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New Bass Day / Week / Month (LaScala Gets the Rose)

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Len S, Jan 20, 2021.


  1. Len S

    Len S Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    This is likely my final new post / thread in this forum (unless we want to create a Club thread). I've been looking for my "forever" (I hope..my wife insists) bass, upgrading from my entry level Bulgarian Kremona carved from 2K1. I was a frequent poster in the "basses for 5K" threads, hybrid vs carved, etc.

    I had been to several shops (which is hard with COVID) wanted to visit Upton (which is hard with COVID), etc and after trying a bunch of basses, I narrowed it down to two: a Rubner Walther bass (which I posted too many threads about distorted ribs) and a LaScala that I was waiting to be built that was coming to Gage's shop in NYC.

    I was fortunate to have both in my hands for several days to A/B them and even took them both to a well-regarded local player and instructor in my area (university instructor and badass player) to have him try them both, because he knows what to look for when you're dealing with amplification, various venues, etc.

    I also got the chance to play two of his basses...a very nice 100 year old Morelli, and an old flatback that he's selling, which was INCREDIBLE but it didn't seem like it would be versatile enough...It was one that Mike Shank had done a lot of work on, and I was a bit torn...it was magical.

    But here we go...I decided to go with the LaScala. The other bass was super growly but very bright. The shape was a bit not to my liking.

    The LaScala is so playable. It's definitely dark, needs some time to break in, and I'm sure at some point I'll want to try other strings (even though Spiro Mittels ARE bowable on this bass, they are a challenge). I'm putting in plenty of arco time to open it up as much as possible. Super even and just seemingly a "transparent" bass...one that I can imagine through technique that I'll be able to eventually make sound like I want it to sound. Oh, and again, super playable. This is one bass where I can feel the air filling the bass with each note...Just a percussive puff which is really cool.

    This one is a hybrid with solid ribs and round back. Wil didn't remember whether the ribs are maple or poplar (I believe poplar). I LOVE the varnish he did. Just beautiful. I did try the Pamplona, too (Gamba shape), and it was also great. LOUD. But this one was more even and the shape more playable to me.

    Ask me any questions.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Len S

    Len S Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    One more. Snoring dog for scale
     

    Attached Files:

  3. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    Congratulations!
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Beautiful and well-sourced. I love those violin corners.

    If it is a dark sounding bass, save yourself a bunch of time and expense and keep those Spirocores on forever.
     
  5. Krantz

    Krantz Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    Lovely bass!
     
  6. Len S

    Len S Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    Thinking some day I might switch from the Mittels to the Weichs. My understanding is they are even brighter (and easier to bow).
     
  7. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Nice!
     
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Not a bad idea. They may be a bit easier to bow, but it's potentially bass specific.

    I have weichs on now and they are definitely bright.

     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Congrats! You know I would never argue with this choice. Enjoy! And my experience with these basses is that they like the tension (i.e. - once you are used to the sound of a Spiro mitt, you will find the weich lacking in punch). And if you ever get up the nerve to try a Stark E, you'll never go back. Unless you bow a lot... they aren't easy to get started for that. But the pizz sound is so glorious!
     
  10. CaseyVancouver

    CaseyVancouver

    Nov 4, 2012
    Nice bass.

    Spiro mittels are a great string for arco. I have them on a bass and love them for arco. You just have to get on them aggressively. Remember, with Spiro’s you’re the boss not them.

    When worn out, at about 2050, try something easier to bow :)
     
  11. Len S

    Len S Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    Did you find the low E and those notes up to the A began to speak more as the bass opened? I'm also trying to be aware that it simply may be just like being near my own bass amp... I can't hear that note as much cause the wave is so long. This was all you, Chris. You know I didn't even know about these basses until I saw you talking about them in posts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  12. Len S

    Len S Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2020
    Baltimore, MD
    Yeah. I really have to bite on the A but I'm getting used to them. I think for jazz bowing they're gonna be fun.
     
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I don't personally believe in basses "opening". I believe in our ability to coax sounds out of them with our technique adapting. But either way, yes, I think you will find the range on those low notes. With most basses and string sets, for pizz I always feel that the E string is too wimpy in relation to the rest of the set.
     
  14. Jim Dedrick

    Jim Dedrick Jim Dedrick

    Nov 8, 2016
    Port Deposit, MD
    Congrats on the new bass! Will seems like a really good guy to work with. We are in such similar circles. I also had Jeff check out my 1850 Tyrole before I bought it a few months ago.
     
  15. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Beautiful!
     
  16. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    If you don't have the sound you want on the E string, take it to a luthier for soundpost check. If that doesn't help, try a heavier and a lighter string and see what happens or bring them with you to the luthier. If that doesn't do the trick, can you return/trade the bass? Sometimes a bass just doesn't have it...
     
  17. rknea

    rknea Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    Boise, ID
    Beautiful!! Congrats on the new bass!!!
     
  18. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    It’s been decades (mittels), but I recently switched from weichs to mittels (w an Oliv G) and was surprised to find that bowing the mitts is no more difficul than bowing weichs. On the question of bowing Spiros, I find it’s not so much a question of can you bow them (you can), but whether you want to bow them.

    As far pizz, I find that the added tightness of the mittels can work in your favor if you find out how to finesse the technique so that you let the strings do their thing.

    Troy, I always found weichs to be a darker string with less core depth sound than the mittels. But as you point out, it’s bass specific.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
    Fretless55 likes this.
  19. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I (temporarily) have Spirocores Weichs back on my bass for the first time in about 15 years. Same bass, same general setup. They are way zingier than I remember. I'm not sure what to think about that.

    Arco is fine, though.
     
  20. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    My bass is not a La Scala, rather a carved 2003 Schnitzer/De Sola “special”/ one off — but I believe it is from the same “German/US family” as the NS basses. I recently put on the old mittels it came with and was pleasantly surprised that the bass took the added tension just fine. They replaced weichs and the difference in the core depth sound is not subtle.

    All the NS basses I messed around with up at Keiran O’Hara’s had mittels on them and I thought they felt fine for those, although they were new instruments with new Spiros, so the sound wasn’t all that inviting.

    I enjoy both gauges of Spiros equally — both are are fantastic, they’re just different
     
  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.

     
    Mar 4, 2021

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