stefan johann krattenmacher

maker and restorer of fine stringed instruments



Krattenmacher Solo Bass Model

This model, which I designed myself, is influenced by both the old English and the Italian school. At the same time, it carries unmistakable features of the 21st century and thus points the way to contemporary violin making. The rapid development of playing techniques and the accompanying expansion and differentiation of the repertoire have made it necessary to rethink the structures and use of the double bass. Designed for the physical and acoustic needs of a modern double bass player, my solo model is designed to provide the musician with comfort and the highest level of playability. By combining well-balanced contours, richness of sound as well as beauty and elegance, this bass is versatile – whether for solo performances, chamber music or jazz. The sound is centered and powerful, on the one hand cutting in the high registers, on the other hand warm in the lower frequencies, and it differs in a wide range of timbres.

Krattenmacher Orchestral Bass Model

Combining the best qualities of Brescia, Milan, Venice and England, the bass has a sound that blends well with other instruments. For this reason, it is very suitable as an orchestral instrument. At the same time there is a lot of power in this instrument, which is why it can be used especially well in jazz ensembles as well as a solo instrument.

string length 105cm

5-Stringer Model

I am constantly working on the further development of the 5-string. The playability, the sound quality, the volume as well as the balance between the higher and lower registers are one of my main concerns. However, I do not commit myself to a particular model, but rather make the model choice in collaboration with the musician in order to satisfy the needs and preferences of the individual and his orchestra.

Link to article about Klotz released in “Double Bassist” 23, Winter 2002

Krattenmacher A Model

based on the Hyronimus Amati double bass, this is my biggest self designed model. string length 107cm , and it is very easy to play.

it can be made as 4 and 5 stringer , with carved and flat back.

Krattenmacher B Model

my B – model show lots Italien influences, can be made with round and flat back, string length is 107cm.



Fendt Model

Model after a double bass around 1820

Bernhard Simon Fendt II (London, 1801-1852) String length 107.3 cm The instrument
The original of this model is played by the solo bassist of the National Opera of Wales, John Law. He is convinced that the sonority of his orchestra is essentially supported by the dimension of his instrument. “As if playing a whole string section” – so the musician raves about the power of this instrument.According to the model of a double bass by Maggini, this model also impresses with its grace and well-balanced contours, as well as by its enormous dimensions, but what for this construction period Due to the flat bottom, the deep frames and the strongly vaulted ceiling, this bass can be used to create an incredibly powerful, accurate and immediate sound, but the instrument’s strengths are not limited to the volume provided by the cabinet, but also in a sound quality that allows the musician to make a well-differentiated pianissimo even in the farthest rows of a large concert hall.
About Fendt II Bernhard Simon Fendt II was founded by his father B.S. Fendt I trained in the London workshop of artisan colleague John Betts. After completing his education, Fendt II worked with a variety of London violin makers, building some of the best instruments of the time. Link to the article about Fendt published in “Double Bassist” 19, Winter 2001

Dodd Model

Model after a double bass from 1820

Thomas Dodd (London, 1764-1834) String length 107 cm The instrument This model stands on the one hand for the classical bass construction of England in the early 19th century and on the other hand for the unique style of Thomas Dodd. Every single detail is so brilliantly and carefully crafted to perfection, making it easy to love this model. The paint – reddish color on a nearly golden background – creates an unusually beautiful texture and attracts attention.
About Dodd As the son of the well-known bow maker John Dodd, Thomas Dodd initially earned a brewing job to later become a violin maker through bow making. After settling in St Martin’s Lane in 1809, he hired Bernhard Simon Fendt I and John F. Lott in his workshop. In his own estimation, Dodd considered himself the “perfect imitator of Stradivari, Amati, Stainer, etc.,” and also claimed to be the guardian of the long-lost Cremona lacquer mystery.

Kaagstein Model

this is my biggest bass model.  The Kaagstein brother were bassist at the Staatskapell Berlin and made perhaps around 10 – 15 double bass. The model is very much simular to the early Mittenwald makers, like the Klotz family, Rieger, Neuner and Hornsteiner. Actually  I use a f hole drawn from a Sebastian Klotz viola. String length 109cm, it has got a dark powerful sound, great for enhancing a deep bass sound to  the  group and still it is remarkably easy to play. It also good for Continuo playing

Betts Model

Model after a double bass around 1790

John Betts, (London, 1752-1823) String length 104.5 cm The instrument The length of this instrument’s body is a bit shorter than was usual for English violin makers of the time. The body widths are noticeably wide, the middle bow is short and round. The ceiling has a relatively flat curvature, but has the typical Cremonese construction and is therefore gently curved. The long, elegant, f-holes reminiscent of Maggini and the snail with its striking additional half turn are in itself very appealing and extend the actually rather round and squat instrument optically. The brighter oil varnish with its yellow and orange pigments on the almost golden brown surface and the patina make the otherwise rather dark and heavy-acting bass a lot easier in its appearance. The instrument has a dark, even warm tone, which is very typical for the English bass construction. Powerful but not glaring, this instrument responds to a wide variety of articulations and styles.
About Betts John Betts completed his training with Richard Duke, whose workshop he later took over and built into a thriving business. Many of today’s English violin makers went to school before settling, including Simon Fendt I and II, Vincenzo Panormo and Joseph Hill. Link to the article about John Betts, published in “Double Bassist” 16, Spring 2001

Testore Model

model bases on Carlos Antonio Testore from Milano, begining 18th century. string length 103cm, small model with lots of posibilities

Violone Model

For a D-Violone I have used a Viennese model, based on a Fellenreither, for quite a few, but I also like to make Violones on Italien modells like Testore and Maggini.


Model nach Carlo Ferdinado Landophi, Milano around 1740, small bass with very easy playability, string length 103cm

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