Steve Swan Guitars
1519 Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA 94010 — (650) 515-1014 —
Bass Scroll
About Steve Swan

The retail showroom in Burlingame offers the largest retail selection of double-basses on the west coast, ranging from student plywood basses to professional level instruments. Additionally, the rear workroom allows work to be done on site by visiting doublebass luthiers Allan Droyan and Michael Olivola. For more information about the instruments available and the services that we offer, please see the "About Steve Swan" page. Electric bass guitars and doubled listings for electric upright basses will be listed in the companion website
Two Websites Now
Hannah and I are in the first stages of splitting the web site in two. will continue to feature guitars and related fretted instruments. will be the new home for all things related to string basses, doublebasses, upright basses, bass violins, doghouse basses, bass fiddles... you get the idea.

Website Photos
Hannah and I are working together to get through some significant technical roadblocks to getting photos up in a timely way. If you would like to see a set of the photos from any of the listed instruments currently without photos, please email me at and I'll send them along.


Michael Olivola Repair Residencies April 5-12
Famed doublebass repairman Michael Olivola will be in the shop betweenApril 5-12. Michael's specialities are small repairs and setups, along with larger jobs, such as neck resets. To schedule an appointment, call Michael at (505) 227-3513.
Allan Droyan Monthly Repair and Setup Residency
april 1 -  4.
Allan Droyan is a legendary doublebass luthier who will be returning to the San Francisco bay area for a repair and setup residency   in my shop one week out of every month. Having studied instrument making in Cremona, Italy 1970-72, he apprenticed as a repairman with San Mateo, CA repairman Boyd Poulson 1972-74. In 1974, Allan accepted all of Boyd Poulson's doublebass clientele and opened his shop in San Francisco. The String Bass shop was a San Francisco institution for 27 years until Allan moved a 5 hours' drive north to Fort Bragg to concentrate on major doublebass repairs and restorations. These monthly repair residencies will satisfy some of the demand for his smaller repairs and setups. More complex repairs and restorations performed by Allan can be dropped off and then delivered on completion here at the Burlingame shop three weeks later. You may contact Allan in advance by calling (707) 964-2130 or emailing  Allan Droyan's next repair residency will be April 1 - 4

Xuechang Sun
Just in is a used hybrd 3/4 size 101 model. This one won't last long at the sale price of $1650. The solid spruce top has developed a fine, rich voice after 18 months of play. For a full set of photos and a complete description, please see the "Xuechang Sun" page. For a complete set of photos and a complete description, please see the "Xuechang Sun" page.

Samuel Shen
Just in are two new SB 150 hybrid models with solid spruce tops and one SB 200 3/4 willow flatback, which continues to be my best selling all-solid woods model doublebass from any source. For full sets of photos and complete descriptions, please see the "Samuel Shen" doublebass page.

Handmade Doublebasses
The most recent addition is a wonderful 1/2 size Italian flatback solo bass. A very expressive instrument, this bass was restored about 20 years ago in Milan and has found its voice again. For a full set of photos and a complete description of this exceptional arco instrument, please see the "Handmade Doublebass" page.

1963 Pollman 7/8 carved back 5 string. See listing on "Older European Basses" page.

ca. 1880 Mirecourt 3/4 flatback, see listing on the "Older European Basses" page.

ust out of Mike Olivola's repair workshop with a new neck is a ca. 1960s J.H. Hammig (Hofner) 3/4 carved back. The longer string length, greater overstand, and increased neck angle give this bass a very strong and complex arco voice at a very affordable price. For a full set of photos and a complete description, please see the "Paesold-Hofner" page.

Vintage American Plywood Basses
Just in is a very clean and fine sounding 1939 Kay C-1 in a reddish sunburst that is quite beautiful.

Older European Basses
Just in from restoration and setup is a huge sounding ca. 1900 small 7/8 German flatback. With a very commanding presence, this bass will serve well in a section or as a large-voiced jazz instrument. The 1938 Roth 3/4 carved back is a bass that Mike Olivola used for years to play in various musical settings. It is easy to play and has a rich older voice. The early 20th century 7/8 5-string German carved back bass isn't for the faint of heart. This large instrument was designed for thunderous response in the low end. New makers should study this instrument to find out what a real 5-string bass should sound like! Finally, the long awaited 1930 Juzek 3/4 carved back is on the retail floor after months of restoration work by Mike Olivola. It has a rich low end and a very easy response. For a full set of photos and complete description, please see the "Older European Basses" page.

European Basses After 1970
Just in are a great sounding 1972 Roth hybrid 1/2 bass and an especially clean and fine sounding early 1970s Horst Grunert 3/4 gamba carved back.

Basses by Other Builders
  A very clean 2006 New Standard Hybrid Cleveland (solid spruce top) has just come in. The voice is very large and rich. For six months I have been talking with Wil de Sola about retailing these instruments. Until we get started, this bass is an excellent example of what to expect. All of a sudden I'm thinking of taking a few casual sunday afternoon gigs again!

Just in is a Strunal 1/2 size, a perfect choice for a middle school student. Fo a full set of photos and a complete description, please see the "Basses by Other Builders" page.

For full sets of photos and complete descriptions, please see the "Basses by Other Builders" page.

In The Repair Shop
1930s German 7/8, 1930 John Juzek 3/4 carved back.

Doublebass Bows
Recent arrivals are two Marco Raposo pernambuco round stock german style bows and a french style octagonal pernambuco W. Dorfler bow. For full sets of photos and complete descriptions, please see the "Bass Bows" page.

Koenig & Meyer doublebass stands
I now have a good supply of Koenig & Meyer doublebass stands. These stands are strong, stable, and fold up into a small package. I take one to every performance, jam session, or festival. For me, not having one when playing bass outside my home is like getting in a car without fastening the seat belt. These stands keep the edges of your bass nice and clean and safe from having the neck or scroll stepped on in tight quarters at a music job.

 I am in the shop Monday through Saturday except for occasional buying or delivery trips along the west coast or local errands during the day.
Shipping & Mailing
1519 Bayshore Hwy
Burlingame, CA 94010
Visa, mastercaryd and discov
(650) 515-1014
email :
Inventory Updated March 13 2013