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luis and clark carbon?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by basic74, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. basic74


    Dec 28, 2012
    hello, so the luis and clark carbon fibre basses have been out there a few years.. have you played or heard one in person?

    how are they holding up? what do you think about sound, playability, and so on?

  2. I've only seen one. It's been for sale for a number of years at a shop here in Vancouver. I haven't played it for quite a while, but I remember not liking it much. Seems to me that it's a very cool idea that just didn't work terribly well for db.
  3. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    +1 on this. There's one at Long and McQuade in Toronto. It's been sitting there for quite a while, with the price reduced to around 11k! Played pizzicato, there's very little sound or resonance. I think you could do much, much better with a wood bass, although perhaps they're not supposed to be comparable....
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Its a miscast piece of carbon fibre. The instrument doesn't have an attractive sound even arco and the pizzicato sound is just awful.

    I put Innovation Golden Slaps on the one that belongs to the Vancouver store and its finally out on rental! I'd like to go the whole nine yards and dress it up with a ghost flame paint job, etc. as the ultimate rockabilly bass but the budget won't allow it... :D
  5. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was President of a small college in the High Sierras for a while and we considered buying the L&C cello and viola for a chamber music group in residence. They actually weren't bad instruments. No one can quite figure out what went wrong with the design of the basses.
  6. Hi.

    I haven't played a CF instrument (yet ;)), but the little bit of research I've been able to do on CF violin and cello construction (very little on violins and cellos, none on DB's available AFAIK) have given me a few ideas about that.

    Just transfrering wooden construction 1:1 into CF will most likely not yield desired results.
    On violins, the research is relatively cheap because of the minimum amount of material used.
    After the (tiny) moulds have been made, it's just simple elimination and fine tuning process.
    It is still labour intensive with PITA to work with materials, and that does cost dearly, but nowhere near the amount that the larger members of the violin family require.

    In my estimate, on cellos the amount of material used (/wasted) is easily 10 times that of a violin. For that reason I'd guess there are way smaller amount of great CF cellos than there are great CF violins around.

    Finally, on a DB, the research can easily take 30 times the material of a violin.

    Per a single try.

    If my rough estimate of ~100€ material/violin top in research is even in the parking lot of the ball-park, it's pretty easy to see why there's not been many (if any) truly good CF DB's.

    IMO as an BEng mech. anyway.
    I suppose that given the amount of R&D -or more precisely the lack of it- the end result of the available CF DB's is still better than the very first wooden DB's were.
    The ancient DB luthiers didn't have anything to copy from, they had to scale existing smaller instruments up, doing a great work at that (in the end).

    At some point, I'm sure that someone will eventually do the legwork needed to transform the lifeless composite of CF-cloth and resin into a design that will give great results in DB construction.

    How that someone chooses to divide the probably insane R&D cost to the final products will pretty much seal the end result's fate in the market.

  7. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Barre Phillips has a CF bass, not sure which one. It sounds great when he plays it. It could work into being a good travel bass option down the road.
  8. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I'm pretty sure that he plays a Cosi bass. They have an ebony fingerboard, which would make a big difference, and the top model comes with a spruce veneered top for more warmth.

    I'd like to play one sometime...

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