Re: Buying an upright

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Posted by Ed on January 03, 19100 at 13:52:07:

In Reply to: Re: Buying an upright posted by Ed on January 03, 19100 at 13:46:34:

: : Just my thoughts and findings.
: : After searching for two years and seeing and playing many basses, I have bought a 3/4 Chinese bass , Maple sides and back but a laminated spruce top. I had been subjected to numerus lectures and prejudices about these instruments( no luthier history, made in china must be cheap) but I really love this bass and it has a loud rich growling tone. I was willing to spend up to $15,000.00 and saw several in this range. I looked at fifteenth century french flatback 5 strings and 100 year old German and Italian ones. When I decided to buy with my ears and not a pedigree, I really loved a shop made carved Chinese bass for $3800.00, I even saw it with a dozen others at a bass bash at the Symphony hall, BIG sound. I ended up with the great sounding laminated bass because guess what? it was only five hundred bucks! MORAL: TRUST YOUR EARS!

: You really found a bass that was made in the 1300's(14th century)? Hmmm, check again.

I guess I should check again. I still am dubious about the existence of a bass (and not a viol da gamba) from the 1400's. Especially in the price range you mention. I am hard pressed to find anything out of the 19th century for under $20,000.
If you got the bass you wanted, congratulations. The reason that most orchestras and players buy basses that are not Chinese and don't have laminate(plywood)tops is not because they can't hear and are overwhelmed by hype, however. It may be that the longer you play, the more your ear will want to hear a sound with more character and complexity.

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