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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Koolfool, Dec 11, 2018.
I was just told that my Juzek bass was made around 1950. Who knows about them?
Probably someone in the upright bass forum. Basses [DB]
Mid century basses that were sourced from a number of central European shops and re-labeled by the Juzek family who own Met Music today. 'Generally considered nice basses with a strong following and good resale value. The build quality varied due to a number of different production shops being used to meet the demand.
From just after WWII, there are some plywood, some hybrid with solid tops and plywood back and sides, LOTS of fine to great sounding all-solid woods instruments, especially the Wilfer made basses. Before WWII, lots of great sounding all-solid woods instruments from Germany and Czechoslovakia (bohemian). Wilfer tended to make the most expensive and fanciest versions of these basses.
I have an old Juzek. Starting to fall apart, but it’s served me well and is well made.
Use the search function. Theres a ton of info out there.
Check out the juzek club and post a photo!
Labels are not as important in the DB world as with guitar instruments. If you post some good photos, we have some great resources here who will have specific observations about your bass.
Koolfool - You might also ask Ken Smith about Juzek history. For whatever reason(s) he doesn't post much on Talk Bass, if at all. He has his own bass forum. You might want to look into it
Last month I took my bass to a known luthier to refurbish. I'm getting a lot of work done. It's a Juzek, made in Chechslovakia. probably made by the Wilfers. The price for the work seems pretty reasonable.
When I told him that I wanted an adjustable bridge added, he quoted me around $ 500.
When I asked him why it would cost that much, he said that the area on the bass under the bridge would have to be reinforced, and he would have to cut the bridge fresh himself. He offered to straighten out my existing bridge for a nominal fee.
The work that I've contracted for, comes to about $900. I've paid him $500 to start the work.
I told him that I'd researched an adjustable bridge made by Palatino for $90, and if he could install that one. He told me that would be like buying a fish, taking it to a seafood restaurant, and asking them to fix it for me. This doesn't fit well with me. I feel like letting him finish the work I've already contracted for and taking the bass to another luthier for the bridge.
What should I do?
Pay the luthier. Cheap bridges are just that, and a decent bridge isn't a lot more than $90 anyhow. What you're paying for is the amount of skill, labor, and experience that goes into fitting it correctly - why start with a suboptimal bridge blank, which will only guarantee suboptimal results?
$500 is not out of line if he is good, it's well worth the price. It takes a lot of work and skill to fit and finish a quality bridge made of good wood. Your Juzek deserves fine components, not cheap junk.
Between $350 and $600 is the going rate for an adjustable bridge not including if they have to do any other work to the top like you mentioned. $500 seems fair. That palatino bridge you mentioned is most likely inferior maple and would be more likely to warp and possibly break compared to what most any luither would use.
Auto mechanics, for one example, will generally not install owner supplied parts. I would think luthiers are the same.
Do what the luthier told you.
No luthier is going to stake their reputation on a customer supplied part, especially from a company known for churning out absolute crap.