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4/4 5-string Kremona, Ltd. Bulgarian bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Silversorcerer, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Well, well, we go away and then we "come back". Hello, friends and family.

    From time to time I have gotten Private Messages concerning my beloved and now almost 7 year old 4/4 5-string Bulgarian bass, which I purchased new from Bob Gollihur in 2005. It is of course "fully carved" and the handiwork of Markneukirchen guild trained luthiers and made in the Rubner gamba style. Inside it is signed by shop master Ivan Georgiev. It weighs 31.5 lbs. and is taller than I am and the largest double bass in Atlanta outside of the Prescott that Ralph Jones sometimes uses in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

    It is a fantastic piece of equipment. I have lugged it, hugged it, dropped it, tripped over it, fallen on stairs with it, and most importantly continued to play it in jazz, folk rock, blue grass, and other ensembles since the first week I had it. The only repair it currently needs is the fingerboard is a bit loose from the last time we both tripped over a stairstep while some chickipoo was distracting me. I was a little drunk at the time, busted my lip real good, but the bass sustained no damage of any consequence.

    Durability: This bass is guaranteed to break anything that is in the path of it falling. Incidents of note: It slid off the side of my car onto the pavement. Minor bruise only. An automatic garage door once came down on the scroll. It broke the motor of the garage door. The only part that I replaced was the bent end-pin lock screw. It fell over onto a fellow musician's Taylor guitar when he accidentally knocked it off the stand. The Taylor had to be repaired.

    I used to play it through an amp until I was told to turn down at a session when I wasn't even using an amp. Sometimes I use an acoustic image and a good condenser (see my gear profile). Now, unless it is in a large venue with a lot of competing amps, it goes solo. It sounds best with the Martin Brunkala osage orange German bow with black hair (and Pops or Soft Oak rosin) that I had custom made a few years ago, but it does very well and is way loud played pizz.

    The finish has some crazing marks from exposure to weather but has held up except where it was bumped or banged. I don't baby this baby. She goes everywhere from tent to tavern and rarely complains.

    All I can say is if she ever gets trashed, I will buy another one from Bob Gollihur if he still sells them. I can't imagine playing any other double bass after this one, unless it was another like it. :D[​IMG]
  2. Strange how times change. When I started posting here, I was a bass player mostly, and while I still am a bass player, I also double on trumpet and cornet, and sometimes classical guitar.

    When I started posting here, attributing my tag line "There are no secrets....", to "anonymous", Anonymous was anybody or "nobody". It was, of course, a humorous reference to a secret that contradicted the tagline itself. But those of us who create parodies of ourselves (the "no secrets" line is of my own authorship) sometimes loose these into cyberspace with unknown consequences. Now "Anonymous" is some bizarre hacker group bent on exposing secret divulgences. Who would have ever thought? ;)

    And if you want to follow my posts, you will find them on facebook or trumpetmaster, and less often here or on Ken's corner. So goes time. We do with it what we can for the brief space of it. I hope all is well with talkbass and its' ever changing dynamic. Keep sawin' and thumpin' fellow bassists. :bassist:
  3. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    Hey Silversorcerer, do you happen to know your bass's measurements off hand? I took delivery of a 3/4 five string Kremona just a couple of weeks ago and except for the scale length, it seems to be a little on the large side of 3/4. I'm rather curious how big the 4/4 version is!

    Also, got any more pics? :D
  4. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    That is one humongous bass of destruction! Thank you for letting us know what is the best double bass for metal. (and I'm not even starting on a Chuck Norris reference).

    I'm also wondering about actual sizes. From that picture the neck seems pretty wide. Is it harder to play compared to a 3/4 4 string?
  5. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    That's a beautiful bass buggy. Did you make that?
  6. Yes, I built the chariot. Somewhere I listed the dimensions once before but the string length is 43" as opposed to 41.5-ish for the 3/4. I did not find this difficult to adapt to as one does not experience the entire difference at one time. As one moves up the neck the difference becomes imperceptible.

