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Christopher Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by eshears, Jul 30, 2001.

  1. eshears


    Jul 30, 2001
    Spokane, WA
    Like so many other threads on here, I am looking at buying a DB for around $2000. I have found some information on Engelhardt, Strunal, Kay, etc., but I have not heard anything about Christopher bases.

    I have seen a couple of shops selling Christopher basses (one of them being Violins Etc http://www.violinsetc.com), but I can't seem to find any information on them. Both places seem to think that these are absolutely the best plywood basses for the money. Does anyone have any experience with these?

  2. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I've sold these basses and they're really nice. However, unless they've been professionally set up the fingerboard will need to be planed and the strings might need to be lowered at the nut and
    bridge. KC Strings has them as well as some that are cheaper, and they're well set up.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Just curious: How many folks on the board have actually seen one of these bad boys (the basses, not the shop owners) in person? And are they laminated or hybrid?
  4. I have played Michael Moore's Christopher bass. It's quite good sounding, and well made. Michael uses it almost exclusively, and he's buying another one from Gage. Michael has been using his with Dave Brubeck in concert and in recording studios.
    It's all plywood, but the layout of the grain pattern would fool you. It has busetto corners, like Pollmann.
    The appearance drawback is that they are ultra glossy; some customers have asked Gage to de-gloss them.
    I played Michael's bass for an hour and a half. It strikes me as an excellent value.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I'm sure there's a simple answer for this, but why would he use this bass "almost exclusively" when he has so many other nice carved basses...just so he won't have to worry about hurting it on the road? And is this one of the ones in the $2000 range, or are there higher end models that I don't know about?
  6. He has one carved bass, a very modestly priced 19th century anonymous German. His Grunert is at Gage's, for sale. He sold his Kay. He's buying a 2nd Christopher.
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA

    The link you posted offered the price list with wholesale price and setup. I never remember, is wholesale price cheaper than retail, or more? Also, how extensive is Christopher's line of basses? Are they all "introductory" models?
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Damn. It just goes to show that it's more about how you play than what you're playing on. I guess I'll have to go on and admit that CENTRAL PARKER WEST must also be a pretty good player then...I was trying to secretly believe that he sucked and give all the credit to that Sirleto (sp?) of his, but you just shot that one down in flames. :D

    You told me once, but I forgot: what was MM playing on that duo recording with Charlap? Whatever it was, the sound was amazing. If that was a Christopher, I'm placing my order NOW.
  9. I'll double-check, but I think it was a Tyrolean that he sold a few years ago.
  10. Wholesale is generally what the retailers pay from the manufacturer; the retailers then tack on their "profit" and that's what you pay. 'Least, that's the way it worked when I was in retail. I don't know why HA lists it this way--it looks like they're not making a profit on the bass itself, just the setup part. Might be worth an email to clear that up.
    I've never done business with them, by the way, just found the pix and thought it would help to visualize the subject of the thread.
    As far as the rest of the Christopher line, in the words of Sgt. Schultz, "I know nuuuthing!"
    They are shiny, though!
  11. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks. Maybe I can take sandpaper to it. I heard that that would be good. Ooh! That would help dull it for stickers. Gotta have stickers.

    So.... Christopher. Rave reviews.

    I'm going to play a Strunal Hybrid this weekend, and it looks like I'm adding a Christopher to my list to look into for purchase.
  12. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    check this out, www.violins.on.ca/basses.html , even including shipping the price seems good, I don't know how well set up the bass will be though.
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Very cool site Bijoux. Thank you. I think I'm really going to have to study it and then I'm positive that I'm going to come back with some questions.
  14. Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Joshua Pickenpaugh Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2001
    The Midwest of USA
    Played a Christopher bass here in Seattle, this place called Guitar Emporium. Forgot the name of the guy who set it up, but jeepers creepers it was one of the best playing basses I've tried. Really nice lowend growl, and low action to boot. With my mainly jazz shops I really dug, though arco players might have a time with the low action.
  15. I was at the Midwest Clinic a couple of weeks ago (its a convention for band directors) and Christopher had a booth. They had plywood, hybrid and carved basses there as well as a couple of cellos.

    I didn't get a chance to play them that long, but I was pretty impressed with all basses, though the previous comment about needing a post-market setup seems pretty accurate.

    They instruments seemed very well-made and all had a rich, growly tone (except the hybrid 5-string -- very thuddy).

    Christopher also makes the bodies for the Eminence bass, and the guy who created the Eminence (can't recall his name) was there.

    My. $.02
  16. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    That's Gary Bartig.

    How is the finish quality on the Christopher basses? Are they all sprayed?
  17. It's VERY high gloss, the only drawback. David Gage has deglossed some customers' Christophers.
  18. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I just sold a 7/8 Christopher. Decent bass.
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


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