Thomas and George Martin double basses can be found in all corners of the globe. We are fortunate to enjoy excellent feedback about our instruments, and we are always proud to hear of people enjoying what we’ve made for them.
I first came across T&G Martin basses through a friend. Deciding it was time for an upgrade, I knew I was after a bass I could invest in long-term for both jazz and pit work. I paid Thomas and George a visit a year and a half ago and haven’t looked back since! They are both very knowledgeable, passionate about what they do, and very friendly. I was very impressed by their professionalism along every step of the consultation and building process. The bass is easy to play, the build quality and set up is great, and the tone always gets complimented even when I’m using a pickup!
I recently have had the pleasure of being the new owner of a 6 year old Thomas and George Martin 3/4 bass. The bass is exactly what I was looking for: it is a craftsman’s work, made with excellent material that results in a quality instrument. Every note from the lows to the highs has a fullness. The sound is direct as the instrument is very responsive when using jazz pizzicato (my main interest) or the bow. I have only compliments for the makers of this instrument and I recommend the Martin luthier shop for anyone that wants to invest in a modern instrument made by the best people." Quebec City, Canada.
I’ve had my Thomas and George Martin bass for just over a year now and i am really happy with it. When we contacted Tom to discuss my requirements, he invited us to visit the workshop and could not have been more helpful. I was split between a 3/4 and a full size bass, but when his description of the sound of a full size was “the Norse god of thunder” the decision was easy - my friends and family often tell me I am the only instrument they can specifically pick out when I play in my local youth orchestra. I like how it looks, it is very distinctive, I spotted another person with one at a bass workshop and we had some nerdy T&G bass chat.
I am the proud owner of a Martin double bass, which has joined me in exile in Estonia. Right from my initial contact with Thomas and George their customer service was excellent -expert, attentive, accommodating. The bass was a pleasure to play from the very start - supremely responsive, with an even tone across the whole range, mellow and sonorous, and lots of character for such a young instrument. The bass has won admirers in the Estonian Music Academy where I am studying, and I will shortly be recording my first album of original jazz compositions with it, as well as taking my Associated Board Grade 8 exam - around 30 years since I took my grade 6! The Martin bass has given my playing a boost, and I'm looking forward to continuing to grow and develop together with this wonderful instrument.
I first encountered their doubles basses at the 2015 London bass guitar show, where I not only got to play some but also saw one being made in front of me. About 11 months later when I was looking to buy one I got in contact with George and after a few emails I had an appointment to try a professor model. I turned up, loved the sound and feel of the bass and left with it. Since purchasing the bass I have used it mainly for jazz and it is very easy to play. At gigs not only is the rich and full sound complemented but the looks are to. Truly a joy to play. If you are looking for a double bass then look no further.
You can't go wrong when you deal with the Martin bass world. From first contact to 4 years later, they give excellent service and commitment to you the bass player. You feel looked after all the way.
After only three months, I feel that I have been playing my Martin Solo bass for years and I am amazed at how little time it took to play it in. I had it on trial for a few weeks, but knew that I would not want to give it back after the first day! I am delighted with its rich, strong and mellow tone and how easy it is to get around the instrument. I also really enjoyed visiting the workshop and seeing all the stages of making a bass. Thank you Tom and George - playing has become even more of a pleasure now that I have my new bass.
I recently outgrew my mini bass and needed to move up to a 3/4 size. After a visit to Thomas and George Martin to try out a Concert 3/4 model I was hooked! The sound quality was outstanding – powerful and rich, like luxurious dark chocolate. I did try out a cheaper bass from another manufacturer but there was no comparison. I chose all-round strings because I felt that they were right for my playing style. I am glad that I made the choice that I did, and have found my new instrument well set up and easy to play.
Here are two pictures of these two great instruments and a very happy customer. I read all the things all the others had to say and I can confirm every word they say about you all and your work. I couldn't be more pleased with both the 4 and the 5-stringer - and all of our encounter. I hope I will see you again soon. All the best Gunnlaugur Torfi Stefánsson, Iceland.
