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New Bass Day: Christopher 303

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Sera Wohldmann, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Okay, so technically she came home a couple of months ago, but almost as soon as she did, the school semester started again, and I haven't had much time to take pics.

    Christopher 303, made in 2001, the 7/8 scale 5 string hybrid with violin corners.

    Lisa Gass at LA Bass Works was amazing to work with. She helped me find what I was looking for and set the bass up beautifully with a set of strings that was partly my own preference merged with her assistant's recommendation: a full set of Kaplans and a Permanent B (Kaplans don't come in 5). Nicely balanced.

    So far this bass is doing heavy duty in the school Orchestra and chamber orchestra, playing my solo rep for class, playing melody in a bass trio chamber piece, and blasting it next to the tuba in the school Wind Ensemble.

    On the way home from the shop, my wife and I both talked about names, and for some reason, more so in person than the photos, she has a distinctly caramel look to her. So, "Cara" it is.

    Attached Files:

  2. lorianb


    Apr 10, 2011
    Looks great - congrats. Any sound clips?:hyper:
  3. Neat bass. I have a 2001 Christopher b305 which is the gamba style 5 string. Can't remember what's on there but it's a 5string set (I don't like to mix sets). Plays great, a little dark because of the thicker top.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Congrats! Nice bass, and you look like a proud parent.
  5. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    Congratulations. Looks like a great instrument!
  6. Holdsg

    Holdsg I should be practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Nice, been contemplating a Christopher myself, any issues a few months in?
  7. I'm afraid individual sound clips are out - all I've got's a netbook, and I doubt it could handle it with any dignity.

    Any issues: None I can find. I just took her up on a chamber music retreat to the Lake Arrowhead/Running Springs region this past weekend, which is up in the mountain area during a very dry season. Very cold and windy and part of the playing was outside. Still handled it very well, and still sounds great now that she's home again.

    This has been my personal experience. This instrument is very thick (top plate to back) compared to others and can get a little heavy. That's probably due to the larger scale. I've acclimated fine, but there are days of transport that my arms wish I could spring for a wheel at this moment. Maybe in a few weeks. Fortunately, the stock bag that came with the instrument is very well padded and the handles are sturdy and with a bit of leather in the grip for comfort.
  8. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Great smile!

    May that bass keep you, and your audience, smiling similarly for a long time to come.
  9. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    Congrats on the Bouncing Baby Bass - May you find every excuse to use the low B!! I know I do.

    How's the permanent with the Kaplans?
  10. I personally found the combination to be a good match. The Kaplan E feels about the same to start under the bow as the Perm B, and as for timbre my other section mates can't hear a discernible difference in sectionals (where we all turn to face each other and can compare better). As a student, of course, I haven't tried very many combinations yet.

    I have taken a few opportunities for that B. Most recently the school's Symphony Orchestra did the Overture to Vaughan-Williams The Wasps and I took the liberty on the opening pizz notes. Since I also read Wind Ensemble Repertoire that occasionally only has Tuba/Bass Clarinet/Bari Sax parts, I've been known to drop if I think it will help and if I can avoid weird octave jumps in the phrase.

    Pictured are two photos from the mountain retreat, outdoor Bass Duet with another Applied Music student who plays a school-owned 3/4 (I think the tag said "Lang") for comparison. And of course, some other players are in the shot, and as par for a junior college, only one is watching (Our librarian and Principal Horn).

    Attached Files:

  11. artfahie


    Dec 14, 2007
    Bar Mills, Maine
    Those complacent horn players have yet to figure out that you'll be in more demand than they will !

  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    You two look like you were made for one another. Go forth and play those low notes!