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Old 02-21-2017, 11:54 AM
david sumners david sumners is offline
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Default Buying a new bass advice

Hi all, great forum here. I'm a newbie upright player and need some advice. I want to get an inexpensive bass to play rockabilly. I've narrowed the choices down to a Shen SB 80 or a Thompson RM 100. Any thoughts ?

PS. anyone know about T.G. Pfretzschner basses ? There's one for sale locally for about $2K. Is it German or a Chinese with a fake label ?

Thx

Dave in Austin
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by david sumners View Post
Hi all, great forum here. I'm a newbie upright player and need some advice. I want to get an inexpensive bass to play rockabilly. I've narrowed the choices down to a Shen SB 80 or a Thompson RM 100. Any thoughts ?

PS. anyone know about T.G. Pfretzschner basses ? There's one for sale locally for about $2K. Is it German or a Chinese with a fake label ?

Thx

Dave in Austin
Sounds like a Chinese bass using a German name that probably never made basses to begin with. I would go with the Shen 10 out of 10 times. I don't know who Thompson is, another made up name no doubt BUT, I do know Sam Shen and have met him a couple of times including a visit to my shop. If you are talking low-mid end Chinese, than Shen is my pick. Also, for a European made bass, I would go with Calin Wultur, sold and dist. by JR Music supply. So, Shen or JR Music/Calin Wultur. On the Shen, maybe go one model up.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:10 PM
david sumners david sumners is offline
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Thank you Ken, that answers my questions ... and that's why I'm here
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:53 PM
Robert Ham Robert Ham is offline
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I have an opportunity to get a decent deal on a folding Chadwick bass, which is one of the laminate models (SB80 or 100), not the hybrid. First a little back ground on the situation: For the past couple of years, I've been playing an EUB (NS Design Omni - so 34" scale). So this is my first actual upright. I wish this bass becoming available was a hybrid (SB150), but it isn't. It is, however, apparently an older varnish model instead of the lacquer. I haven't seen photos yet, but it should be more of a woody brown than the typical "red-ish" stain. I play blues and jazz and don't want a pretty, shiny bass. The shop that is getting it won't have it for another week and I'll get pictures then and can see what coloring it is. The folding would be real convenient for me because I drive an old volvo sedan and this will fit in my trunk and for summer mountain gigs traveling up with drummer and amp gear along side my bass in my friends bigger vehicle. I would just order a new hybrid, but they don't come in this old varnish finish anymore and the new ones (even the matte finish) is not the right vibe for me (I know it won't be like a 100 year old bass with a bunch of visual character, but I don't want something that looks like it belongs in an orchestra pit with me in a tux). Plus the price is about what I could resell it for in the future, so I wouldn't be loosing much money if I only kept it for a while.

So now my question - I know you just told the other post he should consider going up a model instead of the SB80. But sound-wise, if both are amplified, how much different is the laminate vs hybrid carved top? Will this be good for me to learn on? I know these have bigger necks, but I've got big long skinny fingers, so that shouldn't be a problem. I would love to know your thoughts (about the bass situation, not about how I ramble on and eventually get to the point of the post!)
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Ham View Post
I have an opportunity to get a decent deal on a folding Chadwick bass, which is one of the laminate models (SB80 or 100), not the hybrid. First a little back ground on the situation: For the past couple of years, I've been playing an EUB (NS Design Omni - so 34" scale). So this is my first actual upright. I wish this bass becoming available was a hybrid (SB150), but it isn't. It is, however, apparently an older varnish model instead of the lacquer. I haven't seen photos yet, but it should be more of a woody brown than the typical "red-ish" stain. I play blues and jazz and don't want a pretty, shiny bass. The shop that is getting it won't have it for another week and I'll get pictures then and can see what coloring it is. The folding would be real convenient for me because I drive an old volvo sedan and this will fit in my trunk and for summer mountain gigs traveling up with drummer and amp gear along side my bass in my friends bigger vehicle. I would just order a new hybrid, but they don't come in this old varnish finish anymore and the new ones (even the matte finish) is not the right vibe for me (I know it won't be like a 100 year old bass with a bunch of visual character, but I don't want something that looks like it belongs in an orchestra pit with me in a tux). Plus the price is about what I could resell it for in the future, so I wouldn't be loosing much money if I only kept it for a while.

