Anyone on TB own a Torzal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ErikP.Bass, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Looks like it may me more feasible for a guitar where the twist is less extreme. Take a look at the photos, the Stratocaster and acoustic look to have normal bodies and bridges to me.....but I have been wrong before. More than once, even!
  2. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    The midpoint of the twist is in the body, so you can have 30-some degrees of total twist (as in the bass, though I forget the exact figure), or you can have a straight body and twisted neck, where the total twist is only I think 14 degrees it said.

    So it's just less twist to fit a straight body. But the overall effect is less.
  3. I know of someone who is considering one of the guitars, because he has gotten arthritis so bad he can't play a normal guitar neck any more - and thinks he might be able to play one of the Torzals. That's another reason to buy one, even at the price point - if you are facing physical problems that mean you CAN'T buy a 'normal' instrument. If the choice is between a Torzal and not being able to play at all... Dunno if my aquaintence is actually going to pull the trigger on one or not, if he ever does, I'm sure he'll let me give it a spin, so to speak, and I'll let y'all know what it feels like. But don't hold your breath, as he's been hemming and hawing over the purchase for almost a year now and hasn't made up his mind yet...
  4. Torzal

    Torzal Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Austin, TX USA
    Owner: Torzal Guitars
    Hey folks. I don't normally spend too much time on Talk Bass, even though I think it's great...but I was hipped to this discussion and figured I'd chime in.

    I'm sure some of the Torzal owners of the world visit Talk Bass from time to time, but it's not too surprising that no one has responded simply as a matter of statistical probability--there are very few Torzal basses (and owners) swimming in a giant sea of basses and bass players. Would somebody like to volunteer to review a bass the next time I have one that's available to demo?

    Somebody mentioned that they would never buy one without being able to try one first. I can't blame them a bit. This is something that's difficult for any builder who operates a one-person shop, but it's particularly difficult for me, building twisted necks and all! It's a bit of a catch-22: can't build enough instruments to afford the benefits of selling to dealers, yet dealers are the best way for people to be able to try before they buy. Until I can get ahead enough to go down that road, I have some other ways to help overcome this.

    1)Demo models--when I have them available I will send out basses for people to try out. Only problem is that every time I have done this they wind up being purchased, and then I have to make another one. It's a nice problem to have, but a problem non the less. For the last several years I have had a steady stream of orders and haven't been able to build many extras. It's hard to justify making everybody wait even longer while I build basses for nobody in particular.

    2)Owner network--I'm slowly (one by one) developing a network of owners who are willing to hook up with people interested in trying them out. To help with this, I offer something akin to a sales commission for anyone who showed their bass to someone which lead to a new order. Of course this is something that takes years to develop into a useful network, especially since I don't have any control over the geographic distribution.

    As far as price goes, I think my instruments are on par with most other high-end handcrafted instruments. To be honest, I'm frequently told that I don't charge enough, but I know that I couldn't afford one, so I try to draw a reasonable line between being relatively accessible and competitive, and yet I have to get enough that I can afford to keep doing it. As Angus pointed out, it's more an issue of value. I can't control how much a person will value their instrument, but I can control the quality of the instrument. Even if I could have a model mass produced overseas and offered for, say, less than $1500, I can't guarantee that it would have the same value/cost ratio. In my book, less value is not okay, no matter what the cost. I'm not interested in producing garbage just so people can afford it. However, I am interested in having my ergonomic necks available at an affordable cost. The most reasonable way to do that is by offering replacement bolt-on necks for standard instruments such as Fenders. I can build a Torzal neck to replace the stock neck, reusing existing hardware (tuners), for $750 which includes installation and set-up. Granted you don't get the full ergonomic benefit that you would from an original Torzal Standard design, but you get as much left-hand benefit and a much smaller price tag. When I do these, the standard amount of twist is -20 degrees at the nut (same as a regular Torzal), going to flat at the bridge (compared to +15 degrees on a standard Torzal and +4 on a bolt-on Torzal. These amounts, by the way, are the standards I have settled on, but they are totally customizable.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, I merely wanted to lend my 2 cents to the discussion. Hope it helps. Cheers!

