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Roadworthy Double Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bajistaman, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Hi! I have been using a 3/4 double bass that a local shop imports from China (Plywood Double Bass (GB001)-Welcome to Artland Music---violin, viola, cello, bass, Da Gamba, guitar, flute,clainet,saxphone,oboe,basson and different kind of case), I am happy with it but lately, after a few trips outside home, the fingerboard started to be unglued and the neck now is wider than the fingerboard. My luthier says that is not a big deal and that is something expected because of the weather changes but I was wondering if there is known brand or type of double bass that is more suitable for medium to heavy usage?

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  2. Hi.
    It's a fingerboard by the way, no frets there.
    That's the first time I hear about this kind of problem, and I'm surprised by your luthier's answer.
    Seems to be another CCB/BSO instrument, unfortunately.
    (Cheap Chinese Bass / Bass Shaped Object)
    Good luck!
  3. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    I'd love to see a picture to see what you're talking about. Thanks!
  4. Thanks for the correction, post edited.
    I was also surprised, maybe he missed saying that is a known problem for that kind of double bass (CCB/BSO). Just wondering if most double basses are subject to this kind of issues or only the cheap ones, by your answer it is the later I guess.
  5. I will post one once I get one from the Luthier
    krfoss likes this.
  6. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I can recommend Shen for sturdy construction as well being relatively inexpensive.
    bajistaman likes this.
  7. Never heard of that kind of problem before, so it's probably talking of the instrument's quality. (or lack of...)
    Anyway, it's obviously not roadworthy.
    The market for DBs is possibly somewhat limited in Chile, but I suggest looking at used instruments.
    You may be able to find a good bass for a nice price.
    I wish your luthier is competent enough with basses so he can advise you on purchases.
    bajistaman likes this.
  8. The unglued part can be easily seen in the left picture, the wider neck (or narrow fingerboard) is in the right picture but if you don't know what your are looking for is difficult to see
    Untitled Diagram.
  9. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    I had the joint there fail on my old Hofner too. I think getting beat around in transit was maybe to blame a bit...things happen. It was an easy fix. My luthier just forced some glue in and clamped it down. It held perfectly fine. Get it re-glued and see...

    This doesn’t negate the advice about the BSO thing, though. Some cheap basses will just implode over time. (Bad wood, inferior construction techniques, etc.) I travelled with the Hofner in a CF case for a bit, but travelling and flying with it was obviously cumbersome. I bought a Chadwick (which is a Shen), and haven’t looked back. That thing has more miles on it than most cars and although I’ve had some periodic repairs done, it’s as robust as one could expect.

    There’s obvious trade-offs (with some), but if you’re doing a lot of touring, it’s worth a look into a travel specific bass. There’s many out there.
    Selim and bajistaman like this.
  10. A LOT of Chinese instruments use green wood. Shrinkage is too common among the bottom dwelling Chinese instrument shaped objects, though I have yet to see a fingerboard shrink. I imagine anything is possible with dyed wood probably of the same quality as the rest of the instrument.
    bajistaman likes this.
  11. The Chadwick is affordable and it looks like a good travel partner, thanks!
  12. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    As always, see if you can try one. At the price point it’s a decent bass, with obvious benefits. They’re available in hybrid or ply. Lots of guys use them, reviews range from one end of the spectrum to the other. (As do reviews for most basses.)

    For me, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I still wish I could gather the scratch to have a sweetheart at home...
  13. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    This kind of thing doesn't happen on real instruments.
    wathaet likes this.
  14. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Hmmm, we need a "Cheap Shot" button.

    Redirect: I think your luthier should be able to glue and clamp this for you. You might specifically ask for hot hide glue, just in case something else is otherwise going to be used.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
    Jsn and Dabndug like this.
  15. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Your music is a business, and struggling with bad gear is all cost and no benefit. I'd recommend asking your luthier where to look for a decent bass, then asking that person where to look for a better one. Talk with other local players you respect, take a good look at what they have.
  16. While this IS the correct way to repair an instrument, often other substances are used on cheap instruments. A number of these substances will not stick to hide glue.

    If you have a competent repair person, don't insult them by instructing them what they must do.
    VictorW126 likes this.
  17. Either the neck or the fingerboard is warping.

    Maybe both. Glue ain’t gonna stop it.
  18. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    If you trust the professional so little, hire someone else.
  19. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    A competent repair person will have enough customer experience and self confidence that he or she won't be insulted by an owner/player just trying to make sure things are done properly on his own double bass property.

    An incompetent repair person may be insulted in which case another repair person should be sought out, or this repair person may actually appreciate and possibly even use the suggestion.

    Either way, it would seem that the suggestion would be a safe thing to do.

    Not knowing anything about the repair person actually involved in the OP's case except that the separation was shrugged off, I'd think being safe is a good idea.
    robobass likes this.
  20. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    I have had very extensive work done by Charton and Hachez. Never ever crossed my mind to backseat drive.

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