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NancyJohnson

Quick question on scale lengths...newbie thing.

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I've been playing regular basses for 30+ years and I've been thinking about dipping into the EUB market for a little while - I'm drawn to NS Design basses (WAV or NXT), from a value for money point along and general design aesthetic they tick my boxes and as I'm a kind of in at the deep end type I'd go the whole hog and pull for a five string from the outset.

The primary question here is that if I went with a double bass, I'm looking at a scale length of 40" or thereabouts, the NS OMNI only comes in at 34" (so comparable with a regular bass)...if I went with an Omni, it's not really going to give me much more than playing a fretless bass is it?  Hell, you can play them on a strap.  Size aside, is there any real disadvantage in going with a 40" over a 34"?

 

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Personally, if you want to play DB then buy a DB. It’ll help you to learn the correct fingerings and (with the help of a teacher) avoid you from falling into bad habits.

Personally the NS stuff always feels to close to a guitar than a real DB. I’m sure others may disagree but I’d recommend attempting to fall in love with the big one. Best advice is to find a local music shop that rents them, you’ll be able to get a feel for it, find a teacher and have a crack without spending loads...

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Burns-bass said:

Personally, if you want to play DB then buy a DB. It’ll help you to learn the correct fingerings and (with the help of a teacher) avoid you from falling into bad habits.

Personally the NS stuff always feels to close to a guitar than a real DB. I’m sure others may disagree but I’d recommend attempting to fall in love with the big one. Best advice is to find a local music shop that rents them, you’ll be able to get a feel for it, find a teacher and have a crack without spending loads..

 

I don't have the space for a big one, so the WAV/NXT will suit my need, I think.

This has been a bit of a slow burn; from memory, I've only played a DB three times(!) and none of these were a total disaster; really not worried about bad habits either...sure it would be nice to do a bit of quiet stuff, but I want to experiment a bit too, I keep wondering what it would sound like through my Darkglass...

 

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3 hours ago, NancyJohnson said:

I don't have the space for a big one, so the WAV/NXT will suit my need, I think.

This has been a bit of a slow burn; from memory, I've only played a DB three times(!) and none of these were a total disaster; really not worried about bad habits either...sure it would be nice to do a bit of quiet stuff, but I want to experiment a bit too, I keep wondering what it would sound like through my Darkglass...

 

In my experience it will sound pretty much identical to a fretless bass, which sort of negates the point. I wouldn’t look at the EUB as offering you anything different to an electric really.

Appreciate you don’t have the space and perhaps the NS might actually be a good stepping stone toward a DB. 

Anyway, I’m not helping the conversation here so apologies for derailing.

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6 minutes ago, Burns-bass said:

Anyway, I’m not helping the conversation here so apologies for derailing.

Ack, no worries.  I'm just putting the question out there and appreciate your input. 

The appeal is largely down to the EUB being an extension of the bass as opposed to a new instrument per se; to me, I'm trying to look at it form the perspective of say a migration from four string basses to five string ones and I would state categorically that I have no intention whatsoever of upping the ante and going with a full sized instrument, any more than I would go down to a full sized viola!  It'll just be the EUB.

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Nancy, If you want a decent EUB go for the Stagg, it won't sound anything like a D/B but then the Wav or NXT won't.... but, its cheap and cheerful and will give you an idea of how different D/B is to slab bass. Non of the basses mentioned here sound anywhere near a real D/B (even an el cheapo D/B) I have played all of these and to my way of thinking the Stagg is the best EUB for the money. If you want D/B sound you need a D/B....Simples!

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On 06/05/2019 at 10:22, NancyJohnson said:

.if I went with an Omni, it's not really going to give me much more than playing a fretless bass is it?  Hell, you can play them on a strap.  Size aside, is there any real disadvantage in going with a 40" over a 34"?

I haven't tried an Omni but I think you're right about not being better than a fretless. The NXT or WAV is more of a 'standard' length for 3/4 size upright basses, so if you switched to a different EUB you wouldn't have to relearn the shifts/finger positions. That's why I'd go for the longer neck. 

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Right, I got this totally wrong. I picked up a Wav 4 for a really good price in mint nick. 

The stand is useless. So I swapped that for a really solid Pearl boom cymbal stand which is a huge improvement. The stock tuners are flimsy, but they can be replaced by Hipshots and the standard strings are more like electric bass strings.

Its never going to replicate a DB perfectly but it’s actually a really useful practice aid and, I reckon, with a bit of work could be made to sound great amplified.

I now need a set of used Spirocores to fit and try. Then we’re done.

My initial views were based on using poorly set up and cheapo EUBs. I reckon the Wav 4 is a great set up to start with and I apologise for my slightly condescending first post. That’s not something you hear online too often!

 

 

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Just have to think of the EUB as a third instrument that sits between an electric bass and a double bass; it isn't really either but can be a good thing of itself. 

@owen brought an NS Design EUB to last year's double bass bash and I really enjoyed playing it.  No fiddling with pickups, no feedback issues, choice of magnetic and two kinds of piezo pickups.  Great thing.  I think it was a CR5M, costing £3,300 new though, so I suppose it ought to be good.

