is a BSX 2000, a hollow stick that came before the Allegros. It's its own animal sound-wise and the amplification needs are their own thing. I roll my own electronics, so I'll leave commercial solutions to others. A full range cab with a good tweeter definitely makes me happiest, and I've found that some of my friends' AUB oriented cabs are a little too shy on the low end to get the most out of my BSX, but I do sometimes take it well out of what many would consider to be the usual URB territory. It does have [i]some[/i] of the feel of an AUB, the hollow bodied ones and anything not stand-mounted generally tend to have a bit more of that IMHO. A well defined neck heel or "body join" are pretty helpful for reading IME, it's a drag to have to look at side markers to know here you are.

I've played a few Allegros and always found them pretty workable.The NS basses I've tried just feel wrong to me, somehow they just don't dance with my body gracefully. Plenty of decent sounds there though, and I hear one in the local community big band pretty often. I recently tried an Azola Baby Bass and loved everything except the lowest half octave or so on it. Some of the other Azola models are quite highly regarded around here, no idea how many are in the UK though.

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Thanks Stingray. The Stagg is on my list. Good value. That's the problem - really hard to get a hold of one to try when you live in Scottishland. The Allegro looks good me but I've read some stuff about quality issues. I'm strangely attracted to the big KK Baby bass.

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My Allegro resonates well and although it has a tummy rest, you can still feel it vibrate against your body. I bought it used and the pickup under one of the strings had crapped out, so I installed a regular adjustable bridge with a Fishman Full Circle and it sounds great. It isn't that much lighter than my DB but it's easier to move around and transport.

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Do we have any Stagg players north of the Border?

The BSX and the KK Baby Bass both look great dont they, I have actually got a Piezo on my Stagg and a Mag pickup on my DB these days, I am a proper heathen :D

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EUB's occupy a nice little niche between an electric bass guitar and a double bass, but don't sound anything like a double bass. An electric fretless with tapewounds will do just as well as an EUB to simulate a DB. However, an EUB looks cool and gets good feedback from an audience. There is no real benefit spending loads of money on one as they all sound pretty similar, and experimenting with strings can produce more effective results to move closer to a proper upright sound. Just go for the one you like the look of most.

Edited by zero9

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I have a KK BabyBass and it's pretty good. Obviously easier transporting it than a DB. Very good construction and finish. I can't compare it to a stick type EUB as I haven't used one.
What I can say is a fretless electric cannot make the same sound as a KK, they just are different animals. By the same token it doesn't sound identical to an acoustic DB either, they are different again. Another big advantage of the KK is its very easy to plug and play. It doesn't feedback, ok you could spend some time trying force it to feedback but generally they don't.
Each has its own pros and cons and it's something you have to try and find the best solution to your situation.

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[quote name='zero9' timestamp='1419116720' post='2636844']
EUB's occupy a nice little niche between an electric bass guitar and a double bass, but don't sound anything like a double bass. An electric fretless with tapewounds will do just as well as an EUB to simulate a DB. [/quote]

Not if you play arco.

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[quote name='Passinwind' timestamp='1419126337' post='2636889']


Not if you play arco.
[/quote]

Good point :)

One of the best things about my former NS upright was indeed that you could bow on it.

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I have an Eminence EUB for portability/practicality reasons and with good amplification and EQ it can get somewhere between a stick EUB and DB, certainly much better than fretless-but-bigger sound. I play a fretless the majority of the time anyway, but I can get a more traditional sound and woody tone from the Eminence for songs that require it. As mentioned above, just the aesthetics of playing it adds a lot to the line-up!

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My first double bass was a Stagg EUB
As such, it was a cheap introduction to the wonderful world of double bass (and I'm so glad I bought it, for that reason)

They are much more portable than an acoustic DB
but it didn't sound much like a DB to my ear.....

