It is with great pleasure that we offer you as first instrument in the showroom of the DSVM this double-bass after Gasparo Bertolotti (“Da Salo”).
Builder: Marnix van Winkelen (under supervision of the DSVM)
Price: € 9500, –
Body length: 114
Upper bouts: 55
Lower bouts: 69,5
Rib height: 22,7.
Like the majority of double-basses built at the School*), this is by and large a copy of the “O’Stoole” bass of ca. 1600, that has for many years been played by Anthony Woodrow. After a severe accident the honour and pleasure of restoring it was mine. So I came to know the bass fairly well. For the copies I decided to use the front, being less a-symmetric and bulky that the back, as point of departure. To get around the instrument somewhat easier, the bend of the back has been lowered to a position at the max. width of the upper bout. The ribs of this particular copy also don’t have the full depth of 24cm. On the one hand this makes for better playability, finding ribs that high, on the other, is becoming more and more of a problem. Also for practical reasons we decided not to copy the original, decorated scroll, but instead provided an elegant classical scroll of our own design.
The sound lives up to the expectations prompted by the model: deep, warm and big, no wolves. Though maybe a trace less deep in sound than the original, the rewards are a great focus and incredible definition.
Use of materials
As you can gather from the pictures, the instrument is made from rather plain wood. The ground is potassium silica first, followed by linseed oil with pigment. The varnish is oil based. What the workmanship of this double-bass may be lacking in panache (the which more often than not means: “scroll is conspicuously a-symmetric”), is in our view amply made up for by careful execution.
The label proclaims the bass to have been made in 2010, by Marnix van Winkelen under the aegis of the DSVM. That’s true. Marnix had made a few smaller string instruments by that time, so this bass is the work of a dedicated amateur, not of a beginner. The official school label was at that time not yet in existence.
*) Not all! A Viennese model is in the pipeline.