Article by Bas Vossen=
Last Saturday my wife and I went to Me=
chelen, Belgium, to visit Umut Dal, who is the builder of Safran Bass gu=
He showed me his workplace, which is pretty small, at the g= round floor of the 3-story rental where he and his lovely wife -who is t= eacher of the Flemish (which is almost like Dutch, but has some differen= t words and a more melodic speech) language for immigrants- live.
D= irectly when you come in you see a huge workbench, with some pieces of n= ice hardwood on it. He showed me how he glued a neck out of two mirrored= parts of Ash wood. New was a bandsaw with which he can work much faster= than in the past.
He has a diploma from the Academy of Instrument Builde= rs in Puurs, Belgium, a major luthier school of Western Europe. His teac= hers were glad he was so driven by building instruments very detailed he= could skip some classes.
I suggested if he could make some extra m= oney by building bridges. As you can see at safran bass guitars they are made out of ebony wood and ivory. The ivory is also = used for the nut, giving a much clearer tone than plastic does.
Umut came a long way, showing me his first ins= trument -which already was pretty fine detailed but still with some desi= gn errors, like a neck that is too heavy- and letting me play on all his= basses. It's clear he dislikes electrically filtering the tone, as he e= xplained to us. His first instruments still have tone and volume dials, = but later on he didn't include them anymore; they are not necessary as t= he amps also have tone and volume control.
He currently is looking for ways to sell his instr= uments, which are between three and four thousand euros. Any well-known = bass player who would like to endorse him should look up his website, as= there might be a possibility to endorse his business. Umut is in his ea= rly thirties, and as you can see on his biography page, has a young kid = with his pretty wife. He used to travel to bass players showing his inst= ruments, but as that became too cumbersome, we suggested to bring his ba= sses to jam sessions and show off how their superior tone there. He like= d the suggestion, as he is almost like a monk, never leaving his house. = The language might bring problems, as he is born in Turkey and Flemish i= s not easy to comprehend. But his English is good, and he promised to go= out and check out the jams.