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    Edinburgh, Scotland

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  1. I've played the actual instrument that's for sale here, and maybe it would be interesting and/or helpful if I give my thoughts on it. The bass is even more attractive-looking 'in the flesh' than the photos posted by the vendor would suggest. I like a darker stain finish on my basses, generally speaking, but this NS Cleveland looks very good in the lighter shade, and has matured nicely over the last 13 years or so since arriving in the UK. The overall condition is exceptionally good by any standards, but particularly so since this instrument has a generous sized body (not huge, but bigger than a standard 3/4, for instance) and has actually been out gigging rather than sitting in the house as a display item. The tuners keys have mellowed slightly and there are a few insignificant cosmetic marks here and there on the body. I saw no cracks, dings or scrapes, however, and the edges are all intact and undamaged. The fingerboard is like new (looks like ebony, and of good quality), and tailpiece, nut and saddle are in excellent condition. The bridge was well fitted and properly shaped for the fingerboard. It has height adjusters and there is a Fishman Full Circle pickup fitted. I did not try the bass plugged in, but apparently all is working as it should be. As far as I could see, there was absolutely no luthier work required on this bass. My personal preference would perhaps to have the fingerboard scooped out a little more to accommodate my slapping requirements (to avoid string rattle), but this probably wouldn't have been a problem if I'd raised the action using the bridge adjusters to the height I usually use. I should point out that although I use slap technique as part of my playing style, I'm not a Rockabilly musician, or similar. I am an old school Swing and New Orleans player. I use gut strings (since 1987-ish) and like a high action, but not silly high like some of the guys! I mostly play straight ahead pizzicato. I use the bow a little, but not enough to harm anyone. And, as a point of reference, I don't like thuddy basses that don't really produce a discernible note but are handy to jump on.....! That's not my thing. This is a very comfortable bass to play, even considering its wide shoulders. The reason for this is to be seen round the back of the instrument. The neck joint is deliberately short which means the back has a fairly extreme curvature towards the button. The upper bout, where it meets the neck, tapers down to something like 6.5 inches (I didn't measure this, but it looked about right). This means that the player's arm is unhindered when approaching the upper reaches of the instrument. You might say to yourself ''Oh, ok. But I never go up high on my fingerboard. No thumb position for me. I'm not that kind of player", but I don't mean that. A bass with really broad shoulders and deep upper bouts can make life hard anywhere above Eb on the G string. I had a cello-shouldered bass (an old 'church bass' as they are sometimes known) that was beautiful and sounded great, but was quite unmanageable above half way up the neck. It was hilarious! Anyway, this is not the case with the NSC. It's really nicely thought out. The neck is fairly big, but nicely shaped. I have medium sized hands and would perhaps consider having the bass neck made slightly shallower, for full comfort. Lots of other players probably wouldn't feel the need. The scale felt very manageable at 42", and I didn't have to make any discernable adjustments to my technique to play this bass. The neck overstand is also very generous, as befits a modern instrument, so no problem with bowing access etc. The bass is beautifully put together and doesn't weigh a great deal considering its overall size. This is a strong instrument that should last a lifetime or two and will put up with all sorts of road travel and humidity changes etc. The strings fitted suited the bass quite well. Spiro Weichs for E and A, and Gut-A-Like D and G on top. The Gut-A-Like strings are not my favourite and were typically dull sounding on the Cleveland. However, things really brightened up when I tried a Lenzner gut G string on this bass. I think a full set of guts with wound E and A would be very good indeed. I think the original set up, as ordered from new, was Lenzner gut G and D, with Pirastro Pirazzi A and E, which I reckon would have suited this bass very well. The sound was very well balanced across the whole range of the instrument (as you'd expect from a good quality plywood bass), making it an excellent bass for studio or live recording situations. [My carved bass sounds lovely, but is a real pain in the studio compared to my plywood with regard to mic choice and placement. Similarly, in live gig settings, my plywood basses amplify nicely without any imbalance, regardless of which pickup system I use. The carved bass is very fickle and usually slightly unbalanced-sounding.] This NS Cleveland has typical plywood 'punch' to it, but with added 'puffiness' and, most significantly, a much more complex sound than any plywood bass I've played (plys, although useful beasts, can be very one-dimensional in their sound, hence my comments in the previous paragraph). I was hearing a very pleasing harmonic overtone that made me want to play the bass a bit more. I played it over a 3 hour period, so this gives you an idea of how I felt about it. Cutting through a band when playing acoustically with this bass will not be a problem, but it's not some sort of blunt instrument either. Best of both worlds, I'd say. I'd say this instrument has a very pleasant voice which is unmistakably old Americana. With the Thomastik weich strings, I could hear the potential for a more sustaining sound, but not one that would ever be considered very modern. For those of you concerned with such things, vibrato was quickly reproduced and the subtle nuances were conveyed very nicely. I've played a few basses that 'do the rounds' (some at prices similar to this particular NSC) and there's just no comparison between any of those basses and this one in my opinion. My summing up of many of those other basses would be 'Heavy, unresponsive and dead-sounding'. This bass isn't that. Not even a bit. If you're looking for a top quality bass that will long outlive even the youngest amongst us, will require very little maintenance, looks fantastic and sounds equally so, I'd look no further than htb's New Standard Cleveland. And, by the way, the price is a bargain.
