Author Archives: Pete McLachlan

New Model McLachlan Double Bass

New model McLachlan Double Bass

For many years we have concentrated on making French style instruments with narrow shoulders that are very easy to play in a solo situation. After requests for a larger instrument we have now developed an instrument with increased dimensions which is still very comfortable to play, but with a sound that would satisfy players in an orchestral section or jazz bassists looking for a powerful bottom end. The shoulders are very accessible and the projection (height of the fingerboard at the neck joint) allows for very comfortable playing in the upper positions.

The neck is removable and the action adjusted with a turn of an allen key.

Back, side and neck are from aged flamed European maple and the top is aged fine-grained European spruce.

African ebony fingerboard, German machine heads and endpin.

Bassworks C extension with 2 stops.

Peter has been playing this bass in an orchestral section for 12 months and is very satisfied with the projection and playability. It can turn heads in the cello section and a comment from a bass section member was “I feel like I’m playing a toy when I’m next to that.”  Ben has started making another as Peter won’t part with this one.

Peter’s reply to customers who have have enquired about purchasing this bass is, “This is the instrument I have been searching for, for many years. Sorry but it’s not for sale!”

However if you would like to commission one or have a play of the prototype please let us know.

Lightweight Double Bass Flight Cases

Lightweight Double Bass Flight Cases are made by 3 different Chinese manufacturers.
For pricing and internal measurements please see our store.

All cases are Styrofoam and Plywood construction with fabric covers. All have wheels, external straps, and internal bow holders. Weight varies from 18-23kg with the bass inside.

Glued Case

TG 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4 sizes. Support for bass is a neck strap and it has internal and external storage for sheet music and accessories. 2 bow holders are on the inside of the lid. Replacement wheels are available. Stitching on covers and handles is sometimes substandard on the 4/4 case with its additional weight.

DB threequarter (Medium)

DB 1/2 & 3/4 sizes. Support for bass is a neck strap and it has internal and external storage for sheet music and accessories. 2 bow holders are on the inside of the lid. In the event of damage this is the easiest case to repair – replacement covers and wheels are available.  Wheels are easy to change over when damaged or destroyed by airlines.

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NEW!  DB 1/2 size & 3/4 size removable neck bass case. This is our latest case with a separate neck box which provides additional protection to the top of the bass. Smaller package to travel with and the neck joint (the most vulnerable point) is separated. We provide the tools and the training to refit a sound post if it does fall in transit or we can fix the sound post so it will not fall.

BX Flight Case Thumb

BX 3/4 size – Support for the bass is a neck strap and also belly strap.  Very streamlined case with a neoprene type exterior. Good to travel with and offers the best protection of the full length cases. Wheels are difficult to change when broken.

General Comments: I have used the DB 3/4 case for the past 17 years and also the BX for the last 5 years. Recently I have begun using the detachable neck case which is my travel case of choice.  All three case types have performed well over this time. We repair the occasional bass in a lightweight case that the airlines have damaged , but it is not common.

To help prevent damage It is very important that the scroll of the bass is not in contact with the case. The best way to do this is raise the back at the shoulders with bubble wrap or foam if necessary.
The cases close with zippers which is easy for inspections at airports however the zippers need to unzipped fully before lifting the lid. The stitching around the zip may tear if forced when partly open. A tag on the zipper with instructions may prevent damage at the airport.
Bows : While there are bow holders in the cases I wouldn’t recommend them as there is chance of the bow coming out of the fixings and landing on the top of the bass. A bow sock under the fingerboard is a good idea or a separate bow case as part of carry-on luggage. (Clip it to your bag so you don’t leave it in the overhead locker on the aircraft.)
Balloons or bubble wrap offer a good solution to filling the gaps between the bass and case. Don’t make the case heavier by adding clothing as a filler.
We recommend marking the outside of the case with useful instructions, eg FRAGILE  (use a permanent Texta in white)
Don’t leave the case standing – store it on its side or back in airports or anywhere.
Don’t leave in the sun for prolonged periods. They are like a large esky however the exterior is black and eventually the heat gets in.

Insure your bass and don’t travel with an instrument that is irreplaceable.

 

 

Removable Neck Lightweight Double Bass Case

Travelling by air in Australia is generally straightforward and not costly. The rest of the world is a different story with oversize baggage attracting much higher costs.

Reducing the size of the case can make a big difference to the cost. Freight is based on the cubic volume, length x width x height. The largest dimensions, which become a large rectangular box, are used to calculate weight.

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However the real advantage of travelling with a removable neck case is the reduction of damage risk. The most vulnerable area of a bass in transit is the neck joint. In this double bass case the neck is stored separate from the bass body reducing the risk of damage substantially.

