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Upright Basses & EUB's:
Laminated Upright Basses
Engelhardt Swingmaster ES-9/EG-9 Bass
You've got options! Click the drop-down to choose (prices starting at $1,899.00)
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Important Note About Engelhardt Bass Availability
Engelhardt basses are "built to order" and are therefore subject to build-up time. We provide the timeframe based upon what the manufacturer suggests at the time of ordering, but in our experience, basses usually take a bit longer than that. Please be aware, when ordering an Engelhardt bass, that timeframes for shipment are estimated and are often subject to delays beyond our control.
Ever hear of Engelhardt?? How about KAY!?!?
Engelhardt bought Kay's double bass and cello production facilities in the late 60's when Kay closed up, and has continued manufacturing the same line of basses and cellos ever since. They had a few rough years in there, but their quality control made significant gains in the last few years -- they are making exceptionally solid, consistently good-sounding basses these days, far, far better than the many cheapie imported laminated instruments that seem to self-destruct rather readily and regularly. And their prices are very affordable. See my FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and comments below for further information you may find useful.
||ES-9 Swingmaster Bass|
The ES9 Swingmaster is a big favorite among many players, especially the rockabilly crowd and others, either for its sort of 50's retro look or simply its dramatic, natural blonde finish. Same quality construction as used in the "Supreme" model. Engelhardt says, "Startling to look at. Talked about wherever seen." It is cool.
The ES series (Supreme and Swingmaster) differs from the EM (Maestro) in two primary ways. First, it uses ebony for the fingerboard and tailpiece, and the body is made of "more select woods." Be aware, however, that these better quality woods are chosen for their appearance, since the ES1 and ES9 have a more transparent finish to show off these woods. These instruments receive additional attention and are quite attractive. Ebony trimmed basses also now have aircraft cable on the tailpieces and the bridges have been upgraded to a fitted quartered maple bridge.
Also note that the Swingmaster model is now also available as the "EG-9", which has the same finish and specifications but has the smoothly rounded "Gamba" style corners (as shown at right) rather than the pointed "Violin" style corners of the standard ES-9. Overall length, 72 inches; scale or string length, 42 inches.
List Price - $
Basses ship by truck see shipping costs below
« ES-9 EG-9»
Frequently Asked Questions
LEFT-HANDED??? Yes, I can special order Engelhardts as true left-handed basses for an additional charge of $295.
Bob, what's the diff?? -- If $$ are a concern, go for the EC-1 or EM-1, you won't be disappointed. They are great-looking and -sounding basses at bargain prices. However, if you have the extra bucks and intend to keep the bass for a long time (I've had my '41 Kay since 1966!!), spoil yourself a bit with the Supreme, or Swingmaster if you like the look. The Maestro is a bit darker, the Supreme has the more "traditional" transparent reddish-brown colored violin finish, and the Swingmaster is that striking blonde that everybody whistles at.
Ebony or Jatoba, what's the diff, Bob??? --
Ebony is the traditional fingerboard wood for upright basses, as it is a very hard wood and resists wear well. Jatoba is a good substitute, and it's pretty tough, but it's not as hard as ebony. If you are an aggressive player and/or intend to slap or use rough strings that will abrade the fingerboard, ebony is the better choice. However, unless you are going to be playing six hours a day it will be a while before jatoba becomes a worry. Ebony can also have a slightly brighter response than jatoba, which may be a little warmer -- but there are so many other variables involved it's not something to get too excited about.
3/4!?!?! I want a FULL SIZE BASS!!
No. You don't. Probably 99.5% of the basses on the planet are 3/4 size; it is the most-recognized "regular size" upright bass. The scale length (length of the string that speaks, from the slotted nut at the top at the fingerboard to the bridge) is 41.5 inches, and most other 3/4 size basses are in that same 41-42 inch range. "Full size" or 4/4 size basses usually have a longer scale length, and the body is larger, and frankly, there isn't a significant advantage, if any -- and you'll have a helluva time playing it and reselling it. Unlike the Olympic Diving competition, there are no extra points for degree of difficulty in bass playing! ;-)
All Kay and Engelhardt bodies are made by laminated construction rather than carved from solid wood. The necks are, of course, solid maple, the body fronts are spruce, the sides and backs are maple - the traditional woods for the stringed instrument family. Laminated basses were developed in the early twentieth century as a more robust alternative to carved instruments, for both price and longevity in hostile environments like USO tours, outdoor work, dry areas, and abusive conditions (like high schools!) A carved bass' large expanses of wood have no choice but to eventually crack and require repairs as they age at different rates and directions, and are especially vulnerable to low humidity, and high humidity and heat. Laminated basses were created to conquer those weaknesses.
The Engelhardts are somewhat playable from the factory with a medium setup, and I have them shipped directly to you from the factory or the warehouse. All factory basses will need some of setup work to tailor them to your playing preferences and to achieve the bass' full potential. Please expect to do a little work yourself if you are experienced with this sort of thing, or to pay a local luthier to refine the nut, bridge, and possibly fingerboard shape.
All basses are shipped by truck, as they are too large for UPS or FedEx. Yes, they are insured in transit, and well-packed. I've only had two mishaps with these basses, and they both were promptly replaced at no expense to the customer.
