100 year old German bass(1st Bass)

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Pict, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Pict


    Mar 9, 2002
    Hello everyone,I'm interested in getting a Double Bass and I have been to see a 3/4 round back violin cornered Bass that is being sold by an orchestral bassist.The Bass is by an anonymous German maker and is very nicely set up and the sound board is in reasonably good condition there is a small patch on the bottom of the left hand bout.Of more concern to me though is that it has a broken neck that has been repaired and although it feels smooth it isn't a very pretty repair there is a piece of brown hardwood(it looks like it could be beech heartwood or walnut)that has been used where a piece of the original neck has been lost and quite a few cracks on the sides of the Bass which(I have been assured)have been professionaly repaired by a repairer in Germany(I'm based in Denmark).

    The seller told me that the bass had this neck repair before he bought it and he has used it in the orchestra for the last 20 years he wants around $4000 for it.You can get a look at the bass at the following link

    Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I tried a full size new Gewa Mittenwald bass with solid top and back with laminated sides but it had a crippling action(fairly easily resolved I know)and a heavy polyurethane type varnish it was clean and tidy on the outside but from what I could see through the F holes it was a mess inside splintered breakthrough on the end block and the edges of the linings not properly glued down and all this for around $2500.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Pict


    Mar 9, 2002
    Ed thanks for the reply the break is about two inches or so below the nut.It sounded good with a nice sustain but the seller let me hear his main bass in comparison it was a half size da gamba style bass the one I was checking sounded much brighter and not so rich in comparison but it was about a 1/3 of the price.

    The repair is very visible and the fact that a chunk of totally different coloured wood has been used is a bit of a concern I would have thought that at least a piece of closely matching maple could have been used but the seller didn't seem to think that it was of any great concern and it hadn't given him any problems for the last 20 years.This is my first foray into the minefield of double bass buying so I'm treading carefully by trying to gather as much information as possible.:)
  3. J the D

    J the D

    Mar 22, 2002
    Bradenton, FL
    IMHO forget wht is looks like, does it play?

    If the instrument you are looking at is structurally sound let your ears be the judge. In that price range you are looking at new plywood instruments so 100 year old wood might sound much better.

    I play a 100+ German flatback. It has some unique repairs and deperately needs more. It still plays like a dream both with and without my Realist pickup and I contunually get comments on its tone.
  4. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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