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Giovanni & Francesco Grancino, Milan circa 1670-1685

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by conte2music, Sep 14, 2008.


  1. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
  2. Kolstein has a Grancino right now... not sure what the asking price on it is... but yes, a great bass! Homer Mensch used to have one.
     
  3. bassist14

    bassist14

    Oct 17, 2005
    Germany
  4. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I actually played it recently when visiting Tony's shop. I would say it's more of an investment/collector bass than a working/soloist bass

    Louis
     
  5. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    I'd imagine you could say that about a lot of old basses in the $20-$30K range. Probably better off commissioning a new instrument at that price point. If you actually need to make a living playing the darn thing, the last thing you'd want is to spend lots of time with the bass in the shop.
     
  6. Menacewarf

    Menacewarf

    Mar 9, 2007
    Oregon
    Wasn't the talk of a bass worth more than 100K? 70K+ sure seems like a helluva range to generalize.
     
  7. quenoil

    quenoil

    Jan 20, 2007
    Minnesota
    about $200k actually...
     
  8. Menacewarf

    Menacewarf

    Mar 9, 2007
    Oregon
    Well then...yea
     
  9. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Okay, just generalizing that since LouisF mentioned that the bass the OP described is more of a investment/collectors piece, not meant for a working musician, that possibly something in a lower ($20-30K) price bracket that needs tons of work wouldn't be the best choice for someone who needs a dependable instrument either.

    Basses like these, the ones the cost tons of money and need lots of work to maintain/restore, seem more suited to the hobbiest who likes to parade their expensive and unique toy around town a bit. Nothing wrong with that. Especialy if you can manage to insure it as an investment.
     
  10. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I've seen basses of nearly that caliber in the Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati orchestras as well as the NYC Ballet Orchestra within the last couple years. I'll bet they are scattered throughout the sections across the planet.

    I wouldn't call any of those players "hobbyists".
     
  11. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    +1

    This looks like a really sweet instrument. I hope that a great bassist buys it and plays the daylights out of it.

    The two fellows I had the opportunity to study with from the NYPhil were playing basses worth $200K or more, in today's dollars. Those instruments went all over the world, year after year.

    We are talking about the tools of a trade. In many professions the practitioners make even larger investments for their tools and equipment. We can also look at the investment in education folks make in trades that don't require that much gear.

    No, many folks who buy these instruments are not hobbyists at all. They are some of the hardest-core, working pros. Nailing it, night after night.

    The orchestral professionals I studied with were some of the most humble, talented, hard-working, matter-of-fact, generous, no-nonsense guys I have ever met. No dilettantes, by any stretch of the imagination.

    If you are making money, playing the bass in a world-class orchestra, and your rep and livelihood is based on your acoustic sound, having an instrument that can compete sonically is often part of the ante. The cost of doing business at that level.

    That is the real deal; heavy-duty commitment, not dabbling, IMHO. Frankly, I am the hobbyist, with my $6000K bass, and I make no bones about it! :)
     
  12. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    I could only hope that such an instrument is going to be played on instead of used as a show piece. For that kind of money....wow.
     
  13. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Six million bucks!!! New world's record!!!
     
  14. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Oh, what's a few zeros? Zeros mean "nothing." :D
     
  15. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    So busted! My blood's caffeine level was clearly too low at 6:30 this morning...

    I meant to write "6K." :D
     
  16. uprightben

    uprightben

    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    How much do top orchestra players make? I'm guessing monthly payments on a $200k instrument would be in the neighborhood of $1200 a month, minimum. Doable if you make $40-$50k per year, but it would make things like home ownership difficult. Do orchestras help their players with the cost of thier instruments? It seems like having to spend six figures on your axe is a helluva burden in what is not the easist field.

    that grancino bass is beautiful, BTW, check out hose corners! sharp!
     
  17. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Didn't mean to stir the pot up too much here. I mean let's face it, the Grancino is a fabulous instrument. What I was trying to say that IF I were a player (orchestral?) at the level of $100K+ instrument, I would look elsewhere than this bass - which leaves it to collectors and investors (who then hold them - or at best loan or donate them to orchestras etc - but keep the market high)

    Given the value of the UK pound v. the dollar, this becomes a $175-$200K bass (depending on exchange rates), that just becomes a staggering amount of money for a gorgeous, but IMO, less than satisfying bass.

    One well-known bassist in the LA area recently bought a $100K Italian bass from Robertson's - and it sounds every penny of its value - and then some.

    It just seemed to me that certain aspects of the bass market were over inflated - and we all know what happened to the housing market.

    Louis
     
  18. quenoil

    quenoil

    Jan 20, 2007
    Minnesota
    In the case of the Minnesota Orchestra, the orchestra itself owns 6 (I think) old Italian basses in that price range. Not sure if many other orchestras own comparable instrument collections.
     
  19. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Of course not. But do the players own the instruments, or are these instruments the property of an institution/patron of some sort?

    And do the players have a choice in what instrument they play in these situations? Or are they all walking into auditions with 200,000 dollar basses?

    It's interesting to note that the instrument the OP brought to attention here was purchased from a "perpetual world traveler". So the bass in question spent a large period of time being paraded around the planet before it's restoration. I think that was a worthy cause. As in, it was still a 3 string in the mid '90's.

    Best scenario I guess is that it is purchased by an individual or patron of some sort who makes it available to a promising soloist.

    I'd agree with LouisF after listening to the clip of the bass. More of a collectors piece. Too bad they didn't leave it as a 3 string. It would be truer to the spirit of the music of the era it was created in. They destroyed a lot of history by hot rodding it for the 21st Century, IMHO.

    Better to commission a new instrument with the kind of $$$$ involved here.

    Of course it brings a patron great pleasure to see their investment used in an atmosphere of high culture.
     
  20. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    We've had discussions in depth about several of these issues around here before. The "updating" of old instruments vs. maintaining them in their original state and old basses vs. new basses. The updating of the old instruments puts me right on the fence. I see both sides of that issue and although I started out as a maintain the original thing kinda guy I'm leaning lately towards more utility restorations.

    I prefer the old bass vs the new bass thing unless you catch me when my old bass is acting up, then I'll be wondering why I spent all that money on the old POS.:rollno:
     

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