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Upright Basses & EUB's:
Electric Upright Basses
Dean Pace Contra - Solid-Body Electric Upright Bass
Shipping Cost: Starts at $35.00 to most East Coast destinations
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I wasn't a huge proponent of the original Dean Pace bass; while it's fun to noodle around on, it's a very short scale with a flat fingerboard; it's essentially a true "FEBGOASTM" (Fretless Electric Bass Guitar On A Stick -- a term that Bob coined long ago.) So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Dean has since unveiled a more authentically designed electric upright -- one which...
Hey, this thing is pretty nifty!
- has a true 3/4 scale, which has the appropriate curvature on the fingerboard so it can be bowed...
- has the ability to be strung with most commonly available upright strings...
- is on an endpin with an extended "bout" for natural play...
- has a built-in active preamp, so no external preamp is required...
How does it play?
Not bad at all! It's set up like a real upright, which a familiar scale and curved board. An adjustable bridge allows for easy tweaking, and the neck has a truss rod for putting a bit of "scoop" in the neck if needed. The removable bout allows you to address the instrument in a fairly authentic way, letting your body "hold" the bass to some degree - though its slim build does allow it to rotate a bit (it uses a standard endpin, not a non-rotational one.) Height is fully adjustable, just like on a real bass, with an extendable endpin -- and it even has a rubber cap covering a point, so you could even "stake in" on a stage (though you'd better ask first!)
How does it sound?
Like any other solid-body EUB, it lacks the "body" of not having the huge cavity of a "real" upright bass. But it does have a satisfyingly "thick" tone; it's not too spanky or bright. The unusual lone "Bass" tone knob allows for boosting/cutting bass only, so I guess you're meant to tailor the bass response around the rest of the tonal spectrum, which is apparently fixed. The bass has a darker sound, to my ears -- could be the strings, could be the pickup, which is built into the bridge. But, also like the other EUBs out there, the more you play it like an upright (getting the string to bloom with the meaty edge of your finger, like you're supposed to) the more it sounds like one.
How does it look?
Like many solid-body electric uprights, there are "cues" which sort of echo the look of an upright, but with modern refinements; some shallow C-bouts give it some character. So it's not going to "fool" anyone, looks-wise, but they'll get the connection to the upright. And, like Henry Ford used to say about the Model A, you can have the bass painted in any color, as long as it's black.
The bass comes with a full set of accessories:
Very often I speak to folks who want an electric upright bass for practice, toting to rehearsals, or dorm room usage. Until this bass became available, the "entry level" bass that I'm comfortable recommending was $1500 and up. Now the Dean Pace Contra comes in, and it's less than half the price. And while I still think that those $1500 basses are better in fit and finish, the Dean is considerably better than half as good, to be sure!
- A removable side bout
- A removable, optional upper G-string side bout (to indicate thumb position?)
- A padded gig bag
- A molded instrument cable
- An Allen wrench for adjustments
- SCALE LENGTH: (41.5")
- STRINGS: 4
- CONSTRUCTION: Solid maple body and neck
- COLOR: Classic Gloss Black
- FINGERBOARD: Ebonized
- 1.65" wide at nut; 3.35" max. width at bridge end
- Side Dot Inlays
- BRIDGE: Adjustable
- PICKUP: Piezo Transducer
- PREAMPLIFIER: "DMT active Contra preamp system" includes volume, bass tone knobs. MP3 player input (1/8") Headphone Output (1/8"). Instrument output is standard 1/4" instrument jack, acts as power for active preamp.
- TRUSS ROD: Standard truss rod design provides positive relief adjustment, accessible at nut.
- TUNING MACHINES: Compact upright style, chrome
- STRINGS: Standard tension flatwound steel strings are standard.
- GIG BAG: Lightweight padded gig bag included
- MADE IN: China
Why no FREE SHIPPING?
We used to offer free shipping on this bass. However, the factory-supplied box that the bass is packed in has proven inadequate to protect the instrument during shipment. Several basses have, unfortunately, suffered damage in transit. This has cost me a lot of money, since with inadequate packing, UPS will deny the insurance claim every time. So I've got a handful of damaged basses I can't sell, as well as a bunch of shipping charges I paid and will never get back.
So we've made the (prudent) decision to double-box these basses for safe shipment to our customers. Aside from the (considerable) cost of the "extra" box, using it enlarges the size of the shipped package and puts it into a new "oversize" class, which significantly increases the costs of shipping. However, the double-boxing will exceed UPS guidelines for "sufficient packing" -- so if they manage to break it, it will be fully covered.
So, to clarify, you're not paying the full shipping charge - only the "upcharge" from what I used to (and still do) cover. Splitting the shipping costs like this will better ensure that you receive your instrument in one piece.
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