Bjorn Stoll basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Uncle Lee, Dec 15, 2005.


  1. Uncle Lee

    Uncle Lee

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Has anyone tried any basses by German luthier Bjorn Stoll (Björn Stoll)? There is a very nice looking 5 string on the lemurmusic webpage:

    http://www.lemur-music.com/aspbass/...nt&instName=Bjorn Stoll STUDENT BASS 5 String

    At this stage the two most likely candidates for my "first good bass" are this bass, or Sam Shen 5 string, if I can find one. As far as I know they are in the same price range.

    If anyone has played a Bjorn Stoll bass, I would love to hear your opinions. I know that one talkbass member purchased one this year; a review on the feel, sound, projection, playability, overall satisfaction and so on would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Uncle Lee

    Uncle Lee

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Nobody has ever heard of this luthier, or purchased one of his basses?

    My curiousity about his basses is killing my cat ... anyone? ;)
  3. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    SWITZERLAND
    On my Lemur catalog its written:

    "Lemur Music has recently discovered a new bass maker in Germany. Björn Stoll was trained by his father who made some of the most respected basses from Eastern Germany during the Soviet occupation, Now Björn works on his own producing very fine instruments with strong , full tone and exquisite varnish."

    Dont know about the quality of the basses, never played one, but the guy exists :D
    Good Luck

    NUNO
  4. jheise

    jheise

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
  5. hofner

    hofner

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    france
    "That looks to be a new Bass antiqued"

    thats exactly what i thought...My luthier had two of theses Chineses "antiqued" at his shop last month... very close the Lemur's one. (sounded very good and well done, btw !)

    the Bjorn stoll page on the site in link jsut show one model which look less "antiqued" than Lemur one...
  6. jheise

    jheise

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    I don't want do dive into the discussion if this is a chinese import/label etc. as this is perfectly possible (last time I checked, our long distance lines here in germany were working...) but Björn Stoll is obviously a real person (as you can see from the link I posted).

    Well ok, I bite :D : It looks suspicious - but why should someone from germany import the basses from china and sell them via Lemur. I'd suspect that Lemur could have that easier (esp. when they advertise the setup as Lemur's) and cheaper... And the Emmanuel Wilfers I played at World Of Basses here in Hamburg a few weeks ago where roughly in the same price range - and I would expect those not to be from china.

    Jan
  7. jheise

    jheise

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    For a bass that's fully handbuild, I agree. But perhaps the parts are still made in Germany/Eastern Europe? I'm just guessing: if I read Stoll's website correctly, I'd think he wouldn't want to "ruin" his name by being associated with "cheap" basses.

    I think I haven't seen it in Hamburg. Perhaps it is in Reutlingen? But they have ca. 50 basses in Hamburg so I could have missed it. Or it looked as if it was far beyond what I can afford...

    Jan
  8. jheise

    jheise

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    I was looking at the Wilfers more because my first bass (borrowed from the wife of my brother) was a Wilfer, and that's the sound I don't want. So it was more to compare with the other basses regarding the sound not the price. My current bass is a hybrid (plywood base ca 50 years old with a carved top that was new and done by WOB just before I played & bought it 3 1/2 years ago) that was cheaper but sounds and plays nicer in my opinion. I'm still not convinced to upgrade to another bass (I was looking in the 10-15k Euro range) as I consider myself still a beginner and I think I couldn't really appreciate a better instrument. So I'm checking in regular intervals if "I get it"

    Jan
  9. westland

    westland

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    这么大的大提琴?

    .... that's a really big instrument? What does "提琴" mean? (just curious Li Shushu, I'm working on my Chinese)
  10. Uncle Lee

    Uncle Lee

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Thanks everyone for an animated discussion. I am convinced Bjorn Stoll is a real person, as I met him at the Musikmesse in Shanghai this year. You can check his link here:

    http://www.nestler-instruments.com/index.php?goto=/werkstaetten/bstoll/index.html

    He has also been mentioned in some threads here on DB,

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/search.php?searchid=1711897

    which is why I posted the original enquiry here. I have sent a PM and an email to the poster who mentioned he has purchased a Bjorn Stoll bass, but so far have had no reply.

