new bass-can you help me identify?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jeff Guevin, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Jeff Guevin

    Jeff Guevin I know you love me like cooked food.

    Nov 6, 2005
    Binghamton, NY
    Hi all, I've been lurking for a few weeks, and thought I'd use my first post to introduce my new bass. It's a long story why I don't know exactly where it was made, but a) It's Chinese, b) it's not a Christopher bass, c) it's fully carved (spruce & maple), d) it's new (late 2004 at the earliest), and e) it sounds ridiculously good. I'd appreciate any wild-assed guesses or just comments on what you see!

    Pictures are here.

    Note the way the lip is tapered to a point and has a neat little design at the top and bottom of the back.

    I might tell you where I got it later, but for now I'll remain cagey. No, it's not stolen. :rolleyes:

    Oh, and about me: I'm Jeff Guevin, a computer programmer by day and just-getting-back-into-playing bassist by night. My main thing is jazz, but I studied classical in school (Whitman College and Cornell U.), too. I live in Ann Arbor, MI. I also have an apparently unusual EUB I'll share pics of later on.

    Oh, and let me say thanks to many of you, who have helped me immeasurably in the last few weeks with your posts.


    [edited to correct stupid mistake]
  2. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Looks like a Shen Willow 3/4 size to me.
  3. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    i don't think that wood is willow on the sides and back, and the willows have different tuners.

    it looks like an eastman to me maybe, i don't know maybe one of the higher level instrument (would it be something like a 500 series?). that's just a guess, i have only looked at eastmans once. anyway the bass looks real nice.

    where do you live jguevin?
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The Back and sides/ribs are highly flamed maple and not Willow. That is NOT a Shen. The Bohemian designs on the back are very nice. Who ever made that doesn't matter as much as how good the Bass sounds and how well it is constructed. Form the looks of the pics, the materials are top notch and equal to the best that Shen has produced in the 1000, 800 and Rogeri series Maple Basses.
  5. For sure a beautiful bass.
  6. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Really fine wood. If she sounds as good as she looks you have a winner. Very pretty pattern in the neck woods.

  7. Jeff Guevin

    Jeff Guevin I know you love me like cooked food.

    Nov 6, 2005
    Binghamton, NY
    Thanks for all your comments, everyone! I'm glad to hear from people who know their basses that it looks like good work--that was my impression, too, but mine is an untrained eye.

    The bass most certainly sounds like a winner. Pizz that rivals what I hear on many a professional recording. Arco--who knows? My technique has gotten so bad that it's hard to tell, but I do think I hear a lot of depth and richness, and that's with jazz-oriented strings and relatively low action.

    Sam, indeed! But I already knew I was a lucky man before this... BTW, I really like your recordings.

    jmpiwonka, I'm in Ann Arbor, MI. The eastmans I've looked at online certainly seem like they're in the ballpark based on their quality, but I haven't seen any defining characteristics that make it a sure thing.

    Thanks again, all. If anyone does still want to take a stab at an ID on the bass, I'd still love to hear it.
  8. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    it has no label inside?
  9. Jeff Guevin

    Jeff Guevin I know you love me like cooked food.

    Nov 6, 2005
    Binghamton, NY
    Not one that is useful in determining its origin. Basically it passed from Chinese luthier to (at least one) Chinese reseller to American setup guy. The original label is history.
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Those tapers on the back for the neck heel and bottom look really familiar. Is there one underneath the fingerboard/neck on the front too?

    The last time I was in Alex Friedman's shop here in SF, he had a acquired a couple of new basses from china to sell. From what I remember, they didn't have any known western distributor/label and I think he had bought them directly from China or something like that. They were pretty good quality basses in the $5k range i think. They sounded decent. My guess is that if your bass is similar to those, you'll probably have a hard time finding out how built your bass, save for those tapers. Who knows.
  11. Jeff Guevin

    Jeff Guevin I know you love me like cooked food.

    Nov 6, 2005
    Binghamton, NY
    hdiddy, thanks! I think I know the basses you're talking about--I had found some pics online that had that characteristic carving and bohemian design on the top and bottom of back and also under the fingerboard. Unfortunately, mine does not have it under the fingerboard, so I think that may be a no go.