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Another 3 string thread

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by mandocaster, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. mandocaster


    Dec 24, 2004
    Houston, TX
    An aquaintence of mine has a three string bass he picked up at some resale shop years ago (apparently). It is hard to assess the condition because this guys kid painted it with craft paint - kind of psychedelic.

    I am sorry I can't post pictures, but they would probably make you guys cry, anyway.

    I can probably talk it out of the guy, who has gotten sick of it.

    My questions are -
    1. Are all 3 string basses 19th century?
    2. Are they all worth restoring, i.e., are there cheapies that were not worth much when they were built that are still worth little?
    3. Do conversions to 4 string involve major reconstruction? Can you add a new nut, tuner, and bridge and be ready to go?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'll take it! When can I pick it up?
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002

    not if i get there first !
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    1) 3-string Basses were made for hundreds of years even into the 20th century.

    2) This depends on the damage and quality or lack of, on the Bass.
    With a re-finish in the plans you have lost a major chunk of it's potential restored value.

    3) Conversions can be costly especially if it needs a wider Neck Graft.

    Show pics and get an on-line ball park estimate. It can run from 10-20k or more depending on the damages to make it a top notch Orchestral Bass. Most 'old' 3-stringers are from Italy, Spain, Ireland, England, France and USA... Did I leave anything out guys?
  5. They are worth restoring usually, because most three stringers were carved as opposed to laminated. That process didn't happen til later.
    It may be alot of money, but think of the fun and as i've said, it's giving a bass a whole new life.
    Of course it may be an old bass some jerk made by hand that may be awful......that's why it would be good for us to see some pics!
  6. mandocaster


    Dec 24, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I'll see what I can do about pics.

    A lot of older basses seem to have a lot of varnish touch up, if not actually refinished. It seems like a fine line.
  7. cabin dweller

    cabin dweller Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Ridgeland, WI
    Most of the time I'm only running on three cylinders, so I will also take it also.
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Damn, I thought you were talking about a real bass. Didn't realize this was the DB section.
  9. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Yep, only imaginary basses over here :rollno:
  10. delbass


    Sep 9, 2003
    Albany, NY
    Wait....real bass? Isn't that our line?
  11. Joe....you know better'n that!!!!!
  12. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    We're talking about basses, not bass guitars. ;)
  13. I think Joe is yankin' your chain
  14. Mandocaster,

    Like Ken Smith Said, Basses were sold with three strings into the first quarter of the 1900's, mainly in England where players had trouble letting go of the three stringer. IMHO, even if it required a total revarnish, it would be worth it. Let's find out more about it so you can make a good decision. All old basses like this are worth restoring to someone somewhere ,so don't burn it. It is unlikely that this was one of those blockless-wonder carved bass bar creations from the lower end of the German trade, since (correct me if I'm wrong) these were sold mainly in the 1920's and 1930's and were usually 4-stringers.

  15. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    That Nerve Guy...gets his picture in Bass Player and thinks he can come down to the basement and give us what fer...geez ! ;-)
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I actually miss you guys over in DB. That week I spent trying to learn to play was great - you all have a very different kind of wit than the guys on the other side of the fence.

    I shall return one day - as soon as I figure out what to with the bass that's sitting in my bedroom.

    Hmmm... just had a wonderful idea... gonna start a thread.
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    He's just jealous because his wood is smaller than ours. :)
  18. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    you went there...