Barrie Kolstein?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Rob Sleeper, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Rob Sleeper

    Rob Sleeper

    Oct 13, 2005
    Hey everyone,
    I have been doing research on buying a NICE bass for when I go to music school in a couple years. My teacher in the Chicago Symphony has 2 kolstein basses- one he uses in the CS0 and one he recently bought over the past summer. What do you guys think of barrie kolstein basses? I am looking for a NICE orchestral bass.

    Thanks everyone so much,
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    How much are you able to spend?
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I was going to say "ask your teacher" but I remember when I did that, my teacher recommended a killer Juzek to me that was way above my price range at the time and couldn't afford it (man I could barely afford lessons back then) :bawl: *LOL*

    Oh well at least we get what we need
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I personally would look into older basses for that price range. After owning new and old instruments I far prefer old.
  5. B. Johnson

    B. Johnson

    Apr 28, 2005
    I agree, look for something old. New Kolstein basses sound ok, but for that much you could do better. For 15,000 you won't be able to get a nice italian or anything, but you should be able to find a good sounding german bass. Try to buy from a person rather than a dealer. You will pay a lot more from a dealer than a private seller. Good luck, tell us how the hunt goes!
  6. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    You should try Shanks Strings also. I think he has a few Kolstein basses also.
  7. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    A $10,000 Schnitzer & deSola bass beat the crud out of anything I played at Kolstein. Keep in mind he didn't bring out the finest instruments in the house, but he knew my general price range and I did play several that were selling for $15k or even higher.

    $15k at Kolstein will not take you very far. And if you do buy from him, expect to take the instrument to someone else for a setup. You could... I just think you could do a lot better going to one of the dedicated bass luthiers we have here.

    Arnold Schnitzer, Jeff Bollbach, Nick Lloyd, Upton Bass for example, and I'm sure there are others.

    P.S. I did buy the Schnitzer & deSola, you might have a hard time finding a better instrument under the $20k line for what it's worth.
  8. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    You're in Chicago, right? That makes you completely surrounded by bass-only shops with lots of inventory for you to check out. I'm not familiar with Kolstein's so I can't make a recommendation one way or the other, but man in Chicago you're sittin' pretty already.
  9. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    OK, you've heard the anti side of the picture - I have a Kolstein Grand Panormo model I bought from Barrie in '01 and am thoroughly pleased with it. Granted, I'm not surrounded by bass shops here as you are, but I wore out the roads between here and Cincinnati, didn't find what I needed, and then went to ISB that year, tried everything there and came away with commissioning the bass from Kolstein.

    I had a particular idea of the sound I wanted, didn't want a ancient bass that was 900 pieces glued together like a jigsaw puzzle. I'd just had a 200 year old German bass that made me crazy worrying about it most of the places I had to use it and still didn't fulfill all the sound needs I had.

    This is one of his in-shop instruments that he and his father rough-carved in the 70's and they finish them out on commission. I've never had any trouble with mine and it sounds better every day. There are several other models to look at there including cheaper ones that he gets in that also sound great. I would definitely check out what's available in your area first, but wouldn't rule out a visit to NY if you don't find what you need there.

  10. Rob Sleeper

    Rob Sleeper

    Oct 13, 2005
    Thanks everyone for your help.
  11. jvillarreal


    Oct 7, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    Rob: Have you checked out Kagan & Gaines? They've got a bunch of old basses sitting in their instrument room. It looks like a guitar shop, but if you ask the guys working there, they'll take you to this room in the back that I'm talking about. I found something there that I almost bought... maybe you'll have good luck. Also check out A440 - they have a couple of nice ones.

    I would have to disagree that Chicago has a ton of good basses for sale. We're chock full of upper strings, but I had to fly out to California to get something I was happy with.
  12. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    I would check out a bunch of different stuff. Some of the Fendt copies Kolstein makes do sound great for the money. You have to try the individual instruments. Arnold Schnitzer has a great rep. for a reason - if there is something he thinks you might be interested in, you might want to give it a look.

    If I was in your shoes (and I was, once) I would take a trip to Mike Shank in PA - he's honest, reasonable, and will give one on one attention. Also, don't be afraid to contact steve Koscica in Arizona. He's a pro-player and knows good basses, so he might be able to show you something you wouldn't otherwise have seen. The costs are very reasonable.

    If you can, make sure your teacher checks out the instruments and talk a lot with him about what kind of sound you are looking for and how you want the bass to feel. Figure out what is a variable and what is fixed on each instrument.
  13. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    I have a 1998 Kolstein Amati bass that I bought used from Barrie last fall. I am pleased with the bass in general, but am not thrilled with his extension or setup. Still, I liked the sound of my bass far better than others that I played in the same price range. There were basses I liked better, but not in my budget.

    I'll be getting a bit of work done on it this winter (MPM tp, new endpin, fb planing)

    There is a Nnick Lloydd bass in your budget listed at Snoksen Strings in Chicago. That would definitely be worth checking out if they still have it.
  14. dperrott


    Oct 3, 2005
    I have a 1996 Kolstein Panormo. I bought it new in '96. It sounds great. Its very even and has a nice legato/sustained sound I like, great for arco but..... I replaced a warped finger board, in the process got rid of the awful designed c extension ( it was going to cost almost as much as a new extension to get it fitted to the new thicker finger board, some of it was made with a fake wood material), had crack after crack until a repair men surmised the top was glued on too strongly, and now my bass bar is loose and I am getting it replaced! The sound is great but the repairs have been numerous and excessive. I know others that haven't had nearly as many problems as I.
  15. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Mine doesn't have any cracks, but I do think the top was taken off before I owned the instrument.
  16. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny

  17. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I bought a new Fendt model 5-string from Barrie last Spring -- it's well within your price range and, in my opinion, a great value for the money. I like it better than any other 5-string I've played. The bass is a cannon.

    I consider Barrie a straight shooter and a good person to deal with.
  18. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    I heard Pedro Giraudo w/ Pablo Ziegler and Kenny Garret at the Jazz Standard last weekend. He was playing a Kolstein Fendt with Heritage strings. The sound was so full and rich. I talked to him about it later and he said the extra 7/8 inch rib depth really made a difference. He played alot of arco on it as well, and again, the sound was very impressive. (Of course his considerable skill had much to do with that).

    His tailpeice looked like a Hill model instead of the huge adjustable Kolstein tps.
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    My deepest sounding Bass has the most Shallow ribs of all my Orchestra Basses. I was shocked the first time I heard it. I am now a firm believer that Rib Depth does not alone make the Bass sound deeper. I am not even sure if you can't improve a Bass by cutting the Ribs down on some that are over 8" deep. I am confused now about this rib Theory since getting my Dodd with barely 7.5" rib depth at most and sounding deeper than almost any Bass I have played.