Rob Anzelotti’s new angled endpin design is very easy to use. The RobPin’s key feature is the “Bottom Block Rest” which takes on most of the bass’s weight. This eliminates most of the typical stresses on the socket, bottom block, and pin.
Use: Once you have it adjusted to your preference, you only slip it in and out of the socket when you are packing and unpacking the bass. When detached, it might even fit into the accessory pocket of your bag! The set screw in your socket needn’t even be especially tight. The weight of the bass goes onto the “Bottom Block Rest”, keeping the bracket from turning.
Height and angle adjustment: The RobPin is available with interchangeable rods of different lengths. The angle of the pin going to the floor can be set at 25°, 35°, or 45°. If your endpin is not 10mm, then adapters are available. (If it doesn’t come out of the socket, which is the case for most tube endpins, then you naturally need to remove the holding pin).
As you may know, I not only write about the double bass here at my weblog DoubleBassGuide.com, I also keep me busy with a lot of other double bass related activities. One of these things is string development. Together with my partners from Presto at Gdansk/Poland, I recently developed a new steel string: the Prestoflex.
How do they sound and play? Other than our Jazzicato string, our recent launch, the Prestoflex is a steel string (flexible steel core with smooth chromesteel wrapping) . So it’s probably much less a niche product as the nylonwound Jazzicatos are.
Curious? Nico Catacchio from Italy published a video at Youtube, and some more comments are already published at Talkbass.com.
I confess: I’m a bit nerdy about amps, and actually own more of them than I really need. The newest amp in my collection ist the Lundgaard “Double”. These fine and rare amps are designed and handmade by bassist Jesper Lundgaard (Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Bigband) from Kopenhagen/Danmark. They are only available from Jesper directly. This is not the only thing that reminds me of the legendary Walter Woods Amps. Size and color of the amps are also similar, but Jesper’s amps aren’t just a copy of the WW amps, but packed with smart details and ins and outs … it has just everything you expect from a double bass amp nowadays.
The “Double” is available as amp head, or built into a speaker cabinet as combo amp. I have the combo with 10“ speaker, which is remarkable light. You have to search for an amp with a better weight-to-power ratio. Which is an indication for the fact that this amp was designed by a performing double bassist. But the amp is not only a double bass amp: it’s also suitable for guitar, keyboard, violin or voice. For these instruments, Jesper has built in effects like reverb and echo.
The “Double” has two channels, each of them with gain, bass, low mid, high mid and treble controls. Channel A allows to connect both standard and XLR jacks, channel B just has a standard jack input with 3 megohms input impedance for piezo pickups. Both channels have a phase reverse switch, mute and low cut filter. A chosen effect can be blended into both or just one channel, and switched on and off by means of a foot switch (included). If you don’t like any of the 16 effects: the back panel has send and return for external effects. Also on the back panel: the phantom power switch for channel A, a ground lift switch, two speaker-outs (combo XLR and speakon jacks), Pad-switch for channel A (in case a pickup’s output is a too hot), balanced and unbalanced main outputs as well direct out (XLR) for both channels separately. So, there is pretty much everything you will ever need on stage.
How does this amp perform? It’s a no-brainer. I plugged in, dialed out some of the mids, and I was done. The sound is round, well balanced, but powerful. That’s what you basically expect from a bass amp – the rest is a matter of taste. And the Lundgaard is to my taste, certainly.
Ranaan Meyer has recently published a new issue of his magazin “The Next Level Bassist” with articles by Sarah Hogan of the St. Louis Symphony and John Patitucci, legendary jazz bassist, and a spotlight on the Pittsburgh Symphony bass section.
In order to read this magazine online, you need to register, but it’s free of charge.
Headway has worked over their popular preamp EDB-1, and launches the brand new and even more versatile EDB-2 this summer. Among the new features of the EDB-2 are: the 5 Band EQ is now assignable to Channel 1, 2 or both; the notch Filter is assignable to Channel 1 or 2; A huge 0-32 dB gain to interface with most mixers/desks etc.; phantom power is assignable to either “ring”, “tip” or “XLR” to power virtually all instrument microphones/pickups; phase reverse is assignable to each channel; 3 way input impedance selector for each channel; Mini jack aux input (for e.g. iPod)
The EDM-1 is an ultra compact 1-channel-preamp and features 3 Band EQ, tuneable “Range” Control, 9v Phantom Power (assignable to “Ring” or “Tip”), 3 way impedance selector, earth Lift Switch, mute switch. The EDM-1 is powered by battery, mains or phantom powered from mixer. A XLR adaptor is included to convert the output jack to XLR Balanced DI Out.
Pim van der Zwaan is a dutch double bassist and photographer who extensively works with the double bass. At his website and Flickr, he shows some of his photos which mostly have been taken at the workshop of luthier Harry Jansen. Some of his photos are available as a book: “The Art of double bass making“.
Harry and Pim are currently are working on a new book about the old school of English doublebass making , with photos of basses from John Lott, Panormo, Fendt and other amazing basses.
Steve Berry from the UK has developed a new alternative to the bow quiver & free-standing, floor-mounted bow holders.
Inspired directly by l’Orchestre de Contrebasses, he makes and offers for sale the Arco Clip Hook that enables a player to keep the bow ready at hand, on a hook that can be attached at a player’s side with a clip, locating into the trouser waistband, or suitable belt.
The bow retaining hook is metal and covered with braided cloth and rubber, protecting the bow’s frog. The hook also terminates in a rounded metal ball, shrouded in rubber and so there’s no danger of encountering a sharp edge if making a hurried grab for the bow.
Peter Tyler’s book on the Double Bass covers a wide range of topics and answers many questions that both beginners and advanced players may ask their bass luthier or teacher.
Tyler, who runs a double bass workshop near London, has written this book primarily with the player in mind – not the maker or repairer. The book starts with the anatomy of the bass: sizes, shapes, how it is constructed. Chapter 2 is about the bow, it’s sizes and function, and re-hair. Tyler explains how the acoustic sound is produced, as well as how you can amplify the sound electronically. He explains the different types of strings, and how to change them. He gives advices on buying a bass, and how to maintain and care about it. And he goes beyond things a player usually does by himself: some minor repairs and setup-tasks like positioning the soundpost, fitting bridge feet and bridge adjusters, eliminating buzzes and rattles are described briefly.
“About the Double Bass” is a great resource for all newbies with the double bass, but has also many useful informations for the advanced player.
“About the Double Bass” – 124 pages, 4-color-printing, softcover. Available at the author’s website.
My new Double Bass poster is a great resource for every bassist: it’s a fingerboard chart and timeline, and shows the notes on the fingerboard, the notation and positions – in original 1:1 scale. It also features an illustrated timeline of the double bass’ history, important bassists and makers from the 16th to 20th century.
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