Ann plays two acoustic, or upright, basses, nicknamed Victor and Blondie.
Victor is a carved wood, three-quarter size bass who came from East Germany before the Iron Curtain fell. He had been painted cherry red but was refinished by his owner then, Victor Dworskin. Victor has a magic sound that really projects, and a wonderful-feeling neck. The story is that Victor was made "before the war". That's Victor in the photo on the home page.
Blondie is a plywood, three-quarter size bass with a blonde wood veneer and a cut-away shoulder like an electric bass. Her label says, simply, "West Germany". She was probably made in the 1950's. She came to Ann, who is her third owner, with a slowly collapsing bass board. Ann bit the bullet and spent the money to have Dave Lashof take her top off and put a new bass board in, even though Dave warned her that Blondie's tone might change. Blondie sounds better than ever before! Ann plays Blondie on outdoor jobs.
Ann also plays two electric basses, one, fretted, named Louis, and one, fretless, named Hobbes.
Louis is a 1966 sunburst Fender bass with a precision body and a jazz neck. Ann found Louis among the second-hand basses in a music store in 1988 for a surprisingly low price. By 2001, Louis' neck had warped so badly it was replaced. Louis was Ann's first bass and has a special place in her heart.
Hobbes came to Ann custom-made in 1999 from
Hobbes is a four-string, fretless bass made of mahogany with a through-body neck made of maple, a tilted-back head stock and through-body string attachment at the bridge end. He has on board EQ and a beautiful tone. Ann is highly pleased with Hobbes. She often plays him at outdoor concerts with big bands.
Amplifiers and Pickups
Ann plays most of her jobs through a Galien-Krueger 112 bass amp. It is lightweight and answers all of her tonal needs. It has a 150 Watt output and a 10" speaker.
For outdoor concerts and rock jobs, she uses an Ampeg B100R Rocket Amp, whose design has not changed since the late 1950's because it's so good! It is 100 Watts, though on a British scale, so it's actually more like 200 Watts, with a 15-inch speaker.
For un upright bass pickup, Ann uses the Bass Max, and thinks it's wonderful. It's small, simple to install, puts out a lot of signal, reproduces the sound of her bass exactly, and costs less than $100! You can get your own at:
Although she at first rented a lovely wood instrument with a sound so big it filled her practice room and pounded on the door to be let out, Ann owns a plywood Meisel. Why plywood? Simple: outdoor weddings! Plywood holds its pitch better, is less likely to crack from temperature changes, and can stand more of a beating while Ann is playing the bass for the reception and who knows what is happening to her cello!
She bought her cello in 2001 from Dave Lashof of Lashof Violins.
Last, but not least, is the man who keeps all of Ann's instruments in top working order, Dave Lashof of
in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Ann can't say enough good things about Dave. Firstly, he does wonderful work, but he also spends time with a customer discussing the work and ways to fix it, and explains anything unfamiliar. Dave is also a luthier, which means he MAKES basses and celli, etc. Ya gotta respect a man with so much magic in his hands.
Ann's electric bass repair is done by Mike Dove, (301) 236-5385, who is equally good, has a similar knowledge of the instruments he repairs, and is full of common sense.