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Thompson Upright Bass, Testimonials

Here are a few testimonials from of some of our recent customers that have purchased a new Thompson plywood or hybrid bass.  You'll first notice the personal and happy manner of the way most folks write.  Most emails start with "Steve," or a "Dear Steve".  They're happy (as they should be!) with their new Thompson bass and also happy with the way we took care of their special order and bass.

Getting a new bass and finding that it is everything we promised it would be (and then some), is a great experience and happy occasion for all.  At the String Emporium, Thompson plywood and hybrid basses are exclusive to us.  There is no middleman or shop to drive up the prices or mess around with our great set ups or the special packages that we are able to offer here with our basses.  We're all about quality first, and keeping our promises to personal attention.  Doesn't matter if it's a $1,000 bass or $100,000 bass, life is short and it is important to follow through with the your highest expectations for excellence.

In this day and age, it's nice to be able to depend on us, whether you're getting your first bass or a seasoned professional needing help with some issue regarding your bass. We pride ourselves on our commitment to the highest quality and customer satisfaction.

Customer Testimonials:

Picked up the bass last night and just returned from a gig in which I used. It's great! everything about it is perfect! I will happily and gladly recommend anyone I run into to your shop. Excellent packing by the way.
 Thanks again!
 (I LOVE the action and playability.)

Ian Nye (Atlanta)

Hey Steve,  I just wanted to thank you for the bass.  I really like it.  Its beautiful and sounds great.  I really enjoy playing it.  or learning how to play it.  The bow is really nice too.  Thank you for eveything you did to make this bass great.

Rita (Charlotte, NC)

OK. This bass is great! You gave me eveything I asked for. The best upright tone I've ever heard and great playability. Nice tuners too. Thanks Steve you really came through for me.
Scott Hadsell (W. Palm Beach, FL)


I love this bass. I left the set-up alone-keeping it just as you sent it. After playing for a week or so, I have gotten use to it. If the strings were any lower, I wouldn't be able to "dig in" as much with the right hand, and my tone would suffer. I have played an assortment of basses in shops all over town after receiving my Thompson--plywood, completely hand carved, etc. For what I paid, there is no comparison. This bass has an incredible growl, even throughout the fingerboard, and just sings!  Steve thanks for the incredible bass, incredible service, and great conversation about the good ole days. When its time to upgrade, you will be my first call.

Mark Sligh, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

A few months ago I purchased a Thompson plywood bass for my college bound son. I have been playing jazz in the southwest for 30+ years and was impressed by the craftmanship and attention to detail found in such an economical package. The set-up for jazz was also very professionally done and I have used this bass on occasion with great satisfaction. As I also teach, I have recommended this same bass for my students and will continue to do so. Thanks for doing the research and leg work necessary to bring this new instrument to the U.S. market.

Warren L. Jones III (Phoenix, AZ, Professional Jazz player)

Not only did the Thompson bass meet my expectations for quality and workmanship, but it exceeded them by far. This is a superbly crafted instrument in both design and sound, which is big and even across its tonal spectrum. I especially love the feel of the thoughtfully shaped neck. It provides for an amazing ease of playing, and its fine ebony fingerboard alone is damn near worth the price of admission! Except for a few tweaks of the adjusters, I haven't changed the set-up since I first got it. Thanks Steve, for making it so easy to obtain such a terrific ax. I've not seen any other bass in its class (and believe me, I've looked) even begin to approach it in value. Keep up the great work.

Dean Crandall (professional player, NYC)

This bass is amazing. The tone is amazing, great string suggestion. I love the sustain. It was set up perfectly, so easy to play. I've never played a bass that plays so well and sounds so great. I have a gig tomorrow and I can't wait to see the trio's reaction to how this bass sounds. Great definition on every note on every register. Thank you. 

Is there any special care? Partly smelled like linseed oil. What strings did you out on it? You said spirocore, but I don't know if there's different models. How often should I consider a string change? I play a couple two hour gigs a week and practice a couple more hours.

Thanks for everything. I'm beyond happy.

Todd (Portland, OR)




Got the Bass. It was love at first sight! Couldn’t stop playing it. Very rich sound. Looks beautiful too. It’s just what the Dr ordered for my hand. Everything you’ve steered me to was right on the money. For my info: what brand and size are the strings. Also  I didn’t see a serial number on the inside label. Is there one on the bass?

