Last Fall, I received a phone call from a client that had purchased an instrument, in as-is condition. It had beed severely damaged from the flood in Nashville, TN., earlier in the year. The company that made the instrument was no longer in business and could not perform any repairs. There were various forms of damage and he wanted me to perform a complete restoration and bring it back to its former beauty.
This was a bit of an unusual instrument, being an Azola upright electric bass. Restoration is in my blood, so I was pleased to take on the job.
The most obvious problem was with the finish. It was flaking off, just about everywhere and was beyond any repair or touch-up. A full refinish was the only solution.
There were a couple of cracks, in the ebony top, that had developed from the wood becoming wet and unstable. A couple of glue joints had also slipped a bit and some areas of the once beautiful figured maple neck were stained from the water damage. After stripping the finish completely, I made the repairs to the wood.
This bass has an onboard pickup and active EMG preamp. It was installed at the factory before the top was glued to the body and was not designed to be able to be removed. This made it difficult to restore. I was able to remove all of the corroded and failed electronic components at either end of the wiring harness and trust that the wire was still good in between them. The preamp was completely green with corrosion and was making no sound, at all. It needed to be replaced.
The original finish was a deep amber color and owner wanted it refinished in the same hue. So, after matching the color and technique of the original satin finish, repairing all of the wood damage and replacing and restoring the electronics, this beauty was back to it’s original glory: