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We proudly present the Estle Louis FULLY CARVED Upright Bass from Gollihur Music.
I have spent quite a bit of time over the past several years seeking out well-made and great-sounding, hand-made carved basses that could be completely set up before shipping. We have at last found a reputable builder and a detail-oriented shop with whom we could make these arrangements.
Despite the price, this is not a "beginner bass" -- I strongly feel that these basses are an excellent choice for both advancing students and discriminating players. The bass is fully carved, it's not a "hybrid"; it features a choice spruce top with lightly flamed maple back and sides. It is FULLY HANDMADE, hand-graduated (carved) and hand-varnished with an "antiqued" look (it has varying levels of color lightness and darkness to simulate an older bass). It comes complete with brand-name (not throw-away) strings and a quality maple adjustable bridge, and the bass is strung up and READY TO PLAY right out of the box... no luthier trips or extra costs are needed!
The Gollihur Music Estle Louis(pronounced ESS-tull LEW-iss) Fully Carved basses are currently available with Gamba style corners (as shown in photos) in ¾ and ½ size. The price includes the professional set-up, which features a custom cut adjustable bridge and D'Addario Helicore strings.
Our luthier partners carefully examine each instrument, and do all the setup work, so we can be certain that everyone gets the high-quality bass they expect and deserve. This setup service includes:
Planing the fingerboard (carving the appropriate "relief" into the board) for low action
Fitting a quality maple adjustable bridge
Shaping the nut for left-hand ease of play
Ensuring optimum soundpost placement
Playing each instrument to ensure maximum playability and sound
Scale Length (nut to bridge)
Body Height (heel to saddle)
40 inches (est.)
Approximate Weight (bass only)
20.5 lb. (est.)
Note: 3/4 size bass features a "D-Neck" (meaning that when your hand is in the neck pocket, it is in the D position.)
What makes these basses an even better value:
Your bass arrives FULLY SET UP by a luthier - no additional costs are required to optimize the playability or tone. Your new bass can essentially be played right out of the box!
Your bass includes a quality maple adjustable bridge (an expensive upgrade at bass shops) already installed and properly fitted to the bass!
Your bass contains quality components (tuning machines, endpin) so there are no parts you'll need to upgrade.
Real Ebony fingerboard and tailpiece - not "ebonized" (painted or stained) hardwoods.
These basses can be used for any style of music. While you might occasionally see a bass with features that are tailored for a particular style (like a black one with stripes, for instance), basses are rarely made for a specific style of music. The Estle Louis Gollihur Music basses will do well for most any style. It's the choice of strings and set-up that usually sends a bass in one direction or the other. The precise set-up performed on each Estle Louis bass, along with the adjustable bridge, will allow a nice range of action.
For example, if country/bluegrass is on the agenda, your preference might be for fairly high action, because you want to be able to hit that string hard (hey, we're the percussion section, too) and not have it hit the fingerboard... or if you're slapping, maybe you do, and then a little lower can be better. Or maybe you play with an acoustic style blues guitarist, so you might set the strings a little lower, to get some fingerboard interaction for a more "raw" sound. For more modern and sometimes jazz sounds we like to get some fingerboard growl (mwah, whine, whatever you want to call it), so lower action and a slightly lighter left hand touch can be the way to go.
We can have any string we carry installed on your bass if you like (for the cost of the strings), or you may wish to start with the stock Helicore strings and replace them later (or not!) Unless you have a special favorite in mind, I suggest you start with them. We often recommend players start their play using the stock strings on an instrument that is new to them, to get to know it before investing in a new set. We'll be happy to help you choose your next string, or pass on some suggestions for your consideration if you have a particular style in mind.
We can also have most pickups installed before your bass is shipped. Since the combinations of strings and pickups would probably be ten pages long, we suggest you place the order for the bass on-line or on the phone, and we can add options before finalizing the order.
What are "Gamba Corners?"
