For the past six years or so my number one instrument has been a Czech bass that was obviously ridden hard and put away wet. I got it from a guy named Glenn in several large pieces and several more small ones. Right after I got it the bass had tremendous volume. A month later Mark Carlsen did a fingerboard planing that gave it such outrageous growl and sustain that I was spoiled for life. I had problems with the bass consistently. Mark had to do an emergency neck re-set and every winter I would have back-brace buzzes. I did not want to take the top off so I lived with it. Last September it was time. I brought it to my client, Upton Bass, for the overdue back brace work. Gary Upton opened up the bass and told me that Glenn had used epoxy adhesive on nearly every stick of wood. My bass was watertight but I had a panic. There was no doubt that the amount of work required to fix the bass was far in excess of what I had paid Glenn for it several years ago. I seriously considered simply junking the bass. I wrote to the luthiers Mark Carlsen, Jeff Bollbach, Arnold Schnitzer, Nick Lloyd and Bob Branstetter and to Chris. They all wrote back; Mark and Jeff were kind enough to call. THANK YOU EACH VERY MUCH. Your time was a tremendous help to me at a real bad moment. The advice generally was, If you have a connection to this instrument put the work in. You could spend many thousands of dollars and still not obtain an instrument that you have a personal connection with. At that point I gave Upton Bass the go-ahead. Dozens of epoxied-on cleats were removed and replaced. Epoxied-on back braces were removed and replaced. Epoxied-on edge doubling was removed and replaced. It was hard epoxy dulls blades in no time. Gary, Eric and Jack did a sound-post patch, re-bushed the peg-box (which had several bush-league bush-jobs before I owned the bass), installed new machines (black lacquer plates with paisley highlights ya gotta be there to appreciate them), made a new nut, touched-up the fingerboard, put in one of the new never-crack saddles, installed a new tailpiece cord, new foot (which I love), finish touch-up and more more more. There are a bunch of pics at www.StringRepair.com check out Bass Project #2, Bass Relieve Saddle and Bass Work In Progress. My bass came back home this weekend. It sounds great just like it used to, which was the assignment. I am very happy. Thank you Gary, Eric and Jack for all your patient work. For you its on to the next. For me, Im set for what I hope will be a long time. Its worth driving three-and-a-half hours if the right people are there for you at the end of the trip.