JEFFREY TURNER | Principal Bass | Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
“The quality of Mike’s work is second to none. His experience and training as a bassist at Eastman and Juilliard give him a tremendous depth of knowledge when it comes to sound production and set-up. His beautiful and refined woodworking skills are evident from his restoration work of my 1828 Bernard Simmon Fendt. Mike is a joy to work with, and I love the quality of his set-ups and board dressings, but most of all I appreciate the quality of sound he is able to get from my basses.”
JEFFREY MANGONE | Principal Bass | Pittsburgh Ballet & Opera Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony and PBS "My Music" Orchestras
Michael Magee is a truly masterful luthier and a thoroughly knowledgeable expert on all topics relating to the double bass. I first got to know Mike as a very fine bass player who has had training at two of the finest music conservatories in the world namely Eastman and Julliard. Since then I have had the good fortune to experience his bass repair skills on 5 of my instruments. He performed extensive work on my modern full sized Hungarian 5 string including neck resetting, new fingerboard, and bridge. His set up work on this very complicated instrument was astonishing. He worked with me closely on fine tuning the setup until I was 100% satisfied. His knowledge of string tensions and tone was invaluable in assembling the exact right combination of strings to bring this bass to its full potential. I entrusted Mike with a new bridge and set up for my 1940 Neapolitan Bellarosa bass. After owning this great bass for since 1988, it is finally playing its best. Mike did major surgery and a complete new set up on my 1965 Kolstein Rumanian jazz bass including a new fingered C extension. The before and after interior photos were amazing and the bass is completely solid and singing better than ever. Mike did a full restoration recently on my 1936 Morelli. This included a new neck, chromatic C extension, fingerboard, bridge, tuners, edge doubling and all interior cracks expertly resealed. He reduced the string length from 43.5’ to 42” perfectly. After 25 years in my possession, the Morelli is now beautiful to behold, play, and most importantly, to hear! Mike is finishing up cosmetic, structural, and sound repairs on my 1965 King Moretone. While not my most valuable bass in terms of dollar amounts, this one was purchased for and played by my children from 1990 until 2004 and will always remain in the family long after the others have gone on to their next players! All of Mike’s work has been performed in a timely manner and at very fair cost! In addition to his repair, Mike is also setting up and selling Shen Hybrid basses. Many of my students have purchased them. They are set up perfectly, sound wonderful, and not one of them has experienced even as much as an open seam!
TRISH IMBROGNO | Double Bass | Molly Alphabet, Grant Street Grifters, Butler Symphony Orchestra
I can't imagine taking my basses to anyone but Mike Magee. He's done both small and big repairs on my instruments, and his work is unparalleled. Mike fixed lower bout cracks on my 1994 Rumano Solano and while he had it opened up, I had him clean up the top -- to exacerbate how thick it was, it wasn't vibrating evenly and no matter how hard I tried, I struggled to pull sound out of the instrument. When I got my Solano bass back, I couldn't believe what I was hearing! FINALLY, after 20 years of playing this bass, it is easy to produce a great (and loud!) sound.
PAT SPALLINGER | Pittsburgh Area Bassist
Mike Magee is an extremely talented luthier and a joy to work with. Not only was I able to purchase an amazing instrument from his top-notch collection, but he has always been able to perform the highest quality work to withstand the rigors of constant playing and always at a very fair price. Mike is simply one of the best”
CHRIS VANCE | Cleveland Area Bassist and Educator
Via text message:
Dude - the extension is beyond incredible. The whole bass is opening up. Got hired to play Beethoven 9 tonight, I can't wait to rock it ...
I went to a rehearsal Thursday night (first time playing with the group)- the Conductor said he could 'feel' the difference and made me principal.
MARK JOY | Pittsburgh Area Bassist
I am writing just to let you know that every time I play my bass I am so very happy with how nicely it plays and how wonderful it sounds. Instead of fighting it as I did before, I now feel that I am playing it. You beautifully transformed it.