Friday, January 23, 2009

Bass repair

It's been over 6 years since I came to this country from Japan, but I have never brought my upright bass to maintenance. I got this bass new about 15 years ago from a German maker, and the glue was intentionally done loosely so that the wood boards are not forced to certain shape. Due to this, the maker had told me to bring it to maintenance frequently.

I am such a lazy person to do this. Though I managed to bring it to bass shop relatively often in Tokyo, after moving to Silicon Valley, the poor bass was never brought to maintenance, even though I knew the glue on the bottom part of back board was slightly coming off. The only bass shop I could find on the web was 40 minutes away from home by car, so I was hesitant to use it. (Well, the bass shops I used to use in Tokyo were like 90 minutes away from home... I guess I got even lazier.)

Last weekend I was playing at Peet's Coffee with Kirk Tamura, Marty Honda and Jaro Olejar, when the bass started to make rattling noise. I scanned the bass with Marty's help and found that the space between the boards at the bottom was the cause. "Well, I guess I have to drive 40 minutes and bring it to that bass shop..." But then Jaro told me that he knows a violin shop in Willow Glen. It's just 15 minutes from home. That's great!

So I inquired, set up an appointment and finally brought my bass to Stevens Violin Shop. After some consulting, we decided to open the bottom part of back board to re-glue the boards, and also level the fingerboard, which I had never done in the past 15 years.

The repair will hopefully give the instrument clearer shape in sound and volume increase. I can't wait to see (hear) it! Thanks Jaro, for the introduction!

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