instruments

 for sale and hire

 
Double basses and bows for sale:


20th century European 3/4   £1,000

I currently have a choice of two similar instruments. They are both all solid wood flat back construction but set up quite differently -one with an adjustable bridge and Obligato strings; the other with a higher action and gut strings. These instruments are very good value for money and are perfect as an entry into the world of double bass or as an upgrade from a laminate (plywood) or cheap Chinese instrument. They are about 30-40 years old but both in good 'gigging' condition with no major issues or work needed.

Lowendahl, Dresden 1892  £5500

This is an absolutely classic Dresden bass and it sounds superb. It is of viol outline with a flat back. The spruce front is of a medium and very even, straight grain and the back and ribs are of maple showing some interesting figure on the back. The back centre joint has been remade with an ebony strip inserted -a high quality and aesetically pleasing restoration technique. It has the original label inside featuring the Lowendahl trade mark and has a pencil inscription with initials and the date of manufacture.
It was originally built for export from Germany and fitted up as a three string bass -still the accepted set up in British orchestras at that time
(though judging from the pegbox and neck width it could equally well have been set up as a four stringer for continental use). It was carefully converted to four strings many many years ago -probably in the early 20th century.
As is not unusual with these instruments the combination of the neck angle and small 'step' (the gap between the bottom of the fingerboard and the belly at the neck foot) meant that it was not possible to fit a correctly sized bridge. This has now been remedied with a wedge under the fingerboard, neck reshaping and a high saddle to compensate for the resultant extra tension. It also has a new 'AAA' grade ebony fingerboard, a new bridge and a quality endpin fitted and is now a wonderful instrument both bowed and pizzicato. It also comes with an optional wooden endpin.
The string length is on the long side compared to a modern 3/4 instrument but it is increadibly easy to play and quite possibly that extra inch on the string length helps to enrich and deepen the tone...

lowendahl front      
lowendahl side 2       Lowendahl side 1       lowendahl back  

String length 108.5cm (42 3/4")
Upper bout 54cm
Lower bout 66cm
Max rib depth 20cm

 





Saxon mid 19th Century  £4200 (reduced from £4500)

I've just finished restoring this bass and it's a corker!
It is a large yet light instrument that resonates extremely well and has a powerful and warm tone.
The bass has undergone a complete restoration over a number of years which included replacing many old repairs, a new bass bar, a wedge under the fingerboard, neck reshaping, pegbox repairs, stripping and re-varnishing with a high quality oil varnish (the original varnish had been removed at some point in the past) and a thorough set up including new saddle, nut, soundpost, bridge, tailpiece, endpin and tailwire.
Surprisingly for a bass of this size the string length is a very manageable 108cm.   
full front       side 2    full back    side 2

side 4    shield    pb 1    pb 2
 
String length 108cm (42 1/4")
L.O.B. 115cm
Upper bout 53cm
Lower bout 70cm
Max rib depth 22cm




20th century European 5 string   £6,500

If you are in the market for a five string bass then this should be at the top of your shopping list! It is wonderful sounding instrument with a truly rich and even sonority. Whoever made this bass really knew what they were doing as it looks stunning, is perfectly balanced tonally and sings from the lowest to the highest note.
It is beautifully made with some lovely touches (such as the ebony insert down the centre of the back) and has just undergone comprehensive upgrading and  improvement.
It has a very manageable string length and despite the generous rib depth is easy to play and doesn't feel at all cumbersome.
Recent work includes:
New AAA grade ebony fingerbooard, change of neck angle to get the correct bridge height, neck reshape, new bridge, new endpin, new tailpiece, new soundpost, new nut, new saddle, a new set of Evah Pirazzi strings and to top it all
(quite literally) a set of high quality German made Rubner tuners.

Bourg ff    Bourg b    Bourg bf    Bourg tf

Bourg scroll1    Bourg scroll2

String length   105cm

Upper bout      51cm
Lower bout      67.5cm
Rib depth        22cm


French 19th century labelled 'Jacques Gand, Mirecourt'  £12,500 ono

This is a simply gorgeous instrument. It is of classic French 'Mirecourt' design -violin outline with a carved back and deep ribs. This bass has a really rich 'plummy' tone and as one would expect is made to the highest standards. It features carefully selected wood, a lovely and radiant golden varnish and top quality fittings.
The bass is fitted with an E string extension currently sports a set of Evah Pirazzi strings. I also have a brand new set of Flexocore Deluxe strings so it is ready to go what ever style of music you want to play on it!
This is a stunning orchestral instrument but with Evah Pirazzi strings it also plays beautifully pizzicato and would be equally at home in a jazz, folk or contemporary music environment.

Gand double bass full front    Gand double bass belly    Gand double bass back   
Gand double bass front and side    Gand double bass back and side    Gand double bass scroll and extension

String length:   106.5cm (just under 42")
L.O.B:               113cm
Upper bout:      53cm
Lower bout:      66.5cm
Rib depth:         20.5cm






Mid 20th century European   £SOLD

This is a lovely 3/4 size, carved back bass of at least 55 years of age (plenty of time for the wood to mature!).
It has just undergone extensive upgrading and overhaul. I had to open the bass to attend to some repairs and at the same time I took the opportunity to replace some older repairs, re-graduate the top and fit a new bass bar.
This bass has responded excellently to these upgrades and has now also been fitted with a new high quality bridge and endpin.
After a little tweaking of the (ebony) fingerboard and nut the bass is now playing beautifully and sounding great -
the bass now really sings and has a good punchy tone. It. is currently fitted with a (recent) set of spirocore strings

