a newbie and a doghouse in need of repairs......please help!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Bibby, Nov 22, 2001.

  1. Bibby


    Aug 24, 2000
    hello all!

    i just picked up (was given) a double bass that i want to get back to playable condition. my problem is i know squat about these doghouses. i am electric boy all the way. first a few general questions:

    what is the size of it? it stands 6'3". 3/4? 7/8?

    how can you tell if it is laminated or carved?

    the back has become unglued on the bottom right. the bridge is old and bowed. the strings are even older and seem to be mixed and matched.

    i don't want to really put a lot of money into it, but i do want to get it into playable condition. i'm trying to figure out a gameplan. i figure if i buy the strings and bridge on my own via the net i could save some money rather than buying through a shop.

    i don't even know what this thing is worth. i'm in the dayton/cincinnati area of ohio. does anyone know of a good place to take this thing and have it gone over? any advice on how to proceed?

    thanks in advance, billy
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    You don't know what bridge to buy, so don't. If the current bridge span is incorrect, you'll only be continuing the problem.
    Go to a bass shop. They can also advise you on string choice. The Bass Cellar in Cincinnati is a full service shop with knowledgeable people.
    Don't even think of trying to do this over the internet. You've already gotten a free bass. Don't push it.
  3. DURRL is the one to answer the question of where to take it. He lives close to your area. He will reply soon enough. As for what size, what kind, and how much...cant say without seeing the bass " not me, I`m kinda new here too". Inside the F-hole of the Bass may be a Makers Mark or label. You haft to take that Bass to a Luthier. Don`t try the "do it yourself approch". I have bought several Items off EBAY and have been pleased but I am the only one on this Thread that will tell you that and I dont suggest it. I can say this, when I had my Bass "7/8 carved" set-up, my Luthier commented that the Bridge was more "short and fat" as to " tall and more slender". That being said a Bridge is not....One size fits all. So I dont suggest spending any money till you get a informed answer to your questions. There is a place...I cant recall the name, that is well known for all things bass..."The Bass Celler" maybe, In Cincinnati I beleave. All well, Like I said, Durrl can help you just speak softly. Have a good day and welcome to the Dark Side.


    --------------------------------------------------If the world didn`t suck we would all fall off:p
  4. I guess Don and I replyed at the same time...:confused: Bass Cellar...
  5. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Do yourself a favor and get repairs done by a pro.Unless you have the skills you''ll be sorry.

    I bought a '62 Kay that was in excellent shape and I was quite happy with it as it came to me. I gave it to a luthier for a setup and it came back significantly better sounding and more playable.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    DONOSAUR and GR8STEAKHOUSE speak the truth. The Bass Cellar is the place to go in your area, and Andy and Chris are really good about dealing with people who don't know jack about doghouses...just be prepared to deal with some good-natured sarcasm and irony. Aside from that, they shoot straight and don't play games. If they tell you that it'll cost more than the bass is worth, let me know and I may have a few other options for places that are cheaper - but the old adage, "you get what you pay for" holds true across the board.

  7. Bibby


    Aug 24, 2000
    thanks guys. i definitely won't be making this a 'do it yourself' project in order to save a few bucks. i'm gonna give the boys at the bass cellar a call.
  8. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN

    Let me save you the time of thumbing through the Cincinnati phone books, cause you won't find the boys from the Bass Cellar listed:


    And as the venerable Mr. Fitzgerald warned, be ready for a heavy dose of sarcasm.
  9. What is sarcasm?
    A new rosin?
  10. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Hmmm.....I may have to moderate this over to the rosin thread. I have the power, you know.
  11. mchildree


    Sep 4, 2000
    My Mom told me that if I had one before I got married, I'd GO TO HELL....
  12. Bibby


    Aug 24, 2000
    the appointment has been made. next saturday i get the skinny on the bass from the boys at bc. i am mentally prepared for the sarcasm and will probably use this tactic myself if necessary.:)

    thanks for all the responses- i found the direction i was looking for.
  13. Bibby


    Aug 24, 2000
    my trip to the bass cellar was a success! andy and chris were great to talk to AND deal with. it also turns out that i didn't know what i had. the old bass that was given me and that has just been sitting in the corner of the basement untouched for a couple of years turns out to be a decent piece. it is a carved german bass by Pfretzschner made in the 30's or 40's by their best 'guess-timate', and in exlcellent shape overall despite needing some tlc after years and years of going untouched and unplayed.

    i was quite pleased to find that out for sure! it is going to cost me a decent amount to get it back to to the condition it should be in. my original intention was to just get it 'playable', but since it is a much better bass than i thought it to be i'm going to get it taken care of once and for all. then all i have to do is learn to play the thing!

    now my question is this. does anyone have any reference where i can look up the history of the maker of this bass? i'd like to learn more about the family and maybe try to detail the origin of my bass more exactly if possible. i've typed the name into a few search engines with little success. can anyone recommend any books or websites?

    thanks in advance.