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DB with a cutaway ?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Inconnu, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Any disadvantage with those ?
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I would think the sound.

    Also, I would ask the opposite question: Is there any advantage to that? It's not like with a bass guitar where you just slide you hand up and keep your thumb on the back of the neck. I'm having trouble imagining how the technique would be that different and thus, what the advantage would be.

    You got a picture? I'd love to see what it looks like.
  3. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There's a couple of basses that Red Mitchell had a bevel cut into the top and shoulder so he could get into TP easier.

    And you go into TP in one of these cutaway basses the same as any other bass, you can just do it without reaching over the top shoulder. Cause there ain't no top shoulder.
  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i like playing those around a campfire...
  6. cabin dweller

    cabin dweller Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Ridgeland, WI
    Looks like a good spot to make a sandwich.
  7. There is a registered member who has a cutaway DB. It might not be a Framus. Anything that reduces the interior volume will affect the sound, but this could be compensated elsewhere.

    I can see the distinct advantage of not having your left arm run into the edge of the top and rib along the upper bout close to the neck when accessing the very upper reaches of TP. Even with my bass having nicely sloping shoulders it is not very comfortable for me to access this area for any duration. Fortunately it is not something you must do often. Most of what I've played way up there are excercises to learn how to play way up there. Anyhow, it seems plenty easy for me to access the more useful lower TP area just above the octave without a cutaway. If I thought I were going to solo up in the stratosphere for 128 bars, I might find the the cutaway pretty useful, though.

    The Framus is really an odd bird. It came along just as the Fender P was changing the bass playing world, obviously inspired by the cutaway guitars. Somehow it just never caught on, but I'd love to try one of those Framus DB's just to see how they play.
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I think that was Humberto. He put that bass up for sale in the classifieds awhile ago.
  9. mikjans


    Dec 17, 2003
    Uppsala, Sweden
    I have one, too. It´s a Bjärton, made in Sweden in the mid 50s. It´s a decent bass, although my other laminate Bjärton (non cutaway) is a better player bass. I bought it for two reasons, the right price and the "cool" factor. It´s a dark sunburst with white binding - you can see it in Bob Gollihur´s screensaver.

    The Bjärton company managed to make Ray Brown endorse in an ad in a Swedish jazz magazine in 1956, when Ray was in Sweden with the JATP entourage. I doubt he ever played it in public...

    I´ve also noted that there´s a number of new cutaway basses being offered on various auction sites. Most likely Chinese. They cost < USD 1,000 and are probably not worth it...

  10. I saw one for sale in classified ads, made in the 50's. The label inside is said to read something about it being a copy of a Stradivarius, made in Germany. Worth to take a look or I should'nt bother and just go to a luthier's ?
  11. I dint know Red had 2 of the beveled....but the one I do know was a beautiful lions head German Lowendall. Reds wife, Diane, sold this axe to San Francisco bassist Paul Breslin. SP.?
    By the way this work was done by L.A. Luthier Paul Toenniges.
  12. Aleph5


    Feb 24, 2004
    I love your bass, Mikael, or it least its looks! It's about my favorite on Bob's screensaver which I view many times every day. The look of the Framus..., not so much ( :spit: ). I've tried googling for Bjarton on various occasions but have had very little luck. I think you have yourself a pretty special bass there. :p (enviously)
  13. mikjans


    Dec 17, 2003
    Uppsala, Sweden
    You can find these in Scandinavia on and off, they usually go for EUR 1,500 or thereabouts. (I paid like half for mine...)

    IMO, it looks better than the old Framuses.

    The Bjärton company went belly up some 20 years ago, but they made a number of pretty decent laminate basses from the late 40s and, I think into the 60s. Bjärton is best known for its acoustic guitars, they also built all the acoustic guitars sold under the Hagstrom brand name.

  14. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    Hammond Ashley made a bass for Buddy Catlett that has a kind of cutaway shoulder. You can check out a picture here:

    Hammond Ashley Pic

    There is a big picture of the back of the bass on the cover of this magazine:

    Earshot Jazz
  15. It's melting!!!!!
  16. Many thanks Michael for the shot of Buddy!
    I don't remember if it was you who gave some info on Buddy before.I think so. For thr cats that don't know, Buddy Catlett is a really fine jazz bassist who served on Basie's band for quite a long time. I don't care for the look.
    To me, it looks like something out The House of Wax
  17. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    Yup, that was me talking about Buddy before. I agree that it's kind of a funny looking bass, but Buddy's not a very tall guy! I'm not sure he has the endpin extended at all when he plays. I think it was probably a good compromise to cut away the smallest amount necessary to make it playable for him. It certainly still has a big sound.
  18. I played a H.A. bass out there. It sounded good, but I found the lack of shoulders a problem in the thumb positions.
  19. bassbuddie


    Jan 8, 2003
    I have a Framus Cutaway double Bass. I use the same thumb technique as a normal double bass. For me there is no advantage. Maybe the sound is affected but, How Can I know how the bass would have sound whithout a cutaway?

    The bass sounds really good (for the price). 40'S-50's, Very solid, black, ebony fingerboard.

    I speak french, hope it's clear.
  20. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I think the purpose was to reach the upper notes. For that, I prefer a Sloped shouldered Bass. I had an Italian Bass from Naples like that recently and it was easy to reach the bridge and had a 40.5" String length; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/SoloBass/images/sb2.JPG

    Now I have a "cut down" Italian Bass by Loveri also from Naples that was a large shouldered Bass until 1937 and this Bass is even easire to reach the Bridge than the last one I had. This Bass currently has a 42 1/16" String length with the Bridge cheated up about a 1/2". The Bass is between a D and Eb Neck so I will correct that with a False nut as some point b4 or after the complete restoration next year. If the Bass needs a New Fingerboard, I might as well wait and do it all at the same time. This is it; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Loveri/images/loveri_fullF.jpg

    I much prefer a normal looking Bass over a cutaway wannabe guitar/Bass anyday of the week. The French did these sloped shoulder Basses in early 20th century started maybe with C.Quenoil if not earlier. This is known as the French Pear model but my earlier Italian Bass predates it by 100 years or more.