So now my question - I know you just told the other post he should consider going up a model instead of the SB80. But sound-wise, if both are amplified, how much different is the laminate vs hybrid carved top? Will this be good for me to learn on? I know these have bigger necks, but I've got big long skinny fingers, so that shouldn't be a problem. I would love to know your thoughts (about the bass situation, not about how I ramble on and eventually get to the point of the post!)
Long skinny fingers? Strong muscles in them as well? You might want an overly thick neck taken down rather than fight it. A carved top is real wood. Plywood is cross laminate sheets with glue. For just a boom boom sound, who cares. For tone, get the carved top. Also laminates are more durable. Caring for a DB is a learning curve. You will figure things out as time goes on.

I have amplified $200k basses and $200 basses. HUGE difference. Although for Jazz, some of the expensive basses are not as suitable for the desired tone unless you string it for that. Like I said, experience will be your best teacher. After all, what do I know to tell you? I am only playing for 52 years and still learning.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:49 AM
Robert Ham Robert Ham is offline
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Thanks so much for your feedback. I'll be browsing the couple of dedicated bass shops in town this week and see if something touches my soul that I can't leave without!
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:26 AM
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Thanks so much for your feedback. I'll be browsing the couple of dedicated bass shops in town this week and see if something touches my soul that I can't leave without!
Being new to DB, it would be best to have an experienced DB player with you as what you feel is good may not be. What shops are there? Bob Ross and who else?
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:44 AM
Robert Ham Robert Ham is offline
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Yep, Bob Ross - I have a meeting with him Thursday morning. Mi Vida Strings was also recommended. I've been told those two places are my best bet at a fair deal. Hopefully that is true and Bob is a good guy. Unfortunately, I don't have an experienced bass friend available to come with me. There are other classical music shops with strings but I've never really felt welcome in them - like they just don't care that I'm there. I guess they don't want or need my money.

Back in the day, I was an active rock climber with my son, who is still climbing. So I know my fingers did have strong muscles and hopefully those will redevelop soon enough! I have hand therapy putty from an old broken wrist years ago (fully healed) that I have been using to strengthen those muscles.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Ham View Post
Yep, Bob Ross - I have a meeting with him Thursday morning. Mi Vida Strings was also recommended. I've been told those two places are my best bet at a fair deal. Hopefully that is true and Bob is a good guy. Unfortunately, I don't have an experienced bass friend available to come with me. There are other classical music shops with strings but I've never really felt welcome in them - like they just don't care that I'm there. I guess they don't want or need my money.

Back in the day, I was an active rock climber with my son, who is still climbing. So I know my fingers did have strong muscles and hopefully those will redevelop soon enough! I have hand therapy putty from an old broken wrist years ago (fully healed) that I have been using to strengthen those muscles.
I hear Bob is a good guy. Also, bassist Paul Warburton is near him and maybe can help you. Ask Bob for his info. They go way back.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:54 AM
Robert Ham Robert Ham is offline
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I'm not in any hurry here to buy one. I wanted to get an idea about what was available before that Shen laminate folding bass arrived and tempted me (but that may not be the best fit for my situation right now). I'll look around on Thursday and meet some people in the Jazz community through people I play with in this trio (they are well connected) and hopefully find a bassist who will help me and find someone to teach me as well. And then move ahead with a purchase.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Ham View Post
I'm not in any hurry here to buy one. I wanted to get an idea about what was available before that Shen laminate folding bass arrived and tempted me (but that may not be the best fit for my situation right now). I'll look around on Thursday and meet some people in the Jazz community through people I play with in this trio (they are well connected) and hopefully find a bassist who will help me and find someone to teach me as well. And then move ahead with a purchase.

Good Plan!
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