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Bass fishing in Chicago

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Bass Barrister, Nov 11, 2004.


  1. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    Chicago
    I had the great pleasure of spending some time with Mark Sonksen at Sonksen Strings this afternoon. He took me through his workshop, showed me several works in progress, and allowed me to play and fondle a number of the basses he is offering for sale.

    What I had come to see was the Orchestral Romanian fully carved bass. This is a modified 7/8 size with 3/4 strings. This bass has a wonderful bottom growl and a nice sounding upper register. it plays very evenly. I had to wipe the drool off a couple of times.

    I also saw another Christopher Hybrid (300 series). this bass also sounded real nice - but, IMHO, the Romanian was much more robust. No matter, that Christopher will make someone very happy.

    For desert, Mark played several of his higher end basses. More drool. One of these is a Nick Lloyd whose upper register has a wonderful cello-like quality ( I think this is a compliment - I do play cello). Unfortunately, my budget won't let me get anywhere near these.

    Mark also has several basses in for restoration. I think there was a Pfretscher, a Juszek, another carved Romanian and a early 1900s German item that he has high hopes for.

    Mark was very generous with his time and with his knowledge. I would recommend anyone looking for a bass to give him a call. He does work by appointment only. www.sonksenstrings.com

    Now . . . decisions, decisions. stay tuned (ouch).
     
  2. contrabajisimo

    contrabajisimo

    Feb 9, 2004
    Chicago
    Hey, man, do you know any other double bass shops in Chicago or the suburbs who would also rent a bass? Thanks.
     
  3. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I've had similarly great experiences with Mark. He does nice work and is a super nice guy.
     
  4. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    A440

    www.a440violinshop.com

    Classic Contrabass

    www.allthingsbass.com


    Mark might too.
     
  5. Bass Barrister

    Bass Barrister

    Nov 4, 2004
    Chicago
    any one of those would be fine. I would also add Kagan & Gaines in Forest Park (no web site), also Quinlan & Fabish (www.qandf.com). Just an FYI: Michele Fiore at Classic is out of town until Nov. 22.
     
  6. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    I bought my bass from Mark..a 1999 Andrew Schroetter. Having only been playing upright for a little over a year (after a 30 year layoff ), I'm not quite as experienced as many of the other fine people on this forum. I have to say that Mark is a great guy, gives good advice, and is fair in his pricing. When it's time for an upgrade(hopefully soon) I won't hesitate to call on Mark because I trust what he tells me. He has a wide enough variety so that you can get a good sample of differences over a wide spectrum.

    Besides, he digs the Rocky Mountains, how can I not like him. :)


    peace
     
  7. contrabajisimo

    contrabajisimo

    Feb 9, 2004
    Chicago
    thanks for links and info!