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Interesting Story and a Question for Luthiers


conguiño

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I saw this show on A&E about some guy in New Jersey plans on loaning or selling (I don't quite remember) his collection of rare instruments to his city's orchestra. They then have 10 years to raise $25,000,000 and pay him back. This is allegedly half the collection's real value. In ten years time the price will have doubled and they'll be paying 1/4 the price. Pretty cool huh?

 

Now these are really old instruments, made from wood that was already 200 yrs old when made by the original builder. They mentioned how he used beams from old houses because they were extremely well tempered due to exposure to smoke and heat from the fireplace.

 

The players and conductor said these instruments sounded divine due to the acoustic qualities of the wood. This made me curious about the wood qualtiy we encounter on electric and acoustic-electric basses.

 

I know from past searches that similar topics have been discussed, but I'm interested in the big picture and fuckin' hate Google.

 

Do any of you know of any websites or books that have a lot of info on bass "anatomy" or stringed instruments in general and their differences?

 

I'm very curious about the history of bass building, the effect different components and materials have on tone and innovative designs.

Does it hurt?

 

Only when I'm awake.

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You could try the following:

 

Ken Smith Basses Wood Species Page

 

Luthier\'s Mercantile International

 

Musical Instrument Makers Forum

 

Project Guitar

 

Ed Roman Guitars Tech Page - See the Tone Woods Page

 

Hopefully this helps.

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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RobT has given you some great links to get started. You might also want to visit the sites of less well-known luthiers -- some of them post "philosophies" or "principles" that guide their work. The info at their sites might not be as comprehensive or historical as what you're looking for, but if you visit a few of their sites you would see comparatively the ways in which they differ from one another in their approaches -- aesthetically, technically, etc.

 

Try the Luthiers Access Group website for links to various luthiers' websites (Stambaugh, Vadim, Drozd, and others). This is also one of my favorite sites to visit from time to time just to oggle the wares!

 

Also, the Bass Player Book (by Karl Coryat?) and the book by Jim Roberts about the Fender bass might give you some historical info -- at least about the electric bass. I haven't read either one, but perhaps others can comment about how much those books might inform your questions.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Thank you so much guys!

 

These links will keep me busy for months. I only took a quick peek at all of them but there is tons of info. :thu:

 

By the way...

Does anyone know of a luthier who makes a short or medium scale 5 string (hi c, not low B of course)?

Does it hurt?

 

Only when I'm awake.

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Originally posted by conguiño:

By the way...

Does anyone know of a luthier who makes a short or medium scale 5 string (hi c, not low B of course)?

Alembic makes lots of short and medium scale basses, but they're a tad pricy.

 

I think a lot of the smaller name luthier shops would be willing to build to almost any scale you desire.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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From asking around, most luthiers are reluctant to do shorter scales. they prefer to go with what they know works (which is not such a bad thing when you are paying big bucks).

 

Jack Read has had some success with shorter scales (I think he mad a 32" 5 string). It wasn't on his website last time I checked....

www.readcustom.com

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

From asking around, most luthiers are reluctant to do shorter scales.

Wow. That's interesting. Don't know why it surprises me, but it may have to do with my amazement with the work of luthiers and how I believe that they can pretty much do anything (iincluding leaping a capital T in a single bound!).

 

For another pricy option, I think Fodera does a Matt Garrison signature model that's a 33" scale 5-string. I'm guessing it's about $4000! :eek:

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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