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  #1  
Old 01-28-2007, 10:42 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Lightbulb Speaking of Restorations...

What I would like to see is some detailed restorations of old Basses with 'before', 'during' and 'after' pics. To kick it off, I will show you a beautiful old English Bass I have that many of you have already seen but many have not. Please excuse all the copy as this is straight from my website.

The Bass featured is a rare English Bass from the great Samuel Gilkes who's legacy as a Violin/Cello maker spawned out of the 18th century and helped shape the 19th century thru his pupils. I know this sounds a bit far fetched but if if I could draw a family tree it would amaze just about any reader. In brief, he trained and worked first with Charles Harris Sr. and then worked with William Forster III. His co-workers and apprentices include Chas. Harris II, W. Forster IV, Simon Andrew Forster, John Thomas Hart, James Gibbs and his son William Gilkes. W.E. Hill later apprenticed for a short while with Harris II who worked with J.Hart a few years after the sudden death of Samuel Gilkes (1787-1827).

Ok, here are the web pages of the Before (w/restoration pics) and After pics and description including as much history I could gather. Feel free to re-post any of the pics here for discussion using the [img]url[/img] format before and after the url. If you need any help, just ask.

Questions, comments and discussions are welcomed and encouraged. Please, if you have a similar story/saga to 'show and tell', by all means please do! It doesn't have to be a 200 year old Classic. Any restoration at all will be welcomed as long as it shows some details from start to finish for study and discussion purposes.
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2007, 12:31 AM
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Lightbulb One More, the Prescott..

Ok, here is one more Bass I had for about a Year. I bought it and then waited 6 months for the Restoration to be completed. Then I played it only a few months before selling it. This was a Bass in need of an expensive restoration as it had been sitting in storage for decades falling apart literally.

Once again here are the Before (w/restoration pics) and After pics linked to my web pages.

Some of us have discussed this on another forum in my Yankee thread but I just added the restoration pics recently. Now we can take another *crack at it here! (*pun intended)
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:28 AM
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Paul Warburton Paul Warburton is offline
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Default To the bathroom

Hey Kenny Boy.....Do I get to do my old 'To the Bathroom' stuff on this site?
To those who are not aware, on other sites, I take the most beautiful DBs to my Hall of Fame WC and do 'things'
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2007, 07:49 AM
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Talking 'To the Bathroom' stuff??

Paul, I wouldn't have it any other way and you know that. Take off your shoes (holding my nose) kick back and let r rip...(still holding my nose..tighter actually..lol)

I want your Avatar and the whole nine yards. Don't think I invited you here just to sit back and watch me do all the work. I'll meet you in the parking lot after dinner if you have any problem with that...

Now, scoot on over to the Jazz Corner and make a splash.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:28 PM
Mike Pecanic Mike Pecanic is offline
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Who did the restoration? Those cleats kill! I love resto. pics, the more the better for me as I am finally finishing up a bass I started over 6 years ago and have an old Czech 3/4 in pieces too! Also, is the sound post patch a 'tapered' plug?

Mike
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2007, 12:39 PM
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Cool who done it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pecanic View Post
Who did the restoration? Those cleats kill! I love resto. pics, the more the better for me as I am finally finishing up a bass I started over 6 years ago and have an old Czech 3/4 in pieces too! Also, is the sound post patch a 'tapered' plug?

Mike
Both the Prescott and Gilkes were carefully restored by Arnold. Many a conversation was had about details involving originality of these two classics as is going on currently with the Hart/Fendt Bass as it's been under the knife for months now. Those blocks you see in the Back are only temp. cauls spot glued to hold the Back seam straight as the center graft settles in. Maybe Arnold can come up and explain some of his methods. I hope when Jeff does my Loveri, he takes and posts pics for us to enjoy.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:30 PM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pecanic View Post
Who did the restoration? Those cleats kill! I love resto. pics, the more the better for me as I am finally finishing up a bass I started over 6 years ago and have an old Czech 3/4 in pieces too! Also, is the sound post patch a 'tapered' plug?

Mike
Hi Mike. Glad you like our cleats. The post patch is the standard inlayed type. It goes about half way through the plate and is rounded in all dimensions.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:26 AM
Craig Regan Craig Regan is offline
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Default green luthier

