[Bass of the Week] SMA Small Body 3/4 double bass

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The feature bass this week is a successful attempt at building a smaller double bass that has the sound of a full-size.

Builder Roberto Franceschini writes:

Various luthiers around the world have been trying for years to find solutions for building less bulky double basses without giving up any bit of its characteristic sound. Although the size issue seemed to have been overcome with the first electric upright basses, sound continued to be a problem. An EUB often sounds like a fretless bass, but nothing like a double bass.

Through my own research, I have come to the following solution: The sound box is built using the same criteria as those for a traditional double bass, but smaller in size. Since a smaller sound box does not allow the instrument to produce a strong acoustic sound, once the sound is amplified, its quality matches that of a double bass, even when played with a bow.

I play the double-bass myself, in addition to being a luthier, and therefore I find it easier to have the instrument amplified without incurring resonance problems

Specifications:

Top: spruce valdifiemme
Back and sides: flammed maple
Neck: flammed maple
Fingerboard: ebony
Scale length: 102/104cm
Total length: 153cm
Max width: 38cm
Sides high: 12cm

Video Demo

Well done!

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16 thoughts on “[Bass of the Week] SMA Small Body 3/4 double bass

  1. Sound like this gentleman nailed it. I would have liked to have heard a little more pizzicato. But what tiny bit there was sounded like the real thing as well, so I’m guessing it’s also spot on.

  2. Interesting. I have an Ampeg Baby Bass and an Anderson (Australia) travel bass. Where can I see (and touch) this new instrument? I still much prefer the real thing. I have two normal basses and two bass guitars as well. But one never has enough basses (?)

  3. Fantastic build by an obviously very talented Luthier & player. Can you possibly send in a video playing it Pizzicato? Arco sang well! What a beautiful instrument! A true “sight for sore eyes”. Thanks for unveiling your fine creation.

  4. Beautiful instrument. Nice arco sound and playing, very much like an amplified solo bass, which has a cello’s focus. I would like to have heard more pizz playing. Note The David Gage Realist Pickup, still one of my favorites on the two uprights I own. Good stuff!

  5. Great work and playing! The bass sounds like a cross between an upright and a cello…very articulate sound with clean definition and overall balanced response! If the strings are shorter than a standard 3/4 upright, this may help with these characteristics as well…..I am very jealous right now – Bravo!

  6. How much does it cost? Where can you purchase one? Sounds really nice! It’s certainly smaller than my Double Bass which portability a beautiful thing!!!

  7. Wow, very nice instrument, very well executed. Would like to know what Amp he was using, but most of all, would like to commission one for myself!

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