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Novice Double Bass

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Hi, After learning to play electric upright for 6 months I would like to try a double bass. I have posted in the wanted section for a second hand instrument, but wondered if anybody had any experience or recommendations  of the lower priced double basses offered by Thomann or similar?  Many thanks,  Dave

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I haven't tried any from Thomann or similar, but people often seem to buy these and have to spend more on setup and strings. 

I used to have a Stentor 1950, bought second hand, which was great. Good quality instrument, great sound for the price, and light so good for gigging. They have a solid top and laminate back and sides.

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7 minutes ago, basseng said:

Hi, After learning to play electric upright for 6 months I would like to try a double bass. I have posted in the wanted section for a second hand instrument, but wondered if anybody had any experience or recommendations  of the lower priced double basses offered by Thomann or similar?  Many thanks,  Dave

I bought a Gear 4 Music double bass back in 2004 to try DB as a novice.  I thought it was fine and used to argue with some of the "snobs" on here (that I perceived at the time) that were slagging them off and telling you pay for what you get, and to pay more.  It cost me £400 new back then which was double the amount I had paid for any of my guitars up to that point!

However, my boy managed to knock it over when he was a toddler (thankfully he was ok) but it knocked the back panel off and ripped the neck off the body at its glue joint.  After years of trying all manners of glue including Evostick, superglue, horse and rabbit glue, I eventually gave in and gave it to an enthusiastic amateur luthier (he wasn't officially a luthier, but was a master craftsman with woodwind instruments and played DB himself).  He said the neck joint was never really strong enough to hold under tension, so had to strengthen it internally with bolts.  He also gave it a proper setup, and now "Mavis" as I call her, plays much better than she ever did.

However, I was warned by him to be careful with her as he was still worried about the neck joint, so she is not really a gigging bass any more, I tend to use my EUB. 

In summary, I think the "you get what you pay for" guys were not snobs at all and were right, and it is amazing how much better and easier to play your upright will be if you get it professionally set up, regardless of how much you paid for it.  Mine came from the shop "flatpacked" with the bridge off, so my initial attempts at stringing it were hopeless no matter how many Youtube videos I watched - I snapped 2x G strings and you could fly a plane under the strings.  The pros will also know about advising you on how much string gap there should be for your setup - based on how you want to play it (bowed, plucked, slapped etc).
 

Anyway, I hope I haven't put you off trying DB - it really is fun once you have a good instrument!

 

 

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16 minutes ago, petebassist said:

I haven't tried any from Thomann or similar, but people often seem to buy these and have to spend more on setup and strings. 

I used to have a Stentor 1950, bought second hand, which was great. Good quality instrument, great sound for the price, and light so good for gigging. They have a solid top and laminate back and sides.

+1 for the Stentor 1950. I sold a few when I worked in a shop. They crop up second hand from time to time.

Excellent starter bass but good enough to keep you going a fair while. Eminently giggable, as said above.

 

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The one reservation I have with the Stentor 1950 is that the examples I've tried have been rather small proportioned for a 3/4, and personally I'd prefer a little larger. I have always wondered what kind of size the "4/4" version is, but I've never seen one in the flesh.

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16 minutes ago, Beer of the Bass said:

The one reservation I have with the Stentor 1950 is that the examples I've tried have been rather small proportioned for a 3/4, and personally I'd prefer a little larger. I have always wondered what kind of size the "4/4" version is, but I've never seen one in the flesh.

We sold one 4/4 1950 all laminate - the blonde rockabilly model.

Tbh, my own double bass, which I bought from a mate as a 'larger-than-average' 3/4, was larger than the Stentor 4/4!

Mwahahaaa!

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Thanks for all the advice and suggestions guys. From what has been said I think I would be better off looking for a second hand Stentor 1950 or similar rather than a new budget instrument. If anybody did have anything along these lines please feel free to pm me.  Dave

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21 hours ago, Beer of the Bass said:

The one reservation I have with the Stentor 1950 is that the examples I've tried have been rather small proportioned for a 3/4, and personally I'd prefer a little larger. I have always wondered what kind of size the "4/4" version is, but I've never seen one in the flesh.

Agreed, I can't believe how small some 3/4's are. I have a blonde 4/4 (aka The Beast, largely because it tends to scare other musicians and landlords when I walk it into gigs, in fact twice I've had to remove the endpin to get it under a ceiling), and having picked up a 3/4 recently felt like I was playing a 'cello. It's another reason why the O/P has to play an instrument before buying, because like all orchestral string instruments, the dimensions are an important part of playing (if you have a spare week check out the arguments online relating to the optimal size of violins and violas). 

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