After trying so many different double basses all around Europe, when I first played on a 4/4 Concert Model I knew right away that I had to have that bass. I have my Martin bass for a while now and it's incredible how I still get impressed by it. It has such great qualities: the sound is huge and it's really comfortable to play. I'm really thankful.
Wherever I go with my Martin Concert 3/4 double bass I hear people saying “Wow! That bass sounds fabulous, sounds very different to the rest.” And when I tell them it was just made a few months ago they can’t believe it. I’m so happy with this beautiful and amazing instrument. Despite the fact that it is still developing its own particular voice, I could notice that rich, deep and strong sound from day one. It’s very comfortable and easy to play. A really good acquisition that now, along with my Claude Marchand bow, completes my music team, providing all I need to keep pursuing my career as a bassist. Thanks to Tom and George’s family and team for this instrument and for all the help they have given me since we first met a few years ago. I am very blessed and grateful for you.
"Thank you so much to Tom and George for making this amazing bass. I’ve been playing it for over a year now and am still in love with the sound it produces. When looking for a half size bass at age 12, I struggled greatly to find one I liked. After trying out over 10 basses we stumbled upon a Tom Martin 1/2 size. I loved it. So when the time came to get a 3/4 size we went straight to Tom and I chose the Martin concert Bass. Many people have commented on how beautiful the bass looks and I must agree. Every lesson my teacher and I are astounded by the quality and the volume of the sound! I will continue to enjoy playing this bass, many thanks."
I needed a new bass, and bassist Chris Jennings recommended me to contact “Thomas & George Martin”. So I e-mailed George, and from the start I experienced very good service and expertise. They made me a “Martin Concert 3/4”, and George kept me updated with pictures during the whole process, and really customized it in accordance with my wishes. I could not be more satisfied with the result! The bass sounds great, it looks really beautiful and has many cool details! It has made it so much easier to improve my skills, and also it is more fun to rehearse on such a great instrument! Thank you Thomas and George!
Tom and George many thanks for your work! the Martin Solo Model made a special connection with me from the first note impressing me with an easy response, purring E and A string and crystal clear sound in the high register. I feel not so tired as I did before with other instruments after may hours of practicing and I believe I can find easier the right pitch on every strings in all registers, both as single notes or double stops. This is something I never experienced before, when intonation and thirds were a question of luck of faith with monster big, unplayable basses. Last month (believe it or not) I took a risky decision and practiced with this new instrument just two days before an orchestral audition for a temporary contract at the "Dortmunder Philharmoniker" and won it! German orchestras seem to like its clear sound. I'm curious discovering the colours and fine nuances of this instrument. Now these words I can read on the string packages became true "I'm so happy I can't stop playing!" Making music on this bass makes fun!
My first purchase from Tom and George Martin was a Claude Marchant bow and a year later on the recommendation of my teacher I bought one of their Martin Concert 3/4 basses. I have now had my Martin Bass for a year and she is a delight to play. The tone is beautiful throughout the whole register and as a result my playing has gone from strength to strength.I look forward to growing as a musician with this beautiful instrument. It didn't break the bank either. The service is exemplary and personal and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Many from the audience at this performance and three subsequent ones commented on the beautiful sound of the instrument. I can only agree! PHOTO: Ture Damhus performing Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino for double bass and string orchestra with the chamber orchestra Con fuoco (September 20, 2014; St. Lukas Church, Copenhagen).
"I received my Martin Ruggieri 5 string bass about a month ago and it was incredibly playable right away. With constant playing it already feels like a 10 year old instrument. The ease of playing is superb and the access to the upper register is a breeze. Every note rings out evenly and clearly throughout the fingerboard. The depth of the low B string is beyond one?’s imagination. The workmanship and set up are topnotch and I especially love the varnish which simply is exquisite. Martin Ruggieri bass has changed the way I play and it makes my solo, orchestra and chamber music playing such a pleasure. I have known Tom for almost 30 years and it is such an honor to be able to play one of his Martin basses. Thanks to George and his crews for making this beautiful instrument.", Kageki Nagao.
