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Wan/Bernadel basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by dragonetti11, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    Has anyone heard of or tried one of these basses. How was it?
  2. Do you mean Gand & Bernadel?

    If so, a french maker from the 1800's. Originally Charles Gand (b. 1825) and went into partnership with Bernadel in 1866.

    They are supposed to be rather good French instruments on the whole, although I've never actually played one.

    My ex-wife almost bought a G/B violin bow once. It was truly outstanding - but that particular bow was grossly overpriced.
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    No, he means what he means-


    Haven't seen one but looks like a good deal to me. Getting a hand made Chinese bass is a good option these days. Us American makers are much too greedy[translation-we need to make at least 10 dollars an hour]
  4. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    $5K, eh? That's about 8 bucks an hour. Maybe I should go work for the forest service (or Subway)
    That Monastery rehetoric was cute. Wonder if it's true...;)
  5. I have no idea whether or not these are good basses or not. But about a year ago (before he started selling these Wan Bernadels) I e-mailed this guy, and I mentioned that I was considering a Christopher. Here's what he had to say:

    This seems to contradict my own experience (I've owned my Christopher for a year. I bought it from a very reputable dealer who stands behind the bass with a warranty. I've with nothing but compliments on my sound and absolutely no repair issues).

    I love looking at the bass images at String Emporium's Bass Cafe, but this guy should really try to tone down the "hard sell." He really does himself more of a disservice with the rhetoric.
  6. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I love Talkbass.
  7. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    Can anyone tell me more. I am considering possibly buying one.
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Did you check the page out? It's right there (I get to say it) in black and white!
  9. Gufenov


    Jun 8, 2003
    Did anyone catch the offer to ship you a bass to try out? It cost $60 to $80 to ship it by same day air? I could put my wife in a big box and meet her at the Phoenix terminal.
  10. I Bought a Bass from Steve and he Flew mine from Phoenix to Nashville for 65 bucks. If you buy the Bass as I did he foots the bill for shiping the container back..kinda a cool thing;)

  11. Jimmyjazz

    Jimmyjazz Guest

    Jul 19, 2002
    I have tried out one of these basses. Nice tone. They seem great value for the money ie the equivelent of a $8000+ European bass. Cool wood too on the more expensive model. On the down side the carry the stigma of a Chinese made bass.
  12. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Actually, my brother bass creator, few Chinese basses are handmade. Many companies there have purchased the latest CNC manufacturing equipment and the best computers to run it. They enter shape specs, f-hole design, arching parameters, etc., and after installing a block of wood and waiting a few minutes, they remove a nearly-complete top, back or neck. (The interior blocks are also made using duplicators.) A little sanding by a semi-skilled worker, and it's off to assembly. The ribs are sometimes hand-bent, but often made on a pattern-specific heated bending machine.

    The image of a bunch of poor peasants chiseling away on the floor of an unheated hut for a few pence per day is way outmoded. The Chinese have invested many $tens of millions in manufacturing capability and plan to recoup their investment by selling a huge volume of instruments. My gripe with this is that in many cases, really beautiful wood is being wasted on inferior instruments. IMHO, that is a conservation nightmare, especially as China lacks lumber resources. I've not seen a "Wan/Bernadel", but have seen and sold several good Chinese basses. But to call these "handmade", is, I think, a mistake.

    By the way, I was dismayed at ISB to arrive early to the display hall one morning to find a small group of Chinese men measuring and taking pictures of basses at competitor's un-manned booths. I assume the data they collected is already being used to transform yet more unsuspecting trees...
  13. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Did you get too much starchee in your collar? I am sure you are right about only a small percentage of Chinese basses being handmade. However my friend from Shanghai tells me that there are some good bass makers there now. Ask Robbie MacIntosh about this. He told me that he saw several good handmade Chinese basses entered in a VSA thing. Now of course is this Wan guy the real deal or not? Who knows but it's possible.
  14. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002

    Did your friend in Shanghai say anything about Tian Yin Viloin company?
  15. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I will ask.
  16. Hello Guys,
    I bought my German Bass from Steve at the String Emporium. We talked a good deal on the Wan Basses. What he told me was that they are hand made. He said that there were around 4 or 5 people that work at the shop where there made, one being a Lady that stains all the finished Basses. He said this Wan guy over sees everything. That is what I was told. Back when I bought my Bass he said that he bought 10 Basses from Wan back in December of last year and had sold half of them. I beleave he also said everyone of the Wan Basses he flew out for try-outs had sold. I do think they are Good Basses. All well that is the info I got on them..
  17. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I got a nice e-mail from Steve Koscica, who sells the Wan basses. He informed me that he has personally visited the shop in China, and that these basses are, indeed, handmade. I stand corrected. I'd like to see one. Based on Steve's comments, it sounds like they are well put-together.
  18. I purchased a Wan/Bernadel from Steve about 2 months ago and have been extremely happy with it. For the price, this bass is hard to beat. Compared to other basses in this price range, I don't think you'll find a better bass. Give him a call and have him send you one to try and see/hear for yourself. He's also a great person to talk bass with.
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Welcome to TB! When you get a minute, please fill in as much of your profile as you can stand so we can all be nosy. :)
  20. bassbaterie


    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    My bass teacher said one of the guys in his section got a Wan-Bernadel on trial and everyone in the section thought it was a great bass for the price. This guy was looking for an "outdoor" bass. My teacher tore the ad out of ISB mag, sent it to me and said "get this bass!"

    Those are my POSITIVE words.

    Over the last few years I have been getting more irritated by the transfer of so much manufacturing to China (just try to find something USA-made at Wal-Mart!!!!) and I just don't WANT to buy a Chinese bass. I WANT American craftsmen not to have to quit and go to work at Starbucks, or move to India and get a computer-programming job!

    So now I'm trying to figure out funding a USA made bass. Yes it is twice the price and I don't really have the bucks, but it just seems like the better thing to do.

    USA makers can get CNC machines if they want them. They are not very expensive, compared with losing all their business to China. I don't see anything wrong with cutting out shapes and precise necks with the available technology. I hope some USA makers take advantage of it to stay in the competitive game.

    Just my $.02 IMHO 'n' all that.

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