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Old 08-07-2018, 02:01 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Join Date: 01-18-2007
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Arrow Tirol/Bavarian Bass c.1860 (restored)

This 'Hand-Made' Bass was originally made without a Neck Block in the Tirol/Bavarian Region that connects Northern Italy, Western Austria and Southern Germany. It was made from very nice wood like the Maple seen on the finer grade Mittenwald basses and inlaid with Violin grade Purfling which combined is a few notches above the infamous 'Blockless Wonders' we have seen and heard about from Germany and Bohemia. The Tone of this Bass is more that of an Old Italian Bass than anything German to my ear. This type of construction has been going on for centuries including the old Guild rule of a fine oil varnish over yellow ground where the original varnish is still intact. It's a shame that the later import models sold in USA have cheapened the image of all basses made in this manner. German makers are known for their robust construction but with this bass I see two things that point to another school of building. First, the original corner blocks which are half the normal size are staying in the bass having been re-fit to keep it original. These corner blocks from top to back are barely 1" in width or depth. The second thing is the unevenness of the entire bass. Look at the bass front and back upper shoulders and the FFs and notice the right side is lower on all three showing the makers hand pulling everything down on that side as if that's how his dominant eye saw it. The scroll is uneven as well and the bass side volute had just been repaired as well from being broken off slightly many many decades ago. Also, the Ribs made with matching wood to the back, are 8 1/4" deep, (9" with top and back plates) and not like the cheaper production models we have seen. This is not a factory produced bass at all but rather a handmade instrument throughout. In the Tirol there were Germans, Austrians and Italians living and working together side by side over the centuries. I have only seen Italians work in this manner so maybe this is made by an Italian trained in the Tirol by the Germans or Austrians or maybe the reverse.

(Original web page with updated pics)
http://www.kensmithbasses.com/double.../tyrolean.html

Restoration by Mike Magee completed August, 2019.

Repairs includes a Neck Graft, Neck Block, new Tail Block, Top re-arching repaired, half edged, full Rib repairs and Back fully restored with all new bracing and half edging as well. Matching Purfling made and replaced as needed and the 19th century Tuning gears repaired and re-mounted along with a custom fit English extension machine on an handmade Ebony board. New Ebony Fingerboard, bridge with adjusters, new sound post and endpin tops off this massive 'back-to-life' restoration. "Thank you Mike Magee"

This bass is for personal use and 'not for sale'.

String Length; 41 1/8"
Top/Back Length; 43" top, 43 3/4" back
Upper Bout; 21 1/4"
Middle Bout; 14 7/8"
Lower Bout; 25 3/4"
Ribs; 8 1/4" to 6 3/4" at neck
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