Hans Johannsson and René Zaal, studied violin making together at the Newark School of Violin Making in Great Britain from 1977 till 1980. Since 1985 they have regularly collaborated on making instruments, mostly double basses . These instruments are played by individuals and in symphony orchestras worldwide.
Last year Zaal, along with another school colleague Roger Hargrave, made a copy of a very important italian double bass by Hieronymus Amati ll. The original bass dating from 1680 is privately owned, but on life-long loan to Niek deGroot. Niek plays solo recitals, and is a member of numerous european chamber groups as well as having been principal bass at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam for over 10 years.
Earlier this year Johannsson and Zaal made another copy, where the copy is taken to further depths by measuring the resonances of the original, by means of Experimental Modal Analysis.
The original bass was made when Hieronymus was still apprenticed to his father Nicolo Amati in Cremona, Italy. Antonio Stradivari was also apprenticed to Nicolo Amati. The bass is the only certified instrument from this period of Cremonese instrument making that still survives intact. The bass is in very fine condition and has recently been restored.
This copy is taken to further depths of making, by measuring the resonances of the original by means of sophisticated technology borrowed from engineering and acoustics-so-called Experimental Modal Analysis.