Merchant Traveler Double Bass by Upton Bass, 2009
This Merchant Traveler double bass was a concept developed by Bill Merchant and Upton Bass. It was a straightforward approach to creating a portable double bass – a slim model with a removable neck. Besides those two considerations, this instrument is every bit an Upton hybrid from the era.
Eric Roy recalls:“Basically this was our standard hybrid at the time, built with three inch ribs, 3” straight from the bottom to the top, no rib taper. Other than that, it was everything we would normally do with a hybrid bass. It has the bolt-on neck, with regular neck block, just truncated to that 3” depth. The neck is removable, but not adjustable. We called it the Hawkes pattern at the time, it was our violin-cornered bass.”
It’s basically an Upton Standard Hybrid, circa 2009 with 3” ribs and a bolt-on removable neck. This was a travel bass built for easy packing, and meant to be amplified. An acoustic/electric “thinline” 3/4 size double bass – Eric adds, “Similar to a Volt and Geiger “pancake” bass, in fact, I think we had a Volt and Geiger in the shop to model it after. Surprisingly good sounding, the air volume loss does exactly what you’d expect it to – kind of honky and thumpy, but you amplify it and nobody would ever know!”
If you’re interested act quickly! This makes such a good practice and gigging instrument most of the gang at the shop want it too.