For a wile now, I have been interested in bass repair and restoration. In my home workshop, I have done all sorts of rebuilding projects on various stringed instruments. Although I am still very green, I would like to learn more in this "field of study". If anyone knows of a lower end bass in need of major repairs let me know, I may be willing to take it on. I am not looking to make lots of money, but gain experience. The worse shape the bass is in the better! Also, any ideas or advise on getting started would be appreciated.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:44 AM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
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Craig, check around with schools. They often have busted-up basses laying around in closets or basements. The instruments are not worth repairing, but no one has the heart to toss them in a dumpster.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:21 AM
Craig Regan Craig Regan is offline
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Thats a good idea Arnold. In the past, I have helped out at my kids school doing repairs on their basses. It was a good deal for the school; The work was done "pro bono" and the turn around time was a matter of days. Most shops have a much longer waiting period for repairs from what I am told.
I'll check around with some school districts in my area and see if anyone is interested.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:20 PM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
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Try a phone barrage of all the antique stores in your part of the world. Somebody's got an old bass hanging on the wall.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:33 PM
Joel Larsson Joel Larsson is offline
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Here's some pics of what is now passing as a c:a 100ys old German kids' bass, about a smallish 5/8 instrument. I thought it was cute, so I had it restored. It sounds nice, although of course is doesn't rattle your guts like a big, proper bass do. Worth the money? Nah. But it makes people talk in a way my much more flamboyant Pöllmann doesn't, plus, you can carry it around like a bass guitar (oh, the wonder!).

Here's what the luthier did, copied and pasted from her mail:
Take off table
3 straight edges
1/2 edge bottom block
diverse gluing
remove back braces
glue cracks, reiforce
new back braces
glue ribs to blocks where they have come away
redo rib repair upper treble
neck graft
retouch
bridge
sound post
regraduate table, remove integral bass rod
new bass rod


And no, that's not me on that pic.

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  #13  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:45 PM
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Thumbs up nice..

Nice looking Bass there. A Bass this size could have been offered either for Solo playing with Cello fingering back then (maybe even tuned in 5ths?) or possibly a smaller person.

I have has many nice Basses in various sizes. Even the smaller ones like 3/4 or 5/8ths (whatever that measures or smaller 3/4s) that have a nice and powerful sound are heard or felt more 'in the chest' that under your feet 'thru the floor'. My experience has been that the 'in the chest' basses often carry better than the 'in the floor' basses. Some better basses are floor to ceiling i n sound and carry power. Those are the ones I dream about.. lol

Still, I have had a few basses with questionable cost values between purchase and repairs that total greater than their value but then again, the reward in sound when played is more often personal for the most part.

Anyone own a Boat? Talk about a 'hole in the water that you pour money into'!..
Negative Value?
Bass critics should shift their eyes over to the Boat docks.. More there to see in the 'minus' range in my opinion..

Enjoy your new Bass..

I have a fantastic sounding/playing Blockless Bass that everyone including myself will say it's a 'negative value' project, but guess what? When the slot is open at the shop (I have a guy lined up), I am getting it fully restored. The sound is worth the effort and expense to me. I love reviving old 'lost' Basses.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:44 PM
Joel Larsson Joel Larsson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
I love reviving old 'lost' Basses.
My whole reason for doing it. A mistreated bass brings out my sentimental side...

I had time to use it twice on gigs before getting back to school. Five evenings with a small sort of cabaret troupe gigging around at minimal venues - a five-piece orchestra meant there was no real problem getting through - and here the size was a bliss, and one week in a small pro orchestra doing a very traditional New Year's Eve show, with tons of Johann Strauss stuff. The other bass player didn't want to use his own bass and played on the orchestra's, so I had to use my midget because my Pöllmann was 1500 kilometers to the north. And, it's not your ideal orchestral bass. You can produce volume if you're careful with your bowing, but it lacks any rumbling bass frequencies. That said, I think it'll make a nice chamber bass for smaller baroque ensembles when I get three more guts. The G I got from a friend sounded nice.

Oh, and also, there is ONE NOTE that sounds totally fab. Eb on the D-string. Don't know why, but here the bass starts rumbling like something three times bigger. The lowest notes on the E-string is surprisingly good for being a small, probably low end instrument, too. I'll take it to the most nearby luthier and see if some sound post adjustments would make more notes sound like this.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2009, 04:29 PM
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Andreas Henningsson Andreas Henningsson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Larsson View Post
And no, that's not me on that pic.
... Because it's me on the pic!

I can second that the Eb on the D was just amazing!

Joel, on your way to four guts I can offer you an wound A-string aswell...
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:16 PM
Joel Larsson Joel Larsson is offline
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And you look like a real piece of cake, too!!

What, don't try to sell me any more strings! I still haven't paid you for the Gamut G, remember?

Not too interested in a steel wound, actually. I like the bad sound you get with plain gut. After all, sounding like **** is what hardcore baroque playing is all about these days. I won't even need a better bass than this one.

Speaking of steel covered guts - and going helplessly off-topic, I know - the Eudoxa A I got last autumn has been played on for four weeks, at most, and the steel winding is loosening up, as if the gut got too extended underneath. It makes a sizzling noise, which is kind of cool actually, but I really ought to ask Pirastro for a replacement. They ARE kind of costly.
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2009, 07:46 AM
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Andreas Henningsson Andreas Henningsson is offline
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Well, well... It was worth a try

You say it seems to have extended? I've heard that this can occur if the core shrinks and therefore is too thin for the windings...


You can probably get a replacement. Give it a go!
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