If you are wondering what a bass bar is and what re-graduating might entail read on.....
The bass bar is a long brace that is glued to the inside of the belly and runs under the bass foot of the bridge. This bass was made with an integral bass bar (a common practice on older German/Czech instruments) in which rather than being a seperate piece of wood the bar is formed by simply not carving that portion of the wood away when hollowing out the inside of the top. Removing this bar and replacing with a new one of top quality spruce of better dimensions, shape and grain will normally improve both the sound and response of an instrument as is the case with this one.
Re-graduating involves measuring the thickness of the belly (it varies all over) and then removing wood by planing etc.
(and very occasionally adding with a patch) to achieve the ideal thicknesses for the belly to flex and respond to the vibrations of the strings. There is no hard and fast rule for this as it depends on the density and flexibility of the wood and also the design of the bass and the profile of the arching -it is very much a matter of careful judgement and experience. It is not uncommon for basses to be made with somewhat haphazard thicknesses and quite often they are left with considerably more wood than is ideal. Too much wood (especially at the edges of the belly) can dampen response and reduce volume and sometimes 'choke' the sound completely. By removing just the right amount of wood a somewhat lifeless and uninspiring instrument can really start to sing and even fine handmade instruments can often be improved.

Clar Front       Clar Back       Clar Body       Clar Scroll

Clar Front Side       Clar Back Side

String length   107cm
L.O.B:              106cm
Upper bout      51cm
Lower bout      65cm
Rib depth        19cm


Budget basses   £800-1500

I normally try to keep one or two cheaper basses in stock; these are generally European solid wood instruments made in the last 40 years or so. These are often instruments which have had fairly major work carried out to improve their sound, projection and playablility. Compared to buying a new instrument these basses are excellent value and you can be assured that there will be no nasty surprises in store if it has been through my workshop (unlike some new instruments I have seen which need hundreds of pounds spending on them to bring them up to an acceptable standard.....)



German/Czech 3/4 ealy 20th century   £SOLD

This bass was most probably made in the region of what is now the border between Germany and the Czech Republic (or Czechia as they now wish to be known!). There were several important centres of string instrument production in this area
at the time (including Markneukirchen and Schonbach) which dated back several hundred years and maintained a strong tradition and skilled workforce.

This bass was made during the early years of the last century and is a nice example of the instruments that were being made at the time. It features a spruce front, two piece maple back, maple ribs and its original maple neck. It has an ebony fingerboard and a quality bridge fitted. The tuners, which would have originally been of the wooden peg variety have been replaced (probably due to the originals breaking) with quality brass
tuners which are very much in keeping with the style of the instrument.

The instrument was most recently used by a classical musician but it would also be perfect for other styles of music -these basses are very popular for jazz as they have a nice 'punchy' pizzicato sound and are of a size that makes them very 'manageable'.
The bass is fully set up and ready to go!

svr Front    svr bassside    svr back    svr treble side

svr scroll    svr body

String length 105cm (41 3/8")
L.O.B. 109cm
Upper bout 50cm
Lower bout 64cm
Max rib depth 19.5cm

 


French model bass bow    £299

W Seifert bass bow in good condition.



New instruments:


Travelbass   
From £1650
The Travelbass is an what is commonly refered to as an electric upright bass or EUB. This is a slightly misleading nominaclature as it is amplified in the same way as a double bass (ie a third party pickup) to allow the musician a range of options. It also has an acoustic, all be it small, body constructed in a traditional way which gives an unamplified sound far greater than solid body EUBs. These instruments are hand made to order and can be customised to specific requirements e.g. detachable neck for easy air transport and copying the neck profile/dimensions/scale of your regular bass.




Model L bass guitar    From £1299
Four string bass guitar of exquisite design and construction. See here for more details.

basssguitar1



Model 1 archtop guitar    From £2599
A modern classic hand made to order. See here for more details.

archtop guitar



Bass accessories etc:

Bass stand. Wooden, hand made to my own design. £38 (+£6 p&p)
Currently sold out -contact me if you would like to order one.

Wooden endpins. To replace the extendable metal rod in your endpin. Available in a range of woods and all common sizes. From £33 (+£3.50 p&p)

Heavy duty rubber endpin tips. Supplied with heat mouldable plastic compound to create the perfect fit on all endpins. £9 (+£2.80 p&p)

Bow sock (bag). The easiest and safest way to transport your bow! £14.99 (+£1.50 p&p)

Transport wheels. A range of wheels are available with either a solid or pneumatic tyre and optional brake. £25-45 (+£5 p&p)

Bass rosin. Pops Rosin -my favourite brand! £11 (+£2.80 p&p)

Bow quiver. Black leather model made by Glasser of New York. £32 (+£3.50 p&p)

Humidifier. Hangs down inside the bass through one of the 'f' holes to help prevent damage to the wood caused from lack of humidity. £10.50 (+£2 p&p)

Wolf note eliminator .   £6 (+£1 p&p)




Instruments for hire


As well as keeping one or more instruments as 'loan' instruments for customers whilst their instrument is in the workshop I also have equipment for hire:

Basses:
     I often have one or more basses available (though not always as they are sometimes out as loan instruments during repairs). Please contact me for more details.
    Travelbass. EUB with detachable neck. Acoustic bodied instrument which can be easily transported and fits into a standard size keyboard case for touring or flying. Supplied with pickup.

Pickups:
    Realist double bass pickup.
    Underwood double bass pickup.
    Polytone bass pickup.

Various amplifiers/speakers including:
    Trace Elliot amp
    Hartke amp
    Eden 1x10 speaker
    Hartke speaker (1x10")
    Flite speaker (1x12" + 1x5")
    Phil Jones Flightcase combo



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