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La Scala / New Standard Instrument Co. of New York

Discussion in 'For Sale: Double Basses' started by William Hoffman, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. I visited Arnold at his shop in New York and ordered this La Scala new in the summer of 2010. The sound of the La Scala was what sold me, after playing it for an hour and comparing.

    I asked Arnold to ship the La Scala from to New York to California, and I picked it up in Sacramento in September of 2010. I am its first and only owner and have played it approximately two months each year since then. The rest of the time it spent comfortably in its gig bag well protected from any harm in the back bedroom of my parents' home.

    I bought this bass while still living in Switzerland so I could play gigs in California several times a year. Now that I am moving to California permanently I will bring my Gruenert. Since I no longer need the La Scala as my part-time bass, I am offering to sell it for a reasonable price.

    This bass is in perfect condition, just as ordered from Arnold, not a single defect. The setup is as original, with a Full Circle pickup installed. It plays beautifully. I would part with this bass for $4000 (which is a bargain if you are located in California, given the price of a new La Scala plus shipping). If anyone is interested or has questions, PM me. Bill

    Attached Files:

  2. Jsn

    Jsn upright citizen

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    PM sent!
  3. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Supporting Member

    A steal!
  4. kittyboy

    kittyboy Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Is it ply, hybrid, or all-solid?
  5. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
  6. bassmastan

    bassmastan Guest

    Jun 25, 2011
    Wondering myself
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    $4K? gotta be ply
  8. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    Owner responded to my PM - it's all-ply, not that that's a bad thing...
  9. I see I've been neglecting the discussion I started, though I have responded to PMs. Here are some of the answers to questions I received.

    The bass is the La Scala laminate, not the hybrid. But Christian McBride was apparently perfectly happy with the La Scala laminate, so it is good enough for me... :) and maybe for you too? :D I understand the body is made in Mittenwald Germany and the neck and set up is Arnold and Wil's work, very well made and set up. Wood I understand is ply front and roundback (Italian poplar), the sides and bouts were said to still be solid, not laminate (the Cleveland went over to laminate bouts due to some rare cases of cracking as I was told by the time I ordered this in 2010). It has the Full Circle installed by Arnold, my only request of Wil was that the grain still be visible through the dark brown finish. I've received many compliments on the job Wil did. Strings are Spiro Mittel EA, Belcanto D and Oliv G as you can see in the attached picture. I have not put any dings or scratches on the bass (Wil made some "aesthetic gouges" he thought it would lend it a more antique kind of look, does not look bad at all -- you can see them in the close-up picture posted in the OP -- those are original markings made the artist Wil himself).

    I'll be checking the thread now and answer questions posted here or sent by PM. Bill


    Attached Files:

  10. For anyone who is interested, the La Scala will be available for viewing over the next few weeks beginning next Friday when I get back to California. Please PM me or write an email to set up a day when a visit could be arranged. Bill
  11. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    No, all the parts were made in Germany (not in Mittenwald) including the neck. The basses were shipped with the neck and fingerboard partly fitted, but unattached. These were then fit-up in my shop, Mr. deSola did the varnish only, then they came back to my shop where the set-up was done. I only post this for informational purposes, as I am no longer involved.
  12. Thank you Arnold for setting the record straight. I did not state some of the facts relating to the origin of the parts correctly. This is a New Standard La Scala made 2010 by Schnitzer/DeSola.
  13. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    No, that's not correct. Please re-read my post above. These basses were not made by us; they were final-assembled, varnished and set-up by us.
  14. Jsn

    Jsn upright citizen

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    An instrument with this kind of pedigree and care, already transported to the west coast, is a rarity. I'd snap it up if I could.
  15. Arnold, with all due respect, this is getting a bit hard to believe. Are you saying you are not the manufacturer? "These basses were not made by us" is just nonsense. The instrument has a label inside that says New Standard Instrument Co., and you assembled all parts and sold the bass as your product. You are the maker, and whether or not component parts came from elsewhere does not change that. I don't understand why you would ever want to say you are not the maker of this bass. Please explain.

  16. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Bill, I don't mean to be difficult. I have never said anything other than what I posted above about my involvement in the New Standard instruments. No, I don't consider myself the maker. I consider myself a former partner in the importing, final assembling, setting-up and marketing of these good basses. I do make handmade double basses, to which I assign my own name. The confusion between the two is one of the reasons I divested from the New Standard business. I'm just trying to clarify, not in any way denigrating the quality of the New Standard instruments sold during the time of my involvement.
  17. Arnold, thanks for the explanation. I know you make much, much finer basses than this from scratch and without importing parts from Germany, but in my mind this ply NSI La Scala has always been associated with you, and in a good way.

    I guess I will have to change the way I speak about this bass now, but I don't know what it is that I can say differently.

    For those who may still be interested, I am attaching further pictures of this New Standard Instrument Co. "La Scala" ply that was assembled and varnished in New York in 2010 under the supervision of Arnold (I hope that is a correct way of saying it), but "made" of parts that came from unknown artisans in an undisclosed location or locations in Germany. As they say, it is "unbeatable in its class..." and I found that to be true. :)

    Attached Files:

  18. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    William, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but it _is_ an interesting question - if one person or company creates the parts of the instrument (back, sides, neck, etc.) and another takes those parts and puts them together into a finished instrument, who is the "maker?" It seems, to me as an outsider, a 50/50 proposition. One could debate the percentages, of course, and there are many more steps I haven't mentioned in the interest of keeping my question simple.

    I own a classical guitar built in an even more complicated manner - the pieces of the guitar came from Spain and were assembled in Romania under contract of someone in the UK. All I can tell you is that when people ask me "Where is your guitar from?" I don't have a simple answer - I tell them it's made of wood from Spain, assembled in Romania, and sold to me by someone in the UK. I don't think there is a simpler answer to be had in cases like this. In your case, I think my answer would be, "It's one of those New Standards that Arnold sold for a few years."

    And if push came to shove, I'd have to come down on his side of this one - seller does not mean maker.

    Just my opinion, your mileage may vary, hope I haven't offended, and best of luck with your sale.

  19. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Bill, this gave me a good chuckle this morning. The bottom line is that I think enough of these basses that I always try to buy any that become available in my area. So if you want to take a road trip...
  20. yousaiditman

    yousaiditman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    San Clemente, CA
    Is this bass sold??