Akos Balazs, Budapest, Bronze Series Double Bass anno 2008 – Review

Tell me a bit about the maker of this instrument.

Akos Balazs is a talented young maker from Budapest in Hungary. His work is neat and well thought out. Best of all - his instruments sound really good.

What is a Bronze Series?

Akos has three grades of instrument - Gold, Silver and Bronze. Just as a medal is awarded at the Olympic Games - based on performance, Akos has adopted this simple grading system to identify the quality of each instrument that he makes.

How do the qualities differ in the Series?

As mentioned in our first paragraph - all the instruments that Akos produces are of the highest quality and standard. The difference in the grades is as follows;

    1. The Gold Series; Akos makes the Gold Series instruments entirely by himself. The quality of the timber used is always excellent and every attention to detail is paid in the making of these instruments.
    2. The Silver Series; The Silver Series instruments are - in the main - reworked Hungarian and Romanian instruments. Akos selects and purchases the best instruments from other makers in Europe. To make sure that the wood is dry - they are then stored for two or three years. Reworking the instruments includes rethicknessing work, fitment of a new bass bar, fitment of a new neck and fingerboard, complete varnishing work and a full fit up. 
    3. The Bronze Series; The Bronze Series instruments are very similar to the Silver Series instrument - except not quite so much time is spent in the reworking and finishing work.

Does Akos do all the work on the Silver & Bronze Series?

No - not always. Sometimes the work is done by his colleagues. To reassure all prospective purchasers that the work is done to Akos's own high standards he comments; "In order to guarantee a high quality of work, I myself control and finish each stage of the work".

What will I like about this Bronze Series bass?

Really there are lots and lots of things that make this instrument a real winner. As you look at the images of the instrument here are a few to consider;

    1. The model; The model - an elegant violin outline - has been designed to suit a great number of players. In particular the nicely raked shoulders and a slightly reduced measurement to the depth of the ribs make this a very manageable instrument.
    2. The wood; The Yugoslavian spruce used to make the table is particularly attractive. It has a stunning straight even-medium grain. The Bosnian maple used to make the back, ribs and scroll is also of high quality and shows a nice horizontal flaming.
    3. The varnish; The rich red-brown varnish over a yellow ground is absolutely superb in colour, texture and application. 
    4. The feel; The feel of this instrument is spot on. There's a really nice slim feel neck to allow total freedom of movement for the left hand and just take a look at the string length stat. It is only 104.5cm - which is perfect for small hands. 
    5. The set-up; The set-up is absolute perfection. The following have been fitted;
      • A good quality set of machines set on brass half-plates of German manufacture.
      • A high quality and reliable endpin unit that also comes from Germany. 
      • A top quality French bridge, manufactured by Aubert. 
      • Aluminium bridge adjusters.

OK - Good model, good looks, feels nice and great price - but what about the sound?

We think that the sound quality of this instrument is absolutely awesome. There are those rich deep dark sounds similar to the instrument that all the pros seem to use - coupled with responsiveness that is absolutely delicious.

What about the price?

For a named instrument of this quality - the price could easily be a lot, lot more.

Any final summary?

This instrument really looks and sounds the biz. For anybody wanting an instrument to get them right the way through music college and into the profession then this Bronze Series instrument by Akos Balazs represents tremendous value for money. Pro jazz players too will be mighty impressed by its slim feel proportions, superb sustain and colourful sound quality.

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