On these pages I will describe a few modifications and improvements of my Stagg Electric upright bass. After browsing through Internet it became apparent that such mods are quite popular and people share their ideas and accomplishments. Here is another set of those, and hope it will be useful to some musicians and tinkerers. I bought my Stagg EUB circa 2019. As I gather, most people are pleased with their instrument, however, it could be hit and miss. Buzzing fingerboard, rattling end pin and other issues are not unusual, and I suppose depend on the model of the instrument - the manufacturer seems to improve its construction as time goes by. I could be lucky one, but my Stagg was great and usable straight out of the box. Err, out of the soft carrying bag. However, few things needed attention.
Today, e.g. about three years after purchasing and modifying/adding to it, I think here's nothing else I need to do to enjoy playing it. All parts of the instrument are stock, except for the strings. D string was strangely buzzing in one spot, but the fingerboard was absolutely flat. Turn out, the string was so ever slightly bent, that while unnoticeable to a naked eye, it was enough to touch the fingerboard not only at the point when it was pressed down, but be too close to it below the contact point. It took me a while to figure this out. I've emailed the manufacturer, asking for a new D string. They were responsive and sent me a new set of all 4 strings for free. I did replace D string first, and buzzing at the suspicious spot disappeared, but it appeared at different spot. After taking the string out and inspecting it, I've noticed that it was not smooth, but had sharp bends - just like the original string Stagg came with. SinceI wanted better than stock strings anyway, I bough t a set of Spirocore Bass Orchestra ones, and all the buzzing problems went away.
Other than this, I've adjusted the bridge (lowering action) and placed a little shim (a piece of electrical wire insulation) under E string - I needed to increase action for that string only without affecting other strings. I think the stock bridge is too curved toward E side, but not enough to warrant making a new one.
With Spirocore strings and lowered action I've been quite happy with how my Stagg looks and most importantly - sounds. The way one plucks strings has greatest impact on the sound, if you want as much acoustic upright-like sound, you have to pluck strings by the side of your finger, not tips as one would do on a bass guitar. It will never sound like an acoustic DB with a mic, but it will be very very close to the one with a pickup. To illustrate, here are excerpts from two jazz tunes I've recorded during practice with my two friends musicians - a singer and a piano player. On these recordings I'm playing my Stagg EUB through a small Markbass Micromark 801 bass amp. No equalizers, reverbs or any other electronic gadgets between the Stagg output and the amp. The sound was recorded with a Zoom Q2n handy video recorder located about 2m (6 feet) from the amp's speaker. The recorder was set to capture audio only.
Slow tempo tune - Stagg EUB sound sample - What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your LIfe (Michel Legrand)
Fast tempo tune - Stagg EUB sound sample - Love Me Or Leave Me (Walter Donaldson)
So, choose the topic on the left side and read through more detailed description and photos of what was done.