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Anyone know this Romanian bass? NBD

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by unbrokenchain, Apr 22, 2019.


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  1. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Going to look at this bass, tag says "Musikinstrumentenfabrik Reghin, made in Romania." Carved flat back, seller says it was setup by David Gage 7-8 years ago. Anything in particular I should watch out for?

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  2. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Edited to a different bass. Gonna drive 4 hours to see this one, the price is right for sure, hope it's a good un.
     
  3. Aldwyn

    Aldwyn Old Musician, New to UB!

    Jan 5, 2019
    Columbia, Maryland
    Depending on when it was made... during the communist era, or post, may make a difference. Do you know when it was made?

    The Reghin factory, back in the communist days, made stringed instruments for the Easton Bloc counties. From student models to pro models, and some in-between. Quality of build really seems to have varied from day to day, and who was the luthier, I suppose. For ply models, check the thinness and neck separation. For carved models, you may find the wood thicker/heavier then usual, and may not even have an ebony board. And because of the wishy/washy reputation, you can get a fully carved, fantastic instrument for much less then other basses out there.

    For what its worth, I absolutely love my fully carved, end of communism era bass from that factory. Its heavy, but sounds fantastic, and plays really really well.

    Hopefully others can chime in with more detail.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  4. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Well whatever it is, it's mine now :D

    This popped up near Raleigh for cheap on CL. Just sold my 69 Kay yesterday, couldn't resist this.

    The cracks on the top have been repaired to some extent, neck has been off for one reason or another, two piece heel with some kind of button shim. Has a half-saddle. It needs fixed where the back is not properly glued/aligned to the ribs. Not sure if I'll field it out or do it myself yet, but I think it'll be a good bass once it's fixed. It already sounds freakin great to me, what are these strings obligato?

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    J_Bass, Tiddleypidlei and dhergert like this.
  5. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Congrats on your new bass! I`m 99% shure those strings are Obligatos.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  6. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Brought the bridge adjusters down, seller had them jacked up pretty high. Boy, this setup is perfect. No fingerboard work needed. A few notes buzz the open back seam, but hot dang this is already a real treat to play.
    Hard to get my lousy camera to focus through the f-holes but the workmanship looks really careful to my eyes.
     
  7. Looks like a Hora, which are factory basses made in Reghin. I’d guess the back popped the way it did because the lower crossbrace warped due to improper humidity wherever it was stored.

    Life with flatbacks can be interesting.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  8. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Both lower bout ribs are not well attached/aligned with the back except at the tail block. And the glue looks like it wasn't hot enough, I'm thinking bad repair. But it's hide glue, "so I got that goin for me." Crossbraces look overbuilt a little, substantial pieces of wood. The rib/top seam is open in a couple spots, I may just pop the top off this sucker. But for tonight I'm just gonna play it. The Kay will still be the gig bass, but I think I'll make this the arco bass. Even with the issues, just playing it I can't help but laugh thinking of the price point. Not free, but solidly less than I sold the Kay for..
     
  9. Aldwyn

    Aldwyn Old Musician, New to UB!

    Jan 5, 2019
    Columbia, Maryland
    Congrats! If it's anything like mine, the acro will sing, and vibrate the house!
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  10. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Yes. I was looking for the rattle on the bass, but it was the closet door...

    I could see getting used to these obligatos. But the windings don't look so good where they cross the bridge on a couple of em. They'll get replaced with.. something.. Repairs first.

    Just had a quick rehearsal at my house for a set this weekend. Tried this bass out in the mix with some loud bluegrass instruments. The Kay sounds more old school, but it's way easier to hear if I'm in tune with the carved bass. Not sure if it's the difference in strings or setup but I couldn't walk fast lines with the new bass tonight so I defaulted to the Kay for all but a few songs, but I'm really happy to have this thing.
     
  11. Overbuilt a little? Sheeeeiiiiit.

    The top isn’t the problem. Pull the back, it’s already flapping in the breeze. Plane out the bad brace, then you get to figure out how to flatten the plate while you fit a new brace. Don’t do it in the summer.

    Unless you follow Jim Ham. Lay it brace-side down on the grass in the morning and soak up the dew as the day warms. No more warp. Lutheirie is crazy.

    Life with flatbacks is interesting. I had one that was left alone in a dry Brooklyn apartment for a month. The back potato-chipped, and it reeked of milk glue.

    Which went rancid, of course.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  12. Well, nice detailed discussion for one piece of equipment.
    Just for your information, Reghin Factory has a long tradition in building instruments. Not the best electric guitars, I agree, but great acoustics, including, guitars, violins, cellos, double bass, etc. Obviously what you pay is what you get, don't expect Stradivarius quality.
    They have a unique room for testing instruments, no producer/retailer in Europe has at least something similar.
    And yes, I am a romanian :)
     
    J_Bass, VictorW126 and unbrokenchain like this.
  13. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    So is life in an 1880s log cabin, it'll fit right in :D



    This reminds me of other non-musical objects I have owned that were made in Romania, Cugir? Solid/overbuilt, highly functional, and ruggedly beautiful.

    100% happy with my purchase, rare for an impulse buy. Can't wait to get it fixed up.

    Probably start a repair thread, but might as well ask KFS - worth it to remove the whole back? The upper bouts are fine. If I had a condino access door on this bass I bet I could repair it solidly without removing top or back. Hm..
     
    dhergert likes this.
  14. You can’t fit a new brace with the back on.

    I’d let it acclimate to its’ new home for a few months before deciding to do anything. See how it acts.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  15. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Congrats! Just glue it back up for now and play it for the next couple months and see how it acclimates.
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  16. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Yup!!! Might be a nice sub-project, but as KFS mentioned, fitting the brace might still be a problem. Whatever, I'd first check with James about stability of a flat-back bass after access-door rib surgery, but I can certainly attest to the convenience of having access, even with my "sardine-can" double bass!
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  17. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Heard, thanks y'all. I'm not convinced that any of the crossbraces are warped, they look great where they are attached to the back. I think the back just popped off from being too dry and someone glued it back wrong. But I've also got a layman's eye, so I'll see what condino says about it at some point. Has anyone ever removed just the C-bout rib to access the inside of a DB? Doesn't seem impossible
     
  18. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Just an update and initial impression. Got this thing fixed up pretty decent by myself, if I have real problems it'll go to Condino, but it wasn't hard to get workable results. Love me some hide glue.

    Holy cow, though, it sounds freakin great and it's really interesting to play it alternating with my Kay. I've played other people's carved basses before, but never side by side with my own or for any extended period. So much more focused of a sound. It's not necessarily better for some of the types of music that I play, the ambiguity and "thoom" kind of attack of the Kay are a good fit for bluegrass and old time, and the durability factor has been reinforced (no pun) on me after a weekend of having my bass tossed around on golf carts on bumpy roads at Merlefest. But with the bow it absolutely sings in such a way that makes me smile, I'm really happy to have it in my arsenal. The Realist pickup that it came with sounds a whole, whole lot better than my decade-old bassmax, though I haven't used it in a live setting yet.
     
  19. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    AFAIK in the contemporary era there were several different string instrument factories in Reghin, Romania.

    (I have one-quarter Romanian ancestry and always enjoyed that. It's a beautiful place which Americans only know from vampire movies and dictators.)

    I can't speak to Hora but you're usually spot on so no reason to doubt it.

    But the benefit is soooo worth the cost!
     
    unbrokenchain likes this.

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