and how I became a bass manufacturer…
I got into electric bass in a very typical way: when the bassist of a local band left, I happened to be there and was immediately recruited to take on the job. That was in the early 80’s and I was 16 years old.
In the beginning I was self-taught on the bass and played in a few local rock bands as a hobby. It was only seven years later, after school, commercial training and community service, that I took proper bass lessons and then studied electric bass at the “Bass School Munich – BSM” with Horst Polland.
Although my musical socialization started in the late seventies, it wasn’t just the slap technique, which was becoming more and more modern at the time, that fascinated me with the then heroes Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Mark King. In particular, there were also B.B. WAR’s Dickerson, Bernie Edwards, James Jamerson, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Jerry “Wyzard” Seay and many more. My bass sound taste was decisively influenced by these players, their music and the corresponding instruments from that time and their styles.
During my studies and in the following 15 years as a full-time bass player in a number of bands and projects, I also worked as a consultant for the musical instrument industry and retailers – and still do that occasionally today.
Since the beginning of my life as a bassist, I have been constantly searching for the bass sound and the perfect playability. That’s why I’ve always made large and small modifications to countless more or less good specimens, mostly American electric basses from the seventies and eighties – only for me at first, later for others too. I owned quite a lot of basses, bodies, necks, hardware, electronics and pickups (and of course the rest of the equipment like amps, cabs and accessories). It was probably thanks to my good connection to the music trade and industry that I converted every fee directly into equipment. Everything was always eagerly tested live or in the studio under all possible conditions and styles – from living room club gigs to theater and musicals to concert halls or open-air festivals.
But how did I become a bass manufacturer?
Also typical – out of necessity: In the early 2000s I was supposed to play in a five-string acoustic bass or a double bass for a recording project. But I neither owned such a bass, nor could I play the double bass properly as an electric bass player.
The industry had little to offer at that time and did not import anything to Germany. So I bought a five-string fretless acoustic bass from the USA on Ebay, put on black nylon strings, used the well-known piece of foam rubber and tried to imitate an upright bass with it. For sound and ergonomic reasons, the result was not very exciting for me. Although the studio project later fizzled out, this “acoustic problem” was stuck in my head.
The task was clear: As an electric bass player, I wanted to be able to play with a double bass sound (pizzicato) without any problems. After about two years of research, design studies, concept development and help from various German bass builders, the first prototype of the ROOM model was finished – and it clearly exceeded my expectations in terms of sound. Encouraged by this success and great endorsement by some other Munich bass players, I decided to build more instruments. I then exhibited these instruments for the first time in 2006 at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt am Main.
The prototypes were sold quickly and in the following years further designs and concepts for electric basses were added. There is now a comprehensive range of crystal bass models and new ideas are constantly being added.
Making or modifying basses, repairing basses and guitars and providing advice are taking up more and more space. I feel very comfortable with this development and it’s really fun to push new projects forward – and after a number of trips around the world in a band bus, car and plane I think it’s good to be in a fixed place for once.
Of course, I can’t do without live performances either: With my acoustic trio “borrowed” I’m currently playing mainly in small locations – my main bass here is the ROOM II-5 fretless, on other occasions mostly my SOLID II-4.
More information about me and the instruments can also be found under “Philosophy” or specifically under the respective bass models.
I look forward to every contact with other bassists and to advising you on designing and building new basses for you. Just write me an email at any time or call me, ask me or explain your problem to me – I’m happy to share my experience