Half Size Obsession.


Half Size Obsession.

Postby kennans » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:04 pm

Anybody have any experience with half size uprights?

I see them in Mariachi bands a lot. I've seen Penn Jillette play one.

What's the scale length? How does the sound compare to a 3/4? Anything?
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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby nolabass » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:41 pm

Not a lot of info I can offer but the bass I gigged was labeled 3/4 and was smaller than other 3/4 basses. Luthiers thought is was closer to 1/2 scale. I liked it and felt it was only slightly longer scale than my electrics.....especially after I started playing 35" scale basses. It was less prone to feedback and very few people picked up on it's smallish size. Passed in the blues circles very well while I played it.
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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby ilan » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:02 am

I had a 1/2-size rental in the house for about two years for my son, who started playing upright at 11 and needed a smaller bass. It was a quality bass, with beautiful tone and plenty of bottom and volume for its size. German-made, fully carved instrument, sounded better than my full-size 50+ years old Romanian bass (also fully carved). Half-size basses typically have a 38" scale (full size is 40.5"-42"). But whenever I played it, it always felt too small. The strings felt too close, and the scale felt too short. When my son turned 13 that bass began to feel small for him too and he moved to full-size.

If you are interested in half-size because you feel it will be more comfortable to play, there are other parameters which are more important. Like sloping shoulders, for example.
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.
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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby Rob Francis » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:38 am

ilan wrote:I had a 1/2-size rental in the house for about two years for my son, who started playing upright at 11 and needed a smaller bass. It was a quality bass, with beautiful tone and plenty of bottom and volume for its size. German-made, fully carved instrument, sounded better than my full-size 50+ years old Romanian bass (also fully carved). Half-size basses typically have a 38" scale (full size is 40.5"-42"). But whenever I played it, it always felt too small. The strings felt too close, and the scale felt too short. When my son turned 13 that bass began to feel small for him too and he moved to full-size.

If you are interested in half-size because you feel it will be more comfortable to play, there are other parameters which are more important. Like sloping shoulders, for example.


Ilan,
Can you elaborate on the shoulders and how they change the comfort please?
Thanks,
Rob
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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby ilan » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:49 am

Sloping shoulders make a big difference in the thumb positions. It's like the cutaway in a guitar. They make reaching the higher notes much easier. With an upright, anything past the "7th or 8th fret" the shoulder is in the way of your left arm.
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.
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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby AchimII » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:29 am

Are you talking about something like this?
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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby Chuck M » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:28 am

I owned a half size upright that was made in Sri Lanka. It was a carved instrument but not very well made, however, it played fine and sounded good. It was also surprisingly loud for such a small instrument. I don't recall any issues about getting around on the smaller fingerboard and shorter scale. Might be weird to me now since the bass I now own is a 7/8.

I once passed up a German made Juzek labeled 1/2 for $1000. I have never stopped kicking myself.

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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby ghiadub » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:36 am

I have been plunking around on a 1/2 Kay up at the local music store. This one is a total piece and would need some bucks to make right but I like the "fun size".

This particular one is not very loud. I don't think it is because of the size though.
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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby kennans » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:53 pm

I've got upright fever. Checked a bunch out at a store in Pasadena, then ended up recording a track for the new album on upright just last week.
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Location: Bay Area

Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby ghiadub » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:50 pm

Lemur music is San Juan Capistrano has a great selection of basses. Its kinda back in a little shop park but they have a lot of bass packed in such a small place.
That is where I picked up my upright.
"Play the music, not the instrument"

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Re: Half Size Obsession.

Postby hoytbasses » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:15 pm

www.gollihurmusic.com...... all things upright and great service too!
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