Gary Upton founded Upton Bass String Instrument Company in 1999 specializing in the sales and repair of fine string instruments. An accomplished bassist himself, Gary’s primary goal was to place into the hands of his customers the finest instruments possible within their budgets. From the first shop in Jewett City Connecticut, Gary began offering affordable instruments revamped with seriously upgraded setups.
In 2004 Upton Bass relocated to downtown Mystic, next to the historic Mystic Seaport. With the addition of Jack Hanlon and Eric Rene Roy, a formidable build and restoration team was forged with enormous flexibility. The “Upton Setup” quickly became known among working bassists for outstanding comfort and response. The Mystic location saw a huge amount of extensive restoration work, documented in great detail on the StringRepair site.
In addition to maintaining, updating, and hot-rodding existing basses, Upton Bass began importing bass shells from Europe and completing them in the workshop. Every detail was examined and reconsidered – from bridges, endpins, and saddles, to fundamental geometries, ergonomics and strength. All of these considerations would lead to the design of all-original Upton basses.
In 2006 Upton Bass made that leap – building instruments completely in-house from select tonewood in the Italian tradition. The Stonington workshop became a modern lutherie creating double basses that were at once supremely artistic and practical. Upton Bass earned the trust of Gary Karr to build his signature instrument, and in 2009 the Karr Model was rewarded with the Silver Medal for Tone from the International Society of Bassists.
The workshop became a modern lutherie creating double basses that were at once supremely artistic and practical
The new home of Upton Bass, the big red barn, was raised in the summer of 2012 on a historic mill site. Post-and-beam built with local timber, the workshop reflects a strong commitment to sustainable building practices and inspired hand craftsmanship. Upton Bass has continued to receive awards, patents, and more importantly the support and enthusiasm of the outstanding musicians who play Upton basses all over the world.
Gary stands proudly behind every aspect and product of Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
Today, with Gary’s supervision, Upton Bass String Instrument Co. has established itself as one of the world’s premier double bass specialty shops and as one of America’s only double bass production facilities. Gary stands proudly behind every aspect and product of Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
Call the workshop to talk about Upton Basses! 860-535-9399