I bought a Martin Double Bass in January 2012. When I first tried it out I knew instantly it was perfect for me as it's large body brings out the full range of tones brilliantly. It's by far the best Bass I've owned and is suitable for different genres of music as it produces a strong and projected sound that's ideal for solo and orchestral playing. But it's also great for jazz and I play it in two jazz ensembles at Trinity Laban and also in the jive and swing band The Retro Boys. It's been on stage with me at Cadogan Hall, LSO St Lukes, Blackheath Halls, Ronnie Scotts, Worthing Town Hall and Witham Hall. Check out the Facebook link for videos and more.
"My son Jordan purchased a beautiful Martin bass recently, and was absolutely overwhelmed with both the beauty and tone of the instrument. It far exceeded both our expectations, and he will enjoy playing it for many years to come!" --Tamra and Jordan Nashman
"I purchased a handmade Martin 3/4 solo model in March 2013 from George Martin; I have not been able to look back since! The bass provides rich and powerful sustain as well as a clear and brilliant top end. The adjustable action makes a multitude of musical genres very achievable. The playability and audible response is second to none - it is truly a joy to play in every context. Besides the masses of satisfaction I personally feel when producing such a sound from this marvellous instrument, I have in addition received many comments from audiences and fellow musicians alike making special mention to the splendid sound of my bass. I have since played many different basses belonging to friends of mine, some of which are ones that I had played before I owned this bass and previously held some of them in high esteem, and yet none of them have been a patch on this Martin 3/4 model. In the time I have owned the bass, it has become a worthy companion of mine - always pushing my playing ability on to the next level and providing new inspiration for me. This is all due to the rich colour of sound that it effortlessly produces. As the bass has been such an influence on my playing style, I feel that it has been a friend with real personality rather than just an outstanding instrument - I have named it Charlie. The name was originally inspired by the great Charles Mingus, except my Charlie is female!"
"Since a couple of months I have played my custom-built T and G solo model double bass and I have to admit this amazing instrument really changed my musical life. I mostly play it in jazz and latin music, but have reinforced my studies and involvement in classicial music as well again - because the instrument just sounds so well. Her clear, rich, full and present tone gets appraisal by most musicians I play with almost immediately. I enjoy my decision every day and would definitely go for a T & G Martin bass again. I recommend this great piece of well-sounding art."
My Beautiful Thomas and George Martin Double Bass not only WOWS the concert venue but also makes the most wonderful sound that resonates through the Body of the instrument and is just brilliant! I am forever grateful for George and the Team for the brilliant new instrument that I have fallen in love with the moment I saw it! All in all buying a Thomas and George Martin Double Bass is brilliant, you will be well looked after by great people and a fantastic cup of tea!
I bought my 4/4 a year ago and I can simply say that I love it. The deep, rich sound really fills out a section and the bass often gets complemented. I also appreciate the design aspects that make it very playable and well thought out. I didn’t try a lot of basses when I was looking but I had this bass on trial and I knew I would be happy. I had the reassurance of knowing that Tom is a world class player and brought that experience into the design of the bass. Also, many of the most amazing historical basses have passed through the Martin shop so I knew they would have picked up a secret or two from them! I play in a few community orchestras in the Boston area and was recently accepted to the Boston Conservatory. It’s certainly been a plus to have a fine instrument with me and I know it has helped me in journey to improve as a player. Though I haven’t put a proper set of Jazz strings on it, I did use it with a pickup once and the sound was HUGE! I should add that the varnish is gorgeous, the best I’ve seen and the only thing I miss is the smell it had when it was new! I’m looking forward to meeting George and some of the team at the ISB this year in New York and also I’d like to say special thanks to Gary and Jack at Upton Bass for the excellent finishing touches on the setup!
