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What a Christmas...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jay, Dec 25, 2001.

  1. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    That beautiful new double bass I finally got my hands on few short days ago is now lying in a couple pieces under a blanket in the next room.

    My dad set it up against a wall next to the Christmas tree, like I urged him not to, just to get a picture. Long story short, he knocked it over and snapped the neck in two. I've felt sick all day. :(

    Happy holidays.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I was already sick at my stomach from eating too much, but now I think I'm gonna puke....that really, REALLY sucks. I guess the next step is of course taking it to a luthier for the rest of the bad news. What kind of bass is it again?

    My condolences.
  3. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Thanks DURRL.

    It was a beautiful Engelhardt EC-1 model. I can't believe it. I got it on the 20th of this month. Such a short time together, but I had already made a wonderful connection with the instrument. It's like falling completely in love with an amazing woman and all of the sudden someone rips her head off, then trying to go out and date again. :mad: :(

    Life goes on. Y'all have really got to help me "get back on the horse" so to speak.
  4. WOW! :eek: :mad: :confused: I am so sorry! I haven't seen your most unfortunate situation, but I snapped a pretty good bass in two when I was in middle school. Nice (school) bass in a pile, I'm in shambles - it was a mess. It turned out that it was a relatively simple repair for the luthier and it only cost $72! I'll be hoping that your experience is similarly low-impact, bass- and wallet-wise.
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I imagine that right now you feel terrible. That has to be an awful feeling. And as a senior citizen, I know that your father feels plenty sick himself.
    Well, it's happened. So let's consider a few things.
    I don't know exactly what happened to the neck, but: you say the bass is 2 years old; therefore, the neck break is due to the fall, and not a fundamental flaw in the bass. A luthier can fix this. You want to be sure it's a bass man, not someone who occassionally fixes basses. Every good bass that was ever made has been beat up and busted at some point. If you were to see the top orchestra basses up close, you'd be amazed to see how patched up they are.
    Patience is critical at this point. Take the needed time to get a good luthier, and give him the time needed to do the job.
    I was doing a gig at a famous college, woke up to find my bass under the piano, the neck about 10 feet away. It's normal to feel terrible right now, but this will get fixed, and you will feel better.
  6. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Metalarch, I am really sorry.

    I had the neck of my bass broken a couple of years ago. I tracked down a luthier, and after about a week the bass was fixed and ready to play again.
    It wasn't so expensive either. This may depend some on how and where the neck is broken, but I got the impression that it is a straight glueing job in most cases.

    It will be OK, I'm sure. Good luck.
  7. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    OK, you've piqued my curiosity. How did this happen?

  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Dartmouth, Winter Carnival, a hard-partying weekend. Played night gig at Psi U house. After the gig, while we were sleeping, some brothers who were still going thought it was funny to f*** with it, busted the neck out.
  9. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Metalarch, I know the feeling; I've had two basses decapitated in the last ten years, and both went on to long, healthy lives afterwards. Find a good luthier and pay him or her whatever is necessary to set things right. Basses are tough instruments; oddly enough, the lower end instruments most of us use are much more resilient than the high end museum pieces you see in orchestras. They are made to be taken apart, unlike guitars, and they usually go right back together without difficulty. Let us know how it works out. BTW, a peek at Bob G's luthier directory might help you find a repair person in Texas.
  10. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    See Jay, I told you today would bring better news. :) Check out the bass today, and let us know what's up with the breakage.

    I took precautionary measures when I got my bass a couple months back and told my family I would disown them if they touched my bass. Works out well, because so far nobody has touched my bass, except for once when I found it laying on it's back. :mad: Of course, I don't even have the bass right now, so I'm getting withdrawal symptoms...
  11. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Thanks guys.

    Today brings new resolutions but also new problems. My dad came home around two o'clock with a brand new bass, same model I had before. It's pretty nice, but the sound is nowhere near that which the other had. And I feel bad, I just wanted to get the bass fixed but he took it on his own to buy a new one. Very expensive when we could've just repaired the original bass. Ugh...I dunno what's going on. I'm gonna talk to him about just fixing the other one, getting a totally new bass is going rather too far in fixing the situation. He means well, but I don't need to have a beautiful bass and live off of cat food for a year just because of a broken neck.

    BTW, the break was at the neck block. The fingerboard is fine, a new neck seems plausible. I feel really bad telling him I just want to fix that bass, it's nowhere near as expensive as he made it out to be. Repair or new bass...he chose for me. Tough situation guys, tough situation. :(
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I think his gesture was a good one with respect to trying to make things right, but this may be overkill. One thing you can try is to have him read this thread, so that he will know that a repair is not only possible but more practical than purchasing a new bass. Another thing you can do is get in touch with a luthier in your area and have him talk to your dad about the possiblity and cost of a repair. As for the new bass, the setup just may need tweaking for you to get the optimal sound from it.
  13. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Excellent idea. Have your dad read this thread.
  14. Metalarch:

    Hope you are feeling a bit better. Good of your Dad to replace the bass....I'm sure he feels terrible.

    Why not keep the bass he bought and play it until you can get the neck fixed on your original. Then you will have a spare in case something else happens. If you move up from the Englehart to another bass you can sell one and still have a spare.

    I knocked over my 1949 Kay a couple of years ago. I can still see it now.....falling over and not a darn thing I could do to stop it. What an awful feeling.

    I had a job to do a couple of days later and no one in town to fix it. I had to borrow another bass to do the job. I then had to drive 5 and a half hours to get it fixed. It was done in a week. The heel was knocked cleanly out of the neck (the weak spot on all Kays) but when I got back it was much stronger than it was before the break.

    I now have a second bass just in case.

    Good luck....things will work out.

  15. I took the liberty of listing the Texas listings from (All Hail!) Bob Gollihur's FANTASTIC website (click here).

    I've worked with Jay Rury before, and he's top-notch; he's the guy who does virtually all of the Dallas Symphony's work, and every other double bassist in town calls on him. I'm sure that some of the Houston luthiers are also world-class.

    Give your dad a big hug for being so considerate and tell him that he can (most likely) save lots of money and remedy the situation in one fell swoop.

    • Dallas, Jay R Rury Violin Shop, (214) 941-5681; Repairs
    • Houston, Amati Violin Shop, 713-666-6461
      Repairs, basses
    • Houston, Gold's Violin Shop, 1-800-369-GOLD
    • Houston, Lisle Violin, 713-526-4005 (also in Pasadena, TX 281-487-7303)
      New and used instruments, repairs
    • Houston, James Scoggan, Violin Gallery - closed 5/3/00, now with OrchestraWerks
    • Houston, OrchestraWerks, 713-529-4997
    • McAllen, Danny McKenna, 956-687-7592
    • Wolfe City, William Johnston, 903-568-4197, vanchris@webwide.net
      Builder of new basses (and violins, violas, cellos); will do simple repairs but prefers building new instruments
  16. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Thanks alot guys, for all the well-wishes and advice. Thanks Danny for all of those listings, we'll definitely be ringing these guys. All of you are making this situation alot easier on me. I'm young so all of this is new to me. It's really a help to have all of you more experienced people to guide me.

    Sorry guys, I'm a little flustered. It wasn't like losing a bass. And it's not about just buying a new one. I don't know, I'm very soul oriented. I just have to get the feeling.

    This whole situation will be rectified soon. Thanks for all of the help guys. Group hug? :) Joking.

  17. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    I can vouch for the good folks at Lisle Violin. Good luck.

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