String Bass Sales & Repair

Neck of a Double Bass, String Bass Sales and Repair          Steve Swan String Bass

   Welcome to our string bass sales and service headquarters for all things doublebass in the greater San Francisco bay area. Our two adjoining retail showrooms usually have over 90 basses available, with 75 on display. Our basses range in price and function from new and used student level through old professional grade orchestral instruments.  We also have on hand a good selection of bass bows, string bass covers, K & M bass stands, a broad selection of strings, pickups, wheels, quivers, and rosin. Upgrade components such as tuning machines, bridges, endpins, and tailpieces, as well as repair parts such as ebony fingerboards, nuts, tailpiece saddles, sound posts, bass bars, and neck blanks are all kept in stock and are available for repair procedures with our allied group of professional bass luthiers, including Allan Droyan, Jeff Sahs, Michael Olivola, Hannah Mayne,  and Josh Tharp. Other northern California luthiers that we have used in the past have included Alex Friedman of South San Francisco and Matt Bohn of Felton.

  Although the shop is usually open Monday-Saturday from 9 until 5 pm, it is always best to make an appointment in advance, so please call (650) 515-1014 or email The shop is conveniently located near BART and CalTrain, just off of 101 Between Broadway and Millbrae Avenue in Burlingame, and only 2 miles south of the San Francisco International Airport.


Steve Swan String Bass

1519 Bayshore Highway (at Mahler)

Burlingame, CA  94010



  Shop Hours this week

Saturday 1-21  9 am-5 pm

Sunday 1-22      2 pm-6 pm

Monday 1-23     9 am-5 pm

Tuesday 1-24    Out of the shop. Call or email

Wednesday 1-25    9 am – 5 pm

Thursday 1-26      9 am-5 pm

Friday 1-27         9am-5 pm

Saturday 1-28    9am-5 pm




Student bass annex right next door at 1521 Bayshore Highway

After 3 years of waiting for the next door neighbor at 1521 Bayshore Highway to make a change, we are finally moving into the front part of that unit to display 24 student basses. It has increased the total retail floor space by 50% and provided for more audition space for the basses and a teaching studio space. The other mid-grade and higher end basses in the main retail room have more comfortable elbow room now. It is a most welcome addition to the retail bass experience at Steve Swan String Bass.


 Looking for a specific kind of bass? Get on the want list.

 If you are looking to find a specific kind of instrument that will best suit your playing, let us know and we will keep you in mind when one turns up. With regular travels that take us north to Oregon and Washington state, south down as far as San Diego, and east to Nevada or Arizona, we have developed a network of west coast players, luthiers, and estate resources that lead to some interesting and wonderful finds. We also have access to new custom basses or examples with unusual features that may be just the right combination for you. An email or a phone call can get the wheels turning to find just what you are looking for at a price that makes sense for your situation.


   European or American made basses currently in stock

Some string bass customers have resistance to basses made in China. Though we carry four brands of highest quality Chinese-made basses, there are currently 43  string basses in stock that come from Europe and the United States. The price and functions range from a recent used Ceske bass viol priced at $1950, to a professional concert quality Italian bass dating from about 1830 priced at $40,000. In addition to many older or more recent contemporary used instruments, we usually have in stock new instruments from Wilfer, Hofner, Paesold, and customized New Standard basses.



  Heinz Staninec memorial page  ( 7-26-2003 to 9-9-2016)

  I have a memorial page for my all-time dearest dog buddy, “Heinz”, in the “Featured Basses” section. Shop visitors got to see him once per week here in the shop for the last several years. 2016 brought many more physical and health challenges for him as his all day visits became more frequent. The steep stairs at his mother’s home became too much in June and I assumed full time day and night hospice care for him the last 9-10 weeks of his life, “The summer of Heinz”. As time permits, new photos from the last few years will go up on this remembrance listing.


 Now that Heinz is gone, I can once again devote full time attention again the the shop functions 6 days per week. Heinz will be dearly missed and his gigantic gentle presence will always be part of the shop culture. Visitors to the shop will now find a new smaller shop dog, Russell, who has been a quietly good natured addition to the shop since late September. Sometimes his very quiet small buddy, Corey, will be here for an all day stay.



