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Just got the word my Engelhardt Swingmaster ES 9 will be ready for me to bring home from the luthier tomorrow. Among other things the bridge has been fitted with adjusters, the sound post has been moved quite a distance, and some work was done on the fingerboard. I have had it for over a year and a half now and have used it on a lot of gigs and decided it was time for someone to do some work on it.

Unfortunately there is no one near me so I took it to Stand Up Guy Bass, a one man operation in Toronto which is a 4.5 hour trip each way from here. He sells and repairs basses only and seems to be reasonable person and didn't make any of the usual comments when I told him what kind of bass I had, saying if it works for me that's all that matters.

So I'll be on the road early tomorrow and be back tomorrow evening to give it a workout and see what it sounds like through my own amp...pretty exciting stuff for an old guy.😊

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Definite improvement in sound and volume, mostly due to getting the sound post back to where it belongs. There was some damage about ten years ago when the original owner had it and I believe the sound post fell and was put in the the wrong place by the person who did the repairs, almost two inches from where it is now. The bridge feet were also contoured for a better fit to the top and that may have affected the sound too. 

The new adjusters work well and the top profile of the bridge was reworked for better bowing although I only bow while practicing at home, I can't inflict my poor technique and scratchy sound on anyone yet.

The volume and tone from string to string are more uniform now and the E and A sound "like a real bass" instead of a dull thud, especially when played without the amp, while the D and G sound clearer than they did, particularly at the G to B on the D string and C to F on the G, not the dull "woody" way they sounded before the work was done.

Although no work was done on the nut and the bridge height is about the same it just feels better to play, more sensitive and easier on my left hand. Perhaps not quite "like butter" but I can still make some adjustments with the bridge now and find the perfect height for me. He did some sanding on the fingerboard and that may be why it feels different.

It also sounds better through my amp as I had hoped, cleaner and clearer than it was.

All in all a good investment, now I know why so many on here have urged us to have a good luthier do a set up based on how we as individuals play so we can get the most out of our instruments.

One very important thing is that Paul, the luthier, treated me and my cheap ply bass with respect and didn't trash talk my bass and try to sell me one of the Shens or other basses that I tried in his shop, although he was certainly aware there was a strong aura of GAS around me. 

So two trips of 780km each and $320CD and I am a happy old guy, now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to play my "new" bass. 😊 

 

 

 

 

 

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