Re: Strunal and other Eastern European Basses

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Posted by Rich Laird on January 03, 2001 at 16:22:24:

In Reply to: Strunal and other Eastern European Basses posted by JTM on January 03, 2001 at 15:07:19:

: I'm just getting started shopping for my first upright acoustic bass. I've been playing electric bass for some time and don't know alot about acoustics. so far I have been directed to laminated basses for ease in maintainance as well as lower cost. I have been told of Strunal Basses, particularly the model 50/1 and 50/4. so far, I have gotten two prices on the 50/4 $954 and $1850. Does any body have any experience with this bass or can anyone recommend any other good entry level basses.

: Cheers

I don't really know anything about Strunal basses specifically. But I would definitely agree that getting a laminated bass to get started with is a good idea.

Personally, I don't think there's a world of difference between the different laminated basses out there. If I were you, I would be looking for a used bass that is in good shape and is in a good state of adjustment - good strings, good well-adjusted, straight bridge, well-dressed fingerboard, soundpost in the right place and stuff like that. You'll need a decent bow, too - so you can hear your intonation.

There's usually some decent laminated basses on ebay. The important thing is to get something that is correctly set-up. Either that, or pay less money and have a good luthier in your area do the set-up for you. Check for a luthier in your area and ask people who have done business with them to see about their reputation.

I'm sort of guessing here because you didn't say anything about who quoted you prices on the Strunals. But these days, when your paying around a thousand bucks for a new bass it usually has not been set up. $1,850 sounds more like it for something that's really playable.

Another interesting web page to look at is: That's a luthier on the West Coast named Hammond Ashley. On that web page, they've enumerated all the things that they do when they get a new laminated bass (in this case an Englehardt) ready for a customer. That might give you an idea of what your looking at as far as set-up work is concerned.

One thing you probably want to stay away from is some non-laminated basses that are being imported from China these days - under names like Palatino and Cremona. I haven't actually seen any of these yet, but I've heard just too darn many horror stories about these instruments splitting and cracking (they're non-laminated and the wood probably is not appropriatly seasoned for this climate.)

Another suggestion I would make is that you get a teacher. I always found that the upright is a lot less intuitive than bass guitar. Even though you may play the electric very well, a good teacher can help you avoid a lot of bad habits as you begin developing your upright technique. You'll see from some of the other postings on this site that this is not a toally popular idea with lots of folks. But - as one person who's kind of "been around the block" a little - I woudn't hesitate to assert that a good teacher is really important.

Also, a teacher should be able to help you find an instrument that's worth the money and help you get it set up.

So, welcome to the "doghouse" and take it slow!


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