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3/4 Upright Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Al Cheatham, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. I recently purchased a used upright 3/4 bass. It has been around for a while, but I don't know how old it is or if it is a good buy. It is a Karl Knilling brand, handmade in Germany. Does anybody know or have ever heard of this brand? The action on it is very good. I am used to playing an Aria upright electric, which is perfect for the type music that I play (Jazz), but even though it gets close to the acoustic sound, it still isn't quite there, and that is why I am excited about this new (old) bass that I have purchased. I would appreciate any feedback.
  2. Welcome to TB, Al. There's an unwritten but oft-quoted rule on the bass guitar side of this forum; not sure if it applies over here: No pics, no bass(as in, we don't believe you ;) ). And if you really want feedback, just install a piezo on that doghouse, plug into a medium-to-large amplifier & play your bass in the same room-HHHHVVVVRRMMMMM :eek: (Ab) :D .
  3. Thanks for your reply, but your input was useless.
  4. The first half of my post was geniuinely meant to welcome you here. There are actually some very witty people here(not claiming to be one, mind you)& humor is for me a big draw. Sorry you apparently don't feel the same, & I'll try to remember to go all 'grownup' if I try to communicate w/you again.
    As for the second half, I for one, was amused. :) Again I say, welcome.

    Edit: For more info on your bass, you might try the search function.
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    This from the Knilling site: http://www.knilling.com/student_bs_german.htm

    The Knilling label is currently on their student/entry level basses. Dudnt mean that you have a bad one at all. Photos would help us all out.

    Fill out your profile so that we have a better handle on you :) Welcome to TB.
  6. Al,

    Knilling is a wholesaler/importer that puts their name on many basses, from cheap Koreans to reasonably nice Germans. They put their name on a wide range of basses. So knowing that it's a Knilling is only part of the story. Now, I think Knilling is a label used by St. Louis Strings.

    A picture is worth a thousand words (Yea, I came up with that phrase, what's it to ya). Kidding aside.

    1. Is there a label? What does the label say:
    a. Germany - after '89 or before '42
    b. West Germany - '57 to '89
    c. Germany US Zone - '42 to '57

    2. What is the construction
    a. Is it a plywood bass? - is the top laminated, layers
    b. Is it carved? - is it a solid top, grain all the way through

    3. What is the shape?
    a. Gamba - soft corners around the C-Bouts
    b. Violin - edgy corners around the C-Bouts

    4. What is the edging
    a. Is there no edging?
    b. Is there a flat edging below the top and back? Wilfer / Hofner
    c. Is there a round edging the meets the top and back? Musima

    5. Is it real purfeling? The edge on the top and back.
    a. Is it cut into the top and back, with a dark strip of wood inset?
    b. Is it painted on?

    6. What does the button look like. The top of the back where the neck attaches?
    a. What is the shape?
    b. Is it purfeled?
    c. Is there a design or pattern?

    7. What does the bottom back of the scoll look like?
    a. Is it split with a tear drop?

    8. Misc
    a. What do the tuners look like? Rubner, German plated, Individual
    b. What does the scroll look like?
    c. What kind of tail piece?
    d. What is the shape of the F-holes?

    There are only a few double bass factories in Germany. Knilling, at one time or another, has imported basses from all of them. Typically, Knilling imports factory basses for the school market. It is unlikely that it is a hand carved high end German bass.

    If you could post a few pictures:
    a. Whole bass, to get the shape.
    b. Any label, from inside the F-holes
    c. A close up of the edge of the top, Carved or Ply, Edging and Perfiling
    d. Button
    e. Back of the scroll
    f. Scroll and tuners
    g. F-holes

    My personal experiance with a Knilling:
    1. The local music company sells Knilling to the local schools.
    2. A local band director, (a former student of my wife) from a school where the string program had folded, had an extra bass in storage.
    3. I was looking for a bass.
    4. It was a Knilling, ... but;
    a. It was 1/2 size
    b. It was Korean
    c. The neck had been re-attached twice by the local music store, poorly.
    d. The strings were at least three times too high at the end of the finger board, (the neck moved again)

    I chose to rent a 3/4 China Ply bass from the local music store for 3 months before purchasing a bass. (Made sure the Carpel wasn't a problem)

    Hopefully this post is little more helpful.

    The Double Bass world is significantly different from the Electric Bass world, with a very different vocabulary.