The bass arrived fit and well and just busting to get out of the box and get playing. It is fantastic and beyond my expectations. I have already spent too much time playing it, but already it is speaking better just in a couple of hours of playing. The bridge setup is great, requiring a little more accuracy with the bow to stop hitting the body or the D, but just perfect. And because of the closeness to the fingerboard great for agility and not a hint of a buzz on the board. Unlike my other bass, it seems completely devoid of nasty habits. I love it. I have always viewed my other bass as not always on my side, happy to trip me up if it possibly can; sort of like a dog that you can't completely trust. But the bass you have sent me is more like a guide dog. I feel it has far more wisdom than me, is prepared to help me around difficult corners rather than drag me in front of traffic. All the extras, such as the spike, the machine heads, varnish finish, strings, even the bag are first rate; just what you would expect but seldom get in a new bass. Many thanks for all your energy in getting the instrument to the other side of the globe. Next time in the UK I look forward to shaking the hand of your Dad, the Icon, who has obviously inspired your enterprise with his passion and deep understanding of the bass.
I had been searching for an new bass for a very long time. When I first touched the Martin 4/4 I'm playing now I knew right away that my quest was over. Its unique warm dark sound - with lots of low end, as well as very beautiful, easily reachable singing notes in the high register - makes it a pleasure every time I pick up the bass. Thanks to Thomas & George Martin for making it available to me and for bringing my musical experience to a new level!
First, I would like to say that the best acquisitions I did last year were my Martin bass and my Claude Marchand bow. This bass has changed my life in many ways, because its tone is great, rich, in both high and low register. It's also very easy and comfortable to play and they also modified all the things I needed on the bass to best fit me. I had fortunately a very quick adaptation to the bass, so I couldn't be happier and grateful. In addition, I would like to thank to the Martin family and the whole team for all the facilities that they offered to me to be able to travel to Banbury and the fast and safe delivery of the bass. Moreover, their availability to give me advice for the maintenance of the bass. Finally, I would like to thank to Tom all his advices that are improving my way of playing.
Today I had my first audition with my Martin double bass. When I started playing my sonata I realized how my bass filled the hall, and how easy it was to play. I played a few measures of the "Chairman Dances" which has a very tricky part rythmically, and I am so glad I have my Martin double bass! I knew I had a great bass as soon as I first played and I lookforward to my next audition! Thank you so much!
My name is Domingos. Altough I started playing the contrabass at the age of 10, the acquisition of this 4/4 TM Double Bass changed the way I play. Because it's such a high quality Bass, the smoothness of the sound I can create with it becomes truly envolving, making me feel like the Bass itself is part of myself. Thank you Thomas & George Martin for your experience and knowledge dealing with this marvelous instruments.
As basses go, this is quite the instrument. So much so that I have decided to name her "The Empress Jeanne". On the bottom end the sound is warm and rich and on the top the bass really sings while still maintaining the same clarity as the lower register. "The Empress" has a wonderful dynamic range that allows me to feel confident in a variety of musical settings including in the orchestra, chamber groups, or solo. After playing on this instrument for almost a year my colleagues and my teacher have all noticed an improvement in the sound and tone that this bass is producing. I am definitely looking forward to my musical years ahead along with "The Empress".
I've been very happy with the quality of the bass; the sound is great and the workmanship is flawless, with the result of a bass that is both easy and comfortable to play and yet able to produce a large sound that does not become boomy at any point. The appearance is also stunning and showcases the woods used. Correspondence concerning delivery of the bass was excellent throughout the entire process, which is absolutely necessary for confidence when shipping any instrument across the world.
Bruno is the Cultural Manager, University of Guadalajara Double bass student at Lemmens Instituut. When I was very young my father gave me a tape with double bass music of many authors and performers, the best for me was a sonata performed by Thomas Martin. It really encouraged me to play double bass. Many years later I studied with Dragos Serbanescu who studied with Thomas Martin and he helped me to improve in my music a lot! And now I can have this wonderful bass made by Thomas Martin and his son. I feel myself very lucky! Thanks to them for many nice things.