 Thank you,

Rick Arthur, Seattle, WA

(I cannot remember if Rick bought a nice plywood or a hybrid bass, but I do remember him having some worrisome left hand issues.  He needed an 'easy' set up, with a string action that would feel loose, not tight, high or hard to play.)


Wow.  The bass is awesome. You were right, I much prefer it over the Shen.  I told my wife I would like to get a fully carved bass from you   Do you have some suggestions?  Also I will notify the credit union of this debit card purchase at 9 am when they open. Thanks again

Milton Ruffin
Sent from my iPhone

(Milton bought a Thompson Hybrid bass)



I just wanted to thank you for shipping the bass before you left for Asia. We received the bass today, and I have to say that EVERYONE(my son, wife, and even me) are pleased with the craftsmanship of the bass.  Even, my youngest son likes the bass.  

We had been working with Musician's Friend for over a month trying to find a good bass for our son.  After being very disappointment with the craftsmanship of the Florea and Palatino bass, I was tired of dealing with a company that did not take the same pride in quality craftsmanship.  Prior to last Friday, I had never heard of String Emporium.  After receiving the second bass on last Friday, I just started looking for other bass manufactures online, and I happen to come across String Emporium.  Thanks for taking our order on last Friday and shipping the bass out as promise.  I'm glad I came across your website when I did.  

Shawn & Johnnene Gay



The bass arrived in perfect condition and I couldn't be more pleased, the set up and action is spot on, wonderful playability and the quality of sound is fantastic! As for looks the finish is beautiful.

looking forward to getting on stage with it!

I can't thank you enough, awesome experience working with you and an instrument I'll be proud to play !

Jim Newkirk


Hello Steve,

I picked up the bass at the airport and I wanted to let you know that everything turned out amazing! The bass has a great tone and the bow feels great too. I'm very satisfied with my new bass. Thank you for the great customer service! I'll be sure to recommend you to any of my colleagues.

Stay in touch!

 Hunter Isbell (Florida)



We picked up the bass at air cargo this afternoon and Fox played it during his weekly private lesson an hour later.  As you suggested, we inspected the bass upon receipt at the air cargo terminal and there was no shipping damage.  I noticed some rub wear on one of the side edges, but my son said that was common to all of the basses.  Fox's instructor had very complimentary comments concerning the new bass and especially the Finale bow.  I think it sounds great and the Finale bow will make an immediate improvement in my son's progress.  Thanks for the outstanding set up and I'm sure Fox will enjoy many years of playing his new bass.  We'll let you know how everything works out with the bass solo recital in February and the Carnegie Hall performance on Easter Sunday.  Take care and have a great year!

Aloha, Scott Kajimara

(A happy Dad in Hawaii, who bought his college bound son a nice Thompson Hybrid for Christmas!)


Hey Steve-

Sorry been off the radar. So I have been playing the bass religiously and am really enjoying it. I am very pleased and look forward to getting up to speed and having a little better grasp of technique etc.

Thanks again for everything

Patrick Ryan, New York


Hi Steve, just wanted to let you know I picked up the bass and everything was in order. I love it!

The guys at the airport knew of you. When I asked if it would be ok if I opened it up they said no problem, they said they had a woman pick up a bass one time and they even setup a stool for her and she sat right there on the shipping dock playing it for an hour!

Thanks! -Mitch

(Albany, New York)


Hi Steve,

I just wanted to thank you so much. I've had the new bass for a week now and I have nothing but good things to say about it. The bass was comfortable to play right from the start and I ended up playing it on a gig the day after picking it up from the airport. Within an hour on the first gig I had received several compliments on the sound of the instrument. Eventually I will raise the action but as is, the bass is able to sing and growl at any register and that is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again and for the quick shipment and the awesome bass!

Chris Sprague, Maine


We picked up the bass and Ethan has already started playing. He spent over an hour with it yesterday. It looks and sounds great.

Thank you for a great bass.