    I realise that there is a greater likelihood of his basses being sold in Germany and Europe, but I know of no forums such as this one where I can quickly gather a broad range of opinions, from people who have played one. Perhaps some of the German/European posters on this board know of such a site?

    The reason why I am trying to do so much research "before trying out the bass", is that I am in China: if I decide in favour of Stoll, I would purchase after returning to Europe. If in favour of Shen, I would try to purchase here (to save on shipping). Obviously the Shens get great feedback around this site, so that is a plus for them. But I was hoping to balance it...

    As far as the price ... I have emailed Lemur also about this and they cannot say specifically. I imagine it is possible that the parts are pre-carved by someone else before being put together by hand. But all talk of WHO is doing the construction aside, this is why I am dying to hear someone describe the sound and feel of these basses. (It will be around another year before I am back in Germany and can try one myself).

    Obviously finding the right bass is close to everyone's heart, and this will be the first time I lay down (for me) serious money for a good instrument. So I am trying to get it right first time.

    Peace,

    Uncle Lee.
  11. Uncle Lee

    Uncle Lee

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    提琴 (ti qin) means "instrument of the violin family"

    the trick is that in Chinese, 大提琴 (da ti qin) means cello. But literally it means "big instrument (of the violin family)". It goes like this:

    小提琴 (xiao ti qin) small instrument of the violin family = violin
    中提琴 (zhong ti qin) middle instrument of the violin family = viola
    大提琴 (da ti qin) big instrument of the violin family = 'cello
    低音提琴 (di yin ti qin) deep sounding instrument of the violin family = double bass

    Obviously, the double bass is a rare instrument in China, so it is more often than not mistaken for a 'cello. The fact that the Chinese term for 'cello includes the meaning "big", makes it even easier to confuse the two.

    Well, hope that bit of language trivia helps your studies. See if you can work this one out (I heard it one night wheeling my bass home):

    哇!真么大的吉他!

    Peace,

    Uncle Lee. :smug:
  12. Uncle Lee

    Uncle Lee

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I agree! I guess the "Uncle" thing is a bit misleading: I am 26 and still a student (not a music student) so for my budget this is about as much as I can spend.

    This is exactly the dilemma I am in: I will return to Germany, so it would make sense to purchase a bass there. BUT a Shen purchased in China could be within my budget, and a fantastic bass. Climate and transportation considerations aside, my main difficulty is that the basses I want to try are in two countries that are very far apart from each other! That is why I am so desperate to hear of someone who has played a Stoll bass, precisely because so many other European basses are so expensive (for me). Obviously I don't want to buy sight unseen, but I am a firm believer in doing as much "research" before a purchase (instruments in particular).

    Not at all! I have been somewhat of a "silent" talkbass member, in that I don't post so much. But the wealth of information here is something that I look forward to everytime I log in. So keep it coming as far as I am concerned!

    Regards,

    Uncle Lee.
  13. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki

    Joined:
    May 14, 2000
    Location:
    asia/australia
    Hi, I have purchased Bjorn Stoll bass some 6 months ago, directly from Germany (Nestler instrumente) . Stefan is very responsive to my inquiry. Do you know why finally I , by luck purchased from them? It was because I contacted Gruenert bass from Germany , and other luthier including Samuel Shen. Their response is fery low and slow, may be thinking I am not too serious buying basses.By the time they responded I bought Stoll already.
    Now my review of this bass is :
    They produce 3 grade of bass, I bought the second grade, as I just started playing again after sometimes Stefan even advised me that I should order the 3rd grade which should be good enough for me.
    The bass arrived in a wooden box and when I opened it ,the string , bridge and tail piece were dismantled.I was afraid that the soun d post was moved during transportation, but it was there in the place where it was marked.

    The sound was warm and big for this 3/4 size bass, the quality is sooo good, built like German tank.I could see the solid spruce top grain under the varnish which is so beautiful.
    The neck is fast and small. It has much warmer sound than the Hofner German bass which I bought earlier. It was strung with Spirocore Mittel when it arrived, now I use Dominant.
    I bought it with Pernambuco German bass , which has excellent quality too.

