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Bought a 3/4 Josef & Kurt Wilfer: Carved or Hybrid? please help

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Peder Waern, Jun 28, 2012.


  1. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    Hello,

    Bought a new bass (3/4) today Label says Josef and Kurt Wilfer made in Germany 1975.

    A bit embarrased I must admit I couldn't determine whether its a hybrid or fully carved. I'll attach some pics and maybe someone can give their opinion....

    I believe the top and sides are carved but not sure about the back.
    thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. The grain running all the way around the top's edge says *carved* to me- I am NO expert though, and the pic is rather blurry.
     
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    The top is solid for sure but we'd need a photo of the edge grain straight on to be sure about the back. Maybe just beside the saddle at the bottom?

    Looks very nice! ;)
     
  4. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    Thanks guys..

    Jake, not totally sure what you been by saddle, sorry. Is this helpful?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Indeed, the grain running around the edge of the top indicates that it is carved. As for the back, what Jake wants and what would be revealing is a straight on shot of the edge of the back. That is, the camera should be pointed in the plane such that the endpin is coming straight out at it. The "saddle" is the (typically ebony) piece of wood over which the tailpiece wire runs as it wraps around the top. In any case, looks like a nice find!
     
  6. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    Ahah, thanks for the clarification. I'll take a photo when I get home. This is exciting :)
     
  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Thanks Les!
     
  8. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    Did I get it right this time?
     

    Attached Files:

  9. I vote *solid* :)
     
  10. The back plate looks a lot thinner than the top, much like my Shen hybrid.
     
  11. Schoolhouse

    Schoolhouse Thomas Andres- Bass Makers

    Dec 7, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Definitely a laminated back, most likely the sides too, but I have seen solid sides with a ply back on a few occasions.
     
  12. playbass0410

    playbass0410

    Feb 8, 2008
    Correct.
     
  13. Shows what I know. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    Hmm ok. Everyone agrees plywood back?
     
  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    ...and of course, solid back with ply sides is not too uncommon. I would vote for a ply back based on the pictures, which seem to reveal plys but I can't say that with great confidence. Peder, any chance for a close-up of the edge of the back? There may be enough evidence for real luthiers like Jake to say which it is.
     
  16. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    Thanks for the help all of you. I'm pretty sure the back is laminate. My iphone camera won't work for such a closeup unfortunarely, but even my untrained eye can see small layers of wood on the edge which indicates ply. Perhaps a little bummer for me.

    Now for the obvious question...;) can any expert/luthier give me a rough value on this bass? Josef & Kurt Wilfer made in 1971 outside frankfurt. Obviously went through some hard times as it was opened for repair by a swedish guy called Bengt Hansson in 1975 (says on label in handwriting)The top has a lot of repairs probably from this time. I'll attach some pics.

    Otherwise the bass is in good condition, no visual damage on sides or bottom. Neck and fingerboard seem fine, scroll too. Has a lot of wear all over but nothing that should affect playbility/sound. There's no rattling when played.

    Impossible to answer? Input welcome :)
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    More pics on top repairs...

    Bass sounds nice, very even. Not amazing punch or bottom but good. Probably needs fingerboard dressing and new bridge for optimal sound.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    Bump.
     
  19. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I agree that the back and sides look to be plywood. I'm still pondering the top though. Look at the f-hole and look at the side. You should easily see whether there are layers of wood or a single carved piece. Where did you get the bass?
     
  20. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Feb 17, 2009
    Sweden
    The top looks carved to me, and to most people who posted here. To be 100% sure I guess I would have to take it to my luthier (which I will within a few weeks). I bought it privately off a bassist in Sweden who had stopped playing DB to focus on EB. He did not know much about the history of this bass nor the material.

    Still looking for input on a value :) (assuming solid top, laminate in sides and back)
     

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