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how do you tell the diference...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by flea-bass, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. flea-bass


    Jan 30, 2004
    how do you tell the diference between a guy who makes home mades basses and a luthier. because there is a guy in my town who makes basses and they are nice but i dont know the quality of the material and such. Can anyone give me ideas?
  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    A person that makes stringed instruments that actually works is a luthier.

    That is the definition of a luthier.
    What is up to you to define, is the term "works". Once done that, you find out if this person you're refering to is indeed a luthier.

    Keep it simple!
  3. flea-bass


    Jan 30, 2004
    yeah but how do i know of the wuality of the material. like i know ken smith ages his woods and makes sure they are top quality
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Who are you refering to? Maybe someone here owns one of the basses in question & can give you 1st hand accounts or you could use the search function with the Comapny name & see if anything pops up.
  5. Don't get all hyped about "aging" wood. It isn't some mystical practice. All that means is that Ken is storing his stock in controlled conditions and letting it sit for a period of time. Kiln dried wood can sometimes have problems depending on species and some builders will use more naturally dried woods to avoid this. Of course the quality of the wood is something else. Dare I say that you won't be able to discern the differences in quality woods with the same eye that trained woodworkers will. Unless you do some studying, you should let the luthier to guide you in the selection. Just ask - Most guys are very quick to talk about their work.

    BTW - Ken Smith is well known for his ability to choose high quality pieces for his instruments. BUT...that commands a particular price and his instruments show this. Be prepared to compensate the builder justly if you want this same level of quality.
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I hear the Home Depot is going to start carrying Spalted woods and fancy burl tops...and you can't beat their prices.
  7. Sure, spalted PINE, spalted SPRUCE, spalted FIR, spalted POPLAR. :spit:

    It aggravates me every time I hear that the Home Crapholes are carrying hardwoods in their northern stores.
  8. flea-bass


    Jan 30, 2004
    thanks for the info

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