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C. David Horine, Cincinnati luthier

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by simps, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Anybody recall Cincinnati luthier C. David Horine known as premier repair guy and bass shop proprietor? Started in 1953 and died in 1986. Thomas Martin, Andy Stetson, Albert Jakstadt, Andy Wolf are current bassmakers who seem to have gotten their start with him. So...would his label in an old instrument inspire any particular confidence? Simps
  2. scott reed

    scott reed Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    I remember Dave and the shop fondly. He was my
    repairman and always did solid work at a fair price ( a lot of times without charge). Worth the
    500 mile drive I made to have him setup or
    repair an instrument. Al, Dennis and Bill were
    also top notch. Great memories and a tradition
    that Andy Stetson, Chris Roberts and Nick Lloyd
    carry on today IMHO.
  3. Yeah, I started out just wanting to verify the pedigree of this bass that I thought would be an old no-name, then I found the Horine label, started asking around, and started running into these great, warm stories such as yours. Thanks.
  4. There's an old International Society of Bassists issue With David on the cover, and a big portion of that issue devoted to him.
    If you go to the ISB site, and do a search under his name, they'll have it for you. I think it was a memorial issue. Quite a guy, I guess. As Scott says, did a bunch of free work, and saved alot of bass players butts in times of need.
  5. Great tip, Paul. Couldn't find back issues on web, but spoke with Madeleine Crouch at ISB who will send a copy of the Horine article (from the 80s, as she remembered). Also discovered the C. David Horine memorial principal bass chair in the Dayton Symphony. Did you guys know about that? Maybe this is our combined Christmas gift to Dave's people--keeping his name and memory alive.
  6. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Cincinnati and bass luthiers. Something in the water, I guess!

    This is how I understand it...

    David Horine started the Bass Viol Shop. Albert Jakstadt worked for David, then Bill Lakeberg (Chicago Violin Making School graduate), Dennis Knight, and Peter Beare came later. Albert also had a shop at home, and Andy Stetson/Chris Roberts were conservatory students, hanging out with Albert, at home, and learning/helping him. (Albert doesn't hear very well; interesting). Anyway, Albert eventually quits the Bass Viol Shop. David dies, and Dennis takes over. Soon after, Bill leaves, and then eventually Peter leaves. Peter and Bill make basses as a team "Lakeberg and Beare" for a while. Later, Dennis dies, and the Bass Viol Shop closes. Peter then goes to work at a B.C. Rich custom shop, doing electric basses and guitars. Bill is still around, mostly varnishing white instruments, and making violas and basses, when he gets the chance. As a timeline goes, I think Albert left before Peter worked there. Other than that, my knowledge of it isn't too exact.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, Andy and Chris eventually garnish enough experience/customer contacts from their apprenticeship with Albert, at home, that they start the Cincinnati Bass Co-op. Later, the name changes to the Cincinnati Bass Cellar. Albert moves south, to Georgia, and makes basses full time. Andy and Chris do their thing, repairing, selling, and making here and there.

    Where do I fit in? Well, Cincinnati has cheap rent, lots of gigs/musicians, is close to Detroit, Nashville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, and is one of the most interesting cities in the United States. (This, of course, is just my opinion.) I didn't study with any of the above luthiers, but Horine's work/attitude was bar none. Great guy, great work, big heart.

    Oh well, they don't make 'em like that anymore...

    mindwell likes this.
  7. Hey, Nick, I was hoping one of you guys whose names I'd heard orbiting around the Horine story would have time to fill in some details. What a great yarn it's turned out to be.
  8. I guess! The more time I spend checking out bass links and reading stuff about bass Lutherie in this country, the more the names of guys who spend a lot of time on TBDB come up....one of the most quiet and most well respected is Nick Lloyd!
    Thanks for the history lesson man!
  9. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Jake deVilliers likes this.
  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Well, Paul, it's very humbling to receive respect from other bassists and luthiers, especially when they are 20-30 years my senior. As far as the "quiet" remark... you would change your mind if you spent a couple of hours with me. Jeff can attest, I've got enough personality to go around. :D Bad work and shady dealers piss me off; I don't care how old they are or how long they have been in the 'biz. Fortunately, TB has a high percentage of "good guys"!
  11. As thoroughly as you guys have covered it, I still have a couple of remaining questions. 1) Was Andy Wolf a factor in any of this? I have him down as a Cincinnati orchestra bassist, signing on way back (40s?) and then partnering with David up to 1983, when Horine bought out all interest in the Bass Viol Shop. Here's where I get confused: Andy supposedly went off to do something else (urban development projects?) but research also turns up a shop called, I believe, Azzi & Wolf. (Jules Azzi trained in Mirecourt and Andy Wolf a reported sidekick of Horine's that you guys haven't mentioned.) Were these guys a factor? 2) I'm curious about the lines of basses sold by The Bass Viol Shop. Examples of student-type instruments on up through possible artist basses. Any help? With these questions answered, I'm done--won't belabor it any more.:help:
  12. I only said quiet because when I asked to see an example of your work, it took a whole lot of prodding on my part to get it done!