Thank you so much for making this Bass it has exceeded my expectations in every way. It is a fantastic instrument, the B string purrs at me, and the whole bass sings evenly across the registers. The sound is a unique combination of a rich darkness, power and clarity. I did not imagine a new bass would sound this good and it is getting better all the time. I find it awe inspiring that it was made at my request and is going to far outlive me I can only imagine what it might sound like in a 100 years. Thanks for your care attention and craftsmanship.
Over 2 years ago I bought my double bass from Thomas and George Martin. The bass was fitted with a C Extension and projected well. The higher and lower registers made a clear sweet sound. The bass is in tremendous form which has helped me excel in my playing. The height of the action is very comfortable and the extension works well. I find that the bass is both suited to solo and orchestral playing (serving me well in my time at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain) and will be of great service in future years.
Since Purchasing my Martin Bass in July 2012 I have not been able to put it down. Not only does it have a beautiful tone but it is also a pleasure to play. I have found my instrument to be an all rounder, suiting Orchestral, Solo and Jazz playing. The whole team was a pleasure to deal with and it was great to have someone with Tom’s experience and expertise to offer advice.
I have had my Cello since 2003, the year it was build. At that time I was still in high school and I was having cello lessons, participated in an orchestra and a string quartet at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Netherlands). Nowadays I still enjoy my cello a lot. I finished my Bachelor Degree at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and I will start my Master at the Royal College of Music in London in September 2010. This cello is still one of the most beautiful instruments in the cello classes both in The Hague and Amsterdam. The sound is dark, deep, bright and has a lot of character and colours. It has a great sound for chamber music as well as for playing solo with orchestra. I get a lot of positive reactions on the sound of my Cello.
It was proving tricky to find one bass that could cover all the styles that I play. Romanian village music, Turkish pop, function bands, recreating Jelly Roll Morton records - bowed, pizz, slapped. My bass sounds great for it all, on the loudest stages and in the most intimate studio. I don't feel like I just bought a bass from George - it was a discussion about how he felt he could help me find the best tool for what I need. He hit the nail on the head.
“Hello. I play the 5-strings Double Bass of Martin Ruggieri. It is a special bass because this bass made for the Stradivari violin makers competition in Cremona this October 2012.But Tom and George yielded this bass to me. This special bass is very good! Sound is very powerful and is shaking the floor! All the best! M.T. “
I can't believe that a very brand new Bass could sound like the Martin Solo Bass, it has the sound, colour of an old bass, a very deep sound in lows, brillant and refined highs with a great volume and projection, that's all I can expect from a Bass. Hats off to Tom & George Martin
Luzia has a concert 3/4 model double bass and studies at 'Escola Superior de Musica De Lisboa' and has lessons with Manuel Rego. Luzia loves her bass and just can't stop playing.
As a retirement present to myself, I recently purchased a new Tom Martin Solo model double bass. I received excellent service from the time I expressed interest in buying a bass. I had the opportunity to visit the workshop, and was given sound advice on the model most suitable for me. I was pleasantly surprised by the short time from placing the order to taking delivery of the instrument. The bass looks beautiful and it has a rich, dark sound. I am thrilled with it. It has attracted a lot of interest from my colleagues in the bass section of the amateur orchestra in which I play. The section has been complimented about how much better it now sounds. The low C extension has given real depth to the basses. Now I have added a Claude Marchand French style bow to my outfit. This is beautifully balanced and is a dream to use. The combination of Martin bass and Claude Marchand bow enables me to play to my full potential.
