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My new (old) little Italian bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Calvin Marks, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    I recently purchased my dream instrument from a wonderful bass player in the United States. It is a small little Italian bass, most likely from the late 18th century that used to have three strings. The scroll is original but the tuners and neck have been replaced. It was restored by Josh Henley in 2018.

    The old tuners are with the bass but one of the three doesn't work anymore so the Cincinnati Bass Cellar put on new gears in 2018. The extension is by Heartland Strings in Iowa and it uses a regular low E string instead of extension string!! (it just barely fits)

    Let me know if you have any questions on this beauty I'm calling "Mirabella".

    Attached Files:

    Chris Symer, LM Bass, Seanto and 29 others like this.
  2. 16fuss

    16fuss Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2005
    Have fun! I guess, this will be the last bass.
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  3. Gorgeous!
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  4. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  5. doghousebob

    doghousebob Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    Just flat out Beautiful Calvin!!
    I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome Mirabella to a stupid, unpredictable Ontario winter; a far cry from the climate of her birth place.
    I hope you'll enjoy each others company for many years in good health. (for both of you)
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  6. Jim Dedrick

    Jim Dedrick Jim Dedrick

    Nov 8, 2016
    Port Deposit, MD
    Congrats - I bet it sounds beautiful with lots of depth and complexity
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  7. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Thanks, guys.

    The Cincinnati Bass Cellar did a great job packing the bass in a flight trunk. Sadly, Ontario Customs decided to inspect the flight trunk and not lock it back up! It arrived at my doorstep with the trunk completely open in negative 5 degree weather. I was lucky that there were no further cracks!
  8. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Wow! Opportunity knocked and you answered!
    How does it sound and play?

    Congratulations :)
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  9. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    Unique and beautiful. Congrats!
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  10. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    I will post a recording. The previous owner was a truly impeccable player so the bass is worked in quite well and has a very sweet singing tone. The sound is like dark chocolate.
    mjt0229 and CaseyVancouver like this.
  11. Can't wait to hear her. I always wish I had names for my bass but they never speak to me in that way. Maybe I'm not listening carefully enough.
  12. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Supporting Member

    Wow! Congratulations! Play her with joy!
  13. Apparently that's not quite true. After today's practice session my rented bass here in Denmark told me her name was Dicte. But my own bass back home hasn't spoken yet.
    LM Bass likes this.
  14. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    wow that is awesome. you're one of the few people who can actually use a spiro stark for an extension string. I bet that little thing sounds great.
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  15. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    congratulations! definitely looking forward to a recording - I love hearing how amazing some of these smaller-scale basses sound.
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  16. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    haha that is technically true. It is actually exceptionally tricky to use a 3/4 length string on the extension as there is maybe 2 inches of room so you need to knot at the peg and hope for the best. I actually use her now in solo tuning so I use an F# string and that gets me down to low D instead of C.
    RBPCRC likes this.
  17. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    that thing is awesome!

    Diddn't kolstein have that - or one just like it ?

    saw one just like it there maybe a few months before the pandemic...

    either way i freakin' love what i see here. it's a little weirdo. it's elegant, it's unique, it's all the things that make us love basses.

    we'd love to hear it!!

    enjoy it in good health!!
  18. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    thanks! Kolstein has a small bass that looks similar that is attributed to Testore, I believe.

    This bass was purchased by an outstanding principal bass in a major US orchestra a few years ago from The Cincinnati Bass Cellar. The Bass Cellar was kind enough to help it get shipped up North to me.
    groooooove likes this.
  19. bassmanbrent

    bassmanbrent Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    How did that process go? I'm curious to know what taxes were involved etc. Cheers and congrats!
    Calvin Marks likes this.
  20. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    hey I will send you a PM!
    bassmanbrent likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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