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About Benthoven

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  1. Hi everyone - Here's an opportunity to pull a little cash out of your boneyard of old student bass tuners stashed away somewhere. A customer brought in his old-ish Englehardt bass with the D tuning key snapped clean off. So I am putting out a request here to see if anyone has the matching complete machine plate rattling around in your spare parts, and if you are willing to part with it for some of my customer's cash. It is the D-G side plate, and if memory serves me correctly here, it is about 93mm center-to-center between the D-G shafts. Thank you for looking!! Ben
  2. Yes, pictures would be a big help, but I see your dilemma. Is it faster/easier/less work/cheaper etc. to just replace the neck with a pre-carved neck (which you will only find in the white) or go to heroic measures to re-construct and repair this one? (don't forget that with a new neck, you'd have to put on a fingerboard, either new or from the old neck) plus finish-matching etc. If you really do have all the pieces of the pegbox and the broken neck, I'd lean towards heroic repair if the neck joint is still sound. Depending on where the break is in the neck, I'd even look at pulling a
  3. I'd tend to agree with Evan Smith's post above. However, be SURE to monitor the neck angle when you do this though. Even a couple MM change at the neck block would change the angle enough to make it necessary to either adjust/re-cut the bridge (if even possible) or even replace it to accomodate the new projection height.
  4. Thanks, Violadamore. This thing sounds a lot better than it should.
  5. I've come into possession of an older laminated bass with a very small black sticker with white letters inside reading "MadeInGermanyUSZone" - It's never had any major repairs or even been opened as far as I can tell, except for a pegbox repair somewhere along the way - Does anyone have an idea when it was made? How much it might be worth? Thanks!
  6. I just used the torrefied "guitar bracing" stock from StewMac to make 'aged' crack-fill material for an old mandolin restoration I'm working on, and the patina came out as a perfect match for this 100-year old spruce top. For $8, they sent a piece of quarter-sawn torrefied spruce, about 19mm thick, by 50mm wide and about 500mm long, plenty of stock for dozens of repair projects like this one. With the clear shellac applied and rubbed-out, it's almost impossible to see that there was ever a 2-3mm open crack filled on the top of this instrument - no color touch-up needed.
  7. Fascinating subject, and I'll be looking forward to the results of the research. StewMac has started supplying "torrefied" tonewood for guitars that "looks and sounds like wood that's been broken in for many years." Have you sampled any of this product? The process involves heat-treating in an oxygen-free kiln, but it's not clear if there is any chemical process involved. I've just ordered a piece of torrefied spruce "uncarved guitar brace" material for $9, a piece of quarter-sawn 20" x 2" x 3/4" spruce stock, to make my fills for top cracks with spruce that already has the patina an
  8. The first guy who taught me about rehairing bows was definitely a gluer. Nothing crazy like I've seen done to many of the hundreds and hundreds of student bows I've rehaired, but he wanted me to put just a dab of liquid hide glue on the plugs at both ends, just to "immobilize" them in their mortises as a matter of course. But the more I've fought with glued plugs, and the more I have read and studied the art, learning to cut my angles correctly and consistently, there really should be no need at all to glue the plugs, assuming the mortises are also cut correctly. As mentioned above, I
  9. Well, consider the sponge, which is really a very wet and very porous type of wood which thrives in an underwater environment. If you let it dry out, it shrinks and becomes very hard, and after some time, brittle, just like land-dwelling woods. Restore its native moisture content and it becomes flexible again, and if you let it dry while formed into another shape, it mostly takes that shape. Land-dwelling trees just have much smaller pores and hold less water.
  10. Beautiful photography, Neil, and a really nice master class in how to tackle a neck removal cleanly.
  11. I got a bass repair job in on Friday, and was just thinking how a scope like that would be soooo useful to have in the shop. So, for $32 can I get one that's twice as good?
  12. Well, the bass sorta made its own decision (as they are wont to do). After about 24 hours of running a humidifier, I was in the adjoining room doing other things and heard an audible "crack". It started in the middle of the lower C bout running south, directly down the center of the worst warp in the back plate. So I left it alone to observe while working on other things, and it eventually opened itself to about 3/16". There. Tension released. I guess sometimes you just have to let it crack, right? It's not like I could have stopped it. Back plate reglued, crack filled and touched up, act
  13. Wow! Boy do I have a happy customer today! Chuck Traeger makes a VERY strong recommendation in his book for installing a wooden endpin in a double bass to increase the volume dramatically and improve the tone as well. It's one of his 4 "genies" of optimum sound for the bass. I was a little skeptical that something so simple could have Traeger singing such over-the-top praise in his book for what it does to the tone, but I was curious and finally broke down and installed one on my own bass. Well, it DID make a noticeable difference in my bass, both in the way it sounds and especi
  14. Hi everyone - I hope someone here has successfully dealt with this problem before, and can offer some insights to help me solve this one. This is actually my own personal instrument (not a customer's), an 1870's German bass with a flat backplate that has developed a nasty warp in the lower bout over the years. This bass has been here in Las Vegas, in the dry, arid Nevada desert environment since at least the 1960's, and I only acquired it about 3 years ago after it sat warped, seams open, and unplayed for at least 20 years. We got it closed and reglued in 2012, and since then this bass has p
  15. Well being a jazz bassist and a luthier are the activities make ME happy. I've always wished the jazz audience were a much broader section of the population, and I've encountered far too many people with the same level of awareness as the guy quoted here. What does he produce of any lasting value? Likely nothing, while the work I've done will long outlive me. So there's that. I'll never forget the girl who asked me, after finishing our set of original jazz, "Was that a real song or did you guys just make that up?" It's sad to watch the jazz audiences get older, smaller, dumber, and less