    I have numerous photos and did have several posted but have changed ISP's since then so those links no longer work. I need to update all of that. I will most likely do that through facebook. My URL there is facebook.com/silversorcerer. All of my albums there are public (?) I think and there are some shots of the bass in action from a Scapeweavel performance (live at the Apache Cafe).

    I think there are some live recordings of it somewhere under Scapeweavel (Apache Cafe or Wormhole) also and there are some at myspace.com/bluerainbird and some photos there as well.
    Reclining Nude 3 Photos from Blue Rain Bird (Blue Rain Bird) on Myspace

    Blue Rain Bird was recorded, mixed, and mastered in GarageBand on my 2006 Macbook. The Kremona was used on all 4 tracks, so you can hear how it sits in various styles and mixes. I highly recommend a listen to "Blue Gypsy Waltz", co-written by myself and master song writer and vocalist Larry Ellis. This gives you an accurate idea of the difference in sonority that the longer B string makes under a well-rosined bow. This is an "orchestra" bass.
  7. It's ginormous. Ask Ken Smith what size it is.:bag:
    Kevin Scott, who plays with Col. Bruce Hampton as well as his own trio just jumped all over it, no problems. I think it is a matter of what one is used to and the set-up. I did an excellent set-up on this, carved bridge and all, and it was much easier to play than my previous Czech BSO, which was poorly set up.
  8. richhansen

    richhansen Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Endorser of the KSM Foundation Bridge.
    I have one of these Bulgarian 5 string monsters, strung up with a high C string, and I love it. It's a wonderful sounding and playing instrument.
  9. That bass is officially* THE BEST DOUBLE BASS FOR METAL.

    *in my own little world :)
  10. WOW :eek: That's a really big Cello!!!!
  11. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    Awesome pics. Thanks for posting!
  12. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Great photos! So glad to hear you are enjoying your Kremona. Mark will be seeing them at NAMM in a couple weeks.
  13. Any chance that you will be importing the other Kremona, Ltd. Gamba style? I forget the name [edit: Mayer design], but it has longer C bouts and a taller rounder shoulder. The style looks older in origin and I think the name started with an "M".

    I like this one so much, but I know the way I have treated it, averaging a gig a week and multiple rehearsals;- at some point my luck is going to land it on the major repair table, and I might like to have a back-up with similar dimensions and set-up in case I do something really stupid.
  14. Some improvised work here recorded with MXL 990/991, Tascam US122, GarageBand, Macbook. I recommend "House of Card" to hear it arco, others for pizz.: Listen HeaR | Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos

    The two mics are placed in basic stereo configuration a few feet from Marty and a few feet apart, I'm a bit farther back, (just like it sounds really) and there is no multi-tracking or amps involved. The guitar is dominant because I had Marty placed somewhat closer to the mics to favor vocals, but without a separate mic on the guitar, or multi-tracking, that configuration also favored the guitar.

    This was just a rough rehearsal stereo recording for quick demos. I added a little echo and reverb only, but if you hear it on some good headphones or earbuds, it gives a very authentic rendition of the Kremona's acoustic voice. Pardon my poor technique! Even so, I really dig working with this bass. My on-the-fly composition just flows so easy through this voice;- deep, but can be gentle or heavy. It really responds to the fingers, something like the way a real nice old Fender Precision does. Playing these tracks was like a meditation. :) :)
  15. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I can make special arrangements to get other basses. It was my philosophy to keep the instruments frill-free to keep the cost down, so an average college student or p/t player could get into a good sounding instrument without paying the cost of having a pretty maple back to impress the drummer.
  16. Well, this one has impressed every drummer I've worked with, so I guess you met & or exceeded that goal. I completely understand that philosophy. Even on this model, the grain of the spruce and maple shows well. I've had many compliments on both the sound and appearance over the years.
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Nice to see you back, Dave! Good to hear you're still in love with that bass.

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