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Nightingale Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steviecsg, Mar 31, 2006.


  1. steviecsg

    steviecsg

    Aug 16, 2002
    Has anyone heard of Nightingale Basses? I know it was made in the UK but the website is no longer in existence.

    Does anyone have own or have any experiences with these basses?
     
  2. MAGUS®

    MAGUS®

    Dec 23, 2004
    UK
    They were a custom builder in days gone past - Bernie Goodfellow was a part of the Nightingale team till he started Goodfellow, and then GB guitars.

    If you have an old one, treasure it !! They're well made and very rare.

    I'm not sure if they're still trading, as the website is a dud at the moment.

    Nightingale Guitars
    25 Denmark Street
    London
    WC2H 8NJ
    +44 0207 379 3572
     
  3. steviecsg

    steviecsg

    Aug 16, 2002
    i can only recall an edition of bassists or bass guitar (published in UK) with Charlie Jones brandishing a plexiglass Nightingale P-bass copy.

    That's the extent to what I've heard/seen of Nightingale Basses.

    Are the Nightingale Basses similar to the Goodfellow basses in design and electronics?
     
  4. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    IIRC, The Ox had a plexi P in his collection as well.
     
  5. To my knowledge, they are still going, and based in Denmark Street. They're made by Bernie Goodfellow's old business partner Neil Macdonald (they both also used to play in a society function band), and Bernie's later designs for Goodfellow and GB took a lot of cues from the Nightingale basses (notched headstock, rough body outline), and, I believe, they shared the same pickups and circuits for a time.

    I had a nice 4-string quite a few years back, and it's one of the few basses I regret selling, as it had a huge tone. The Bass Cellar in Denmark St still has the odd Nightingale for sale in there.

    EDIT: Here's an old ad I found online:
    thumb_1997nightingale.
     
  6. Brew

    Brew

    Sep 25, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    I own one!

    A 1980s model. It's Rosewood and maple construction, and it is currently being upgraded with new electronics, by Bernie Goodfellow, in Brighton. This was a photo of it just before I took it to Bernie.... hence the lack of any switches and control knobs on the pics.

    ngale107.

    ngale07a.

    It's a beautiful bass... effectively the same as Bernies' current "GB Rumour".

    I would love to have a scan of any old ads, or catalogs, that any of you guys might have... there is very little info on these basses out there on the web...
     
    Giffro and Oddly like this.
  7. Brew

    Brew

    Sep 25, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    Any info out there on Nightingale Basses? Any one got any links... leads...?

    Google shows very little info :help:
     
  8. Face

    Face

    Jan 7, 2007
    Devon, UK
    I own one of the very first Goodfellow basses, S.N. 075, which is a lovely Olive Ash (I’ll try & get some photos up). When Goodfellow first hit the scene in the mid 80s’ they were based at Trinity Business Centre, in South London. Some of the guys did not see eye to eye & so Bernie (sadly) left & went to set-up ‘Nightingale’s’ with Neil. I tried one of the ‘Nightingales’ at a trade show in London, a beautiful instrument, very similar to the Goodfellow & not too dissimilar to an Alembic. A very punchy sound & fast neck (I recall). I though, went the Goodfellow route.

    About 18 months to two years later (after purchasing my Goodfellow which would have been around 1990- 91) Goodfellow was sold to an Ireland company called Lawdon Guitars & Bernie left Nightingale to set-up on his own in Croydon, UK.

    I recall back in the early 90s' seeing adverts for Goodfellow in Bass Player but no mention of Nightingales anywhere.

    I tried to get some parts from Lawdon a few years ago & they no longer own Goodfellow, they'd sold it onto a Chinese company & had no record of them, which is a real shame.

    I know back in the late 80s' when Bernie left Nightingale he tried to regain getting back his name to use on his instruments, but sadly, I think he was unsuccessful. Hence from that day forth they've been called GB Guitars. He has had some great players use his instruments though- Laurence Cottle, Mark king.

    So it seems the story of two great British basses- Goodfellow & Nightingale are no more!!

    (Please note, the above information is from memory).
     
  9. I thought I'd look further into the whole Nightingale thing a little while back, and trying to track down Neil Macdonald (Nightingale's main man) - he left his shop on Denmark St a while back, along with Mick Deering (who used to run Classic Finishes). I guess he's no longer in the musical instrument game. :(

    I still miss my old Nightingale - I should never have sold it. It was gorgeous, and had an amazing sound.
     
  10. BREN TRAVIS

    BREN TRAVIS

    Jan 9, 2008
    Bradford UK
    Hello...

    ...I have searched the net and attempted to correspond with anyone and everyone who can help me learn the origin and history of my Nightingale six-string bass.

    I just this minute joined TALKBASS, after finding the forum about Nightingale basses and would love to mutually share information and experience related to this 'enigma'.

    I'm Bren Travis, pleased to meet you all.

    Now I just need to get my head around how the site works...

    Speak soon


    Bren
     

    Attached Files:

    Oddly likes this.
  11. Brew

    Brew

    Sep 25, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    Hey Bren! Another Nightingale!

    So that makes two of us :hyper:

    Welcome
     
  12. Brew

    Brew

    Sep 25, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    BTW
    you might like to see the restored 4 stringer, mentioned above....

    Dscn4624.

    I am happy!
     
    Giffro and Oddly like this.
  13. BREN TRAVIS

    BREN TRAVIS

    Jan 9, 2008
    Bradford UK
    Thanks Brew for getting in touch.

    I would love to get to know more about my Nightingale - the internet has been all but useless in establishing the history of the brand and instruments.

    I sent you my mobile number and would love it if you could make contact.

    Bren
     
  14. Hi guys! Thought I´d join in´on the ´Nightingale bass´ owners club! How many does that make us now, 3?!! :hyper:
    It seems I have a habit of collecting rare basses unintentionally as I have a Jaydee 5 string jazz fretless too :eyebrow:
    I sent John Diggins a photo of it, minus serial number as it doesn´t have one and he informs me only two or three were made! They didn´t have serial numbers on them purely down to
     

    Attached Files:

  15. lowdeno25

    lowdeno25

    Sep 28, 2013
  16. lowdeno25

    lowdeno25

    Sep 28, 2013
    Had the neck off my Nightingale yin/yang today to find it is serial number 007 and signed by Bernie Goodfellow, which tallies with story from the previous owner that it was a custom build for him by Bernie personally and was built in 1988 or 89, he reckons 88. Thrilled with it, great bass.
     
  17. lowdeno25

    lowdeno25

    Sep 28, 2013

    That'll be Lowden guitars, the acoustic guitar makers in Northern Ireland. It is my online handle as they are my favorite acoustics and did make Goodfellow branded basses in the 90's, thus my interest in securing a Bernie made Nightingale that was pre the manufacture era in Ireland as I don't think Bernie had hands on in the Irish facility. Lowden guitars themselves were only supervised by George Lowden, but he has recently gained back control, much in the way Bernie has now set up GB guitars.
     
  18. BREN TRAVIS

    BREN TRAVIS

    Jan 9, 2008
    Bradford UK
    Am I the only person to have a 6 string Nightingale?
     
  19. BREN TRAVIS

    BREN TRAVIS

    Jan 9, 2008
    Bradford UK
    Great to meet you. The bass is the oldest item in the fleet and kicks every other bass' arse. Can I see yours?
     
  20. BREN TRAVIS

    BREN TRAVIS

    Jan 9, 2008
    Bradford UK
    There doesn't seem to be many. Maybe five 4-strings, a couple of 5-strings and one 6-string. Very cool basses and still stand up to the best things I have ever played. Good to meet you.
     

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