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Christopher Bass Finish

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Type-55, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    I played a new Christopher carved bass today and while the tone and playability was nice the finish on top was uneven and the finish on the neck joint and some of the seams was blistering and flaking. The seam down the back was showing a slight white line of the unfinished wood. Is this just a humidity problem or is this bass flawed? I would hate to buy it and have any structural problems.

    Any info is appreciated.

  2. If I have one gripe about my Christopher hybrid, its the finish. I noticed a few small bubbles around the seams, too, but no flaking. The lines were the "unfinished" wood on the back of the neck meet pigment on the heel and the scroll look a bit messy as well. But overall, the instrument was very sound structurally and sounded great.

    The one you played sounds like a "Monday morning" (or Friday afternoon) bass. The line of unfinished wood is something I would most definitely find disconcerting, perhaps the sign of a faulty seam.

    I'd pass it over and look at a couple more Chrissies -- they generally get good reviews. Because these things are made in a factory, the finish may not be indicative of the craftsmanship of the rest of the bass. But if you have any reservations, why take the chance?
  3. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    I have a funny feeling about the bass. The one thing that concerns me about Chinese basses is they have not been around that long. If the finish is bad now is that indicitive of the build quality? I don't want to buy a problem 5-6 years down the road.

    Thanks for the info.
  4. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    I talked to several bass shops about Christopher basses and they all seem to have the same opinion that while Christophers serve a price point they are not very well made. They use white glue which makes the bass very difficult to take apart and repair. The prefered Chinese basses seem to be Shens and Eastmans which have a much higher material and build quality. I'm staying away from Christopher basses.
  5. While I generally agree with what you have said, I would like to point out the the use of white and aliphatic type glues is not reserved for the cheaper basses. You are going to have a hard time finding a factory produced bass that doesn't use it. There may be a few using hide glue, but they are not the norm. They started using white glue in many German basses decades ago. I recently had to remove the neck of a 1970s era Pollman bass and to my surprise it was put in with white glue. The owner has had it since it was new and assured me that no other neck work had been done on it previously. The sad fact is you may need to buy a truely hand made bass to have much of a chance to avoid white glue in a new bass these days.