Carruthers EUB 4-string Reviews 3

It's black, and gets occasional use in the Diva Duo backing Ms D on vox and piano. Ms D loooove this ax and considers it a treat when I bring it.

I got it from Bass Northwest. I don't recall what I paid, but I remember that it seemed like a bargain compared to the competition, so it must be well under $2000 on that basis ...

It has a great EMG active system that doesn't mimic an acoustic but doesn't sound like a geetar-onna-stick, and it's quite free of noise, NOT picking up the awful hum that some piezos get from the dangerous wiring in my apartment [neutral side is pretty hot, no 3rd wire ground ... ] It's rather compact, and if you hafta travel by air, the neck is easily removed [one knob]. It balances well on it's endpin, unlike some EUB's whose pin is mounted outboard on the backside. This pin it totally central.

Worst complaint is that I'd like to pluck closer to the bridge without the percussive upper-midrange effect that this ax has, which others do not. To avoid it, I'm plucking about 10 inches above the more typical spot for uprights. The gigbag is waaaay too snug, a real PITA. And you hafta extract the endpin to bag the bass. If you're under 6 foot tall, you can saw 4 inches off of the pin so it will fully telescope into the body. Earlier endpins were 4 inches shorter, and tall players complained. So they made the pins longer ... but without making the BAG longer ... W-T-F ! ! ! And there's no compartment in the bag for the pin, so I put it in a cloth bow case and toss it in with the ax ... again W-T-F ? ! ?

It's a very typical stick-type EUB except for the removeable neck, which seems very well executed, and also the bridge support bars, which are a Carruthers feature. The bridge does not rest directly on the body but on two wooden 'leaf springs' which mimic the resiliance of an acoustic top. This does not give acoustic resonance, but does give the decay pattern of an acoustic. It is reasonably effective. The removeable neck is boxed-in where you'd normally find the open space under the 'diving board' end of the FB. This gives a more solid contact for the removeable neck, but takes some getting-used-to. OTOH, the box has only 2 side walls plus the small end wall ... IOW, it's OPEN where it faces [and seats against] the EUB body .... which means you could instal a mic system in there ! Very tempting but I haven't yet tried that. The 'upper bout' mimic thingy is OK. None of these are really great. At least this one is easy and fast to instal-remove, and very small for packing up.

EUBs are peculiar beasts. You get the sound of 41 inch strings and a long tailpice arching over a thin bridge, and usually an acoustic PU .... so they [mostly] don't sound like a FL bass geetar. Clearly, they cannot sound like an acoustic DB. And swapping EUBs looking for 'your' tone is expensive ... plus you can't generally waltz into a shop and try a variety ... usually none at all. This is my 3rd EUB. None of them sound better or worse, but all sound noticeably different. None have given me anything that proved to be 'my' sound .... and I am NOT silly enuf to be seeking acoustic sound, just an EUB voice that hits me just right somehow ... like when you find 'your' bass geetar [which is easier and cheaper to do]. But, Ms Diva looooves the sound, and it takes up less stage space than a horizontal bass, which is important cuz we often don't actually have a stage. I'm giving it a '3', not cuz it's a '3' thru and thru, but cuz it's got many aspects worthy of a '2' or a '4'. So a '3' is the average score.

Golem rated this unit 3 on 2010-09-07.

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