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Bass of the Week: Neal Heppleston Panormo Double Bass

British double bass luthier Neal Heppleston sent us photos of his Panormo model to check out, and I’ve been obsessing over it. Each piece of wood is jaw-dropping, but moreover, it seems every little detail is a work of art in itself. Hand-built in his Sheffield shop, the bass is designed after the work of a famous 18th-century luthier with a few of Heppleston’s own flourishes.

Photo credit: Jess Petrie

“When I started making this bass I wanted it to capture the elegance of the original Vincenzo Panormo double basses, the huge, dark and brooding sound as well as contributing my own imprint in the added decorative features,” the luthier explains. “I added a passion fruit carving on the back of the pegbox and some small purfling features on the back. The Italian Spruce which I used for the front is highly hazelled, which gave a great effect when the varnish was applied, the back and sides are made of highly flamed maple.”

Heppleston adds that although his Panormo bass is a recreation of an antique instrument, he also designs his own Orchestral, Solo and Ergonomic models in addition to commission work and restorations.

Neal Heppleston Panormo Bass Features:

Back and Sides:Flamed Maple
Top:Italian Spruce
String Length:1055mm (41.54In)
Body Stop:610mm (24.02in)
Neck Stop:D
Length of Back:1170mm (46.06in)

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