Arnold, Pollmann for deSola?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Eric Rene Roy, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.

    Hi Arnold. Just curious if you know this basses history at all. It is now living in the burbs of Boston, and it's in for a little bump on the rib...
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Yes, I recognize the bass as one of a pair Wil imported from Michael Krahmer's shop. It was a new design for Mike at that time. I think Wil had one with a maple back and one with a poplar back. I was not involved in the sale to the current owner. They were very nice basses with excellent workmanship.

    Eric, I'm surprised you'd remove the top for such a minor repair. I consider top removal invasive and a last resort.
  3. jvillarreal


    Oct 7, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    " A few shops offered different opinions on how to repair, from opening just a bout and prying the top open enough to get a clamp in there to drilling holes through the ribs to affix cleats with piano wire."

    There was a small-ish crack on an upper bout rib on my Jusek that was repaired by drilling a couple tiny holes and pulling a cleat with a thin wire. It seems to have done the trick and hasn't fallen off in the 12+ years that I've owned the bass.

    BTW, that's a beautiful Pollman:)
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I agree with Arnold. I think some custom type Clamps could hold a pre-Shaped patch using the Rib to reverse mold it. I would put some glue in the crack and maye a Patch until one day when the Bass really has to have the Top off. I had a crack on my Martini that was Glued with no Patch at all down by the Bottom just off the Bass Bar. Then shortly after coming to USA from Italy, another tiny crack at the bottom spread up a few inches next to the other on. I just pust some glue in it and used some wood blocks and the Tailpiece as a clamp for pressure.

    When I brought it to Arnold for the C extension job he mentioned he can glue and patch them both with some special long clamps he has without removing the top. If one day the top comes off, it can be re-done if necessary. The Bass was last opened in 1999 by Sergio Scaramelli in Italy. Taking the top off is a last resort in my opinion as well.
  5. I saw this bass before it went to Upton.My opinion was the top would have to come off to do it right.The crack would not flex under fiinger pressure from outside the bass.Real stiff ribs...I had no time w. my work load to get this back to the client on a timely basis.The crack was out of line w. itself like a fault.
    I am curious about the wonder clamps that could fix this with out removing the top...Arnold ???
  6. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    I'm embarassed to say that sometimes, I go to that repair page for fun and read through all the stories of injured basses.

    My favorite by far is the Prescott, the one where you actually x-rayed the scroll. That is just too cool.

    Sorry for off-topic..
  7. Comrade Lewis

    Comrade Lewis Guest

    Jun 20, 2004
    Athens, Ga
    On the ebay kay, the strings are backwards....uhhhh?
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This picture was "nice" ......


  9. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Arnold, thanks for some of the background on the bass. It's a nice bass and I think it will be on this Earth for a very long time. It's nice to have the history of the instrument...something we wish we had on some of these New England basses, huh?

    I never looked at a top off as anything but routine. I suppose that comment will sound a bit cowboyish now that you and Ken have painted a picture of it being a last resort, but that's how I was taught to approach it and that's how I have seen it handled by other luthiers I have worked with. I had the pleasure of working with a very fine restorer from Italy who could take a top off, with no chipping/splinters/splits in a stunningly short amount of time. If you have a good opening knife, some alcohol and plenty of time...the top comes off rather nice. And when I put them back down I use some weaker hide glue so that if or when I (or someone else) has to take it off again it will come off like a zipper.

    Tbeers, stringrepair has been a fun side project. I have to admit sometimes it's a pain to stop and take a few pictures...but for the owners of the instruments we have been repairing it has been a blessing as they can check in to actually see what we have been doing. We also knew and intended for some of the repairs to be talked about and even possibly debated here on TB. Put ten luthiers in a room and I am sure you will get 12 different opinions on how it should have been done. That's good, and healthy for the trade. I think as long as we are all doing top notch work, and always trying to outdo the last repair we did...we will elevate the bass to a level it has not seen before in regards to respect. I already think that is becoming true as I see more and more violin shops are opening the doors to bassist as they see the economic value of doing so.
  10. I've really enjoyed your string repair documentaries and I hope you will continue them. They are among the highest quality explanatory photographs I have encountered on the web. Beyond the other points you bring up, it really is appropriate to showcase this level of workmanship. It is the healthiest way to build awareness and trust as well as respect for the repair business where the customers are often confused about what happens to an instrument behind closed doors. You are putting it all out front for anyone to see or judge or second guess. I have to say that I whole heartedly support your efforts, method, and integrity. Thank you for sharing so much with us, Eric.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Just 12? Heck, Nnick usually has at least 6 or 7 strong opinions on most topics all by himself...
  12. I remember seeing a documentary of Yo-Yo Ma many years ago. They showed him taking his priceless Stradivarius in for some kind of repair (I can't remember the luthier's name). Ma stood there dumbstruck as the luthier removed the top as casually as he was buttering an English muffin. Now that's cajones.
  13. After looking at the repair pictures I was struck by the fact that I have seen few newer Pollmanns that do not have an antiqued finish. I’ve heard it mentioned that one of the reasons for this is that it’s easier to finish an antiqued look since less care is need in the finial prep, a ding is a ding. Although this kind of makes sense, I have a hard time imagining the masters at Pollmann taking such a market driven approach. I guess the other side of the reasoning is that customers want an antiqued look. But all…?
    I had a similar crack on my bass (ouch) a couple of weeks ago and Ben at Hammond Ashley put in 5 cleats. He mentioned that he would change the repair next time the top came off (never I hope).
  14. jneuman


    Apr 17, 2004
    The poellman antique finish is actually more labor intensive than a regular finish and is designed to give the inststrument a "warmer" feel and look, as well as to lessen the trauma when the bass gets scratched for the first time. They've been doing that finish for a long time. I saw a 1950's bussetto at Kolstein that had the same finish, and it seems to be a poellmann trademark.
  15. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Mike Krahmer is so skillful in antiqueing it's amazing. At the ISB competition he had a bass that was so incredibly antiqued it even had worm channels! I spent 15 minutes just staring at the bass and shaking my head. Edge dings, bow tip dings, worn out varnish areas, etc., etc. Nothing obvious, it just looked like a 200-year-old bass. Oh, yeah, and by the way, it won a silver medal for tone, and was promptly snatched up by Tango great Pablo Aslan...

    Do I sound jealous? :eyebrow:
  16. And about those Clamps....Arnold????
  17. I'm no luthier, and at the risk of seeming to blow my own horn too loudly, I made a couple of these that worked well for putting cleats on a flat back without removing it. I'm sure some variation on the theme would work for tops and ribs too.
  18. Eric,
    Those look nice ,but I guess I'm the slow one of the bunch.
    How are you able to use these with out at least opening the back somewhat?? Please explain...
  19. jonas


    Dec 9, 2003
    Frankfurt am Main/Germany
    Kontrabass-Atelier, Lando Music (Germany), "The Double Bass Book"/"Das Kontrabass-Buch"
    I really appreciate your "open door". I also think that's something more typical for the USA, and can't imagine a similar openness for Europe, or in particlar Germany ...
    BTW, I liked your light hose for double bass illumination.