Carlo Robelli USB896 6-String

It was in 2004 that I first discovered Carlo Robelli instruments.

I really wasn’t in the market for a 6-string bass. But when I put my Carlo Robelli 12-string on layaway, this was one of the basses that I played while I was waiting. In retrospect, that might’ve been a mistake, because I wound up wanting a 6-string, too.

What convinced me to buy this bass was its $250 base price. Holy crap! For that, just about anyone could afford to have a 6-string bass on the side. And this one did not feel like a $250 bass. I’d easily have guessed $750 based on the way it played and how it was built. Whatever you may have heard about Carlo Robelli basses, they are not crap by any stretch of the imagination.

Not long after I picked up my 12-string bass, I put this 6-string (and a fretless, to boot – what the hell, right?) on lay-away, and picked it up a month later. I’ve never once regretted the purchase.

This is a unique sounding instrument. At least to my ears. The active electronics give it a nice piano-like tone that I would never have expected from a bass that was this inexpensive. A few people have complained that the strings are too close together, but I adjusted to it quickly. It’ll never be my main instrument, but for what I have in mind and how I intend to use it, it doesn’t have to be.

I’ve heard some people scoff at the idea of playing a Carlo Robelli bass. They’re usually the same people who don’t consider my Alembic Spoiler to be “a real Alembic” because I didn’t pay $10,000 for it. You know who I mean; the people who don’t know their asses from a hole in ground (simply put). My logic is that you can never have too many tonal options, and this bass opens up a lot of possibilities for things that I just couldn’t do with a 4-string bass. That alone is worth the price of admission, as far as I’m concerned.

April 27, 2004
Body Wood:
Quilted Maple
Neck Wood:
Pickups: Two Soapbar
1 volume
1 balance
2 tone
Sam Ash
Charlotte, NC
Swing Bass 66

“Music is spiritual orgasm.”

– Miles Davis

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