    I am now still have the GAS to buy the First Grade from them again , what do you think?
  14. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki

    Joined:
    May 14, 2000
    Location:
    asia/australia
  15. JayR

    JayR

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sorry it took me so long to reply to this! I havent had much time recently. I own a Stoll Meisterwerk Dresden model and it's a very nice bass, in my opinion. I drove down to lemur and played pretty much every instrument they had, and to my ear it sounded just as good as some of the pollmans that cost twice as much. The lower-end basses he made didn't impress me as much, but no, this is definitely not a chinese made bass, the label inside reads "Bjorn Stoll - Meisterwerkstatt fur KontrabaB und Cello" or something like that (I dont know german, I may be remembering this wrong, the bass is downstairs). I got it fitted with a C extension, the bass is really a pleasure to play and sounds wonderful. if I can get my four-track working I'll put up a recording of me playing, if you like? According to Lemur, his father was a prominent bass maker in eastern germany during the soviet era, and he set off on his own recently and is kind of a newer name. But seriously, this bass did it more for me than the pollmans they had. Let me check the label and I'll post again with more info.
  16. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki

    Joined:
    May 14, 2000
    Location:
    asia/australia

    Hi Mr Smith, I just wrote an email to Stefan in regards to your doubt that they are not made completely in Germany and perhaps somewhere else (china?). He said to me it is better for you to see the workmanship inside the bass and invite you to see the process of making it in their workshop in Germany. (He invited me personally before I bought their bass).
    My opinion is that we cannot justify the make of the bass by simply from the price they are asking for.
  17. Uncle Lee

    Uncle Lee

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    At this stage I just want to say thankyou to everyone who has contributed to this thread. I cannot physically play a Bjorn Stoll bass at this stage, because I am still in China, but will check them out when I go back to Germany later this year. A few people also sent me PMs, thanks for your help.

    JayR, you say you did not like the lower end models so much. Anything in particular you did not like?

    Ken, as far as the construction goes, I may go there (to his workshop) later this year and find out for myself. But as my primary point of comparison is the Shen range, which are made in China (although I am not sure whether to classify them as "hand-made" or "factory-made", perhaps you can offer some insight on this -- or John Sprague?), I am less concerned about where/who makes them, but rather a) how they sound, play etc and b) how they will sound, play etc in say 20, 30 years. What I mean is: how do they stand the test of time? I guess this is something that I would only find out buy acquiring one, but all of the input has nevertheless been very valuable.

    Oh, and in reply to someone's PM... no, I am not Chinese. I am on exchange here from Germany.

    Happy New Year everyone,

    Uncle Lee.
  18. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki

    Joined:
    May 14, 2000
    Location:
    asia/australia
    Perhaps it happened that they did not take picture in front of the logs being hacked or wood being chiseled ;)
    Can I say that Poellman perhaps paying and artist to act like a luthier or perhaps it was a computer trick ?
    B Stoll challenge you Sir to go there and see with your own eyes at their workshop, isn't it fair ?
    I am not their salesman but I think their deserve a fair judgement.
  19. JayR

    JayR

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    The lower end models just didnt seem like anything special. They weren't bad basses by any stretch of the imagination, but they didnt stand out among the 30+ basses in lemur's showroom. the one I ended up purchasing, the meisterwerk Dresden model (gamba shape, 3/4 upper bout, 7/8 lower bout) looked and sounded absolutely beautiful and was on par with the high end poellmans I tried. (though, if I had the 30 grand, there was one pollman there that I liked a little bit more.) The problem I find with a lot of the larger german basses, 7/8th pollmans and such, is that they're nice and boomy in the lower register but when you get up high it becomes a little muddy. The Stoll I bought has a very even response throughout and the tone in the upper registers is very clear and well-rounded. I only played on the cheaper models for maybe 2 minutes a piece to get a feel. They definitely were of much higher quality than the chinese basses lemur carries, and sounded about on par with the other basses in the price range (Cheaper wilfers, etc).
    Anyway, my bass, I dig it quite a lot, if anyone's in the bay area and wants to give it a try, feel free to drop me a line.
  20. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki

    Joined:
    May 14, 2000
    Location:
    asia/australia

    Hi, your Dresden is the top model, how much did you pay for?

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