    Pazelaya93 likes this.
  5. phillipmorephil


    Apr 10, 2007
    I've always wanted one, but being a college student, can't afford one. My fantasy bass is a Torzal with Novax fanned frets! C'mon Jerome, you can do it!
  6. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Your input is greatly appreciated Jerome. Hope you don't mind the discussion here. That is nice to know that you also offer Torzal necks. Certainly something to consider since it still gives the same left hand benefit. I'd love to experience the full Torzal experience though.

    Maybe a strange question, but have you moved from playing standard necks to Torzals?
  7. notrt


    Jun 29, 2004
    ...with an inquiry.

    Richard Collins
  8. The technology is very interesting, and if it save a players career all the better. Less nasty angles equals less stress and strain on the wrists and carpal tunnel.

    Wait till you get older, you'll understand. lol.
  9. MKoby


    Jul 14, 2004
    Metro DC
    I've thought about one, but my hands have gotten a little better :meh: , just as funds worsened :crying:.
    If finances don't completely implode :hyper: and my fingers don't get any better:bawl:, I may have to get one.

    I'm glad that the instrument is being made, even if I don't have one (yet).

    My wife will not be happy though.:scowl:
  10. Torzal

    Torzal Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Austin, TX USA
    Owner: Torzal Guitars
    Maybe a strange question, but have you moved from playing standard necks to Torzals?[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I pretty much only play Torzals. I will play either one, and I still build some standard necks too, but my preference is the Torzal. It actually feels more strange to play a standard neck.

    And yes, someday I'll incorporate fanned frets too!
  11. There was a guy here that made a twisted neck bass on a CNC machine. Although he couldn't figure out how to do the truss rod. Once he had all the math done, it didn't take him long at all to build with the CNC.

  12. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I would be very interested demoing and writing a detailed review. I've played and owned everything under the sun short of a Fodera and have always been interested in your design. I'd be happy to ship it back you at my expense or to another Tber for a second opinion after I checked it out.


  13. Jjango


    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    You're going to get dozens of requests for this offer, Jerome, including one from me! :)

    That said, it would probably be best to select someone from the forum with experience with a variety of boutique instruments. Or maybe people could arrange a small get-together in the Austin area?

    Whatever the case, thanks for the cool offer to the TB community! There are some dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists here, but also many who love trying new and progressive instrument designs – and the Torzal certainly qualifies in that regard!

    By the way, are you going to be at the NAMM show? I attended last year, but didn't see a Torzal booth.
  14. Torzal

    Torzal Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Austin, TX USA
    Owner: Torzal Guitars
    Thanks RS and Jjango, I'll look forward to that. As I said before, I'm working hard just to keep up with orders, so it'll be a little while before I have something ready for review. By the same token, I won't be at NAMM this year, but hopefully I'll get enough together to attend next year. Right now I'm busting my butt to help Collings Guitars get their stuff to the show.

    When it does come around, I like the idea of getting a few different TB'ers opinions. I've got a good Anvil case that can basically just be locked and have a shipping label slapped on it, so it won't be hard to send one around. Of course an Austin get-together sounds good too, maybe during ACL fest or SXSW.


  15. Mookie21


    Jul 28, 2011
    North Texas
    I own one, I live in the DFW area and usually stop by the Lewisville Guitar Center every other Saturday to look for new amps to play. As a result, every bassist in the store asks to fondle my Torzal and most often time does after they wash their hands.
    If you are in the area and would like to play it and see how it suits you then send me a message & we can meet at GC.
  16. As a guy with tendon issues in my wrists and elbows after so many years of playing and working at workstations at my day gig as an engineer, I'd love to check one out to see if the Torzal design has benefits for these conditions. Very cool looking basses indeed.
  17. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    technique and posture go a long way to alleviate discomfort.
    Here's to design going the rest of the way and not compensating for an otherwise lack of dedication.
  18. Agreed, however in my case after 40 plus years of playing some parts are just wearing out according to my Doc and PT. I've had very good results using a specific kind of magnetic wrist support etc., but it would be great to see if this bass's unique design can make their use unnecessary for me.

    Oh and lack of dedication has never been a problem I've had.