Aluminum Acoustic Double Bass Club

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by dhergert, Apr 8, 2019.


  1. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Very nice... Is this Pfretzschner playable? If so, how does it sound?
     
  2. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    'Plays very well after the visit; sounds great.
     
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  3. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I'll be giving a pretty comprehensive workshop on restoring vintage ALCOA basses at the upcoming Association of String Instrument Artisan's Symposium at East Stroudsburg State University, in Pennsylvania on Saturday June 22; 'probably a bit of Pfretzschner nerdiness thrown in too. It will basically be an overview of the upcoming book.

    That is the main reason I passed up on ISB this year- there are only so many nerdfests I can attend in one summer and still make sure I get in a bit of personal time & make the Rogue river launch in Septemeber...

    'Hope to see a few of you there!
     
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  4. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I wish I could be there. I'll be traveling back slowly in our RV from the Grass Valley (California) Father's Day bluegrass festival.

    I'm very anxious to see your book!!!
     
  5. Triplebassist

    Triplebassist

    Jul 4, 2019
    Hi Fellow bass bro's..
    I look forward to your helpfulness and expertise; is my old bridge a Vintage Selmer double metal bridge? I heard rumors, that they are high priced nowadays?
    It's cast (light) metal (alu.)
    Groovy regards from Jeppe
     

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  6. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    To my knowledge these 4-footed and 3-footed metal bridges are no longer being made, so they're somewhat collectable.

    The only metal double bass bridge that I'm aware of that is still being made is the Deuce-I bridge, and to my knowledge these are only being made in relatively small batches through the year by builder/luthier @Red Brown. The Deuce-I has a welded aluminum construction with adjusters, dedicated piezo slots, wooden feet and a wooden saddle. Commonly, one foot (usually the bass foot) is set perpendicular to the other foot for greater stability. You may want to contact @Red Brown if you're looking for one of these.
     
  7. Triplebassist

    Triplebassist

    Jul 4, 2019
    THANKS for your kind helpfulness
    I hope on more suggestions on whether my old bridge a Vintage Selmer double metal bridge
    Groovy regards from J
     
  8. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I’m not a member of this club and don’t qualify as one. But I’m really curious:

    Would any club member bother to record his/her aluminium upright with a microphone and without amp, in order to give those who know nothing about those instruments- like me- an idea of the sound? Both arco and pizz?

    Now, I assume it’ll sound not too radically different from a plywood or maybe a carved bass... aluminium cone speakers certainly don’t sound radically different from paper cone speakers despite the huge material difference.

    But I have no idea. So I’d like to learn.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  9. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Sure...

    This is from December last year. Tone is pretty much the same, technique hopefully a little more mature now.

    If I can ever figure out how to add a sound clip to my media library I'll put up a clip from our newest album, where this bass was used for just about every song.

     
  10. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Nice, with a C (or B?) extension... One advantage of having a wooden scroll.

    I've toyed with the idea getting an extension for my Alcoa, there are some nice options out there, but I don't want to modify that aluminum scroll, it's just too pretty as it is.

    Alcoa #342-244  scroll.jpg
     
  11. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    Do I have to play acoustic to be a member? (chuckle)
     
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  12. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    No, not at all, our "membership rules" are intentionally very close to non-existent.

    If you have an interest, you're welcomed here.
    If you have an aluminum acoustic double bass, that's great, we'll have more to talk about.
    If you have one and play it amped all the time, that's 100% ok too. Most of us play amped at least part of the time.
     
  13. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    I only play my Pfretzchner (sp) amped.
    Purchased in 2001 for a whopping $850.
    Put an ebony fingerboard on in 2010.
    All plain gut, K&K RAB p/u. Had it detailed/ painted in mid 2000’s.
     
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  14. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Very nice, can you talk about your sound and tactile playing experiences with gut? Slapping? Pizz? Arco?
     
  15. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    Slap and pizz only.
    I’ve tried quite a few different strings over the years including the SBW dirty gut synthetic. I keep coming back to gut. They just work and sound better. Just my .02.
     
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  16. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Nice, well one day I'll try gut at least for D and G... I'm liking my mix, but especially like that SilverSlap E and A and will probably mix them with gut sometime in the next few years.

    How do the SBW dirty guts compare with real gut? It seems that not a lot of people have played full sets of both on an aluminum double bass.

    Btw, there's a young lady at Disneyland California Adventure, playing with at least two different bands, who plays a Pfretzschner. She does a very nice job. One band is at least close to rockabilly, the other at least close to swing. I've only seen her play amped.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  17. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    Real gut feels better under the fingers to me. Also, there is so much more going on in the character of the sound of gut than wackers. A good analogy is wackers are a pencil sketch, Gut is an acrylic painting. I’ve used the innovation silvers before. But one of the strings fell apart after about 3 months. It was on a gig too. So I sold the remaining strings and steered away from those.The dirty gut D and G I found most useful of the set but still with very little character, the A and E were a no go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  18. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Thank you for the comparison, this helps for me...

    Do you remember which one fell apart? I've been using the SS E and A for a little more than a year now, pretty regular 2-3 hour daily playing ~90% slap/pizz and ~10% arco, plus various gigs, and they're still going strong. The E has changed color under the winding in some areas which is a little annoying, but there is no physical sign of wear anywhere on the strings.
     
  19. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    It was the D string.
    The outer winding literally detached from the inner and slid down to the bridge. The string was still attached to the tailpiece and tuners. It was bizarre. There was no discoloring or sign of wear. It just fell apart.
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 30, 2021

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