  2. Thanks --- yes, it's quite striking. I'm in Edinburgh. I know! For so many folks that's a long way away, but we are well served by air and rail and I'm happy to collect from the airport or station. I sold the Kolstein yesterday, and that's what the buyer did. He flew up from Stansted in the morning and was home again that afternoon.
  3. Now sold. David Gage Czech Ease Hybrid H1 (carved front) with Tineo wood back and sides. Lightweight flight case (underweight at airport check-in) and Mooradian soft cover. Virtually unused and in pretty much 'as new' condition. I have a variety of pickups here to put on the bass. The Realist works well, but we can experiment with various styles to find the best for your ears. I am happy to sell this bass without the flightcase, as a friend may be interested in buying it from me (but only if it's not required by the CE's new owner). This outfit would cost more than $6200 from David Gage today. If you add shipping to the UK plus the customs and tax charges, I think you'd be talking around the same in pounds sterling. I think this instrument represents a bargain at the now reduce price of £3300. I am selling a lot of gear at the moment to make way for a new bass purchase and to help with some home alteration costs, so there's more than the CE here to come and see. I have an Ampeg Baby Bass and various double basses on offer. Happy to help with pick up from airport or station if you were to travel a long distance. I am happy to discuss sending the bass to you via courier (I use a local man who specialises in transporting art works). Please get in touch to discuss anything with me. Roy
  4. THIS IS NOW SOLD. THANKS FOR LOOKING. AND THANKS FOR ALL YOUR ENQUIRIES. This is the removable neck Kolstein Busetto travel bass that previously belonged to stalwart BassChat member Clarky. I have owned it since 2013 and have decided to part company with it through lack of use. I'm not a collector of instruments and prefer to move them on if I'm not playing them. Kolstein are advertising these basses at $6500, so I think my bass represents a bargain, especially if you consider postage and customs charges of having one sent to you in the UK. I reckon you'd be paying well over £6500 by the end of the process. The Busetto is in very good condition and rather attractive with its hat-peg tuners, ebony fingerboard etc. The Kolstein Busetto travel basses are fully carved instruments and definitely a cut above the usual offerings. I do not really think of this as an EUB, but more as an acoustic double bass with a small body. I have only ever used this bass acoustically while playing with the Tim Kliphuis Trio, and can vouch for its acoustic tone and surprisingly good volume in a band setting. I realise that this probably isn't going to be most people's playing situation (especially if drums are in the equation), so I intend selling it with a pickup of some sort. A selection of pick-ups are available here to try with the bass. I know that at least one of the various options I have here works well with the bass through my GK combo, so I'm sure it won't be a problem. I have made some adjustments over the last few years to improve playability a little and to accommodate the gut strings that are my playing preference. The instrument is currently strung with gut, but I intend putting something more 'usual' on now that it's to be sold. Probably Pirastro Obligatos or Thomastiks of some sort. If you are a gut player and would like to try the instrument out, please let me know and I'll keep things as they are. There is a flight case that accommodates the instrument (and its padded gig bag) when the neck is removed. This is an original Kolstein composite material case. It doesn't look like the cases currently showing on the Kolstein website, but is a much simpler shape, almost rectangular and with no bridge 'bulge'. I'm having a massive clear out of all sorts of stuff at Percy Towers, so have decided to extend the process to many of my instruments and bass gear. Aside from the Kolstein, I am going to advertise a Hybrid Tineo wood Czech Ease bass, a couple of double basses (big old East German plywood, and a Japanese 5/8 size bass), my old Ampeg Baby Bass and some bass guitars. I will post a few more individual adverts for these items soon, so you can see what else is on offer. I am in Edinburgh, which I'm aware may not be very convenient for many of you, but we do have excellent communications to the city, particularly via rail and air. I am happy to collect prospective buyers from the airport or station. If anyone wants to have the bass sent to them, I am happy to look into courier costs. In the recent past, I have used a local courier who specialises in transporting artworks and porcelain. He understands my concerns regarding the gentle handling of musical instruments, even when in good quality cases, and we have never had any problems. I am happy to undertake sending this bass overseas. Please ask for a quote.
  5. Hello, is this Kolstein the updated model that has the slightly deeper ribs than are found on the original? Best wishes.
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