BunnyBass Field Trip: 2003 NAMM show, page 4.
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Celinder basses. (Why is this guy smiling so much?) Here's Jon at the Celinder booth. These guys consistently make some of the nicest Fenderish basses we've seen. At first glance they may look similar to many other basses out there, but they are much better. Period! (can we say that? yes, we can!) The outward similarities in general appearance have little to do with the way these basses are lovingly crafted one at a time by hand, really the old fashioned way. This Celinder P-style bass (left) was strung with flatwound strings and had the most incredible tone and feel, it was magic. Pulling the strings the bass felt like it wanted to jump out of your hands...
Jon: "Probably the nicest P bass I've played in the past 10 years."
Celinder is a small, family-run company, and everyone at their booth looked to be really enjoying themselves and were very gracious. Can unpleasant people build nice basses? Maybe not. Actually, we noticed this throughout the show - many of the nicest basses also seemed to be associated with the nicest people. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Harry: "These remind me of Henner's basses, they are that good. I like the vibe at this booth, not only the instruments but the Celinder people too."
Nancy: "These guys are not fake, they are really nice people." (The photo at left is Nancy with Chris Celinder)
Jon: "These are honest bass guitars, real musical instruments."
[ www.celinder.com ]
A note on this "real instruments" comment: throughout the show we saw a lot of "fancy" basses that were definately very impressive to look at. Beauty on some of these were more than skin deep - for example, we played several Fodera basses that were both drop-dead gorgeous AND wonderful playing/sounding. But we also saw a LOT of basses that may have been nice to look at, but when we played them they didn't feel or sound like real instruments. It's difficult to put into words, and of course this is something very subjective. But time after time we'd pick up and play a bass and feel like the builder's values were rooted in something other than a certain honest and heartfelt feeling (is it ego? are they just going through the motions to arrive at a fancy [i.e., expensive] product?). Some of these fake basses look like real basses - perhaps even very fancy basses - but they still feel somehow 'hollow' or 'empty'. They may even be very labor intensive, but somehow many of them come out lacking something. This is very difficult to describe, but perhaps some of you reading this know exactly what we are talking about (read Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit - there is a connection here somewhere!)... Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
F bass. Here's Jon and Henner with George Furlanetto, inventor and maker of F basses in Ontario, Canada. If you've read through our site you may already know how we here at BunnyBass feels about the F basses. The blonde Studio model that George built for Jon in 2002 has found a permanent place in Jon's mini-collection (currently a whopping two instruments). Although BunnyBass had been in communication with the good people from F bass for many years, this was actually the first time any of us had met in 'real life', and we enjoyed our first meeting very much.
If you're wondering why this picture is in black and white, it's just because the original had really bad color. Don't worry, you're not missing anything by seeing these three guys in not-color.
We bumped into George again the next day so we tried to make a better picture the second time around - here's George and Nancy in front of the Ashdown booth (do you recognize the giant VU meter?). Actually, the main reason why we wanted to take this picture is because we wanted to see how small we could make Nancy look. And she makes George look, like, maye 7-feet tall?
You can visit George and his basses at [ www.fbass.com ]
Dave Olson. Have you seen this guy and his bass before? Jon actually walked past it a couple of times without touching it because he thought it looked a little too weird for his taste. Then he looked at it a bit closer and saw immediately how beautifully made it was. THEN he picked it up and felt the neck and suddenly he was in love with this bass and it looked super beautiful in his eyes (isn't this how true love always works?).
That nice man in the white suit is none other than Dave Olson, and we liked him right away (he's a lot of fun and you should see the pants he wore on the second day - wow!). This guy knows exactly what he likes in a bass and it shows. This instrument may not look like a Fender bass, but if you just close your eyes and play it, it feels like the most incredible early 60's Fender Jazz, for real. The body is light and resonant, the neck is slender and perfectly shaped. The electronics are an ingenious all-passive 3-band EQ (yes, you read that correctly) that really works.
We are looking forward to doing a full review one of Dave's basses, please stay tuned.
[ continue to page 5 : basses : Rick Turner ]
Table of contents.
[ page 1 ] introduction & setting.
[ page 2 ] basses & builders: Jens Ritter.
[ page 3 ] basses & builders: Michael Spalt.
[ page 4 ] basses & builders: Celinder, F bass, Dave Olsen. <--you are here
[ page 5 ] basses & builders: Rick Turner.
[ page 6 ] basses & builders: Mike Kinal.
[ page 7 ] basses & builders: Carey Nordstrand, Geoff Gould, Harvey Citron, Abraham Wechter, Lightwave.
[ page 8 ] basses & builders: Hanewinckel, Michael Pedulla, Moses Graphite, VF Guitar Works.
[ page 9 ] interesting!: Daisy Rock guitars, King Doublebass, Burrell (the twisty bass).
[ page 10 ] other cool stuff: Coffin cases, Nancy's balalaika, the Strapture strap, Jeff Berlin.