Costs for shipping a bass in the continental USA usually range between $130-$200, depending on location. Sorry, I cannot ship Engelhardt basses outside of the US and Canada at this time. In addition, The trucking companies add a hefty surcharge for shipping to a residential address, so if you can have it come to your work or a friend's business*, it may be well worth it, as you can save the cost of the surcharge, which are usually an additional $40-75 above the standard rate.
Also note that surcharges sometimes apply to deliveries in major metropolitan areas. There may occasionally be Fuel Surcharges assessed, typically in the western states. We have no control over these surcharges when they are assessed, and cannot get them discounted or removed; however, they are pretty rare.
All bass purchase freight amounts will be calculated and submitted for your approval before your purchase is finalized. (Note that our website does NOT charge your credit card when you place your order - all charges are done by us manually, once you've confirmed your total.)
* Note that to qualify, a business must be a storefront business with typical 9-5 operating hours; home businesses in residential areas do not meet the trucking company's qualifications. Unfortunately, neither do churches, schools or colleges - the residential surcharge does apply to basses shipped to a school or church.
Again: We will not process an order, charge your card, or ship your bass until we quote shipping and receive your approval.
Read this interesting History of Engelhardt Basses along with the history of the Kay basses that preceded them. Note: This is a page outside of our site, so we cannot vouch for the accuracy of all content. For instance, Engelhardts are much more readily available for purchase and delivery than what that site currently states.
Is this product returnable? Click here for our return policy.
Is there a Factory Warranty? Click here to find Warranty Information for all of our manufacturers.
International customer? Click here for important information about ordering from outside the USA, and what to expect concerning taxes, VAT, delivery times, and more.
Additional Photos of this Product
Simply "mouse over" the small thumbnail image to see the full-sized version.
Check Out the FAQ Resources That Apply to This Product:
SIZES: Double Bass Sizing FAQ
FINGERBOARDS for UPRIGHT BASS: What's to know??
BASSES- LEFT HANDED UPRIGHTS: Can I just restring a righty??
BASSES: Different Construction Techniques
Fully Carved Bulgarian Bass
For well over a decade, we've offered this amazing value in a European fully carved bass. While not as fancy looking as the far more expensive options you might find elsewhere, it's got it where it counts -- the sound. Really nice bass - not a lot of bucks.
Engelhardt Maestro EM1 / EM-1B 3/4 Bass
Probably Engelhardt's most popular model, it's -- like all of their basses -- properly sized and aligned, and has a close grained spruce laminate top, and a curly maple laminate back. The fingerboard (and tailpiece) is Jatoba wood, which is a more sustainable analog to the rosewood that is no longer responsible (or affordable) to use on such large fingerboards. Also available in a Blonde finish (for an upcharge) as the EM1-B.
Engelhardt EC-1 Concert 3/4 size bass
The Concert bass is the "Gamba" cornered contemporary to the EM-1 Maestro bass, which has the more traditional violin corners. Like all Engelhardts, it has a laminated Spruce top, with maple back and sides. Early EC1 basses had "ebonized" maple fingerboards -- which, frankly, was lousy -- but no worries: for several years now they've been using Jatoba instead.
Engelhardt Supreme ES-1/EG-1 Bass
Engelhardt's Supreme Bass features far more beautiful woods than the Concert and Maestro models, and features traditional coloring. It can be had with traditional Violin (ES-1) or new Gamba-style (EG-1) corners. Both models have real ebony fingerboards and tailpieces, and very attractive semi-transparent finishes to show off the beauty of the woods used.
Engelhardt EM-3 Maestro Junior bass
The features of the EM1 Maestro Bass, in a smaller size for younger (or smaller-statured) players. Like the Kay M3 it replaced, it's sort of a "hybrid" size, with a 1/4 size playing scale, but a slightly bigger body (which may give it a tonal advantage over smaller-bodied 1/4 size basses).
Left Handed Upright Basses (Lefty Basses)
Finding decent information on left-handed uprights isn't easy, and that's why we wrote this buyer's guide. We think you should know the facts -- like how "reversing a rightie" is not such a great idea (and why not). Here's a quick primer on what we have -- and what you need to know.
Some of our customers have told us what they think about this product.
Check out what they had to say!
I've played bass guitar for over 30 years and I am just now getting into playing an upright bass. Your web site has been a godsend of information and products as I tweek my Engelhardt ES-1.
Your willingness to share information about the products you sell and your detailed instructions on setup have eased my transition and my understanding of the upright bass.
I put the Pirastro Obligato strings on the Swingmaster and had a luthier I found on your site lower the bridge and nut. It has a much nicer tone and plays easier. The stand is a real good idea, it really does result in more time playing. The bass bag is nice and heavy duty. The website is a real help. I appreciate the way you guys do business. Good products at a good price. I also appreciate your input and insight, on the various products that are available.
Thanks so much. I found your site to be very informative. I have played guitar for many years, electric bass for about 6 and just started with the upright less than a year ago. I have been learning as I go, and found the answers to many of my questions on your site (like the difference between carved wood and laminate top, "do I need a pre-amp?", etc.)
When I plan to buy a new bass (which I hope will be next year) I will definitely come back to your site. I rather like the Engelhardt basses. My grandfather had a Kay many years ago, so since Engelhardt bought them it is the next best thing. Thanks again.
After buying a Swingmaster a year and a half ago and having a great buying experience, Bob was only place I needed to look to find materials to build a new bass. I want to keep Blondie for things a little more dignifed than playing psychobilly shows. I was not disappointed, I found everything I needed. Thanks again!