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2009 Wilhelm Eberle Made in Germany

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by gottliver, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. gottliver


    Dec 20, 2004
    There is one available at a local shop. It is in fairly good condition, a few nicks and scratches and neck joint repair. Looks like a crack around the sides and front of the neck block. Doesn't look like it made it's way around the entire neck. Plays well, could use new strings and some adjusters.
    What do you all think the value of this bass should be?
  2. gottliver:

    Is it a ply? If so,I have one.
    Wilhelm Eberle was the name used by Ideal Music in New York City for basses and cello's made by the old Musima factory in the former East Germany. Musima went out of business shortly after the Berlin Wall came down.
    The basses were well made but the weak spot is the way the neck is attached to the neck block. There is no dovetail. That means the flat underneath side of the neck heel is just glued to the top of the neck block. The only thing other than the glue that's holding the neck on, is the "button" part of the back that covers the rear of the neck heel.
    My neck has come off several times...despite 3 dowels that I inserted in the heel and neck block to strengthen the connection. I then made a brace out of a piece of metal. It is a couple on inches long and is screwed over the back end of the heel and the body. In addition. a screw has been countersunk from the top of the neck heel into the neck block.
    All this was done as a temporary repair made 2 hours before I played a show. So far it has lasted...and I have had no neck problems since.
    I don't know if the hybrid and carved "Eberle" basses have the same neck design.
    Other than that I am very happy with my Eberle ply.
    These basses were recently sold for around 900 bucks(ply) by the son of the Ideal Music owner. When his dad died they found dozens of basses and cello's in Ideal's warehouse so he was asked to sell them all off.
    If you look down through an F hole with a light, you should be able to see the manufacture date stamped on the botton next to where the end pin protudes.
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Hey Martin, 99% of double basses made (cellos, violas and violins, too) have plain mortise and tenon neck joints. When properly fitted and glued a mortise and tenon is the best way to attach the neck.

    The French dovetail as used by Kay with its attendant air gap at the front of the joint is a leading cause of the broken heels on those basses.
  4. tstone


    Nov 16, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    What I hear from martinc's description is that it's not even a mortise and tenon joint, but just a butt joint. That would be scary, especially since the neck heel surface is normally end grain.
  5. gottliver


    Dec 20, 2004
    thx for the info guys..this one has a label inside stamped made in germany, 2009.
  6. Jake: Nope.
    The Eberle I have is just a neck heel glued flush to the top of the neck block. Unfortunately I have seen it many times! I couldn't believe they made it that way. :meh:
    Maybe that's part of why Musima was unable to compete with other factory basses when it was no longer under state control in East Germany.
    In all other respects though it is a well made instrument. Nice ebony fingerboard and hard maple neck. Finished OK too.
    One more thing.....I took the bass to the venerable Heinl's in Toronto last year to get a new adjustable bridge installed, new sound post and a fingerboard planing. When I took it in they scratched their heads when they saw the brace. They checked out the neck angle and found it was just fine...and said they would be happy to work on the bass. So despite the bad neck design, at least I know when the neck heel is flush to the neck block the neck angle is good.
  7. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I paid $800 for my Eberle ply. Put $250 or so in a new endpin today, actually. Eagerly awaiting the day the neck pops out. Happened to my buddy across the road w/ the same bass. Having $1300 tied up in this bass, one way or another, wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
  8. gottliver


    Dec 20, 2004
    I think i'll pass on this one.
  9. Then it is not the same as the ones that were sold from Ideal Music. This is a newer bass. There were "Eberle" ply basses sold here at Steve's Music (modern guitar store) in the last few years for about $2000. Those prices from Ideal music were liquidation prices of stock made in the late 1980s early 1990s, sold at about half regular retail value. Forget about those low numbers, they no longer apply. The liquidation is done.
  10. gottliver:

    Not so fast sir.
    What are they asking for the bass? Why not ask them to get a decent repair done to the neck heel...or get the price reduced and get a luthier to do a proper job. You may very well have a decent bass for the bucks either way.
    If you are ready to spend more then there's lots to choose from out there in the bass world.
  11. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    This would not be the same basses that were sold by Ideal music, which didn't have a date on the label but a date stamped towards the bottom of the bass on the inside right by the block that houses the endpin.

    Here's what it looks like:

  12. Phil:

    Re: your bass photo.... Musima ( Eberle if it was imported to the US by Ideal) was an East German state-owned company which was sold to a private owner shortly after the end of the Communist rule when the company could no longer compete without state subsidization.
    Here's an excerpt from an article by Stefan Lob on Musima from a European guitar website:

    "In 1992, Helmut Stumpf and Fritz Kropp (from the old federal states) purchased the Musima GmbH and it was renamed as Musima Manufaktur GmbH.
    The Musima GmbH announced on 01/05/1997 that it went into bankruptcy and it was auctioned."

    So it looks like your bass was made after the sale to the two private owners.
    I checked with the city of Markneukirchen (I'm a curious fella who has a 1989 Eberle) a few years ago to see if the old Musima factory was still there. I was told it is still there but has been abandoned for a long time.

    There's more at this link:


    Steve Loeb is the son of the Ideal Music owner who imported Musima basses and cello's using the name "Eberle".
    So maybe the 2009 "Eberle" bass that Gottliver is referring to is now made by another manufacturer in Germany, Romania or Czechoslovakia.
    The original Eberle name probably came from Prague bassmaker Johann Ullrich Eberle (1699-1768). So it looks like his surname has been brought back not just once by Ideal...but twice by whoever the heck is using the name now.
  13. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
  14. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    No, I don't think so, "Wilhelm Eberle" is a US registered trademark, first used in the US in 1969.


  15. Phil: So who is using the "Eberle " name now...if gottliver is correct about his bass being made in 2009?
    And how could "Wilhelm Eberle" be used and sold in the US, if Steve Loeb owns the trademark? Unless he has them made which I doubt.
    Steve is a musical arranger. His mother still runs Ideal Music but she is a woodwind and brass person and did not want to sell the Eberle basses and cello's that her husband bought many years ago when the Musima factory closed.
  16. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Could be as simple as a "made up" label on an unknown factory bass.
  17. Phil!

    Attach a plastic hose to a vacuum cleaner and clean the inside of that bass! :D

    You have enough dust-and hair in there to make a rat!
  18. othefool

    othefool Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Chico, CA
    I have an eberle ply I bought from Steve a decade ago. I love that bass! Have even been considering creating an eberle or ideal music club to see what happened with all the bases that were liquidated by ideal...
  19. otherfool: OK...I'm in.
    You have my vote for President. :D