Catching up with Curt and the NeoBass (Post 7)
We were able to catch up with Curt Altarac for just a moment to ask him about some updates with the NeoBass. He and the Sax ProShop have been experiencing the busiest summer yet, and everyone has been focusing their energy on customer instruments.
However, he did have some updates on NeoBass, which he determined was based on a Buescher design and not a Conn. He said that with the modifications he made, including shortening the total length of the instrument and adding a new neck, had resolved about 90% of the intonation issues. Next, he used bore liners, crescents, and other intonation tricks to mock up a final result. With those in place, the NeoBass played well with a nice tone. However, with all of the mechanical issues which must still be dealt with, it is unclear if it would be worth the trouble. Curt has decided to put the NeoBass on hold for the time being.
But don’t despair, bass enthusiasts, because Curt has also been experimenting with three Selmer bass copies which he received several months ago. Although there were a number of issues with these instruments, he believes with with enough work, they well be great playing and powerful basses. An assessment of the intonation issues revealed that four tone holes would need to be moved and the bore size would need to be changed in one place. Right now, the instrument is torn apart and new keywork is being designed to fix a couple of issues. Curt and the Sax ProShop are in the process of designing a triple automatic octave mechanism to fix the unresponsive octave D that so many bass players struggle with. Once it is complete along with some other changes to keywork, Curt will determine if the changes necessary are feasible in order to produce a great bass that won’t break the bank. His overall goal with the basses is to get them to play better than the instruments that they copy and offer them at a reasonable price. He expects that they will be silver-plated with extensive engraving and many modifications as well as design-flaw fixes.
Stay tuned for some more updates on the Selmer copy basses and some other exciting projects in the works!