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Luthiers in SW England

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by oliebrice, Apr 14, 2006.


  1. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    as any one had any work done by 'The Violin Shop' or 'Violin Valuations' or anywhere else in the south west? Any opinions on the standard of work?
    I'm thinking of getting adjusters put in my bridge as I want to try animas or obligatos, and it looks cheaper than a new bridge, do I need to go to London to have them installed?
     
  2. Deltree

    Deltree

    Feb 7, 2005
    I've heard good things about John Sydenham, who's about 40 minutes from Bath I believe. A guy down here in Exeter put his elbow through the rib of a *very* fragile bass (apparently there are/were areas in the top less than 2mm thick,) and says that his repair job was fantastic. I spoke to John on the phone last week and he seemed like a good guy. I don't know entirely what the rules are, so I'll PM you his number.

    My bass is with Roderick Warham at the moment, after I tripped over the endpin and cracked the collar thingy (as I believe they are technically called,) and not much else luckily, so I'll be able to vouch for him (or not!) by Monday. He seemed like a straight up guy too, although not a 'Bass only' guy, which I know is the preference of most around here. He's closer to me though, Near Winkleigh, so probably not for you.

    Fraid I can't really be any more help, but I thought I'd throw a couple of names out there, cos it can sometimes seem like it's Bristol, London or nowhere when you're after anything bass related round here.

    PS. I may be completely wrong, but I doubt you should have to go to London to find someone to fit bridge adjusters. When you consider that it's something that some players do themselves..? Not that you'd catch me cutting my bridge! Good luck anyway, hope it works out well. :)
     
  3. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Thanks Tomasito, I'll contact John Sydenham when I can afford the animas...
     
  4. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    :D :D

    [SUB](You have to know your regional English for this one)[/SUB]
     
  5. Deltree

    Deltree

    Feb 7, 2005
    No probs. As I say, he's not done any work for me personally, but he sounds like a good chap, and the geography's convenient.

    Innum :D
     
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Is Roger Dawson a possibility for your area. I don't know London too well but he's one of the best in the UK or any country for that matter.
     
  7. Deltree

    Deltree

    Feb 7, 2005
    Hiya Ken, seeing as oliebrice isn't online right now I'll chime in again. I've never been to the Contrabass Shoppe, which is where Roger Dawson's based I believe, but from their website one can deduce that they're in the West End of London 'within walking distance from the Royal Festival Hall.' Their full address isn't available online 'for security reasons.'

    That's a little over 100 miles East of Bath, for your ease of visualisation :) so maybe a bit of a trek, or perhaps just close enough for 'one of the best in the UK.' I'm certainly adding him to my list of talkbass recommended luthiers - your endorsement speaks volumes, so thank you.
     
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.

    I have never met him but I have a Bass he restored some 20-25 years ago and the work is amazing by any standard. He has worked at the Contrabass Shoppe but I believe he has his own independant operation. The Bass of mine he restored in London was the Dodd; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Dodd/DoddBass.htm

    All parts except the neck graft is original including the Varnish. Preservation in it's highest most respectful form is well evident in his work.
     
  9. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Roger Dawson has been highly reccomended to me, and is the luthier my teacher uses. However, I believe due to health problems he doesn't take on as much work as he used to and has a long waiting list. I'm not even sure he'd be interested in such a relatively small job, their website only talks about major restoration work. I expect he's also extremely expensive, as he is probably the most respected luthier in the country.
     
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Roger has a website? Can you PM it to me? I need to get in touch with him.
     
  11. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
  12. PaulR

    PaulR

    Apr 2, 2006
    Hi Ollie

    I used Violin Valuations (Cremona House) about 4 months ago. They put a new endpin on my bass, a new soundpost and adjusted the action.

    I think they did a really good job , they listened to what I wanted, and were able to fit me in pretty quickly as well. My bass is sounding and playing a lot nicer now :)

    For the job you are thinking of, I reckon they would be more than competent.
     

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