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Testimonials for Wan-Bernadel upright basses

Here is short list some of the many players that own a Wan-Bernadel. Some included testimonials and even their own personal web links. We will be adding to this page as more come in and there a several players that have recorded "solo" bass cds with their new Wan-Bernadel.

Steve is one of the most sought after jazz upright bassists in the world! A long time player with Randy Brecker and Jim Hall. He has also played extensively with Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Art Farmer and Marian McPartland, etc... Despite his busy schedule, he leads his own band which has another European tour planned this coming January. Steve also is upright bass professor at William Paterson University:
"In the thirty five years I have been playing the bass I have seen and heard many different kinds of instruments. You won’t believe this bass! I have to say I have never seen a new upright hat compares to this bass. The Wan Bernadel has been a joy to play in every musical situation that has come my way freelancing in the New York City area. In fact so much so that I have only played my 200 year old French bass three times in the past three months. I really love playing this bass it is even up and down the neck. The sound isn’t real bright either. I can sing praises for many more sentences but the truth is you have to check it out for yourself. You won’t believe it."
Steve LaSpina, New York City

To read more about Steve, his recordings and upcoming concert dates see his website.

Here is a live recording of Steve playing his Wan-Bernadel
(My One and Only Love)


Steve, You know how much I love that great old bohemian bass that I bought from you initially. But since purchasing my Wan- Bernandel two years ago I find myself using it almost exclusively in both classical and jazz settings. It is very simply the most even and focused bass that I have ever played or heard. I recently recorded on both basses, which are fitted with identical pickups. The Wan clearly recorded better.
A few days ago one of my colleagues made an unsolicited comment about how each time he hears this instrument, it just sounds better and better. I’m confident that this process will continue as the bass matures.
Bruce Evans, Valparaiso, IN
(Professor of Double bass, Valparaiso University)

I have been playing a hundred and twenty year old Czech upright bass for the last thirty years. During that time I have purchased a half dozen other carved upright basses but would always wind up going back to the Czech bass. Two years ago I was driving home from a gig in New York and decided to stop at a local jazz club where Steve Laspina was playing. It was the best stop I’ve made in a long time! Steve was playing this Beautiful looking bass that really sounded amazing. I thought for sure it was a twenty thousand dollar instrument. On his break Steve came over and I immediately told how much I dug his bass. He kind of lit up with excitement and told me that it was a Wan Bernadel. He insisted I try it out on his break, which I did and I was sold.
I purchased my Wan Bernadel bass in 11/04 and haven’t played my trusty Czech bass on a gig since. I love the sound whether pizz or arco. I have since recorded two records with saxophonist Richie Cole, “Back on Top” and “Rise’s Rose Garden” as well as my own project “Duality” with pianist Bob Himmelberger. It seams effortless to get a good sound whether on stage or in the studio. I have had three of my peers purchase a Wan Bernadel and they all love it.

Rick Crane (upright bassist with Richie Cole)

Here is a new sample track "Footprints" from Rick's new cd called Duality.
(We will try to get the complete track to listen to in the near future.)

The Wan Bernadel upright bass certainly lives up to its claims. The workmanship is flawless, the sound is very responsive and the set up is exceptional. My fellow bass players are always surprised by the experience of playing it when I put it in there hands for their appraisal. I feel very fortunate to have it.
Jeff Peterson

I truly enjoyed my experience with Steve and the String Emporium. I felt no pressure to buy anything; it felt like we were just hanging out talking about upright basses. I ended up purchasing one of the Wan Bernadels and I've been really happy with it. My peers and teacher have been impressed with the sound that the Wan Bernadel produces for the price. I'll definitely be stopping by Steve's when I'm searching for my new bass.

Jesus Apodaca, TX.