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Putting the bass back together at the destination is not difficult and takes approx 10 minutes at the most. It is best to practise the process quite a few times before travelling for the first time.

The sound post can be fixed in position however it is a better idea to learn how to put the post in place if it does fall. We supply a sound post setter and training with every removable neck bass we sell. Once you know what you are doing it only takes a couple of minutes. It is also a very useful skill for sound experimentation with your personal instruments.

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The lightweight flight case for removable neck basses has wheels and various lift straps. It is made in China exclusively for BassWorks by the DB factory that has made Double Bass lightweight cases for over 20 years.

Total case weight is 11.6 kg. Total weight with bass is 20-22kg depending on the instrument.

Lower Bout 670mm,  Upper 550mm

Body length minus button and endpin 1140mm.

Also available in 1/2 size. Cost is $880 for the 1/2 and 3/4 size or $600 if supplied with one of our basses.

Airlines musical instrument carriage policy (QANTAS & VIRGIN)

I have never had any extra costs flying with Virgin or Qantas with a double bass. I travel with a carry-on bag and check the bass in. However, it is not expensive to join one of the prescribed associations.

QANTAS

http://www.amin.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Changes-to-Qantas-Carriage-of-Musical-Instrument-Policy.pdf

VIRGIN

Individual artists are now permitted an allowance of 32kg across three pieces of checked baggage (free of charge) and an additional 32kg can be purchased in advance for $15. Bands travelling together are also able to pool their baggage allowance across their group.

This aims to make air travel more affordable for musicians, allowing them to bring their instruments and equipment with them, rather than renting or borrowing them in each city. The deal came about following discussions between Virgin Australia and The Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN).

The baggage allowance is available on Virgin Australia-owned and operated domestic services only and must be booked or pre-purchased at least 48 hours prior to departure. Guests should not purchase any baggage when booking online. This offer applies to all new bookings and cannot be provided in retrospect, and Virgin Australia will not refund normal baggage charges already paid.

To be eligible, artists must be a member of an approved Australian music industry organisation.

Bassworks. Come and Visit!

Why visit Bassworks in Adelaide to buy an instrument or have your instrument repaired?
There are a few reasons…
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We have a large range of instruments set up ready to play. We don’t just sell basses , we carefully choose them, set them up and maintain them.
Everyone who visits receives expert assistance from enthusiastic bass players/makers who value music education and the life skills it gives.
We have a quiet, one on one sales area without distractions (except for the large number of double basses and accessories).
There is not a standard size or shape for double basses – there are many variations, and not one size suits all. Hopefully with our range of instruments you will find the shape, colour and size to suit your needs and at a price to suit your budget.
waiting room (Medium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you find a bass you like but want some adjustments made, we can usually do it on the spot or within the same day.

We also provide a fast turn around on instrument repairs.
For example:
Broken neck (no problem) generally a 2-day fix = $200 -$400
Bow re-hair = $65
New bridge =  cost of bridge blank + $120
Large stock of strings and parts

Quenoil making 027 (2) (Medium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our customers often find that the cost of freighting a bass via TNT road express or flying to Adelaide and choosing their own instrument is comparable.

Freight options:

Hard Case hire: $44 per day.
For road freight from Adelaide to Sydney return, a 6-day hire is optimistic  =  $264
Freight cost:  Return = approx $340
Insurance: $6 per $100 with TNT.  We won’t ship without insurance however you can arrange your own.   Insurance with TNT for a $3000 bass = $180

Therefore, total of freight and insurance, Adelaide to Sydney, with case hire$784.

If you choose to buy a Flight Case, prices start at $650, and so this is another option instead of hiring and paying the return freight.

Visiting Adelaide:

Flight Adelaide to Sydney return:  Same day, Virgin Airlines = $250 (on special).
Taxi from  Airport to Belair = $70
Total = $320

Generally basses fly for free on Virgin or Qantas as long as they are in a light weight flight case. Approx weight is 22kg.
You will need to borrow a light weight hard case and bring it to Adelaide or purchase one here.

If you want to extend your trip in Adelaide, there are airbnb rooms nearby in Belair: from $73 per night.

Airlines musical instrument carriage policy (QANTAS & VIRGIN)

I have never had any extra costs flying with Virgin or Qantas with a double bass. I travel with a carry-on bag and check the bass in. However, it is not expensive to join one of the prescribed associations.

QANTAS
http://www.amin.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Changes-to-Qantas-Carriage-of-Musical-Instrument-Policy.pdf

VIRGIN
Individual artists are now permitted an allowance of 32kg across three pieces of checked baggage (free of charge) and an additional 32kg can be purchased in advance for $15. Bands travelling together are also able to pool their baggage allowance across their group.

