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Browne Basses...R.I.P.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jacochops, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX
    I just read on Mike's site that Browne Basses is closing it's doors due to the economy. That sucks. He not only builds one of the nicest basses on the planet, he is truly an incredibly giving, nice guy, I feel for him and Kalan.
    I hope that eventually he is able to build again. He will be SORELY missed.

  2. LilRay

    LilRay Commercial User

    Dec 27, 2007
    Between my Roscoe and Leather
    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    Got a link to his site? I'd Like to see their work.

    God Bless, Ray
  3. Brutal. :(

    I love his basses.
  4. Wow, we've lost a bunch of talented luthiers this year... Browne, Minnieweather (RIP), and Callowhill... bad news for all bass players.
  5. This is also happening with custom knifemakers. Many that have been full time makers for years have gone back to making knives part time. Making a living with anything handcrafted on a small scale is tough in this economy.
  6. Boostedrex


    Feb 24, 2009
    Shreveport, LA
    Wow that is awful news. I take it that his joint venture with Brian at The Low End is off now because of this? I haven't seen any of his basses in person, but form pictures alone they look amazing.
  7. What happened with Callowhill? Those seemed to come out of nowhere and make a nice splash.
  8. Cyber Soda

    Cyber Soda

    Sep 24, 2008
    ... No. Are you serious? If you're messing with me, I swear I'm going to go crazy. DON'T DO THIS TO ME MAN!

    They were honestly probably the first custom builders I ever even liked. Impossible. :(
  9. Steve!


    Nov 5, 2008
    Look out "whopper freak out" here comes "Boutique Bass freak out"
  10. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Wow, mega bummer. :meh:
  11. Classy. :rolleyes:
  12. Callowhill is down too????

    Damn, I thought both were very very talented luthiers. That sucks.
  13. Oh man I didnt know Minnieweather had passed away
    I knew some Tbers were having problems getting basses that they ordered from him
    but I had no clue he passed this past September

    man bummer news all around :(
  14. harrybosch

    harrybosch Banned

    Aug 18, 2008
    Doesn't surprize me. These builders come out of the gait unknown and start asking Fodera like prices. I really like the look of Browne basses and seriously looked into them. The prices turned me off. I just don't think he paid enough dues in order to command his asking price.
    Still sucks that he won't be building anymore. I thought his gnome shape was beautiful.
  15. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    +1. doesnt matter how good your woodwork is if you havent built a rep.
  16. lesclaypoolsob

    lesclaypoolsob Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    I'm going to be buried with mine. I'm not her biological father but I will raise her as my own!

    It really hurts to see such a talented builder have to close shop. Mike's work is simply incomparable. I feel truly honored to own one of his very limited works.
  17. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX
    Fodera-like prices?? Like....5-6K Fodera prices?? My Gnome was WAAAAYYY under 3K, and if you knew the hours he put into making them, he didn't break even on the time factor. When you got a bass from Mike, it was PERFECT. I don't know what you were asking him to build, but I have never seen a custom Fodera for anything close to what Mike charged.
  18. LilRay

    LilRay Commercial User

    Dec 27, 2007
    Between my Roscoe and Leather
    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    I'd like to be able to ask Mike, and other boutique luthiers if they believe their unusual body shapes factor into prospective customers? What I mean is outside "traditional" lines ie; P & J bass.

    Pete Skjold comes to mind. He has very unusual styles in his pro series and whaleback series, but he offers a Lions Pride bas which has essentially a "Traditional" shape.

    What do you guys think?

    God Bless, Ray
  19. harrybosch

    harrybosch Banned

    Aug 18, 2008
    I was looking for a 6 and I believe the quote was just over $5K, maybe $5.5K. Nothing special, just a 6 with typical woods. I don't care how much time he put into building them. I would say Fodera put more time into building theirs and charged less back in the day than they do now. They're able to charge more for either the same amount of work or less than they used to do. They've paid their dues and built their brand to the point where they can charge these prices. Obviously, Mike never made it to that point. I'm sure it's not that he didn't do great work, he just couldn't get people to come off the coin for a builder they probably haven't heard of or most likely never had played any of his instruments. I'm sure the economy played a roll but I doubt it's not the only reason.

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