Among all the string instruments, the doublebass is probably the most unique and least standardized. This is in part to it’s origins and development over time. In a way, the modern doublebass is a hybrid of sorts. It carries over the 4ths tuning from the gamba/viol lineage, yet the f-holes and body shape is closer to violin pattern (especially those with fiddle-corners). All modern instruments are set-up for high tension playing with steel strings.
Here are some of the common differences among instruments and players:
seated vs. standing
low stool vs. high stool
straight endpin vs. bent endpin (Laborie/Rabbath style endpin)
standard tailpiece vs. cable-style taipiece
orchestra strings vs. solo strings
4ths tuning vs. 5ths tuning (Joel Quarrington & Red Mitchell)
orchestra strings vs. jazz strings
regular fingerboard vs. extended fingerboard
dots on the fingerboard vs. no dots
low C extension vs. no extension
fingered extension vs. machine extension
4 string set-up vs. 5 string set-up
Tune 5th string to low-C vs. low-B
jazz set-up vs. orchestra set-up
underwood pickup vs. microphone
ebony bridge adjusters vs. aluminum bridge adjusters
german bow vs. french bow
white hair vs. “salt & pepper” hair vs. black hair (3 differences!!)
german “hat-peg” tuners vs. standard machine tuners
This list could go on, and I’m not even getting super picky yet….
Feel free to add to this list in the “comments” section above.