Benedikt Lang Double Bass


  • Made in Mittenwald, Germany, 1961
  • Converted to left-handed, 197?
  • Table regraduated by Robert Daugherty, 1985
  • Strings: Pirastro Obligatos
  • Pickup: David Gage Realist

I’m so lucky to have acquired this bass! I bought it from fellow Southpaw – the extraordinary bassist Jennifer Leitham, known in Southern California & the East coast. Anyhow, she was kind enough to sell it to me and I like to think I’ve put it to good use. It is my main bass, so I use it for pretty much everything I do in jazz, bluegrass and folk. It is fully carved Gamba design with a rounded back. It is on the smaller end of the 3/4 size, so it is light-weight and low-profile with a fairly steep slope to the upper bouts. It was constructed by Benedikt Lang in Mittenwald, Germany, 1961. The only flaw I can see, and you can sort of make it out in the photo, is that it has a very minor issue with it’s overall symmetry. Leitham had it converted to left-handed when she bought it back in the ’70s at some point. The top was re-graduated 1985 by the sought-after luthier Robert Daugherty. Since I’ve owned it, San Diego’s own Dave Millard has given me a better setup for my tastes. It definitely took some experimentation with strings to finally get the right match for me. I’m now sporting some Pirastro Obligatos, which the bass itself seems to like. They are punchy, but with plenty of sustain. I like the tone throughout the range of the bass. And they bow well too. Since I need the same setup for jazz & bluegrass, I think I’ve found the best of both worlds. I even like the color! I currently use the David Gage Realist pickup under the bass foot of the bridge, which sound great, but I aim to switch to the Realist SoundClip in the near future.

Update Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I recently had a new bridge cut & installed by Dave Millard, which I am supremely grateful for! I still have the original Realist under the bass foot, which doesn’t seem to be dampening the sound at all. I decided I still need it as a fallback to the Realist SoundClip, which – I hate to say – I’m still skeptical of.

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