Reviews

Italian Double Bass by Mario Bandini, Ravenna anno 1980 – Review

Italian Double Bass by Mario Bandini, Ravenna anno 1980 – Review

Can you tell me about Bandini? The Dictionary of Twentieth Century Italian Violin Makers by Marlin Brinser lists Mario Bandini as a one-star (good) rating out of a possible zero - three for the importance of his work. The brief entry states 'Good late modern. Won medals. Won medal at Bagnacavallo for Double Bass'. No dates are given for the maker but we are reliably informed that the instruments made in the early 80s are amongst the last that he produced in what was a long professional career. Our source estimated that Bandini was born around 1915 but was unsure...

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Double Bass by Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy, Mirecourt circa 1860 – Review

Double Bass by Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy, Mirecourt circa 1860 – Review

What a glorious looking French instrument this is. Yes - this is one of those incredibly handsome violin outlined instruments with a flat back that displays a "secondary-button" carved immediately below the neck block button. Constructed throughout with timber of quality and with carving that shows good attention to detail this is an excellent early example of this model of Lamy instrument. Can you tell me about the model? Yes - with an outline and arching that are near perfect in symmetry the instrument looks every bit as if it were an enlarged Strad model violin. Can you tell me...

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English Double Bass by Ron Prentice, Enfield, Middlesex, England anno 1967 – Review

English Double Bass by Ron Prentice, Enfield, Middlesex, England anno 1967 – Review

Tell me about Ronald Prentice? Ron Prentice was born in 1932 in London. After an early playing career on bass guitar and double bass Ron opened a shop in Enfield, Middlesex where he made, restored instruments and sold accessories. Ron's first instruments were mainly viols - but when his work found particular favour with players in the London orchestras he began to make more modern instruments. Orders for new instruments - particularly cellos and double basses - began to flood in - so in order to enable him to concentrate on his making without disturbance Ron moved to Ash Priors,...

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Prentice-Balazs Anglo-Hungarian Collaboration Double Bass anno 2008 – Review

Prentice-Balazs Anglo-Hungarian Collaboration Double Bass anno 2008 – Review

How come this instrument is a collaboration between a retired English maker and a young Hungarian maker? Yes - good question. In November 2004 The Contrabass Shoppe purchased a large quantity of English sycamore for the construction of double basses and cellos from Ronald Prentice - a retired English bass maker. Along with the wood and other various items purchased were two partially completed double basses. In 2008 - Tony Houska - the Director of The Contrabass Shoppe commissioned the young Hungarian maker Akos Balazs to finish the two instruments off. Hmm interesting. Exactly how partially complete was this instrument?...

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