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Re: Good Chinese Bass vs. Wilfer


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Posted by Barefoot Larry (The Texas Jug Band) on October 13, 2002 at 02:50:45:

In Reply to: Re: Good Chinese Bass vs. Wilfer posted by Eddie on April 23, 2002 at 11:19:21:

:: the "ear" on one tuning peg shaft was a little loose and rattled.
::the best way is to upgrade with better hardware. I might do that.

:I still like the Chinese Bass, but it could be as Reed said that a Wilfer
:is constructed better.

Some luthiers won't even accept some Chinese basses (mostly Cremonas & Palatinos) because every time you try to fix something, you break something else in the process, or you find that they haven't been constructed using hide-glue, which is pretty easy to un-glue with a little heat & steam.
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It's VERY hard to do an A/B comparison on basses, because strings and soundpost position make such large differences in the sound. Set-up can be almost as important as the construction of the bass itself when it comes to sound and playability.

As for Chinese basses, there is Chinese, then there is Chinese... Some Chinese basses are VERY high quality (and priced accordingly), like Shen. Also, some cheap ones are better than other cheap ones.

Personally, I have a "Maestro" Chinese bass. All I REALLY know about it is that it isn't a Cremona, Palatino, or Brownstone, all of which come from the same Crap Factory in China. It has two tuner-plates, rather than four individual tuners, and it sounds very good (after I installed Eurosonic strings). Fit & finish could be better. The tuner plates stick out slightly from the pegbox, showing about 1/32 of an inch of metal exposed with no wood under it.

The finish looks like it was sprayed on, which is probably the case, and it chips off fairly easily. However, I get spontaneous comments all the time, sometimes from other double bass players, about how good it sounds. That's not ALL that counts, but it's pretty close.

It no-doubt has cheap tuning machines (as mentioned, one of my tuning leafs is loose and rattles, but I just picked up a pair of plate-type tuners on Ebay for $50, and those are probably better.

For an upgrade bass, I've just ordered a fully-carved Bulgarian bass from Bob Gollihur (www.gollihur.com) but I'll probably put new machines on the China Bass and keep it as a laminated "beater" bass. It really doesn't sound bad, even though the set-up consisted only of my contouring the bridge-feet a little better, and adding the Eurosonic Sunthetic-Gut strings, which I got from www.uptonbass.com.





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