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Thompson Plywood Upright Basses

Thompson upright plywood and hybrid basses have quickly become the new, most reliable bass to get and at the same time, at a great price! Too many people told us that they didn't like our title: Cheap Upright Basses, because well, ...it made them think that maybe quality was cheap too. Thompson upright basses now have a well deserved reputation for favorable comparisons competing with plywood basses of other major bass dealers, more than double its price. They come with an adjustable, high quality bridge, good solid endpin and individual tuners. The most impressive thing on these basses is the quality of the construction and sound. On all of all Thompson basses, we use the same deluxe, upgraded heavy duty brass individually mounted tuners. These are the best, and standard feature on all Thompson basses now.

While there are lots of new plywood basses to choose from, here are some very key points that we hold most important:

The bass has to be the best built plywood upright in the world! Why offer anything less? The Thompson Standard RM-100 is by far the best made made plywood bass.(We specialize in quality): The Thompsons have veneers that will not pull apart or fall apart. They sound great! While the top is nicely made and formed, it has slight graduations in key locations that help give it a fine tone and response, while still adding the necessary stiffness and stability needed to keep this bass perfect for hundreds of years. Read what what our customers say on the Thompson testimonials page.

All Thompson basses (no matter which model or level) come with top quality, ebony fingerboards, good solid tuners, an adjustable bridge (still using the nicer Delrin adjusters) nice endpin and included standard black bass bag. Lastly, we are happy to install any brand of strings that we ourselves sell or carry on any bass we sell, at no extra charge and included in our price. (Our double bass strings prices also reflect our philosophy on offering quality and affordability.) Our trade in policy is incredible too!

It's also been our experience, that many people buying a new bass often need some key accessory: Many top students not only need a new bass, but they are in need a good bow to match it, or even something like a pickup or upgraded bass case. See our Amazing Bass Packaged Deals link for more information. If you do not see the combination you have in mind (we don't post every price), just call or email for the sale price.

See the new Thompson Bass Videos! Because of the type of lighting and brightness used on the videos, always refer to photos shown here for varnish texture and color accuracy.)

About our Thompson Plywood Bass prices:

Our prices are most "affordable" because of the big volume of our collection and bass making.   From the best ebony fingerboards, brand name strings, covers and basses, the Thompson basses offer tremendous value.

Prices for Thompson Plywood basses:

Standard RM-100, with violin corners and now, upgraded tuners (our most popular model), $1,485

Standard RM-100, gamba shaped, (same as above, just different shape) $1,485

Standard RM-100 in Blonde finish, $1,485

Standard RM-100, with oil varnish with same upgraded tuners, $1,585

Hybryd RM-200, only comes with oil varnish, same upgraded heavy brass tuners, $2,185

More about the Thompson models:

By far, still the most popular model has been the simple, Standard RM-100 bass. They have a nice attractive varnish, good reliable tuners and endpins, and are a real 'cannon' to play on. Most people decide on these to save money, but we've discovered that there are also lots of serious professional players that have the need for a good, reliable plywood bass so that they can use (and abuse) the bass more for their busy, about town playing, while not having to worry too much about the bass. One big attraction of a good, upright plywood bass is that they hold up extremely well, and can withstand harsh weather as well has some hard knocks.

Pictured below is the Standard RM-100 bass for $1,485 (case included).
Special note: All of our Thompson basses (RM-100 and RM-200 come standard with our own special, heavy duty tuning gears as shown.

(Click on any smaller image below here for a greater, detailed view)
Thompson Upright Plywood Bass Thompson Upright Plywood Bass Thompson Upright Plywood Bass Thompson Upright Deluxe Tuners (Standard)
Thompson Plywood Standard Thompson Plywood Standard  
Thompson Deluxe Tuners (Standard) Deluxe Delrin Bridge Adjusters
Plywood Upright Bass fhole Plywood Upright Bass (neckjoint)

We also offer the very same RM-100 now in oil varnish with slightly different, heavy duty tuners. I love having this flexibility of choosing another varnish in that so many of us have our own likes and dislikes. Here, there is something for everyone. Again, these have the same great, reliable workmanship as the Standard RM-100 upright, but with a little more time spent on the varnish. Both the violin corner model and the gamba model basses are available with the oil varnish or the regular spirit varnish of the Standard. Again, the RM-100 upright basses, with the oil varnish, are $1,585. Have you seen the new bass videos yet?

