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Unfinished repair problem

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by David Morris, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. David Morris

    David Morris Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    In mid-2011 I was looking for a smaller bass, and found a circa 1860 Tyrolean 5/8 on Craigslist that looked like just the ticket. Problem was it was 1500 miles away from me. I contacted the seller and asked him to take the bass to a luthier in his area. The luthier checked it out, found that it needed some work, but thought it would be a nice bass for the selling price + his work. So I bought it sight unseen and had the seller leave it at this shop for the needed repairs. When finished, the luthier would ship it to me.

    This was in July, 2011. After popping the top and getting to work on the numerous cracks and bracing issues, then finding it needed a new bass bar, then finding that a needed rib repair was more extensive than anticipated - and after I had paid for most of the billed repair work, apparently in early 2012 they quit working on it. It has sat in the shop while other projects come and go. Every so often I email and try to get an update and half the time I get no reply.

    In the meantime I bought another bass that I love, and no longer need or want the bass under restoration. I am at a loss as to what to do. I have nearly $7k invested in a pile of wood that is worthless unless and until the luthier finishes the repair and gets it in sale-able condition. I suppose I could demand that they ship it to me as is, but I don't know anyone in my area that has the skills to finish it. I've thought about driving the 3000 mile round trip to get it...but what would I do with it if I did?

    I don't have any leverage with the luthier as I have paid for repairs as they went along. There may be a balance due for work done above the estimate, but they won't communicate with me as to what that is despite my request for that information.

    If anyone has ideas or opinions on my dilemma, please share them. Thanks.
  2. slap2much

    slap2much Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    No experience with double bass repair dilemmas but have had a few online/remote transactions with marginally interested 3rd parties involved...is it possible to get a more involved repair shop into the picture, either to complete repairs or just assess the state of things?

    If that doesn't pan out I would guess a phone call from another third party like an attorney or some other legal representative would be your next best bet...
  3. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Where is the luthier located? I wonder if there might be a fellow TBDB'er in the area that could go check on it for you and assess the situation?
  4. Call the Better Business Bureau? A lawyer? You mentioned they don't return your emails, have you called them? What city is the shop in?

    It's a hike, but KC Strings is in Kansas City, KS. They have a presence on this forum, and might be somebody to bring it to once you get it. Here's a long list of luthiers: http://www.gollihurmusic.com/luthiers.cfm

    Good luck!
  5. David Morris

    David Morris Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Thanks for the responses so far. I am not going to rat out the shop name - this is between the shop and me, and you are just getting my side of the story. I just wonder if my expectations are unreasonable as far as the length of time is concerned.
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    You really took a leap of faith when you entered into this deal. You've paid the shop for the work, it's your bass and you need to get it out of there and into your hands, or to a reputable shop that will sell it for you on consignment.

    Brian's suggestion is a good one. If you can't get the shop's cooperation in sending it to you, and you don't trust them to sell it, maybe a TBer in the area can get it out out of there. Then you can figure out how to retrieve it. It would be helpful to know what city the bass is in now.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Closed by request of the OP.

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