Regraduation is the process of changing the existing thickness
of an instrument. Its most common incarnation is in the thinning
of top plates. The reason this is done is that in many cases it
can result in an instrument that is quicker to respond. Part of
the down side to this equation is that some range and nuance may
be lost [forever]. Another even bigger part is that excessive thinning
of top plates will likely result in a loss of structural integrity
over the course of time [what's the statute of limitations on bass
crimes? Not very long - so thin away].
one can make the argument that the original maker was just not hip to
the best graduations. That might be the case for a Juzek or a Mathias
Thoma but what about a Gagliano? A Panormo? Or a Ceruti or a Grancino?
I've seen examples of all those basses and many more that were regraduated
severely [even without the owner's knowledge or permission!]. If you had
a busted up Gagliano wouldn't you just lovingly put it together and let
it stand on its own?
Lutherie has a prime directive - kinda like on Star Trek. DON'T DO WHAT
CAN'T BE UNDONE!! Thinning parts of the "body proper" cannot be
undone. Taking a 250 year old Italian bass and cutting away large
amounts of original wood is the ultimate in arrogant hubris. It's
a kind of rape and it really is wrong. It has to stop and the way
it can stop is if players are aware of it and do their part. Ask
your luthier about this subject and listen carefully to what he/she
says. If you have a good instrument in for repairs - INSIST - INSIST
that there should be no regraduation.
page | 1 |