The Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr.
With the design of the Karr model, we sought to increase upper register access for the classical soloist while giving it strength across the range and the real flexibility of a multifaceted contrabass. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has drawn crossover electric players to upright bass.
“The sound is large, projecting and has a great bottom and top… very even all the way. I’m really impressed with what you’ve accomplished and I consider this to be the first instrument that I’ve ever tried that for the amazing price at which you’re offering it I would recommend it to every serious student of our instrument. And even for those who have a fine instrument, this would be a perfect second for practicing, solo playing, chamber music, jazz, etc.” – Gary Karr
Above: Gary Karr auditions Karr Model built for his use at the 2017 ISB Convention
Ideas from Mr. Karr led to a complete re-examination of the possibilities of a solo instrument and a fresh design. Ergonomics and accessibility are paramount, with sloped upper shoulders and a slim tapered neck heel allowing for the greatest access to the solo registers of the bass. Extended C bouts give unrestricted freedom of movement with the bow. We’ve found that what the instrument loses in a slim “upstairs” is compensated for with body length and wider lower bouts, allowing for greater air movement which results in better projection.
The Karr Model Features:
– An elongated body and very slim and sloped upper bout
– All Karr basses feature a Deluxe carved top for maximum tonal clarity
– The slim, extra-long solo Ebony fingerboard of the original Karr contrabass
– The option of upgrading to an adjustable neck with a fixed bridge as favored by Gary Karr
The Karr Double Bass is available in three build styles:
Hybrid Flat Back, from $6,000
Solid Flat Back, from $7,500
Solid Round Back, from $9,500
Adjustable neck models and special instruments can be commissioned using our unique selection of rare tonewoods. Please call for current stock selection and pricing.
Ask about our simple financing!
String Length: 41 3/4″ (by design per Gary Karr’s requirements, 41.5″ & 42″available by request)
Neck Heel: Eb (by design per Gary Karr’s requirements, D neck available by request)
Featured Builds: Below are just a few examples of recently built Upton Basses to give inspiration to your dream bass. Click on a bass to see a full photo shoot and hopefully they can help point the way to an instrument that’s right for you!
The quoted names are the new owners of these basses, each bass unique down to the dot markers. Note the build name for options, wood choices, and varnish color references when inquiring about your potential build!
International Society of Bassists
2009 Builder’s Competition
Winner Silver Medal for Double Bass Tone