For Dave Gartland, bassplayer with background in sheet metal working, double basses made of Aluminium have always been fascinating. Over the years, he has collected much informations about these instruments, and he finally started building an Aluminium double bass of his own. He plans to update his website regulary with pictures of the progress.
The most Aluminium basses have probably been made during the 1930ies, before WWII. Dave says about these basses: “American made Aluminum instruments are unique in the fact that they were seamlessly welded whereas the Europeans used rivets & screws. This single tell-tale identifier can be used to spot one from across the room. The Europeans used spruce bass bars, blocks and sound post platforms as well as Maple necks whereas the American made instruments are entirely aluminum. It is our opinion that the European made basses, due to their construction, have a much better tone. The rivets allow luthiers the opportunity to disassemble the instruments for maintenance and repairs when needed. The American made ALCOA basses are far stronger though and can withstand the rigors of time (and abuse) much better.”