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Husband's Birthday, would like to replace the upright bass he had to part with

Discussion in 'Ask Lynn Seaton' started by Lepidope, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Lepidope


    Oct 15, 2019
    Thank you for that TomLane! Totally diving into that resource!

    Yes, good question. Heavy lean toward Jazz.

    (He did toy with it across several genres. Was in a low-key $$martini-bar lounge trio which covered pop songs. Huge Zappa fan. Believe the upright was occasionally recruited in a rock band for select songs. But big picture: Jazz.)

    You're the bee's knees.
    Tom Lane likes this.
  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Everyone should have at least one lesson with Rufus! I'm still unwrapping the one lesson I had with him!
  3. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I don’t know the VA/DC area but I’m sure someone will chime in with a bass shop recommendation. You don’t need a music shop, you need someone dedicated to bass. The one I go to does basses only. Do check back and let us know how it’s going.

    and if things don’t work out, you’ve already had at least 2 marriage proposals here (only kidding of course)!
    Lepidope likes this.
  4. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    this is what i would do - create a gift certificate that says "Good for 1 upright bass, value $3500 (or whatever your top comfortable price is). i'd print one up that looks like a real gift certificate or i believe you can buy those in stores, too.

    that way, he can choose to buy in store or even order one online knowing the budget he has to work with.

    this is a super thing you're doing!
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  5. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    Two resources that might be near you are Thomas Wolf in The Plains, VA or Fretwell Bass in Staunton, VA. Agreed with virtually everybody that you need to go to a bass specialist!
  6. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Yes. I think that a personal certificate is a much better idea than a certificate at a specific store. When it comes to selecting an upright you don't want your options to be limited to one shop/location.
  7. Lepidope


    Oct 15, 2019
    Again, thank you ALL!
    How are you all such wonderful people?
    I never expected such a wealth of information and insight.

    (Ya'll might even prompt me to touch my untouched violin I've been afraid of falling in love with since I acquired it ;) )

    *Mini update:*
    I contacted someone who knows of the original bass's status (beautifully restored, professionally active! :) WANT! But thrilled to hear it's thriving! )

    I can request information (from current owner) regarding the neck on the original bass, how those might vary. My husband has long, narrow fingers and I know the neck style was a major draw. (The current owner must be a budding Luthier himself, as he personally restored/performs with the bass; He offered to aid in determining fair pricing as well as other red-flags to look for and so on. He's across the country, but my secondary/tertiary resources are becoming abundant!)

    I reached out to Rufus Reid (did I just message a deity!??) and will be speaking with the violinist neighbor this afternoon. Husband and I are attending a performance of hers tomorrow so hopefully stealth connections will be made!

    Rad people, please correct/modify/suggest regarding my tentative plan:

    The gift process:
    -keep reaching out to local resources (thanks to above poster for providing two more leads !)
    -utilize these resources to direct me to a local, real-deal small business who might source a small variety of basses for hubs to explore (ideally with a luthier in tow if appropriate).
    -arrange a financial allottment ahead of time to inform hubs of (with maybe a $500 bonus wiggle room ;) ) per "homemade gift certificate"
    - "gift certificate" will be handed to him as we near said shop. The trip otherwise will be under the guise of "surprise trip" until then.
    -Let him feel around for what calls to him, stand back and choke down the wife-tears.

    A former bandmade of my husband said that even small/local shops will often agree to payment arrangements ($x/mo.)?

    If that's the case I'm EXTRA excited, as I will be able to up the spending limit a bit.

    I'm so excited. I thought this was an impossibility. I hope each of you know you have contributed to a powerfully moving experience for someone I love so dearly. Thank you.

    I'll keep you updated, and warmly in my heart.

    I'm so overwhelmed by your responses.

