Author Archives: Pete McLachlan

Dorfler Bows

We have expanded our range of Dorfler Bows. Dorfler Bows are expertly hand-crafted in Germany. Since 1940, four generations of the Dorfler family have been making a range of bows for stringed instruments, using high grade, carefully aged woods and high quality fittings and parts. Every bow manufactured by this family-owned company is a hand-made product of the highest quality. BassWorks carries a range of Dorfler bows, to suit students through to professional musicians.

View our range here:

Upcoming Concerts & Masterclass events – Jeremy Kurtz, Rob Nairn, Rufus Reid

Master class with Jeremy Kurtz – principal of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
Tuesday, 11th of September, 2018, Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide 3-5pm, Bishop Hall.
Double Bass students and teachers are very welcome to attend.

Distant Isles – Norwood Symphony Orchestra Concert with soloist Rob Nairn
Sunday, 7th October 2018,  2:30pm, Norwood Concert Hall
Norwood Symphony Orchestra evokes the rugged beauty of the Scottish isles with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, inspired by the composer’s first visit to Scotland in 1829. Guest soloist Rob Nairn also joins the orchestra for Gran duo Concertante by Bottesini – a rare delight of a concerto featuring double basse and violin – and, rounding out the concert, is Bernstein’s perennial favourite Overture to Candide and Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe’s Sun Song. For more information, and tickets, go to:

Double Bass Day and Competition – FREE
Sunday, 18th of November, 2018, Melba Hall, Parkville (University of Melbourne)
The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music presents it’s second Double Bass Day and Competition, bringing together performers, teachers, students, luthiers and exhibitors from all over Australia. The day will feature recitals, masterclasses, jazz clinics, and lecture demonstrations. The solo competition is open to any bassists under 28 years of age and will be adjudicated by a distinguished panel of judges including the principal bassists of several of Australia’s symphony orchestras. There will also be a special program for young bassists open to students of all ages and levels. Attendance for the day as well as entrance to the competition are free and open to any double bassists and their families. Featured Artists include: Rufus Reid, Andrew Sinclair, Steve Reeves, Max McBride, Stuart Riley, Damien Eckersley, Ben Hanlon, and Stephen Newton. Registration essential:

For more information, the event poster is here: 2018 MCM BassDay Flyer_v4

Brilliant Bass!

One Night Only!

Etienne Lafrance and Rob Nairn in concert with the Burnside Symphony Orchestra on April 14, 2018, at the Concordia College Chapel in Highgate.

Tickets available on our events page.

BASSWORKS April 2018 – Early Bird Discount Ending Soon!

He’s on the way!


Etienne LaFrance from Quebec, Canada is one of our guest faculty. Etienne is a very encouraging teacher,  an inspiring player, and will be performing two pieces with the Burnside Symphony Orchestra.

The bass workshop will provide inspiration for young and old players and everyone in-between, with some amazing concerts, master classes and lessons. I would especially encourage beginning players to register as the workshop will give an excellent overview and foundation for bass playing.

Please register soon, the early bird discount is only available to those who register before the end of January. Click here for more information and access to the registration form.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.