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Ann Marlowe, bassist

Acoustic Basses

Ann plays two acoustic or upright basses nicknamed Victor and Babe.

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.

Babe is a Samuel Shen three-quarter size, laminated bass with a wonderfully deep voice.  Ann plays Babe mostly on outdoor jobs or when the temperature or humidity is not suitable for a wood bass like Victor.

Electric Basses

Ann also plays two electric basses, one named Louis and a five-string named TM (prounounced "Tim"; it stands for Theory Machine).

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 steal.  They didn't know what they had.  Louis was Ann's first bass and has a special place in her heart.
TM is an LB75 from the custom shop at

Carvin Guitars.

and came in 2005:  a five-string, neck through construction, tilted back headstock, strings through the body, giving a wonderful sustained tone and, when the 18-volt active EQ is adjusted right, he sounds a lot like an upright.  TM is jet black with a clear gloss finish and silver hardware.  TM is, in a word, wonderful.  He is 99% of perfection and plays like a dream. 

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.

With the Kaleidoscope Orchestra big band and for outdoor concerts and rock jobs she uses a Carvin PB-200, which gives superb tone and is relatively light for its power.  It is 160 watts with a 15-inch speaker.

For an upright bass pickup, Ann uses The Realist.  It puts out a lot of signal and reproduces the sound of her bass exactly at all harmonic levels.


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

Lashof Violins

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.