Thompson RM-100 Violin corners model, with oil varnish $1,585
(Click on any smaller image below here for a greater, detailed view):

Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, oil varnish Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, oil varnish
Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, oil varnish Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, oil varnish

Additional features of all Thompson basses. The neck is made from solid maple and the fingerboard is a very high quality, ebony. We can usually set these basses up with just about any of the bass strings that we carry.  A typical set of strings that works really well for classical have been the D'Addario Helicores, Obligatos or Evah Pirazzi strings and for Jazz setups, we favor the Thomastik Spirocore or 'Evahs' again.

We often get asked about our trade up policy.  We actually we do even better than let our customers trade in their bass, we give very substantial discounts (15%) on any subsequent upgrade.  Read the trade up, trade in policy for details. You'll this the best deal around.

Bass measurements: 3/4 model: The upper bouts (width of the shoulders) are 19 1/2", the lower bouts are 26", the back is 43 3/4" and the string length 41 1/8". This bass also comes in 1/4 and 1/2 size (covers included as well). On the smaller basses, they have "gamba" corners rather than the pointed violin corners.

Here are some photos of the new, Gamba model, RM-100.  This one has the hand oil varnish, but can be ordered in either Standard varnish (for $1,485 or the oil varnish, for $1,585.)

Thompson Plywood Upright Bass,Gamba model Thompson Plywood Upright Bass,Gamba model
Thompson Plywood Upright Bass,Gamba model Thompson Plywood Upright Bass,Gamba model

The new, Blonde finish, Standard RM-100 (still for $1,485) Shown below.  We get lots of people here that like Blondes (no joking!) They are very popular with Rockabilly and Bluegrass players and it is at their insistence that we now offer these basses.  Again, they have the same high quality workmanship as the other RM-100 basses, just different varnish color. (Have you seen Joe Fick play this bass yet in the bass videos?)

Click on any photo for larger image:

Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, Blonde Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, Blonde
Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, Blonde Thompson Plywood Upright Bass, Blonde

The String Emporium, quality plywood bass checklist:

  • solid, quality construction
  • beautiful maple and spruce veneers
  • good, solid, individual Heavy Duty Chinese tuners and the most select, hard maple adjustable bridge
  • solid, 10mm, cork lined endpin, with removable rubber screw tip
  • real ebony purfling
  • high quality ebony fingerboard
  • High quality maple bridge and specially made for us, Delrin adjusters included!
  • cover included
  • full professional set up
  • our unparalleled, 2-year all inclusive, new upright bass warranty
  • a spectacular trade up, customer reward policy

Again, we hope that you will shop and compare.  The quality parts, accessories and strings that we either install or include, are all part of the price and are incredibly competitive: Here, we include everything in the price, without having to singularly add these (and charge you).

More about our upright bass set ups:

For many that purchase a bass, very little thought is put into how much time, energy and expense is put into the set up on the bass.  As a bass player, I would say that besides the initial construction of how the bass is made and put together, is the quality of the set up:  By set up, we mean, how the bass bridge is fitted to the top (and exactly where), proper string heights (also catered to each players needs), perfect placement of the sound post, etc...  In the end, it comes down to just how it plays, how it responds to the touch, and how it feels.  We take a patient approach to our set ups, "that there are no 2 basses alike."  Each bass has it's own specific requirements and while the approach of our set ups starts off the same, it is through hours of  playing, checking and re-checking that bass, where we get the very best and most pleasing results. It's amazing what a huge significance this is in the end for the player. For more information on this, please refer to our upright bass setup page. No matter which model or price of your bass, we guarantee the same, expert set up and attention.

Shipping. We can either ship these in our new (3-ply heavy duty cardboard crating) fully insured or ship it air cargo in a Tuff-lite flight case. In any case, the bass can be returned if it does not meet your highest expectations and without any restocking fee charge.

For more information you can call or email us at basses@stringemporium.com