About Steve Swan

My shop specializes in high quality new and used string basses in most price ranges. Since starting out my career as a guitar repairman in Sacramento in 1975, I have managed acoustic instrument stores, worked for an import musical instrument wholesaler, built Santa Cruz Guitar Company instruments, worked as a music dealer service agent, and have owned and operated my own retail store since 1990. I also play string bass and guitar semi-professionally. My guiding philosophy is to stock instruments that I would have at home to play, and to treat each customer with gentle respect. A return to doublebass playing in 1998 prompted a search for local San Francisco Bay Area shops that specialized in double basses. The retirement and geographic relocations of four major doublebass service providers in the mid-1990s through 2005 had left a vacuum of resources and qualified luthiers for San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California bass players. To at least begin to start filling in that gap, I acquired my first new bass for the small guitar shop space in January 1999 during a tour of the Winter NAMM show.

The shop attempts to first and foremost serve the needs of the large and diverse northern California doublebass community. The spacious retail facility here on Bayshore Highway provides easy and safe parking day or night, easy access to freeways, trains, and San Francisco International Airport, a comfortable and safe neighborhood on “Hotel Row” in Burlingame, and a large retail display space that can safely hold ¬†about 120 string bass instruments and display 70 of them in all price ranges and functional needs. These basses are serviced to our specifications by our allied team of five doublebass luthiers. For more about these luthiers, please see our “Repair” page.

Check out this 2011 interview from bassplayer.com.


About our String Basses

I stock a wide variety of upright basses that will support the needs of players just starting to play all the way to professional level handmade and vintage instruments. All new basses are set up by one of my associated team of bass luthiers. All used basses owned by the shop get a thorough going over by my luthiers to address any setup or repair issues before they hit the showroom floor. I also stock a good selection of bows and bass covers. I have the largest stock of basses for sale on the west coast between the Canadian border and Los Angeles. Please stop by for an audition in my large and comfortable retail room. Always make an advance appointment, though, as I run many errands, making pickups and deliveries.