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Re: Plywood vs. Carved (Upright Electric Perhaps?)

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Posted by Bob Gollihur on May 08, 2001 at 11:18:28:

In Reply to: Re: Plywood vs. Carved (Upright Electric Perhaps?) posted by Pako on May 08, 2001 at 11:02:07:

: : : Greetings All:

: : : I'm currently playing a American Std. J-bass as I have done for quite some time now, but by Double Bass roots are starting to popup pretty often in my I figured it's time to pick one up again.

: : : Any suggestions on Laminated Bass (Swingmaster) versus Carved? Durability, tone, playability, cost value......

: : : Some details about the bass' uses are to include: bar gigs, studio work, and outdoor festivals. Genres are to include, but not limited to classical and blues rock primairaly.

: : You may want to consider a laminated bass, such as an Engelhardt ( ) due to their more robust nature. While their tone and sustain may not be as high of a quality as a good carved bass, they will be more suitable for playing in outdoor and bar situations, and I know my old Kay sounds better than some carved basses I've played. And I will take my Kay to those environments where I wouldn't want to take my carved bass without fear of damage. However, in the studio you may wish you did have a carved bass -- but then when cracks develop and you have to pay the price of repairs, you may wish you DIDN'T have a carved bass ;-)

: : : Any thoughts or suggestions about upright electrics?

: : There are some good ones out there, Azola and Eminence as two examples of moderately priced EUBs - there are a ton of them on my Double Bass Links Page - - also more utilitarian and don't quite have the visual, aural, and visceral vibe that the real thing has.

: LOL I see....So I need two basses. One for the live gigging abuse and one for studio work as well as two more jobs to pay for repairs on the carved bass. LOL perhaps I should have learned to play spoons. :-) On a serious note, thanks so much for the insight and information. The Engelhardt line looks to be a promising avenue to persue. Is professional setup on the Engelhardt's going to make a big difference? What kind of setup do you tipically do on the Swingmaster when it comes in?

The Swingmasters and other Engelhardts are coming in well set up from the factory - I have been having most sent direct from the factory so my buyers can save the round-trip freight$$ to Jersey - I'd rather see the $$ go towards the bass or local tweaking if necessary. However, they are finding them playable as is, and Engelhardt has switched from those awful Supremes to Labella strings. Unless you have a specialized preference, the basses are fine as delivered. Of course, anybody can suggest a stranded tailgut, maybe a new endpin, etc., but these don't have a terribly significant influence in most cases IMHO. I would, however, look it over to see if there are any tweaks that might enhance the sound, and if the resources are available, some $$ could be thrown at the bass.

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