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Tarr Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jneuman, Apr 17, 2004.


  1. Hello all - I am collecting information regarding William Tarr basses. I know that there are a few in circulation on the East Coast, in the UK and Australia. Any info including photos, specs birth date and number would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance - Jon.
     
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    He was a great English maker. Here is a link to a Bass on Gallery Strings' website; http://www.gallerystrings.com/customers/koos_s.htm

    I just brought home a rare English Bass by Samuel Gilkes, 1816. I will post this on my 'Martini' thread. I am trying it out but am 90% sure I will buy it.

    English Basses are the "Poor Man's" Italian Basses !!
     
  3. Thanks Ken

    Yeah I've tried to contact Gallery Strings a couple of times via email but to no avail. I have heard that one of the guys there has quite a bit of info on Tarr and his basses. I have basically exhausted all of the available web resources. There was an interesting profile on a Tarr bass in the Strad several years back. There is also some info in Elgar's books (I think he owned one which is now living in Australia). My current teacher used to own one but had to let it go due to maintenance issues. He would like to get it back someday though as it was one of the best instruments he owned. Since Tarr numbered all of his intruments, there is scope for creating a directory or database of existing instruments and their histroies as has been done for other makers.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. That's not a long post!
    The only suggestion I can make to help you gain some knowledge on William Tarr would be to visit one of my favorite sites for looking at great basses....www.thecontrabass.com.uk This is a wonderful English bass site. The staff is very helpfull and knowledgable, especially about English basses! An email to them should get you some inf.
    Speaking for myself, a friend of mine here in Denver had a Tarr. It looked pretty much like the one in the Elgar book. It was pretty damn big with those BIG bottom bouts. It had the beautiful Baker full plate machines. The sound was Huge and Dark with the bow and pizz. I like bigger basses, so I found it very comfortable to play. I'd rate it as one of the top five basses i've ever played...i'm about 3/4 English, so I have to agree with Ken that English basses are the poor mans Italian....I'm having trouble with that url ...maybe try a google search.
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I played my old English Bass (Samuel Gilkes) last night at Orchestra rehearsal for the first time. All I could say at first is Wow. What a sound and clear tone it has. I could also tune down to Low 'C' and still be heard. The Gilkes is presently only a 40.75" String Length and has as much power or more than my 7/8,42" length Bass does.
    Tarr is a fairly well respected English maker. If the Bass is good and the price is right, I would say "go for it".
     
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Ken, I hate you almost as much as I hated Don when he had a garage full of beautiful basses. Don't get me wrong, I really love the bass I'm playing now, but jeez, there's no forseeable way I'm gonna be playing a $20-40K bass.

    Unless you're not going to be home next Tuesday? :ninja:
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Ed, Let me school you for just a second. There was a Samuel Gilkes Bass for sale in Europe in the last lear or so. It was similar to mine according to the buyer. Mine being a Strad Cello model and now slightly cut down..
    The Bass was selling for about $80,000.oo USD or equivelant. My Bass is in better condition and as good or better sounding than the other Bass according to the buyer. The Buyer ended up going with an Itailian Bass (Busan) they found but the Gilkes was in the running !

    There is no S.Gilkes in the world we live in for 20-40K that I know of. I wish I could get it for 20-40k or less but it's a 200 year old bass, all original without any cracks up the top or back. Even the neck & scroll are original as well and the tailpiece is over 100 years old too. The bridge, tuners, fingerboard and strings are not original !!. LOl....

    Oh, and BTW,I'll be around tuesday. My bass is guarded by an infer-red motion system. Good luck....
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.

    You do know that this is not making me feel any better, right?
    Don was trying to get me to buy an $80K Panormo, just to twist the knife a little deeper.

    Seriously, God love you for being in a position to drop that kind of dough. Do you feel like you're being sort of a "steward" for helping to make sure these basses make it into another generation?
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    A real authentic Panormo for only 80K? I thought the going price was around $120K for a real V.Panormo.

    Seriously, if you are looking for a real Bass under 20K, call me and I'll try to help you.
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    No, no. That's not where I was going at all. I'm really happy with my bass, what I want to do is get the jack together to have JefeJeff do some work to it. I just used to ride DOn alla time, back when he had 7 basses (although DONOSAUR keerect me if I'm wrong, but was any up in the 80K range?)

    Kind of you to offer, but unless you're throwing something out, I'm in no position.
     
  11. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    . . . and again, as Brother Rondeau puts it, "Most of us never walk in the high country."

    I am so glad I do not play the violin. Just about every college-kid at Juillard, Curtis, Eastman, NEC and the other twelve schools in The Big Six plays, what a $30,000 instrument? $50,000? Holy jamoly.
     
  12. Yes English basses do rock - at least the few I've played. These days I don't know that I would call them the "poor man's" italian, more like a slightly less insanly priced italian. I read somewhere that in the 1950's, Kennedys went for around $500. Now they're more likely around $50,000 or more, and there are alot more kennedys floating around than most english makers. I played a Fendt not to long ago and it was going for around $40,000. Panormo? forget about it. Hawkes copies are going for crazy money these days.
     
  13. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Actually, a Kennedy sold in NYC last year for $80,000. English basses are no longer "reasonable". However, in general the Brit's workmanship is to a higher standard than Italians. BTW, what is a Vincenzo Panormo? English, or Italian? He worked in London (during his most productive period) but was Italian...
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    On the Kennedy, I know that a Bass from Kolstein went for around $75,000. just last year.
    On the Panormo, If it was made in Italy it is considered Italian. If made in England it's a toss up. His could be called English by an Italian maker because the style is more English on the later models. His son's Basses are English.
    How about Lott? He was German and moved to England. Tecchler was German and settled in Rome ! Devereux moved from England to Australia ! There are several others with similar Contintenal movement.

    Do we go by where they came from or where the Bass was built or in what style the Bass was made or a combination?
     
  15. McBass

    McBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Does this mean that French basses are the new poor man's Italian basses? New poor man's English basses? I need to know where I stand.
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Chinese basses are the new plywood basses are the new entry level carved are the new Czech are the new German are the new French are the new English are the new Italian. I don't know what the old Italian basses are now, but I imagine they are supporting a currency somewhere.
     
  17. What happened to the days when you could buy a MAJOR carved bass in a Hawk Shop for $200-$500????
     
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Those days left with the 10 cent subway token and nickle cup of coffee !