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The contrabass shoppe

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by frodebass, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. frodebass


    Apr 11, 2004
    Hi all!

    Just wanted to commend on Anthony Houska and his "Contrabass shoppe"
    I was playing some gigs in London a few weeks back, and contacted him on the phone.
    I got an appointment the same day, took the tube out to visit him, and had a great time!

    The guy has close to 60 double basses in a small two bedroom flat!!!
    I played basses ranging from $10.000 to $260.000!!!!

    My goodness, the Italian bass from the 1600's priced at over 250.000 dollars was like butter to play!
    Unfair that those basses are unreachable for us normal players.....it made me sound so good!!!

    Anyway, just wanted to give a comment on mr Houska's excellent service for letting me play around with his babies a few hours, even though I told him on the phone I would not be buying for a while!

    Even letting me to play those old REALLY expensive Italian basses!

    His web is at : http://www.contrabass.co.uk/home.htm

    Very friendly guy, visit him if you're in London!!!

    Frode Berg
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I know all about this, but don't dare go - there is simply no way I can even consider affording or spending £10,000 on a bass !!! :eek:

    I think it would just depress me to know that the only decent basses in the UK are way out of my price range! :(

    [I don't think I could even afford the insurance premiums on owning some of those basses!!....:meh: ]
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    His site is in my bookmarks- next trip to London I'm there...
  4. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Oh man, now I need to clean the drewl out of my keyboard. It seems like he's the David Gage of the UK. I think the prices are pretty darn reasonable but the current exchange rate stinks for Americans.

  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    From the looks of Gage;s pretty weak website I'd say Mr. Hoska has David beat.
  6. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    The basses on the website start at around £3,500, not £10,000. Still way out of my league, but maybe in about 10 years....
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, there are only 2 out of about 40-50, at this price, with no guarantee they won't be sold when you get there - the vast majority are £10k and up !

    But I wasn't really saying that they were all above that price - just that it would be depressing to find that the basses that sounded good to you, were way out of your price range! :meh:
  8. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    This a little off topic but if you have not checked out "Dig It!" by Frode Berg you are really missing something. I know Frode will not toot his own horn from another group I follow but his CD is great. This is my and everyone who's heard the CD's opinion. That CD lives in one of the spots in my CD player. "Dig It!" is a very appropriate name for the CD, I have.

  9. Not only is the Contrabass shoppe great if you are only window shopping but if you ever buy anything from them you will find the service top rate as well.

    Everyone is very friendly and only to willing to help with advice. As a very satisfied customer I would highly recommend them.
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Yes I agree with you on their friendly service. I had some recent discussions with them thru several emails concerning my Gilkes and Mystery Bass. They were very pleasant to talk with.
  11. frodebass


    Apr 11, 2004
    Thanks "azflyman"!

    I appreciate your nice comments reg my CD!
    It's been a great and frightening experience to release my first cd as a leader! So far, most have been nice!

    Again, thanks!

  12. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Don't forget to stop by Frode's website and check out the the sound and vid clips of him tearing it up, both on double bass and six-string electric. Very tasty!
  13. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I had the same experience while visiting London a couple of years back. Tony virtually made me play every great and near-great bass in the shop (15 or 20), even though I had warned him that I was not a likely buyer.

    As far as I know, Tony has the best selection of top-end basses anywhere in the world, though Barrie Kolstein could give him a run, depending on his stock at any given time.

    His prices for the top basses are steep, but they don't seem at all out of line, given other prices cited for comparable basses at the few dealers who carry them. Great old basses by "name" makers aren't cheap anywhere.

    However, it should be noted that Tony also has a large selection of fine basses priced for the developing player.
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Well, now that the topic has shifted slightly I have a valuable addition to share.

    When shopping for a Bass in the NY area, "do not" forget to visit Paul Biase (Biase-Fantoni Violins). He has an impressive selection of Basses to choose from including Guadagnini, Berreta, Forster, Derazey, Jacquet-Gand, Ceruti in restoration with original scroll & Gears, plus a couple dozen others and that's just his Bass selection!!
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks for that - it's well worth knowing, although I still think I'll be disappointed at what I can afford - I think that it'll definitely be first on my "To Do" list, once I have got a bit more money saved up! :)