I make only one bass model — an adjustable-neck gamba-style 3/4 — developed back in 2000 as an effective orchestral/solo hybrid while I was in Jim Ham’s shop. My goal was to make an instrument with the ergonomics and projection of a solo bass without sacrificing the warmth needed for orchestra and recording. I work alone — one bass at a time — in a workshop thirty feet from my house in Oliver BC. I am singularly focused on the quality of my work rather than productivity.
My basses use a modified version of Jim Ham’s adjustable neck system — which is a brilliant, elegant design (thanks Jim) that works extremely well and has proven its worth over more than twenty years. The main advantage, of course, is to allow the use of a proper solid bridge — as standard bridge adjusters destroy a bass’s response and feel. I would not consider making a bass without the feature. The angle of adjustment is 90° to the strings, so neck (fingerboard) height change does not have any effect on tuning. Adjustment and removal of the neck is performed in seconds with a common hex key — although I provide a fancy brass version. While the purpose of the design is to allow fine string-action adjustment, it is reasonable to consider the neck removable for travel — although one should be quite familiar with bass setup and adjustment in order to set the soundpost, bridge and strings.
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