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Bad crack?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by mikkejohansson, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. ...not in a streetwise drug dealer kind of way, but a real crack on a real bass - although only in a picture!

    I'm looking to try out this bass later in the week, it is supposedly a German bass, about 30 years old, Hybrid w/solid top and back. That sound about right?

    There is a clearly evident (fixed) crack on the front, near the tailpiece. Is this something I should be weary about if buying the bass? Guessing it's hard to tell from the picture, but any advice is good advice they say...

    I could add that it's selling for a very attractive price (if the bass is okay...). :)

    (I had an other thread up about this bass, but felt i needed to specify so I deleted it, sorry...)

    Attached Files:

  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    The only way to get a real sense of the quality of the repair and the structural integrity of the bass is to have a luthier you trust take a look at it. He or she may have to light the inside and look at the repair from the back to really see what is going on.

    I can't imagine anyone speculating from a photo.

    The seller should be willing to afford you that opportunity. If not, find a different seller or just buy it anyway and take a chance.
  3. I'm sure the seller will let me check it out, he might have a record of the repair as well so I could find the luthier that did it in the first place!

    Was just wondering if cracks that big, in that area (around the tailpiece) were common and/or especially "bad"?

    I understand noone would speculate but feel free to do so anyway :) I won't hold it against you...

    What about the age and heritage? Sounds right?
  4. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    That crack looks to be pretty close to the bass bar. Bassbar cracks are the worst crack you can have. Even when fixed by an expert they can remain problematic. From the pic it is impossible to say how close it is to the bar, but I would be very concerned. But if the price is right it might be worth the chance.
  5. Jeff, on my recently purchased bass, I have a crack that is very close to the bass bar. The shop told me that the two cracks on the front were not repaired according to proper luthier methods, with tacks (the cracks aren't repaired with tacks), but that they were actually very sturdy repairs, and most likely done with hide glue. (The sturdiness was determined due to the fact that the bass has been exclusively repaired and set up by them for the past four years, since it was brought into the area, and there have been no problems).

    After reading what you posted, I reached in the f-hole and felt how close the crack is to the bass bar. It seems to be about a half-inch to an inch away. Should I be concerned? If so, why are these cracks problematic, and is it really worth the price if they are going to continue to be problematic (my bass is relatively nice, and was marked down due to the questionable structural integrity of the two cracks).
  6. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    A bassbar crack is an issue primarily due to the fact that it creates a structural weakness in an area where structural integrity is crucial. Cracks near the bar will often result in a sinking on the top in that area. An inch away from the bar is not that close but it would still concern me. Run your hand across the top[perpendicular to the strings]. Do you feel any dip where the crack is? If so, watch out.
  7. As a matter of fact, there is a big dip. The shop I bought this bass from said that they have not noticed any new damage or an increase in "the dip" over the past four years which they have been tending to the bass. They said that the dip would most likely only become a problem over a long period of time (10 to 15 years), as it increases slowly. I am not planning on owning the bass for that long. They said that If I move out of the seattle area that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to take this bass with me because the repaired cracks might not stand up to humidity and temperature changes as well as others. Since I am planning on moving to NY next year, I will most likely be trading this bass in, unless I can get it properly repaired somehow. Every day I play it I like it more...

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