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Eastman Model 80 Laminate / Bass bar crack carved

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by carteru93, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Hello, this is my first post here:)

    I play double bass at my high school, and have been playing for about 2 years. I am almost 16 years old and in grade 10.
    The bass I use at my school, a 7/8 carved Anton Schroetter (something like that at least), has developed a large crack in the front of the instrument. My teacher (who is a bass player) said that it was a "bass bar crack" , which he explained as a crack right next to the bass bar, the repair of which would warrant the bass bar to be removed and a new one fabricated, as well as the large crack (running from the bass side of the tailpiece about 1 inch away from it, all the way up to the foot of the bridge) cleated and glued. The crack is so large, that the side of the front (the bridge side of the crack) is actually higher and the other side of the crack has actually sunk. It's hard to explain (pics when I can), but one side of the crack is higher than the other. The bass is still very playable, but problem after problem has made us purchase a new bass for the school. Now here is where I come in. I don't own an instrument of my own, but would love to. My teacher says I would probably be able to take home the old instrument for a low price (probably the price of all the salvageable parts, because he said it is not worth fixing). I have to add there has been one repair done, but it was only temporary, and has now opened up again. ANYWAY, the instrument it still playable, so I plan on taking it home for $100 or so to play until I can afford something better. In a few months or so, I will have enough money to purchase one bass I've been eyeing for a while, an Eastman model 80. Laminate construction, ebony FB, ebony fittings, good tuners, etc. I am not within playing distance, so I will have to buy sight unseen. It is a reputable shop, and once everything is said and done, I can probably have it for about $2300. That's including their setup, shipping, tax, etc. Would this be a good bass for a beginner/intermediate player or should I hold out until I can afford something more. My main question is I guess would be are the Eastman low end laminate models a good reliable bass? I play orchestral, jazz, and also bluegrass. I don't play any gigs or anything yet, just stuff with my school. I just want something that I can play, sound decent, and will last a while.
    Also, a repair quote on the carved bass would be nice, but from what I've read on here and what I've been told, it would cost upwards of $3000, which I cannot afford, especially to have it open up again a couple months later and have to do it all over again.
    Thanks for reading my long winded post :D
  2. Anyone?
  3. Find a good local(ish)luthier; I had a small crack/split in the top repaired for $50 IIRC(had a few other things looked at). Your issue sounds much more serious than mine(my top did not need to be removed), but again- a professional, w/the bass in hand, will be able to tell you far more than I can.
  4. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    2nd the luthier suggestion.

    The likely story is this: The Schroetter bass is a decent factory hybrid bass, not worth very much, and the repairs would cost more than the bass is worth, and so that's why they'd let you take it for next to nothing.

    However, there's a chance that the repairs could be less significant than they think, and might be worth it. You won't know for sure until you have a good luthier check it out and give you an estimate. You also want an idea of what you should reasonably expect from repairs (is it a "this will be as good as new" situation or a "it might work" situation?).

    Also consider the possibility that the repairs might not be worth it, but the bass will be playable for an unknown amount of time. You're playing orchestra, so a laminate bass is not ideal. If the repairs on the carved bass are too expensive, but it's still playable, then play on that bass, and save your every last dollar, so that when it goes, you can by a hybrid or carved bass.
  5. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Carteru, there are repairs and there are repairs. Many shops avoid school business because schools have very tight budgets and want things done very inexpensively. This goes against the grain of luthiers who are carefully honoring the history of violin making.

    But many shops have found ways to repair non-pedigree instruments in fast ways that they won't teach you at violin making school. Find that shop in your area. If you list your location in your profile like it said when you signed up, we would be able to help you locate that shop.
  6. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Nice pun! :)
  7. Thanks for the help guys. As I said, the crack was "temporarily" repaired once, and just recently opened again. From what I understand, it is something that would take a lot of work and time and $$$ to fix (bass bar crack I believe it's called). It is a very large split, from the bottom all the way up to the bridge. It is playable, but I would not imagine it lasting too much longer before the crack gets a little larger and the bass foot of the bridge goes through the top. Plus right now it has very little volume and projection, but that doesn't concern me. The crack is in a very unfortunate place I understand it. Like I said also, I don't play in any orchestras (except my school's), and need something for home and possibly university in a couple years. Nothing professional as of yet, or as I see it in the near future. The luthier that my teacher brings all of the school's instruments to is the luthier he uses himself on his own personal instruments I believe. He's fixed small things on all our instruments, but said it wouldn't be worth it to fix this crack,maybe that's just because of a school budget as mentioned before.

    I plan on using this bass until I can't use it anymore. That is until something drastic happens (I believe it's only a matter of time, this is a HUGE split) and it is no longer playable.

    Also one of the reasons I considered a laminate bass, is because of the cost of repairs. I understand laminate basses very rarely crack. I cannot afford to have the top of my main bass crack and need it repaired frequently, so durability is sort of an issue here, as well as price. It will also do quite a bit of traveling, again, durability here.

    BTW, I played my teacher's bass (10 years old or so, some kind of big name copy, fully carved flatback) sounded oohhhhhh so good. Since the crack reopened before a music festival (any of you familiar with Northern Ontario Music Festival)(go figure), I used his.

    Also, apologies for not filling out my profile fully, I'm on a dialup connection and it's really slow where I am, so I just put in the bare minimums, I will try to fill out some more when I can, but I'll post here

    Carter Umpherson
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
    Playing about 2 years with semi-private lessons
    Play in the school's orchestra (use the crack-tacular Schroetter bass, hybrid 7/8)
    16 years old (well, in a week or two)

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