My new BASS!!!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Monte, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Well, I can finally talk about my new acquisition since I have had it my possession since Friday!! I just got a 2003 Rumano Solano doublebass; a copy of a 1700 Matthias Klotz bussetto corner, which is the bass that Prescott copied as well. It is a 4/4 sized beast, with a very playable 41.5" string length. I'll post some pictures once my friend e-mails them to me in the next day or two.

    Dimensions are:

    Overall length scroll to bottom block: 77"
    Width of upper bout: 22"
    Width of lower bout: 29.75"
    Width of C-bout:16"
    Rib Depth: 8.5" (upper bout) 9.5" (lower bout)

    Woods used were 70 year quarter sawn spruce for the top, and moderately flamed tiger maple for the back and ribs. Ebony fittings with a carved figure boxwood tailpiece. In order to make the upper range easier to access, the neck angle is steeper, with a tall Despiau bridge. To accommodate the steep break angle from bridge to tailpiece, Solano put in a very nice tailpiece raiser. The tuners are individual Irving Sloane machines, with a nice Ulsa endpin with a screw on crutch tip (underneath is a sharp spike to dig into a floor for more volume, something my wife doesn't want me to do with our wood floors!!)

    When I originally tried this bass in May, it was strung with Helicore Orchestras, but over Rumano's objections (he thought the bass might lose volume), I wanted it strung with a more pizz friendly string, so he delivered it with Obligatos. The E and A might be slightly less than with the Helicore, but I doubt it.

    The only thing I can say is WHAT A SOUND!! I played Friday night in a loud club with an AKG C3000 mic on it. I just barely had it on, and the band was even more excited than I was. The most common comment was how big the low end was, and how easy to hear. The biggest problem I had playing was learning how easy it was to get a big sound, and not overplaying. At the end of 4 hours, I felt like I had barely played. My action is lower than it was on the gut-strung Juzek, at about 7-9mm on all the strings.

    I love it as a jazz bass, but it is a great orchestral bass as well. The tone is dark and refined, very cello like clarity. It shakes the floor under your feet and just completely fills the room. It is quick, springy, and loud under the bow.

    The biggest drawback to this bass is its massive size and weight. Fortunately, the Bobelock bag it came with has a million useful handles, but one night of carrying it made me determined to buy a good wheel, because putting this bass on your shoulder is not an option at well over 40lbs with bag, bow, and a minimal amount of stuff in the pocket (rosin, tuner, pencil, spare set of strings). Carrying it with the handles bear-hug style is also a problem as it is so wide. I like the bag, but the long zippered part of the bag being on the E side of the bass is taking a little bit of getting used to, as that is opposite of my Mooradian.

    Can you tell how excited I am about this bass? I would say Rumano has successfully transformed himself from making affordable student instruments into a maker of fine instruments (still relatively affordable).

    bassmastan likes this.
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Hey-is this the bass that Rumano had at the ISB convention? If it is, I played it and liked it. and Rumano was an interesting cat as well.
  3. scott reed

    scott reed Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    Glad the new Solano is working out for you. I'm
    glad you young guys are willing to lug those
    full-size basses around - enjoy it while your
    back is still healthy! Good idea about the wheel
    but be careful - you'll still have to carry and
    lift the bass at times and you'll have the added
    weight of the wheel as well.
    I think it was one of the two Solano had at ISB. I agree; it's a nice bass.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Congratulations! Can you define "relatively", at least in a relative way?
  5. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Yep, it was one of the ones he brought; the reddish varnished one that he didn't enter in the competition.

  6. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS

    I swore not to tell what I paid, but I can tell you that he will work with players to build something they can afford, and that his asking price seems to be just an asking price.

    I do know after the ISB he has raised his asking price, because when I insured it, I insured it for what he was asking in May, which was $12,000. When he delivered Friday, he suggested that I up that to $16,000. This is the most expensive bass he made.

    When he showed his other basses at OU, he had some very impressive ones, and it was a tough desicion between the Klotz and his 7/8 Carcassi flatback, which was bought by the bass teacher at OU, Mark Osbourn. I was also impressed by his Busan copy (the prettiest bass), which was bought by one of the girls who plays at OU, and the 7/8 William Forrester copy had some serious balls to it as well.

    Heck, even his student model 3/4 size French bass copy with plate tuners was impressive. I think he sold it for around $6,000, although I don't know what the asking price is.

    He is an interesting cat, as Jeff put it. He gets very excited about his instruments, which he sells himself by loading them up in a van and traveling around to schools.

  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Color me vivid green. I was just checking out Solano's basses on his website yesterday; they look great. Congratulations, Monte.
  8. Magnificent looking instrument, love the scroll. Bet it will be interesting to hear how the sound changes as it's played regularly.
    Congrats, Monte.
  9. Gabe


    Jan 21, 2003
    Nice bass, Monte. Sure is pretty. That tailpiece is pretty spiffy.
  10. calamari


    Jun 25, 2003
    Beautiful bass

    I'm pretty new to URB so I might be missing something completely obvious, but, why the raised tailpiece?
  11. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    There are lots of schools of thought on this, so I can't give you a definitive reason.

    However, Rumano did it for this bass (I think the only model he puts it on) because he angles the neck back a little to make it easier to play the upper range. This makes the angle from bridge to tailpiece pretty severe, which the raiser alleviates.

  12. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Wow. Atsa nice.

    I'd hear the woodshed calling a lot if I had that bass. How'dya like those Sloanes?
  13. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I really like them. They are so much more accurate than the plate tuners on the Juzek. I'm used to making a small adjustment and over shooting the pitch. With the Sloanes, you have to do some cranking just to get a half step.

    I'm gonna hate changing strings though!!

  14. Congratulations.
    I was able to get a drill bit that has wooden jaws that accomodate tuner keys. I can change a set in minutes with no aching muscles
  15. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    very nice, he has been getting a lot better, wow.
  16. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Is this something I can get at Home Despot or NOTLowe's? Sounds promising.

    The bass came with Obligatos, and although I've got a new set of the reformulated Velvet 180's that I'm dying to try (I loved the pizz but the arco was raspy with rough windings), I like the Obligatos well enough. I hear bad things about taking off and putting them back on, so I'll leave them on until they go dead.

  17. LarryR

    LarryR Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles

    2 words:

  18. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Didn't want to leave you hanging, so I wanted to let you know that I'm still in a love/ hate thing with the Obligatos, but I haven't had the urge to get rid of them quite yet. If I don't like the new 180's, I'll probably go with a mixed set of Obligato E & A and Oliv D & G. I just miss that great sounding G string, although this bass is good enough to take out some of the "nasality" of the Obligato G.

  19. Monte,

    I'm using an Oliv/Obligato mixed sat and am having a problem getting the olivs to speak as well as the obligatos. thinking of going back to a straight obligato set.

    ps. my solano comes jan 11!