More recently, I bought myself an Aria - like the one in the picture
It has a small hollow body, and I had hoped this would help it sound more DB-like
Also, it has 2 pickups; a piezzo and a magnetic one,
and independent switching and control of each
[attachment=179105:Aria EUB.jpg]

It is an improvement, sound-wise over the Stagg
but it still doesn't sound quite like a proper DB to me
and I suppose it never quite will, because, as others have said
EUB's aren't the same as DB's

Although many say EUB's sound more like a fretless
I also play a fretless, and I have to say they aren't quite that either
They are in something of a category of their own

I'd like to get the most DB-like sound from my EUB as possible
I'm going to be playing at a few festivals next summer, one of them in Brittany
and I'd really much prefer to be able to take my EUB, for sheer convenience (customs etc etc)

I recently bought a Zoom B3 effects unit, hoping to be able to get a more DB-like sound
and with a bit of messing around with the tone controls on my EUB,
and the fretless sound effects on the Zoom pedal - i got a bit of an improvement,
but it's still not quite what I'd like...

At a bass bash, I recently played bass guitar, through a Roland Midi effects unit some kind BC'er brought along
That sounded superb. But there are 2 drawbacks
1) The Roland unit is expensive
2) You need to use a Roland Midi / pickup unit - and these are made only to fit bass guitars, not EUB's
(they aren't the right shape, size, or curvature)

I've heard some soundclips, and people saying that the Yamaha Silentbass is the best,
and most DB-like sound of them all
From what I've heard, I have to say, it does sound superb
But they are pricey.....

I'm reading this with interest, and would like to hear what others have to say
and if anyone has a patch for the Zoom B3, or any hints & tips on getting a better sound with it
please, please let me know (I must admit, I haven't really got used to using it much.... yet)

I know what you mean about the ageing process, and the condition of your back
My years are advancing too!
If you can get a second-hand Stagg from someone on here
I'd say give it a whirl...

They are easier to lug around, but don't expect too much of a true DB sound
There are a few websites devoted to improving the humble Stagg, should you want to try some modifications
If you decide you don't like the sound, you can always sell it on, and you would get pretty much what you paid for it

Let us know how you get on and what you decide anyway
I'm reading with interest!

Sorry it's a long reply, and there are probably no real answers ;)

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I've recently bought an NS CR5M from someone on here and I have to say it's very versatile. has a mix of Piezo and magnetic pickups so I can dial in a pretty realistic acoustic sound if I need to . also has a knob to alter the tone for either Pizz or arco which is very useful. happy to let you try it out if you want to arrange a room somewhere (I'm just west of edinburgh).

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Thanks for all the useful comments. Jacko, that's a tempting offer. Can you tell me if the cheaper NST bass has the same versatility as the more expensive CR? Do you play it on a stand?

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Sorry but I've no idea about any other EUBs as this is the first I've played. I do play it on a stand and most likely will continue to do so when I start to include it in my set but I have read comments from other upright players that it would work well with the endpin option.

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[quote name='zero9' timestamp='1419116720' post='2636844']
EUB's occupy a nice little niche between an electric bass guitar and a double bass, but don't sound anything like a double bass. An electric fretless with tapewounds will do just as well as an EUB to simulate a DB. However, an EUB looks cool and gets good feedback from an audience. There is no real benefit spending loads of money on one as they all sound pretty similar, and experimenting with strings can produce more effective results to move closer to a proper upright sound. Just go for the one you like the look of most.
[/quote]
I'm sorry but after owning and experimenting with at least 10 different EUB's and as many fretless basses, I have to disagree with all comments except the one about strings.

