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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 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
Pirastro Perpetual Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Perpetual Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro's Perpetual strings, released in July of 2019, are a chromesteel/ropecore string that are designed to provide great clarity and punch for pizz playing, while offering excellent potential for arco too. With a much softer feel and flexibility when compared to similarly positioned strings, they are a new option that finds a perfect balance between the extremes.
    Extended Strings Available: Low B String Available for this string 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 $221.40
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
Velvet Garbo Double Bass Strings
Velvet Garbo Double Bass Strings
The Garbos have a thicker overall diameter and a big, dark sound. With tons of punch, they're great for jazz pizz players, as they can often "hold their own" with a drum set! 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
D'Addario Helicore Orchestra 1/8 and 1/10 Scale Upright Bass Strings
D'Addario Helicore Orchestra 1/8 and 1/10 Scale Upright Bass Strings
SPECIAL ORDER ITEM - A step-up student string, this set is designed for the player who primarily plays arco (with a bow). Played pizzicato (plucked), they have a warm and dark fundamental tone with a short sustain and quick decay.
Special Order Item   Choices starting at $133.00
D'Addario Prelude 1/8 scale Upright Bass Strings
D'Addario Prelude 1/8 scale Upright Bass Strings
SPECIAL ORDER ITEM - D'Addario's classic Prelude strings, with flexibility and lighter tension - and an affordable price tag - are aimed at students and younger players who value quality strings on a smaller budget. Stranded steel cores provide nice flexibility, and the tone is pretty middle-of-the-road, making them fit fairly well into a variety of genres and styles. Suitable for arco and pizz.
Special Order Item   Choices starting at $79.00
Pirastro Chorda Gut Upright Bass Strings, Chorda Carlos Henriquez Strings
Pirastro Chorda Gut Upright Bass Strings, Chorda Carlos Henriquez Strings
SPECIAL ORDER ITEM - Traditional gut strings with plain gut D and G and silver-plated copper wire-wound A and E strings. Great pizz tone, with a very nice feel! The Carlos Henriquez set is a specially-balanced low-tension set with 50s-60s specs - hard to get!
Special Order Item   Choices starting at $592.00
String Set: Pirastro Chromcor Upright Bass Strings
String Set: Pirastro Chromcor Upright Bass Strings
SPECIAL ORDER ITEM - A solid steel core wound with chrome steel gives these strings excellent stability and a bright tone.
Clearance Item   $198.00  
Pirastro Flat-Chromesteel Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro Flat-Chromesteel Upright Bass Strings
SPECIAL ORDER ITEM - These ropecore strings have a very clear and brilliant sound, making them project more than other strings; a little more precision is required to bow well, but worth the effort, especially for solo material. Also not bad for contemporary pizz!
Special Order Item   Choices starting at $256.00
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