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Keep the repaired "Rubner" or new Shen 7/8

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by dderatz, Mar 5, 2014.

What to do?

Poll closed Mar 15, 2014.
  1. Get the Shen, Sell the Rubner

    1 vote(s)
  2. Get the Shen, Keep the Rubner

    5 vote(s)
  3. Forget the Shen, Stick with the Rubner

    0 vote(s)
  1. dderatz

    dderatz Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    My fiver was damaged by the excessive cold and dry weather in the Northeast, with a crack running through the purfling up along the bass bar to a few inches below the bridge foot. The good news is that the insurer paid the insured value, and the better news is that the crack is being cleated for considerably less than the payout. The bass is fully carved "attributed to Rubner" according to Tom Wolfe in The Plains, VA, but there is no label to prove it. Likely age is 1960-1970.

    The decision: I have been trying out a Shen Willow "Gemunder " 7/8 five string. Somewhat larger than I am used to, but surprisingly (to me) manageable. I like this instrument (other than the stock strings, which I am not crazy about), but I am trying to decide whether to

    a) Get the Shen, sell the Rubner
    b) Get the Shen, keep both
    c) Forget about the Shen, save the insurance $$ and play the Rubner.

    This decision is complicated by the fact that I have not yet seen the Rubner repaired yet, but Mike Shank seems to think that it will be a successful operation.

    The insurance proceeds alone will allow any of these choices.


  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Since you can own both at the same time, I would do that and decide which is your first bass and which is your backup. At that point, you could sell one or the other if you want.
  3. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    I'd hold off until you have the repaired Rubner back. Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that you are not pleased with it. Well, that seem to knock out options a and b. This is in agreement with what Eric said above. Basically, the decision is deferred until you have the Rubner.

    The question then is whether you should buy the Shen now. Are you without a bass to play? If so, then for how long?
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    There's always a possibility of the Rubner coming back better than you left it. Of course that discovery might also take time. Is there a rush?

    Worst case, you hang on to the Rubner and decide it isn't for you any more. The Shen (or a similar Gemunder) should always be available - they could always build a new one if the one you try out is no longer there.
  5. B.

    I have a Shen Willow Rogeri and three old Germans, all of which are set up to fulfill different roles. I'm happy to have these choices. If you can afford it, and it sounds like you can, I'd recommend you take the opportunity to have several nice basses.

    It's likely that the surgery will be successful, given that Mr. Shank will be your bass doctor. It's also likely that the instrument will come home with a different personality, and could take several years to settle in. Make your decision then, if a decision must be made.
  6. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004

    I'm not sure I understand: You have a choice between having one bass or two? And you want help to decide? To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel "Well, it's one more, isn't it?"

    I say keep two, at a minimum, if at all possible.

    Paul (Eh_train)
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I agree with Drurb, Don't count your Chickens.
  8. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    See, now that's good advice.
  9. FWIW, I have a 7/8 Shen Willow and I think it sounds great. Wait until the Rubner is done and compare!