Magazine: bass quarterly 5/2010 | Author: Christoph Hees
Are there instruments that stand out in their domain? Instruments, that still track extraordinary conceptual goals? They exist. The Stoll Classic bass is such an instrument. It cannot be measured with others. It simply exists. Christian Stoll from the village Waldems-Esch/Germany builds it. His small workshop in a rural area has become quite specialized on classical and acoustic guitars and basses. His workshop always pays special attention to all customer requests.
Acoustic Basses are usually designed on bronze or nickel-/steelstrings. The more rarely seem instruments with “classical” nylon strings. The guitar workshop of Mr. Stoll has such an instrument in its fine portfolio.
The Classic Bass appears as a successful hybrid of classical Nylon String and “typical” Acoustic Bass. Both body size and shape as the classic type of Stringing are borrowed from its guitar counterpart, while the Scale length of 75 cm (Standard long scale: 86.4 cm) and the “only” eighteen frets seem to be genes of the Acoustic Bass.
Handicraft The instrument has a wonderful silky touch and exudes a certain unostentatious elegance. The satin finished maple body with a one-piece rosewood binding bears a spruce top in nordic blonde. A technically sophisticated spanish neck provides superior mechanical stability while tonal superiority. The beautiful neck is made of cedar wood with a 7 mm thick, 18-fretted fingerboard made of fine snakewood.
The neck is of a comfortable thickness. Its satin finish feels comfortable. The maple veneered headstock is typically angled and guarantees good and uniform contact pressure on the bone nut.
Four nice grippy Schaller tuners in a simple gloss silver underline the impression that this instrument is wholly made for the player. Stoll’s Classic bass is equipped with fine Hannabach nylon strings in a classical way tied at the bridge.
Pick (It) Up The body conceals the optionally available McLoud pickup ML-1. The ML-1 is designed puristically: With its class-A electronic it works absolutely low-noise and naturally. The battery lasts 4 to 5 years but despite rarely change one should regularly monitor possible leakage. The output jack is in combined with a strap holder in the end block of the bass.
McDry For the player it does not need long to enjoy a lasting and fine tone. Only electric bass player have to get used to the “roll” tendency of strings with a nylon core.
The action is enjoyable. The bass sounds full and surprisingly loud in the sense of sonorous, present and balanced for indoor use.
McLoud Even in the discipline “plugged-in” the Classic Bass performs excellent: His sound is very authentic and carries very little noise. The onboard electronics are indeed fixed and not controllable, but the quality of the pickup is so high that a very natural sound is provided.
The musical quality of the sounds can best be compared with an oversized, down-tuned classical nylon string guitar. Suddenly you find yourself musically in the vicinity of tango-like, or at least spanish spheres. But also latin-like melodies seem surprisingly authentic and are great pleasure to play on the Classic Bass.
This bass is by no means an allround instrument. But despite this apparent limitation one can feel with it very well in surprisingly many styles. Also folklike bass company is easily workable. The volume offered, amplified or not, is always sufficient for interaction such as with acoustic guitar and cajon.
Classically beautiful The four-string Classic Bass is from the heart of one of Germany’s oldest instrument regions. The know-how and attention to detail, that Christian Stoll gives to this beautiful musical instrument are clearly noticeable and provide the workmanship a good musical instrument shoud have: an acoustic and electric sound of the highest quality, easy playability and an absolutely timeless appearance.
The Classic Bass is in addition to typical classical use also for flamenco sounds, folky material and jazzy stuff. Not only nylon string lovers should try the Stoll Classic Bass. The Classic Bass is also offered for a very reasonable price and so sets standards in its segment.