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Finally, (soon) my own DB!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    That's right, I finally have my own DB...kind of. I don't own it yet, I'm taking it for a "test drive," but I'm friends with the current owner (he's selling it because he switched back to guitar and doesn't play it enough) so I'm going to hold onto it and pay it off as things go on as long as he's cool with that.

    So, the scoop -- it's from the 50's, made in west Germany by a company called "Haeffner"? I don't know how to spell it, but I had a man by the name of Jim Smith take a look at it and apparently that's the maker. Only label I could find was "Made in West Germany," so...there ya go.

    Laminate spruce top, laminate back -- I don't know what wood, but it's apparently harder than the spruce (almost no cracking in the finish). Ebony fretboard, Thomastik Spiro strings, Underwood Pickup, no indication as to who made the bridge but it's a maple job with chrome adjusters. Great looking neck -- can anyone tell me what wood it is?

    3/4 size, 42" scale, Eb neck...am I missing any details?

    The Spiros bow better than I expected -- I've never bowed one with them, and from what I've read on TB, I half expected 'em to just screech and squeal...and I was using a German without as much hair as it should that hadn't had any rosin put on in it in weeks (and I've been using it regularly, there's almost nothing left in the hair!)

    Haven't plugged it in, but I've heard it played amped before and the school's DB that I've been using has an Underwood too. I'm probably going to switch it out, I'm not a fan of the Underwood's thin electricy sound.

    Here are the obligatory pics! There's also one in there of me playing the school's at a jazz quartet performance at the Spring Concert. Other good news? I've lost about 15 pounds since that performance :D.


    Final notes: I'm also getting a bow with it. The bow itself needs a cleaning, a rehair, and a few parts (two rings -- one for the frog where the hair attaches and one for the button) but it's exactly what I'm looking for: french, heavy, and long. I left it with the repair fellow, and I'm going to have white hair put on it. The school's is a long, rather light German with black hair that's okay, but I REALLY want to learn French properly. Both are brazilwood.

    The bass itself needs a bit of work. It needs a new nut (the spacing is a bit off,) a fingerboard dress, and some new strings (I'm going the high action, low tension route) that bow a bit nicer. I'm mostly going to be doing jazz, but I'll need something that bows well for concert band, the Youth Symphony I'm auditioning for, and my own random classical pursuits. I've actually been playing it since February, but now I've finally got my own that I actually get to play OUTSIDE of class! Woo.
  2. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Congratulations! Seems like you're on a good path and I hope you stick with it. But as a quick note, low-tension strings don't bow as easily as high-tension strings (all else being equal, of course). But there's a strings subforum for that kind of stuff...
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Hmm, interesting to know! I had to go to work shortly after posting this, so I haven't really had a chance to comment on the sound or anything. After a lot of consideration, I think I might actually keep the Spiros on -- the pizz sound is so nice! I can sacrifice a bit of bowing and ease of playing for a sound this good. I played the melody to Nature Boy on both basses, and excusing my intonation, playing it on this one makes it finally sound alive -- and compared to this upright, the school's sounds awful and lifeless.

    Also, I found out it's an old Hofner! The guy I was talking to had an interesting accent...and said "hay-ffner."
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001

    Who's the chick?

  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, who's the chick? Nice going, dude!
  6. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    lol, i was thinking the same thing.
    she's pretty hawt :D
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    A good friend of mine, she sang with us that night and was the singer for the band I was in (one of the guitarists from that band was also playing with us.) Don't get any ideas, she's already got a boyfriend -- who, coincidentally, is another friend of mine who plays a 5 string Peavey BG. That, and she's 17, so a bit young for most of y'all ;). Except maybe Ray.

    Oh, I was just playing the DB for a while...yeah...I'm gonna have to change those strings. I love the pizz sound to death, but bowing them is a lot harder than I initially encountered.
  8. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Bowing is hard and discouraging enough without making it any harder than it has to be. Trust me on that, I started out on Spiros as well. There are strings that do arco and pizz reasonably well - d'Addario Helicore Orchestras are a good choice. Or if you have low-tension or solo-tuning Spiros, you may want to try a medium-tension set.

    Your neck is almost certainly maple. Flame maple looks like that and is a standard material for necks, sides, backs of violin-family instruments. And if there's an umlaut in Hofner, the old guy was pronouncing it correctly.
  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Umlaut = two dots above the "o"? Yeah, it's there. Thanks for the correction!

    Yeah, I love bowing a lot...it sounds great on my teacher's bass that we use at lessons -- a very, very old 3/4 fully carved orchestral bass set up with orchestral strings. Easy as pie on it (relative to other basses I've tried bowing) to make a great sound. I think I might try Dominants, actually -- my teacher has 'em on his Kay and they have a great pizz sound and are pretty good with the bow, especially when compared to Spiros. Plus, the tension isn't too far off from the Spiros that are on my bass now, so it should be pretty okay. I'd prefer the lower tension, but if it means a great sound, I can definitely learn to live with it ;).

    I assumed it was flamed maple, but I remember assuming that of similar-looking cello necks and someone told me it was some other wood...started with a C. Ages ago, oh well.
  10. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    A couple days and a lesson later, I've decided to keep the Spiros. It took a bit of work, but I've gotten them to bow pretty well and my teacher is impressed with them -- the D is *kind* of rangy, but everything else is okay. The G actually sounds much better than my school's bass, which is generally much easier to bow. Plus, I tried the Dominants, and there's just no comparison to the pizz sound. I can't help but LOVE these Spiros.

    Going to put in a Revolution SOLO pickup in place of the Underwood, and I'm grabbing a Gollihur German bow to go along with the random French bow that came with the bass (which is still in repair, I should get it back next week,) a case for both, and a quiver. After all this, the fingerboard dress and the new nut are done, I should be set for a while (until I get up the cash for a six string BG and an AI combo amp...:D.)

  11. Aaron, congratulations!
    Just ignore these low lives who were asking about the chick.....you say 17? Ah.... when will she be 18?
  12. Who's the low life now, Paul? :D
  13. Above all else, i'm still a bass player.... ;)
  14. :eek: You mean we all gotta be like you? :D
  15. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    C'mon guys, admit it, you clicked on the picture of the pretty girl before any of the bass pics. ;) Congrats Govithoy, keep us posted on your doings.
  16. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Yeah, but now you've got the REAL BASS and it's time for you to learn that chicks dig it! Mr. Five-String Peavey won't be around forever...
  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Congrats on the bass.

    I'm only 19......
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Mr. Five-String Peavey can stay for as long as he wants, I've got my eye on a trumpeter.

    EDIT: By the by, the trumpeter has a known history of being attracted to bass players, and also finds me playing DB attractive :eek: -- I jokingly suggested some sort of scientific explanation for it, and she said I should write a report for it...which I shall be doing so sometime in the near future, and publishing this here on TBDB and BG.
  19. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I was gonna ask if the lady came with the bass, but that would be redundant. Cool bass- I'm sure it will serve you well.
  20. Bud Rink

    Bud Rink

    May 5, 2000
    NYC, USA
    Ok, lets see a pic of the trumpeter, then we'll let you know if it's a good trade-off . :cool:

    (did I just say that??? :crying: )