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Martini Face lift..How do you like it?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by KSB - Ken Smith, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
  2. Looks gorgeous! I like the ebony cheek plates - the metal ones always put me in mind of the valve gear covers on old steam locomotives, that's why I had them removed on both of my basses - actually they covered some of the carved patterns of my busetto copy (see threads passim). They were far too "mechanical" for my taste, and looked like something from the early industrial revolution! Also we did the G/E swap to help avoid the steep break angle for the E string. So, why did you replace the tuners rather than just refurbish them? The reason I ask is that the new tuners I put on mine look similar to the tuners which were on yours, but without the wooden knobs. I prefer the plain look rather than the patterned type.

    Anyway - nice job!

    - Wil
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Frickin' yummy. Just.....Frickin' yummy yummy.
  4. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Much better, got'a love those ebony plates!
  5. Looks good!! Quirky but elegant, if that is possible. The black ebony cheeks are a bold statement that seems to match.

    You did good Ken!!!

    I have always thought that the E tuner should be behind the G. That is how I built the Q bass.

    What is your bridge height?
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The Bridge Height with low action is just a tad over 6" from the center, measuring from the Belly to the top of the Bridge. The Bass has very High Arching so it seems a bit low as compared to 6 1/2-7" Bridge heights but the power is awesome. Most full time Orchestra Players would have the adjusters up a little higher and closer to 6 1/4' on this Bass but the tone and volume of sound is just right.

    The Bass had 3 maple shims before overlapping in the middle and the Neck was a bit forward bowed under the shims. I made the Ebony Wedge Shim here in the shop and sent it to Biase to glue under the fingerboard. By the time he got the neck surface straight and flat, the New Shim would put the Bass just about where it was before. The Bridge on the Bass when I got it was made by Violin Maker Andrea Ortona, Venezia (as stamped on the face of the Aubert Bridge)

    I was told the the Bass previously had a Lower Bridge in Italy without the Shims and sounded better then with the higher Bridge of it's Post Restoration. I guess with a High Arched Top and Back like this Bass, you dont need a very high Bridge to attain a good Volume or Tone. In fact, I have tried it with raising the Adjusters and the Gain of Volume is minimum but the loss of it's Deep-Sweet Tone diminishes about equally.

    I am happy with the sound as it is. The Bass was always a 'Cannon' but the tone was not as Sweet as it is now. It also sounds a little Older or should I say, 'Mellower" than it did when I first strung it up out of the Crate that first day. The Bass did not change much at all tonally untill now.... I guess it was a bit of Luck as well..........
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Will, the Wooden type Gears do not tune as fine as these 36:1 ratio Krutz. I think you are referring to the Rubner Brass individual Gears on your Bass. They seem about the same to me as well. I first used these Krutz gears on my 7/8 Shen. Ever since then, I have put them on Every Bass I own when restoring the tuners.

    Even The English Shops in discussion about my Gilkes have told me.. "Get some Bakers on that Bass. Those Gears look too Fancy"!

    I like them!! So that's all that counts here.......Maybe if these Krutz Gears were available 200 years ago, the King would have had them installed on the Royal Forster Basses....... Or..... Maybe not, but we'll never know..........
  8. Fabulous Ken!!
  9. jlattuada


    Apr 25, 2001
    Richmond, Va

    "A beautiful hand carved Martini Scroll with a 'teardrop' button in the back. This Bass is now set-up with Individual Krutz Gears mounted on Custom carved Ebony Plates in reverse order to relieve tension in the lower register."

    I really like the ebony plates. Can you explain the "Reverse order to relieve the tension in the lower register." I'm not sure I understand what you mean.

  10. Jay L´attenuator: look where the strings are going in the picture of the pegbox.

  11. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    hmm...gina lolabrigida in the red light zone ?
  12. I did find something I don't like on the Martini.....My god man, can't we figure out a little neater way to hang your bow quiver on that sucker? That mass of leather thong all scrambled around down by the tail piece is disturbing!
    Or do you think i'm just being an obsessive compulsive old fart?
    While we're cleaning up here, let's get rid of that sweat rag hanging from your tail piece too?
  13. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    thong..tail...what's on your mind Pauly ?
  14. Maybe there is a use for that rag........... ;)
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Good morning all.. Hope everybody slept well last night...

    Ok J', The 'E' and 'A' are higher than the 'G' and 'D' which the opposite is the normal way except for some 19th century French Basses. My Bernadel (the real deal, Gustave c.1859) was like that and had less tension than others Basses. The 'E sounded fuller and the 'G' was less tight as well.
    By lenghtening the 'E' up at the Scroll, you change the angle break and the String is under less stress. By shortening the 'G' you add a little tension at the angle break and the String floats easier over the Fingerboard. The 'E' and 'G' are very different in size and this seems to change the feel under MY fingers at least.. The Tailpiece brought up about 1 1/2" towards the Bridge also loosened the tension as well. I can feel and hear the difference. The Peg Box being re-inforced with Hard Maple Plugs and Ebony Cheeks seems to have more of a solid feel as well. I guess it's a combination of all 3 mods combined.

    DZ/Gina.. Aren't you 'Cute' this time of the morning.. Still in your 'teddy'?

    Paul, Don't you like my Leather 'BowTie' knot? I guess at your age, leather isn't your thing..... Maybe Gina/DZ likes my leather..I'll ask..lol
  16. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    still in my teddy ???? Good Grief that conjured up an image that i'd rather not deal with this early in the morning. at least we know what your thinking this morning you D.O.M !!! haha
  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Yo.. you guys come up with this stuff.. I'm just responding here like an innocent spectator.... Well........ maybe not so innocent.. But I was provoked !!
  18. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Call me a killjoy, but I don't dig the ebony plates.
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    If all of you had seen what I had in my hands b4 I started the project, opinions might be different. The Previous Gears b4 the Hatpeg Rubners had been plugged with Pine Dowel, 1 1/8" inch (9/8") diameter thru both sides of the Pegbox. It looked like Swiss Cheese when I got all the Plugs out and ready for re-plugging. Actually, it looked worse.....My work was fine but one big 'sneeze' and I was afraid the Pegbox would split.

    My four choices were;
    1) No plates at all and Varnish over the Plugs after fitting them and match to rest of the Scroll The re-drill and install the Gears.
    2) Make a custom Brass Plate and Install the Gears on top as I did with the Gilkes.
    3) Make a Maple Plate similar to the wood of the Scroll leaving it thin like the Ebony Plate (or raised and carved like the Mystery Bass I did) and Match the Varnish to the Scroll and fit the Gears.
    or.. 4) Make the Ebony Plates matching the Fingerboard color and Mount the Gears on the Ebony.

    I choose #4 as I thought it would look the best and be the strongest fix for this Modern Italian Bass with Modern Gears in Modern times. We shouldn't be so shortsighted and make everything to Tradition. If this Had been an older Bass like a Testori or the like, Option #4 would not be a choice at all....