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I’d post this in the Aluminum Double Bass forum, but...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jleguy, Mar 14, 2019.


  1. jleguy

    jleguy Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    ...there isn’t one! Behold my new to me, before restoration shots, of an Alcoa body #128 neck #62 aluminum bass. Found it very local to me at a great price...originally found it on Reverb and waited patiently a couple of months till the seller bit on my offer. 346E53B5-B077-4C31-B6F8-30BDDD635ECE. EB6FA8E3-4A60-4A6C-83A9-B26D8EDC828C. 49297087-9A27-4437-8F8E-497EAD48F2CF. 8F44DFFF-6693-4341-9C9C-345FA3C955B1.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  2. Wow, that’s clean!
     
  3. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    True, we don't have our own forum, but in a week we'll have aluminumbass.com live on the world wide waste of time!

    Nice score on the ALCOA and good effort for holding out for the right deal. I guess the seller won't be calling me back tomorrow.

    'Just a few hundred more hours of work and it will look like this:

    condino alcoa 1.JPG
     
  4. jleguy

    jleguy Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    I accept the challenge! Now to find 3m sanding discs of various grits 100 to 5000!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  5. jleguy

    jleguy Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    Found the following doing a little archeology: sound post, cig butts, lego, toy wheels, painters tape, wad-o-dust... C530C0DC-3D65-44BD-84C8-8EF292DE51A6.
     
    Picton, Inky13, JC Nelson and 2 others like this.
  6. jleguy

    jleguy Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    Looking forward to your new Aluminum Upright Bass site!
     
  7. I once had to fish CDs out of my bass. Kids...
     
    jleguy likes this.
  8. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I can't even mention some of the stuff I've pulled out of them.....
     
    jleguy likes this.
  9. I found a dried out clump of grey fur with bones in a bass I was checking out once :(
     
  10. Congrats!!! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine!!!

    Btw, what is the serial number in the scroll?

    Wahoo!!!
     
  11. Does anyone have an estimate of how many Alcoa double basses survive today? Or an estimate of how many are being routinely played today?
     
  12. Yeahh!!!

    term.
     
    JC Nelson, Seanto and jleguy like this.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    ha! great find! congrats! :thumbsup:

    i passed on an offer for one years ago and i regret it to this day, apparently --- because seeing yours makes me want one! :D
     
    jleguy likes this.
  14. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Unfortunately it is common for mice to be in instruments. I have seen plenty of stored violins with mice openings near the f-hole.
     
    jleguy and bassedsouth like this.
  15. Which begs the question - could a mouse nesting in a double bass survive Beethoven’s Symphony no 9 Finale
     
    JC Nelson likes this.
  16. jleguy

    jleguy Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    No number in the scroll...I looked thoroughly, maybe I'll find it when I remove the strings or the nut.
     
  17. jleguy

    jleguy Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    James Condino is the resident expert on aluminum uprights...I recall on James’ Kaybassrepair.com site that about 500 Alcoa’s were made before they stopped in 1934 if I remember correctly. Don’t know how many of the German aluminum Pfretzschner’s were made.
     
    dhergert likes this.
  18. I agree about James, we're very lucky to have him here in TB/DB (and not just for his amazing aluminum bass expertise). He's done remarkable research.

    I probably didn't make it clear what I was asking though... What I really am wondering is out of the 500 or so Alcoa double basses that were made between 1929 and 1934, are there any estimates of how many are still being played? Meaning, of those that have survived being jumped on, being used as a row-boat or becoming garden ornaments, how many are really still being played?

    I've been guessing there are maybe 100 or 150 at most still in use, but I only have the few of us here in TB/DB and otherwise incidental rumors to judge by.

    It would be nice if there was an Alcoa Double Bass registry (or maybe a more generic Aluminum Double Bass registry) so we could get some real counts.

    Regarding the pegbox serial number, mine is here just slightly above the G string peg hole (so my neck assembly is #342 while my body assembly is #244):

    (This first picture is actually upside-down.)


     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    jleguy likes this.
  19. jleguy

    jleguy Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    I guess I will have to look closer...who refinished yours?

    And there probably should at least be an Aluminum Double Bass forum on TB...

    It would be interesting to know the number that have survived.
     
    dhergert likes this.
  20. All of the functional restoration and hot-rodding on my Alcoa was done at Deuce Bass in Hemet, California, probably between 2014 and 2016. I purchased the bass in late January of 2018. (Deuce Bass is the company that made the Deuce Bridge at that time.)

    Most or possibly even all of the work was done by Jason Minor. Because there were top repairs that needed to be done, including a patch that involved welding, a trap door was installed on the driver-side C, and for the same reason it was decided not to go the polishing direction with my Alcoa, instead opting for the silver powder-coat finish that it now has. My understanding is that Jason Minor's shop also worked with dune-buggy parts and repairs, and included the ability to weld aluminum and the capability to powder coat large items.

    Other major repairs included re-working of the neck's angle and internal construction, and also a new fingerboard was installed. Also during this time an acoustic paint was applied to the inside back of my Alcoa to decrease the natural metallic tone and make the bass sound more wooden.

    I've done a few relatively minor upgrades and a lot of string and setup changes on my Alcoa since I've owned it. The minor upgrades include replacing all the electronics plus adding a bass-mounted pre-amp, and replacing the sound post with a custom adjustable multi-footed sound post that spreads the top support tension across the total span of the bridge.
     

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