Gasparo da Salò
Double bass Gasparo da Salò , late 16th century , now played by Maxime Bibeau, contrabassist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
In spring 2013 , I had the privilege to work on this beautiful double bass. I realized a C extension with 4 capos in ebony, and a tailpiece which is in the style of its decorative purflings on table top. I’ve also added a new fingerboard, an adjustable bridge, and a new sound post.
The design of its capos and the shape of the extension were inspired by the decorative table top purflings. The tailpiece has a wide and rounded end to better fit the shape of the instrument, and at the other end is carved the inverted pattern floral decorative purflings that you can see on the table.
This double bass has a rich and deep sound with a huge projection. It is a gift seeing and hearing today such an instrument from the past, made by this great master luthier Gasparo da Salò.
This luthier is, in a manner of speaking, the 1st double bass violin model maker.
In 2006 the instrument was assessed by expert Stefan Krattenmacher for Double Bassist magazine (article was written also).
Photograph: Jean Fitzgerald