The double bass is a quintessential instrument to complete the orchestra. A loud bass tune is required for complementing the other instruments in the orchestra. The requirement for loud bass tunes makes acoustic basses necessary to have a huge body, making it challenging for players to hold it firmly while playing and moving it. A quality double bass is also expensive and requires regular maintenance. The Electric Upright Bass (henceforth EUB) is an elegant counterpart of the double bass, as its size is minimal. The electric amplifiers can produce the same loud music as an acoustic double bass.
What type of electric upright bass (EUB) to buy?
There are two types of EUBs, namely the solid body EUB and the hollow body EUB. Solid-body EUBs cannot produce sound without electronic amplification because they lack a recessed enclosure. Hollow body EUBs have a hollow cavity which enables the instrument to create sound without electronic amplifiers. For live performances, the solid body EUB is the appropriate choice as the amplifier can produce louder music. Hollow body EUBs are more suitable for practice purposes as they don’t make loud music like the solid body EUB.
EUBs and sound pickup
Although sound pickup is not required to practice and play in closed spaces, it is needed when playing in front of a large audience. The quality of stage performance largely depends on good quality sound pickup. More expensive EUBs come with in-built sound pickup mechanisms and can be used on the stage directly without any electronic amplification. However, many EUBs are sold without any onboard pickups and knobs. In such instances, a piezoelectric or a magnetic pickup needs to be purchased separately for amplification purposes, especially when performing in front of a live audience.
Sound quality comparison with acoustic double bass
Because of its small hollow sound chamber size, the EUB is less prone to sound feedback when it is amplified. The EUB can emulate the acoustic bass's exact sound by appropriately adjusting the amplifier tone and distortion controls. Because of the difference in transmission, the EUB produces a clearer and unmodified sound than an acoustic bass.