What's my bass worth?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Bass68, Jan 15, 2013.


  1. Bass68

    Bass68

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    Having owned my instrument since 1992, I am now considering making a change for something with different qualities. The question I have for those with experience selling basses is how do you generally come up with an asking price? About 15 years ago it was appraised at $9800, but I doubt it would actually sell that high - it was for insurance. (BTW, it's much harder to get appraisals these days!) It's a 1930s German bass with the name "Hammig" inside - it seems no one has heard of this maker. It's in good playing condition, plenty of cosmetic blemishes and repaired cracks, but otherwise solid. Any words of wisdom?
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Visit some shops online and in person and compare it to other basses for sale. Talk with some shop owners and get their opinion about what they might list it for. If it's a great sounding bass in good shape and set up well, it should do well. People are paying up to 10k for Asian basses, an old German in good shape should compete well. There are a lot of dogs out there for sale...
     
  3. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, California
    Disclosures:
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    I would bet that it is a Hofner-made bass with a San Francisco bay area based label name of "Hammig". Detailed photos will help us to identify and evaluate this instrument.
     
  4. zfunkman

    zfunkman

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Your bass is worth whatever anyone will pay for it.
     
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  6. Bass68

    Bass68

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    Maybe it is Hofner, I don't know anything about that.
    The inside label says:
    Joh. Heinrich Hammig
    Mittenwald
    Made in Germany


    There's no year, but since it doesn't say West Germany (or East) I was advised that it's probably a Weimar era bass.

    Below are some pics. I can't get a clear image of the label.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bass68

    Bass68

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    Ok, I guess I have to figure out how to get photos on here...

    Lets try this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. beardedclam

    beardedclam

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada & Ogdensburg, New York
    RE: "Your bass is worth whatever anyone will pay for it".

    That is a useless statement.

    What it is worth and what someone pays for it are two completely different things. An uninformed person might pay too much or might expect a lower price.
     
  9. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, California
    Disclosures:
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    This does appear to be one of the Hofner-made basses.
     
  10. jnel

    jnel Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    pm sent with reference info on the Hammig family
     
  11. jnel

    jnel Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    it may be worth more than you might think-to some buyers, a label makes a big difference. William Henley published his book "dictionary of violin makers" probably would have had the maker of your bass in it, but this Hammig came a little after Henley's time. Henley has several Hammigs in his book and speaks highly of them. There are a couple of John(or variation thereof)is mentioned a couple of times. These Johns lived and made violins in the 1700 and 1800. The last Hammig in Henley's book, made several double basses. If anyone has a book about makers witten later, it will surely include the maker of your bass.

    I would try to find that info-Ken Smith-Ken's Corner bass forum, would be a good place to turn. Also, if you do a search John Hammig, you will get results. The aprraisal of $9800 was high back then, but today it would not be so high.

    I hope that this helps and good luck.
     
  12. contrabart

    contrabart

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    It also depends on who you want to sell the bas to. Shops will pay less for an instrument that might sound awesome but has a low retail value because of make, shape etc. If you sell to a bass player you're likely to get more if the bass sounds good but isn't a good business deal for shops.
     
  13. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, California
    Disclosures:
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    I have generally sold these Hofner-made "Hammig" basses for $5500-6000 retail, though we should probably broaden the range to $5,000-6500 to allow for more repairs on the low end and exceptional condition on the high end.
     
  14. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Plenty of these names were used by manufacturers in the 20th Century to make their instruments seem special. They bear no relation to the older makers. "Andreas Morelli," for instance, was a fake name belonging to a collection of shops all over Germany.

    This bass looks factory-made. There is a market for these older German shop basses, but it's unlikely to sell for more than six or seven thousand.
     
  15. jnel

    jnel Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    It's hard to say for sure-to say that the bass has no relation to the Hammigs is going a little too far-imo- we simply are guessing, at best. If we hear something enough we tend to believe it. This idea of using names is pushed really hard by some and in some instances, it probably applies. This could be a bass that was made by a modern day Hammig-The is talkbass and we're just talkin-that's all--a guessin and talkin.:)

    anyway, you(0P) might want to get the bass in better condition if you want to sell it, cosmetic work, new set up-sell the gut strings to someone who uses them- trim back the upper edge that looks like it has been replaced since the grain wasn't matched up with the top(hard to say from pictures but that's what it looks like)

    Hopefully, your bass sounds great once set up and you will be able to get the 6 or $7000 for it that Paul mentions -It should be worth that if someone wants a good old bass. Most of these old European basses sound great.

    good luck
     
  16. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, California
    Disclosures:
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    The wholesaler was the now defunct J.M. Sahlein of South San Francisco. Their old office and warehouse is less than 3 miles from my shop. Like the "Roderich Paesold" brand name (a bowmaker who never made instruments), "Hammig" is an appropriated name for distributed basses made by Hofner. The Hammig basses were used extensively in northern California for public schools and private teachers.
     
  17. jnel

    jnel Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Steve, you sound pretty certain, Not that i doubt you, your experience and your proximity to the history of this bass. Did Hofner make them in Germany? I wonder why Henley doesn't have Hofner in his book of makers. He has Karl Hofner. One would think if Hofner made the bass, then Hofner would put his own name in it as the maker.
    ****! i'm confused.
     
  18. Jsn

    Jsn

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Steve knows his stuff. Currently, he lists a Hammig as a "Hammig (Hofner)" in his shop inventory, so I gather we're benefitting from experience here.
     
  19. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    I don't know anything about the Henley book, but Hofner is a factory built name brand, AFAIK. Like Juzek.
     
  20. jnel

    jnel Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    :crying:
    i couldn't find the icon of one hitting his head againt the wall

    i'll just sit here and cry dammit

    Salieri : Mozart, I killed three

    Hofner: Hammig, I killed three




    op- you have a fine bass and someone will love it- don't give it away $5000 min
    If i were you, i would get Steve to sell it- Steve is also in Calif i think- if i am breaking a rule- I plead a 5th, after i finish this 1/2 pint
     
  21. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Disclosures:
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Karl Hofner made stringed instruments in Bavaria; John Juzek put labels in stringed instruments in New York and later Stowe, Vermont.

    Basses labelled Hammig, Juzek, Johan Rauner and Gibson (and more!) were variously made in different eras in the violin shops of Saxony, Bavaria, Bohemia and Czecho-Slovakia.

    Upton Bass used to put their name in basses that were mostly constructed in Europe and the Juzek brothers continue the family tradition by putting their family label in instruments from Romania and China. Kolstein basses are also from Europe and the String Emporium's Thompson and Wan Bernadel basses are constructed in China.

    Steve's been doing this for quite a while and has been paying attention, eh?
    He knows his stuff when it comes to guitars, too. I recently played Kathy Kallick's '57 D-18 and its a delightful guitar! ;)
     

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