Jerry Paradis
Reno, NV

I bought my Thompson Bass from the String Emporium back in October of 2008. I previously purchased an inexpensive upright from an e-bay store for use in college in pursuit of my master's degree but ended up paying almost as much as the bass just to make it playable. After searching the internet for other options, I discovered Steve and the String Emporium. The page Steve had up under the "Cheap Bass" heading peaked my interest (and I'll be honest a little wary). There were two different basses listed and one of them was the Thompson. I called and spoke to Steve personally for information on the bass and was significantly impressed with his passion for his product. He gave me a history of how he found the company and his personal philosophy in regards to customer service. Right off the rip, I wanted the bass. Steve worked with me on arranging payment and shipped the bass to me in Albany,NY. Steve explained to me that the bass would be playable right out the "box" and it was. As previously mentioned, I am using the Thompson for college and my private instructor (who can play all of the sting family instruments) was extremely impressed with the bass and surprised at the price tag. I am currently using the bass to study classical and jazz. I equipped it with a pickup to play jazz and plug it into an Ashdown combo amp. It sounds absolutely amazing pizzicato. Unplugged in the orchestra setting with the bow, the Thompson speaks extremely well (very warm and rich). I definitely recommend this bass if price is a factor and recommend Steve to get it from. Steve is a fellow bass player and loves to talk shop (another reason why I give this recommendation) with a true passion and not the typical salesman just trying to get your money. Talk to Steve and get one and I guarantee you will write a testimonial like just like this one.

Christopher Ruth,  Albany,NY

Thank you so much for the bass that you send me. I really enjoy it. Good bass, good set up, everything is perfect for me. You'll have good publicity from me.Once again, thank you.

Louis-Martin Grimard, Montreal

Hey Steve,

loving the bass so far!


Andrew Steiner

Received the bass and I love it. It's been putting a huge smile on my face all night. It was definately worth the wait. My only regret is not getting the pick-up because the annoyance of transfering the realist is a pain. Thank you very much for everything I will keep you in mind if I know anyone looking for good basses.

Dan Filipak (New Jersey)

I just received the Thompson bass from String Emporium for my 13-year old son.  He was playing an upright electric, but really wanted a “real” upright bass and since he’s been enjoying playing upright bass with a passion for more than a year, my wife and I decided we wanted to get him a bass that would be a top-notch instrument that he could play with pride for years.  In other words, we were after something a bit more than a “student bass.”  Frankly, though, we didn’t think we could afford one and considered ebay.  We had been around town and looked at various basses from Englehart, Shen, Kay (used) and a couple other brands that were way more money than we wanted to spend.  I looked at his instructor’s bass, a Shen SB100, in detail.   I do believe this Thompson is superior in construction quality and fit and finish to anything we looked at.   For example, the F-hole edges are nicely sanded and finished whereas the other plywood basses we looked at had rougher F-hole cut outs.  The neck is solid – SOLID – and smooth as . . . well . . . fill in your own metaphor.  The ebony fingerboard is just beautiful and consistent in the grain pattern.  And the tuners are very nice with a very positive feel and no slop or loose winders to buzz.  There’s no sloppy glue, no gaps in the joints, no filler that I can see, and even looking at the inside you can see the superior construction.  The plywood is really beautiful with no flaws that we could see and the finish is a beautiful medium, though rich brown.  Most importantly, the bass sings!  It has a beautiful growl to it for jazz and pop.  I guess we’ll at some point consider a pickup and amp for rock.   The adjustable bridge with the delrin adjustment knobs works 10 times better than the one on his electric Palantino.  Of course my son couldn’t resist bowing Iron Man right away and the bass sounds wonderful bowed as well.

Steve Koscica of String Emporium was very helpful during the buying process and spent a lot of time answering questions over the e-mail.  What I liked about him was his honesty about competing brands.  He didn’t down talk them.  Rather, he convinced me that this Thompson would be every bit as good, but less expensive than any other plywood bass on the market.  I haven’t looked at “every other bass” on the market, but of those I’ve seen and heard, this Thompson is superior.

After we placed the order, he called and spoke with my son for about 20 minutes so he could get the setup right.  He actually switched the stock strings out for a better set after speaking with my son.  He then e-mailed us tracking and pickup information with helpful tips about what to do at the shipping terminal to make the process of getting the bass home very easy.  Then he e-mailed us after the bass arrived to see how things were going.  I think his biggest problem is the price of this bass.  I believe he would sell more if he priced the bass at $1700 because I think people are too skeptical of $1250 for a plywood bass.

Anyway, I wanted to post because, like me, at $1250 I was very reluctant thinking this might be another temporary bass that my son would outgrow in a couple years.  Hell no!  this is a beautifully made and superb sounding bass that will last him a lifetime.  So impressed was I with the build quality, finish, and sound that we sprung for a deluxe Mooradian bag to protect it.  Those go online for about $400, so you can see that I believe this bass is worth way more than $1250, otherwise why invest in such a bag worth 1/3 of the instrument? 

Don’t walk, run. . . .. . . MJ in Louisville, KY