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Triumph Bass

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  • Triumph Bass

    Hi to all Framus Fans!

    I recently purchased an (very) early Triumph Bass in Switzerland. It is all black with a white binding, and has the pickup with the 2 not adjustable pole-pieces magnets for the E and A string (see picture). After disassembling the bass, I cleaned and polished all parts. 3 screws are not original, the nut and endpin is changed (they are from a double bass), and the potentiometer for the volume is missing. I also have the support-mount. The electronics/pickup works as it should - I already ordered a new potentiometer and an vintage framus volume-knob :-). After reassembling, the bass got new Thomastik Spirocore light strings. I think its a wonderful instrument and sounds unique!

    However there is one problem I really face: the playability. The action (Saitenabstand) is very high. This is due of the bowed neck (its not twisted), which was surely more straight in the 50s :-). Without string tension the neck is about 5-6mm bound forward - with string tension about 1cm. There is no chance to get a better action lowering the bridge holes - because of the up bow of the neck. I am a double bass player and know that I cant handle this by myself - only a prof. doublebass maker should lend a hand on this.

    Because its some kind of "historical" instrument, and maybe rare (?) - especially early builds - I want to know if my TriumphBass should stay at it is - with the original painted neck - however its very hard to play and wont see any gig in the future. Do you think - if possible - a new fingerboard/neck will destroy the original feeling and diminish the value of the bass?

    Let me know what you think. I will post some more HQ-pics soon.


  • #2
    Well, many of the prized Cremonese viols have been modified over the centuries, and while nowadays no one would try to improve them beyond their status, they are made playable if repairs are needed. So I see no problem repairing a mass produced musical instrument to make it useable. I remember seeing a bass like this in factory fresh condition leaning in the window of Lindberg music store in the late 80s. Almost no one knew what it was, I'm not sure if it eventually sold. It is an ugly but functional design.
    Lots of players had and have no remorse to sand the finish of a double bass neck down, just because it fits their playing preferences. (Golden lacquer would be an argument against this in my opinion )
    The great thing is the traditional workmanship used in these pop instruments, so any and even the most conservative luthier would tackle the repair. Best of luck,