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Props to Curbow - a Great Customer Service Story

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tombowlus, Feb 23, 2006.


  1. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've been curious about picking up a Curbow (non-Cort) for some time, and recently, I was able to acquire a 1994 American Petite 5 from TB'er justBrian - thanks again, Brian! :) I really like the bass, but I found myself very frustrated with the XCTC(?) preamp. It just didn't work the way that I expect from more modern preamps, and while I could eventually dial in some killer tones, it was not a quick process, and I felt like there were a lot of tonal options lurking within this bass, but waiting for a better preamp to let them shine through.

    So, I immediately began thinking preamp upgrade, but I wanted to maintain the inherent value of the bass (both karma-wise and dollar-wise), so I thought I would check in with the fine fellows carrying on the Curbow Stringed Instrument torch to see if they might be able to help me out and install an upgraded Bartolini preamp (along the lines of what they use now). I expected to have to wait some time for a reply to my e-mail, and then to either get blown off, or to have to part with my new toy for many months in order to accomplish this. In fact, I was already going over who I would contact next, even before I sent my first e-mail!

    But get this, about an hour later, I get a response from Doug Somervell at Curbow, and he says that he'd be happy to help me out. Nice. :) Then, I mention that I have this GTG coming up in a couple of weeks (two weeks to the day), and maybe I'll keep it until after the GTG so that I can have it on hand for the festivities. Doug then offers to get it done for me in time for the GTG! :eek: I don't believe him at first, but no, he says he'd be happy to do it. But, here I am, a guy he's never met or spoken to, who has an eleven year old used bass that I want him to work on. Surely, that's a back burner customer in some people's eyes (as shown by my six+ month wait for a less complicated repair from another unnamed company), but Doug makes me feel like it's the most important thing in the world for him to do at the time. He even comes in on a Monday (they are normally closed) during an unusual Georgia snowstorm to receive the bass. He even calls UPS to make sure that they know to stop by (since they're usually closed, see ;)).

    Wow! This is really something special, and more than I expected. But still, until I get the bass back in my hands, it's all smiles and high fives, right? Well, guess what arrived today - a day early for the GTG? :D

    Doug, you da man! Not only have I picked up a great instrument, but I feel like I've gained a friend in the process. Simon seems like one heck of a nice guy, too. These Curbow guys are carrying on in a fashion to make Greg very proud. And according to John Prock, they continue to make some outstanding instruments. I figure on finding out, as when a company treats you this good, they certainly make you want to come back for more. :)

    This experience just vastly exceeded my expectations, and with some of the negative stories floating around, I wanted to share one of the positive ones. :smug:

    Here is a "before" picture of my Curbow. Doug refinished the wax/oil finish as part of upgrading the preamp, so I'll be sure to post some "after" shots as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    One word: awesome. :)
     
  3. Doug is a great guy to deal with, and he does awesome work as well--Greg Curbow's legacy is in good hands!

    Mike
     
  4. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Damn skippy!
     
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    cool, and here I am waiting for a return from an email I sent (twice nonetheless) 2 months ago concerning pickups from Dingwall.

    props to the guys a Curbow for sure!
     
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    This thread makes me very happy.

    And, very sad.

    Congrats on your bass. I'm sure it's wonderful.
     
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Unfortunately, after going home for dinner, I am back here at work (gotta pay for that gear somehow!), so I haven't played it yet. But I will report back soon. I did get a good look at her, and Doug did a great job on the finish. There were some wear marks from slap/pop that are now virutally gone. :smug:

    Tom.
     
  8. TimothyGroovy

    TimothyGroovy Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 3, 2000
    Hong Kong
    Owner: Uni••Sound
    I feel ya....

    Congrats to the bass and happy to hear that you got such great service from Curbow guys!
     
  9. somervell

    somervell

    Aug 13, 2005
    Brasstown, NC
    Tom and friends,
    I now see that the bass is there. :hyper: Great News!! Thanks for the props!! . We try to keep up with all of our customers concerns and be timely. Of course you don't always and some fall through the cracks but we do try very hard.
    The motto in the shop goes like this "Perfection: it'll do, but just barely”. It’s a very difficult profession at times since the minimum standard is so elusive yet seemingly well within grasp. So we keep at it.
    It has been terrific making your friendship and I am looking forward to sailing on Erie with you someday.
    Have fun with the bass let me know if the new pre-amp does what it’s suppose to.. I thought it sounded pretty good.
    I can’t wait to get better acquainted with the rest of you here . I am sure that there are a lot more friendships to make.
    Take care all and keep up the music.
    Doug
     
  10. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    +1 on what jason said...the guys at curbow really are the best and there has never been anyone in that shop that wouldn't do anything to help someone out
     
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    There will be photos and hopefully clips to come later, but I can tell you that the newer Bart preamp made all the difference in the world with the Curbow. Everyone whol played it didn't want to put it down. Man, did it sound nice! I'd say it was definitely one of the "darlings" of the GTG, and it garnered positive comments all the way around. The new preamp does everything I had hoped and more, and I am getting a huge range of tones out of the Petite. In fact, it sounds even better than I had hoped it would!

    Thanks again, Doug. You guys are tops in my book.!

    Tom.

    P.S.
    If we have some races on Erie this summer and we need a hand, do you want to come up?
     
  12. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    I'm so glad you like/love the bass Tom. It sounds like it was a good fit for you. :cool:
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Brian, I am really glad that you never had the preamp upgraded while you owned it. :D

    Here are some shots of the Curbow getting some love at the GTG (it was certainly one of the darlings of the show - I think every person who picked it up really liked it.):

    Proud owner:

    [​IMG]

    And what's better, that sharp edge allows it to double as a home defense system!

    [​IMG]

    MikeBass giving her a real workout:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Looks like fun-- next time you guys have to come west (Kansas City, that is). We'll do some serious BBQ-- and jam, of course!:D
     
  15. somervell

    somervell

    Aug 13, 2005
    Brasstown, NC

    U bet!! I'll be there if there's any way!! :cool: I'd a been there with you guys this weekend but my daughter had her 16th today!! :eek:

    Thanks for the pics was nice to see the guys playing the curbow. and +1 on the sharp edge coming in handy with a rough crowd!!!:ninja:
     
  16. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Excellent! We have a good sailing crew, but for some races, we need another experienced set of hands. There is no place like Lake Erie for sailing 30-45 boats. :D

    I just set the Curbow down after some "GTG wind down" playing. Man, does it sound nice! I can't believe that I get such a huge sound from such a small instrument. And the finish looks great. Once my wife gets back with the camera, I'll post some proper "after" shots.

    Take care, Tom.
     
  17. prockenklang

    prockenklang

    May 22, 2003
    Monterey,Ca.
    Hey Tom,
    now you see why they are the only basses I play!! I have 12 of them!!!!!

    John
     
  18. martens-koop

    martens-koop

    Oct 10, 2002
    Saskatoon
    that curbow sure is nice looking!!! I love the smooth organic look they've got going!

    jmk
     
  19. TimothyGroovy

    TimothyGroovy Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 3, 2000
    Hong Kong
    Owner: Uni••Sound
    HI John,

    I just wonder can you take your Curbow family pictures for us, I'm interest to see them all. :rolleyes: Thanks!!
     
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 :)