Dark deep sound, great playability and a beautiful voice are the features of this well presented bass. The big orchestral sound of my Martin 4/4 bass matches all the other basses in the orchestra and the tone quality and playability makes of it a good bass also for solo playing. I'd been several months looking and trying many basses from different origins and ages before I ordered my bass. No one satisfied my requirements as the beautiful Martin copy of a Marcucci bass I played many times in the past and made me decide to get a Martin bass of my own. This instrument has all the qualities I expect from a good bass, it has no weaknesses. I couldn’t be happier with it. I also own a Marchand bow that’s really well made and works great. I feel very grateful to the Martin family and team for being so friendly and helpful and for building this beautiful bass for me.
I took delivery of my new Martin 4/4 bass two months ago, and have used it in the pit at the Royal Opera House and in the concert hall with the BBC Philharmonic so far. The tone is astonishingly good for a brand new instrument, and the dynamic range astonishingly good for any instrument. The bass speaks as readily as you'd expect a modern bass to, but a depth and warmth of tone that far surpasses the norm. The instrument responds evenly in all registers from ppp to fff, with easy articulation and the possibility of precise accents on any dynamic level. It blends well with a section of older instruments in soli passages (Aida), and projects cleanly with a full tone in solo mode (Poulenc Concerto for two pianos, Schedrin's Carmen ballet). Colleagues have been hugely impressed by the quality of my new bass, and it's a great pleasure to play.
Abe is a player in the Las Vegas Philharmonic and freelance double bass player in San Fransisco. "I can not begin to describe the enjoyment I feel when I pick up my Martin Double Bass. My quest for a top notch instrument ended the minute I picked up this double bass began playing it. The sound and playability of my instrument are second to none. Never have I played an instrument with such ease. The ingenious outline makes the most challenging repetoire fall under the hand very easily and the sound, well, it shakes the floorboards !! "Abreo" (as I call her) has worked well in so many diverse situations. Just weeks after receiving Abreo I used my instrument for a live television concert & recording with Michel Legrand where I sat principal bass in the orchestra. In the studio or on the stage, Thomas Martin instruments deliver with no questions asked. Many thanks to the both of you. Your talents make life so much easier for double bassists where we dont have to worry about our instruments and we can concentrate on the important factors of our craft, MAKING MUSIC !!"
In the picture is Meherban with his new Martin bass and his former Hungarian student bass also supplied by us, his student bass saw him all the way through his education and when he got his first orchestral job he decided to part exchange his student bass for a specially made Martin bass. I wanted let you know how contented I am with the bass. It has already been a joy getting to know all its many qualities: it's warmth, it's willingness to release volumes of sound and especially it's ethereal clarity across the register. I can remember trying out some lovely old English basses but this instrument seems to fit me the best. This, I'm sure, doesn't surprise you, but it feels like a mature bass already and thank you again for the beautiful varnish work.
Dan is the principal bass with Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Viva and Lancashire Sinfonietta and also holds a principal position within the Halle. "My Martin bass is less than six months old yet has a real depth of sound and no rough edges. Its ease of playing lets me devote more of my energy to the business of making music, having removed many technical obstacles to my playing. Playing the bass has become more enjoyable and rewarding and I've been getting some great comments from colleagues within the profession. It's a great bass. Thanks Tom and George!"
I have known Tom Martin for around 17 years and he has been a friend, teacher and a sage to me. Tom is uniquely gifted, being a virtuoso Bassist and a skilled Luthier. I don't think we often see those two talents in the same person! I have so much respect for Tom's vast knowledge of music, the bass, bass pedagogy, the orchestral and solo repertoire, the history of bass and bow making, not to mention his encyclopedic knowledge of Botessini's music. I am also very grateful to Tom for finding me the Vuillaume Bass that I now play and for building my Martin Bass incorporating all the things I look for as a Jazz player.
My Martin bass has served me very well over the years. Just months after receiving it, I used it to pass my audition for the principal position of the San Francisco Symphony and it has been my workhorse on the job since. I have known about Thomas Martin’s double basses for some time now, but only recently had the opportunity to perform on two of them, the Ruggeri and Concert models. What a revelation: new instruments that combine extraordinary resonance and power of projection with outstanding craftsmanship, pleasing aesthetics and exceptional attention to detail, qualities coveted by discerning double bassists and more usually associated with instruments from the great workshops of previous centuries. These double basses were a real joy to play and I cannot think of a more compelling case for modern stringed instruments.
