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Re: Double Bass circa 2K

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Posted by Tim on February 05, 2002 at 10:14:39:

In Reply to: Double Bass circa 2K posted by Buddy Ellis on February 03, 2002 at 21:59:09:

I own a Shen plywood bass and have been very pleased with it. The quality of construction is excellent and the tone and sustain are outstanding for a plywood bass. The color and finish are quite attractive for a bass in this price range - not nearly as shiny as some other plywood basses I've seen. The ebony fingerboard is a big plus.

I've played the Shen 7/8 solid bass and it is a wonderful instrument to play with a very warm and powerful sound. If I were going to buy a new carved bass, this is the one I would buy.

I have several students who own Christopher basses. The plywood basses are not quite as nice as the Shen plywood basses in terms of tone quality and finish, though they are still among the better plywood basses I have seen and the build quality is excellent. The fingerboards are not as nice as the Shen fingerboards.

The Christopher 3/4 carved basses are really outstanding. The finish (done by Guaneri House in Grand Rapids, MI) is very attractive and they have a wonderful sound.

Don't have any experience with the hybrids by either maker, but I believe both makers are reputable.

I would stay away from Englehardt. The quality is not as good as Christopher or Shen.

If you can't get to a dealer, maybe you can find someone in your area that owns one of these basses, tell them you are looking for a bass, and ask them if you can try theirs. Most players would be happy to help.

: I'm looking for a bass somewhere in the sub 2000 or there about range. I've been perusing Christopher, strunel, Sam Shen, Engelhardt, and others in this price range. I've a few questions.

: 1. Anybody know of any dealers for the Shen basses? I've been unable to locate, and the csc web site doesnt list any dealers (I have submitted a request though)

: 2. In terms of a more classicaly oriented bass that will be used (in order of magnitude) jazz, church/arco, orch pit/show tunes, and some bluegrass, how would you rate these brands?

: 3. If you were buying, what would you buy (don't tell me to play em and buy what I want, I don't live within 1000 miles of a real string shop, so that isn't going to happen -- I'm probably going to have to go on reputation of manufacturer and/or distributor alone, hopefully with some of YOUR help :-)

: I just want some genuine opinions of basses in this price range, especially the Christophers (looking at 200 or maybe 300 hybrid series), shens (150 or 180 hybrids), and strunel (5/20 or 5/35 -- but I dont really like Gamba shape). I've also looked at Bob Gollihur's Bulgerian basses, but they are borderline out of my price point (and I don't really like the shiny/color).

: I'm really leaning toward a christopher 200 series busetto cornered 7/8s but I can't seem to get a good, clear idea of what the finish is like on these. Concord Group's website seems to display them as sort of matte finished, but many photos I've seen on the web otherwise look like that shiny, cheapoid-palintino/cremona looking mess. Has anyone seen one of these in person?

: Thanks,

: Buddy

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