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Old 06-02-2011, 06:51 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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“Shiney” and I went on a mission to check out a Stentor yesterday. I’ve tried a few of these basses before.
This model, I was surprised to discover, was a ‘Conseratoire’ – I was told the others I’d tried in this shop previously (over a few years) were also Conservatoires. If that’s the case, there is a huge difference in each bass I’ve seen in this range!
This one was smaller than a standard ¾ and had Mittel strings on. It sounded a bit ‘honky’ to me under the bow – I don’t think this was caused by the strings; they felt good and bowed easily.
The fingerboard was a bit buzzy in the middle (pizz) and the action was a bit high. The octave C on the A string, and some notes around it, sounded ‘wolfy’.
I remember the other Stantor basses I’d tried as being bigger, and looking different. A local luthier spoke very highly of one of them.
The Conservatoire model is evidently fully carved. For what it’s worth, I felt that my old German plywood sounded much better (and warmer) than this particular bass and my 500 series Christopher was in another league.
Has anybody else had experience with Stantor basses?
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:57 PM
Shane Wilcox Shane Wilcox is offline
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"Shiney" here (damn you, Prowsey!). I hadn't heard or played a Stentor before yesterday, but had certain expectations having read a little about them on the "other site". It should be noted that these impressions were almost all recorded by folks from the UK, who would appear to be almost as starved of choice for basses as we are down here.

Perhaps it's in part because it was brand new (I believe we were the first to play it), but the tone lacked the depth and complexity I would hope for from any carved bass, and sounded very much like a plywood, except quieter. I think it may have opened up somewhat even during the hour we were there (I am, of course, as susceptible to self-delusion as the next person), but there was no getting away from its unevenness.

It's a pity, because I really wanted to like it, and it would have saved a good deal of hassle being able to purchase a bass locally. The vendor is also a very nice guy and a stalwart of the local acoustic music scene. At least I bought my bow from him, I guess!

Off to Auckland in a couple of days to try some more. Pity you can't come, Richard! If I make any observations that seem worthy of reporting, I'll do so.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:06 AM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Bon voyage Shiney.
I'll be there in spirit - truth be told I'm not very fond of flying.
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