  Long Standing Major Lines of Doublebasses That We Have Introduced to the San Francisco Bay Area since 1999.

In our 18 years of retailing string basses in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have been very pleased to have introduced a few major lines of instruments that have solidly found their way into the large student and performance bass communities based here. For a listing of these instrument lines that are exclusive to the shop in northern California or even the western states area, please see the “Basses by Maker” page.

   Shipping: Safe and Reliable   

 We are able to safely ship basses in the continental United States by XPO Logistics (formerly Con-Way Freight). Basses are shipped upright in a shipping box or trunk and attached to a pallet.  We have a 100% safety and delivery record with Con-Way and will continue to use their service with the highest confidence.


 Guitar website

The website dedicated to our guitar business is     

We do cross-post the electric bass guitars to the guitar website for convenience. Please make use of our extensive “Want List”, as we are always tracking down specific guitar and electric bass instruments for our customers.



Most Recent New Arrivals 

>2013 Kamimoto “Art Model” 3/4 carved back      Voice developed from regular arco play

>ca. 1900 German 3/4 carved back      Well maintained and played regularly, Fine full voice

>ca. 1983 Romanian 3/4 flatback       Top regraduation, new setup, Arco bass

>1954 King Moretone         Returning shop favorite: Blonde finish, great sound

>ca. 1947 Epiphone B5 Deluxe blonde finish, figured maple laminated bass

>New Paesold 596V  7/8                 A very fine orchestral bass, HUGE voice

>1960s German 3/4 Carved Back           Excellent arco instrument

>New Sun 120 violin cornered carved back       Huge arco voice

>New Maple Leaf model 140 3/4 carved back    Large low end voice

>ca. 1940s Czech 3/4 flatback           Some repairs, Fantastic pizz voice

>1920s Bohemian Flatback 3/4                        A much repaired gig bass

>Two New Shen SB 150 CV  5/8 Hybrid               Nice tone and response at an easy price

>1942 Kay O-100               Nice performing early Kay, Good neck shape and size

>2011 Lucci all-solid 1/2 size         Orchestral setup, Solid neck repair

>Recent used Engelhardt EM-1             Clean with  repaired hairline heel crack

>2005 Thomas Martin 7/8 carved back          Splendid orchestral instrument




Basses in the shop for setup

-ca. 1900 era Bohemian 3/4 carved back      New neck, very responsive

-New Hofner 593 7/8        A popular mid-priced model since 2001

-New Shen SB 80          Basic laminated 3/4 size

-Retopped and renecked Hofner 593 model      Work by Hannah Mayne



Basses next in line for setup:   ca. 1910 Bohemian 3/4, New Xeuchang Sun 420 model, New Paesold 592 7/8 model, New New Standard Cleveland with steeper neck angle and finish work by JoshTharp


 Basses in the workshop for major work

> New German large 3/4 carved back            Top and neck replacement by Olivola and Mayne

> 1940s Czech 3/4 flatback                                Top regraduation, new back and neck

 >New Standard Cleveland Hybrid    Custom varnishing  (higher neck angle already done)


 “Workshop” Custom String Basses

Examples of our customized “Workshop” basses currently on display and for sale here in the shop include two New Standard Cleveland (American Standard Shape) laminated models, a New Standard La Scala hybrid (King Moretone shape) with solid spruce top and solid maple sides, and two new examples of the custom german basses that are revoked to ca. 1890 specifications, given a better functional neck angle, and finished in a lovely oil varnish. We also have had instruments from Xuechang Sun given these kinds of customized treatments with very satisfying results. Basses “in the white”from various suppliers that we work with present a blank canvas for you to realize your dream bass. Please give us a call or email for ideas on how we an customize a bass like this for you. For more about our allied team of luthiers that get the work done to perfection on these instruments, please see the repair page.


 Lots of new, used, and consignment instruments

  Be sure to check out our newest arrivals and featured instruments, which are updated as they arrive. You can also view our complete current inventory