Electric Upright Bass

Your weapon of choice
Post Reply
User avatar
BluesBass
Gold Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:34 pm

Electric Upright Bass

Post by BluesBass » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:48 am

Hey Guys,

Does anyone here play or had any experience with an electric upright bass?
Or does anyone know where I could possibly hire one for a couple of months?

I have never played an upright before and wouldn’t mind having a bit of play around on one before deciding if I should try and find some cash for one.
‘Entry level’ or second hand electric upright basses seem to start at a grand at least.

I’ve checked out Pete McGregor’s site, but he only seems to have acoustic uprights for hire and I’d prefer the electric upright for various reasons… space for storage being one of them.
I’ll drop him an email, but does anyone here have any advice or recommendations on where a total novice might be able to check these out?

Cheers
Last edited by BluesBass on Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dan
Moderator
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2006 6:15 pm
Location: Auckland
Contact:

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by Dan » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:53 am

Dr Music in Takapuna had a Stagg Elec Upright for about $1000. Pretty sure its still there (dont think its on display, just ask about it).

User avatar
BluesBass
Gold Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by BluesBass » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:51 am

Dan wrote:Dr Music in Takapuna had a Stagg Elec Upright for about $1000. Pretty sure its still there (dont think its on display, just ask about it).
Thanks Dan.
Music Planet on Queen Street had something similar I seem to recall, but the point is I'd like to much around a bit if possible, before forking out a grand.

ash
Bronze Member
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:52 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ
Contact:

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by ash » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:56 am

Pete McGregor does Steinberger electric upright basses. I'm sure I've seen them on his website and I think someone posted here about buying one from him recently.

I'm tempted to build one, but I know nothing about what a good one feels or sounds like.

User avatar
BluesBass
Gold Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by BluesBass » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:07 am

ash wrote:Pete McGregor does Steinberger electric upright basses. I'm sure I've seen them on his website and I think someone posted here about buying one from him recently.
Thanks Ash.
Yep... but I don't know if he hire's them out.
I don't look like it, but it can't help to ask eh?
ash wrote:I'm tempted to build one, but I know nothing about what a good one feels or sounds like.
Nor do I.... wouldn't have a clue?!

irvinz
Gold Member
Posts: 503
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:01 pm

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by irvinz » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:05 pm

stagg ones are pretty decent. when set up right of course.

im wanting an upright...... not sure if i want an electric one tho... doesnt have the mojo!
ex- Music Planet Queen Street Resident Bass expert wannabe

now residing at vinzmusic.com

GrowlerBox
Bronze Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:24 pm
Location: Wellington

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by GrowlerBox » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:43 pm

This is something of a resurrection, but I'm having a lazy afternoon...

I might be the poster of the thread mentioned above, having bought an NS Design from Pete McGregor last year. There's no comparison with the cheap models (Stagg, Aria, etc). And not only with respect to the price :shock: . Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any for hire. I would encourage you to get in touch with Pete, though, he's extremely helpful.

I play with a trio including acoustic guitars, and can get tones pretty close to an amplified acoustic bass with my setup, at least to my ears and those of an experienced bassist who had a quick play on it just before we went on last night. I will agree that it does not give you the full URB-experience, and you shouldn't get one if that's what you're after -- there is no substitute, I'm afraid.

Where a good EUB scores though, aside from portability, is the flexibility. I can blend between the piezo and magnetic pickups, and the piezos themselves can be adjusted to be more sensitive to horizontal ("arco") or vertical ("pizzicato") vibration. Adjusting these allows for tones lying between the thud and rapid decay of an acoustic to the "mwah" and sustain of a fretless BG. And it plays very nicely with effects.

I don't think it should be viewed as a "transition" instrument between BG and URB, it's a different iteration of the bottom end.
Christopher 401T flatback carved upright bass (Gage Realist Soundclip and Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum Bass or fdeck HPF-Pre)
NS Design CR4M EUB
Markbass F1
TC Electronic RH450
BFM Jack 112 (a la Harley)

martyforrer
Gold Member
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:25 pm
Bands / Groups: Borderline.... country rock
Blues Deluxe... jazz/blues/jump
Cabin Fevre..... Americana
Marty's Juke Joint.... 40s & 50s boogie woogie, rock n roll, jump blues.
Location: Napier.

