Ken's Corner (Bass Forums Sponsored By KSB)

Go Back   Ken's Corner (Bass Forums Sponsored By KSB) > Double Basses > This New Bass > Modern Handmade Basses

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-13-2014, 05:19 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,940
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Arrow Simba..

While looking here for a thread to add info to, I realize that I have never featured this bass by itself. I have mentioned it but only briefly here and there. I meantion this because having owned it now for 7 of its 11 years (7/11, lucky for Dice or a quick snack on the road, lol), I have a chromatic ebony C-extension made for it by its maker, Jeff Bollbach. This would be carved around the Lion with the string running thru two separate wheels without drilling a hole in its head.

This is the bass on Jeff's 'site when he made it in 2003.

Here is the bass on my site pictured in 2007.

Having a C-extension allows me to use the bass more often as most time, I need the low notes for the local orchestra gigs I do.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	full_FR.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	18.1 KB
ID:	3010  Click image for larger version

Name:	R_side.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	13.2 KB
ID:	3011  Click image for larger version

Name:	full_bk.jpg
Views:	124
Size:	15.8 KB
ID:	3012  Click image for larger version

Name:	scr_FR.jpg
Views:	123
Size:	20.8 KB
ID:	3013  Click image for larger version

Name:	R_scrPROF.jpg
Views:	132
Size:	24.5 KB
ID:	3014  

Click image for larger version

Name:	tailpiece.jpg
Views:	127
Size:	32.7 KB
ID:	3015  
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-18-2014, 08:15 AM
Eric Swanson's Avatar
Eric Swanson Eric Swanson is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 11-12-2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 196
Eric Swanson is on a distinguished road
Default

Thank you for putting it forward. I hadn't noticed the veneered tuning machine handles or the lovely tailpiece.

Not only a gorgeous piece of wood and metalworking, but an exceptional instrument too?! Wow...
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-18-2014, 04:06 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,940
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Swanson View Post
Thank you for putting it forward. I hadn't noticed the veneered tuning machine handles or the lovely tailpiece.

Not only a gorgeous piece of wood and metalworking, but an exceptional instrument too?! Wow...
Thanks Eric. Did you play this bass when you were here or was it out at the time?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-19-2014, 07:27 AM
Eric Swanson's Avatar
Eric Swanson Eric Swanson is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 11-12-2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 196
Eric Swanson is on a distinguished road
Default

It was out; I haven't ever seen it.

Probably just as well; it would probably just fill me with bass-yearning...

__________________

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-19-2014, 11:01 AM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,940
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Swanson View Post
It was out; I haven't ever seen it.

Probably just as well; it would probably just fill me with bass-yearning...

lol.. yes, it's a heart breaker for sure. The few times it went out on trial, I was actually 'happy' that it didn't sell. Now once again, I will keep it for myself. I feel more at home with this bass than many others I have had.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-03-2015, 07:36 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,940
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Question C-Extension?

I have been thinking for quite awhile now about getting a C-Extension on the Bollbach Lionhead. I had one fitted to the old Bohemian with a double wheel rather then thru the head. The problem there was the tongue so we went around it with the 2nd wheel. I think that Hal Robinson's Gargoyle head looks beautiful with the string thru the head and jaw. Looks like an Excalibur sword slaying a Dragon.. lol.

On the Bollbach, I think it would look perfectly cool going thru the head but some might prefer going around it with a double wheel. Here are pics of the 3 basses mentioned. I hope Hal doesn't mind me using his image. He's a cool guy so I think I'm safe.



Your thoughts?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	tokyo_4.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	63.1 KB
ID:	3396  
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-05-2015, 05:59 AM
Matthew Tucker's Avatar
Matthew Tucker Matthew Tucker is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-19-2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 427
Matthew Tucker is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to Matthew Tucker
Default

my thoughts are that although I understand why you'd want to do it I think an extension on a lionhead always looks sad.

