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1800's Czech Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by garron, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. garron


    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I am checking out a Czech bass from the late 1800's, the guy wants $1900, and claims that he has appraisal paperwork. However, an anonymous, neutral source says that it looks like the scroll has been broken off and repaired. Could this have been missed on appraisal. Any opinions?:confused:
  2. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Even with that repair, a bass that old playable should be worth more than $1800.

    I would try to get permission to have it looked over by a reputable luthier. Anyone not willing to let you do this isn't worth dealing with.

    I don't know any good luthiers in Tulsa, but an 1.5 hour drive will get you to Rocky Werning, an incredible (and award winning) luthier in Norman. Phone is 405-329-6146. He works from about 5pm to around 3 or 4 in the morning, so don't call until afternoon. He fixed my teachers Pollman after he fell on the ice, and it actually sounds better.

  3. I agree that a decent bass should be worth more than that. It probably needs major work. But the scroll having been broken off and repaired, especially if it was so well done that nobody has noticed, is definately not a big deal. Good luck with it!
  4. This does not pass the smell test.
    A true 19th century Czech bass gets more than $1,900. Also, there are appraisers and there are appraisers, meaning the bullsh#t risk is just as high here as anywhere else. No, a broken scroll does not get missed by a qualified appraiser.
    Don't be confused, beware.
  5. garron


    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    That's kind of what I was thinking. I finally went and looked it over. The body and neck looked pretty solid, but there was definitely a nasty break in the scroll from the back and ends in-between two of the tuners (it definitely could not have been missed by anyone decent). It had a pretty good sound up-close and from 10-15 ft. away (the strings were quite dead) and it wasn't the loudest DB I've ever heard, but it had a nice neck and felt very playable. The story is that it was purchased from a gentleman who played it frequently in the Tulsa Phil. and it is labled as Czech. ($1900 firm with a decent looking gig bag and stand).

    Still Confused, and now a bit paranoid.
  6. well, if it's playable and sounds decent, for that price I guess you can't go to wrong... Maybe get it, play it for a while and see what happens? You could just fix it up a little at a time as you go. As long as it's playable I would think you could always resell it and get your money back if it turns out to need more work thatn you want to do...
  7. As Second Fiddle (#2 man) says,it may be worth the $1,900, in spite of not being Czech.
    Do what Monte says. Get thee to Norman. Rocky will be able to spot stuff you might not see, and he'll give you guidance on the market value.
    The bass in my avatar is a total fraud, bearing a false label attributing it to Georges Apparut. It isn't even French. Nevertheless, it's an astonishing instrument. Basses are misrepresented all the time. The trick is to pay what it's really worth.
    Get thee to Norman.
  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Carved bass? Playable? $1900? Buy It.
  9. garron


    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I guess my biggest worry as a poor college student is that I will end up with a bass that I am afraid to play regularly and take to gigs. I suppose I'm still kind of riding the fence. Anything else I should consider?

    P.S. Thanks again to Bob G. for the speedy reply!
  10. I'm with Arnold.
    Carved bass? Playable? $1900? Buy It.
  11. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Okay, if it doesn't need work, and it plays, then $1900 is a deal. But, you really should have a lluthier check it out. A $1900 carved, old, instrument may have some problems with it. The seller may not tell you, and you may not know. If you don't have much money now (or later), an old carved bass might be a financial can of worms.
    Get it checked out before you buy it...

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