    Sorry for the interruption, simps.
  13. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Paul- well, I was crazybusy with work and gigs, and my Talkbass participation comes and goes. And, then I went out of the country, then I moved... glad to hear you like the pics I sent you.

    Simps- Andy Wolfe was a business partner of David Horine's. After the Bass Viol Shop closed, the building sat dormant during bankruptcy proceedings. Later, Wolfe brought in Azzi and opened a violin, viola, cello shop in the building. They aren't doing anything notable for bass work; just selling BSOs. Azzi's main interest is the smaller instruments. I don't know anything else about Azzi.

    I saw a white cello Wolfe had "finished". Well, let's just say "finished" is not the same as finished.
  14. Got it, Nick, thanks for the followup. Sort of what I was guessing.

    Paul, the ISB tribute article on Horine from Fall 86 arrived today, filling in most of the remaining blanks.

    I'm thinking how cool it's been to have bumped into and wondered about a little repair label "C.D. Horine" inside a fairly unremarkable bass that plays a little smoother than it probably should. Cincinnati was lucky to have an indescribably good guy like David Horine as part of its music tradition. Leaves us later travelers with a lot to think about.

    (I'm the rookie here: what do they do with threads that run their course--leave them up or delete?)

    Anyway, thanks, Scott, for getting the story rolling, and Andy, Paul, Nick, (Jeff?!?) for the additions.
  15. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Hard to tell when a thread has run its course sometimes-a year from now someone may read this and have something to add. It is unusual for a thread to be deleted unless it gets too obnoxious. We've been well trained.
  16. I briefly met David Horine many years ago when I was a 19-year-old kid (this would be around 1981) buying his first bass. For some reason, I had eyes for a weird Brazilian-made bass my teacher was selling. Said teacher knew David and Andy along with Barry Green and Frank Proto and took me to Cincy to check out the shop before I dropped the dough on the Brazilian bass.

    Horine had worked on the Brazilian bass, and ever-so-gently tried to persuade me not to buy it. I remember playing some awesome basses that day that were way out of my price range. I also remember the shop had a couple of decent Juzeks, which, if I had had a lick of sense or knowledge, I would have purchased instead, but some reason I was set on that Brazilian.

    I wish David hadn't been so polite and just said, Listen, don't be stupid, kid. Pass on the Brazilian monstrosity.

    I should've listened to him, because that bass turned out to be all wrong.
  17. David Horine

    David Horine

    Feb 7, 2008

    I happened to be surfing and came across your dialogue regarding my dad. I can probably clear up many of the questions. Prior to doing so let me say that I appreciate your comments. They are very consistent with any that I have ever heard about dad. He was truly a remarkable individual and expert craftsman.

    After his death in 1986, we sold the Bass Viol Shop to Dennis Knight. Dennis made a go of it for a few years but died in the early 90's. It sat empty for a few years when Andy Wolf repurchased the building and opened it back up with Azzi.

    Dad originally opened the Bass Viol Shop in 1953, the year of my birth. He partnered with Andy Wolf in the 1960's and in the late 60's Andy rennovated the older building across from Music Hall. Andy was skilled in that type of thing as well as being a long time bassist for the CSO.

    Thanks for your kind comments. It certainly is nice to have never heard a bad thing muttered about your father.

    I will check back here in a week or so to see if there are any other questions.
  18. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Do you still live in the area? I met your sister some time ago... she lives in the same neighborhood I have my shop in.
  19. betacrash


    May 4, 2008
    Hello everybody. Not a bassist, but I knew Dennis Knight. He was my short lived father in law. Just to keep the facts correct Dennis died in August of 2001. Dennis was very nice to me and we got along instantly because of my wanting to learn to be a luthier. He passed before we could get down to the nitty gritty of the trade. So I have been studying and researching for the past several years to learn more. I think about him all the time. He spoke very fondly of your father David and always said how great of a luthier he was. He always had me search all over the internet to see if I could find any of his instruments so he could buy them back. Just thought id drop a note since it has been a while since I could talk about Dennis. Thanks. -Shawn Hines
  20. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Thank you for posting, Shawn.