The corners are the edges of the "C-Bout" - the cutout in the middle of the body to allow for a bow to be used without hitting the body. "Violin" corners are more ornate, traditional looking edges which come to a point, "Gamba" corners are simpler, cleaner corners. They are purely aesthetic and do not affect tone or playability. The carved Estle Louis bass is currently only available with Gamba corners.
What is a "Set Up?"
Most basses (including the Engelhardts and Bulgarian basses we sell) come with a "factory set up", which means the strings and bridge have been installed, but the bass has not been optimized for the player. Bridge and nut heights are high, and those components, and the fingerboard, may require some work to make the bass truly playable for that particular bassist. Our Estle Louis bass, as detailed above, comes fully optimized with comfortable action - ready to play as soon as it arrives!
Where are they manufactured?
Yes, these attractive hand-made instruments are built in China... let's face it, everything is made in China these days! That doesn't make it inferior — as I'm sure you know, people (and factories) in any location are capable of making products both good and bad. The important thing to be aware of with foreign factories in any country is to ensure that you're dealing with a company with a reputation for excellent, consistent quality. As you might expect from us (if you've shopped with us before), these basses are made by a reputable maker with very high quality control. If they weren't we would not put our name on them OR offer a 10 day trial period. And we're doing both!
Why aren't they full size?
You'll find 3/4 to be the normal bass size; 4/4 is pretty unusual! See my FAQ on Bass Sizes, along with all the other Upright Bass FAQs we offer, under RESOURCES in the menu at left.
Special Return Policy
To exhibit our confidence in these basses we will allow a ten day trial period (from receipt of bass) during which you may return the bass no questions asked. Contact us first; buyer is responsible for shipping both ways, and the bass must be in like new condition.
Note that photos on this page are of representative basses, but that finishes and colors can vary, as each bass is individually hand-finished. Also note that colors can appear differently on different monitors or display devices.
Shipping Basses are too large for regular UPS and FedEx delivery services, so they are shipped by freight truck.
Sorry, I cannot ship these basses outside of the US and Canada at this time.
Costs for shipping a bass in the continental USA usually range between $250-$350, depending on location. In addition,
* What Qualifies as a business address? Note that to qualify, a business must be a business with typical 9-5 operating hours in a business district; home businesses in residential areas do not meet the trucking company's qualifications. Unfortunately, neither do churches, schools or colleges in many cases - the residential surcharge does apply to basses shipped to a school or church. However, if they do not apply the surcharge on our bill we will refund it.
The trucking companies add a $90-120 surcharge (on top of the regular shipping price) for shipping to a residential address, so if you can have it delivered to your work or a friend's business*, it may be well worth it. Also, please note that further surcharges sometimes apply to deliveries in major metropolitan areas (imagine driving a truck in NYC!!).
All bass purchase freight amounts will be calculated and submitted for your approval before your purchase is finalized and charged. Please 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.
Again: We will not process an order, charge your card, or ship your bass until we quote precise shipping costs and receive your approval. Basses are almost always IN STOCK and normally are shipped within 3-10 business days of order processing.
We've been having these bags made for well over 15 years now; its a popular item, as it's a roomy, well-padded, special case for your 3/4 size bass at a great price. And you get your choice of two colors (a tasteful Hunter Green or traditional Black) - and the NEW 1/2 size model is now available as well!
Our laminated bass is excellent for students, intermediate players, and gigging musicians of all styles of music. These ¾, ½, and ¼ size basses feature adjustable bridges, ebony fingerboards and quality components, and are COMPLETELY set up and ready-to-play right out of the box.
Some of our customers have told us what they think about this product.
Check out what they had to say!
Estle Louis fully carved is spectacular.
—Cody C (September 2014, via Facebook)
A couple of years ago, I bought one of your fully carved Estle Louis basses with a set of Pirastro Evah Pirazzi strings. I have been using a single Bass Max pickup on this bass, playing mostly Western Swing and Classic Country in Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon and California. I have received numerous compliments on my overall sound wherever I go.
—John J. (February 2015)
I love this bass. These estle louis basses are a work horse and a real bang for the buck. I highly recommend them.
—Cody C. (September 2016)