My New Bass - or - Kudos to Steve Swan!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jim Calhoun, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Greetings,

    I thought I'd share my recent experience in buying a new bass from Steve Swan. Apologies in advance for being long winded.

    For the past 18 years or so, I had played a 3/4 flatback DB imported by Wm. Lewis and Sons. It was very even and amplified well, but was not super loud. I was looking for a new instrument that was louder and deeper sounding so that I could play some of my gigs without an amp. I knew about many of the new instruments available via the internet, but I wasn't comfortable ordering something sight unseen (however well regarded). I wanted to try as many instruments as possible to find one that "spoke" to me.

    I live in Ashland, Oregon. There wasn't anything available locally, so I had planned to go to Portland and to the San Francisco area to see what I could find. I knew about some of the shops in Portland such as Pete's, but didn't know much about the bay area shops. I remembered that a guy named Steve Swan posted here on TB, so I checked his website and discovered that he was actually making a trip up here to southern Oregon and had room to bring some basses. I contacted him and arranged to try 3 different instruments: a Shen SB200 7/8 willow, a bass by Heinz Mastri, and a Paesold 593 4/4.

    Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, I ended up buying the Paesold. It's a great bass that really suits my playing. It's loud, deep, and it sustains for days (almost too much - I've had to mute the strings a little more for the mandolin chop when I'm playing bluegrass). It makes unamplified jazz trio or quartet gigs a real possibility instead of just a pipe dream. It's strung with Spiro Mittels, which sound fantastic for both pizz and arco.

    I couldn't have been more pleased in my dealings with Steve Swan in buying this bass. Not only did he bring the basses to me to check out, he left two of the three with me over a four day weekend without so much as a credit card (he probably knew that he had a sucker on the hook, but still....). He also gave a fair trade-in allowance for my old bass. I'd gladly recommend him to anyone looking for a new DB (I hear he sells guitars, too....).

    Sorry that I don't have any pics, but you can still see this bass on Steve's website. Just click 'Paesold" and then "Previous Offerings" and it's the third from the bottom.

    Thanks for reading this "tome" and kudos to Steve Swan!

    Jim Calhoun
     
  2. I also purchased a bass from Steve Swan last year and the experience was wonderful. He is knowledgeable, low key and made the experience very pleasant. He has an extensive selection of basses and I felt wanted me to get exactly what I wanted and what would work best for me.