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Anyone recognize my new bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Brian K, Sep 23, 2004.


  1. Brian K

    Brian K Supporting Member

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Hello All.

    A recent trip to Montreal turned out better than I had hoped. I came home with what I've been looking for for a while, my new bass. Take a look at the pictures, and let me know if any of you can shed some light on who made it, where and when. The dealer told me it was a 19th century German bass, which is probably the case. I'll post some sounds as soon as I get a chance to record it. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Supporting Member

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Supporting Member

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
  4. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    from the looks of the scroll I'd say czech or hungarian.
     
  5. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Also, the lack of outer moldings. Funky mushrooms too. I like it.

    Congrats,
    Brian
     
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    That is a Viennese style scroll also used in Czech and Hungary as well. the Bass looks kind of new as well. I would say from the pics can be as little at 10-25 years old without better detailed photos showing any natural Patina it may have.
     
  7. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002

    So that is actual a viennese scroll ? I didn;t know that. ll i know is that i really want a bass with a scroll like that !

    BTW, Brian., that is a fantastic looking bass no matter when or where it was made !
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Supporting Member

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I guess the pics aren't picking up the details, because in person, this thing looks old. I truly doubt it's only 15 or 20 or even 50 years old.

    As for the origin, the dealer also said it was from Dresden (sp?). Does the shape of the scroll rule out it's supposed German origins?
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Like I said, it is not possible the age-date a Bass with these photos. The Back is a different color than the ribs and looks newer. The Scroll looks very new. The tuners look very old.

    I doubt that that Scroll is at all from Germany unless it is a recent re-production of a Viennese Bass. The shape looks Eastern European but I would need to see it in person to be more accurate in my opinion.
     
  10. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Ken, as always, brings up good points. Is there any chance that the bass was refinished ? Also, I would inquire about the variations in varnish between front back and scrolls.
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Supporting Member

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Now that I look at it, this was most likely refinished at some time.

    The colour variation between back and sides is just something weird happening with the digital camera I borrowed. In person, the colour of the instrument is quite uniform. The photo of the back of the scroll is closest.

    The body of the instrument seems to have been lacquered or varnished at some point, because it is quite a bit more reflective than the varnish on the scroll.

    Both the body and scroll have dozens (hundreds?) of little dings, scrapes and gauges that have been filled in and are under the current top layer of finish. That combined with the difference in finishing may indicate that it has been refinished more than once, it may not.

    Thanks guys for helping me figure out where my new baby has been.
     
  12. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    have you bought this bass yet ? because the refin will take some of the value away.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Supporting Member

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I have bought it, but for 10K less than the dealer was asking, so I'm pretty sure I will be fine on resale if and when it comes to that.
     
  14. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    For better or worse, yeah, I recognize that bass from this thread.

    I hope it sounds great and brings much joy. Congrats, Brian.
     
  15. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    good one SamIaM
     
  16. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I have seen a few basses like the one you just bought, and the tone has been good in all of them. I agree with Ken on origin. Really what matters though is the sound. Nice bass! Congratulations!
     
  17. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hmmm, interesting. The thread Sam refers to - I went and saw that seller in Toronto and may even have played that particular bass. She has an interesting story behind all these basses which she is importing from Hungary. Also interesting is the fact that she has changed her eBay seller ID three times. Anyway, when I was there I played two of her basses and they were both pretty crappy and setup pretty badly. The basses that I played when I was there could not have been more than 5 years old and had not been played much at all.

    Brian, did you buy the Morelli too or did you buy this instead?
     
  18. The head is real similar to many Klotz basses i've seen....Red Mitchell had one as well as the one that Glen Moore has. Klotz opened up the backs of the peg boxes though. I saw a couple Gaglianos with those heads too. The bass looks newer to me, but the machines look older.
     
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Paul, I have never seen a German Bass with a Viennese Scroll. The open peg box is not a German Trait from what I have learned and could have beed a later Mod.

    Like Arnold had mentioned in that other thread posted by Sam, those newer 'Gypsy' Basses can easily be faked! If it was re-finished it wouldn't have as many scratches or dings. It would have old, less that prefectly repaired cracks. If the antiqueing looks so perfect then the age is questionable.

    It is best when buying a Bass to check it out BEFORE you make the deal final and NOT After!!!!......

    I have bought Dozens of Basses in the last 35 years. The longer you have the Bass, the more you learn about it. When I look over a Bass for the first time I examine it top to bottom and inside and out if necessary. Look at the bottom Block Joint Seam. It will show it's age from shifting, twisting and shrinking over the years. The more perfect the Bass looks, the newer it has to be.

    If you discover something about the Bass that makes the value lower than what you paid, contact the seller. If you buy a car and find out the milage has been altered, you have a legit complaint. If the engine block is cracked and wasn't disclosed, you have a legit complaint. If you buy a Gagliano Violin and find out the Scroll is not original, You have a legit complaint.

    All of these findings SHOULD alter and lower the price if NOT Kill the deal alltogether.

    Brian, I am not in any way trying to take away your Joy with your new Bass. I am just trying to shed some light on making higher end Bass purchases.

    I recently discovered the possibility of my Italian Solo Bass NOT having it's original Back. The seller agreed that my opinion was a valid one and the price was renegociated. I disclosed this when offering the Bass for sale as well.

    Honesty is the best policy. Even to yourself between your own ears......
     
  20. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I just want to add to my post - I was thinking back and look through my e-mail and if this is indeed one of the basses that was being sold by the eBay seller in Toronto, I don't believe I did play this one. Although the two I played were not very good, that's not to say that she has not been selling better basses. In fact there is one she has now on eBay that looks possibly more mature than the ones I played.

    Anyway, Brian if you (or anyone else) is interested in knowing more about that seller, e-mail me off-line. I have her phone number and can provide other information too.

    I do have to say though that I'm sort of surprised at anyone that would give a $10,000 discount on a bass which I'm assuming to be in the $10,000 range itself. Personally speaking, a discount in that price range of that much, would make me ask a lot of questions.

    In the end, all that really counts is whether you Brian think the bass is worth it and whether it sounds and plays like what you want.

    For example, I am quite sure that the Italian bass I just bought is not as old as the seller told me it was and my luthier also doubts it too. However I don't care, it doesn't change what it is to me and how it sounds and plays.