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[quote name='kedo' timestamp='1419026355' post='2635932']
I am struggling to carry my bass at my advanced age, and am considering a more portable instrument. I'm interested in members thoughts on these. Seems there are two types: hollow bodied (allegro, eminence etc) and sticks: (NS Designs, Aria etc). Do the hollow instruments sound more authentic? I would just as well play my Fender bass than an electric double bass that sounds like a bass guitar. Are there any 'stand out' models. I don't want to spend more than £2,000 but would prefer less. It seems that advice from retailers depends on which models they stock. I'm not sure if I should by a cheaper one for rehearsals and lug the 3/4 to gigs, or go the whole distance and get a decent one and use it on stage. As acoustic basses are hard to amplify, it seems to me that a dedicated, quality electric bass could be superior. Advice from members would be very useful to me.
[/quote]
Kedo, I'd love to share my experiences with you but I'd be typing forever. I you'd like to chat on the phone it might save some wear & tear on my old fingers.

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[quote name='zero9' timestamp='1419116720' post='2636844']
EUB's occupy a nice little niche between an electric bass guitar and a double bass, but don't sound anything like a double bass. An electric fretless with tapewounds will do just as well as an EUB to simulate a DB. However, an EUB looks cool and gets good feedback from an audience. There is no real benefit spending loads of money on one as they all sound pretty similar, and experimenting with strings can produce more effective results to move closer to a proper upright sound. Just go for the one you like the look of most.
[/quote]
[quote name='Mr Bassman' timestamp='1419289381' post='2638509']

I'm sorry but after owning and experimenting with at least 10 different EUB's and as many fretless basses, I have to disagree with all comments except the one about strings.
[/quote]

Totally agree with Keith, EUBs vary hugely, even within manufacturers, my Yammie SLB-100 is a very different beast to the 200, neither sound like a Fretless bass, and I've yet to find s Fretless bass that has the tone and voice of either. I've owned several budget models by Aria, Dean and Stagg and there was perhaps more similarity between these and Fretless basses, but those instruments represent a very small part of the EUB spectrum

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I'm sure that some EUB's sound more 'authentic' than others, to emulate an acoustic double bass. Physics dictate that an EUB designed as an electric instrument it's not going to sound like a acoustic double bass.

EUB's sound differently, just as bass guitars sound differently, otherwise we might as well all play a Fender P.

I'd sooner go for a Kala U Bass to give a closer approximation of an upright tone, but it doesn't cut it in the visual stakes :)

I'd recommend the OP try as many different instruments as possible before deciding.

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I hear you as my back has gone so my upright hasn't left the house for two years now. Been looking at these since I saw Chris Wood playing one with MM&W...

http://www.czech-ease.com

Also, another trad option is the Harley Benton slimline DB:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_slim_line_double_bass_europe_1.htm

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1419432773' post='2639913']
What sort of money are those czech-ease basses? they look really good!
[/quote]

Silly money actually :-/
They've gone up a lot since I first looked a while back. Seems they've caught on then!
http://www.davidgage.com/store/index.php?cPath=26

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[quote name='zero9' timestamp='1419411207' post='2639596']
I'm sure that some EUB's sound more 'authentic' than others, to emulate an acoustic double bass. Physics dictate that an EUB designed as an electric instrument it's not going to sound like a acoustic double bass.

EUB's sound differently, just as bass guitars sound differently, otherwise we might as well all play a Fender P.[/quote]

Yep, and there is really no one definitive authentic upright tone to try to emulate either. I saw Charlie Mingus play unamplified in a small club, I guess that could be my bench mark. Not all of us can get away with telling the audience to sit down and shut up though...

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[quote name='miles'tone' timestamp='1419434998' post='2639944']
Silly money actually :-/
They've gone up a lot since I first looked a while back. Seems they've caught on then!
[url="http://www.davidgage.com/store/index.php?cPath=26"]http://www.davidgage...ex.php?cPath=26[/url]
[/quote]

Can't see theprice for the case, but I imagine that'll be steep too. Lovely basses though. They don't have the awkward look of a lot of alternatives.

Now all I need is an international touring career. Still, I comfort myself that the upside is that in theory I could drive a Maserati without worrying about where to put the bass. I did say in theory :D

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