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Thread: Upright Electric Bass Build

  1. #1

    Default Upright Electric Bass Build

    So, as I was distracting myself from doing my work a little while ago, I was thinking about upright electric basses. And started looking around for used ones... just a passing fancy, probably. But, the cheapest used ones are about $1000, which is a bit much for a passing fancy.

    But looking at them, it occurred to me that they don't look that complicated, especially if you're going to use an external preamp. Has anyone here built one out?

  2. #2
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    You will get a lot more real world experience & replies if you head over to talkbass.com with this question.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    Yeah, I know. But I haven't posted over there for many years... I thought I'd give it a whirl.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    My guess is, if you can start with an upright bass fingerboard and build on that, it'd be a rather fun and (relatively, compared to building an entire acoustic instrument from scratch) simple project. Something like this: https://gollihurmusic.com/ebony-delu...-upright-bass/

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    Not electric but GAL has a couple of simplified upright bass plans listed here ("Savart-style Upright Bass" and "Low-Cost Bass Viol"): https://luth.org/instrument-plans/bo...and-bass-viol/
    Jim

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  6. #6
    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    I visited Rigel-maker Pete Langdell's house once, to pick up a new instrument. He had some odd inventions lying around his living room, including one that had a double bass-style body with a detachable fretted electric bass-style neck.

  7. #7
    Jo Dusepo, luthier Dusepo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    If you do decide to build an EUB, I'd love to see it! (I'm sure I'm not the only one)
    I am a luthier specialising in historical and world stringed instruments. You can see more info at my website.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    From my experience (built a few) an EUB is a pretty basic project, particularly if it has magnetic pickups. For a 3/4 scale instrument, all the critical dimensions come from the upright bass. I've built 34" scale length instruments for use by electric bassists, and for these the critical dimensions are taken from the electric bass or acoustic bass guitar. Two things that may not be obvious at first glance when considering an EUB project are dealing with string length, and ergonomics. On the first, unlike with mandolin or guitar strings, wound steel string length cannot (usually) be simply wound around the tuning machine posts without breaking, so dimensions between string anchor and bridge, and between nut and tuning machine posts are critical. More info on that is available on my website here:

    https://www.liutaiomottola.com/formulae/bassString.htm

    The ergonomics of a 3/4 size EUB are challenging, because the upright player's body touches the bass body in ways that must be emulated by an EUB to facilitate playing. A good make-or-break test of an EUB to see if it is playable is to try to play it in thumb position. Different EUB builders use different techniques to deal with the ergonomics. Some include various pieces that emulate the places where the player contacts the body of an upright. Some mount the whole thing on a rigid stand. One of my own EUBs is wearable, which deals with the ergonomic requirements in a somewhat unique way. Plans and some construction info on that one can be found here:

    https://www.liutaiomottola.com/instr.../libellula.htm

    EUBs are cool instruments for sure, and like all instruments they come with their own design and construction challenges.
    R.M. Mottola
    LiutaioMottola.com

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  10. #9
    Laps, Banjos, & Mandos rudy44's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    This might provide some ideas for you to use. It's an EUB that I designed and built several years back.

    rudy44

  11. #10

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    Built a couple, keep one in a corner of the shop for 41" scale hand exercise, has an old fisherman pickup. Got several fingerboards from Randy Allen long ago, built up from there.
    Traded the second for a jazz bass, customer came back a month later to have me remove the maple glazed donut scroll, cuz he had a sense of humor like an adobe brick.....
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