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Vintage Gallan Violin Bass (Pic Heavy!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by teej, Jul 7, 2017.


  1. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Hello fellow TB'ers! After a bit of a hiatus I'm hoping to get back in the groove. I'm fixing up my amps and about to start building new cabs soon. Anyway, I've got this old Gallan violin bass (Reverb.com content) heading my way from a guy in, of all places, Venezuela. It appears to be your typical 60s/70s Japanese-made clone.

    This will be my progress thread so expect lots of posts, post edits, photos, questions, etc.

    While I wait for it to arrive, I've been doing to research on these old (and new) violin basses. I've never owned one before so I'm not sure what to expect. I had a 1966 Kent hollowbody about 8 years ago that I restored so I'm somewhat familiar with old vintage instruments, cracked lacquer finishes, scratchy pots, and neck dive. I may find that I totally hate violin basses, that it's awkward to play, or I may find that I prefer it. Who knows.

    Here are the pics (all 17) from the Reverb listing. Everything appears to be in good shape. Neck looks straight and the only significant damage is what appears to be a crack near the neck joint. At the suggestion of JimmyM, rather than stripping this baby down and doing a complete resto, I've decided to keep that vintage mojo and fixing/replacing only what is absolutely necessary (whatever that may be - I don't even know yet at this point). Everything will get a good cleaning and polishing of course.

    Feel free to chime in with questions, comments, and suggestions.

    35393133570_9298a2e0e8_z.
    GallanViolinBassSide
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35393133980_9b08a607d4_z.
    GallanViolinBassPickup
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35649466181_6d81fc9600_z.
    GallanViolinBassNeckSide
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35649467001_f4d9d98394_z.
    GallanViolinBassNeckJointCrack
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35393134940_cce2c04533_z.
    GallanViolinBassNeckJoint
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611778252_52a518293a_z.
    GallanViolinBassNeck
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35393135500_6ee233445a_z.
    GallanViolinBassHeadstockFrontDamage2
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611778522_160456ea14_z.
    GallanViolinBassHeadstockFrontDamage1
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35393135700_ca7e8d23dd_z.
    GallanViolinBassHeadstockBack
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35393135860_65aa511c61_z.
    GallanViolinBassHeadstock
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611779712_662a007ee1_z.
    GallanViolinBassFront
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611780152_1139f37105_z.
    GallanViolinBassFretboard
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611780712_768e353893_z.
    GallanViolinBassBodyFrontLower
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611781282_5aeeb9da8c_z.
    GallanViolinBassBodyFront2
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611781682_76279fa854_z.
    GallanViolinBassBodyFront
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611782132_a3976f9bd8_z.
    GallanViolinBassBodyBack
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr

    35611782352_73b15585d7_z.
    GallanViolinBassBackSide
    by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  2. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
  3. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I noticed that, too. If you click on the Flickr link, you can see the photo you quoted in full size. It's not pearloid or at least I'm 99.99% sure it isn't judging by the photo.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  4. Mark76

    Mark76

    Dec 1, 2015
    Leicester
    Anyone else burst into tears at the sight of what's going on around the tuning pegs? :crying:
     
  5. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Do you mean those untrimmed crazy excess strings? Yeah, I felt a little sad, too. Po' little bass. Mama take care o' ya.

    EDIT: I ordered a set of light gauge D'addario Chromes (#ECB81S) yesterday from the TalkBass store.
     
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  6. Skokiaan

    Skokiaan

    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    200_s.
    That's the second highest action I've ever seen.
     
    AGH, bobyoung53, petrus61 and 9 others like this.
  7. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Yup, I did just that before posting and I confirm both my "likes"... :D
     
  8. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I'm pretty sure it's because of the bridge. If I remember correctly, the seller mentioned that the bridge wasn't original and that it affected the playability. Yeah, I'd say so!
     
  9. fermata

    fermata

    Nov 10, 2015
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  10. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    You know, I didn't think of that. :facepalm: Thank you for reminding me. I remember now having the same problem with the Kent hollowbody. Thankfully I bought those strings locally and was able to exchange them. Not the case with these, though. Anyone interested in some short scale strings? :meh:

    EDIT: I've got a set of LaBella 750G that might work.
     
  11. fermata

    fermata

    Nov 10, 2015
    If they're unopened, can you exchange them?
     
  12. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I ordered them yesterday so they haven't arrived yet. I just sent an e-mail to see if they shipped yet and if they haven't if it was too late to cancel the order or swap the strings.

    EDIT: Just got an e-mail back from Paul saying "Sure no problem! You emailed just in time."

    Vive le TalkBass! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  13. bearfoot

    bearfoot

    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    If legends of MacCartney's bass action be true, that setup should be good to go.
     
  14. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Yeah, I was reading a recent TalkBass thread yesterday about how McCartney sets his action high. I've got it set high on one of my basses mostly for comfort but recently went low since I'm practicing on improving my speed and precision.
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You haven't even gotten it and you're already planning a massive resto? DON'T! Wait till you get it before you go hacking into it and ruining it. As for the finish, do not touch a thing! That bass is beautiful as it is. It looks much better than anything you can do to it, trust me. Only fix what's wrong.
     
  16. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Oh I agree 100% that it's beautiful as-is. You make a great point, though. Better (and cheaper) to replace only what needs replacing and keep that vintage mojo. I suppose if I wanted a bass with fresh paint, new pickups, etc then I wouldn't have bought a vintage one. The mojo will stay then! I wouldn't even consider touching the finish if it weren't for the crack around the neck pocket but perhaps I can wick some glue in there from the inside.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's what I was thinking...wick in some glue and clamp it. Would probably go a long way into making the action a lot more reasonable, too.
     
    AGH likes this.
  18. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Supporting Member

    I set the action on my violin basses high as well. I have also never been seen with Sir Paul. Hmmmm.
     
    teej likes this.
  19. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Sir Paul, is that you? ;)
     
  20. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Supporting Member

    Well my teacher has told me I sound like the bass player from the Beatles. He said I was almost as good as Stu Sutcliffe.