New Romanians

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Dave Irwin, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. Anyone familiar with romanian carved basses sold by either Atelier (Constantine Popescu)

    or by Robertson and Sons in New Mexico?

  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Yeah, I know em' well. They usually are a good value, though often heavy in the wood. The variables will be in the set-up and price. Robertson will give you a good set-up but the price may be dear. If you can get to the NY/Ct. area though you'd be foolish not to check out Schnitzer. Few are equal to him in the set-up department and none are better.
  3. Thanks Jeff. The "heavy in the wood" part is somthing I'm concerned about.

    Would it be informative to ask the total weight of the instrument?

    Are you familiar with the "Atelier (Constantine Popescu)" flatbacks as well as the Robertsons?

    Considering they are good values, am I likely to find a better instrument with a little patience? I have a bass to practice on in the mean time..

    I'll check out Schnitzer.

    Thanks again,
  4. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna

    i don´t know about that romunian basses...
    but i have one from gliga ...
    and it´s quite heavy...
    compared to my teachers bass it´s bout 2kg heavier!!!
    my luthier said that the top is quite thick and the bracings inside are very though and also not so good positioned...
    but the bass sounds great even my luthier was amazed...
    he said that someday when the first serious crack is for repair...he will correct that...

    rgds sebastian
  5. Would you describe the sound further?
    Volume (scale 1-10)
    Character (dark to bright)

    String type and tension?
    (What makes the thick table vibrate so much?)

    Thanks again,
  6. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    huch good question...

    so know i use pirastro jazzers...great strings compared to the romunian thomastik copies...
    the sound is dark...not that much brilliance in the high positions (when played by my teacher and compared to his 200+ years austrian bass)...
    also the high positions have a fine sweetness in tone...a warm one...
    the deeps are growling (see jazzers)...
    arco the bass is also great...especially the e and a string are thundering...
    as my theacher says...beat the hell out of here...she has a so nice tone...she likes that... :D

    rgds sebastian

    ps but as said...the sound is a matter of setup, strings and mostly of the technique and style you play...
  7. kip


    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    i have a Romanian, with a Gliga Vasile label. (tell me more Seppie, about origin, reputation) it's heavy, but it's a flat back and I think the bracing is where the weight is. The top is thick but is opening up. It' s not real loud but has very good tone. I replaced the Spiro Weich w/ Velvet Anima's and sound is fuller. These are gut strings w/ copper looking wrap, tension is equal on all strings and tension is low, but they move the table with great sustain.Like it much better than the Sun Boa Chen carved top I was playing. That thing had a huge sound but lacked the structural integrity (top too thin, bass bar too light) of the Romanian (the top caved).
  8. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    so after looking for months here in vienna for a bass...i decided to look behind the "fences" ...and found the gliga homepage...after some mailing with them they said they have round 8 playable basses in their shop...
    so i took some free days and drove to romania to take a closer look...
    played there all basses they had... exept their plywoods...they had real great basses in their shop!
    also the master basses from vasille with all the beautiful carvings...
    also they mainly make only roundback in violin shape (stradivari ?!?) flatbacks and gamba models are rare!
    the woods they use are real fine! even at the lower class models...
    the mechanics are german (i think);
    but after all i fell in love with my flatback student model!
    after this all i met vasille and we talked a bit bout his shops...

    regarding to sound and bass isn´t also that loud...but thats cause my string height isn´t that much

    and it´s worth driving there...transilvania is realy beautiful but the people there are very poor!
    such a povetry i hanven´t seen anywhere...the villages have no elecricity....and so on...
    so i´m feeling a bit better that my money went something to a land that needs it...and not a rich benzdriver from germany ;)

    rgds sebasian
  9. kip


    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    Please, what is the homepage?
    my bass is the professional series, excellent tuning machines, beautiful looking and well constructed. my teacher has a Maestro built. I totally agree that we should, if we can support these artisans and craftmen. They have made my life better.

    Transylvania Huh? Still, I will NOT name my bass Frau Bluecher! Neaaaaaaaaaay
  10. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna

    thats the homepage...

    and regardning the name...
    the name of my bass is tanja...but i think that should start an other thread like "whats the name of your bass" with a poll male or female name...hmm

    brgds sebastian
  11. kip


    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    Trust me Seppie, you do not want to go there (bass names). Before some of these dudes are done with you, there will probably be new names for your tailpiece, not to mention your endpin.

    Wasn't Dave's original thread about new Romanian built DB's?.
  12. Thanks for caring, makes me feel good inside (or maybe that was that burrito...)
    Anyway, To add to the list of Romanian's in which I'm soliciting feedback, add the
    Kolstein Liandro DiVacenza Orchestral Bass (B600).

    I've been offered an instrument of the same design from the same romanian shop. Only difference is they are using they're wood rather than Kolstein's.

    Dealer says it has been played over the last year or so by a jazzer and has a big dark sound.

    Here's a link to the DiVacenza:

    And one to the Upton Romanian in question:

    (the pics are actually for selling the stand)

    Any shared experiences are appreciated.

  13. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    fine basses!
    i love to see pics of fine instruments!

    but the romanian bass has a small fauxpas!
    hey a violin shaped flatback!
    but if the sound is fine, everything is alowed!

    rgds sebastian
  14. Forgive my ignorance, but what's the issue with a flatback violin cornered bass?
    Is it just "not done"?

    When you say fine basses, are you kidding, judging from looks/description, or have any experience with these two models?

  15. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I have a flat back Romanian bass that's very similar to the ones pictured. I'm pretty happy with the tone and playability. I got a good deal on it as the top split shortly after my luthier got it, and it sat around in his shop for a while. Didn't seem to want to split any more, so he removed the top, and the split closed without needing a splint. He said he's sold a number of these and hadn't seen another one do this.