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DB Luthiers in NYC

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by fcoda, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    I need to purchase a DB for my son , he is in high school .He has been using a DB on loan from the schools music dept. since the 7th grade . He is now in his 2nd year of high school and needs an instument to get him thru high school and college. His bass teacher who is also his high school music dept head has agreed to come along and assist with the purchase since I am a BG player and not knowledgable about DB even after reading through the newbie threads. My sons teacher has the name of a luthier he has used but we would like to also go see some others.
    Do any of you TBs have a luthiers in the NYC area that you would recommend. My funds are limited and can only manage $2500 for a bass&bow.
  2. The Jazz Lawyer

    The Jazz Lawyer Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Northern NJ
    David Gage String Repair (34 Walker in NYC) is the man. You'll find he treats you and your son just as if you were Christian McBride. He is a true lover of what he does and just a great guy to work with. You should be able to find a nice plywood bass for the money you have to spend and David will set it up properly so it plays well. He'll also back up his work if for some reason you don't like the way it turns out.

    Also, Bill Merchant is in NYC.

    Both have web sites ... see for yourself.
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I strongly recommend Geoff Morrow. He has good basses in that range. He is pathologically honest and IMO will give you the best value. David Gage is also a good honest guy and I would recommend him. I think you would get a better buy at Geoff's but then again there is the advantage of Gage having a full service shop.

    Geoff is at-

  4. jugband


    Jan 16, 2001
    You might want to visit www.gollihur.com. Bob Gollihur can get you a fully-carved Bulgarian bass for $2175 plus shipping (from him to you). You can also pick it up and save the extra shipping, or have it shipped directly from Bulgaria to you for $1975 + shipping.

    He's located just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey, so you could probably travel over to see him and the basses.

    He offers a 7-day approval period on those basses, so you can evaluate the particular bass that you get.
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    With $2,000+ , I'd look at a Christopher bass, available at David Gage among others, and I'd look closely at the New Standard basses being made by Arnold Schnitzer
    Visit Arnold and you get to see a beautiful horse farm, besides.
  6. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    In your price range, you will prolly get more bass for your buck with a new instrument. Don't be fooled that an older bass is a better bass. New instruments have plenty to offer, w/out the worry of old cracks, cranky machines, thin fingerboards, and bad neck-resets.

    (sorry, this is really more of a rant...)
  7. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    I bought my bass from Geoff like 6 months ago...its a great instrument and he's a really great guy
  8. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    Thanks to all for the names and sites you have supplied. We have made appointments with 2 luthiers this weekend and and are awaiting calls from 3 others that have shipments due within the next few days. Again , Thanks
  9. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    I'd love to hear from anybody that has deal with Gage's shop for repair work. I'm thinking of taking a bass to him for MAJOR restoration work, but it seems that all I ever hear about is Kolstein. I believe that both are great guys that do great work, but having not heard as much about Gage's shop's repair work I thought that I'd toss it out on this forum.

    When I first met him I just had a good "vibe" about him. He seems very honest and sincere. But how are the guys in the workshop?
  10. Now this is just honest, one of TB's favorite Lex Luthiers recomending others.
  11. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Thanks Pupp Daddy, but to be
    REALLY honest I very rarely sell any used basses. I really just do restoration and the making of my new basses. Geoff has a nice collection of basses and is one of the RARE people I have met who sell basses who are not greedy SOB's. Word.
  12. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    My New Standard basses are out of your price range, though I also sell the Shen basses, which are an excellent value. I believe they are comparable to the Christopher line, both of which are made in modern factories in China. I agree you'll also get a fair deal from Gage or Geoff Morrow. IMHO, avoid internet deals/auctions like the plague.
  13. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I recently started selling the Shens myself- they are a great instrument. (sorry if this sounds like a commercial). Everyone here prolly knows by now my intense desire to eliminate the existence of Cremona/Skylark/Palatino crap that has flooded the market (ebay). The workmanship, fittings, varnish, and sound of Shens are in a completely different category. Plenty of solid wood basses don't respond, project, and place as nice as the Shens. Hopefully these instruments give a better reputation to the words "chinese bass"!
  14. bulmer

    bulmer Guest

    Oct 1, 2002
    I just had major repair work done by David Gage on my late 19th century German....new bass bar, re blocking the neck, major rib work, closing the back seam, many new cleats installed under the bass bar, new patch under the bridge G-foot, new nut carved, re-edged the whole top, new soundpost and bridge....$4600. My bass split wide open down the bass bar at a humid summer gig....thank God for Music Union insurance...paid all but $100.

    I have bought my two instruments and had other major work done by Gage including a low-C extension. David is very conciencious and dedicated to quality. His only minor flaw is overcommitting his time a bit so my delivery was about a month late (4 months instead of 3). Also, his shop is in a part of town that is a pain in the *ss to get to and park.

    I find his workmanship excellent and my repair came out great. We are going to work on tweaking the sound a bit when I go back for my free checkup in January. With all the added wood, the sound is a bit tighter than it was and we're going to make some adjustments after it breaks in (only had it 3 weeks now), but it keeps getting better and better.

    I love that David will spend time and show you around the inside of your bass with a mirror before and after repairs to discuss exactly what he will do and what it should improve.

    Sprocket and Mike are both seasoned pro's in the shop. If you are buying a bass, he has a guy dedicated to showing and selling instruments (I can't remember his name). Don't be afraid to put it to this guy and negotiate so you get the most for your $.

    I will continue to drive the 3 hours to his shop and give him my business.


    P.S. Mike makes the greatest and best looking leather bow quivers going. $85...I have two.

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