Timothy is the principal Bass, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Instructor- Juilliard School, Manhattan School, Lynn University. "Tom, I just want you to know how much I love this Martin bass! It has a great sound, is very easy to play, and is really beautiful! In short, a real pleasure. I have known your basses for quite a few years now, can recognize their sound, and know their subtleties- but I have to say, your newest basses are on yet another level! Bravo! Thank you! and I look forward to hearing my Martin bass grow as the years pass!"
Olympia, as I have named my new double bass which I have just purchased from the Martins in England, is absolutely amazing. Through my old double bass teacher, Stuart Riley, we heard that Tom and George Martin and their team were in the process of making a "Martin 3/4" double bass. Stuart tried a few out, said they were amazing and then told me what to look for in a new bass. I have been playing for 5 years and my old double bass (which was starting to get very small) is the $2 500 one which I started off with so for me, it was a very big step and a great experience to buy one of my own when I actually knew what to look for and what I wanted. We contacted the Martins and got so many guarantees and lots of help in making such a big decision. I learnt about the woods used (such as spruce, Bosnian maple and ebony) as well as why they are used and the sorts of sounds that they help create. Since we got in so early in the making process, I got to choose the colour that I wanted it and she looks amazing! They also put a sticker inside the double bass to say that it was made for me which personally, made it even more exciting. Olympia sounds absolutely fantastic, a rich, mellow sound, as good as many "older" double basses and her sound will only improve with age. I’d just like to thank everyone over in the workshop as I swear, I was the happiest girl in the world when I took her out of the box at customs to make sure everything was in 1 piece, and started playing her right there in the storage shed! Thanks again.
Marc is the Principal Bass, Orquestra Gulbenkian, Lisbon. "After winning the audition in December of 2008 I was determined to find an instrument whose qualities were worthy of the title, Principal Double Bass. My quest took me to many places and I was privileged to have played on many wonderful instruments. My search eventually brought me to Thomas Martin whose reputation as performer, teacher, collector and luthier precedes him. Tom was so helpful and understanding. He new exactly what I was looking for. It is true what they say, that nothing replaces the wisdom of experience. His advise was invaluable. It was there that I found my instrument, an old master double bass by Giovanni Cavani. From his shop basses to his copies of the old masters, Thomas Martin’s instruments are of the very highest standard. The combination of playability, sonority and affordability make them very attractive to both the student and the professional. At the most recent ISB Convention I had the opportunity to play and to listen to others play Tom’s basses. I was very impressed. Tom, George and Ian are very good at what they do. They know what the demanding bass player is looking for."
Frank is the principal of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra in Denmark. "On demand Tom has made an excellent 5 stringed bass for the soloposition in the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Denmark). It is an instrument very easy to play and with a beautiful sonorous sound perfect for solos and at the same time with its huge register from the low open b string and up a clear fullbodied bass sound. Together with the new Symphonic Concert Hall in Aarhus (inspired by the Musikverein Saal in Wien) which is said to be the best symphonic concert hall in Denmark the bass feels like having got a Formula 1 racer or a Rolls Royce according to temperament."
Boguslaw is the principal double bass of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, distinguished soloist and composer. "I met Tom for the first time in Markneukirchen, Germany, Double Bass Competition in 1989 and I can say it was the beginning of our friendship. Ten years later I asked Tom to make a solo bass for me, he just said to me ‘I know what you need and we can do it!’ Few months later I went to England and saw my beautiful bass, It was immediately big love. I have played this bass for 10 years already and my love to this instrument is bigger and bigger! Thank you Tom, you made the best double bass I have ever played! It is a bass which does what I want, with really beautiful soloistic sound, really easy to play, comfortable, makes people astonishing how beautiful a bass can sound. Tom is a really great musician, great person, he made a best gift for me with his instrument. Thank You Tom!!!"
