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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by dhergert, Apr 8, 2019.
Congrats! That’s the first Pfretzschner aluminum I’ve seen with vestiges of the original finish.
Ya'll, this thing is neat as hell, but it's not without its problems. I'm going to have to pop the top off pretty soon because my buddy I bought it from put this funky internal microphone mounted on a hose on a dowel in the lower block that's got to go. It's missing a couple screws along the top and I figure I'm going to probably have to refelt it to get all the little rattles to abate. The bridge is setup relatively flat right now, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to recut it because it feels kind of awkward and is impossible to bow. No big deal, though - I might try to track down that crazy ass aluminum bridge system (Deuce?) I read about on here the other day, but money is tight right now after this purchase. I've got a new Kolstein bridge with ebony adjusters here I might throw on it, but it seems like it might be a little too big... I might polish it down one day and get really into it, but first and foremost I want to milk its playability as much as possible. I kind of like the funky Terminator-esque finish its got now. As far as strings are concerned, it came Spiro/gut, but I think a full set of gut might be more appropriate to mellow out it's inherent harsh, if you will... I'm not crazy about this aluminum tailpiece, but again am hesitant to invest any more money into this at present if I can avoid it.
I forgot to mention: check out this neck! Best lookin neck in my whole fleet. Not crazy about the inlaid dots, but it feels and looks great!
An original painted finish on a Pfretzschenr is incredibly rare. Nice score!
You can see how useless the paint formulas were back then for adhering to aluminum; 1920s paint on 2025 series aluminum. That is why ALCOA took so much pride in their 50 step patented process for their finishes.
I tweaked some setup stuff on The Terminator, lowered the G and E to make more in my spec for occasional arco stuff. Spiro Mitt E, Weich A, and my highest tension gut D/G strings - I’ll be able to use this bridge/pup combo. The rattles all seemed to settle on their own (??? I’m not complaining!) , but I’m still on que to take her apart and refelt eventually. All in all pretty pleased.
A brown Sharpie will cover over the dots.
Hahah, not on this one…
Thats awesome! Its a beautiful bass with a lot of patina history there. Good find!
Companies even into the late 60s / early 70s were struggling with finishes on aluminum. I've got a 68'ish squareneck aluminum body Dobro made by Rudy Dopyera in his Mosrite workshop, which originally sported a dark sunburst. Every hint of the finish has chipped away. This Dobro probably uses a different alloy than Alcoa's 2025, but very similar results.
I had to pull back some of the paint to access screws to tighten all the wood bits inside my Pfretz, and now I’m considering stripping it down and buffing it shiny.
The paint itself smells kind of nasty and I am concerned about lead (4 small kids at home) … Also, I’ve been wondering if stripping the lacquer improves response and/or tone to any noticeable degree?
There’s a lot of controversy in the saxophone world about lacquer on horns dampening vibes, etc, but I notice a difference. I figured since the Pfretz is painted on the inside, though, that dampening vibrations on this boat might actually be desirable. I am actually concerned about lead in the paint, tho - should I be? It chips pretty easily and I’ve got an almost two year old that tries to eat off the floor for sport and entertainment.
Did 'zoot keel over from covid or did he just get kicked off for mouthing off to the admins?
Hmmm, I know noooo thing. These days, I just hope he's ok.
I thought in another thread he said he was going to quit the forum because he was upset about something.
I thought it unfortunate at the time. His was an interesting perspective.
Zoot just disappeared near the end of August. I was conversing with him via DM about one of his basses for sale too. He did a nice repair thread for one of his American Standard basses which was really informative and I always appreciate threads/comments from those who come from different instruments to bass as they have great perspective on melody. He was a good dude too.
He left after the "breaking in a new bass" thread began discussing brass instruments.
Breaking in a New Bass
I think he inactivated himself. Too bad, really.
That photo of his upthread, w/ the mic inside the bass reminded me of a vid I recently saw of one of my fave clawhammer players - Jake Blount. Dig his "favorite amplification setup"! In my favored performance styles/setting, lowtech is generally tough to beat!
I talked to Zoot last night via text and he voluntarily deactivated his account to take a break from social media. He is fine and will be back.
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