I've owned my WAN Bernadel upright bass for about 1.5 years. It has withstood the dry Northern Arizona climate quite well. The bass plays and feels like butter and the smooth, full warm sound continues to evoke positive responses from listeners and players alike.
Armand Ramirez
Northern Arizona

After retiring in the fall of 2006, I initially contacted the String Emporium inquiring about the Wan Bernadel upright bass. I was pleasantly surprised by the quick, genuine response I received from Stephen Koscica. After talking with him several times on the phone I was impressed with his interest in my desires and playing styles and his suggestions as to basses he had to offer. To make a long story short, I was 95% ready to have him ship me a bass to try out, and then I had to call him back and ask him to hold off, as I un-expectedly found out I had to have surgery and about a two month re-covery period, plus I was unsure of what this would do to my financial situation, etc. I must say, throughout all of this, Steve was a Prince, stood by his word, and went out of his way to work with me.
As for the bass, I received a new Wan Bernadel Deluxe before Thanksgiving, and was able to play my first concert with it with the SW Washington Symphony the end of January. I have now played several other concerts with it, and I love it! It is everything Steve told me it would be...............I am eagerly looking forward to the upcoming fall/winter concert season.

Jerry Pedersen
Cathlamet, WA

I have enjoyed my double bass since I got it over 2 years ago. As a high school student, I think it is an excellent instrument. My playing is significantly enhanced by this instrument (particularly compared to my first student bass), both in jazz and in orchestral settings. Its warm sound is apparent in any dynamic. My mom was very impressed with Steve’s help and service. It was especially nice that he was able to send the bass to us so I could try it out and let my bass teach check it out also. He was great to work with, and a very forthright, honest person.

Aaron Kanter
Seattle, WA

I love my Wan-Bernadel! It has a very clear and focused sound, from the low C all the way up. It plays so evenly throughout and that makes it all the more enjoyable to play. In playing a variety of genres and styles, I haven't found a musical situation my Wan-Bernadel hasn't liked! It's now my every day workhorse and a real treat every time I take the cover off.
Nick Morabito
Los Angeles CA

(Nick, also has a new solo bass CD coming out soon, and we will make some of his tunes available here when that comes)

What a great instrument! I had been hearing and reading great things about the Wan-Bernadel double basses for a while and finally contacted the great bassist and friend Steve Laspina. He invited me over to try his bass and I was instantly infatuated with the sound, playability and craftmanship. Since I received my bass I haven't put it down. It plays evenly up and down the entire neck and has a responsive and pure sound . I mostly use it for pizzicato playing and it has a nice point to the sound with great sustain and growl when I need it. It's so important to have an instrument that inspires you to play and the Wan-Bernadel is that instrument for me.

Mark Egan
New York

(Mark has played with too many artists to list here!)

I'm very impressed by the craftsmanship of my new Wan-Bernadel double bass. It's a beautiful instrument and the varnish work is beautifully done. It has a big sound and responds easily and evenly throughout its range. This is a very easy instrument to play.
Michael Hartt
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

I'm very pleased with the Wan-Bernadel bass. It has a wonderful rich tone and is very even in all registers and all strings. I originally ordered the bass because it was similar in shape and string length to my bass (Andreas Morelli) which needed some work. My new Wan-Bernadel double bass sounds so good and is so easy to play I haven't even sent my Morelli off to the shop yet.
David Goodwin
Co-Founder of Bass Club of Georgia
Freelance Bassist, Atlanta Area
DeKalb County High School Orchestra Chair

Just wanted to say thanks again for the professional way you conduct business. I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am with the Wan-Bernadel upright. Starting with the looks and the craftsmanship, the pictures on your website are good but they do not come close to portraying how beautiful this bass really is. It doesn't look like a "new bass from China". It plays like a dream and is easy to get around on, but the sound is what sold me. In the back of my mind I truly thought I would have to spend 2 to 3 times as much to get the quality of sound I wanted, but you were telling the truth. Not just my opinion either. A freelancer bassist friend of mine here in Austin came by to see it and he was blown away (his words) by the sound and looks. Thanks so much, Bobby Archambault, Austin, TX P.S. Riding back on the same plane with it was really cool too!

