Thursday, January 1, 2009

American Standard Upright Bass # 2012


What's going on in the Bass Monkey workshop?

A 1950 American Standard that has been in the workshop for two years...but we just started the repairs in this spring. This bass was shipped to us from the south...Alabama I think...its been two whole years...I don't remember the details. We knew this bass was going to need some finish touch up but it has proven to need much more then cosmetic work. Each time we think we make progress we take two steps backwards.

One thing that is great about restoring vintage basses as a hobby is we have no limits to our time and no budget...we do what needs done regardless of how long it takes. Lonnie's motto...if it is worth doing, then it is worth doing it the right way.

We started out by working on the large cosmetic spot on the back of the bass that had been filled with spray foam and paint. That led to working on some open seams, which led to the fingerboard. We discovered the neck was loose and there was a split in the fingerboard. So we re-set the neck and gave it a new ebony fingerboard. Lonnie had already installed a new end pin and tail gut. It looked like we were making good progress so we moved onto the set up. Lonnie cut a new bridge and we put Thomastik Dominant strings on the bass. The bass had great punch with lots of volume...but a weird roar on the open D string. At first we thought it may have a loose bass bar...but that was not it...we tried all sorts of things to find the weird noise. By carefully looking on the inside our best guess is delaminating plys on the inside back of the bass... so off with the back...Whoa...there is more then one loose ply...and that is where we are...back to the beginning again....AGRHHH!

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