Choosing an Instrument…

  Several times in the past I have been asked to lecture on the difficult process of buying an instrument. Obviously, choosing a new or older instrument to add to one’s collection or to replace an existing instrument, is a very individual procedure, but there are some objective criteria that should be considered during this […]

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Climate Control

IN THE THIRTY-PLUS YEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN professional instrument repair, the winter 2002/3 season proved to be one of the most difficult for vintage and contemporary basses I have ever encountered. This observation is based upon an extremely high incidence of damage occurring in the form of simple seam openings, top table […]

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Summer Maintenance!

The aesthetics of an instrument should play a small part in the quality of an instrument, however, in the true scope of a fine instrument the ideal scenario is to have one that possesses the following qualities: …….plays with spectacular tonal qualities. …….is designed with a playing facility that makes the instrument a true functional […]

Taking Care- Barrie Kolstein discusses soundpost adjustments

The soundpost is an integral part of any stringed instrument. It serves multiple purposes on the bass: as a structural device to support the top, a vehicle to transfer longitudinal vibrations from the top plate to the back table, and as a mechanism to restrict open and uncontrolled vibrations within the top and back table […]

On the Question of Humidification

With the winter season upon us, the question of how to protect your instrument from damaging adverse climatic conditions is a topic often discussed. In forty plus years that I have been involved in my profession, this winter season has proven to be one of the most difficult for vintage and contemporary basses I have […]

The Opening and Closing Act

A treatise on seam repair by Barrie Kolstein Seams, by definition, are the glue joints where the top table and the back table are jointed and glued to the ribs. Seam openings are not what I consider a repair, but rather a normal maintenance on any instrument that is properly glued together with conventional water […]