Bobby Archambault
Austin Civic Orchestra

Hello Stephen, Here are a few words about my purchase: It was your enthusiasm about the bass that got me interested. You have many other beautiful basses in your collection, but the Wan Bernadel is the only bass that you have a whole page devoted too. I was not sure if you were trying to sell me a fast one or whether you were so excited about what you had and felt that the world should know more about the Wan Bernadel Bass. Now that I have one, it was the latter. I also would like others to share in the excitement. You will not find another bass of this quality and sound at this price. I try to play Jazz, and this double bass has more than exceeded my expectations. I have received several comments from other upright bass players, in and around the Toronto area, from "easy to play" to "beautiful sounding bass".
Thanks again for all your help. Cheers
Brian Li of Toronto

I am so glad you made this bass available. I have played for over 45 years on instruments of varying quality, but none have grabbed me the way this one has. The appearance is gorgeous and playing it, almost effortless: great carrying quality sound, bowing is easy. My left hand does not tire at all (a big plus and the first time I had this experience.) Everywhere I play, in the Symphony, with church choirs, in studios, in chamber groups, people come up to me asking about this Beautiful instrument. I am embarrassed to say, I thought a new looking bass would cause consternation among players & audiences, but once I play, there is no doubt. New is not always bad. I hope to enjoy playing a good many more years, & this bass is perfect for that, as the more I play the better it gets. It has a bright soaring sound, & I find the less bow pressure, the more responsive it is. It even resonates when I am humming (in practice, not concerts)!!
Sue Clover
Principal double bassist with the Valley of the Sun Orchestra and bass player since 1960.

Just over a year ago, I purchased my deluxe Wan-Bernadel fully carved bass from Steve Koscica at The String Emporium in Phoenix, AZ. I could not be more delighted with the craftsmanship and sound this instrument features. The highly-flamed wood has been carefully chosen and finished; the clarity and evenness of tones is superb. This instrument also possesses a tremendous low-end 'growl' and projects well when used in a fully acoustic mode. Last year, I used this fine Wan-Bernadel upright to record our contributions to a major motion picture sound track. The recording engineer at Sound Wave Studios on Nashville's Music Row were blown away with its power and tone in both arco and pizzicato passages. All in all, this instrument far exceeds my expectations. I couldn't imagine a better instrument for its price range. And Steve Koscica has been a pleasure to work with. He has been straight-forward and accommodating in all our dealings. I have no reservation in recommending both the Wan-Bernadel bass and The String Emporium to you when you consider your next bass purchase.

Bill McBee
PMRR ,CMH Records - Los Angeles
Bluegrass player with the Pine Mountain Railroad band.

When I first learned about the Wan-Bernadel, I was skeptical because of the price range and because it was a Chinese upright bass. You talked me into at least giving it a shot and as it turns out, I LOVE this bass. It has a tremendous growl in the low end and a punch overall that make it perfect for the jazz playing that I do. And it feels like butter under my fingers. I was prepared to spend twice the money and I know I would have gotten half the bass.

Rob Calhoon
Chicago bass teacher and freelancer

Steve, I wanted to let you know that the Wan Bernadel bass I bought last year is beyond my expectations. I had shopped for an instrument during the previous months, going as far east as Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio. I had played many basses ranging in price from $4000 to $10000. The Wan dwarfs all that I had seen. I am a jobbing upright bassist and perform in many different situations from duos to big bands. Invariably, someone on the gig will comment favorably on the sound of the Wan. This instrument just sings. You may recall the day I bought it, I tried a number of instruments in your inventory but pretty much decided when I played the Wan. My luthier reported that the instrument is a work of art inside and out. He said every joint matched with the precision that only a talented master maker could achieve. Again Steve, thanks for your help in finding the instrument of my dreams.
Dave Grale
Freelance bassist, Phoenix, AZ

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