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Classical Strings USA

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Roger Mouton, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    I'm reasonably sure no other posts are out there about the subject company. If I missed one or more previous posts I apologize. And if I get in trouble with the mods they'll nip this post right away.

    The subject company seems to be based in Southern California but with strong ties to China. Maybe even newly based. By chance I was browsing in a local music store, city name witheld, looking for some percussion stuff, checking out bass cabs, etc. I was aksed what I played, said DB and the sales guy steered me to a side room containing a nice DB at a "fire sale" price.

    I wasn't looking for one but of course I had to play it and was pleasantly surprised. For a young instrument it impressed me. Good pizz with orchestral strings. Didn't try a bow. The construction (fully carved as I recall) seemed solid, the finish was excellent, the hardware was quite good (plate tuners), solid end pin etc. Very nice to look at.

    Does anyone know of these instruments? Do we have yet another maker in the DB market? IMHO, this instrument is NOT a CCB though it may have come from China in some form. For me, the neck was just a tad too fat but for someone this bass will make a good investment.

    The sales guy was all primed up with descriptions about the origins of the wood in various of these instruments. Italian wood, German wood, stuff like that. Apparently not Chinese wood. I was thinking, "Huh? How does he know that?" They only had the one bass. It hasn't moved. I suspect they won't replace the stock if (when) it sells. Violins, violas yes but not bass. They didn't seem to have any ties to a shop that can do set-ups either.

    Nonetheless, this whole experience points to an expanding market for the bass, a good thing for us all. I've enjoyed learning of the lineage of certain bass instruments through TalkBass. One of the more memorable experiences resulted in a direct chat with Ken Smith. It was priceless and the man was so giving of his time. And.........I found out the origin of my German factory bass too.
  2. I'm not too far from their shop, though I didn't find it when I was doing research looking for my first DB.

    I'm not experienced at all in these things, but I found their website (here: http://www.classicalstringsusa.net/...layout=category&task=category&id=4&Itemid=100 ) and I'm sure that the knowledgeable people on this board will be able to give a better idea about what these basses are and where they're from.

  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    Good to hear that you judged the instrument to be decent and not a CCB. There seem to be quite a few companies importing from various Chinese shops. The "About Us" on the web site suggests that they have exclusive shops, but it's hard to tell. I'm not sure how much this points to market expansion but the market sure has seemed to expand compared to what it was 10 years ago. Now, if we could only have enough of these basses around to get a sense for their overall quality and reliability. Maybe Jun Wu is the next Sam Shen. :)
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Until this outfit earns a solid reputation for using well seasoned wood and hide glue, I would be wary. The basses may be stable in temperate climates, but if the wood is greenish, they wouldn't make it through a winter in less forgiving parts of the country.
    arnoldschnitzer likes this.
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Eric, that's exactly what I was alluding to in my comment about reliability. I thought I might be able to find a dealer. The site says to check the "Dealer Locator" but I sure can't find one.
  6. Denimhorn


    Nov 25, 2002
    Hello everyone. I ran across one of these Classical String double basses for sale in the last couple days. Am considering purchasing. Any updates on this company and overall quality? Looks like the last post on here was almost 3 years back....

    Anyone have any updates?
  7. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    Did not realize it's been nearly 3 years. This bass was still at the store on a recent visit. Nice music store. Drums, guitars, sound, keyboards etc. Really everything and I believe locally owned. Maybe they do well with the other stringed instruments, supplying schools, etc. I was in the area with some time to kill and went looking for something I might need or couldn't live without. I usually find something here. I asked about the bass, played it again and had the same impression. It will be a decent bass for someone but if it ever gets sold I wouldn't expect the store to re-order another one.

    Looking on the classical strings website I couldn't find a Dealer Locator but maybe I just missed it. I did note an email address and remembered the guy's name. I read somewhere that he was very highly thought of, had roots in both Asia and now the US. Nice looking website but of course, nice websites don't equate to good instruments.

    I remember something Jon Peterson said several years ago when more CCBs were hitting the market. I was in his shop to pick up my instrument and noticed this bass lying on its side on the floor of the violin, viola, cello room. I asked about it and if you remember Jon, he had some great looks to give you regarding his impression of things. More like a friendly stare. We stood there looking at the thing and he remarked that it "looks about ready to fold up on itself". Really! And it did (look like that). It was the first CCB that either Jon or I had seen. The classical strings bass looks NOTHING like this or other CCBs I've seen since.

    I hope the background helps. As Hochberg said, be wary. I hope your question gets answered by someone that's got one of these or has played one more than me. Maybe all of ten minutes.
  8. Denimhorn


    Nov 25, 2002
    Hey Roger.

    Thank you for the information. I ended up buying the bass and so far so good. Had a couple people here in San Diego take a look and they seemed to think it was a decent bass. Time to put in some work to learn this beast. :)

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