Bass ID Please - my new beast

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by KBiggZ, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. KBiggZ


    Apr 15, 2012
    Hey all -

    I just purchased my first DB yesterday from a fairly reputable music store in NH. This was tagged for $3k, although I paid significantly less - $1,700. Based on the 4 3/4 basses they had, this was the easiest to play, had the best punch and tone, and was the prettiest as well. Although the store is very reputable and knowledgable, and the owner quite a collector - the rep I worked with was not positive of the make or year, although thought it was a Kay.

    I'd love to know the make model and approximate year. There's no tag inside, nor can I see any writing.

    Please take a look and let me know what you think - it's purely so for my knowledge, as I am entirely happy with the bass and the price, because the sound is amazing. It's clearly had it's share of work done on it, but feels very solid and is extremely warm.

    After spending some time searching this morning, I've posted pics of what I hope are the most distinguishing features:



  2. mdcbass


    Feb 6, 2005
    Seacoast of NH
    Congratulations and happy playing! Would you mind revealing the store in NH that had 4 upright basses?
  3. It's not a Kay (as far as I can tell) the scroll is not a Kay scroll. It almost looks like a solid wood bass too. The purfling looks carved in, Kays are usually painted on.
  4. KBiggZ


    Apr 15, 2012
    mdc - Ear Craft in Dover. They had this, another one for about the same price (which was a Kay) some debatable quality but sounded like cardboard new for $999 bass, and some 1920s monster that had been brought back from the dead which might not even be for sale.

    Michael - the purfling IS carved in
  5. It looks like it's been re-finished too. It's a nice looking bass. Congratulations.
  6. mdcbass


    Feb 6, 2005
    Seacoast of NH
    I've never been in the store but I guess that's why Ididn't know what they had;) I'm in Newmarket so pretty close by.

    I think you may have a hybrid, plywood back and sides with a carved top. Odd that they wouldn't know what they had but if that's the case, you got a great buy. It looks like the person who stripped it got tired and left some behind but you can improve that later if you like.
  7. Maybe it's my eyes, but I don't see plys on the back plate (in the pic of the neck heel). Looks solid to me. I could be (and most likely am) wrong though.
  8. mooseonbass

    mooseonbass Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2011
    Waltham, MA
    I don't have a very trained eye either but the back looks like ply to me, I'm not saying it is, it just looks that way to me. I had a question about the front. On the picture that shows the neck heel from the side, it looks to me like there is a layer between the top and the binding. Am I just hallucinating? I know that I must be mistaking but it looks odd, just in that picture, to me.
  9. KBiggZ


    Apr 15, 2012
    Upon inspection the top is solid and the back ply
  10. KBiggZ


    Apr 15, 2012
    And yes there is a layer in between the top and the binding
  11. mdcbass


    Feb 6, 2005
    Seacoast of NH
    Maybe they put a carved top over the plywood - like panelling over drywall. In the same picture, the back seems like it isn't quite lined up with the side.
  12. chris1125


    May 14, 2007
    My guess is it's a chezch hybrid with.a refin and some questionable repairs. Have you taken it to a luthier? If you posted it on the ken smith forums I'm sure he could tell you something. Looks like a nice find at that price.
  13. mdcbass


    Feb 6, 2005
    Seacoast of NH
    You have a Personal Message
  14. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Actually to me it doesn't look like it's been refinished, other than someone putting a coat of clear onto it! It's been stripped, but as MCDBASS said, the job hasn't been completed, in fact it looks like it was stripped with the strings still on it! (judging by the endpin shot). It would not be difficult to take all the strings and fittings off, finish the stripping job properly with some paintstripper and a scraper, and revarnish, which if coloured may disguise some of the more visible repair work.

    I suspect the "drywall" under the solid top is just a clunky attempt at building up the rib depth to make the new top fit.

    And looking at images 5 & 6 it looks to me as if the neck angle has been changed, resulting in a lower bridge height than otherwise. Hard to tell ... it doesn't look quite right to me, the bridge crown has been cut down almost to the heart. But if it sounds OK, it's probably OK for the moment.

    Despite all that, it looks like quite a nice find, and yes from here I'd say 1960s/70s Czech or German (I have a west german bass with identical machines) and probably with a long string length and Eb neck too. A bit of work and it could come up nicely.