Posted by JTM on January 06, 2001 at 07:46:54:
In Reply to: Re: Strunal and other Eastern European Basses posted by Rich Laird on January 03, 2001 at 16:22:24:
: : 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 www.gollihur.com 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: http://www.bassviolins.com/engleh.htm. 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!
Thanks for your well thought out response. The 1850 price came from David Gage who admittedly adds $1000 to the price of a $900 bass for set up work. Set up includes essentially the same work mentioned on the Bassviolins.com web site you directed me to and that I checked out well. I definetly agree with your advice on getting a teacher. Do you know any good ones in the NY/NJ area (besides Rufus Reid)?
PS: I totally agree with not buying anything Chinese, especially when they make up a name that sounds italian!
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