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Xuechang Sun owners!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Meestro1, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. I was just wondering if there are many talk bass members that own/play any of the Sun basses and how they are viewed in comparison to other Asian basses.
  2. I play 1 last week in San Francisco and I liked it
  3. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I have had mine since early September and I love it. I tried several from Steve Swan's shop and finally decided on the mid level Sun. It shines in both pizzicato and arco. It is a very expressive instrument.
  4. Schoolhouse

    Schoolhouse Thomas Andres- Bass Makers

    Dec 7, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    I own one personally, use it as a concert rental and loaner. I think they're great instruments!
  5. HA! That is where I played it!
  6. I have a "Sun Sinfonica" that came from Mario Lamarre's shop. He imports them, all built, and then does his setup on them, fingerboard, bridge, sound post, tail-piece etc.

    It is a pretty large bodied bass (about 44" long, 9 1/4" rib), but with a 41" fingerboard. Sounds wonderful. Looks great. Easy to play. From talks with Mario, he thinks highly of these instruments, they way they are designed, the way they are built, the woods that are used. I remember him saying that for him just to buy that quality wood for his own instruments, would be a big expense by itself.
  7. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    My stand partner in one of the community orchestras that he bought from Steve Swan.The bass is very attractive, seems well made, and sounds great. I don't know the model

  8. Trying to find out which model of a Sun bass seems to be tricky as the ones that Steve Swan advertise have different numbers/model names altogether from the ones I have seen which are called 401, 402, 403, and a few other numbers while I have seen sights that talk about the Sinfonica mentioned above. I believe that they only make them with violin corners and that the biggest difference is the grade of wood and graduation of the table, etc.. My own bass doesn't have a label inside but the distributor in Toronto tells me it is a 402 model, not the top one and not the bottom of the line either. It is approximately 10 years old, I'm told by the two previous owners.
  9. Here's a site with pictures.

    I spoke to these people on the phone a few years back. They told me that they bring in the basses from the Bejiing area and keep them in Toronto for about a year and then sell them off to local stores and individuals.

    I have a bass with the fancier looking woods, and flames.
  10. I also have one. Quite happy with it; purchased it from a dealer in Toronto. Bought it used 3 or 4 years ago. I believe it was made around 2002. The only information on the label inside the instrument is that I have a "Solaire" model.
  11. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    My Xuechang Sun distributor is located in southern California. A former partner in Eastman strings, he brings them in from China to Long Beach and then on to the California warehouse. Alex goes over to the shop(s) in China frequently to inspect and guide some production processes and changes. The all-solid woods model numbers are labeled on the cartons and on the invoices as 320, 420, 520, 920, and 925. The Canadian distributor may have a different arrangement that results in the slightly different model numbering system. I'm not sure why, but none of these instruments get interior paper labels.
  12. Todd


    Feb 28, 2016
    Does anyone know exactly which factory the Xuechang Suns are made? If they compare to the Neolson's, I'd prefer to import a couple directly. Sight unseen without the benefit of hand picking is the risk I suppose. Has anyone on TB bought a bass directly (sorry bass shops)?
  13. mojoluthier


    Feb 17, 2007
    Petaluma, CA
    Xuechang Sun is the name of the master (best known as a cello maker) of a 60 man shop (last i knew, but it may have changed) in the Beijing area. 20 to 25 years ago his shop made the Eastman Strings line of basses, which is when I first became acquainted with his work. For several years David Wu at Sinoman in Ontario was the connection for the basses, and then Alex at Century became logistically superior, being both closer to me and in the same country. Sinoman had (has again, I believe) the full line of basses, which has not generally been true dealing with Century. The basses are available as plain wood, flamed wood, very flamed wood, "master", and one piece back "master". The basses are similar in appearance from one end of the line to the other, all having superior fit and finish, and the least one being properly made from my POV as a life long luthier, and having the kind of sound and power we hope for. From there it gets incrementally better, with the most noticeable technical difference to me (aside from the wood) being the attention to the perfection in the carve when I run my hands over the surface of the plates.

    I do my own set up on all basses, and not all instruments I get my hands on are equally easy to bring up to snuff. I have had around 30-40 Sun basses and none have required extra effort (as some other workshop's bass have), though the quality of the ebony is certainly superior on the 2 Master instruments I've had. Both of those basses were placed with highly reputable players who continue to claim total satisfaction.

    I did make a trip to China and explored the possibility of importing my own basses. I was surprised to discover that the existing importers are not gouging as badly as I expected, and while they may have had larger margins a few years ago, things have gone up in China more than here, and I could not do so much better that their relative convenience was not worth the price. I did find an undiscovered maker and bought a couple of his one man (master) basses for half the in China price of a VERY similar Neolsun. Not a coincidence that I mention that name, as there is quite a story there. I still have one of those basses for sale.

    When you consider the value added that a serious set-up is, and the follow-up that a connected technician usually includes when you acquire a bass from them, dealing with your local dedicated purveyor has much to recommend it. Certainly true in the SF Bay Area where I am.

  14. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    One major advantage that Alex offers is the ability for me to pick through the available candidates in the distributor warehouse and to take them home in the van directly from there. Though the materials and workmanship are consistently of very high quality, some individual instruments can be more attractive in the functional grain structure of the top and in the tap tones expressed in the top. These instruments do realize their highest possible function when set up by a professional bass luthier who has had shop training by a luthier with a decades long career.
  15. mojoluthier


    Feb 17, 2007
    Petaluma, CA
    Steve is exactly right on this take.
  16. I am very happy with mine and as one luthier remarked, "These are very good basses that are only lacking in 100 years of maturity. Looking forward to taking mine for set-up, extension adjustment and Laborie endpin added in May by Mario Lamarre.
  17. Schoolhouse

    Schoolhouse Thomas Andres- Bass Makers

    Dec 7, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    They are excellent basses. David Wu is back in Toronto operating as Canoman Music. Good solid basses that will improve with age. I use one as a concert rental at the highest level.
  18. I got one from the SoundPost in Toronto, Ontario. I'm not sure what model it is, but it is very nice. It's fully carved, and has gorgeous flame. It projects really well with my Evah Pirazzis, both arco and pizz. It has an Eb neck which is a bit quirky, but I've gotten used to it and I have grown to love it. Makes for comfortable playing in the upper register.

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