Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Epiphone B3 Bass - Back in Action!

Erick (one of the owners here) owns an Epiphone double bass. About a year ago, it was damaged in an unfortunate incident on stage. He's been making do with various borrowed basses during that time, but they really weren't cutting it. This was the bass that he learned to play on, and it had taken on a personality of its own.

A little history: Erick bought the bass in 1993, and it had a broken neck at the heel at that time. He repaired it at the shop, and put on a new ebony fingerboard.

At that time, he didn't really know much about the age of the bass, but he has recently been in contact with Wendy at, and she has helped us to fill in some of the blanks. It turns out that Erick's bass is an extremely rare Epiphone B3. The bass was built in late 1939/early 1940. It is #149, and Epiphone probably started numbering at 100.

Erick played it actively for several years after restoring it, and then the neck separated again. He repaired it again, and all was well until February 2009, when someone tripped over it on stage at a car show and smashed in the face. Ugh. There are no words.

Erick took it to our very good friends at Stevens Violin Shop, and they did some of the heavy lifting, repairing the cracks in the face and doing quite a bit of intricate inlay work. Then Erick brought the bass back to our shop and put the finishing touches on it, just in time for a recording session with JP and the Rhythm Chasers.

He had ordered some new LaBella gut strings from Tone King Musical Accessories, but while waiting for them to arrive, he put the three year old gut strings back on it, to try it out.

His reaction:

"Even with the dead three year old strings, this bass sounds better than any of the others I've played. I feel like I can breathe again. I can play things I haven't been able to play in over a year. I can't tell you how great it feels to have my bass back."

The new strings arrived in plenty of time for the recording session, and of course now it sounds even better.

Here are some more shots:

Gorgeous flame maple back