@jazzyvee  brought an alembic (magnetic only) one the to the midlands bass bash (see pics on that thread).. also a lovely thing and almost ... just almost .. like a double bass; uncanny alley for bass players.

Given sufficient space and cash, I'd buy one (http://www.basscentre.com/ns-design-double-bass/ns-design-cr5m-upright-double-bass.html.  Might not go down to well at orchestra tho.  

Anyway - to the original question.  The bigger scale ones feel good, you can really dig into the strings and give them some welly producing a great attack and a interesting sustain due to the weight of the strings - an additional hidden advantage being that getting your finger in not quite the right place doesn't affect the tuning too much ;¬).  My double bass is 43", which is a bit big for my tiny hands, but I like the sheer heft of the beast.  Anything bigger than 35" is going to demand you learn 124 (aka simandl) fingering anyway, so I'd go the full 40".

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On 11/05/2019 at 14:06, Burns-bass said:

Right, I got this totally wrong. I picked up a Wav 4 for a really good price in mint nick. 

The stand is useless. So I swapped that for a really solid Pearl boom cymbal stand which is a huge improvement. The stock tuners are flimsy, but they can be replaced by Hipshots and the standard strings are more like electric bass strings.

Its never going to replicate a DB perfectly but it’s actually a really useful practice aid and, I reckon, with a bit of work could be made to sound great amplified.

I now need a set of used Spirocores to fit and try. Then we’re done.

My initial views were based on using poorly set up and cheapo EUBs. I reckon the Wav 4 is a great set up to start with and I apologise for my slightly condescending first post. That’s not something you hear online too often!

 

 

Whack the action up for a more DB experience.

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I was bidding on an NS Design NXT EUB over the weekend.  Just forgot about it and it went for about £20 more than my limit.  Oh, well...

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Having started out into my foray from Bass Guitar to upright with a Stagg. I can say that a Stagg is a good value for money intro into playing 3/4 upright (especially if you pick one up 2nd hand)
So it's good to play as an exercise in learning upright fingering etc. But the NS design uprights are a much better instrument.

I got myself a WAV because I wanted a small, lightweight EUB option, for when I'm playing BG and EUB at a gig.
Straight away, I noted that it sounded just that bit more like an upright than the Stagg did. Mainly I suppose, because the quality of construction, the quality of pickups was just that bit better, and perhaps partly because I had also improved my upright playing since getting that first Stagg?

I now have a higher end model of NS than the WAV - and the pre-amp in that helps improve the tone further still. Along with some experimentation, some EQ'ing and a TC "Body-Rez" pedal, I think it's a little closer to upright sounding again, and further from sounding like a fretless BG. (though it can sound like a fretless too, with some tweaking & EQ)

If you want a cheap foray into upright - try a Stagg, second-hand from the marketplace on here. But my hunch is, that like me, you'll quickly want to upgrade to a better quality instrument, like the NS. Many will say, that if you want an upright bass you should buy an acoustic DB - and to an extent, I'd agree with that. However, with busy family / work / life etc - I found I could mainly only practice upright late at night.... So an EUB is a blessing. Also, an EUB is more portable than an acoustic upright. I'm fortunate enough to have both - but you know what? I'm using the EUB far more than the acoustic DB. Yes, that's a shame - but the EUB is far handier and more portable, silent etc. The NS sounds far superior to that first Stagg - but it's horses for courses, and it's up to you and how much you want to spend

I'd say whether you get a Stagg or NS 2nd hand - you'll pretty much recoup your money if you want to sell it on

Good luck with your search, and let us know what you decide on :)

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I've owned over 20 db's & EUBs 

Right now I'm enjoying the Ibanez UB804 with 34" D'addario black nylon tape wounds.

Does it sound like an upright? I'd say yes, more than the NS CR4 & NXT that I had. Maybe not as close as a Yamaha SLB200, but it it sounds good to me and is fun to play which is all that matters. Too many people listen with their eyes.

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Posted (edited)

Last year, I  bought a second hand Bassix Jazza EUB (40" inch+ scale) to dip a toe into upright bass. Great bit of kit, easier than I  thought to get started but still a stretch. Sounds great, not authentic DB but close enough through an EBS session and sat well in a few jazzy standards however,  a few months ago, I  picked up an old Dean Pace 5 on here that was up for sale at a very affordable price (although I  got seriously punished by Ryanair getting it back to France)  Due to it being a 34" scale it's basically, a fretless that you play on end. I sort of bought it as a bit of fun but, it's  so playable and since, I have not taken my fretless BG to any gigs. I use the Dean. It sounds great. Again, not a real DB sound but certainly useable and really fun to play. Gets quite a few comments too. The included dedicated ball and socket stand is an absolute dream.  Just walk up to it and play.  It's  neither one thing or the other but it's  sufficiently different from a fretless bass to be be very interesting  and fun. I'm still learning on the full scale Bassix and it doesn't  seem to be a problem switching between the two. 

Edited by leschirons

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