Eb Bass Advice

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by geo123, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. geo123

    geo123 New Member

    Hi all, we are/will be looking at replacing our 2 Eb basses in hopefully not too long. We have 2 B&H Imperials.
    The first one was originally a low pitch 15" bell that had a 19" put on about 20 years ago - the serial number on the bell dates to about 1979.
    The second one I'm not sure whether the bell is the original but it dates to around 1980. This one was refurbished/replated around 5 years but the plating is already starting to wear.

    The biggest problem for me is the tuning in the high register goes extremely flat. I usually play a DW4L or a DW5 and its very difficult to get anything above a 3rd space C (brass band treble clef) in tune. I had a try on a new Neo a few weeks ago and even top C was pretty much in tune (a complete impossibility on the Imps)

    I understand that the larger bell made the instrument flat and it was common to cut the back bow to make it shorter but wouldn't this affect the whole range and not just the top? Does anyone else find they have similar issues? I don't think either of them have been cut.

    A pair of Neos is going to cost too much, so its an option between 2nd hand Sovs, Wessex or getting the two Imps sorted. Is it worth spending a couple of grand on an instrument that's 35+ years old...?

    Thanks :)
  2. centralbankofdad

    centralbankofdad Member

    JP377 Sterlings are another option.
  3. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    Speak to Geneva too, their Eb basses are superb and buying 2, they may be able to negotiate a good deal
  4. B.Portas

    B.Portas Member

    York, UK
    The Fletcher or Parker cut is something I've been looking into a lot with mine - all you would have to do is tune the open partials, then adjust the individual slides to help the upper register. That said, I can imagine that being quite expensive for two basses. I play a 15 inch bell Imp (all I could afford at the time, and needed my own 4 valve for uni work) that I'm either looking at upgrading from, so I know (on a smaller scale) what you must be dealing with. There have been some Sov's around on eBay or on here for just over £2000 - depends on how much you have to work with, especially if you decide on keeping the Imps for spares.

    I'm sorry I haven't been much help, but if your band decide on selling them, instead of doing the work, could you let me know? I've been after a 19 inch bell Imp for a while.
  5. carlwoodman

    carlwoodman Member

    Rochester, Kent
    The Fletcher or Parker cut, plus a change of leadpipe, generally rectifies these intonation issues.
    Mark Carter (Mr Tuba) can work wonders with B&H Imperial / Besson New Standard Ebs.
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