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Are all Thompson protege's this way?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Hambone, Mar 20, 2004.

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  1. Why is it that every builder I"ve seen,that has spent time working with Carl Thompson, has incorporated an exaggerated upper horn in their designs? I can think of at least 2 as of now but I'm sure there are others.

    I'm curious about why the similarity to Thompson's in this detail.

    MOD EDIT: Edited for clarity and justice for all.
  2. bound


    Dec 28, 2003
    Jersey, Baby!
    I'm not up on who all has been a protege of Carl's, but i think some of it might just have to do with asthetics in general. Think about your basic proportions for a bass's body. The upper horn is really the only section you can play around with a whole lot, without making a really screwed up looking guitar. Exagerating the lower horn, or lower bout just makes the guitar look malformed. Exageration the upper bout just makes the bass uncomfortable, and minimizing it too much makes the guitar look all droopy. (I really don't get the Warwick Dolphins.)
  3. eshenbaugh, browne, and godfrey have all worked under carl and they all make brilliant looking instruments.

    perhaps it is not a "lack of originality" but it's that they know something the rest of us don't. :)

    their works all show an influence from the experience under mr. thompson, but are still very original designs. eshenbaugh has also made at least 1 single cut bass to my knowledge. godfrey also has a singlecut available on his website and mikey b is also offering brand new designs.

    to my eye, their work is far more original and respectable than churning out fender knock offs.
  4. Sure, singlecuts are becoming more and more available but that's only in the last coupla years since they've been asked for more frequently. Builders are going to respond to market desires.

    I mean, I look at these builders' basses - all extremely well designed, original, and superbly built instruments - and they seem to have little in common with Carl's designs, except for the horn. I don't expect them to copy CT's designs - that's wrong. And, I wouldn't be surprised to see structural similiarities - that's what learning from a master does. Perhaps Bound's got it right - that's one of the more visible design points on a body and they are taking full advantage of the possibilities.

    Now, I haven't been at this game for very long but I seriously doubt that there is anything audible to be gained from an exaggerated top horn. Of course, I'm always open for an education here.

    You know what garner's respect? Hard work, dedication to craft, perseverence to perform a chosen task better than you did yesterday, humbleness, and humility. None of these things have anything to do with the shape of a piece of wood and they aren't limited to bass builders. I think I can find room to respect the Lull's, Sadowsky's, and Lakland's of the world as well as the Eshenbaugh's, Browne's and Godfrey's.
  5. well, who we choose to respect, and for whatever reasons we choose to resepct them for is all up to the individual.

    all of the builders named in this thread do great work. but, i personally have a lot more respect for someone who makes their own design instead of just improving upon a pre-existing one. perhaps it doesn't help that i have never been a fan of the look of fender basses to begin with.

    i am sure that mark eshenbaugh, les godrey, and mike browne utilize a great deal of construction techniques and tricks that they learned from carl. for example, look at the neck joint on a mike browne bass, and compare it to that of a ct bass. as you know, there is a lot more that goes into making a bass than what the final product looks like.

    so to post the statement "I'm curious as to the lack of originality in this detail. Surely that's not all they took away from Carl's operation" is a bit rude, in my opinion. especially since 2 of the 3 offer basses without a top horn.
  6. And they all make basses WITH a top horn...Just exactly what is the point here?

    Now that I've gotten a POV from someone that's NOT a former CT associate, perhaps one that IS will offer some insight as to why this similiarity exists.
  7. the point IS that you have no basis by which to challenge their creativity. they make basses with carved upper scrolls, and they also make them without. but regardless, their scrolls look different that carl's.

    ken bebensee makes basses with carved upper scrolls, as does darrin huff. neither of these men worked for ct.

    and as a moderator of the board, i would think that you'd have a bit more tact about expressing your opinion than using the phrase "lack of creativity."

    mind posting pictures of your groundbreakingly original designs?
  8. In the interest of fairness and diplomacy, I've edited the portion of the sentence, of the paragraph, in the post that you've taken offense to. It is marked for reference. My original words did not accurately depict the nature of my question. The sentence following was removed because I wanted to. I will stand by everything I've stated since without waver.

    As for you directly SK - When I go shopping for an opinion other than my own, I'll look in the mature department for one that's been around longer than you. I won't be lectured as to what privilege I have to query those more experienced than I.

    I'll also remind you of this - step lightly when you mention my mod status. That has no bearing on the subject at hand.
  9. I happened to take offense to your original comment as I do count Mike Browne as a friend of mine. Perhaps it was not your intent for it to come off sounding as it did, and that's understandable.
    As for bringing my maturity and presence in the bass world into question- well I'll feel free not to elaborate on my true opinion of your statement. You do have the right to question those with more experience than you, and have whatever opinion you want. But, by me challenging your wording and pointing out examples of how it just may be different than you perceive- I am simply doing the same, questioning someone of more experience than I.
    And no need to make threats about "treading lightly" on the topic of your "mod status." It's not a badge of honor to be a moderator on an internet message board. It's my right to challenge those in authority if I feel that they did something in bad taste.

    Well this need not get any more personal than it has already become. Guess we'll just agree to disagree.
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Can we have some pictorial evidence, please?


  11. a ct bass:

    an eshenbaugh:

    les godfrey:


    all of which are different enough to be original, in my opinion.
  12. Wrong again SK. It is NOT your right to challenge ANY moderator on this board about anything. You will need to review the rules about that - they are clear. You are also wrong about it not being a badge of honor to be a moderator. Here at TB we do things a little differently than other boards. That's why this board gets such high praise for it's civility and general smooth running.

    You've got PM.

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