Is your son or daughter a budding Garry Karr?
If the answer to this question is yes you might well want to consider this rather special instrument for your young prodigy. It was commissioned in 1974-5 directly from Gunter Krahmer-Pollmann (b.1938) by the former principal bassist of the London Symphony Orchestra and professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama - namely Thomas Martin - for his son to learn on. Built to exactly the same high standard as the large 5-string orchestral instruments that the Pollmann family is world-renowned - this is an absolute gem of an instrument.
Who else has benefited from this instruments?
The instrument has certainly seen some big names in the bass world over the past 30 years. In 1978 the well-known English bass maker (production of 50 instruments) from Taunton in Somerset - Ronald Prentice - purchased it from Martin for his daughter to use. She won a music-scholarship playing it. Prentice later hired it out to the most distinguished of all bass players - Adrian Bears MBE (b.1916 - d.2004)- for his son to learn upon.
The instrument is in absolutely fabulous condition. We did have to pop the table (off) to repair a minor centre seam opening but apart from this there was very little else necessary apart from adjusting the origional bridge, fitting a decent endpin, tailwire and setting up with a new quarter size set of the reassuringly expensive Pirastro Chromcor strings.
What about the sound?
For such a small sized instrument this is a very impressive sound indeed. The instrument has a clear carrying quality that is absolutely perfect for a budding soloist.
Does anything else come with the instrument?
Yes, Prentice made a very tidy 1/4 size (LOS - 538mm) bass bow to go with the instrument. Although the bow is only nickel mounted the pernambuco stick is of very decent quality. The stick is octagonal and the bow weighs 106gms. It is branded Ronald Prentice on the shaft.
In addition there is a brand-new shower proof "Rucksack" cover made from black nylon. It is exceedingly well made and features 12mm thick padding, rucksack straps for back transportation, carrying handles, music pocket, bow pocket, accessory pocket and heavy duty - length zip.
What about value for money?
You have to pay from $14,000 - $24,000 plus German sales tax to commission a new instrument from Michael and Ralph - the fourth generation of Pollmann makers.
So with a price tag at £6,000 including both the bow and cover for an instrument made by their father we think that you're making a pretty good investment. If you or your child prodigy outgrows the instrument and you don't wish to hang onto it as a solo instrument or simply as an investment - you can always bring it back to the Shoppe and part exchange it for something larger.
Any other options to consider?
Yes - rental might be another possibility that we could discuss.
A well crafted instrument from a big name in German bass making. This is an instrument that already holds a significant provenance in terms of the former students who have had their appetites for the double bass wetted by the use of this instrument.
We think that when you hear your son or daughter performing on this instrument it will bring a tear to your eye.