I am delighted with my recently purchased Martin Double Bass.It is a joy to play and I am able to provide a much improved sound for my local orchestra. I even look forward to practising now! The whole experience of visiting the workshop and trying out the bass was a most enjoyable one and the family’s passion for the instruments is obvious. Long may they continue to develop the instruments.
Tom is from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and says, "I couldn't be happier with my new Tom Martin bass. Though only a few months old, the bass already is playing extremely well. It has a beautiful, rich and very powerful tone from the low register to the high. I am amazed at the ease of response of this instrument! I am currently playing the bass in the section of the San Francisco Symphony, and feedback from my colleagues has been very positive. The design of the bass is beautiful. It is a large model with deep ribs, but very easy to get around. The wood selection is lovely, the "quilted" Italian poplar of the ribs and back is spectacular! I love this bass!!!"
Zoltan is a professional Jazz musician, Teacher of Jazz bass at the Leeds College of Music and says, "I have receintly purchased a Martin Double Bass, which in the short time i have used it has proven to be a very playable and a well balanced instrument. I'd like to thank both Tom and George for the excellent craftsmanship and care they put into making these basses. I very much enjoy playing it and get lots of compliments about the sound of it from my colleagues. On another note, i started to study with Tom 3 years ago, and although i only had a few lessons so far, he has completely changed my approach to playing double bass and my perception of music. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest double bassists and teachers of our times."
Tam is a London based music writer and left handed bass player and says, "I had never played a left-handed upright bass before, as not many of them exist! Since getting my bass it has appeared on the HSBC 'Cormorant' commercial and I'm using it on practically every track with the sensational new artist, Sophie Madeleine. I would not hesitate to recommend the basses of Thomas and George Martin!"
Roger is a professional jazz musician and says, "This is a very impressive bass; the workmanship is first class and it has a maturity that belies its youth. The sound is even across the four strings, from bottom E right up to the thumb position on the G string. It has a brightness that is perfect for pizz jazz. It was a pleasure to deal with Tom and George and I know my instrument will have the very best attention, should it need it, for many years to come."
Eric says, "The bass has a big, rich, and commanding sound, even without being fully broken-in. It's the only fresh out of the shop instrument that I have played that is ready for both orchestral and solo playing from the get-go. Although the body of the bass is quite large, the neck, shape of the shoulders, fingerboard length, and string length make the instrument very accessible for any type of playing necessary. What has already been a strong beginning for this bass will only go on to be a fabulous life for this beautiful instrument as it fully breaks-in."
I purchased a Martin double bass a few years ago through a friend of Tom's, my teacher Michael Morgan. My family wouldn't usually have had the money to afford the instrument however, we were lucky enough to recieve a pay out from my fathers job and grabbed the instrument.
I'm practicing now for a Principal position audition in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and am thrilled that I have such an amazing instrument to play. Just thought id pass on a message to keep in touch.
Yukio says, "Real things are beautiful and more attractive than it sees in the photograph. I played this contrabass. It is easy to play it, very much. The pronunciation is good, and the sound of a low bowstring makes the wrapped comfortable deep sound. It is very attractive. The future is very the enjoyment. I think it was really good because I ask you for the production of the contrabass. I give a reward again. Thank you. - Yukio Kanenari, Japan."
I’ve played my Martin Concerto double bass almost daily for 5 years now and I’ve used it not only in my main job as a jazz musician but also in orchestras and on many sessions in all manner of genres. In this time I’ve played with some of the most experienced members of the UK jazz scene (Pete King, Alan Barnes, Jim Mullen, Tina May etc.) and worked with some of the most discerning record producers in the business. My sound, and the bass that produces it, has drawn nothing but positive comments wherever it goes, whether in the studio, live or in a section. My bass sounded great from day one but over the years the sound has expanded and developed beautifully and it’s a joy to play in every setup I try. I can’t see myself ever replacing this bass!