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American Standard - you like 'em?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by radsboy, May 30, 2003.

  1. radsboy


    May 27, 2003
    Well after asking about whether a new Englehardt was worth $1.2k, I learned that the American Standards are well though of by some players -

    I have s/n 2101, does anyone know when that was made and anything else about it?

    Mine needs work but I am getting the idea that I should have the work done and forget about buying a new one. Comments?


  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I'm trying to track down the site which has all the serial numbers for American Standard and King. Your bass is easily 60+ years old. American Standard and King command a premium in NYC because of the sound. My AmStand turns heads. When they hear it, nobody believes it's plywood. I can't believe any production bass you'll buy today will beat what you have
  3. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    The American Standard is the finest production plywood bass ever produced. The sound is deep and punchy, and it cuts through a lot of noisy playing situations. The King was made in the same factory and is also a fine bass. Unfortunately, the string length as built is an uncomfortable 43", and the neck joint is troublesome. But these areas are worth addressing if you want a great plywood. The American Standard bass was the inspiration for the New Standard Cleveland model, which has similar tonal characteristics, but improves on all the weak areas. Sorry for the blatant self-promotion, but the new site is up at WWW.NEWSTANDARDBASS.COM

    Like Donosaurus says, keep that sucker and get it in shape! BTW, I sold Don his, #87, and that bass absolutely kicks ARSE!!! It's as loud and deep (Pizz) as any bass, carved or otherwise, you'll ever hear!
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I start to drool every time I take a look at the "La Scala" model. I think I'm in love. If a fella wanted to actually set hands on one of these to see what it sounded like, what would a fella have to do?
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Ditto for me on the New Standard....wish I didn't live so far out in the boonies. Love to try one. Love to buy one.
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Oh lord...gotta stop clicking on that AES link.

    On the other hand, my wife DID say that I needed a tax writeoff this year...
  7. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Y'all come, hea'?
    Arnold lives on a small farm where the lovely Barbara boards and trains horses. Plenty of produce stands in the area. And you can stop in a couple of local vineyards for wine.
  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Just come to our booth at the ISB in Richmond, VA. We'll be there with four models from 6/2-6/7. Or come visit me--I have plenty of room for your tent.
  9. radsboy


    May 27, 2003
    Thanks to you all for your replies (and encouragement to keep the bass!)

    One site I found showed serial numbers 1-25,000 as being between 1925 and 1930, does that agree with any information any of you have? (Mine is # 2101).

    I've talked to 2 luthiers, and will get a plan going soon. Problem is, my busiest playing season is under way - and I don't want to go to anyone with a "rush job" in mind - so this may have to be put off until fall. Mind you, it is playable and sounds pretty good, but it is very high action; lowering my (adjustable) bridge just makes the stings buzz on the lower end of the fingerboard overhang - so I have to put up with sore fingers for a while longer I guess. Character building, no?

    thanks again all,

  10. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Looks like you found the site that I couldn't find. What's the address?
    Where in Maine are you? 25+ years going to Ocean Point (East Boothbay).
  11. radsboy


    May 27, 2003

    Here's the link:


    I'm in Belmont, near the coast, inland from Belfast and Camden.

    I've been to Boothaby many times playing gigs over the years.

    Maybe meet up with ya some time when you're here?


  12. I took a look at the New Standard site, too.

    Now, I have to have my drool chin-buckets emptied hourly into the centrally located drool reservoir, which feeds the drool irrigation lines to the surrounding farms.

    Thanks a lot, Arnold. Would you take a '95 Taurus in trade for one of the La Scalas?
  13. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yeah that La Scala model is sweet. Too bad it's about 3x what I can afford. Hey Arnold, need any help cleaning out the stables?
  14. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    To take that Taurus off your hands, just figure on adding about $500 to the bass' price so I can get it towed away. But thanks for asking...
  15. Michael Nickerson

    Michael Nickerson

    Apr 24, 2003
    Hi David,

    GLAD to hear you're going to keep that American Standard. I'm in Belfast and I've heard you play that bass. I've told you before the sound is incredible. Your playing and that bass do indeed "kick arse"! I've recently hooked up with Mark Carlsen, a really good bassist / luthier in Mass. Though he's three hours away, he'd be able to get your bass "singing". Call me.

  16. Radsboy wrote:

    "One site I found showed serial numbers 1-25,000 as being between 1925 and 1930, does that agree with any information any of you have? (Mine is # 2101). "

    Radsboy: Forget that site. Its for all of the other instruments King made...brass instruments etc
    Production of the King Mortone started production around 1936. I believe the American-Standard line started around the same time. My King is #441 and is from around 1938-39.

    Believe everything that has been written in response to your question. The King and American Standards are great sounding basses. Unfortunately there is not much information around about them.

    Martin Chapman.
  17. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Arnold the new site looks very good! Clean and efficient, and lots of detail in the content where it counts. Were the photos of the La Scala originally digital? If so, I'd like to pick your brain about your method, I don't get the figure to show like you did.
  18. Neuro


    Jun 4, 2008
    Greetings All... I was just handed down an American Standard Bass that my Grandfather used to play back when he was in high school.

    From most of the information I can find on American Standard Uprights the oldest known to exist is serial #40. The one that I just received is serial #16..

    Below you will find links to a few pictures of it, I am curious if anyone can give me an idea of when it was made and any other details / information about this bass.

    I just got a new set of strings on her and she plays like a champ! My first upright, and I have only been playing electric for a couple years .. So I have A LOT to learn!!

    Thanks for your time!

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3079/2880597856_2e1f391b9e_o.jpg -- Bass Image

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3045/2880597880_1f3a2677ec_o.jpg -- Headstock image

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3058/2879764437_eac728055e_o.jpg -- Image of Serial Number

    -- Neuro
  19. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
  20. shadygrove


    Feb 14, 2008
    Marysville, WA
    What a beauty! #16...wow! :hyper: Looks like it has been well cared for. Arnold once said "The American Standard is the finest production plywood bass ever produced" maybe not anymore, since Arnold started building them, but what an awesome classic instrument! Enjoy!

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