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Robertson and Son Bass Restoration

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by hotdbass, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Anyone had work restoration done on their bass at Roberstons and Sons in New Mexico? I planning a trip to Durango, Colorado and was thinking about dropping off the bass for a estimate to reshape the top, repair cracks and a new bass bar(properly located) on one of the basses I have. It's a 60-70 year old labled Czech bass, gamba, that looks alot like a Juzek(or Wilfer, Ken!) I once owned. The bass has lot's of potenial. I paid $3400 for the bass and will need to invest another $2000 to $2500 in repairs to make it sound the way I want it.
  2. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have had a lot of work done out there, and they seem to be the best.
  3. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    I would plan on more than $2500 for those three items.
  4. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    ...and yes, you are in excellent hands at Robertsons.
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Durango... Alberquerque... huh?

    what is "reshape the top"... do you mean re-arching? that's more than $2500... you could possibly get cracks repaired and a new bar for that amount... I don't know what their prices are right now...
  6. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Durango is about 4 hours north of here (210 mi), seems like a good plan. Robertsons has a very nice building and there's a sheet music place right next door. A former teacher of mine has his studio in the adjacent building.
  7. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    ahh... I did not realize they were that close...
  8. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    That is close out there!
    I always brag that you can't get better work then what I can do-unless you go out to Robertson's! They do some mighty pretty lutherie.
  9. Thanks everyone for your comments. Sounds like I can't go wrong with Robertson and Sons. I think Eric and and Nick are right about the cost of re-arching the top, bass bar and cracks repairs being more than $2,500. It will probably be more in the range of $3000 to $4000?

    Does re-arching a top "stay re-arched" after it's done or is there a chance that it will sink again over time? That my biggest fear, you know, investing that kind of money and see it have structural problems later on.
  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    With the other work you have mentioned, try $5,000-$8,000.

    Correct re-arching doesn't sink back down... it takes a lot of time and patience to do it correctly, hence the cost.
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Many Basses like the one you describe often needs more work than the Bass may be worth to have it done right. Sometimes it's best to stay within the value of the Bass and do only what is necessary to make it playable. If you decide to sell this Bass later and upgrade, you have to consider your expences now before it's too late. Basses can take a long time to sell especially if you are asking a top $ of a bass in that range to cover your costs with all repairs included.

    Getting into a bass is a lot easire than getting out of one. Also, ask them what they charge to sell a Bass for you. You will find the cost averaging 15-25% nationwide plus repairs or adjustments to be made to satisfy the seller that the dealer may not cover.
  12. mesmithnm


    Dec 10, 2005
    Layton, UT
    I'm getting in a little late in this thread, but I've had all my setup and repair work done by Bob Dougherty at Robertson's and it's all been great. The last work I had done on my 1950's carved german bass involved removing the top and repairing some fairly major rib cracks and some minor top cracks. This cost a bit over $2k, and that was a couple of years ago. And it may take a while to get to your bass - they usually have a pretty good backlog of instruments for repair

  13. Everyone's comments are great and I have heard some "sage advice " from Ken. Of course I will not know the real cost until the top is off and a complete evaluation is done. Still, I have to make up my mind about going on with it, I have had some second thought after putting this out there for comments. I will keep you updated with my decision.