Re: what to look for in a good bass

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Posted by Don on April 17, 2001 at 22:20:02:

In Reply to: what to look for in a good bass posted by rory on April 15, 2001 at 11:49:25:

Here are a few things I look for when buying a bass:

1. A good bass plays evenly in all registers. That means the volume and tone of the instrument doesn't change drastically when you switch from string to string.

2. The sound should be focused and clear not muddy or fuzzy. You should be able to tell what note you're playing, i.e. an Ab should not be confused with a G or an A. There should be a definite difference. A lot of plywood basses have a fuzzy tone quality. You'll hear it, something like a fzzzzzz. If you hear that with a carved bass then a seam is loose and it needs repaired.

3. The sound shouldn't have to be forced out of it. Normal pressure with a bow or pizz should cause the instrument to sound quickly. Some instruments play well on the D and G strings but die on the A or E.

4. The instrument should resonate when you play open strings with a bow. Play a first position A on the G string and see if it is resonant.

I wouldn't buy a Palatino or Cremona bass. I would do everything I could to get a good used carved bass. You'll be glad you did.


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