Author Topic: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread  (Read 1132 times)

jacko

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3840
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2017, 02:26:05 AM »
Thought I'd resurrect this thread as I've just bought myself a brand new upright (still keeping the Steinberger though).
it's a Strunal 5/35  3/4 size five string  hybrid construction.   Beautiful back and it has a really nice deep tone. Looking forward to learning my way around this beast.

Graeme


sonicus

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5124
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2017, 03:24:33 AM »
That Instrument Beautiful !

edwardofhuncote

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2220
  • Chain-Links
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2017, 03:34:02 AM »
YES, a 5-string upright!  Congratulations and Compliments, Graeme.  :)

Is it strung with a high C or a low B? 

jacko

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3840
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2017, 03:45:13 AM »
It's a low B. same as all my other basses (apart from the 2 four strings hidden in the attic with my lunatic first wife  ;D )

Graeme

edwardofhuncote

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2220
  • Chain-Links
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2017, 04:25:06 AM »
That's fantastic!  :D

I have plans on a five-string conversion for this old bass, currently residing in my music room. Having a wide, heavy neck makes it a prime candidate.

elwoodblue

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2109
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2017, 05:27:14 AM »
That's a chunky neck, even to my noobie eyes.
Are the wood tuner knob heads just for looks?


The back wood on that 5 looks like dark chocolate....congrats on the find!

edwardofhuncote

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2220
  • Chain-Links
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2017, 06:11:56 AM »
That's a chunky neck, even to my noobie eyes.
Are the wood tuner knob heads just for looks?

It's huge... and stranger still, I think this bass started life as a 3-string.

Yep, the hat-pegs are functional... see, you wound the string end around the wood peg and took the slack up, then insert a locking pin and tighten to pitch using the geared part. They're still available, but insanely expensive.

https://www.gollihurmusic.com/product/1609-DELUXE_EBONY_HAT_PEG_UPRIGHT_BASS_TUNING_MACHINES_TUNERS.html

CaseyVancouver

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2017, 10:23:11 AM »
A 5 string makes a lot of sense if you need to go down to 'b' or 'c' vs a 4 string 'c extension'.
Modern orchestral music requires those lows notes.

Watched the Vancouver Symphony bass section up close the other night. Out of 7 beautiful basses 6 had the 'c extension' and one was a 4 string without it. Makes me sad to see these  fine scrolls 'modernized'.
North Americans tend to have the extensions while Europeans choose 5 strings.

A lot of basses about a hundred plus years ago were strung with 3 gut strings. There are old 3 string bass method books out there. I recall my teacher (about 40 years ago) lamenting how many big sounding smaller basses were strangled when converted to 4 steel strings. Some folks play 3 string bass today.

The old wood tuning keys can split. Some fantastic all metal key sets are available today, quite expensive of course. Should be good for 200 years of daily use  :D

Graeme, nice looking 5 string! With those sloping shoulders you should zip around the thumb positions.

My Busan copy 7/8ths bass with big round shoulders requires special tactics to get up high. I have another 5/8ths bass that has sloping shoulders plus a big sound through the thumb positions. Curious that my large bass sounds big in the low registers and light in the high registers and my small bass is just the opposite!

Cheers
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 01:10:13 PM by CaseyVancouver »

jazzyvee

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5527
    • NotStrictlyJazz
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2017, 10:45:27 AM »
I have one to learn on but as yet am not licensed to use it!
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

edwardofhuncote

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2220
  • Chain-Links
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2017, 02:38:46 PM »
Hmm. I wonder if Alembic might have any interest in developing an upright bass pickup system. The R & D work could be piggy-backed with the (eventual) acoustic line... maybe some kind of piezo/microphone system with blending electronics? I mean, there's plenty of that stuff available already, but I bet they'd come up with something pretty special out there.

Currently I'm using an AccuSound piezo strip fastened to the bridge with adhesive, and a flexible capsule mic suspended from the end of the fingerboard. Works fine, but it's twitchy, and midrange biased. Best results are achieved by using a preamp with parametric eq, and notch filters.

*and dang it, I miss my Rane AP-13! :(
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 02:41:44 PM by edwardofhuncote »

CaseyVancouver

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2017, 03:13:27 PM »
Here is a live recording of my 5/8ths bass the other night.

I use a Realist copper pickup most gigs these days. No pre amp. I find the amp makes a big dif to the sound. I like to use an old tube ampeg portaflex for louder dates, and a GK mb112 for smaller ones. I also have a Underwood pickup I like to use. I usually take the 5/8ths bass out for gigs and keep the 7/8ths home.
The 7/8ths would be the choice for an important recording.

Ben MacRae's Hot Five. Early swing'n jazz with clarinet, violin, django style guitar, upright bass and drums. Keep in mind this is not a 'serious' recording, it's for fun. If serious I would of used my 7/8ths bass! I recommend you listen with headphones to hear the bass.

The pickup is Realist and amp GK. This is a typical gig for me where we had no rehearsals, and I had never met the drummer or violinist before :D
Everything is one take, live and often no chart in front of me haha. Exactly the kind of gig I love.

https://soundcloud.com/jazz-capilano/2017-10-04-ben-mcraes-hot?in=jazz-capilano/sets/ben-mcraes-hot-five-phj-2017-10-04
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 08:47:25 PM by CaseyVancouver »

edwardofhuncote

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2220
  • Chain-Links
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2017, 07:30:53 AM »
I have a Gage Realist on my Englehardt bass, and it sounds pretty good, but is sort of bass heavy, and lacks the mids. Mine is the type that fits like a fork on an adjustable bridge thumb-wheel, rather than the copper foil type.

*this one- https://www.gollihurmusic.com/product/2681-DAVID_GAGE_REALIST_LIFELINE_UPRIGHT_BASS_PICKUP.html

I'll wait to stream your audio Casey, until I'm in the office or on WiFi somewhere. Gives me something to look forward to. ;)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 07:34:04 AM by edwardofhuncote »

cozmik_cowboy

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2474
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2017, 04:40:48 AM »
I gotta say, Graeme, that is the one of the 2 most beautiful doghouse back I've ever seen!  (The other is owned by a Czech bluegrass-and-jazz guy who did grad school at the local university; his had a back that'd make you swear it was the front of a fancy Alembic).

Peter
"Don't take life so serious; it ain't no ways permanent"

Pogo

elwoodblue

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2109
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2017, 06:43:30 AM »
Do the old Dearmond units get any respect these days?

CaseyVancouver

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
Re: The (unofficial) Upright Bass Showcase Thread
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2017, 09:35:07 AM »
De Armond, I remember them, an old contact microphone that is wedged between the top and tailpiece. You could only turn your amp up to about 2 before feedback arrived...

Also the '50s  Ampeg microphone thingie that went into the endpin haha. Nothing worked until Polytone came along.

I used a Polytone pickup on the bridge for many years. I asked Ray Brown about the Polytone and how he liked it. He looked at me curiously and said 'they sponsor me so I use it'  ::)

Underwood does a good job, miles ahead of the early stuff. Realist is good.

You have to start with a great sounding bass. The amp and speaker makes a huge dif too.
Of course how you play is the most important.

Speaking of Ray Brown, he always sound great but often used an inferior borrowed bass. I know this as I have played his borrowed bass. He had a fine old french bass at home in LA but did not like to take it on the road. All in the hands as they say.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:56:10 AM by CaseyVancouver »