Hello, welcome to my new (under construction) website. I am a luthier based in the Netherlands, currently working on a new* electric upright bass model.
In the mean time I am also busy organizing my new workplace, which resides in an abandoned factory. This new workspace is still very basic; electricity, heating and even a door still have to be installed.
For now, this website is meant as a short placeholder, just to give you a rough sketch of my plans. More in depth info will be added in the future.
About the bass
The basic idea of the new electric upright bass design I am currently working on, is that the ‘body’ is basically ‘a bundle of slats’ that is held together at top and bottom ends, so the middle is free to resonate. There are 5 layers, where every layer itself is divided into several bars, resulting in 18 different slats that together provide the total resonance spectrum and time envelope of the bass.
Compared to previous basses I designed, this model is significantly lower in weight. Because next to tone and playability, this is more or less the point of an electric upright bass; it needs to be easy to handle /transport. I estimate, the bass will have a weight of about 6kg, including bodyrest and endpin /stand, since you also have to take these often heavy items with you to a rehearsal or performance.
To achieve this lower weight I focussed on three subjects:
I designed tuning gear (machine heads) that weigh only about 650g per set, as opposed to the 1,5kg of regular tuning gears for upright basses. Still brass though, because brass has the self-lubricating properties not matched in any other metal.
The ebony fingerboard is milled to a thin veneer shell, this shell is reinforced with carbon-epoxy laminate and foam (like with a surfboard, the lightweight foam inside, dramatically increases the overall stiffness). >> Update; carbon reinforced ebony veneer was the plan, but after a few months the veneer started to show tiny cracks. So now instead of using ebony, I’m working with grinded carbon, a powder which is a waste product of the production process of making carbon fabric. Used in a composite with resin it has almost the look and feel of ebony, but is much more sustainable and predictable. Luckily, using high-quality composites is not a taboo anymore, on some of their high-end models, Gibson guitars use a bakelite-like material (Richlite) for fingerboards.
The endpin and stand are integrated, meaning the endpin is the stand. The idea is that the endpin that is attached to the bass, is placed in a low and flat V-stand that lies on the floor. While playing you can take the bass plus endpin out of the V-stand, and use the adjustable bodyrest to let the bass lean into your prefered playing position. Both endpin and stand are made out of carbon-epoxy laminate. The slightly arched endpin is adjustable in length via a telescopic mechanism.
Ready to start production:
*) for the old and discontinued model please visit www.lingsma.eu
Mr nice-guy & photographer Ron of Soow Pictures, who – just like me – is part of de Mengfabriek community, made a few beautiful serene minimalistic teaser pics of the stripped body and of the headstock /scroll, makes it look almost like calligraphy:
(click to enlarge)