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by martyforrer » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:27 pm

Growlerbox says it all. I've played upright bass for over twenty years, and back in the mid nineties I built my own EUB. Played it for a year or so before Johnny Fleury waved cash at me and I caved in. A bit later I bought an Aria EUB, but it was a POS compared to the one I made. I think Johnny still has it too. EUB is not a substitute for double bass, never will be. If double bass is what you're aiming for, I've seen them as low as $900 for a used chinese ply one. I've seen a Stagg EUB used for $700. The benfit of an EUB is you can plug into your rig and away you go. A double bass (new or used) will almost certainly need a lot of setting up, plus finding a pickup system that works for the bass and for you.
Bottom line is I think an EUB is a good idea, just dont expect it to sound like a double bass. I'd aim for a used Stagg, the ones I've played seemed like a good start. IMO, avoid Aria and Palatino, I think they're rubbish. If money is not a problem then there are lots of very good ones out there, like the above mentioned NS.

User avatar
model.citizen
Gold Member
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:43 am
MySpace Page: www.myspace.com/elbajotheband
Skype Address: model.citizen
Bands / Groups: el bajo
Location: auckland

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by model.citizen » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:03 pm

i sold my Palatino 3/4 ply URB not that long ago, just too big to cart around for me.

i replaced it with a Zeta Crossover EUB...funny thing, 34" scale like a standard bass so your fingerings stay the same (which is real hard to get used to when you play it on it's spike...can play it on a strap, horizontal, too). a good sound, certainly wouldn't be mistaken for an URB but she's pretty decent to my ears.

'tis fun!
i like rickenbackers. and fridges.

http://www.facebook.com/elbajotheband

User avatar
potatoes
Silver Member
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:40 pm

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by potatoes » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:25 pm

Speaking of johnny fleury... He was telling me about electric uprights today and mentioned his (guess that's your old one Marty??)

I'm looking at one to tinker with for jazz school and general gig versatility - I'm not so keen on the stags because after hearing sound clips I reckon they sound not too different from a fret less bass...

I'm wondering where the best places to look in NZ are. Ideally I think I'm looking to trade my musicman for a used one, or sell the thing and buy a new one. There's a bloody flash one on trademe for about 4 grand at the moment but 2-3k would be my ideal zone...

martyforrer
Gold Member
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:25 pm
Bands / Groups: Borderline.... country rock
Blues Deluxe... jazz/blues/jump
Cabin Fevre..... Americana
Marty's Juke Joint.... 40s & 50s boogie woogie, rock n roll, jump blues.
Location: Napier.

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by martyforrer » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:21 am

I think you're not going to have much luck hiring one. A used Stagg off tard me is about your only option really. They're crap but the best of the crap. Even the NS and other expensive ones are never gonna replicate a double bass completely. They all have that fretless slab vibe. A double bass is about getting the wood vibrating and moving air. I always thought my double bass was quiet, and from where I stand it is, but a couple of weeks ago at an open mic, Paul du Fresne played it unplugged and I was down the back of the room.... and it was THUMPING! I was amazed. Made me realize how much air they move.

PvanB
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by PvanB » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:54 pm

Just starting to compare a few different EUBs. I own a very modified Palatino, which I think sounds ok, but want to see how it stacks up against some others. Tried a new Stagg and found it didn't seem to have enough mass to counteract plucking the strings. Just didn't feel a solid or serious instrument at all! :? Had a brief try on a Warwick Triumph, but it was badly set up and I seem to have been given an inappropriate amp to try it in the shop (KBBs, Christchurch) It distorted at any amount of volume and there was almost no sound on the G string. Tried an NS EU5 in the same amp and it sounded great. Played great too! In fact, an awesome instrument all round, but at $8k, you'd expect that!! :shock:
Still waiting for the Triumph to receive a bit of love from the techs before I have another go. It felt ok, but sounded crap.
Any others recommended to try? Any recommendations on EUB strings too. I have coil pickups in the Palatino, so will have to be steel core at least.
Finally, yes I know an EUB will never sound like a real upright, but as we're playing very untraditional jazz, it definitely suits a an EUB sound. :D

martyforrer
Gold Member
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:25 pm
Bands / Groups: Borderline.... country rock
Blues Deluxe... jazz/blues/jump
Cabin Fevre..... Americana
Marty's Juke Joint.... 40s & 50s boogie woogie, rock n roll, jump blues.
Location: Napier.

Re: Electric Upright Bass

Post by martyforrer » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:11 pm

There's a lovely Eminence on TM at the moment for $2K, a fraction of the cost of a new one. I've heard it, and it sounds great. I'd buy it myself if I hadn't just bought a new amp.

Post Reply