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Re: Cremona upright bass

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Posted by Dennis Havlena on March 30, 2002 at 09:05:18:

In Reply to: Cremona upright bass posted by David Brown on August 28, 2001 at 22:01:15:

Hello -

I bought a Chinese-made Cremona SB-1 upright bass from an e-bay
company for $499 delivered, and am very well pleased with the
booming sound, nice tone and it's very sturdy construction. Have
experienced no problems whatsoever with the bridge, fingerboard,
endpin, tailpiece or anything else. The action needed some
lowering, but this is quite typical with any new instrument and
it's a very easy proceedure, as long as it's approached slowly,
carefully and with ample forethought (don't let anyone talk you
into believing that you shouldn't attempt adjustments like this
yourself -- there's nothing magical about lowering the bridge,
if just a little common sense is used).

Over the past several decades I have built a large number of
musical instruments -- upon close inspection of this bass, I
find it to be very solidly and properly put together. It should
be around for a long time.

I very much like the Cremona SB-1 upright bass and would
recommend it to anyone.

Dennis Havlena - Straits of Mackinac, northern Michigan
My simple musical instrument-making webpage is at

: Hello Fellow UB Players.

: I am a newcomer to this message board.

: I've been reading all the posts on this particular brand of imported bass on this message board and other upright message boards on the web for the past couple of nights. It is apparent by popular opinion that this particular brand should be avoided.

: What I am interested in knowing is if there have been any changes in the way the manufacturer now assembles these imported basses? Are they any better now than say a year or 6 months ago. Have they made any changes to better the quality of their instrument? Different woods, parts, better or worse? The same?
: Maybe? Maybe not?

: I've never been a big fan of anything from the Chinese maybe execept a good egg roll and a large plate of stir fry. I have seen and played many Chinese made instruments in music stores during the years ranging from guitars, mandolins, fiddles and banjos to the upright basses and never been impressed with any of them. Except for maybe one other Cremona Upright bass a freind of mine has had for about 8 years now.

: But i am asking these questions because i bought a new Cremona 3/4 dark cherry finish, spruce top, maple sides and back, ebonite fingerboard and tailpiece bass this past weekend. At least that's what it's supposed to be made out of.

: I went to a local music store this past weekend in search of a lower priced bass. I wasn't a newbie looking for a beginner bass as i have played upright and electric bass for 18 years now. What i was looking for was for something that fit my budget, sounded good, played rather easy, and looked decent that i could use for occasional bluegrass gigs and to use at church to play along with the pianist.

: I played this bass for a long time in the store because I kept hearing several different buzzes. i hate buzzes and always try to find out what's causing them. After I figured out the set screw in the leg stand was loose i tightend it and that took care of the major buzz but there was still
: a diferent buzz going on. I kept playing it and I finally figured out it was the glass in the store front window that was vibrating when the G and A strings were played in the open position. I was impressed at how easy it played. The projection it had and how well it vibrated for a new bass. The action is superb, maybe even a bit low for me and what i am used to, but it plays fine. Granted it's not like having a 100 year old hand carved or top quality laminated bass in your hands but for the price i paid for this one I dont think i could have found a better sounding bass for the money.

: Now keep in mind I play bluegrass music. I can see why it wouldn't be of any interest to a professional orchestra bass musician. It wouldn't even turn the head of a professional bluegrass bass player more than likely because most would never get past the name and origin of the instrument. It's just like banjos. If it aint American made and world played it's not a banjo. ( I play banjo too). It's the same in the world of bass playing too. Dont get me wrong I know you get what you pay for. I knew this bass was cheap, I could tell the quality was not there as in an American made basses i have owned in the past, but for the life of me I couldn't leave the store without it. It made that big of an impression on me. Acutaly i left the store went and eat lunch and then decided to go back and get it and so I did.
: I played a Kay and Englehart both for several years in various bluegrass bands in my area and i would have never thought about owning a Chinese bass in a 100 years until i found this one. Now it may be the bass that is the exception to the rule or it may not be, but i haven't regretted it one second since i got it home. I know there's gonna be some parts wear out and will need replacing but i also had to go through that with the Kay and Englehart both. The top caved in on my Kay and the neck came out of it 3 times and the Englehart had it's problems too but not as bad as the kay and as far as volume and tone this Cremona has got just as much as the other 2 uprights i used to own had.

: It may fly all to pieces in 6 months or it may stay together for 20 years with no problems. Who knows? If it does praise God and pass the ammunition, or if it doesn't I'll fix it like i did the other 2 i had.
: I am not trying to justify my purchase by trying to build up this brand of bass but at this point and time from what i have seen and heard come out of this one I can't honestly advise someone who is looking
: for a less expensive bass who's just wanting to knock around for fun wihtout spending a small fortune to not at least play one and try it out and make their own decision about it.

: I took this bass to church Sunday night to play instead of using my fretless electric bass. I haven't played an upright in church for about 8 years now after selling my other 2 uprights. I didn't use a mic or anything I just stood there and played right along with the piano. After the song service was over my family members told me they preferred the upright over the electric because they could hear me better. I know upright basses are louder away from them than if your standing right on top of them but I would have never imagined it would have given my fretless electric a run for it's money.

: Any comments welcome.

: Sincerely,
: David Brown

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