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Any suggestions about age and origin of this bass? (old looking thing)

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Sebbe, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Sebbe


    Nov 2, 2018
    Malmö, Sweden

    I was given a "wreck".
    The previous owner had it for 35+ years and thought about fixing it himself but never got around to it. So he asked if I wanted it and of course I did.

    Does anybody have an idea of where and when this bass could be from?
    He (the previous owner) believed it was an old german/saxon bass, 19th century.
    Might be the case - I have no idea!

    It's in horrible shape. Especially the top which has caved in...a lot. Very thin in some areas and bass bar is incredibly small or at least incredibly thin. Maybe half the thickness of the bass bar in my main instrument. There's a ton of really crappy "repairs". Worst one (and there are many bad ones) must be a rectangular patch in the middle of the top that somone seemed to think would stabilize it.

    Well, just curious if anybody recognizes the shape/style or something like that. Here are some pictures:
    45241081_261010627937851_6687520545254146048_n. 45196120_322334828562408_8903455268893884416_n. 45290553_1637495479729238_1648496580933713920_n. 45256741_1082411835273228_4766920460220760064_n. 45337821_2222099684703951_6967322254245888000_n.
    Reiska likes this.
  2. Yikes.

    Americans call those Tyroleans or Blockless Wonders due to the fact that they lack a neck block.

    Some say they originated in Bohemia, 1850-WW1.

    They were made fast and cheap, but have a reputation for sounding excellent after a thorough, expert and expensive restoration.

    Good luck with it.
    Sam Sherry and salcott like this.
  3. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Yep. Olde Tyrolean. I played one for 35 years and three major repairs. It came out of each one sounding better. If you got it for nothing, it might be worth pumping a good bit of money into it. Consult with a bass specialist and let us know what happens.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  4. Sebbe


    Nov 2, 2018
    Malmö, Sweden
    Thank you for answering.

    I see, so Tyrolean? Interesting.
    Is it possible to say something about when it could have been made, just from looking at it?
    Or maybe they looked very similar during the entire period when they were made.

    I googled blockless wonder. Sounds like a weak construction so I find it surprising that there seem to be quite a few of them still "alive" without the neck block.

    I also took a chance and sent some pictures of the bass to a luthier in vienna. He answered and said that the bass probably was made by an amateur and finished: "Let that poor bass rest in peace".
    So I will most likely not pay to have anything done to the bass. With that said, I'm not throwing it in the garbage can. I like the shape and I like how crude the f-holes look.
    Since I paid 0 :- and the bass just sits there, there is plenty of time to figure out what to do with it. I'm considering to remove the varnish. We will see!
  5. Why would you strip it? I don’t understand.

    Now that you mention it, the bass could be homespun. Those ffs are laughably uneven.

    If you lived America-side I’d offer to take it off your hands and restore it just to do it. I always wanted to wrestle with one of those instruments.
  6. Sebbe


    Nov 2, 2018
    Malmö, Sweden
    Sorry, I should have written "paint"! Not varnish!
    I don't mean to strip it, just remove those thick stains of some weird modern black paint or whatever it is.
  7. Sebbe


    Nov 2, 2018
    Malmö, Sweden
    ...and I'm hoping I will run into somebody who is looking for the same challange as you are. But preferably a little closer!
    KUNGfuSHERIFF likes this.

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