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Very old King bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bdparmet, Mar 15, 2014.


  1. bdparmet

    bdparmet

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    I've recently acquired a King upright that appears to be from their first year of production (1934 if the info I've found is correct.) It need some love but is largely intact (fingerboard dressing, various re-gluing, new bridge and sound-post.) I'm trying to get a sense for it's value, and then I'll need to find a luthier willing to take on the work. Any info/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Brian P
     
  2. Jsn

    Jsn

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Step one: letting us know where you (and the bass) are located. :D
     
  3. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    You're probably looking at a $3k bass when all is said and done. I bought a '39 on this site as a major restoration project and sold it last year for $2000.
     
  4. ToR-Tu-Ra

    ToR-Tu-Ra

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    Mexico City
    If I may...

    Step one: Where's the pics?
     
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  6. bdparmet

    bdparmet

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    JSN--I'm in South Carolina but the bass can travel anywhere in North America for the right luthier.

    KungFu Sherrif, I appreciate the numbers--lot's of ethos in personal experience. Hope it turned out as beautifully as you'd hoped.

    For-Tu-Ra--I'll get some photos up as soon as I have it cleaned up--lots of dust accumulated through it's many years of sleep.... Thanks for the suggestion.

    Thank all-y'all!
     
  7. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Northern California
    I just had exactly the same work that you've mentioned done recently on a '48 Epiphone that had been sitting unplayed for 45 years. It's a lot of fun getting an old instrument back into playing condition. This is pretty much meat-and-potatoes work for any capable luthier - no reason it should travel beyond your area. On the west coast, a good playable King should bring $3500 or so, YMMV...
     
  8. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Bd,

    You're welcome. Always glad to pass along the little bit I know, like the folks who schooled me were willing to pass along their knowledge for free.

    Possibly your two best options are Bob Beerman in Greensboro and James Condino in Asheville. Both are fine luthiers and honest brokers -- Bob talked me out of buying a bass from him sound-unheard because I didn't have time to come down from NY to try it out -- but James has a special reverence for old American plywood basses.
     
  9. BrettBelanger

    BrettBelanger

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    +1 for Bob Beerman.

    I've bought two basses from him and just had him perform extensive repairs to an older German bass and he is top notch and very friendly. I'm in SC as well and all my work goes to him.
     
  10. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    asheville, nc
  11. bdparmet

    bdparmet

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    JSN--I'm in South Carolina but the bass can travel anywhere in North America for the right luthier.

    KungFu Sherrif, I appreciate the numbers--lot's of ethos in personal experience. Hope it turned out as beautifully as you'd hoped.

    For-Tu-Ra--I'll get some photos up as soon as I have it cleaned up--lots of dust accumulated through it's many years of sleep.... Thanks for the suggestion.

    Thank all-y'all!
     
  12. bdparmet

    bdparmet

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Jaames--Thanks for that very helpful link on Kays. Can those rough numbers be applied to King basses as well?

    Brian
     
  13. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    asheville, nc
    From paragraph 2 in the link:

    "....Vintage King basses (not to be confused with the more recent models that use a similar name) tend to get the high end of the Kay price spectrum....."
     
  14. bdparmet

    bdparmet

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Sorry I missed that--time for some remedial reading work I guess. Thanks again.
     
  15. Zoa

    Zoa

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I can attest personally to Bob's work being of the highest quality. I have heard nothing but good things about James as well.
     

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