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Worlds oldest bass (or so I'm lead to believe)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Maurice ElDarko, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. Has anyone played, or been in the same room with, the world's oldest bass, Stuart Spector's 33 squillion year old job.

    Are the rumors true?
    Does it cure blindness?
    Did your limp disappear?

    What's the fuss aboot?
    Does an eccentric tree improve the bass, or is it just so he can say "Ner ner ner, I've got the oldest bass, and you don't"
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    <img width=400 src="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?s=&postid=316839">
    <img width=400 src="http://www.ssdbass.com/images/ns32kbass500.jpg">
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If "he" said that, I'd correct him and show him that all my basses are older. Now, the wood on mine isn't as old, but as "bass guitars," that one is newer than mine.

    All I could say about the wood quality is that;

    - It's certainly has been properly dried, (maybe too much???)
    - I think it's safe to say that's old growth lumber

    There are luthiers who have used wood from the 1 or 2 companies that dredge up very old maple logs from the Great Lakes and Brazilian rosewood from the Amazon River that dropped off of logging boats way back trees were like weeds. The overwhelming majority, which isn't many, don't think it adds anything, tonally.

    Can you say, "gimmick"???
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
  6. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    gimmick gimmick gimmick gimmick gimmick:p

    yes I can.:D

    And I also am led to agree with you. Doesn't the bass player from the Dave Matthews band have a bass that is made from old wood from the bottom of Lake Superior??

    I don't really see the point, other than to say you have it. But I could be wrong.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    His Eminence, Ed Roman, edromanguitars.com, would say you're wrong, Ryan. But some people who are more knowledgeable than he would agree with you, as well as myself.

    Roman contends that anerobic (doesn't need air) bacteria strips away sap and other "impurities" (???) in the wood to leave zillions of tiny tone chambers. (How can "impurities" get inside a growing tree :confused: ).

    Larry of Larry Stamm Tonewoods and others at the MIMF say the old, submerged wood doesn't necessarily equate with better tonewood. Those "impurities" like ligin (holds wood cells together), oils, resins, solvents, et al, are elements that contribute to the characteristic tones assigned to individual species.

    I've also seen mention where some, not all, submerged logs did some pretty ugly things even after they had been dried. One person said it developed "measles" on the surface which would only reappear once they had been wiped away.

    Still, it would be cool to try some formerly submerged maple, spruce, et al. But the "gimmick" factor just makes the pricing unreasonable to me, in relation to regular wood of the same specie.
  8. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Lets not forget that spector gave all the money for that bass to charity! So i dont think it was a gimmik! He made a collectors item and sold it for a charity of his liking! No prob there!
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    What the money was used for is a separate issue from a definition of "gimmick" as "An innovative stratagem or scheme employed especially to promote a project: an advertising gimmick." .

    Would the bass have sold for as much if it was quilted/flamed maple, or alder, or walnut burl, et al, that we are familiar with??? You bet it wouldn't. They used a gimmick.

    They didn't make any claims about the tonal superiority of the wood, so that's cool. Perhaps you're thinking of "gimmick" as involving deceit, which it often does.
  10. BassMan2000


    Sep 27, 2000
    the only different in age I can tell is in double basses. I've played 12,000 double basses brand new and a 180 year old double bass worth over 40 k. Man what a difference the older one was so nice, it didn't even need to be amplified the sound just came right out. I doubt it would be the same affect on a spector though.
  11. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
  12. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I have a friend how has a violin that was made from one of those old logs from the bottom of lake superior. Before that she had a decent $4000 prof type violin. This thing completely spanked it. the sustain and tone was better than anything i've ever heard. Of course she is one of the better violinist that i know :)
  13. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    It's a gimmick - but not even in the same league as many others.

    Can you say Gibson Les Paul Dale Earnhart model?

    I knew that you could.
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Someone seems bitter. ;)
  15. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
    ok folks,this is not a new line from Spector,it was produced for chairity,like Gibson did with the Les Paul built from the hickory wood that was blown down at Thomas Jeffersons farm in Nashville,a gimmick would be something like putting black inlays on a jazz bass and calling it a "Geddy Lee" model:rolleyes: and then produceing thousands of them.
  16. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you know, it's not the oldest bass, it's a fairly new instrument, made from the oldest wood.

    big difference.
  17. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I think I need a bitter :) .

    The wood's almost as old as the body style.
    That was a joke. You should all know that I LOVE SPECTOR!!!
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Idiez - Maybe you already know and not to be pedagogic, but the fact it was old and submerged isn't strict cause and effect.

    True, old growth has more growth rings. If it has grain run out or too many rings, younger wood with true grain and less rings is theoretcially better for tone and stronger, (too many growth lines = weakness).

    One of the legendary early 1700's violins by Stradavari, "the Cremona", was studied by dendrochronologists, (growth ring science). They determined that the wood was just 19 years old at the time the violin was made.

    No doubt, much of that instrument's quality can be attributed to the maker. But old wood on instruments that haven't been submerged gets better over time because the resins have had time to air dry and become brittle. As long as the instrument is played, the resins fracture and the wood becomes tonally more responsive and mellow. That's true as long as the wood is resinous. The wood on vintage cedar (low resin) acoustic guitars doesn't improve as much as those made with spruce (more resinous but take longer to "break in").

    And just as you say, the musician makes a world of difference, too. As with acoustic guitars, I imagine there is a particular way to hold a violin that allows more resonation.
  19. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001

  20. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
    HAY,don't be callin' other people those knid of names!!:mad: mabey he thinks you are a pegad...pedgre...oh whatever you said!

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