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Is this for real?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by basswraith, May 28, 2005.


  1. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    His first bass is named "El Primero" ?
     
  3. It sounds really cool. I wish I could take it for a spin.
     
  4. The Domenico Busan he has for sale looks interesting too. The story behind is even more interesting.
     
  5. Wraith, where'd you get this site?
    It's set up so weird, i'm almost tempted to call him.....
     
  6. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Is that a joke? How come nobody knows about this guy?

    Read the page about the strings he designed. "They make bad basses sound good..."

    lol
     
  7. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Did you see his home/front page with the link to "BET NOW" sports betting?
     
  8. The guy is apparently for real. JAS over in the Stings thread called him up. He is fairly advanced in years. The Website is new I think. He comes across kind of old school, which makes him sound like a snake oil salesman. That's a generational thing probably. Those strings in particular sound very interesting. If they do what they say they will do, they might be the Holy Grail. This guy is in LA so I might just pop in to say hello if he would have me and try out that Busan and those strings.

    Jon
     
  9. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
    Let us know what u see. Try that $50,000 bass if you can.
    The pics on that site look as though they are 20 years old.
    Did you guys see the bows?
    Mama mia!
     
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Only two of his Prices seem within reality, his Strings for $190/set are up there with the better Pirastros and his 'real' Busan for 100k. I think the last Busan sold went for around 120k. I called him a few weeks ago when I saw his Bass for sale somewhere. Then he gave me his website address and it threw me off a bit.

    Most new Basses in USA average around 25k but he gets 50k and up for a 5-string?... He makes his Basses at about 42.75" S.L. His Busan is about the same or longer. He says that it's only a problen if at all in the half position and as you go higher the SL is fine. I believe he used his Busan for the model and copied it. His Bass looks very similar as Busans are known to be 'long' bodied Basses.

    I think he is a bit out of reality. His Rosin is $50. and his method book is $115. I just bought the Bottesini book for $15.oo. How much better can his be? Return your Rosin after to be rejuvenated? Who can even find the Rosin after that long?.. lol

    He was a nice guy to talk to and seemed to know alot. He was almost short with me but we covered alot of ground. I would love to speak to anyone that has played his Basses or anything that he makes. He is one interesting character....
     
  11. My read was that the method book was most likely geared specifically to 5-string technique, which may be why the "niche" price point. Bassists chasing specialized info like that aren't a dime a dozen. I saw similarities between his Busan and the bass he built also. I guess he has made a 5-string model of the Busan.

    One of the most striking details to me was the extreme arching of the upper bout, which extends out and abrubtly drops off at the channel. You look at that slab cut top and realize that you can't do that kind of arching with most standard kerfed wedges. He apparently thought that was important in the design. The dimensions and background suggest that his instruments might be worth the price. You certainly can't say they are the run of the mill. Yet, there is a rather showman-like eccentricity about the whole web site that makes you wonder at first, is this for real? I can see why you asked that but, well, yes.
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
  13. Mr Woolsey (BOAZ music) seems to be a very interesting character. I first heard of him in the Seattle local union monthly. I tried to contact him, but he is very reclusive. Of course, I had to investigate as no modern luthier do date has yet asked $50k US dollars for a new bass. It was very hard to find anyone who had heard of him...His "El Primero" is just that, a highly "engineered" but 1st double bass. I talked with many LA pro bassists, and only one acknowledged knowing him and admitted he was a little, shall we say, "interesting". I've tried his string, but can't get it to bow. He claimed I needed the rosin, but I needed gas that week. I wanted a video of him playing and he wanted $25. So I asked about the Busan and he said it was over $200k. I checked with a very well known British bass dealer to see if this was even plausible (that there was an unknown Busan in the USA), and he said one had sold some time ago and that it was...plausible but unlikely. I sold a Busan about 3 years ago, but less than $100k, before the $ fell like a stone...

    Hope this helps
    Bryce Van Parys
     
  14. Your mystery Italian is very high at the bridge indeed, Ken, but what I'm talking about is the way the table is shaped above the bridge. Look again: http://www.boazmusic.com/images/eng_1.jpg, this is something different all together. Instead of sweeping up gently to a high middle, the table abruptly ascends just inside the channel and becomes plateau-like across the top of the plate. It looks as if this is a feature borrowed from Busan perhaps. At any rate, I've never seen a top like that before. I tried to find a few more Busans. I found a few bad pictures and some dimensions: http://www.cozio.com/Luthier.aspx?id=79&iid=8

    That is a very unusual top plate shape. Possibly part of his engineering? It is difficult to imagine what effect that has on the sound. It seems like that area of the plate would become more flexible but I'm just guessing. The other side of it is how is it graduated. The 50K question. Someone buy it before he raises the price!
     
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Silver; Yes, his is drastic but un-varnished. Look at mine again around the FF holes and upwards. It is similar but less drastic. BTW, I believe now that my MysteryII Bass is from Hungary but is an Italian model.

    BassVP; His Busan is Real. He is asking 100k for it. I spoke with him a few weeks ago and he told me 100k which is fair if it is in good condition. It is a long bass as is the ones he makes. Too much work for me.. I prefer 42" SL or less. Bass size doesn't matter as long as it's playable and sounds.
     
  16. That top plate indeed looks different, but it may not be as high arched as it appears. What's striking is the abrupt transition from the edge to the curve. It almost looks like a pressed plywood top. I have played slab-topped basses with a similar carving. Maybe it helps with slab cut tops, or maybe it sound better and is only possible with slab cut.

    Jon
     
  17. Duh, Of course. Now I remember. It's obvious. With slab cut wood, it difficult to carve a gradual change in thickness or elevation due to the way the layers of the wood are. Think topographical map. Hence, the flatness of most of the top and the abrupt angle. Conversely, it's hard to do a top like this with 1/4 sawn (It would seem). Luthier's?

    Jon
     
  18. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
    Some one needs to invite this guy to the ISB meeting next week. Then all of our curiosities will be either satisfied or increased.
     
  19. While your carving observations may be correct, this is not what I'm talking about.

    I'm not a luthier, but you don't have to be to understand this if you have seen the way kerfed quarter-sawn wedges are cut for top tone wood. Of course if you are not a luthier you may not have a reason to have seen these. They are wedge shaped like a tall, thick pie slice out of the diameter of the log. They are too thin at the edge (point of the pie slice) to shape a top this way. They are only as thick as the arch in the middle. So you carve the slope of the wedge down to a gently curved arch. With a slab cut top, the blank is (usually) a consistent thickness all the way across the width of the bass. that means the height of the arch can increase rapidly from the edge because height is not limited by the thin edge of the wedge. With the slab one has more carving to do, but more options in the topography of the top plate. It would be possible to glue together evenly thicknessed quarter sawn planks. It also would be possible to find even thicknessed planks quarter sawn and half as wide as a DB. Possible does not mean it would be easier, or necessarily better, or more economical.

    I feel like the shape has to do with design/engineering. If this guy thought the shape was important, he would shape it that way however he had to do it. If he felt quarter sawn wood was as important, he would have found a way to do it with quarter sawn wood. I don't think, judging by what he said he spent on research, that small differences in what is available influenced him. He picked out the trees and waited 15 years for the wood to season. There ain't no accidents here. It's all deliberate. VERY DELIBERATE. Even by my standards, it is almost excessively deliberate. Dang, it would be a fiver also! Let's face it. It is the perfect machine. It kind of makes me wish I had 50K in loose change.
     
  20. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I'm raising my prices to $49,900. Nick, Arnold, how about it?

    Also, I'd raise those fs about an inch.