This aims to make air travel more affordable for musicians, allowing them to bring their instruments and equipment with them, rather than renting or borrowing them in each city. The deal came about following discussions between Virgin Australia and The Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN).

The baggage allowance is available on Virgin Australia-owned and operated domestic services only and must be booked or pre-purchased at least 48 hours prior to departure. Guests should not purchase any baggage when booking online. This offer applies to all new bookings and cannot be provided in retrospect, and Virgin Australia will not refund normal baggage charges already paid.

To be eligible, artists must be a member of an approved Australian music industry organisation.

Running On Sunshine

We thought some of you might be interested in a little non-bass related “behind the scenes” of our Belair Studio and Workshop. We are passionate about the environment, and as a result we’ve always been very interested in renewables and recycling. We were early adopters of solar voltaic panels and solar water heating and for many years now BassWorks has been running on sunshine.

Our workshop is all electric and entirely powered by the 3kw roof system.  We also have electric bikes, tools, mowers, chainsaw etc and look forward to the day when an electric van is affordable, practical and available.

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If you’ve visited us you might have noticed that we love gardening. A lot of our food is grown in the BassWorks salad bar. This is a backyard aquaponic system which does a great job of producing fresh fish (rainbow trout at the moment) and copious amounts of veggies. Once again running on sunshine and fish poo. Green leafy veggies such as lettuce and spinach thrive, and the tomatoes in the system are producing an excellent crop.

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One of our double bass customers is a bee keeper and for a year he left a hive here. It was amazing to see what 40000 eager little pollinators will do for the garden. So we now have our own hive and it is amazing to watch the development of the bee colony. We are looking forward to some honey sometime in the future.

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One of the bees hard at work in the Basil and the new Flow Hive below.

 

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There is much unnecessary controversy about climate change and regardless of opinions one thing is clear; If you poison your environment with chemicals, you and the life around you will suffer. We’ve always had the long-term goal of reducing our impact on the environment, and maybe even improving things, and we hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into a bit of what is important to us.

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Next time you stop by for an appointment feel free to check out the garden if you’re interested. If you come by in the next few weeks you can help yourself to a sneaky plum or two as you walk down to the studio. They’re delicious at the moment!

François Rabbath in Concert!

We are very excited to announce that François Rabbath will be performing in Adelaide in September for BassWorks. This is a one night only event, and not to be missed. The pre-purchase for tickets has closed, however, tickets will be available at the door. Cash only please, and exact change would be preferred, thank you.

When: Wednesday, 14th of September 2016, at 7:30pm

Venue:
 Concordia College Chapel, Cheltenham Street, Highgate, SA

Tickets (General Admission Only):

Regular: $20
Concession: $15 (Please ensure you are able to show us with a valid concession card if requested) 

 

Bass Hire and WOMADelaide 2016

Ben McLachlan’s  double basses have been in demand at the Adelaide Festival and WOMAdelaide. The Necks, Savina Yannatou & Primavera En Salonico, Diego El Cigala, and Sarah Blasko, used McLachlan basses for their shows in Adelaide. We had some great comments from the bass players about the sound of the instruments and how easy they were to play.

If you have upcoming performances in Adelaide, bass hire can be a cost effective, less cumbersome and lower risk option than flying with your bass. We have a wide range of hire basses available. For more information contact us, 8278 2016 or info@bassworks.com.au

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Inspiration to Play Bass

Inspiration is my favourite reason to play bass. I often hear people use the word motivation to encourage practice, but that word tends come with the connotation of forcing oneself to achieve, whereas inspiration feels fun, creative and natural. A bit of a push isn’t a bad thing, but it’s nice to have a balance between the two. I think there’s a reason people refer to what we do on the bass as playing rather than working…because it should be fun and enjoyable. One of the best ways I know to stay inspired or renew inspiration is to watch or listen to my favourite artists play. This might be going to see them live, getting one of their albums, or even watching clips of them playing on YouTube.

Not only does this inspire me to play more, it also allows me to take note of the techniques that they use. How are they creating that sound? I watch their finger placement, how they hold their bow, how they move with the bass. There is so much we can learn from watching someone play.

Likewise, listening to an artist I’ve never heard of before, or someone who plays a different type of music also inspires me to play. I bought an album a while back called Flying by Garth Stevenson which gave me heaps of new ideas of different ways to use a bass in combination with a looping pedal. There are endless sounds and techniques we can learn, but the only way to do it is through our own exploration on the bass, and listening to others.

The thing I love most about watching people play is the enjoyment and satisfaction that comes through performing something they’ve learnt. Even if I don’t enjoy the sound they make, that alone is usually enough to get me inspired to go home and play. So if you’re lagging on inspiration: get a new album, browse YouTube or get out and see someone play. If there’s someone who’s inspired you lately, or you know of an exciting gig coming up…let us know!

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