Very nice big sound and playability. Needed to change the strings and do a new setup for playability but after that it's a great instrument. The strings that was on were too light and the action too high. Tried the Pyramid double bass balalaika strings but they were just horrible! No bass sound at all and even lighter (?!?!?!) than the original strings. Eventually put on some cheap medium tension flatwound traditional double bass strings and it sounded great!
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No especially high quality package
I would like to say that I do not play traditional music from the Eastern / Russian region. I come from the electric bass. Contrabass I like, but I can not, so I thought: For unplugged times what insane try.
The instrument came promptly in the enormous box. The first impression: Boar, strings, there come with the truck still under it. Could be lower and would not snarze, but you can not adjust without professional (Steg runterschleifen, rather do not do it yourself). The screw at the spine was unfortunately broken, thread abgegeudelt. Thomann delivered immediately and free replacement.
The strings: from the style for double bass. Polished, soft, completely unsuitable for bendings. Very nice, double bass sound. But: The frets eat up the strings within a very short time. Faults in the system, these strings are not good. Thomann advised to Pyramid, which I tried, but they were too nasty and too "wiry" from the sound. A good compromise are strings by Lenzner, which are now also available here at Thomann: Not quite so nasty and after a short introduction also rather soft in the sound.
In terms of sound, this instrument is rather crude. In contrast to my acoustics bass from Takamine it loses through the bank of fine drawing and pronounced sound properties, but delivers because of the larger body significantly more unplugged depths. It does not reach the volume of a double bass. When recording with an EV RE320, it becomes clear that some sounds (very close to the soundhole) are very underrepresented. From far away it is less relevant.
Nevertheless, I always enjoy the part, just jamming at the camp fire, an absolute highlight in street music. I think it's worth its price (unfortunately) already. For a really good contrabass balalaika one would have to lie a lot more.
The fingerboard is black coated, no idea what a wood that is. Overall, the wood is well processed and the massive neck in one piece.
The included Gigbag is a joke. It is not really upholstered and anything but high quality. This is annoying, after all you can not buy Gigbags for this instrument from the bar everywhere. (Therefore deduction for "processing")
To the bass-Bauer I will still have to, the string position annoying. A neck-tensioning rod is by the way not on board, the thick bars of the neck makes the superfluous - but you can adjust then synonymous nix.
Conclusion: Fun factor large, but no particularly high-quality overall package. The original strings do not last long.
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