The Upton Bass Ergo Double Bass by AES features an asymmetric design that sits close to the player’s body allowing for a better reach with the bowing arm and remarkable fingerboard access. The Ergo also features unbroken cornerless lower bouts and sound ports on the player’s side for acoustic response. This first 2020 Upton-built version is fully carved, with lightly figured domestic maple back and sides, Sitka spruce top, and a 41-inch string length.
This modern upright bass is a joint collaboration between Upton Bass and Arnold E. Schnitzer, developing his unique Ergonomic Contrabass and putting it into production at Upton Bass.
Here’s Arnold’s build notes on his original award-winning Ergonomic Contrabass: “Conceived as a combination orchestral/solo instrument, it is asymmetrical as a matter of form following function. The upper bout is wide enough to allow for a deep, punchy tone, yet the reduced treble side shoulder provides outstanding access to the upper register. The lower bout of the treble side was enlarged by the same amount as the reduction in the upper bout in order to maintain tonal balance between the treble and bass halves. The back slopes gently up to a thin neck block, allowing the player to nestle closely to the bass, keeping the bow arm in a naturally relaxed position. Along with ergonomic developments, the bass features unique back bracing, top arching and bass bar, all designed to reduce seasonal fluctuations and improve tone. The ff-holes are an aggregate of violin-family and plectrum guitar designs. The shape of the body was conceived to be cornerless – the upper corners are a concession to practicality.”