Why did I start Luthiers Access Group 23 years ago ?
Fame and fortune ? Nah.
Way back when ( late ’70’s ) , Alembic was the only custom bass shop I was aware of, and to get one of their basses entailed sending money to them and hoping I would like the bass – $2,500 for a bass I have never played ? A little too risky for this boy.
Then I heard of a few other bass builders, but again, there were none here to test.There had to be a better way.
The concept behind Luthiers Access Group was born back then , then shelved for some years.
Years later , with the advent of fax machines , I found it easier to establish contact with non-local luthiers.
In 1994 , with the help of Bass Player Magazine’s Buyers Guide, I was able to find and contact over 100 bass builders from around the globe.
My proposal to them – Send a bass to me and I will work to promote your brand and I will be able to put one of your basses in the hands of US players.
They did not know me at all , I was naive to think any one of these builders would send a bass to a stranger.
Looking back, I was very naive. Yet, a dozen bass builders did send a bass in 1995.
I have played basses by many many luthiers over the last 23 years.
Some were merely OK , most were very good, a few were truly (imho) exceptional.
I have been able to find a few basses I will keep for life. True gems.
So, why did I start this business ? Although I did not realize it at the time, I think I wanted to find a few basses for ME that would be lifetime keepers.
Along the way I have been able to attain knowledge and experience with many bass builders , which allows me to offer objective and subjective opinions.
I do not presume to tell you what you what you ought to play but if you tell me what you are looking for, I feel I am able to offer good advice.
Basses can arrive at any time via trade, purchase from players, or new basses from our builders. Keep your eyes on this page so any fretless or fretted, 4, 5, or 6 string bass you have been looking for does not elude you any more.
I often like to do comparisons between basses in an effort to further fine tune my ears. Might be similar basses from different bass builders, or various designs from a particular bass builders. Sometimes these little “tests” are at the request of a player who wants to know how a couple of basses stack up.
The memory clears and a custom bass from the past re-appears here, with a little reflection and look back at a memorable piece.
Le Fay, Marleaux, Zakrzewski, Kinal, Kenneth Lawrence, Jerzy Drozd, Skjold, Glockenklang, Basswitch, Aries, Rybski. Get to know the builders of Luthiers Access Group.