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Carved and Laminated URBs

Buying an upright bass online doesn't have to be stressful.

Should I buy a laminated bass or a fully carved one? What's the difference? Do I want a 3/4 size bass, or something else? How can I feel confident buying a bass without putting my hands on it first?

These are reasonable questions. And yes, it's easy to get burned on the Internet - there are a lot of "stores" selling cheap basses that are barely worth their weight in firewood. It's why we carry only a few select brands, and specialize in instruments that are primarily for entry-level and intermediate players -- we leave the truly "high-end" instruments to dealers and luthiers where you can audition your new high-end bass in person. But if you're looking for a reasonably-priced, gig-worthy instrument that you'll be proud to own years from now, we can help you find it.

We have a lot of FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) about basses, including sizing guides, setup help, and more, in our collection of free resources.

And, of course, we're here for you -- you can always email or call us to help you narrow down the choices.

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Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Upright Bass Strings
These strings have become hugely popular in a short period of time, because they are ideal for musicians playing many styles, with excellent bowed response and good sustain. Their pizz tone has some of the desirable tonal characteristics of gut, with a modern edge to their sound. And despite having a synthetic core, they're more stable (with less roll) than many other similar strings. Warm arco tone rounds out a great string set -- which is available in Medium/Orchestral, Weich (light), and Solo gauges.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this stringLow E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this string SOLO Gauge Strings Available for this string Weich (light) Strings Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $237.88
Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Slap (aka 'Gold') Gut/Synthetic Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Slap (aka 'Gold') Gut/Synthetic Upright Bass Strings
NOT JUST FOR SLAPPERS! Pirastro really did their homework with the Evah Pirazzi Slap string. It has the soft feel and the prominent "click" that many rockabilly and psychobilly slappers are looking for, but it's also great for standard pizz playing, as well, with a real organic vibe. And the strings even bow really well! G and D strings available in plain gut OR synthetic core. Balance from string to string is exemplary; whether you're talking about tone or feel, you don't notice at all when you move from string to string. More than just a slap string!

Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $227.98
Pirastro Flexocor Deluxe Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Flexocor Deluxe Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro's "rope core" (steel strands wound like rope) are excellent arco strings, with a warm, full tone and easy playability. Nice pizz tone, too, if you favor a slightly more "old skool" vibe -- with less bright detail, a thumpier sort of attack, and strong fundamental.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this string High C String Available for this string Low E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this string SOLO Gauge Strings Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $258.51
Pirastro Jazzer MEDIUM Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Jazzer MEDIUM Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro's Jazzer ropecore steel strings are recommended primarily for pizzicato players, though they can also be a good hybrid string for players who gig many styles. They have an extended sustain, and a clear, modern sound. They are a ropecore string with good flexibility.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this string High C String Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $288.36
Pirastro Obligato Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Obligato Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro's Obligato strings have a solid synthetic core with a very thin metal wrap. They do a pretty good job emulating gut strings, and have a real organic vibe to them; they also have a fairly pronounced "roll" to their pizz feel, meaning that they rotate a little under the plucking fingers. You get used to this, though, and they do have quite a satisfying thump to their tone. They also bow quite well.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this string High C String Available for this string Low E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this string SOLO Gauge Strings Available for this string5ths Tuning String Set Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $227.84
Pirastro Obligato 1/4 size and 1/2 size Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Obligato 1/4 size and 1/2 size Upright Bass Strings
The solid core, gut-like goodness of Pirastro's Obligato strings is available in smaller sizes for 1/2 and 1/4 sized basses. Very nice alternative to the steel strings that are so common for smaller sized basses, and very nice bowability for orchestral use.
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $227.84
Pirastro Oliv Wound Gut Upright Bass Strings (Olive)
Pirastro Oliv Wound Gut Upright Bass Strings (Olive)
The Oliv is often considered the "tops" among the wrapped gut strings; natural gut wrapped in chrome steel provides a strong, dark tone with short sustain. A little warmer in tone to the very similar Eudoxa strings (which are wound instead with silver tape). Available in sets -- but it's very common to match the Oliv G with other strings, and we do sell them separately as well.
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $685.24
Pirastro Passione Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Passione Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro's primo Passione strings are specifically designed for orchestral players, featuring outstanding bowability, and a very full-bodied, warm arco tone. For dedicated arco players, these are hard to beat; they have an excellent range of articulation -- and can really sound big when you dig in. Their pizz tone is an "orchestral pizz," meaning that it has the plunking, short-sustained timbre you'd expect to hear in an orchestral composition (not so much from someone jamming out in a jazz club.)
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this stringLow E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this stringSOLO Gauge Strings Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $251.24
RotoSound Superb RS4000 Double Bass Strings
RotoSound Superb RS4000 Double Bass Strings
Rotosound has been making this set for decades; a nylon core is wrapped with nylon on the G and D, and monel (a nickel alloy) on the E and A. Tonally, they're good for many styles of music, including jazz, bluegrass, and contemporary styles. They have a flexibility and durability that makes them useful for slapping styles like rockabilly; and their timbre suits that sort of genre well, too. They bow, but I wouldn't call their arco capability a selling point.
    Extended Strings Available: High C String Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $129.00
Thomastik Belcanto Upright Bass Strings
Thomastik Belcanto Upright Bass Strings
Thomastik's rope core strings were designed to be equally good for both arco and pizz (aka a "hybrid" string). Their bowed response is quite good, with nice tonal variation (based on your technique and approach), and they have a very musical, warm pizz sound with a very sweet sustain. They have a comfortable, flexible feel, and a tone that fits seamlessly into a wide variety of genres.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this stringLow E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this string SOLO Gauge Strings Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $292.99
Thomastik Dominant Upright Bass Strings
Thomastik Dominant Upright Bass Strings
Dominants don't get a lot of press, but they have a long-time fan club of dedicated players, due to their dark, gut string-like character. Responsive for a stranded perlon core, they bow very well and deliver a nice and thumpy, short pizzicato sustain.
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $289.99
Thomastik Spirocore Upright Bass Strings
Thomastik Spirocore Upright Bass Strings
The ubiquitous Spirocores; among the first high-quality steel strings made, they're an old favorite for jazz and other pizz styles, and have the (deserved) reputation for exceedingly long life. Big, booming pizz tone, and full-bodied arco (though there are easier strings to bow), set these as a benchmark -- ask most anyone to describe a bass string, they'll probably compare them to Spiros. They're available in almost any variation, from weich (light) gauge, 1/2 size, 5ths tuning, Solo, and more.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this stringHigh C String Available for this stringLow E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this stringSOLO Gauge Strings Available for this stringWeich (light) Strings Available for this string5ths Tuning String Set Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $241.99
Thomastik SuperFlexible Upright Bass Strings
Thomastik SuperFlexible Upright Bass Strings
Superflexible strings feature a multi-strand steel core with chrome-steel winding, which makes the feel of the strings, well... super-flexible. They have a hybrid sort of appeal, in that they are equally good for bowing and for pizz, and have a "middling" sort of tone and sustain that can be used in a variety of different genres without drawing unwanted attention to themselves for sounding out of place.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this string High C String Available for this string Low E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this string SOLO Gauge Strings Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $189.99
Velvet Anima Double Bass Strings
Velvet Anima Double Bass Strings
The Anima strings have a thin string profile with very nice articulation and sustain. They therefore fit well into jazz and contemporary styles; but as an added bonus, they also bow well. Featuring Velvet's balanced tension, where each string has the same exact tension at pitch for smooth transition from string to string.
    Extended Strings Available: Low E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $281.00
Velvet Blue Double Bass Strings
Velvet Blue Double Bass Strings
Velvet's Blue string set is their first which doesn't feature a silk core - it's a synthetic, carefully chosen to lower cost while retaining the Velvet sound and feel. They do a pretty good job of it, too; this string works well as a hybrid, with fast response and nice volume, and clear articulation. It does have a bit more brightness than Velvet's other string sets. Featuring Velvet's balanced tension, where each string has the same exact tension at pitch for smooth transition from string to string.
    Extended Strings Available: Low E String for extensions (to low C) Available for this string
Sets AND Single Strings are available (click through to order)
Choices starting at $165.00
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