Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Epiphone update...

We are making progress a little bit at a time. The repairs are beginning to disappear under the artist color tinted to match the bass.

Lonnie’s first attempt looked good but was a bit too yellow/orange. So he tried again…this time it was too solid looking. He wiped the color off and started again, looking for the right shade.

My years in art school and hours of color theory I mentioned to Lonnie to add a little pure blue to the orange to tone it down. Orange and blue are opposite colors on the primary color wheel. Blending the right amounts of pure color will result in a dark grey black. I only mention this is passing to Lonnie on my way down stairs to start another load of laundry.

When I went back down stairs he was grinning from ear to ear. I looked at the bass *dang* that is the right color…what did you do? He just smiled and said you were right…just a touch of blue did the trick. He said how do I know that shit? Many, many hours of working with paint to make a 288 step color wheel in art school that I got a 3.8 grade. Color theory is burned into my brain.

The bass is really starting to take shape. Once all the touch up work is completed next is gluing in the neck. We have a plan to gig this bass several times before it heads back to the west coast and its rightful owner.

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What is that?…I hear the sound of progress coming from the workshop!

Someone please tell me, it is not possible four months has flown by. My Nana used to shake her crooked finger at me when she was 80 years old and I was 20 to tell me…you just wait until you get old, you will understand. Time flies by the older you get. She was right! It seems there is always something going on that distracts our attention from the bass family. Festivals, weekly jams and keeping up with a house and full time jobs. Life is good and we are not complaining!

This Epiphone B-4 bass is resting comfortably and a little progress has been made with fitting and shimming the neck joint. Lonnie has been carefully repairing the edge flaws and making sure there is no visual trace to his repairs. The neck has been completely repaired in to one strong, original, intact Epiphone factory neck. The process of fitting the neck requires small paper thin shims be sanded and fit so there is no wobble or movement between the neck and the neck block. Once Lonnie is satisfied with the fit of the neck it will be glued up with a fresh batch of hide glue and allowed to rest until the set up work can be started. When Lonnie moves onto the set up things usually move pretty fast because he gets excited and wants to hear the bass. We have a new set of Thomastik Spirocore Weich planned for this bass. The light tension should be gentle to the neck while still producing a good full sound. This bass is destine to be a home studio bass so the quality of the sound is more important then volume. We have discovered loud acoustic jamming basses are not always the best sounding basses in the studio. Case in point, Barry Bales has a German made Meisel bass that he uses regularly on stage with Allison Krauss. This bass through a pick up from stage sounds great but it does not have the loudest voice un-amped.

Hopefully we can soon report on the quality and volume of this bass…the workshop is getting too full. I have Lonnie drowning in basses to be repaired and set up. If he retired today he has enough work for ten years or more (and still have a life). We know we have lots to look forward to in the future.

Stay tuned and I promise it will not be another four months until I post again.