    Gratitude and love to you all.
  8. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I have no doubt that your husband will be absolutely thrilled and very touched by your kindness, generosity and initiative where all of this is concerned. Good on you! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
  9. Lynn Seaton

    Lynn Seaton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Denton, TX
    Phil Rowan likes this.
  10. Hubtone


    Dec 20, 2009
    I agree with the gift certificate. Shopping for a bass is a huge gift in itself. Especially knowing you aren't window shopping and will actually buy one! Personal touch and feel are extremely important; probably moreso on an upright than any other instrument. And, super awesome of you for doing this. Shoot, we all appreciate you for doing it. haha
  11. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    A bass roadtrip sounds like a good idea. Take a little vacation with your husband and visit them all- Fretwell, Wolf, Upton, David Gage, O'Hare, et cetera. Enjoy a little goof off time, drink some wine, eat some fun food, see some local music, enjoy the fall colors ('still happenin' in the Carolinas and no snow!).... you'll get more than a bass bond. While you are on the road checkout all the local Craigslist and marketplace ads for unexpected opportunities. By the time you get back home you'll both be better educated in bassness & you'll likely have made the correct choice for your needs.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  12. Lepidope


    Oct 15, 2019
    Amaaazing! Been looking for an excuse to get to the Carolinas anyway ;) thank you thank you all! :)

    So.excited. THANK YOU.
    Sam Dingle likes this.
  13. oldNewbie

    oldNewbie Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Lots and lots of good advice : He has to try as many as possible himself to buy , they are all different, visit luthiers, a road trip is highly recommended , etc. James Condino's list is great.
    But he could get a lesson with Rufus Reid ? A bass is a bass, he can trade or fix it or swap later but a lesson with a master is forever. Even if he's not studying with anyone now , and even if he only goes once, will change his musical life.
    This is separate from a regular teacher, the one who might go shopping with you .
    Well done ma'am.
    Lepidope likes this.
  14. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    I second contacting Gollihur music. He’s near Philly, has a well respected online store with an immense amount of info & accessories. Plus they deal in affordable new & used instruments.

    No affiliation. Just a happy customer.
  15. Scott Freeman

    Scott Freeman Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2018
    Alexandria, VA
    I recommend Bob's House of Basses, in Bowie, MD. Great guy and a good selection of basses.
  16. Lepidope


    Oct 15, 2019
    You know, there's a swing in the pendulum I didn't anticipate. This might be the ticket.

    Husband's been searching for a postdoc position; this week the possibility of moving internationally was brought to the table. If he had to part with a bass again... My heart threw up at the thought.

    Realistically, it's likely his career will remain in the US. But a major move lost the bass, and we are not settled right now. That was not in the front of my mind. Thank you.

    So...perhaps this is a reasonable variant?
    -Securing him a heady lesson with Rufus Reid (when in Rome and Rome is 75 years young...)
    -Prime the piggy bank (/down payment) for bass-to-be
    -Shoot for a casual (yet well-researched because you all are AMAZING) little road trip for hubs to "meet" various basses and get back in touch with himself. Maybe I'd have the honor of standing back and watching him, in love, second-hand learning. (We never had a honeymoon. This could do ).

    Is it a faux pas to shop-hop to feel around like that? It sounds like that's sort of the nature of the business, just foreign to my world of visual arts. I wouldn't want to act disrespectfully in someone's private business.

    More thanks than ever to each of you.

    I have to say, I'm a moderator of a massive uh, major-trauma-based support subReddit (if you're a Redditor, you likely know it). You are the anti-Reddit. Ya'll got nothing but love. Your words are more composed, compassionate, and affective than much of the "support" I sift through in that world behind the scenes. Your personalities are palpable.

    Thank you for what you contribute to the world. Truly.
    Thank you.
    All that love is coming right back at you all, tenfold.

    Sorry I haven't replied to every PM yet, but please know how moved I am by your community, passion, and selflessness. I hear you, and look forward to responding.
  17. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    If there is the possibility of moving abroad you could hire a bass with a view to buying it if you do stay.

    I believe that there are shops that will deduct most of the hire charge from the purchase price if you decide to buy (someone please correct me if I am wrong on this).
  18. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think an element might be where the post-doc was. If London, Paris, Berlin, Italy etc, where there are major luthiers, you could pick up a great bass there and ship it back. If it's somewhere more remote/exotic, then that might be more complicated. There's no rush here. Take your US road trip, have fun, play basses, make notes, videos. It will help you decide what you/he is looking for. By that time you will have a clearer view on the post doc - and what kind of bass you want.
    Good luck.

    PS: and thanks for your kind words to the TBers!
    Tom Lane likes this.
  19. bolophonic

    bolophonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    There is a luthier in Durham NC that specializes entirely in upright basses.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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