I haven't yet seen a lions head stuck up against the black door-jamb that in any way enhances the elegance and royalty of the carving.

if I had to do it I would try to ensure that the ebony was as minimalist as possible with plain fittings and screws so as not to detract from the carving with bling.

On Jeff's lion head I think I would try to use wood the same finish as the head , with just a slim ebony cap. to make it look as if it was done like that from the start.

them's my thoughts.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-05-2015, 12:51 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,940
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Tucker View Post
my thoughts are that although I understand why you'd want to do it I think an extension on a lionhead always looks sad.

I haven't yet seen a lions head stuck up against the black door-jamb that in any way enhances the elegance and royalty of the carving.

if I had to do it I would try to ensure that the ebony was as minimalist as possible with plain fittings and screws so as not to detract from the carving with bling.

on jeff's lionhead I think I would try to use wood the same finish as the head , with just a slim ebony cap. to make it look as if it was done like that from the start.

them's my thoughts.
Interesting Matt. The problem is that basses in this range are made for Orchestra players. It is a fairly big bass, not a 3/4. Everytime I go to an Orchestra rehearsal or concert I need a C-extension for at least a note or two if not more. In selling basses, the thought of "can I put an extension on this bass?" comes up and the sale falls thru. My other Lion bass sat for over a decade in Europe un-restored and un-sold. After a restoration, a USA/Smith style set up with Arnold and a C-Extension, the bass was Orchestra worthy. It sold in a snap and that was a bass I planned on keeping!

The Bollbach Lion has a great sound, deep and powerful. It is Leon Bosch's choice bass to use when in the states over my former Fendt/Hart and Marconcini, two Great OLD basses. The new owner of the Hart is thrilled and the Marconcini (a 3/4) is now getting a C-Extension. Another bass I cannot use unless it has one. I have tuned down on a few basses just to use a particular bass but the Extension is the thing now. Gotta have one. The Lion WITH an extension will get more play now and more appealing as well as it can be used for everything. So, the artistic viewpoint and the players viewpoint are not the same. Consider all the great old Italian basses that would be unplayable if they had not been cut down as well as some French, English and German basses. They would sit and fall apart never to be used again. Or, modify them to be played and loved again.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-10-2015, 11:58 AM
Jeremy Darrow Jeremy Darrow is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 12-28-2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 34
Jeremy Darrow is on a distinguished road
Default

This is a really lovely bass. Clearly the extension will make it a more usable bass, which is good. Putting a hole in the head seems too invasive for such a special demonstration of workmanship, though. My $.02 is I would use a 2nd wheel on the extension to avoid running the string through the scroll.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-10-2015, 12:15 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,940
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up 2nd wheel..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Darrow View Post
This is a really lovely bass. Clearly the extension will make it a more usable bass, which is good. Putting a hole in the head seems too invasive for such a special demonstration of workmanship, though. My $.02 is I would use a 2nd wheel on the extension to avoid running the string through the scroll.
Yes, 2nd wheel it will be. Plenty of room on the extension piece for the extra wheel.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-10-2015, 06:42 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,940
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Smile Ah..

Last night I took out the Pallotta Lion (made by Jeff Bollbach) to a rehearsal. The main reason was to test it a little bit more before sending it back to Jeff for a C-Extension. It would be made with a double wheel and no hole thru the head, with the extension form fitted over the Lion.

Last night, between stops from the conductor my stand partner tells me how good the bass sounds and well I was playing it. He has heard me play over 15 different basses in 4 different orchestras over the last 4 years.

Today, out if the blue he calls me to tell me specifically how well the Bollbach fit me in playing and sound last night and reiterated he was only calling me for that reason. He asked if I would keep that Bass as my personal one going forward. I replied.."Maybe" .. We were playing Sibelius 2, which I had played about 4x in 4 other orchestras in the last year. So I asked, "was it maybe because I knew the piece from just playing it 4x last year?"
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007 - Ken Smith Basses, LTD. (All Rights Reserved)