    Yea - 2x to Ray - fill out the profile.
  7. I'm sorry I didn't see the humor in your reply, but now that I see it, it was pretty funny and maybe true. I didnt know that it was a requirement to post photos, but now that I know that can be done, I will. Thanks for the welcome. Talk to you some more in the future.
    Happy New Year. :) :)
  8. I've done much the same thing. :rolleyes: I must admit my feathers got a bit ruffled(after your gentle smackdown :rolleyes: ), but no hard feelings. As for pics, thy're not required- at least not formally- & I am primarily a slab(bass g****r :eek: )player, so I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as most on the DB side. I do know a few things, though, & will gladly offer up any pertinent knowledge. BTW, I also play( :eyebrow: well, own, anyway :rolleyes: )a German 3/4 size DB. That's what made me read your original post. Take it easy-
  9. Thanks for your reply. I have taken some photos of the bass. Maybe this will help in identifying whether this is a good bass or not. Regardless, I have already purchased it. I bought it from a guy that has a guitar, bass repair shop. This bass was used at the Grand Ole Opry for many years as a back-up bass. I paid $1000.00 for the bass. It also had a gig bag that looked like it had been around the world about 10 times. Any help that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  10. Here are some more photos of the bass that I have.

    Attached Files:

  11. I can attach only 2 photos per mailing.

    Attached Files:

  12. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    hmmm I'm no expert here, but... that looks laminated. Maybe someone with a better eye could confirm?

    How does it play?
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    In 1942, Germany was 100% Germany. Some guy named Adolf had a strong claim on it then. We were not there till 1945 when the war ended.

    The Bass, Looks plywood to me but the ribs may be solid. Can't see as well as I would like in the pics. The neck looks like it might have damage under the pegbox. More pics of that would be nice. Scroll Grafts are expensive and neck replacements are not cheap either. If the Bass is in sound condition and you like it, you did ok. If repairs are needed, then it depends on the total cost when all is said and done.
  14. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Yep, looks like an OK factory bass to me. Whats that "spot" at the end of the fingerboard? My bass got a simillar one around B on the A string, not quite as "clear" or "white", a luthier said it was normal but it really bothers me.
  15. From the shape, color, trim/edging and neck button, it looks like a Musima/Eberle.

    I have a carved Eberle. While mine doesn't have the response or sound of a Wilfer or Pollman, it is a well constructed bass that will last many, many years.

    Mine has a stamp inside indicating the date finished, but it took getting a light inside the F-hole.

    Do a search on Musima and Eberle and you'll find a lot of good information here on TalkBass.

    Oops, I shouldn't try to remember dates late at night. Of course Germany would be Germany until 1945 and not be the US Zone until after '45.

    This bass would have been built in the former Russian Zone/East Germany, the Russian style mule(sp) edge.
  16. hofner


    Dec 7, 2003
    it looks like my Eberhardt Meinel (=musima) in shape and détails...
  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    This is a Commercial made Factory Bass that can be sold to any company that will pay. The Flush edges are typical of the German/Czech Factory aka Strunal/Lidl. Most "brands" you buy do NOT have Factories. Only a few of the actual names on these German Basses have their own Mfg. facility and even some of them buy the lower priced models from asia or eastern europe.
  18. I really appreciate the response that I got concerning my bass. Yes, it has been repaired more than once, but it looks like the repair job was professionally done. The bass sounds good and so far is staying in tune. The action is good, and it doesn't take a lot of effort to push the strings down. I am used to playing my Aria Upright and it is really smooth. Again, thanks for all the comments. :hyper: :hyper:
  19. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Tort, that's ebony. :)
    Ebony logs are black in the center, and turn pink, brown, gray and/or white toward the outside. So it looks like this one caught just a bit of the colorful stuff. It has no detremental effect, and I have a few shops that like to see that stuff on our plywoods.

    p.s.: feel free to dye it if it drives you crazy. Your luthier can do it, or if the bass isn't a collector's piece feel free to grab a wide black marker and do some colorin'.
  20. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Wow! Didn't know that, thanks for the info! I guess mine caught a bit of the "pinkish" part, more like brownish, actually. I don't know if I'd like to dye it, it's been like that for maybe two years now. It bothers me but not too much. I guess I'll hold on 'till I can't take it no more and get it dyed or maybe I'll just get a new one ;)