Heiko Hoepfinger, Germany - Heiko began learning classic guitar at the age of 8 and took lessons until he was 16. He taught himself bass and electric guitar when he was 12. After that, he was in a couple of bands ranging from jazz to rock, finally ending in a hardcore trio. During those years he made or modified a couple of wood guitars and basses.
At the University of Kassel in Germany, he studied physics, primarly energy storage systems like fuel cells, batteries, and accumulators. He did his diploma in theoretical physics on the macroscopic behaviour of nanostructural electrodes. He started his doctoral thesis in 1993 in the same subject area, and went to work for Mercedes Benz and Varta. At that time, his thesis was incomplete, as he puts it: "because I had to bring some basses to the world." His doctoral thesis is now finished, but he still has to do the final public dissertation. "Let's see, if I'll ever get this done...", he says!
In 1993 Heiko had the original idea on how to improve today's basses. The idea consisted of a singular body and neck construction, and a different way to handle and chemically support composite materials and to calculate and predict the acoustic behaviour.
He calculated the first instrument completely theoretically, before he began construction of the prototype bass at the start of 1994. Even at that early stage, Heiko says that his ideas worked as far as the sound was concerned, but some of the cosmetic details still needed refinement. This design formed the basis for the L-BOW series.
Heiko received a patent in the field of acoustic materials in 1995, and by that point he had built about five basses using his new methods.
In 1996 Heiko founded BassLab. At first, they only did custom instruments in order to learn more about the "tuned mixed composite" material and its acoustic properties and secrets. Heiko blended various composites to arrive at the desired tonal characteristics of each instrument. The composite material and the patented, innovative method of construction improves on the present day manufacture of stringed instruments in a revolutionary way. BassLab instruments are handmade "monocoque" one-piece, fully integrated acoustic bodies, where the outer hull is the sole supporting member.
BassLab also started to make violins, and got requests to "imitate" classic Japanese instruments. This kind of development continues to this day. In fact, despite the high-tech materials and methods, there is a connection to the centuries-long tradition of fine musical instrument making.
In 2001, BassLab appeared at the Musikmesse Frankfurt for the first time, to present their first series instruments (STD, L-BOW, and SOUL), and they increased the number of instruments built in that year to over 100.
In 2002 Heiko and BassLab had their first appearance at NAMM in Anaheim, and again at the Frankfurt Musikmesse. Currently the product line consists of four different basses and one guitar model, in addition to custom instruments. Heiko is also in demand as an acoustic consultant.
Heiko's main hobbies are: everything about physics, fast motorbikes, reading good books, and the Apple Macintosh operating system. (He doesn't think that he has to mention music and playing the bass...)
Greg Holmes, North America - On a day-to-day basis, in his role as the North American partner / distributor / agent / importer for BassLab, Greg is a facilitator, helping customers as much as he helps Heiko. He also imports, distributes, or represents AccuGroove speaker cabinets, Acoustic Image amplifiers, and other best-of-breed products.
In the 1980s, Greg was a Computer Music Specialist and Synthesist working with the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument, a pioneering digital sampling system. He provided composition and performance services for Rush, The Irish Rovers, Platinum Blonde, Honeymoon Suite, and many other bands. He also composed music and sound effects for movies and TV series' such as The Care Bears, The Hitchhiker for HBO, and Lucasfilm's cartoon series' Ewoks and Droids.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Greg worked as a computer software engineer for companies such as Bell Canada, Ontario Hydro (now Hydro One), and Panalpina, and also created and taught numerous computer courses for many clients. Currently, he develops database-driven Web sites.
As a musician, Greg is a multi-instrumentalist, with a particular fondness for the electric bass guitar. His musical interests are wide-ranging, yet always looking beyond the norm. That is what led him to contact Heiko in 2002 and enquire about representing him and his instruments in North America. And that is also what inspired Greg to put Heiko in touch with Emmett Chapman of Stick Enterprises, resulting in the development of the Stick XBL36.
The thread that has been running through Greg's life has been a dedication to quality and service. He focuses on people, humanizing technology, making connections and seeing patterns, and communicating with passion and composure, while maintaining an objectivity that allows the true essence of a solution to emerge.
More about GH Services here.
(Then use your browser's BACK button to come back here.)
Thanks for visiting our site and checking out our pages! Please feel free to send us comments using this form.